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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old October 23 2012, 12:59 AM   #91
DWF
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Gary7 wrote: View Post
When BSG aired, I thought it was so awesome... finally a sci-fi TV show with Star Wars quality SFX. Yet it failed to deliver good stories. So much potential. I really thought I'd find TOS "stale" after getting hooked on BSG. But as the show meandered across a number of directions, and showed so much repetitive SFX, I realized that it could never hold a candle to TOS. I enjoyed UFO and Space:1999 (to a degree), but their production values and episode plots seriously paled in comparison to Star Trek. Space:1999 had a lot of potential, what with Brian Johnston and Derek Meddings working their SFX and model magic. But Anderson once again stumbled with the premise, at first trying too hard to appeal to the intellectuals, then swinging too far in the other direction of appealing to the youth craving easy to digest entertainment (partly due to Fred Freiberger).

I think part of the reason why such a strong fan base built up around Star Trek was the very lack of alternative sci-fi TV programs that could match it.
Derek Meddings only worked on UFO not Space:1999. Star Trek and Space:1999 have Fred Freiberger in common.
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Old October 23 2012, 04:01 PM   #92
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Admiral2 wrote: View Post
Star Trek is good, but let's be honest: All it really is is Gene Roddenberry trying to redo "Forbidden Planet" over and over again every friggin' week.
This is a bold oversimplification. Yes, a great deal of the concept of Trek was inspired by Forbidden Planet, but to say it "remade" the film every week is absurd. By this standard Space:1999 remade 2001 every week and Battlestar Galactica remade Star Wars every week. It's just as untrue and does them all a disservice. All of these shows used a familiar and successful film as the jumping off point to create their own stories, both good and bad. Your enjoyment of each series depends on what you're looking for. If your thing is "big honking battleships," BSG will be your favorite show.

TV science fiction is never as good as true, literary sci-fi. Trek wasn't amazing science fiction, but it was good at taking sci-fi from the kiddie pool and bringing it into the adult table without talking down to people. The Outer Limits, by comparison, would spend huge chunks of each episode explaining theories and technology, before tossing in a monster. Star Trek would spend less time on the tech and more on the adventure. The ideas were present in both programs, but Trek's presentation was an easier pill to swallow. It was more fun.

1999, in its first year, was concept oriented with plot and characterization taking the back seat. It emphasized mood and atmosphere and often left things unexplained. It was a great show to watch at 2am, it was so damned weird. But the SFX were the main showcase there. In the second year, it went to Saturday Morning Cartoon Land. I still loved it, but with the lazy area of my brain, the same part I use to watch Irwin Allen's TV shows.

BSG wasn't interested in sci-fi concepts beyond the premise of killer robots and space battles. It was more "Wagon Train to the stars" than Trek ever was. It was a space western before Firefly took it too literally. Critics (the kinder critics anyway) called it Battlestar Ponderosa, and they were right. Yet, when it was at its best, it tackled larger themes (faith, mans place in the universe) and had some amazing episodes of high adventure. The two parters were easily the best, most epic shows, but the final episode, the single part "The Hand of God" was one of the finest episodes of the series. The original BSG had a great deal of potential that was just starting to be fulfilled before ABC pulled the plug.

The Invaders was at its best in the first season, when they were trying to terrify the audience. It was a great, moody sci-fi take on The Fugitive. The second season slipped out of that and into adventure, but it was a dead end concept. Fun and adult, but not in Trek's class.
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Old October 23 2012, 07:56 PM   #93
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Mr. Spook wrote: View Post
Admiral2 wrote: View Post
Star Trek is good, but let's be honest: All it really is is Gene Roddenberry trying to redo "Forbidden Planet" over and over again every friggin' week.
This is a bold oversimplification. Yes, a great deal of the concept of Trek was inspired by Forbidden Planet, but to say it "remade" the film every week is absurd.
Oh, really? The premise of Forbidden Planet begins with "Ancient technology disrupts the lives and mission of future space explorers."

"What Are Little Girls Made Of?" Ancient technology disrupts the lives and mission of future space travelers. "Shore Leave." Ancient technology disrupts the lives and mission of future space travelers. "Return of the Archons." Ancient technology disrupts the lives and mission of future space travelers. "The Paradise Syndrome." Ancient technology, etc., etc. "For the World is Hollow, and I have Touched the Sky." Ditto. "The Doomsday Machine." Ditto. "Return to Tomorrow." Mega-dittos. "Turnabout Intruder." Giga-dittos.

Simplification? Maybe. Over-simplification? Hardly.

By this standard Space:1999 remade 2001 every week
Not all of it. Just the moonbase and transport sequences. Everything else was a Trek rehash.


and Battlestar Galactica remade Star Wars every week.
Like I said. I watched BSG religiously. In terms of the Viper-Raider sequences that's exactly what it did.

