Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

If it does get axed, I hope someone (Netflix, Hulu, maybe even something like Disney+) picks it up.  It's too good to lose.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

If it does get axed, I hope someone (Netflix, Hulu, maybe even something like Disney+) picks it up.  It's too good to lose.

Yea, I hope so.  I think FOX may have an exclusive with Seth MacFarlane though so not sure what options they'd have or who owns Orville (might be FOX).  Also Fox/Disney own a lot of Hulu, so maybe that'd be an option.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:
Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

If it does get axed, I hope someone (Netflix, Hulu, maybe even something like Disney+) picks it up.  It's too good to lose.

Yea, I hope so.  I think FOX may have an exclusive with Seth MacFarlane though so not sure what options they'd have or who owns Orville (might be FOX).  Also Fox/Disney own a lot of Hulu, so maybe that'd be an option.

Seth ironically has almost nothing to do with Family Guy anymore, except the voice acting.  His baby is The Orville.  I'd be shocked if they ax it.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Well, ORVILLE is getting a third season. No episode count as of yet.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Yes!  That's great news.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

David Goodman, in an interview, said he felt there had been no consequences for Isaac's betrayal and return in Season 2 and that it'd be a priority for Season 3.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Yeah, I agree.  I feel like that was strange.  They kept talking about the Kaylon, but you're right - they barely even featured Isaac after that.  I wonder if they didn't know where to go with that, or if they didn't want that to take over the whole show.

I wonder if they should've had Isaac sacrifice himself.  The Kaylon could've still been a threat, but they wouldn't have had to deal with the consequences.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I'm betting it's because they had a shorter season than most shows and ran out of time and space to address it. Dan Harmon in his COMMUNITY audio commentaries says that he was always shocked get to the end of Seasons 5 - 6 and realize that he only had 13 episodes and had been so consumed with GI JOE parodies and DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS sequels that he'd forgotten to address Jeff's career as a teacher in Season 5 or tell an Annie-centric story in Season 6.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Awhile ago, I posted about how our world has gone crazy and we desperately need the sliders back. We need Quinn's cool under fire. We need the Professor's wisdom and perspective.

When watching the STAR TREK: PICARD trailer, I realized that while I will always want Professor Arturo to come back, I suppose I could settle for Jean Luc Picard and his diplomacy in the face of savagery, his steadiness when faced with madness, his diligence in response to threat and his ability to find common ground and offer understanding, negotiation and enlightenment that turns enemies into friends and danger into unity and teamwork.

I need the Professor. But I could be alright if our Captain came back.

**

THE ORVILLE is moving to Hulu! Makes sense. It's an niche product.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Man, the Picard trailer awoke something in me too.  And the inclusion of Seven of Nine was a total shock to me.  I feel like, moreso than Discovery, the Picard people are going to have fun playing in the post-Nemesis sandbox.

I was also shocked to see Brent Spiner, who wanted so desperately to get away from Data in the end.  Although my video buffered a bit at that part so maybe it was a CGI re-creation of Brent Spiner.  He looked otherworldly.

*********

I also agree that Orville to Hulu makes sense.  I'm hoping they can do some fun stuff now that they're streaming-only, and I hope the budget doesn't suffer because of it.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I don't remember VOYAGER. Was Seven acting human and being casual and pleasant by the end?

**

My read on Spiner: he loves Data. He loves playing him. However, over the course of seven seasons, he aged. It's not noticeable if you're watching the show week to week because Spiner fills out gradually. The lines in his face deepen over the course of a year. The human memory always takes the present day face and puts it on top of your memories unless the changes are sudden like David Boreanaz suddenly thirty pounds heavier on ANGEL (because he was having knee problems and couldn't exercise) or Jerry O'Connell suddenly having a sun-tan and very short hair. This bothered Spiner because even though he was a healthy man, he viewed Data as a childlike figure. He didn't like how he was playing a very innocent, naive character when physically, he was clearly a middle-aged adult. He felt he couldn't sell the character anymore.

Onscreen, Data looks like a man in makeup with very subtle but narrative body language to indicate his artificiality and it's really the performance that makes him seem like an android instead of an actor with an altered skin tone and contact lenses. The performance can always be maintained, but the character benefits from a youthful appearance that Spiner couldn't offer anymore. He felt he couldn't do his job properly and that was why he didn't want to be onscreen as Data anymore.

