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Old July 14 2012, 08:54 PM   #1096
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
All it takes to put a Ster Trek show back on the air is a well sold concept
Is that "all" it takes? Yeah, convincing Les Moonves to give a flying frak about Star Trek sounds like a real cakewalk.
He's not going to be there forever.
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Old July 14 2012, 09:22 PM   #1097
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

If he's like most successful moguls, he will make sure that his successor will not be terribly different from him in outlook and philosophy.

And his reasons for ignoring Star Trek are not based on personal pique, but solid business realities. Any successor will face the same realities and come to the same conclusions.

Which is why selling Mooves or his successor on Star Trek is far from easy and will involve such things as: the person doing the selling needs to have a great deal of credibility in the industry, and the problem of where Star Trek fits into the TV ecosystem needs to be resolved. And that's infinitely easier said than done.
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Old July 14 2012, 09:30 PM   #1098
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
If he's like most successful moguls, he will make sure that his successor will not be terribly different from him in outlook and philosophy.

And his reasons for ignoring Star Trek are not based on personal pique, but solid business realities. Any successor will face the same realities and come to the same conclusions.

Which is why selling Mooves or his successor on Star Trek is far from easy and will involve such things as: the person doing the selling needs to have a great deal of credibility in the industry, and the problem of where Star Trek fits into the TV ecosystem needs to be resolved. And that's infinitely easier said than done.
Adn I didn't say it wold be easy, but any new Star Trek series will still have to go though the normal process of pitching the show, if the Munsters can come back so can Star Trek
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Old July 15 2012, 09:38 AM   #1099
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
Temis is right -- no matter how obsessive some fans get about continuity and consistent reality (and I'm one of those fans myself to a degree), Star Trek is ultimately a work of fiction, a creation of writers and artists, and it does indeed transform itself under different creators and for different formats and audiences. We like to pretend all the Trek series to date fit into a uniform continuity (and some of us always denounce the latest variation as too great a departure from that continuity), but that's a myth, an illusion resulting from familiarity.
No, up until the Abrams re-mess, Trek was one expanding body of work. There were the inevitable inconsistencies and a variety of approaches, some of which worked and some of which didn't, but it was still one big story with a fairly consistent philosophy. Even in the latter days of boring gray uniforms and starships, they still managed to tell Trek-style stories. It is still possible, especially since the TV and movies are under the control of different people, to continue the real Star Trek and gear it toward adults.

Kegg wrote: View Post
Didn't Stargate have brief nudity in the pilot or something?
Yeah, but they wimped out in the "Director's Cut."

But yeah, Showtime currently follows the HBO-style model of programs with morally ambiguous characters with varying degrees of swearing sex and violence. Examples include Dexter (protagonist is a serial killer), Homeland (bi-polar, paranoid CIA operative), and The Borgias (notoriously corrupt pope).
Well, that's no good for Trek. Nudity would be okay, because, as Christopher said, TOS was an envelope-pusher in its day. But I want to see a "Mature" Trek, not a "Rated M for Mature" nuTrek.

There is obviously a benefit to cable though in that higher budget series can survive with much smaller audiences. This would allow Star Trek, which has bordered on niche, near-cancellation TV in the past, to hypothetically survive there... probably with a setup not that different to what Syfy's done int he past, honestly.
That's exactly what I'm thinking. A real Star Trek show would be popular enough to give a cable channel its best ratings ever. If Walking Dead can do it, Star Trek can do it.

