RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 140,895
Posts: 5,476,871
Members: 25,050
Currently online: 475
Newest member: aloraptor

TrekToday headlines

Klingon Bloodwine To Debut
By: T'Bonz on Nov 25

Trek Actors In War Of The Worlds Fundraiser
By: T'Bonz on Nov 25

Star Trek: The Next Generation Gag Reel Tease
By: T'Bonz on Nov 24

Shatner In Haven
By: T'Bonz on Nov 24

Retro Review: Covenant
By: Michelle on Nov 22

Two Official Starships Collection Previews
By: T'Bonz on Nov 21

Saldana: Women Issues In Hollywood
By: T'Bonz on Nov 21

Shatner Book Kickstarter
By: T'Bonz on Nov 20

Trek Original Series Slippers
By: T'Bonz on Nov 19

Hemsworth Is Sexiest Man Alive
By: T'Bonz on Nov 19


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Future of Trek

Future of Trek Discussion of future Trek projects.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 17 2012, 11:55 PM   #61
Kegg
Rear Admiral
 
Kegg's Avatar
 
Location: Ireland.
Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

Christopher wrote: View Post
^All that is true, but let's remember what this part of the discussion was originally about. I think we've all drifted away from that, myself included. Temis brought up the model of American Horror Story, an approach where each season would basically start over with a different situation and cast of characters. You questioned that on the assumption that there would have to be a Starfleet captain and crew featured in every season and that if you were going to use the same character types every year, you might as well use the same characters. I was pointing out that you don't have to use the exact same crew composition every single year, that you're being very unimaginative in your assumptions about what a Star Trek story can be.
I'm not. I was just pointing out how onw could approach serialization in a more Star Trek manner than let's say a anthology manner.

American Horror Story has completely unconnected serialization. This is why Jessica Lange and Zachary Quinto, who had prominent roles in the first season, are returning for the second season... as different characters. There's zero continuity between the two seasons. This is not an unfamiliar structure for anthology series, like the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits and so on. While the first season of the show featured a strong supernatural element, the showrunners have not ruled out doing entire seasons about serial killers and other non-paranormal topics - so long as it's set in America and is in the genre of Horror and does not have vampires they consider it fair game.*

A Star Trek series with zero inter-season continuity? Really? Because I don't even think Temis wants precisely that (presumably the events of previous seasons 'happened' even if irrelevant). So I suggested the obvious route of having the Starfleet characters of each season remain the same. That'd keep carrying some of the actors on, just in different roles... and it adapts the vaguely AHS anthology idea in a way that actually makes sense for the Star Trek franchise.

Of course:

and we have plenty of examples -- including a canonical one, DS9 -- that prove you can have the basic, familiar elements but still inject a lot of variety.
Is a mischaracterisation. I said keep the Starfleet characters for each year - and DS9 did have three Starfleet characters, including the titular lead. A season about a bitter civil war on a planet. largely involved with the politics of the two major factions with Federation characters appearing as mediators and providing an 'anchor' for the viewers, and then the next season those same characters in a radically different situation like a season about a parallel universe where the Federation was defeated by the Klingon Empire.

And even the scenario I just outlined might be a bit excessive. Star Trek is not just some elaborate space opera universe where a series should run around poking around all the implications of the vast universe, any more than one would make a Law and Order spinoff about a Brazilian shopkeeper and his family. There are certain expectations about what a Star Trek progam should be, and while they can be pushed and played around with, abandoning them entirely would not be wise.

*It would actually be interesting to see a sci-fi series like this, an anthology which could do radically diffferent sci-fi stories on a yearly basis and carry over some of the cast, possibly even doing like miniseries-length adaptions of novels or whatever... but that obviously would not be a Star Trek series.
__________________
'Spock is always right, even when he's wrong. It's the tone of voice, the supernatural reasonability; this is not a man like us; this is a god.'
- Philip K. Dick
Kegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 18 2012, 12:19 AM   #62
Tiberius
Commodore
 
Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

Christopher wrote: View Post
^I was suggesting something more along the lines of a whole series focusing on civilian explorers. Starfleet's been done, over and over and over again. Let's see what else the Federation has to offer. Too many people out there have the impression that the Federation is a military state because we've almost never seen any aspect of it beyond Starfleet. It's as if your only knowledge of the United States came from M*A*S*H and Baa Baa Black Sheep and JAG.

