View Single Post
Old January 2 2013, 09:01 PM   #8
Location: This dry land thing is too wierd!
Re: My view on a new Trek series.

Xhiandra wrote: View Post
If it was up to me (it obviously never will be), new Trek would:

1. Take place in the old continuity.
2 reasons:
- there's a lot more background to draw from.
- personal preference.

2. Keep being relaxed about "proper military procedure".
As far as I'm concerned, people that agonise over a poor "at ease" stance or whatever are completely missing the point of Trek.
Disagree. Get a military advisor to vet scripts. Brief him on just what is different and how much it's relaxed, but listen to him when he says "being snotty to your chief isn't a court-martial offense". I don't mind Starfleet having looser standards than today; I mind the writers having no clue about how the military works. They look stupid when CDR Riker tells LT Riker "Picard is my commanding officer, and I am your commanding officer", or when Riker tries to prohibit Ro from wearing her earring. And a poor stance makes the character look unprofessional. As for the court-martial thing, we may not use demerits in the actual service, outside training, but the audience will understand that more than article 15 non-judicial proceedings or extra military instruction.

3. Resolve canonicity on a case-per-case basis: maybe ToS is authoritative on X; but TNG/DS9/VOY on Y and ENT on Z, depending on many factors; but we have to be willing to accept some things won't make sense in the past series.
Example: most "maps" of the galaxy place most of the Federation, most of the Klingon Empire and all the Romulan Empire in the Beta quadrant despite most series (especially DS9&VOY) calling them "powers of alpha quadrant" or talking of "the fate of the alpha quadrant" or "going back to the alpha quadrant"... the new series would use completely different maps.

Once canonicity has been decided, stick to it for the whole run.
Again, mostly agree. Get a continuity advisor, no, a continuity editor, with bthe power to force writers to rewrite. When the writer postulates aliens of the week that match up to something we've seen, he brings it up. When the writer says "warp 9.99673", he says "the new show bible says that we redrew the warp chart again in 2394 to get rid of the silly decimal-place warping. Fix it". Write that established canon down as part of the show's bible.

4. Now for the interesting stuff: focus on the Federation/alpha quadrant as a whole, not a specific Ship.
Instead of having a regular cast of immortal (plot armour) idealised heroes, the series would span a lot of characters, some dying quickly, some behaving in a less-than-perfect fashion, some manage to beat the odds once but become background characters afterwards, some perform vital but understated roles,... you can have many potential stories in such a setting, be they one-shots about a "back office" character or geopolitics or true exploration of a new sector or resolving a tense situation through diplomacy (or failing to!)...

Such an approach can work and can be successful, as GoT showed (though this would go further).
Pro: Many clichés avoided, stronger storytelling.
Con: Viewers don't get as attached to characters as they otherwise would.
Ambitious and expensive. I like it, but that will only be practical in print, graphic novel, and maybe animated.

5. Build an actual (abstract) galaxy.
What do I mean? Simple: decide early on what star system is where (in relation to X reference point); where FED/KDF/ROM/other Ships are in the galaxy, what's their mission and capacities, who's their commanding officer and so on.
Not all of that info has to appear onscreen; but it would help in having a consistent world.
No Deus Ex Machinae of X Ship saving the heroes on (at?) the nick of time, you know in advance if a Ship is within range or not; no sudden appearance of a full hostile fleet unless it was pre-planned, same for random nebulae... basically, this approach constricts the writers somewhat, but once again, it prevents a lot of clichés.
Especially if geopolitics/war is important to the setting.

There could still be spontaneous elements, so long as they made sense within the overal setting.
But only if approved by that aforementioned continuity editor.

Will it happen? No. Still nice to theorise.
So, what'd you think 'bout my "ambitious but rubbish" concept?
Nice ground rules, not enough about the actual plot.

Some ideas I'd like to see:


A Hornblower series - Start with the Academy appearance of Cadet Hero-to-be for a season. The convention would be that each season is their whole tour at that command. So one season is 4 years at the Academy, and then season 2 is his/her 3 years on their first ship as Ensign Hero-to-be, and so on. The twist?
1. Someone else narrates once an episode - some other cast member from that season's cast. Occasional discussion from others is heard - this all off-screen. Throw in a few "I remember"s and an occasional "No, no, that wasn't the way it happened"s.
2. After season 5 or 6, you find out the "narrators" are actually reminiscing at Captain Hero's funeral, and have been the whole time.

Starbase: Essentially "Emerald Point, NAS" in space. Show a variety of characters living on a starbase, including the Starfleet characters assigned to ships based there. They aren't really Boldly Going. They are MiliOps folks who patrol their sector, then come home to their families. They're Galaxy exploration folks who do the mundane scouting and followup surveys after Picard finds the new life, new civilizations. They're the techs who fly out to the beacons to fix or replace them. And once in a great while, they're the daring Independent Duty spacers on the famous ship that goes anywhere, everywhere amd finds all those exciting things on a port call in home territory. They're the spouses and children, the local support spacers, such as JAG, supply clerks, and dockyard workers. This one would be, like E.P. NAS, a military prime-time soap-opera, and would typically have fewer special effects.

Star Trek: Frontier - the life of a colony on the UFP frontier. Gunsmoke or Bonanza in space, with occasional visiting ships and once in a while, invading pirates or enemy star-nations.
If you don’t drink the kool-aid, you’re a baaad person - Rev Jim Jones
Almond kool-aid, anyone? Or do you prefer pudding?- Darkwing
Darkwing is offline   Reply With Quote