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Old October 19 2012, 12:59 AM   #76
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
I'm not saying that Starfleet is the only organisation that conducts scientific research. I'm just saying that it gives the most flexibility.
But if it's flexibility we want, why not flexibility in how the stories are told?
And how exactly is my idea of a ship that has a different team of mission specialists come aboard every few weeks inflexible?

Yes there are, I'm not disagreeing with this point. My point is that Starfleet is the only way to get the characters to the newest and most top secret locations, like newly discovered planets.
What????????? Why in the name of all that's holy would a newly discovered planet be a military secret??? That doesn't make one damn bit of sense. I mean, they're in space. With a good enough telescope, anyone can just plain see them, so how the hell can they be kept secret? More to the point, why would anyone want to keep them secret even if it were possible? Secrecy is anathema to science. Comparing notes with other scientists, encouraging them to review your data and run their own tests, is an essential part of the process.
A new planet with a valuable mineral, something of strategic importance, a fragile ecosystem that they want to keep safe... hell, they did it with Genesis, didn't they?

Again, I'm not saying your idea couldn't work. But you seem to be assuming it's the only possibility there is, and I'm trying to point out that there are others.
When did I say it was the only one? You seem to think I am being stubborn and unreasonable. Sure, lots of other formats will work. I'm just saying that the idea of a ship that has different teams of mission specialists every few weeks is a very flexible one and would work well as a weekly show.

Again, you're defining the premise too narrowly in order to make it easy to shoot down. That's circular, straw-man reasoning and it's an intellectual cheat. A civilian ship wouldn't have to have a crew consisting exclusively of scientists. You mention diplomacy -- well, most diplomats are civilians in real life. Look at the history of exploration here on Earth, and you'll see that a lot of "first contact" missions were conducted by non-military people, like the subject of my senior college thesis, Mary Kingsley. The explorers of the past had to engage in diplomacy and trade when encountering new peoples. And they sometimes had to be fighters as well. To assume that civilian explorers are somehow incapable of doing those things -- that they'd somehow freeze up and be useless if faced with that necessity -- is disproven by a wealth of real-world history. Explorers are adaptable people by nature and necessity.
I get the feeling that you just aren't willing to look at my idea and consider it based on its merits.

I think that any group of civilian scientists will fit into one of three categories.

Firstly, they could all be specialised in one particular field, but this would prevent them from telling stories outside this field.

Secondly, they could be experts in a variety of fields - each person having their own speciality. But in that case, why keep them together as a single team? Why not just send the diplomat to Planet A where he's needed, the planetary geologist to Planet B where he's needed, and the wormhole specialist out to anomaly C where she's needed? They'd be split up all the time.

Thirdly, they could be generalists, but that would mean that most of the situations they encounter would be ones where a specialist team would work better.

You say that civilian teams could rise to meet any challenges - for example, if they are scientists suddenly forced to negotiate with a newly discovered hostile species, they could possibly do it. But my point is that they will not be assigned such a mission. Every time they end up doing something outside their area of expertise, you;d have to come up with some way to get them into it. And then the story would be about how they got into conflict with the alien species (for example) rather than be about how they cope with the negotiations. You;d be forced to use PLOT to justify how they got into the situation, rather than using the situation of dealing with a hostile alien to establish CHARACTER.

How the hell is that any different from what Star Trek already does?????? Every Trek series has a lot of different specialists in its main cast, but they aren't all needed in every episode. You don't bring Geordi along on a sensitive diplomatic mission and you don't bring Deanna along to solve an engineering problem. Plus they've supposedly got hundreds of other specialists onboard who almost always get left behind. So this makes no sense as an objection. Of course different episodes of a show are going to focus on different characters. What's wrong with that?
Because the Enterprise is designed to be a jack of all trades. They've got everything they;d ever want.

But if we had a smaller ship that DIDN'T have all that, then it opens up a whole new range of stories.

Again -- yes, your idea could work, but that doesn't mean mine couldn't. The problem is with your insistence that any idea besides your own is impossible, and with the illogical arguments you're coming up with to justify that bizarrely narrow-minded assumption.
You are putting words into my mouth. I never said that any other idea would not work. I'm merely saying that I think my idea is the most flexible.

Then by your argument, the starships we've canonically seen in Star Trek can't exist because their crews are too diverse. I don't understand what the hell you're trying to say here.
I think it was quite clear that I was referring to small teams. Your idea would seem to be a rehash of TNG.

Yes, that's true, but again, not all starships must be Starfleet. Jacques Cousteau and Robert Ballard didn't work for the Navy. Civilians can operate ships too.
True, but they were specialised ships. They'd be great for telling stories about sea exploration, but they're useless for telling other kinds of stories.
For gods' sake, do you have to take every analogy so damn literally? Use your imagination for once! Try to apply your mind to coming up with a reason why something could work instead of obsessing on finding excuses for why it couldn't! You're so frustratingly negative about everything. You're blinding yourself to the possibilities.
Woah, calm down, dude. Chill out. Seriously.
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