And it would bring a fresh twist to the space-exploration angle of ST if we could see it from a more civilian perspective, without the same strict regulations, without the same power the crew could draw on to defend themselves, etc. We got a glimpse of this in Enterprise, since Earth Starfleet wasn't a combat organization, but it didn't really take it far enough, since too many of its forms and protocols were much the same as the Starfleet we know.
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. Then after that mission, the science characters can go off to be replaced by new characters who come aboard for the next mission. Keeping the same characters for longer would limit the kinds of stories you could tell. 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.

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.
Tiberius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 18 2012, 12:22 AM   #63
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

Kegg wrote: View Post
A Star Trek series with zero inter-season continuity? Really?
No, that's taking the analogy far too literally. I'm not proposing anything remotely of the sort, and I don't think Temis was either. I'm just saying: we've already had multiple different series set in different places and times within the Trek universe, dealing with different crews in different situations. That's a well-established precedent. And of course there's continuity among them, just as there's continuity among the multiple different book series set in an even broader range of places, times, and situations. So all that's being suggested here is something that takes that same diversity of characters and situations and applies it within a single series.


I said keep the Starfleet characters for each year - and DS9 did have three Starfleet characters, including the titular lead. A season about a bitter civil war on a planet. largely involved with the politics of the two major factions with Federation characters appearing as mediators and providing an 'anchor' for the viewers, and then the next season those same characters in a radically different situation like a season about a parallel universe where the Federation was defeated by the Klingon Empire.
Okay, that sounds somewhat more reasonable. Playing it safe a bit, but the value of continuing characters/actors is understandable.


And even the scenario I just outlined might be a bit excessive. Star Trek is not just some elaborate space opera universe where a series should run around poking around all the implications of the vast universe, any more than one would make a Law and Order spinoff about a Brazilian shopkeeper and his family. There are certain expectations about what a Star Trek progam should be, and while they can be pushed and played around with, abandoning them entirely would not be wise.
Again, I find that to be playing it safe. Most of my career as a Trek novelist has been built on doing exactly what you say Trek can't do, which is running around exploring the untouched nooks and crannies of the continuity. The novels as a whole embraced that approach throughout the previous decade and the effort was quite well-regarded by the readership. Now, you had a valid point earlier that tie-in novels for the established fanbase are different from shows meant to attract a broader audience. But as always, the truth most likely lies between the extremes. Yes, there are certain expectations, but those expectations should be challenged, because that's what distinguishes good, fresh, compelling storytelling from safe, conventional, uninspired storytelling. For Star Trek to thrive, yes, it needs to hold onto the fundamentals, but it also needs to surprise people, to capture their interest by doing new things. The novels of the '90s settled for staying within readers' expectations and were considered banal and forgettable. The novels of the '00s have been critically acclaimed and garnered fan excitement by not staying within expectations.


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. Then after that mission, the science characters can go off to be replaced by new characters who come aboard for the next mission. Keeping the same characters for longer would limit the kinds of stories you could tell. 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?


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?
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
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.
Tiberius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 18 2012, 04:43 AM   #65
Temis the Vorta
Fleet Admiral
 
Temis the Vorta's Avatar
 
Location: Tatoinne
Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

My idea with The AHS format would be that it all takes place in the same universe, but actors play multiple characters, which isnt different from what Star Trek has done in the past anyway.

But getting Star Trek on TV will be enough of a challenge without trying for unusual formats.
Temis the Vorta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 18 2012, 09:57 AM   #66
T'Girl
Vice Admiral
 
T'Girl's Avatar
 
Location: comfortably residing in the meat packing district
Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

Ti-BOO!-rius wrote: View Post
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.
We have seen examples of non-Starfleet investigation teams before.

Seven of Nine's parent aboard the Raven.
Professor Robert Crater and his wife, in Man Trap, seemed to be a independent archaeologists.
Janice Lester didn't appear to be working for Starfleet.

John Gill was Federation, but not Starfleet. The same with Worf's brother, however a non-governmental team sponsored out of say a university could be doing similar research on a planet's culture.

__________________
.
TOS, TNG and VGR never mentioned a "Federation President."
T'Girl is online now   Reply With Quote
Old October 18 2012, 12:07 PM   #67
Tiberius
Commodore
 
Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Ti-BOO!-rius wrote: View Post
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.
We have seen examples of non-Starfleet investigation teams before.