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Star Trek could be back on TV in a form that's faithful to how it's always been on TV (maybe a compromise between the varying approaches of all the series). That would be valid as fiction, why not?
That's what I'm talkin' 'bout. All you need is people with talent and artistic integrity.
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Old July 15 2012, 01:33 PM   #1100
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
No, up until the Abrams re-mess, Trek was one expanding body of work. There were the inevitable inconsistencies and a variety of approaches, some of which worked and some of which didn't, but it was still one big story with a fairly consistent philosophy.
That's the way it looks to us now, after having had years to get used to it. But believe me, people have always been denouncing new interpretations of Trek, from the animated series to the movies to TNG to ENT, as being too great a departure from the Trek they knew to be counted as a legitimate continuation. Good grief, when TNG came along, most of the TOS cast was aggressively negative toward it, complaining that it wasn't the real Star Trek, and plenty of TOS fans felt the same way. It was years before TNG managed to win over the fanbase as a whole, years before it became an accepted consensus that TNG was part of the same "expanding body" as TOS rather than a radical departure or a different continuity altogether. (Heck, to a large extent, Roddenberry meant for TNG to be a different continuity, a soft reboot that quietly ignored or retconned aspects of TOS he regretted in retrospect.)

For that matter, I can't believe you've forgotten just ten yeras ago when plenty of people on this very BBS were adamant that Enterprise had to be a separate reality from the prior Trek series and were infuriated when anyone suggested that it was part of the same "expanding body" as previous Trek. Come on, the arguments were epic, as ferocious as the arguments about the Abrams films today.

So, to borrow a line from another franchise, all this has happened before and all this will happen again. You think that the Trek of the past has always been consistent and the new stuff is the first time there's ever been a radical break, but that's because you don't have the perspective of history. There's nothing in your reaction to the Abrams films that I haven't seen multiple times before in the past thirty-odd years of Trek history. Purist fans have always been insisting that only the old stuff was "real" Star Trek and that the newest interpretation was wrong.
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Old July 15 2012, 07:59 PM   #1101
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Of course I know all that. I've been watching Trek since 1969.

It doesn't matter whether people like any particular incarnation of Trek, it is all a connected body of work. The first two movies sequelize specific characters from the series, McCoy appears in the first episode of TNG and Kirk is referenced in the second or third, Picard and O'Brien cross over to DS9, various characters cross over to VOY and the Defiant crosses over to ENT, just to make the more obvious examples. It's all one big body of work.

Questions of quality aside, and despite the alleged presence of "our" Spock, nuTrek is a complete reboot with most of the characters' personalities re-imagined (Chekov isn't even the same age), the Federation re-imagined as crippled and post-Apocalyptic (and apparently millions of missing Vulcans, although I'm sure that's just the stupidity of the writers), and the format changed from the Human adventure to a sequence of explosions.

So, no, it's a completely different concept that simply recycles the names and terminology of the original, but none of the continuity or substance.
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Old July 15 2012, 08:58 PM   #1102
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Of course I know all that. I've been watching Trek since 1969.

It doesn't matter whether people like any particular incarnation of Trek, it is all a connected body of work.
You're not hearing me over your own preconceptions. The point is, it's not about whether they liked a show, it's about how they defined it. Lots of people back then would have passionately denied that it was all a connected body of work. For decades, people have been claiming that the animated series wasn't "real" Trek, that the movies weren't "real" Trek, that TNG wasn't "real" Trek, that ENT wasn't "real" Trek. They've all been treated as apocryphal works or alternate realities. But over time, those objections fade away -- especially when the next new interpretation comes along and the purists turn their ire against it instead. They probably even start counting the Trek they formerly rejected as part of the whole they're now defending.

Heck, I see from your profile that you've been on this board since 2003. So I'm surprised you don't remember all the arguments about whether Enterprise was a "real" prequel or an alternate timeline. They weren't that long ago.


The first two movies sequelize specific characters from the series, McCoy appears in the first episode of TNG and Kirk is referenced in the second or third, Picard and O'Brien cross over to DS9, various characters cross over to VOY and the Defiant crosses over to ENT, just to make the more obvious examples. It's all one big body of work.

Questions of quality aside, and despite the alleged presence of "our" Spock...
You really can't see the blatant double standard you're employing here?