It looks like PICARD has solved the problem. I have guesses: one is that Data is a CG creation and Spiner is providing the voice in post. My second and more plausible guess is that Spiner is on-set in some form of the makeup with tracking dots all over his face. Then in post, his body is slimmed. His skin is buffed to remove any signs of aging. My third guess is that Spiner's on set so that Stewart can perform with him, and then he's performing the scene again in a special effects bay with a tracking suit and dots to map his expressions and movements to a CG model. My fourth guess is that a body double is playing Data on set with his face and voice replaced afterwards with Spiner's face recorded separately, edited to remove his age and weight and grafted onto the double. My fifth guess is that it's some combination of all of the above depending on the scene.

Data doesn't look realistic, but given that Data is an artificial being, it works for Data to look synthetic.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

ireactions wrote:

I don't remember VOYAGER. Was Seven acting human and being casual and pleasant by the end?

I found that alarming as well.  She definitely wasn't that casual.  But depending on when Picard is set, it's plausible that she's had a chance to let loose.  She ends up dating Chakotay by the end so she's definitely embracing a life outside of her role on the ship, but my guess is that once she gets off Voyager and outside of a duty-based environment, she'd loosen up a bit.  Being on Voyager probably felt a bit like being on a Borg cube at times so it would've been hard to fully embrace her humanity (like learning a language in a classroom).  Being on Earth (or wherever she ends up) would be more like learning a language while living in a country that speaks that language.  Her gains would be bigger.

That being said, again, I found it to be alarming.  She definitely hadn't spoken like that on Voyager.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Well, Jeri Ryan is a great actress. I think? I’m hoping this isn’t another Danielle Panabaker situation where I’ve vastly overestimated someone based on a fond memory that’s wrong. Although I have no fond memories of Seven, but the actress seemed good.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

ireactions wrote:

I’m hoping this isn’t another Danielle Panabaker situation

lol, what?

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Danielle Panabaker is an actress I grew up with and I really liked her on THE FLASH. However, Slider_Quinn21 mentioned a movie she'd been in, TIME LAPSE, where she wasn't very good. I watched it and realized that Danielle Panabaker:

(a) has been performing with the same empty-headed, blank stare since I was in grade school
(b) performs the majority of her scenes in SKY HIGH, READ IT AND WEEP and THE FLASH with a scene partner
(c) lacks the ability to carry or lead a scene on her own

She was playing a traumatized woman on THE FLASH, so her vacant gaze worked there, but basically, Slider_Quinn21 ruined Panabaker for me and now, every time I say I think an actress is good when I don't personally know them or haven't recently reviewed their work, I get nervous.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Seven was a terrible character, poorly written, but Jeri was dating a producer so you know how that goes.  I have to say, the one line in the trailer she had was actually GOOD.  I would love a non-Borgish Seven, who you would assume after 20 years almost would have figured out how to act more human. 

Spiner is old and fatter!  He's made jokes about playing Data at his age making no sense, as Androids don't age or gain weight.  Yet there he is.  I have to assume he's in a flashback only. 

Picard looks both intriguing and potentially wretched at the same time.  I mean, ehhhhh, it really sounds like something out of the MCU. 

Meanwhile Discovery has been pushed 1000 years into the future, so there's that.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Grizzlor wrote:

Seven was a terrible character, poorly written, but Jeri was dating a producer so you know how that goes.  I have to say, the one line in the trailer she had was actually GOOD.  I would love a non-Borgish Seven, who you would assume after 20 years almost would have figured out how to act more human.

Ugh, here I go again.

I don't think Seven was a terrible character or poorly written.  I also think that Jeri, while she might've been hired for, ahem, other reasons, is a very solid actress.  I've seen her in a number of things and don't think this is a Danielle Panabaker situation.

The problem with Seven wasn't so much that she was poorly written.  It was that the show, itself, wasn't very well written, and essentially every season that she was on was *very* Seven-heavy.

I think she's actually a pretty great character, following the great Trek tradition of trying to understand what it is to be human.  That archetype (previously used with Data and Spock) was probably supposed to be used on the Doctor (another character I really like), but obviously, they decided to go another way with that.  Seven is an interesting character because instead of searching for her humanity, she often runs from it.  I think she feels that her Borg side protects her, and she's afraid of her frail, human side.