Seven of Nine's parent aboard the Raven.
Professor Robert Crater and his wife, in Man Trap, seemed to be a independent archaeologists.
Janice Lester didn't appear to be working for Starfleet.

John Gill was Federation, but not Starfleet. The same with Worf's brother, however a non-governmental team sponsored out of say a university could be doing similar research on a planet's culture.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the science teams would have to be Starfleet. But the crew operating the ship would be.

Basically, a Starfleet vessel that has science teams come on every few weeks, and not just science teams. You can have diplomatic teams to negotiate with a planet for Federation membership, a group of people starting a new colony, a team of doctors hurrying to a planet with a plague... The possibilities are endless.

But with a small group of core actors (the crew of the starship), you can have a group of other characters come on every few weeks, providing new story opportunities by giving the core cast new people to interact with. And you can also have crew rotations, transfers, deaths etc to open up spaces to have the starship crew move off the ship every once in a while and allow new crew members to come on.
Tiberius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 18 2012, 02:31 PM   #68
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

Ti-BOO!-rius wrote: View Post
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.
We saw it all the time in those shows because those shows were set aboard Starfleet ships or facilities. Obviously there's a huge selection bias there. It doesn't make any sense to assume we have a representative portrayal of life in the Federation when the shows we have are exclusively from the Starfleet point of view. As I already said, that would be tantamount to watching JAG and NCIS and assuming that all criminal investigation in the United States was done by the military.

And no, it does not make the least bit of sense to assume that every scientist in a free and diverse civilization of trillions would be obligated to collaborate with the military, or that every single one of them acting independently would make the exact same choice to do so. There must be other options in a civilization that immense and pluralistic. It makes no sense to think there wouldn't be. How many different research institutions are there just in the United States alone, a society thousands of times smaller than the Federation?


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.
Yes, that's one possible source of conflict. Of course it's not the only one. You really think that scientists and other civilians would never have any form of conflict among themselves? If anything, it'd probably be a lot easier to generate conflict within a civilian crew.


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.
There was a time when people would've thought "the scope of Trek" meant only shows about Kirk and his crew, or only shows set in the 23rd century, or only shows set on starships. Isn't Star Trek supposed to be about seeking out and embracing the new?


Including a Starship crew is needed to allow new groups of people to come on and tell different kinds of stories.
Of course it is, but my point is that it's illogical and frankly quite disturbing to assume that the military has a monopoly on starships. Come on, it's a civilization consisting of trillions of beings on hundreds of worlds. Of course there are going to be groups other than Starfleet that are capable of building and operating ships and motivated to use them for exploration. And since it's not a dictatorship, since it's a society that welcomes plurality of thought and practice, there's going to be nothing to prevent those groups from exercising that capability and desire.

Not to mention that space is inconceivably huge, and there's no way any single institution, even one as large as Starfleet, could make a reasonable dent in exploring it. There would be every reason for the Federation to encourage multiple groups, including civilian ones, to participate in space exploration.

Again, what you're assuming is impossible is something that I have personally already done in a book. Portions of my novel The Buried Age feature a civilian research expedition organized by the University of Alpha Centauri, which commissions a custom-designed starship and assembles a team of experts in multiple fields. True, that's specifically for an archaeological expedition, but it would certainly be possible to assemble a more diverse crew for a more general exploration mission.


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.
In your model, sure, but my point is that yours is not the only possible model.


Sure, you could have a team where each character has their own specialty, but why would such a team exist?
Ohh, I dunno, to explore strange new worlds, maybe? Or to seek out new life and new civilizations? Why wouldn't such a team exist? Like I said, space is so huge that the Federation would be insanely stupid to forbid anyone but Starfleet from organizing a multidisciplinary starship crew for general exploration -- and the Federation is sufficiently democratic and free that they'd have no incentive or mechanism to forbid such an effort.


In any situation, only one or two of the characters will be able to work, the rest of the team being inexperienced.
Again, you're deliberately making limiting assumptions to force your desired conclusion, which is circular reasoning. Why couldn't a university or major research institution assemble a ship with a crew of, say, 50 or 60 people, with multiple individuals in each discipline? It's a post-scarcity society. Resources are abundant, and so, surely, is expertise.


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.
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.



T'Girl wrote: View Post
We have seen examples of non-Starfleet investigation teams before.

