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Old August 24 2011, 09:48 AM   #1540
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Re: Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

Identifying the problems with a script is the easy part, figuring out how to fix them is where it gets hard. Calling Starfleet and talking to Jennings and asking for reinforcements are exactly the wrong approach, because that way you end up having characters talking about what to do and seeking outside assistance, when narratively it's faster and better to simply change the problem to make it something the characters can deal with by themselves.

For instance, the Jimm & Josh script featured a flock of bad guys. There was the Director of the colony, Drident, AND a mysterious hooded figure who was buying the miner's product. That was three antagonists, plus this rogue from Garrovick's past: Callahan. My making Callahan the Director both cut down the number of major characters and made the tension between him and Garrovick a bigger part of the story. I almost threw out Drident, but I decided I needed him to complicate the situation for the Atlanteans. I junked the hooded pirate figure, who came across like a cut rate Darth Sideous and was a narrative dead-end. Besides, the miners don't need an evil customer because what Callahan's doing is bad enough.

In Jimm and Josh's script the planet was Atlantis VI; however that implied that it was the 6th planet of a star called Atlantis, which didn't sound right. I actually fought for a different name for the planet because I thought the name was too much of a giveaway. Jimm was adamant, but I got to drop the VI.

As to the mining company, in my version it was called POLARIS. No relation.

Likewise, I thought the title was too on- the-nose. My suggested working title was "Doth Not the Sea Wax Mad?", which is a swipe from Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus:
When heaven doth weep, doth not the earth o'erflow?
If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad,
Threatening the welkin with his big-swoll'n face?
But Jimm liked titles that have a B-movie flavor, so "The Atlantis Invaders" stuck. I worked on making the title have a twist meaning, though.

Yes, in the Jimm & Josh script the miners were harvesting something called Scurvium: which sounded like a disease rather than an element. For the sake of narrative simplicity, I invented a substance (dilithium bidroxiline) related to the dilithium crystals repeatedly established on Star Trek. Once you say it's dilithium whathaveyou, the audience just buys that it's valuable and you can move on without explaining it.
* * *
Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones."
óMajor T. J. "King" Kong

Last edited by Maurice; August 25 2011 at 02:30 AM.
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