It's just as untrue and does them all a disservice. All of these shows used a familiar and successful film as the jumping off point to create their own stories, both good and bad. Your enjoyment of each series depends on what you're looking for. If your thing is "big honking battleships," BSG will be your favorite show.
Carriers, not battleships. There's a difference.

TV science fiction is never as good as true, literary sci-fi.
Agreed.

Trek wasn't amazing science fiction, but it was good at taking sci-fi from the kiddie pool and bringing it into the adult table without talking down to people. The Outer Limits, by comparison, would spend huge chunks of each episode explaining theories and technology, before tossing in a monster. Star Trek would spend less time on the tech and more on the adventure. The ideas were present in both programs, but Trek's presentation was an easier pill to swallow. It was more fun.
And Twilight Zone was more fun than both of them.

BSG wasn't interested in sci-fi concepts beyond the premise of killer robots and space battles. It was more "Wagon Train to the stars" than Trek ever was. It was a space western before Firefly took it too literally. Critics (the kinder critics anyway) called it Battlestar Ponderosa, and they were right. Yet, when it was at its best, it tackled larger themes (faith, mans place in the universe)
And those were the eps when it was Trek. Like I said, it tried to be a mash up of Trek and Wars.

and had some amazing episodes of high adventure. The two parters were easily the best, most epic shows, but the final episode, the single part "The Hand of God" was one of the finest episodes of the series. The original BSG had a great deal of potential that was just starting to be fulfilled before ABC pulled the plug.
Agreed.

The Invaders was at its best in the first season, when they were trying to terrify the audience. It was a great, moody sci-fi take on The Fugitive. The second season slipped out of that and into adventure, but it was a dead end concept. Fun and adult, but not in Trek's class.
I was talking about the Twilight Zone episode "The Invaders" with Endora from Bewitched fighting off little astronauts, which had nothing to do with The Fugitive, and was cooler and more imaginative than most of the things Gene and company ever came up with.
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Old October 23 2012, 08:01 PM   #94
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Admiral2 wrote: View Post
I was talking about the Twilight Zone episode "The Invaders" with Endora from Bewitched fighting off little astronauts, which had nothing to do with The Fugitive, and was cooler and more imaginative than most of the things Gene and company ever came up with.
Written by Richard Matheson. (Ahem.)
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Old October 23 2012, 09:39 PM   #95
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Yes, the Invaders episode better than 99% of TOS episodes because it's little spacemen and they turn out to be from Earth. it's a twist!

It plays out very logically as well from beginning to end.

Seeing how they land on this planet and find one structure in the middle of nowhere and decide to torment this giant haggered woman.

Roddenberry could never have come up with something that good!
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Old October 23 2012, 09:49 PM   #96
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Well, Dennis is right about one thing: no text can stand up to a hostile reading.

"The Invaders" is a classic, and a rather exceptional twenty-five minutes of television (of any era) in that it has almost no dialogue.
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Old October 23 2012, 09:56 PM   #97
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

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Old October 23 2012, 10:00 PM   #98
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

It is classic, it's a suspense piece and super well-done, but it could never hold up to the kind of scrutiny that virtually every episode of TOS is put thru.

Humans going light years to another world and finding it inhabited by a giant race and then going to her shack and shooting her with their ray guys?

What kind of logic is that.

It's a viseral piece of fantasy TV that is ridiculous in retrospect.


'I Shot an Arrow'--astronauts take off from earth, crash land and ASSUME they're on another world--even though it has the same atmosphere, gravity and landscape as California? And they're in a rocket not a starship that would make them a least think another star system. They think they're on an asteroid--with the same gravity as Earth?


'Where is Everybody' astronaut goes bonkers after 136 hours in isolation? Really? Literally thousands of humans have been in solitary confinement for months and come out sane. An elite astronaut goes bonkers after 6 days? Man they made a poor choice--he sure had the wrong stuff. They even said he had access to entertainment tapes. Shoot, I could survive for a couple of weeks with my Blu-ray collection and no company.

They're great, thought-provoking dramas, but great sci-fi?
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Old October 23 2012, 10:04 PM   #99
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Harvey wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
To this day, I don't think Star Trek: The Original Series and The Twilight Zone have been topped.
Excluding any of the Trek spin-offs, no love for Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica Farscape, Firefly, or The X-Files?

Widening to comedies, I'd also point to Futurama and Red Dwarf, although the latter is a British series and out of bounds of the discussion here.
Oh absolutely (Though I've never had any great love for Red Dwarf, I must give it another try, as my SciFi cmedy taste has likely changed since I've tried it. I did really like what little I've seen of the Cat)

Having said all that, you've forgotten one of the parameters is "Before 1985"
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Old October 23 2012, 10:23 PM   #100
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

DWF wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post
On Star Trek, though, I find myself agreeing with Rod Serling. For every week that the series "rung that bell" as you put it ("The Trouble with Tribbles," "Balance of Terror") there seemed to be a corresponding week that was absolutely dire ("The Alternative Factor," "Spock's Brain").
I agree alternately there's people who like the ones that fans generally don't like and vice versa, this is true for every TV show IMO.
Yup, I've got a friend who LOVES TOS, but, would be savaged on this board. Amongst his favorites are Miri, Charlie X (Really any Yoeman Janice One), And The Children Shall Lead, "The Space Hippie one" and he HATES Trouble With Tribbles, The Doomsday Machine and City On The Edge of Forever
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Old October 23 2012, 10:32 PM   #101
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Grant wrote: View Post
They're great, thought-provoking dramas, but great sci-fi?
As opposed to, say, "Miri" or "Bread and Circuses"?

