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Old March 11 2013, 11:47 AM   #1
Dal Rassak
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too many aliens?

It may sound an odd complaint to make about a sci-fi series, but does anybody else think there's too many aliens on Star Trek? particularly ill thought-out ones.
Voyager is the worst offender in this respect, that's one reason I couldn't bring myself to keep on watching it. There's new so-called "aliens" every week and they're basically just humans with odd bits stuck on to their faces. Or even completely human-looking with not even the slightest token indication of anatomical differences.

I know the basic restraint is the fact that you've only got human-shaped actors to play these characters. For precisecly that reason I would have cut down on the number of aliens. Or at least have some real CGI oddities that could be any shape the programmer decides. For the humanoid races, I doubt they'd be spread all over the universe in any case, and I'd be quite happy to stick with a few reasonably differentiated races that have been established. You can believe that something like a Ferengi or a Klingon might exist and be a genuinely different race, but I'm having trouble with the vast selection of blatant humans with slikghtly differing bits and ends glued to their faces.
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Old March 11 2013, 12:29 PM   #2
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: too many aliens?

Eh, I just see it as part of the fantasy. Trek's always been fantasy dressed as sci-fi to me. If emotionally suppressed humans with green blood and pointy ears are allowed, as are bright blue humans with antennae, then all sorts of slightly-modified humans are too.

Personally, I'd have preferred they just had more regular humans on different planets rather than adding the same pointless bumps to foreheads over and over. TOS had already established that an ancient super race (the Preservers) had transplanted people from Earth in centuries past.
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Old March 11 2013, 01:06 PM   #3
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Re: too many aliens?

In a word: yes. More non-humanoids already.
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Old March 11 2013, 01:22 PM   #4
CorporalCaptain
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Re: too many aliens?

Too many aliens? No.

What's the point of seeking out new life and new civilizations without aliens to find?

Dal Rassak wrote: View Post
Or at least have some real CGI oddities that could be any shape the programmer decides.
That would have worked really well in the 1960's.

The Abyss was released in 1989 and Jurassic Park was released in 1993. The first Pentium chip was introduced in 1993.

What precisely do you think CGI aliens would have looked like on TNG, how much would they have cost to make, and how many of what kind of computers running for how long would it have taken to render them?
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Old March 11 2013, 01:29 PM   #5
solariabsg25
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Re: too many aliens?

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Too many aliens? No.

What's the point of seeking out new life and new civilizations without aliens to find?

Dal Rassak wrote: View Post
Or at least have some real CGI oddities that could be any shape the programmer decides.
That would have worked really well in the 1960's.

The Abyss was released in 1989 and Jurassic Park was released in 1993. The first Pentium chip was introduced in 1993.

What precisely do you think CGI aliens would have looked like on TNG, how much would they have cost to make, and how many of what kind of computers running for how long would it have taken to render them?
Yeah, they didn't really have the tech to do that until Enterprise showed the Tholians and the Gorn.
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Old March 11 2013, 01:35 PM   #6
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Re: too many aliens?

Actually, it's better than that:

See http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/CGI#CGI_species.

There were a few CGI aliens on TNG, but the majority of those were very basic and rudimentary by today's standards. Out of all Star Trek series, there are only 32 entries in that table, most from VOY and ENT.
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Old March 11 2013, 02:09 PM   #7
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Re: too many aliens?

Yes, Star Trek went overboard on the "Forehead Aliens of the Week." Okay, budget is a concern, but there are ways around that. Instead of giving us new Forehead Guys every week, re-use the same Forehead Guys. Really, Voyager and Enterprise could have benefitted from using their original aliens like the Hirogen or the Suliban more often.

For that matter, when they were constantly visiting races who looked exactly human on TOS and TNG I think they should have re-written so that instead of seperate race these people were humans from colonies that declared independence from Earth and the Federation. I know that episodes like The Vengeance Factor or The Hunted (episodes I was watching when I first thought this up) would still have been the same episodes if they were human colonists rather than seperate races.

