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Future of Trek Discussion of future Trek projects.

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Old October 19 2012, 12:59 AM   #76
Tiberius
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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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Old October 19 2012, 02:39 PM   #77
Kegg
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Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

Christopher wrote: View Post

No, that's taking the analogy far too literally.
Right, but.

It's obvious that you and Temis wanted a middle ground, but Temis wanted the same actors returning to play different roles. This as a practice makes more sense for an anthology series where stories are not supposed to have 'happened' in the same universe, though it is of course something you also get in non-anthology TV (and there are countless examples from Star Trek alone.)

I was drawing a line between the model of anthology TV - like the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits, shows which do not need internal continuity of any kind - and episodic TV, which is what most Star Treks have been about. Episodic TV like anthology TV has the ability to be about a different story each week, and even be about entirely new characters each week, but it also has an established cast of characters who work through the premise of the week's story and indeed can be a focus for the story itself.

I think a series that treats seasons as independent stories but has that level of character continuity would feel more like Star Trek and further take advantage of the continuous universe aspect to actually have characters we'd recognize regularly showing up, which is kind of a big deal for TV shows.

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.
True but my point is less 'what is a better story' and more 'what can TV sell a broad audience on.' Instead of looking at Star Trek as a universe with numerous species and factions and centuries of history, Abrams approached Star Trek as a media property with iconic elements that are well known parts of pop culture: Kirk, Spock, the Enterprise, the guy who wears red and dies horribly.

Deep Space Nine was probably the one series that invested itself the most in letting its involvement with the mythos try to cancel out its relatively unusual premise. It began without a starship or a captain and with the majority of the cast being aliens, some of which were aliens already very familiar from TNG, and dealing with the political fallout of a planetary situation that had been referred to a couple of times on that program and featuring in a key role one of TNG's lower rung antagonist races.

It also - like Voyager, a decidedly safer show - had steadily declining ratings.

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?
But can't we have both? This is where the underexplored idea of Starfleet having large civilian components to their crew could be relevant. You could have a starship with university faculty and/or experts in various fields in addition to Starfleet personnel. It could be a ship where the scientists basically decide the itinerary and examining spatial phenomena and strange new worlds (say starship mills in orbit as anthropologists study social behaviour of pre-industrial sea beings and archaeologists extrapolate existence of a once more advanced civilization that perished with an unclear catastrophe) but the starfleet crew take charge in case of a crisis (sea beings want to sacrifice anthropologist and they can't transport because of... whatever interference in the water).

I mean - being Star Trek - these people are no doubt going to encounter situations that put them in physical danger. So you either have them include people who are sufficiently skilled at extricating them from that danger but who are not Starfleet for whatever reason, or you have people who are Starfleet.

In other words it's a series about people doing the things we associate with Starfleet without being Starfleet. Hence:

Christopher wrote: View Post
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.
I think it'd be fair to say that all things pertaining to the military in the United States are done by the military. And Starfleet has treated as both space and ground forces, though the lore about the existence (or non-existence) of Starfleet marines has always been a bit fuzzy.

Who starts shooting when things go south, is kind of the question there. University students with phaser training? Civilian starship crew who have done this kind of crisis management before? Etc.
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Old October 19 2012, 06:59 PM   #78
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
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?
So they can wear uniforms that visually communicate "this is Star Trek." If we're watching a show about civlians in space, where is the link to Star Trek so that the audience connect it to the movies and previous TV series? Creativity is great and all, but there needs to be some common connection, communicated visually since TV is a visual medium.

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.
The irony is that, science should be exploration, but you're right, both science and exploration are boring in and of themselves. The drama comes from: we discovered something dangerous that science may help us fight; or there's a culture clash between Starfleet and the civilian scientist who just came on board. Science and scientists can't inherently provide the dramatic conflict, nor are they particularly necessary to that conflict.