If Seven was poorly written, it was because she ended up being the main character on a show that's supposed to be an ensemble.  She was Michael Burnham before Michael Burnham, and she was overexposed by writers that, for the most part, didn't know what they were doing.  But I think she's one of the best ideas for a character in Trek history.  And even considering the Voyager writing staff, I think she's one of the most interesting characters in Trek.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Grizzlor wrote:

playing Data at his age making no sense, as Androids don't age or gain weight.  Yet there he is.  I have to assume he's in a flashback only.

None of that is necessarily true. Spiner might have aged, but Data in the trailer looks young (through the magic of CGI). I think it's pretty clear that Data is going to be a computer generated character. The only uncertainty is the degree to which Data will be CGI.

Is Spiner only doing the voice and some motion capture? Is Spiner performing on-set and receiving digital makeup and body modification to make him look young and slim? Is a different actor playing Data on set with Spiner performing the same scenes in a VFX bay for his face and voice to be added on top?

The thing about Data is that the character as we know him was not really based in technical trickery or special effects. You could tell it was a man in makeup; you could see the lines in Spiner's face, the bags under his eyes. It was the body language and demeanor that made Data seem artificial.

Spiner had a peculiar movement system that subtly implied mechanical calculation. He had a crisp, abrupt, machinelike approach to human mannerisms and behaviours from eye contact to speech. His voice was an extremely pleasant exercise in perfect neutrality, neither happy nor sad but certainly curious and innocent. Data was one of the first depictions of artificial intelligence where the intelligence was an accommodating, endearing personality. Every child wanted their own Data to play with them, to explore the world with them, to protect them. There is something bizarre and sweet about how Picard, who is Data's boss, spent a lot of time having boyish and innocent adventures with Data, going fishing and playing detectives.

A lot of what made Data so special was unique to Spiner; at times, body doubles were hired for episodes where Spiner played multiple roles. These body doubles often walked stiffly or moved with harsh intensity, completely missing Spiner's subtle indicators. Jonathan Frakes once remarked, "You don't realize how subtle and brilliant Brent Spiner's performance is until you see someone else doing it -- badly."

I wouldn't want Data to be the product of CG artists. He should start with Spiner and the CG team should go from there.

It's at this point that I am forced to confess something that I feel may be a betrayal. I miss Quinn Mallory. I need Quinn Mallory. But I could probably carry on if Data came back.

I think the simplest explanation for Data's return if they're not bringing him back to life: he's a holodeck program. And if the show is about Picard dealing with old age, it's very important that Data look young.

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:
Grizzlor wrote:

Seven was a terrible character, poorly written, but Jeri was dating a producer so you know how that goes.  I have to say, the one line in the trailer she had was actually GOOD.  I would love a non-Borgish Seven, who you would assume after 20 years almost would have figured out how to act more human.

Ugh, here I go again.

I don't think Seven was a terrible character or poorly written.  I also think that Jeri, while she might've been hired for, ahem, other reasons, is a very solid actress.  I've seen her in a number of things and don't think this is a Danielle Panabaker situation.

The problem with Seven wasn't so much that she was poorly written.  It was that the show, itself, wasn't very well written, and essentially every season that she was on was *very* Seven-heavy.

I think she's actually a pretty great character, following the great Trek tradition of trying to understand what it is to be human.  That archetype (previously used with Data and Spock) was probably supposed to be used on the Doctor (another character I really like), but obviously, they decided to go another way with that.  Seven is an interesting character because instead of searching for her humanity, she often runs from it.  I think she feels that her Borg side protects her, and she's afraid of her frail, human side.

If Seven was poorly written, it was because she ended up being the main character on a show that's supposed to be an ensemble.  She was Michael Burnham before Michael Burnham, and she was overexposed by writers that, for the most part, didn't know what they were doing.  But I think she's one of the best ideas for a character in Trek history.  And even considering the Voyager writing staff, I think she's one of the most interesting characters in Trek.

I am prepared to accept this opinion on Seven as it comes from the primary, premier (and only) fan of VOYAGER. I'm assuming. I have literally never heard anyone else speak fondly of the show. Let's trust him.

