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Old September 22 2012, 06:03 AM   #36
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Re: Are there too many "convenient" planets or scenarios to beam down

The Grim Ghost wrote: View Post
Jimi_James wrote: View Post
For that image? What's up with the moon and why is it so close? Is it inhabited and indeed, does its proximity effect the planet in some way beyond simple tidal forces? What's with the low cloud cover? Is the atmosphere unusually thin? Are those lakes of water, or so sort other liquid? If it's not water, is it dangerous to go swimming? Is it even liquid, it could be frozen from the looks of it. Why do things looks sort of hazy? What's up with those blue/purple bushes? If that is the local star to the left of the moon, is it flashing or pulsing for some reason and if so why? Why is the sky that color? Why is there no vegetation, other than those blue bushes and what appears to be grass? There are no trees or any other kind of plants anywhere. Are there any animals in the vicinity? Spock, have we been here before? This matte painting looks like the planet we visited a few weeks ago.

I'm kidding, sort of. More specifically though, I was referring to the previously comment about stumbling upon a planet that appeared to have no moons and orbit no star. Sure, they can get away with not explaining why the planet appears to exist on it's own, but some comment about other planetary bodies in the system and the star they're orbiting isn't too much to ask for.

It only takes a moment to include a throwaway line about the rest of the star system. And my point was that if you're going to go to the trouble of doing something, than why not go just a bit further and get the details right. Or at the very least include some details that sound right, even if you make them up. The existence of the Tech Manual suggest there are plenty of people who care about such details, even if they never make it into the show or add any great depth to the story.
I'm not really sure why you assume these planets are "just there".

Many times we join the ship when it is already orbiting a planet. Other times we might see a planet gradually growing larger on the viewscreen. The ship's sensors are centered around showing their destination, the planet itself.

You can easily imagine Spock's science station picking up all of the other relevant astronomical details and forwarding them to anybody else who needs to know if you like.

Honestly I think you are in the minority in wanting more of those types of details...which is fine! We all like different aspects of the show, but for most viewers I really don't think it would add much, and might even be dull or annoying to others. It simply wasn't the focus of the show to delve into such minutiae.
I'm not assuming they're just there. That was someone else, as I mentioned in my post. I was commenting on the general need to at the very least give the appearance that you care about including some level of detail beyond simply warping up to a planet and beaming down to see what the locals are up to.
It doesn't matter what the details ever are, if they're towards a planet, a type of weapon being used, or the type of power flowing through your engines...which Star Trek is known for getting into. We even had to invent a word to define the level of technical detail Trek gets into, even though most of it is made up...technobable is all about details. Think of it as the difference between saying, "they're shooting at us," and "we're taking enemy disruptor fire."

The same mentality should be applied across the board, so rather than saying hey, there's a planet let's check it instead get, we're approaching an M-class world, with a pre-warp civilization approaching one billion inhabitants." The latter is usually the standard of what we get and that's fine...And before that's again construed as an plea for vastly more detail to be included, let me say clearly that I feel Trek gets into plenty of detail as it is, and could stand with a little less detail, particularly in the case of technobabble. Too much detail can be dull an annoying and it has to be done carefully.

Anyway, to get back to the original topic, I think it's really amazing now that we're finding so many actual planets beyond our solar system and that some of them may very well be possible of supporting some sort of life.

In the past, it did seem strange that Trek came across so many habitable planets, but it seems sort of fitting in a way to find out now that Trek may have actually had it right after all. There are tons of planets out there and many of them will likely support life, not only life as we might expect to find it, but possibly life beyond anything we might image. It's a great time to be a science fiction fan...seeing what we thought was fiction, actually becoming science fact.
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