So, more focus on scientists and exploration is a nice idea, but won't inherently provide what the show really needs, namely conflict. You can have that conflict regardless of whether there are scientists or civilians on the show. The main benefit of civilians and/or scientists on the show is variety, because all Starfleet all the time can get boring and limited.
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Old October 19 2012, 07:08 PM   #79
billcosby
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Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

I know it's perverse but I do consider TNG-DS9-VOY to more or less be part of the same series.
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Old October 19 2012, 07:12 PM   #80
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

Hah, I'm banned too because I think I already said that somewhere in this thread, that Star Trek has already gone on for far more than seven seasons. And the notion that a series has to be just seven characters who are never allowed to be killed or transferred is archaic anyway.

A new series could be what we used to think of as several series, strung together for many years under the same name but changing over time, maybe with a tagline that changes occasionally too. Characters, ships, premise, location could all change, and yet it still could be Star Trek.
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Old October 19 2012, 11:54 PM   #81
Tiberius
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Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

CandyCornCosby wrote: View Post
I know it's perverse but I do consider TNG-DS9-VOY to more or less be part of the same series.
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If you are, then me too. I agree with you!
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Old October 20 2012, 05:35 AM   #82
C.E. Evans
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Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

Ti-BOO!-rius wrote: View Post
CandyCornCosby wrote: View Post
I know it's perverse but I do consider TNG-DS9-VOY to more or less be part of the same series.
I'm banned now, aren't I?
If you are, then me too. I agree with you!
To me, DS9 and VOY were both direct spinoffs of TNG, whereas TNG was a sequel to TOS. ENT seemed like a prequel to everything.
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Old October 20 2012, 06:13 AM   #83
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Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

^ I agree. TNG, DS9, and VOY are different series but their connectivity makes them one meta-series.

P.S.: I'm coining that term. I googled it, and I didn't see "meta-series" previously used in reference to TV or film.
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Old October 20 2012, 03:53 PM   #84
T'Girl
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Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

Temis the Friendly Ghost wrote: View Post
where is the link to Star Trek so that the audience connect it to the movies and previous TV series
Let us see. There is the greater Star Trek universe. People in space, the starships, the future, the technology, the moral backdrop, the interaction with aliens.

There the Federation in general, in fact we might be able to see and discover more about the Federation through a show centered upon civilians, than we ever could with one center upon Starfleet.

but there needs to be some common connection, communicated visually since TV is a visual medium
I agree.

a culture clash between Starfleet and the civilian scientist who just came on board
There could be more of a cultural clash among civilians, without the common Starfleet culture being trained into them.

Between the civilians operating the ship, and a civilian scientist who headstrong ways cause conflict.

Kegg wrote: View Post
... these people are no doubt going to encounter situations that put them in physical danger. So you either have them include people who are sufficiently skilled at extricating them from that danger but who are not Starfleet for whatever reason
My uncle works at the Boeing commercial aircraft company. After September 11, 2001 attack company security traded their pistols for sub-machine guns. And there were barricades and heavy machine guns at all the vehicle entrances.

Among our group of intrepid scientists, I'm sure we can have a nice number of Indiana Jones' in the mix. Along side the Albert Einsteins.

In the previous centuries, explorers carried weapons to defend themselves, and their ships mounted cannons.

University students with phaser training?
How is that the slightest way different than Starfleet academy students with phaser training? They're basically the same young people, from the same original population groups.

A couple of students like Fiona Glenanne (from Burn Notice) could be fun.

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Old October 25 2012, 08:55 AM   #85
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

I do like "LOST" and "Alias" as TV show models to work with.

With "Alias":
Having a main cast to work with is great and you can have lots of rich character building, adventure, excitement, drama.

With "LOST":
Having that large ensemble lets you focus on different situations, write complicated intricate plots, have a diverse set of interesting character interactions.

The problem with having all these great things is that it takes a set of good writers, people who respect internal logic of characters and the universe they are in.

As far as setup, having recurring cast and a large ensemble cast is what Star Trek is all about. They just don't have a consistant set of writers who understand how the Star Trek Universe works or somebody who can keep all the writers in line.

As far as what I like, I do enjoy a larger ensemble cast with a core recurring crew.

Firefly and Babylon 5 being great models to observe.

In Firefly, you always seem to have Mal and Zoe as two important core focuses, the rest of the cast seems to fluctuate as to their importance in each episode.