CG aliens would have been tricky duirng the period Star Trek was on TV. And really, I thought the CG Gorn on Enterprise looked worse than the lizard suit in Arena.
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Old March 11 2013, 02:22 PM   #8
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Re: too many aliens?

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
I know that episodes like The Vengeance Factor or The Hunted (episodes I was watching when I first thought this up) would still have been the same episodes if they were human colonists rather than seperate races.
The problem with these two episodes in particular is that their premises depended upon someone being medically altered in a way that might seem less plausible to suppose being done to a human.

Now, if you had said The High Ground, then I would certainly agree, assuming there was a reasonable way to get past the Federation membership issue.

TOS did use actual humans a lot, and it did have very non-humanoid aliens, such as the Horta, the vampire cloud, Medusans, and Yarnek the Excalbian. Yarnek was particularly effective, I thought. The Kelvans were totally non-humanoid but had specifically assumed human form to steal the Enterprise, which was an effective trope.

TAS was also able to bring non-humanoid aliens to the table, in its own low-tech way.
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Old March 11 2013, 02:38 PM   #9
The Wormhole
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Re: too many aliens?

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
The Wormhole wrote: View Post
I know that episodes like The Vengeance Factor or The Hunted (episodes I was watching when I first thought this up) would still have been the same episodes if they were human colonists rather than seperate races.
The problem with these two episodes in particular is that their premises depended upon someone being medically altered in a way that might seem less plausible to suppose being done to a human.

Now, if you had said The High Ground, then I would certainly agree, assuming there was a reasonable way to get past the Federation membership issue.
Eh, I don't know. Basically, The Hunted dealt with genetically enhanced super soldiers, and The Vengeance Factor, well how is a human being medically altered in such a way really harder to swallow than some of the other bogus science things Star Trek has thrown at us?

Good point about The High Ground, that is another which would fit perfectly. Although I don't get what you mean by "Federation membership issue." That planet was said to not be a member, but had trade going on with the Federation. Since I'm suggesting these be human colonies independant from Earth and the Federation, I don't see the issue. Just because they're seperate from the Federation doesn't mean they can't be on good terms with the Federation.
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Old March 11 2013, 02:41 PM   #10
CorporalCaptain
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Re: too many aliens?

Sorry. I switched The Hunted and The High Ground. The Federation membership issue was with The Hunted. Moment of stupidity.

Yeah, there's nothing wrong with The High Ground that wouldn't work with total humans.
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Old March 11 2013, 02:46 PM   #11
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Re: too many aliens?

As far as I'm concerned, if they're humans in everything but name, let them look like humans, we don't need the random latex things.
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Old March 11 2013, 02:46 PM   #12
The Wormhole
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Re: too many aliens?

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Sorry. I switched The Hunted and The High Ground. The Federation membership issue was with The Hunted. Moment of stupidity.

Yeah, there's nothing wrong with The High Ground that wouldn't work with total humans.
Well, even that is easy to work around. The colony may have declared independence 100 or 200 years earlier, but the current government for whatever reason has decided to seem Federation membership. The novels have done similar storylines.
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Old March 11 2013, 03:03 PM   #13
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Re: too many aliens?

Agree with what others have said, too many forehead-mod aliens, too many aliens that are just human looking. I also think that heavily featured species like bajorans and betazoids should've been made to look more alien.
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Old March 11 2013, 03:22 PM   #14
The Wormhole
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Re: too many aliens?

LobsterAfternoon wrote: View Post
Agree with what others have said, too many forehead-mod aliens, too many aliens that are just human looking. I also think that heavily featured species like bajorans and betazoids should've been made to look more alien.
Believe it or not, Bajorans and Betazoids were mandated to look as human as possible because "good looking women were cast to play them." Seriously.
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Old March 11 2013, 03:41 PM   #15
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Re: too many aliens?

Do I think maybe they've made too many throw-away species? Yes.

But I also think that the later Treks should have made 80% of background extras in some sort of alien make-up in order to stop giving the "human-centric universe" appearance.

No reason all the walk-on folks had to be human. OK so making up too many Bolians and Klingons would be a problem, but they could have quadroupled the ratio of bajorans, trills, Vulcans, et cetera. You know?
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