While I have a lot of issues with Brannon Braga, he seems like a decent guy these days. I feel safe to assume that Braga and Ryan dated each other and kept their love and professional lives separate. Ryan was hired before she and Braga dated. Seven was going to be a major character even if Braga were a eunuch, so dating Braga had no impact whatsoever on Seven's role. If Braga were predatory towards her or abused his position, I think it would have come out when Ryan also detailed Kate Mulgrew being harassing and abusive.

I've heard horrible things about Braga being unprofessional during script meetings and interviews. I've also heard Braga immediately confess all of these things and apologize to the people involved, admitting that he was arrogant and also didn't understand that his job and his attitude could hurt people's feelings. His work on VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE has been trashed by fans and Braga has appeared in the comments to apologize to them as well. Braga and Paramount TV mutually agreed to demote him for Season 4 of ENTERPRISE, but when the Season 4 team needed a script urgently rewritten to be filmable, Braga accepted the job graciously, happy to be basically be an intern on the show he used to run.

His stewardship of STAR TREK was poor, but he seems to have come into his own with THE ORVILLE as a staff writer where instead of the organizational and administrative work that clearly sapped his creativity, he's part of the team. He wishes he hadn't been a Jerry O'Connell level jerk and that he'd done a better job and he's taken a another massive demotion and will try to do better now. I can identify with that.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Voyager is the stepchild of the Trek franchise, and I've never really understood why.  I think the main reason is that it came on the heels (and during) Deep Space Nine.  While I'll defend Voyager, I don't think Voyager is in the same class as DS9.  But DS9 was doing things that very few TV shows at the time were willing to do.  It set the gold standard for Sci-Fi for a long time (probably even now), and it accomplished things that no Trek show did before or since.

I don't think it's fair to compare Voyager and DS9.  I also don't really think it's fair to compare DS9 to TNG, Enterprise, or TOS.  Fans saw what Trek could be in DS9, and when Voyager (and Enterprise) went back to the "story of the week" well with no sense of long-term story or continuity, people didn't like it.  But I think Voyager is of a similar-enough quality as TNG or TOS.  I think all three series have high points surrounded by a sea of episodes that are just okay.

The big difference between TNG and Voyager is that the highs are much higher when it comes to TNG.  Maybe the lows aren't quite as low as Voyager.  Voyager never had a moment like the end of part one of "Best of Both Worlds." TNG never had an episode quite as bad as something like "Threshold"

I think characters also come into it.  If you were to rank the characters, you'd get through most of TNG's core cast before you ever got to someone like Harry Kim or Chakotay.  Wesley Crusher might be the only character as poorly written as Voyager's worst, and even he has a complete arc for the series.  Riker is more compelling than anything Chakotay ever did.  LaForge is more interesting than Torres.  Geordi and Data are more fun than Tom and Harry.

I think the Doctor is more fun than Dr. Crusher, but Data is more interesting than the Doctor ever was.  Even having a trueblood Vulcan on the show wasn't all that interesting.

It sucks because I think the characters had potential.  There was no reason to make any of the characters on Voyager Maquis because the show never seemed to have any intention of playing that part out.  If they'd stuck with that, Chakotay could've been an interesting character.  Paris could've been interesting if they'd made him Nick Locarno or played up his criminal background.  Torres as a half-human, half-Klingon has a ton of interesting things they could work with.  Even Harry Kim as an ensign on his first-ever crew assignment had potential.

There were ideas there.  And every once in a while, they'd play up those ideas.  And I think Voyager came up with a handful of really great episodes.  Timeless, Year of Hell, Living Witness, and Scorpion can hold their own.

When it was bad, it was bad.  But I think the same happened with TNG.  The only difference is that, when an episode of TNG was bad, at least you got Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner.  When Voyager was bad, you just got Garrett Wang.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I like Voyager more now than I did when it was 1st run.  It is better if you haven't seen previous Star Treks.  The problem is similar to Sliders in that strong 1st season, then the show just gets lost in yr 2,  the diffrence of course Star Trek Voyager had higher stakes being a Paramount show needed to launch the network. The Borg for what it is worth defined the show, 7 of 9 was a definite improvement and very much needed with the blandest crew in Star Treks history.

