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Old October 18 2012, 01:22 AM   #63
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Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

Kegg wrote: View Post
A Star Trek series with zero inter-season continuity? Really?
No, that's taking the analogy far too literally. I'm not proposing anything remotely of the sort, and I don't think Temis was either. I'm just saying: we've already had multiple different series set in different places and times within the Trek universe, dealing with different crews in different situations. That's a well-established precedent. And of course there's continuity among them, just as there's continuity among the multiple different book series set in an even broader range of places, times, and situations. So all that's being suggested here is something that takes that same diversity of characters and situations and applies it within a single series.

I said keep the Starfleet characters for each year - and DS9 did have three Starfleet characters, including the titular lead. A season about a bitter civil war on a planet. largely involved with the politics of the two major factions with Federation characters appearing as mediators and providing an 'anchor' for the viewers, and then the next season those same characters in a radically different situation like a season about a parallel universe where the Federation was defeated by the Klingon Empire.
Okay, that sounds somewhat more reasonable. Playing it safe a bit, but the value of continuing characters/actors is understandable.

And even the scenario I just outlined might be a bit excessive. Star Trek is not just some elaborate space opera universe where a series should run around poking around all the implications of the vast universe, any more than one would make a Law and Order spinoff about a Brazilian shopkeeper and his family. There are certain expectations about what a Star Trek progam should be, and while they can be pushed and played around with, abandoning them entirely would not be wise.
Again, I find that to be playing it safe. Most of my career as a Trek novelist has been built on doing exactly what you say Trek can't do, which is running around exploring the untouched nooks and crannies of the continuity. The novels as a whole embraced that approach throughout the previous decade and the effort was quite well-regarded by the readership. Now, you had a valid point earlier that tie-in novels for the established fanbase are different from shows meant to attract a broader audience. But as always, the truth most likely lies between the extremes. Yes, there are certain expectations, but those expectations should be challenged, because that's what distinguishes good, fresh, compelling storytelling from safe, conventional, uninspired storytelling. For Star Trek to thrive, yes, it needs to hold onto the fundamentals, but it also needs to surprise people, to capture their interest by doing new things. The novels of the '90s settled for staying within readers' expectations and were considered banal and forgettable. The novels of the '00s have been critically acclaimed and garnered fan excitement by not staying within expectations.

Ti-BOO!-rius wrote: View Post
My reason is this. A civilian science team on a Starfleet ship would allow them to have several story arcs per season with recurring science characters in each arc who can interact with the crew. Then after that mission, the science characters can go off to be replaced by new characters who come aboard for the next mission. Keeping the same characters for longer would limit the kinds of stories you could tell. For example, if you have a bunch of subspace physicists, you can't go off and tell a story about how they're looking at a brand new planet that's just been discovered. it's weird space stuff each week.
But that's not the only possibility. If Starfleet can put together a crew with diverse talents and send them out into space, why can't, say, a civilian research institution or university do the same? Why not go with the Trek-universe equivalent of Jacques Cousteau's Calypso, say?

And even if you decided to go with the same core scientist characters week after week, you're going to need a ship to get around in. Starfleet is the primary exploration and scientific arm of the Federation, so it makes sense to have a starship.
Just because Starfleet has ships doesn't mean they have a monopoly on ships, or on exploration. What I'm saying is that I resist the assumption that Starfleet is all that exists just because it's all we've seen. The Federation is huge. It's got trillions of people in it. What do the non-Starfleet people do with their lives? Just sit around watching holonovels? Sure, in a post-scarcity, replicator-based society, they wouldn't need to work for a living, but this is a society built around personal enrichment and betterment, so there must be tons of people motivated to learn and explore and innovate. Why wouldn't a multicultural, democratic society that celebrates diversity be inclusive of multiple different groups that performed scientific research and space exploration, with Starfleet just being one of them?
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