It's also missing the point, because I'm not talking about internal continuity. It's all made up anyway, and claims of continuity are just part of the fiction. I'm talking about the reality that the different creators of those fictional incarnations of Star Trek interpret it differently, bring different approaches and attitudes to it, and so even though they pretend it all fits together, the various Trek series and films have significant differences from one another in content, tone, and intention. So the metatextual reality, from a critical perspective, is that they are separate works; the pretense of forming a common whole is merely part of the internal fiction, a conceit that the different installments of the franchise traditionally follow. (For instance, TWOK pretending to be a direct followup on "Space Seed" while freely contradicting many of its specifics such as the age and ethnicity of Khan's followers. Different works can simultaneously claim continuity with one another and violate it as it suits them.)
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Old July 15 2012, 09:08 PM   #1103
Temis the Vorta
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Abrams' movies haven't caused Star Trek to "contract" as a story. Someone could come along and do a TV series and completely ignore his parallel universe. All the potential that was there, is still there.

Abrams simply shaped Star Trek to the medium - the big budget summer popcorn flick that must have global appeal. That means zap-pow-bang and not a lot of time left over for such quaint elements as character development and dialogue. He did as much of the latter as he dared, while still ensuring that the movie would be a solid success, in the top ten for 2009.

And that helped Star Trek in exactly the way it needed - in the business realm. After Abrams' success, the franchise was no longer some old fuddy duddy crap nobody cares about anymore. Instead, it became a shining success, something to take seriously, and that's the one essential thing needed to get it back on TV. Not the only thing, but without Abrams, getting it back on TV would be far less likely.

Hollywood doesn't care about a good story, it cares about a sure thing. Star Trek has always had the potential to be a good story, and always will. But it hasn't always been a sure thing or even close.
A real Star Trek show would be popular enough to give a cable channel its best ratings ever.
I wouldn't make that assumption at all, and I'm sure Les Moonves wouldn't. For starters, if space opera is so wildly popular, why has it vanished from TV? That alone makes it hard for Star Trek to get back on the air. Maybe after another space opera series or two has returned and been a solid success, that hesitation might change. The TV business is not very daring, and CBS is less daring than most.

And it all depends heavily on which cable channel you're talking about. If it's TNT, then the Falling Skies approach - mainstream, broadcasty approach, set on Earth with relatable, modern-day characters - is probably the best you're going to do with the ratings.

On premium cable, the approach would have to be very different, much more adult and "gritty" in a way that would infuriate a lot of fans. And even if HBO or Showtime decided to do a space opera, is Star Trek the first thing they'd think of? Or would they take a page from Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, and adapt a well-regarded title from novels or graphic novels, that would have more snob appeal than a franchise associated with bland broadcast?

And remember, premium cable wants us all to think that everything on broadcast is bland and contemptable. That's premium cable's message to consumers - pay us for what you get elsewhere for free, because the free stuff is lowbrow crap. If they undermine that message, then they're undermining their whole reason for existence.
All you need is people with talent and artistic integrity.
To make a good story, sure. To make a good story that has a snowball's chance in Sto'vo'kor of being greenlit much less surviving for long on TV, you need a lot more.

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Old July 15 2012, 09:22 PM   #1104
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Abrams simply shaped Star Trek to the medium - the big budget summer popcorn flick that must have global appeal. That means zap-pow-bang and not a lot of time left over for such quaint elements as character development and dialogue. He did as much of the latter as he dared, while still ensuring that the movie would be a solid success, in the top ten for 2009.
I think the characterizations were the movie's strongest point. Abrams is good at keeping the focus on character even during the zap-pow-bang.


And that helped Star Trek in exactly the way it needed - in the business realm. After Abrams' success, the franchise was no longer some old fuddy duddy crap nobody cares about anymore. Instead, it became a shining success, something to take seriously, and that's the one essential thing needed to get it back on TV. Not the only thing, but without Abrams, getting it back on TV would be far less likely.
Yes. If anything, the new movie was closer to the spirit of TOS than the sequels have mostly been. TNG and the rest built this reputation for ST as the conservative, old-guard sci-fi franchise, the "fuddy duddy" stuff as you say -- but TOS was extremely modern and cutting-edge for its day, taking the storytelling and visual language of the serious, adult TV dramas of the era and applying it to science fiction. Abrams made ST modern again in a way it hasn't been for decades, and you're right that that's what it needs to be relevant again.
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Old July 15 2012, 09:29 PM   #1105
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

It's not even so much as Abrams making Star Trek relevant to the audience or fans. It was that he made it relevant to the moguls who don't know or care anything about Star Trek other than whether its something that seems likely to make them boatloads of money.