As said, a show that should be majorly crew driven with the lost in space element, had the blandest crew, they had a Vulcan, but he did little on most episodes, they had Nelex but he was mostly annoying like having Screach from saved by the bell as part of the crew, same with Chakotay, a great idea, the Indian spirits and Marquis Captain should of been cool idea but they could never make it work.

ILL give Voyager credit in that it being self contained does help it repeat better than ds9

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

sliders5125 wrote:

ILL give Voyager credit in that it being self contained does help it repeat better than ds9

This is very true.  There's a channel that plays all five Trek series on certain nights (every night?) that I flip passed sometimes.  And I'll be honest, I'm more likely to stop when it's a Voyager or TNG episode than a DS9 one.  While the quality of the DS9 episode is almost certainly going to be higher, their storylines are much more complex.  And if I'm literally watching a random episode, I have to remember a handful of things to really enjoy what's going on?  Who's controlling the station?  Is this where Dukat is pretending to be Bajoran?  What's happening with the Dominion? 

With Voyager or TNG, it's just watching an hour of sci-fi fun.  And if I'm literally just looking for something to watch, I don't want to have to bring up Memory Alpha to remember exactly what's going on on DS9 smile

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I am reasonably sure that STAR TREK was referred to as the McDonalds of science fiction long before VOYAGER, but with VOYAGER, it became true. My issue with VOYAGER is that despite numerous fine episodes, on the whole, it's executing the TREK formula without much spirit or innovation or personality from its creators.

VOYAGER tells its stories functionally, but for a story to be good, it has to have something to say. A point about human nature or the futility of war or fears of machine automation or obsession or military conflict. The original series and TNG often said incredibly stupid things about these subjects, but they said something.

VOYAGER is largely following the fast food recipe and I think that TREK as mass-produced fast food hamburger rubs the audience the wrong way. TOS was vivid pop-art. TNG had Shakespearean level actors with humour and humanity. DS9 was dark and politically challenging. VOYAGER is a McDonalds hamburger and not even a Big Mac. It's the junior cheeseburger from the kids menu and ENTERPRISE for three seasons was like a half-microwaved White Castle.

I'm not knocking the role that fast food burgers have in our lives; sometimes, you need a junior cheeseburger or a White Castle. But I don't think you need 45 of them, one per minute, every week, for ten years. And I think it's offensive when creativity is reduced to executing a formula and nothing else.

Whatever DISCOVERY's faults, it has a perspective, it has values, it has meaning. The first season is about questioning Starfleet's ideals during a time of war. The second is about reconciling with the inevitable whether those inevitabilities are a doomsday prophecy or making DISCOVERY sync up with TOS. There's plenty to criticize, but I couldn't and wouldn't try to sum up DISCOVERY by looking at the McDonalds menu.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

ireactions wrote:

...and ENTERPRISE for three seasons was like a half-microwaved White Castle.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/pix.iemoji.com/images/emoji/apple/ios-12/256/face-with-tears-of-joy.png

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I like enterprise season 1 and 2, yes boring television but most episodes can be watched with the kids, Xindi season was mainly awful, season 4 was an improvement, but 3 to 4 part episodes are apain to watch.

The thing Enterprise has going for it, was from day 1 likeable cast, crew was more believable in job they had.

Bacula made an horribly written character likeable most of the time.

The episodes mostly are not just rehashes, of old trek whereas Voyager was just take old tng episodes and revamp them.

Also, Entsrprise did a good job of leaving you wanting more, where as Voyager you were thankful the ride was over.


Their is intresting how much a trek you can watch with your kids is more important to me, I fell in love with Trek at an early age with original Trek, yet I cant let my young kids watch Discovery.


Very much a miscalculation in my mind, same with The Orville no reason to not just keep it PG and get bigger audience, older folks don't care, and not everyone wants the dark show Discovery has become.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Why is Jerry on the PICARD panel in Hall H?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zdJN3XjJ_4I

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

ireactions wrote:

Why is Jerry on the PICARD panel in Hall H?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zdJN3XjJ_4I

They combined all Trek into one panel this year.  Jerry is a voice actor on the Lower Decks animated comedy coming to the CBS app - he’ll be voicing Commander Ransom

https://io9.gizmodo.com/there-was-almos … 1836392106

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

sliders5125 wrote:

I like enterprise season 1 and 2, yes boring television but most episodes can be watched with the kids, Xindi season was mainly awful, season 4 was an improvement, but 3 to 4 part episodes are apain to watch.

