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Old October 18 2012, 04:31 AM   #64
Tiberius
Commodore
 
Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

Christopher wrote: View Post
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. ... <<SNIP>>... 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?
A few reasons.

First of all, since Starfleet is the primary scientific arm of the Federation, it makes sense that any civilian scientists will be working with them. We saw it all the time in Next Gen and DS9.

Secondly, it will give the scientist characters a chance to conflict with Starfleet. If the only characters are the scientists, then they could all be happy to do something that would, say, bend the PD. But if they are working with a starship crew, then the Captain of that ship could be against it, introducing potential for a whole lot more conflict. And conflict is good for stories.

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?
Starfleet and the Federation has always been a prime factor in Star Trek. To have a trek TV show that had no Starfleet personnel is too far outside the scope of Trek, I think.

Including a Starship crew is needed to allow new groups of people to come on and tell different kinds of stories. That way, they can have the wormhole guys for a few weeks for adventures in deep space, then after that mission is over, they can have the planetary geologists come on board and have a new set of adventures on a planet instead. And we'll still avoid the rising cost of the cast by having the starship crew rotate at longer intervals. At the end of the year, maybe the commander is promoted and gets his own ship, and a new character comes on board as first officer, allowing us to tell even MORE stories.

If we don't include the starship crew, we're going to have a bunch of wormhole experts (for example) each week, and that is going to seriously limit the kinds of stories the show could tell. Sure, you could have a team where each character has their own specialty, but why would such a team exist? In any situation, only one or two of the characters will be able to work, the rest of the team being inexperienced. So why would a group performing research send a team to investigate something when most of the team won't be able to contribute? The only ways I can think of to get around this would be to have a Mission-Impossible style show where you have a bunch of friends at a university, say, and each week one of them goes and studies something different. next week, a different anomaly and a different character. But such a format would totally eliminate character development between the stars. The only other solution would be to follow one team for a few weeks, then switch to a different team for the next adventure, but this again eliminates character development because you are essentially recasting the show every few weeks. Having it set aboard a starship will allow the characters without experience in the anomaly of the week to still contribute by having them contribute to running the ship instead.

Last edited by Tiberius; October 18 2012 at 04:44 AM.
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