Seven of Nine's parent aboard the Raven.
Although, unfortunately, the designers made the Raven look like a Starfleet ship. Maybe it was a decommissioned one that was now in civilian use.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 18 2012, 06:42 PM   #69
Temis the Vorta
Fleet Admiral
 
Temis the Vorta's Avatar
 
Location: Tatoinne
Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

Science is cool, but I'll just repeat what I've said before, if they want to add a new non-military element to the next show, they should go back to TOS and bring back the cop-on-the-beat facet of Starfleet that has been largely dropped from the spinoff shows. Have the crew spend some time on law enforcement and safety matters in the outlying areas of the Federation, the far-flung colonies, mining operations and lunatic asylums of the frontier.

Cop show elements are easy for the audience to relate to, are a reasonable part of Starfleet's job, and can involve scientific exploration too. When the flying fried eggs invade a colony, you need science to fight them. When miners are being burned alive by a mystery beast, science lets you understand what's happening.

Maybe there would be guest scientists not from Starfleet brought in to handle the cases. TOS did that on occasion, too - Miranda Jones, Richard Daystrom, etc. Usually their non-Starfleetishness served the purpose of dramatic conflict, we don't do things your way, whose way is right, etc. So that's a good reason for having people on the show who aren't all wearing Starfleet uniforms, keeps things lively and interesting.
Temis the Vorta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 18 2012, 07:14 PM   #70
Temis the Vorta
Fleet Admiral
 
Temis the Vorta's Avatar
 
Location: Tatoinne
Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

American Horror Story's risky format appears to be working.

FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum got off to a strong start last night with 3.85 million total viewers. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s horror anthology series was once again particularly strong in the younger demos, posting 2.78 million Adults 18-49 (2.20 rating) and 1.78 million Adults 18-34 (2.63 rating). Among 18-34, it was the top program at 10 PM last night on broadcast or cable, while in 18-49, it finished second only behind CBS’ CSI (2.39 rating)

American Horror Story: Asylum, outpaced any single telecast of its predecessor, American Horror Story, and was up sharply from AHS‘ series debut last fall: +37% in Adults 18-49; +50% in Adults 18-34 and +21% in Total Viewers.
I saw a lot of kvetching online when the anthlogy format was announced after the end of S1. People were invested in the characters and didn't like how the season ended and that those characters would not be returning. Maybe not everyone in the audience has realized what is happening, and next week the numbers will drop, but the previews pretty clearly communicated that this season is an entirely new story.
Temis the Vorta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 18 2012, 11:38 PM   #71
T'Girl
Vice Admiral
 
T'Girl's Avatar
 
Location: comfortably residing in the meat packing district
Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Although, unfortunately, the designers made the Raven look like a Starfleet ship. Maybe it was a decommissioned one that was now in civilian use.
Jacques Cousteau's ship, the Calypso, began it's life as a French Navy mine sweeper.

Ti-BOO!-rius wrote: View Post
Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the science teams would have to be Starfleet. But the crew operating the ship would be.
I don't follow, why would they have to be Starfleet?

I was watching an old documentary resently on how Robert Ballard found the RMS Titanic, the research ship wasn't being operated by military personnel or government employees. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, nonprofit research and higher education facility.

Having the next Star Trek series starship operated by a similar organization would be one possibility.

__________________
.
TOS, TNG and VGR never mentioned a "Federation President."
T'Girl is online now   Reply With Quote
Old October 18 2012, 11:42 PM   #72
Dream
Admiral
 
Dream's Avatar
 
Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

A Trek show about science teams would be boring.

People want action along with their exploration stories. Even the Enterprise fought the Borg between the times they did sensor sweeps.
Dream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 18 2012, 11:56 PM   #73
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
I was watching an old documentary resently on how Robert Ballard found the RMS Titanic, the research ship wasn't being operated by military personnel or government employees. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, nonprofit research and higher education facility.

Having the next Star Trek series starship operated by a similar organization would be one possibility.
Exactly what I was thinking.



Dream wrote: View Post
A Trek show about science teams would be boring.