Please don't watch shows you find boring. You deserve better.

I recall Temporal Flux and I enjoying the ENTERPRISE pilot and then neither of us being able to keep watching the show. It wasn't holding our interest. Can't speak to whether or not TF ever came back to ENTERPRISE.

When I heard that Season 3 had improved halfway through with the coming of Manny Coto, I got caught up by reading Wikipedia entries and watching only the episodes that didn't seem like another rote runthrough of the TREK fast food formula. Season 3 in the second half is a quantum leap forward for the series. Season 4 is also really good except for the finale which Braga describes as being so awful that the usually mild-mannered Scott Bakula lost it on Braga.

Braga, in interviews, described how he had wanted ENTERPRISE to spend half a season on Earth building the ship and for the ship to be primitive, but Paramount wanted a TNG situation ASAP. Chris Black, however, remarked that Black had been on enough shows to see that it's up to a showrunner to FIGHT for the series they want (and he's plainly speaking of Bill Dial and Keith Damron). In Black's opinion, Braga didn't really fight for his show and viewed himself as middle management.

TemporalFlux wrote:
ireactions wrote:

Why is Jerry on the PICARD panel in Hall H?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zdJN3XjJ_4I

They combined all Trek into one panel this year.  Jerry is a voice actor on the Lower Decks animated comedy coming to the CBS app - he’ll be voicing Commander Ransom

https://io9.gizmodo.com/there-was-almos … 1836392106

Response #1: That's cool!

Response #2: Jerry O'Connell is screwing with me. He knew that Picard and Data's return could allow me to finally let go of the Professor and Quinn, so naturally, he makes sure that the face of Quinn Mallory is the FIRST THING I see when I open up the Hall H video.

Response #3: That's cool and Jerry O'Connell doesn't know I exist and we should keep it that way.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I am interested in how both Voyager and Enterprise seemed to go out of their way to not take advantage of their distinguishing characteristics.  Voyager too-rarely focused on the fact that the ship was trying to get home - the fact that they're stranded in the Delta Quadrant comes up in dialogue but there's never really a sense that it's any more of a problem than the Enterprise was ever in on their weekly missions.  Enterprise, despite being set on a series a couple hundred years before Voyager, did a lot of the same things from the episodes I saw.

As many people have said many times before, committing to Voyager being stranded could've made Voyager a really unique and fascinating show.  All of the characteristics were there to be great - especially the idea at the beginning that Voyager was a technologically superior ship in the Delta Quadrant.  No one else had torpedoes or replicators.  So could Voyager withstand a long journey where they're the most powerful ship in the quadrant but unable to make major repairs or really replenish their weaponry?  It'd make great drama for Janeway to know that she could win any battle with a torpedo or two but knowing that she might need them more later.  Or to be in a situation where they probably need to stop and make repairs but knowing that they can't afford to stop.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I am interested in how both Voyager and Enterprise seemed to go out of their way to not take advantage of their distinguishing characteristics.  Voyager too-rarely focused on the fact that the ship was trying to get home - the fact that they're stranded in the Delta Quadrant comes up in dialogue but there's never really a sense that it's any more of a problem than the Enterprise was ever in on their weekly missions.  Enterprise, despite being set on a series a couple hundred years before Voyager, did a lot of the same things from the episodes I saw.

All of this is from the two-volume oral history of STAR TREK, called THE FIFTY YEAR MISSION. Braga's pretty frank and some of this is my criticism of his own remarks about himself.

Braga was an intern when he got his first writing job on STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION. It was his first professional sale, his first staff position. He became a producer and a showrunner, but the problem, from my perspective: he never learned how to write ANYTHING other than the idiosyncratically structured scripts that would fall within Gene Roddenberry's bizarre content restrictions (no drama, no conflict), restrictions that were largely maintained even after Roddenberry died.

Also, Braga's writing skills: he wrote brilliant high concept episodes of mental confusion and temporal dissonance. What he did not write were character arcs, ruminations on society and human nature, reflections on the world around him. There's a place for that in STAR TREK, but STAR TREK also has to offer thought provoking social commentary and satirical introspection. Braga's stories, when they're not about his high concepts, are about STAR TREK and that in itself isn't really meaningful.

