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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old June 18 2013, 04:16 PM   #16
Timo
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Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

Backstabbing in what way, exactly?
The Romulans aboard the "BoT" warship seemed to consider each other worse enemies than the Federation... The Commander had to demote one of his officers in rank for maverick action, and was warned thereafter that this would come back to bite him because the officer had powerful friends; this speaks of a fundamentally corrupt society where legal rights mean nothing and behind-the-scenes power is everything.

their Commander was an honorable man who genuinely cared for his crew
He was duty-bound, but that's about the extent of it. If we count all sorts of thieves' honor, everybody is honorable - but in terms of the usual human western honor rules, the Commander just schemed, played dirty tricks, and did what he was told; his concern for his crew amounted to him blowing them all up in the end.

I blame this on poor writing and a lack of effort put into developing Romulan characters.
Agreed on that - but I don't object to portraying the Romulans as an oppressive, unimaginative, totalitarian society where standing out is a capital crime...

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Old June 18 2013, 04:24 PM   #17
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Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

Timo wrote: View Post
The Romulans aboard the "BoT" warship seemed to consider each other worse enemies than the Federation... The Commander had to demote one of his officers in rank for maverick action, and was warned thereafter that this would come back to bite him because the officer had powerful friends; this speaks of a fundamentally corrupt society where legal rights mean nothing and behind-the-scenes power is everything.
Fair enough, though I don't find the Klingon system of promotion-by-assassination much better.

Timo wrote:
He was duty-bound, but that's about the extent of it. If we count all sorts of thieves' honor, everybody is honorable - but in terms of the usual human western honor rules, the Commander just schemed, played dirty tricks, and did what he was told; his concern for his crew amounted to him blowing them all up in the end.
I don't see that he schemed or played tricks at all. His decision to demote the officer for insubordination was appropriate, as was his decision to turn and fight once he realized Enterprise was following him. As to your last statement, why are you assuming his decision to blow up the ship was made out of a lack for compassion for the crew? Is it fair to assume that Romulans would share our value system? How do you know that his crew would want to be taken prisoner on an enemy ship?[/QUOTE]

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Old June 18 2013, 04:32 PM   #18
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Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

We've seen a number of departures from TOS to TNG. There is a lot that is dissimilar. The fact that Klingons and Romulans are depicted differently comes as no surprise. Is it glaringly so? I'm not so sure with the Romulans, as we get only 2 episodes of them in TOS. They are highly militant and almost like Roman soldiers in terms of strict military code. But yes, a son of a Senator will carry weight more than a son of a pauper. That's true even in the real modern world we live in.

As for the Klingons, they were shaped more savagely in TNG than in TOS. In TOS they are indeed very much like the Romulans in TNG.

Anyway, comparing the two seems rather fruitless, given the very nature of the two series. We got what we got.
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Old June 18 2013, 04:55 PM   #19
Jeyl
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Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

Lance wrote: View Post
What do you guys think? Do you reckon the TNG writers room misunderstood these races as they were portrayed in TOS? Was Moore pehaps wrong to have swapped their attributes? Or do you think it was maybe a good thing, to show these races in a different light than TOS portrayed them?
I think it was wrong. For the original series to establish the Romulans as being the sneaky, technologically advanced species of Star Trek and all of a sudden give that uniqueness to the Klingons really robbed the Romulans from having any kind of real significance to Star Trek as a whole. Whenever the story called for a cloaking device or adversaries that could who could become our allies, it usually always boiled down to Klingons.
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Old June 18 2013, 05:01 PM   #20
Christopher
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Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

Gary7 wrote: View Post
We've seen a number of departures from TOS to TNG. There is a lot that is dissimilar. The fact that Klingons and Romulans are depicted differently comes as no surprise. Is it glaringly so? I'm not so sure with the Romulans, as we get only 2 episodes of them in TOS. They are highly militant and almost like Roman soldiers in terms of strict military code. But yes, a son of a Senator will carry weight more than a son of a pauper. That's true even in the real modern world we live in.
"Balance of Terror" established the notion that the traditions of honor that the Commander and Centurion valued were considered out of date in the Empire and had given way to a younger, more self-serving generation. So there's canonical support for the idea of Romulan culture changing and moving away from its traditions of honor. So that transition never really bothered me.

Really, it shouldn't be surprising at all if a culture's values change from one century to the next. An American from 100 years ago wouldn't have recognized modern American values: a black president, women in positions of authority, gay marriage starting to be legalized, America as a global power rather than tending to its own affairs, etc. What would be implausible is if a culture were exactly the same in the 24th century as it had been in the 23rd or 22nd.
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Old June 18 2013, 05:02 PM   #21
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Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

Jeyl wrote: View Post
I think it was wrong. For the original series to establish the Romulans as being the sneaky, technologically advanced species of Star Trek and all of a sudden give that uniqueness to the Klingons really robbed the Romulans from having any kind of real significance to Star Trek as a whole. Whenever the story called for a cloaking device or adversaries that could who could become our allies, it usually always boiled down to Klingons.
The Klingons always struck me as being anything but technologically advanced. Look what happened when Praxis exploded. Not only did the disaster force the Klingons to ask for Federation help, but the accident itself was also something that could've been avoided had they been more careful. What's more, the Klingons only had cloaking technology because the Romulans gave it to them during their brief TOS alliance.