People want action along with their exploration stories. Even the Enterprise fought the Borg between the times they did sensor sweeps.
So you're telling me that there has never, in the entire history of film and television, been an action-adventure series whose protagonists were not military? I think there's a wealth of evidence to the contrary. For instance, MacGyver. In the first season, MacGyver was an intelligence agent, but for the remaining six years of the series, he worked for the Phoenix Foundation, a nonprofit scientific/humanitarian organization. Yet he still got caught up in plenty of action. So, for that matter, did archaeologist Indiana Jones. The Doctor in Doctor Who is a scientist, and some of his traveling companions have been as well, and they get in trouble everywhere they go. Not to mention other starship-based shows whose crews, while not scientists, have not been military either, e.g. Farscape and Firefly.

And again, this is something that Star Trek itself has already done. Enterprise made it explicit that NX-01 was not a military vessel. They used a military-type rank structure, but Archer and his crew set out on a mission of pure exploration and science. After their first combat, they expressed the hope that it would never happen again. They left spacedock without a full weapons complement, because they didn't expect to need it. In "The Expanse" and "Home," it was stated explicitly that Earth Starfleet personnel considered "the military," in the form of the MACOs, to be a separate institution. Earth Starfleet may have had the same name as the Federation Starfleet, but it was a very different institution. So in a real sense, we've already seen a Star Trek series that was about a crew on a mission of pure research and exploration.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 19 2012, 12:00 AM   #74
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
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.
We saw it all the time in those shows because those shows were set aboard Starfleet ships or facilities. Obviously there's a huge selection bias there. It doesn't make any sense to assume we have a representative portrayal of life in the Federation when the shows we have are exclusively from the Starfleet point of view. As I already said, that would be tantamount to watching JAG and NCIS and assuming that all criminal investigation in the United States was done by the military.

And no, it does not make the least bit of sense to assume that every scientist in a free and diverse civilization of trillions would be obligated to collaborate with the military, or that every single one of them acting independently would make the exact same choice to do so. There must be other options in a civilization that immense and pluralistic. It makes no sense to think there wouldn't be. How many different research institutions are there just in the United States alone, a society thousands of times smaller than the Federation?
Gee, I'm beginning to think you just want to disagree with me, Christopher!

I'm not saying that Starfleet is the only organisation that conducts scientific research. I'm just saying that it gives the most flexibility.

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.
Yes, that's one possible source of conflict. Of course it's not the only one. You really think that scientists and other civilians would never have any form of conflict among themselves? If anything, it'd probably be a lot easier to generate conflict within a civilian crew.
And my idea of having a civilian crew working with Starfleet will still allow all of the potential conflict within that civilian crew, as well as introducing another source of conflict on top of it.

There was a time when people would've thought "the scope of Trek" meant only shows about Kirk and his crew, or only shows set in the 23rd century, or only shows set on starships. Isn't Star Trek supposed to be about seeking out and embracing the new?
And my idea of having the guest characters staying on the ship and having much greater interactions with the crew isn't new?

Of course it is, but my point is that it's illogical and frankly quite disturbing to assume that the military has a monopoly on starships. Come on, it's a civilization consisting of trillions of beings on hundreds of worlds. Of course there are going to be groups other than Starfleet that are capable of building and operating ships and motivated to use them for exploration. And since it's not a dictatorship, since it's a society that welcomes plurality of thought and practice, there's going to be nothing to prevent those groups from exercising that capability and desire.
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.

And let's not assume that I'm talking about non stop scientific missions. My idea of a quick-response starship that picks up new mission specialists every few weeks will allow them to tell stories about colony establishment, medical emergencies, diplomatic missions, first contact scenarios, rescue missions etc. All of which are impossible if the series is following a group of civilian scientists with their own vessel. After all, why would you have a group of wormhole experts working to save a colony that's just been attacked by the Breen?

Not to mention that space is inconceivably huge, and there's no way any single institution, even one as large as Starfleet, could make a reasonable dent in exploring it. There would be every reason for the Federation to encourage multiple groups, including civilian ones, to participate in space exploration.
But like I said, Star trek is not just about space exploration. It's also had stories about diplomacy, and all the other stuff I mentioned just up there. Having a group of civilian scientists will not allow those kinds of stories to be told.

Again, what you're assuming is impossible is something that I have personally already done in a book. Portions of my novel The Buried Age feature a civilian research expedition organized by the University of Alpha Centauri, which commissions a custom-designed starship and assembles a team of experts in multiple fields. True, that's specifically for an archaeological expedition, but it would certainly be possible to assemble a more diverse crew for a more general exploration mission.
But could that premise work in a multi-season series?