Braga only knew STAR TREK and when he moved to VOYAGER, he ran the show so as to keep telling the extremely limited palette of stories he knew how to tell -- shipbound adventures contained within an episode. As he took over more responsibility for all scripts, his limitations in shepherding other writers became clear: too many ENTERPRISE episodes feature pointless escape-capture chase scenes to stretch out the length.

Braga's organizational skills were also suspect. Writers have described how he would tell them to throw forward their ideas, he'd disappear into privacy, and then come out with assignments. When the first drafts came in, he would personally rewrite all of them into what he viewed as an appropriate template for TREK and fell within Roddenberry's restrictions. Not only were Braga's skills unable to rewrite scripts into effective pieces of drama, the process was exhausting for him and he was not producing his best work in these circumstances. He didn't know how else to work. No one had ever taught him.

One writer, Michael Piller, had a very similar approach to screenwriting. However, Piller thrived on rewriting people's scripts, he had an open submission policy for ideas on his show THE DEAD ZONE and would then personally redraft every episode's screenplay with his themes and character arcs of choice. When Piller got sick and couldn't rewrite anymore, THE DEAD ZONE's third, fourth and fifth seasons featured what were seemed to be first draft scripts unrefined by any showrunner.

Braga was no Piller. At the end of the day, Braga's rewrites were to move scenes to standing sets, to pad out length with repetitive action and dialogue or to remove anything that might offend the deceased Roddenberry's sensibilities. He never learned how to do anything else. Why didn't he leave? I think it's hard for someone to come from nowhere and nothing to running STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION and STAR TREK VOYAGER and think you'll ever find another job as good as that. I guess he stayed for the money and because he fell in love with Jeri Ryan.

Braga was also a little spineless. He plotted out a grand origin story for ENTERPRISE, half a season of building the first Earth starship ever -- and folded the second Paramount pushed for the ship to leave spacedock in the Pilot. Now, it seems to me that setting THIRTEEN EPISODES on Earth trying to build a starship is something you need to fight for or your show is just empty product filling a timeslot. And if Paramount fired him for his refusal, SO WHAT? What show wouldn't be happy to hire Brannon Braga? (As a staff writer. Let's not go nuts.)

Around the time INSURRECTION came out, Leonard Nimoy was asked why the response was so tepid, if STAR TREK was dated and tired and irrelevant and should be laid to rest. Nimoy shrugged. My response would be: it was RICK BERMAN AND BRANNON BRAGA'S STAR TREK that was dated and tired and irrelevant. For too long, the franchise was entirely too synonymous with two men who were excellent for the syndicated market of THE NEXT GENERATION. Berman let Ira Steven Behr do his thing on DS9, but when Berman was personally involved in a show and had Braga working with him, their results were tired and staid. Braga didn't know how to run a show. Braga's excellence on THE ORVILLE, I think, speaks for itself. He's a brilliant writer. A great talent. His apologies for his past behaviour and his writing are also revealing. He has a great heart and he was a very crappy and troubled and insecure man who has become a better one.

Showrunning is not for everyone and it was not for Brannon Braga. Or David Peckinpah. Or Bill Dial.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Some more info on the Lower Decks cartoon Jerry will be in.  The crew’s mission is something we haven’t really seen before - they initiate second contact.  After the Enterprise or another ship has found something new and extended the hand of the Federation, the crew in this series comes in to make good on the promise and start building an actual relationship with the new culture.

https://trekmovie.com/2019/08/06/stlv19 … and-canon/

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EBfkepSXoAAKswy?format=jpg&name=small

If anybody was a watcher of DS9, you MUST get Ira Steven Behr's What We Left Behind documentary.  It's amazing!

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

That's pretty awesome! Thanks for backing that, Grizzlor.

Meanwhile, some of us are still watching CHAOS ON THE BRIDGE on streaming and mean to get around to watching THE CAPTAINS someday.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

ireactions wrote:

That's pretty awesome! Thanks for backing that, Grizzlor.

Meanwhile, some of us are still watching CHAOS ON THE BRIDGE on streaming and mean to get around to watching THE CAPTAINS someday.