Don't get me wrong. I just rewatched all three seasons of TOS, and it's still my favorite Trek series, but let's not pretend that it was on a whole different level of scientific plausibility than TZ. If one is so inclined, there are any number of popular TOS episodes that can be made to sound just as silly.

A giant space amoeba? Abraham Lincoln versus Genghis Khan? A transporter beam splitting Kirk into his good and evil halves? A copper-based Vulcan cross-breeding with an iron-based human . . . ?

Both series had their flights of fancy.
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Old October 23 2012, 10:41 PM   #102
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

I just now realized different people like different things differently.

2. To the OP: define "best."

Be well, all. (Unless you don't want to.)
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Old October 23 2012, 10:42 PM   #103
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
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It is classic, it's a suspense piece and super well-done, but it could never hold up to the kind of scrutiny that virtually every episode of TOS is put thru.

Humans going light years to another world and finding it inhabited by a giant race and then going to her shack and shooting her with their ray guys?

What kind of logic is that.

It's a viseral piece of fantasy TV that is ridiculous in retrospect.


'I Shot an Arrow'--astronauts take off from earth, crash land and ASSUME they're on another world--even though it has the same atmosphere, gravity and landscape as California? And they're in a rocket not a starship that would make them a least think another star system. They think they're on an asteroid--with the same gravity as Earth?


'Where is Everybody' astronaut goes bonkers after 136 hours in isolation? Really? Literally thousands of humans have been in solitary confinement for months and come out sane. An elite astronaut goes bonkers after 6 days? Man they made a poor choice--he sure had the wrong stuff. They even said he had access to entertainment tapes. Shoot, I could survive for a couple of weeks with my Blu-ray collection and no company.

They're great, thought-provoking dramas, but great sci-fi?
As opposed to, say, "Miri" or "Bread and Circuses"?

Don't get me wrong. I just rewatched all three seasons of TOS, and thoroughly enjoyed myself, but let's not pretend that it was on a whole different level of scientific plausibility. If one is so inclined, there are any number of popular Trek episodes that can be made to sound just as silly if you're so inclined.

A giant space amoeba? Abraham Lincoln versus Genghis Khan? A copper-based Vulcan cross-breeding with an iron-based human . . . ?

Well, of course TOS had many episodes where the science was awful! But it was a space sci-fi show and the quality fluctuated.

Of TLZ's stright-up sci-fi episodes which had good attention to science detail-or even cared?

Mr Dingle
The Little People
Elegy
To Serve Man
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Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up


Serling was telling morality plays--not even trying to do real sci-fi.

TLZ may well be a better TV show, but better sci-fi--I don't think so.
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Old October 23 2012, 10:45 PM   #104
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Grant wrote: View Post
Well, of course TOS had many episodes where the science was awful! But it was a space sci-fi show and the quality fluctuated.

Of TLZ's stright-up sci-fi episodes which had good attention to science detail-or even cared?

Mr Dingle
The Little People
Elegy
To Serve Man
On Thursday We Leave for Home
Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up


Serling was telling morality plays--not even trying to do real sci-fi.

TLZ may well be a better TV show, but better sci-fi--I don't think so.

But does that really matter? I guess I just don't see why that's worth worrying about. I watched both shows for the stories, not the science.

Science fiction, fantasy, horror . . . it's all the same to me.
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Old October 23 2012, 11:05 PM   #105
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Does it matter that TOS

clearly diffentiated between sub-light and faster than light travel and propulsion systems
spoke of the need for artificial gravity
clearly pointed out 'Earth-type' planets as being the focus
reffered to space in 3 dimensions when plotting course
referred to nebulas, black holes (stars), quasars
clearly spelled out the difference between our galaxy and other galaxies
created a beautiful funtional (looking) bridge for each specialty--nav, helm, engineering, science, comm..
showed plauible looking med tech--hypospray, biobeds, hand held med scanners
spoke of the difference between carbon life and possible other types


Yeah, I think it made a huge difference.

Now if the characters or stories stunk--those things wouldn't mean much and sure they dumped science logic sometimes to tell a compelling story or sometimes out of laziness or ignorance, but it was way better than the science and show before or shortly after had.

Really.... a nuclear waste dump ignites and propels the earth's moon on a faster than light journey thru deep space????
And they can either steer the moon or they just happen to pass incredibly close to various planets as the hurtle thru space? That passed for 'science fiction' in the 1970s?
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