Let's say that you have a team consisting of a wormhole expert, a diplomatic expert, a planetary geologist, a stellar physicist and a subspace field specialist. If the story this week calls for them to go and help a team who has just discovered a wormhole, would you really decide to take the diplomat, the planetary geologist or the stellar physicist? You'd be leaving half your team behind each week.

On the other hand, my idea will allow you to carry your core group of characters with you each week, and bring aboard new mission specialists each week.

In your model, sure, but my point is that yours is not the only possible model.
I can't think of any way to get around it without having half the characters that come with you each week totally unsuitable for the task, as I explained above.

Ohh, I dunno, to explore strange new worlds, maybe? Or to seek out new life and new civilizations? Why wouldn't such a team exist? Like I said, space is so huge that the Federation would be insanely stupid to forbid anyone but Starfleet from organizing a multidisciplinary starship crew for general exploration -- and the Federation is sufficiently democratic and free that they'd have no incentive or mechanism to forbid such an effort.
But such a crew is quite unbelievable. Teams like that are put together for specific purposes. In the military today, they do not have teams where one person is trained in desert tactics, another is trained in jungle tactics and the third is trained in Arctic survival. Because if they go to the jungle, two of the group will have no experience.

Again, you're deliberately making limiting assumptions to force your desired conclusion, which is circular reasoning. Why couldn't a university or major research institution assemble a ship with a crew of, say, 50 or 60 people, with multiple individuals in each discipline? It's a post-scarcity society. Resources are abundant, and so, surely, is expertise.
Would you want to pay to send out a crew to investigate something when most of that crew is totally inexperienced in what they are studying?

Or would you say, "Well, we're sending them out to study a wormhole, so let's just send the wormhole specialists out and leave the rest at home. In fact, if we leave the planetary geologists at home, we can send them over here to this planet that's breaking up from tidal forces."

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.
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.

Likewise, if we followed a group of wormhole specialists who had their own ship, how would we tell any stories where they have to infiltrate the bad guy's lair to steal some top secret data rod? Or a story where they had to carry a group of colonists going to settle on a new planet? Or a diplomatic mission to end a civil war on a planet? You can't.

But if you have a Starfleet vessel that is "hired out" to various groups, you can. You want to tell a story about a new wormhole? Then you can have the wormhole specialists come on board. You want to tell a story about a civil war? Then the wormhole specialists leave and you get some diplomats come on. Want to tell a story where they have to carry some colonists? Then the diplomats leave and the colonists come on.

And meanwhile, you have the crew of the starship in each episode who provide the bridging structure across the different story arcs and serve to tie the different arcs into one continuous series.
Tiberius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 19 2012, 12:24 AM   #75
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

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?


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.

Sure, there was a news embargo on announcing the discovery of Alpha Centauri B b earlier this week, but that was just to avoid spoiling the announcement, and it was a leaky embargo anyway, with a lot of buzz getting out in advance of the press release -- and it was a civilian project that confirmed the planet's existence.


And let's not assume that I'm talking about non stop scientific missions. My idea of a quick-response starship that picks up new mission specialists every few weeks will allow them to tell stories about colony establishment, medical emergencies, diplomatic missions, first contact scenarios, rescue missions etc. All of which are impossible if the series is following a group of civilian scientists with their own vessel. After all, why would you have a group of wormhole experts working to save a colony that's just been attacked by the Breen?
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.


But like I said, Star trek is not just about space exploration. It's also had stories about diplomacy, and all the other stuff I mentioned just up there. Having a group of civilian scientists will not allow those kinds of stories to be told.
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.


Let's say that you have a team consisting of a wormhole expert, a diplomatic expert, a planetary geologist, a stellar physicist and a subspace field specialist. If the story this week calls for them to go and help a team who has just discovered a wormhole, would you really decide to take the diplomat, the planetary geologist or the stellar physicist? You'd be leaving half your team behind each week.
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?


On the other hand, my idea will allow you to carry your core group of characters with you each week, and bring aboard new mission specialists each week.
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.



But such a crew is quite unbelievable. Teams like that are put together for specific purposes. In the military today, they do not have teams where one person is trained in desert tactics, another is trained in jungle tactics and the third is trained in Arctic survival. Because if they go to the jungle, two of the group will have no experience.
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.


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.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:14 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.