Don't remember if I saw Chaos but Captains was pretty good, Shatner is a good interviewer.  All of the actors retold their early career moments quite well, especially Kate.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

This came across my Google recommendations.  Been a long time since I watched through DS9, but seeing this through today’s eyes was interesting.  Even the language is close - Sanctuary City vs Sanctuary District.

https://www.themarysue.com/star-trek-de … redictive/

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

TF's thoughts take me back to something TF once said (how circular!). TF remarked that people when conceiving alt histories for SLIDERS can get overly fixated on looking at the past to find an alternate present. Instead, alt histories and parallel Earths work best, TF said, by looking at the future, looking at where the world might be going and having the parallel Earth reflect some imagining of what is to come. TF pointed out that the hotline to report suspicious activity in "Summer of Love" is now a reality, that a shock jock becoming President in "Young and the Relentless" isn't far from reality, that abandoning a city to a natural disaster in "El Sid" is an extreme representation of certain parts of the States and that good science fiction is facing what might becoming next.

I do hope STAR TREK will continue to offer us comfort in troubled times, not necessarily through familiarity of format and formula, but in assuring us that we have infinite capacity for good within us and that it is possible that our best will prevail. I know Captain Picard and Data coming back can't promise us that things will work out just as Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo's returns alone would not save us. But they can tell us that it's possible for our world to be better. That we can still do it. That would be enough.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I have a shocking confession to make: I never finished watching ENTERPRISE.

The third season was a mess for the first half, opening with a nonsensical attack on Earth from the Xindi who were testing their planet annihilating weapon (and were so polite as to give Earth fair warning a year before they planned to destroy it totally!?!?). But as the season progressed, Season 3 dived away from NEXT GENERATION style single-episode stories and fully into an ongoing arc. As ENTERPRISE examined Starfleet ideals versus the horrors of an impending war, ENTERPRISE seemed to finally find a voice in showing STAR TREK's ideals being built before our eyes instead of existing as a settled state of affairs. New showrunner Manny Coto was a godsend.

Season 4 was also great, offering eight STAR TREK movies with its multi-episode stories. The first dealt with the Temporal Cold War and the shadow of the Nazis that the original series had always faced. The second addressed genetic engineering and attempted to give all the characters personalities as opposed to defining them by their jobs. We saw Trip, Mayweather and Phlox going to a bar on Earth! We saw the bridge crew playing basketball together! Season 4 was far too late to fully define them in an episode or two, but ENTERPRISE made them FEEL like people at last.

Also wonderful was Archer's definition: his blandness across three seasons finally solidified into clarity. Kirk was a man of action. Picard was a diplomat. Sisko was a cultural anthropologist. Archer is defined in Season 4 as a pilot, a man who is perpetually thrown into the deep end and will find SOMETHING to do whether it's trying to stop the genetically engineered soldiers from releasing a virus or trying to save as many Vulcans as he can. His fundamental decency and Scott Bakula's earnest screen presence finally made Archer come alive, and there's a beautiful sense of what Captain Archer stands for when he convinces the Tellarites and the Andorians to make find common ground and make peace.

Then we came to the two-part finale for the year where ENTERPRISE confronts anti-alien sentiment and... I didn't finish it. I liked Season 4 so much that I didn't want it to end. So I never watched the "Terra Prime" finale and only read the script for "These Are The Voyages."

**

I have another shocking confession: I never finished reading the ENTERPRISE relaunch novels. I read the first one, LAST FULL MEASURE, which is set during Season 3 during the Xindi hunt. It has a framing sequence where an old man meets a child named James Kirk. The ending returns to the framing sequence and reveals the old man to be Trip Tucker, alive decades after his onscreen death in the series finale. The second novel, THE GOOD THAT MEN DO, has a framing sequence where Jake and Nog are reviewing the historical files of the holodeck simulation in "These Are The Voyages" and realize that the entire story is a cover up to obscure Trip going undercover to investigate a mysterious conspiracy that turned out to be the start of the Romulans waging war on Earth and Vulcan.

... I never got around to reading THE ROMULAN WAR duology which, I assume, depicts Archer, Trip and T'Pol playing Battleship and Risk. I also never got around to reading the five-book series RISE OF THE FEDERATION, which I assume is a five volume cookbook series where Trip reveals his family's baking secrets and how to do Tucker style souffles and bread.

Anyway. Bought the lot just now. I guess I'll finally finish "Demons" and "Terra Prime" and get to reading.