In Babylon 5, you generally have Sheridan, Ivanova as two important mains, the rest will fluctuate based on how important they are to an episode.

With Star Trek, the ensemble crew is a very important part. Each character getting their own focus is very important. The problem is that the writing staff can't balance who gets how much plot.

With ENT, Archer, Trip, and T'Pol get way too much screen time, the rest of the characters are 2nd tier in terms of development.

In VOY, Janeway, Seven, and the Doctor gets the most character development.

In DS9, it's alot more even with Quark getting the least development out of the principle cast. Even then Quark got more episodes focused on him than somebody like Travis who should be far more important to their respective show.

I think it's all a matter of figuring out the balance.
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Old October 25 2012, 09:00 AM   #86
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Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

As far as focusing on Starfleet for a future TV series, it would have to focus on a Starfleet crew to some degree. It would be like 007 series without Bond if you didn't have Starfleet in there, it wouldn't be Star Trek. As far as locale / backdrop, that has proven to be somewhat flexible.

Going by Star Trek History, we have Starships and Starbases as usuable backdrops.

Unless you want to turn Star Trek into some "Law & Order" style franchise with massive spin-offs that focus on different aspects of the "Star Trek" Universe, it's going to be hard to break tradition. Not that it can't be done, but you're going to have to start the initial revival on a Starfleet crew on a somewhat familiar backdrop such as the Starship / Starbase.

Then with different spin-off's you can do different things.
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Old October 25 2012, 11:16 AM   #87
T'Girl
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Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

KamenRiderBlade wrote: View Post
Going by Star Trek History, we have Starships and Starbases as usuable backdrops.
Yes, but instead they would run by "not-Starfleet." Look at DS9, much of the cast was "not-Starfleet." DS9 wasn't a Starfleet space station, it was a Bajorian civilian facility. There were entire episodes where there wasn't a single Starfleet character in sight.

House of Quark (one of my favs) had Starfleet in the background only. They played no significant part.

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Old October 25 2012, 01:19 PM   #88
C.E. Evans
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Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

There could always be a "Firefly-type" series that focuses on a civilian freighter that sometimes takes on jobs that aren't always on the up-and-up and may require them to fight their way out of situations that occasionally turn south on them. In that sense, Starfleet could be depicted as not the enemy, per se, but something the crew would like to avoid dealing with whenever possible.
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Old October 25 2012, 05:28 PM   #89
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Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
KamenRiderBlade wrote: View Post
Going by Star Trek History, we have Starships and Starbases as usuable backdrops.
Yes, but instead they would run by "not-Starfleet." Look at DS9, much of the cast was "not-Starfleet." DS9 wasn't a Starfleet space station, it was a Bajorian civilian facility. There were entire episodes where there wasn't a single Starfleet character in sight.

House of Quark (one of my favs) had Starfleet in the background only. They played no significant part.

That's true, but there was Starfleet there, they were managing the station. And a majority of the episodes has Starfleet in it. Having a few random episodes with no Starfleet focus is good for getting past the back to back episodes of Starfleet focus. And yes the Bajorans outnumber Starfleet on DS9. But that's just show backdrop. If you look at the senior staff, how many non-starfleet was there compared to actual starfleet.

Starfleet:
Ben Sisko
Dax
O'Brien
Bashir

Non-Starfleet:
Kira
Odo
Quark
Jake (He's a odd duck, he's the son of Ben and a civilian)

Main cast is principly Starfleet, and they generally focus around Starfleet issues.
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Old October 25 2012, 05:31 PM   #90
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Re: Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
There could always be a "Firefly-type" series that focuses on a civilian freighter that sometimes takes on jobs that aren't always on the up-and-up and may require them to fight their way out of situations that occasionally turn south on them. In that sense, Starfleet could be depicted as not the enemy, per se, but something the crew would like to avoid dealing with whenever possible.
At that point, using a civilian PMC or civilian equivalent of Starfleet would be preferable.

Running a freightor without weapons or very limited weapons wouldn't make as good of a base setup. Firefly worked well in that their usual solution was to run, hide, or evade attacks while airborne. While that is all well and good, if they were a PMC group with enough firepower, they could have interesting space battles.
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