If all Abrams accomplished was a PR campaign for the franchise, that's nothing to scoff at. He did accomplish more, and that's gravy. If he had done that PR campaign at the expense of creating a good story, that wouldn't have done too much harm, since someone else can pick up the reins and do something completely different anyway.

So even those who think he failed to create a good story should recognize that he still helped the franchise a lot more than he harmed it.
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Old July 15 2012, 10:07 PM   #1106
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

More sf/f development news: Bruce Boxleitner's steampunk pitch, Lantern City.

It combines first-rate storytelling, innovative production design, and a rich world that fans will fall in love with. Even though it will blend great science fiction with dynamic storylines, at its heart the show asks two questions: how far would you go to be with the person you love and what lengths would you go to in order to survive?

Lantern City highlights the steampunk genre to create a one-of-a-kind television experience. Other properties have had Steampunk elements, but this is the first mainstream television show to proudly wear the label of Steampunk. Current fans of the subgenre will not be disappointed and it will attract a much wider audience to the long neglected world of Steampunk. The show is unique in that it allows viewers to be involved in the process - a first for any television show.
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Old July 15 2012, 10:13 PM   #1107
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Bruce hasn't even pitched the idea yet? How can a show have an "innovative production design" when no one has decided to back the show?
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Old July 15 2012, 10:58 PM   #1108
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Caliburn24 wrote: View Post
Bruce hasn't even pitched the idea yet? How can a show have an "innovative production design" when no one has decided to back the show?
That's just a method used to sell a series, Gene Roddenberry did the same thing for Star Trek by using his parallel earth concept.
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Old July 15 2012, 11:02 PM   #1109
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Caliburn24 wrote: View Post
Bruce hasn't even pitched the idea yet? How can a show have an "innovative production design" when no one has decided to back the show?
A number of shows and films include concept design art in their initial pitches. It was Ralph McQuarrie's concept paintings, done at George Lucas's request, that helped convince 20th Century Fox to fund the production of Star Wars.
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Old July 16 2012, 01:39 AM   #1110
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

After visiting the official website for Lantern City it appears the "innovative" part of the art design is letting fans submit ideas and artwork that may get worked into the show. That process seems extremely vague at the moment however.

It seems like a fun concept, but in our litigious society that idea seems likely to be jettisoned before a studio will even seriously consider picking up the show.

Oh, and the setting for the show...
Lantern City is the southern-most city in Hetra, a world parallel to Earth, and is bordered on the south by the Silver Sea and has the largest river in Hetra, the Faudnice River, running through its heart. The city was always known for its commerce, agriculture, innovation, and trade; because of its isolated geography it never developed a real military power. Lantern City was difficult to travel to by land and it had the ability to control who came in and out of its ports.

Eventually, a band of warlords from the outlands of Hetra conquered the surrounding areas leaving Lantern City as their final target. The onslaught of refugees from the other cities gave the citizens of Lantern City ample warning to protect themselves, However almost no one in Lantern City had minds for military strategy or any real combat experience. This was the perfect opportunity for soldier and entrepreneur Isaac Foster Grey to rise to power and “save” the city from the invaders. To secure the city after the battles for Lantern City’s existence, Grey had a wall built around the city and enacted isolationist policies.

Over one hundred years later, the citizens of Lantern City know little about the rest of Hetra.

Since so few citizens know anything about the history of Lantern City or anything about Hetra, a myth has replaced the actual history. Many of the working class citizens and the members of the Underground believe that a peasant named Nolvan inspired thousands to travel as far south as they could and establish a new and free place called Lantern City. It wasn’t until the Grey Empire tricked the populous and took over that the citizens weren’t free.

Many of the working class are waiting for the next Nolvan to arrive and save them from their fates.
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