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Old November 11 2012, 10:58 AM   #1841
Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

^^ Rockne O'Bannon is the only reason I might give it a try.

Christopher wrote: View Post
And I don't see why it has to be a choice between one or the other. Both can be worth doing. There's value in developing a rich, ongoing continuity, but there's also value in exploring variations on a theme. It's better to have both than be restricted to only one. Yet until 2009, we've been stuck with only one Trek continuity. The continuous approach has been thoroughly mined, but the alternate-realities approach has barely been attempted. I think that's a missed opportunity. I'd love to see a range of different reinventions of the Trek universe. It could be fascinating to see the fresh takes different creators could bring.
How can you thoroughly mine a universe? There's an infinite amount of opportunities in the concept; Trek novelists have been proving that for decades. Now the audience has the flash-bang "alternate approach" of Abrams' reboot in the theater, so why not continue enriching the more adult universe of the original on TV? There's your variety of approaches.

That's not what I said at all. What I said was that Gene Roddenberry himself didn't want TNG to be particularly consistent with TOS. There was a lot about TOS that he was unhappy with or embarrassed by -- compromises he had to make for budgetary or practical reasons, scientific or cultural assumptions that had come to seem dated and silly by the '80s, story decisions made by other writers and producers that he didn't approve of -- and he saw TNG as his opportunity to make a new start, to reinvent the universe.
Okay, fine. It's a challenge to write within the context of a shared universe; obviously you know that, since you do it. A good writer can take the inconsistencies or the errors and so forth and build something from them, the way writers like Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart and Kurt Busiek did for the Marvel Universe. They didn't need no stinkin' reboots. They had the Right Stuff.

Yes, it was superficially passed off as a continuation, but fans today have gotten so fixated on the minutiae of continuity that they've forgotten how common it's always been for creators of fiction to do what we'd now call a soft reboot, to offer a pretense of continuity while actually reinventing a lot about the universe (like the way Batman's origin story in the comics kept changing over the decades, or the way Superboy comics radically rewrote Superman's backstory).
Yeah, fine. Like I said, sometimes it works, sometimes it's necessary for business reasons and a lot of times it's just plain bad. I'm advocating the approach I think is best.

Also, you're simplifying the history considerably. These days TNG pleases old and new fans alike, but it was a long journey to get there. For the first couple of seasons, plenty of TOS purists were as vehemently opposed to accepting TNG as "true" ST as a lot of fans are today about the Abrams movie. Heck, the original TOS cast themselves were a lot slower to accept TNG as the real deal than they were to accept Abrams Trek. It was years before Shatner and Nimoy came around. (Although at the time, they were still appearing in Trek movies and would've seen the new cast as replacements who could threaten their future livelihood.)

Look, the simple fact is, fans who are resistant to change are going to be hostile toward a new Trek series whether it's in the same continuity or not. They always have been. If something is in a new continuity, they denounce it for not being in the old one; and if it's in the old continuity, they denounce it for failing to get it right. So setting another series in the old continuity wouldn't help it. If anything, it seemed to hurt Enterprise.
I'm not simplifying anything. I remember the history. There were a few malcontents all along the way, but TNG was accepted pretty quickly by most. DS9, VOY and ENT had increasingly more detractors because they strayed farther and farther from the core concept (though I happened to enjoy them all).

Maybe something that made a completely clean break, that wouldn't be judged by a litmus test of how many continuity minutiae it honored or broke, would be freer to get judged on its own merits. I know I liked Enterprise better once I set aside my initial "Oh, that's not what I would've expected" reactions and took it on its own terms. Too much concern for continuity with other stuff outside a work can get in the way of enjoying the work itself.
So, again, if you're going to do that, why not just create something completely new, rather than just recycle names and terminology? Would RHW's Defender be improved by calling it Star Trek and naming the captain Kirk?
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