I've always felt there were a lot of potential Romulan storylines, but the writers were loathe to explore them for one reason or another. I won't even go into the debacle that was Nemesis, which didn't live up to its billing as a Romulan film at all.

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Old June 18 2013, 05:09 PM   #22
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Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

Christopher wrote: View Post
"Balance of Terror" established the notion that the traditions of honor that the Commander and Centurion valued were considered out of date in the Empire and had given way to a younger, more self-serving generation. So there's canonical support for the idea of Romulan culture changing and moving away from its traditions of honor. So that transition never really bothered me.

Really, it shouldn't be surprising at all if a culture's values change from one century to the next. An American from 100 years ago wouldn't have recognized modern American values: a black president, women in positions of authority, gay marriage starting to be legalized, America as a global power rather than tending to its own affairs, etc. What would be implausible is if a culture were exactly the same in the 24th century as it had been in the 23rd or 22nd.
And it's not as though the Federation didn't change during that time. The Starfleet of Kirk's five-year mission was drastically different than the organization served by Picard and Sisko during the twenty fourth century. Kirk's time reminds me of the Old West. Starship captains were left to their own devices when solving a crisis, which meant less debate and posturing and more action.

Things started to change around the time of the Project Genesis fiasco. Starfleet became much more self-conscious about its public image. Whether this was due to the Klingons saber-rattling or pressure from Federation bureaucrats, I don't know. But Starfleet was a much different organization by the end of Kirk's time aboard Enterprise than it was at the start. Some of the changes were brought about by members of Kirk's own crew and set the stage for The Next Generation, an era dominated by bureaucrats and self-important admirals more concerned with the letter of the law than they were with the welfare of the general public.

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Old June 18 2013, 07:09 PM   #23
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Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

Sran wrote: View Post
What's more, the Klingons only had cloaking technology because the Romulans gave it to them during their brief TOS alliance.
Rather, they only had it because TSFS was written with Romulan villains and then they crossed out "Romulan" and wrote in "Klingon" without changing anything else. And then the fans rationalized it by assuming that the Romulans gave the Klingons cloaking tech in exchange for getting Klingon ships as seen in "The Enterprise Incident" (which itself was just a passing handwave to rationalize reusing the expensive new Klingon ship miniature they'd just built).
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Old June 18 2013, 07:26 PM   #24
Lance
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Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

Christopher wrote: View Post
Lance wrote: View Post
This is all bourne out with what we see of them on-screen in The Original Series. Klingons are repeatedly willing to create conflict where ever they go, despite the alleged Organian Pace Treaty with the Federation. They are also duplicitous. They'll say one thing then do the opposite. Romulans, on the other hand, are often shown as honorable opponents. The Romulan captain seen in 'Balance of Terror' is ruled by his own sense of integrity, and shows great pride and a distinct code of honor. The same can be said of the female captain in 'The Enterprise Incident'. She offers Kirk and Spock the chance to explain themselves, but treats them with dignity and respect (even as they outwardly treat her with none).

By the TNG, these traits seemed to have been flipped. The Romulans were traitorous even among their own, highly secretive, and often played other species for their own benefits. As Lieutenant Worf repeatedly tells us, "Romulans are WITHOUT HONOR". The Klingons in TNG are effectively ruled by ancient codes and ethics that they were duty-bound to uphold (even if, again, behind closed doors they often don't, cf. the Duras saga).

What do you guys think? Do you reckon the TNG writers room misunderstood these races as they were portrayed in TOS? Was Moore pehaps wrong to have swapped their attributes? Or do you think it was maybe a good thing, to show these races in a different light than TOS portrayed them?
You're right that the Klingons and Romulans had pretty much undergone a reversal by the TNG era, but it doesn't make sense to blame Ron Moore for that, since he came along after it had already happened. It began with The Search for Spock, in which the villains were originally written as Romulans -- flying Birds of Prey with cloaking devices and talking about honor -- but then got switched to Klingons without the script being substantially rewritten at all. That was the beginning of the association with Klingons and honor.
Good point.

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Sran wrote: View Post
What's more, the Klingons only had cloaking technology because the Romulans gave it to them during their brief TOS alliance.
Rather, they only had it because TSFS was written with Romulan villains and then they crossed out 'Romulan' and wrote in 'Klingon' without changing anything else. And then the fans rationalized it by assuming that the Romulans gave the Klingons cloaking tech in exchange for getting Klingon ships as seen in "The Enterprise Incident" (which itself was just a passing handwave to rationalize reusing the expensive new Klingon ship miniature they'd just built).
TSFS opened up a real can of worms when they replaced the Romulans with Klingons. The design of the BoP in that movie is clearly a Romulan ship in every way that matters, and it deserved to be a Romulan ship. To this day I still think it was big a mistake to make them Klingons but let them keep that ship.

EDIT: Am I misremembering, or did I hear somewhere that at least one transitionary draft of the script actually had Kruge stealing his ship from the Romulans?
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Old June 18 2013, 07:45 PM   #25
Sran
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Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

Lance wrote: View Post
EDIT: Am I misremembering, or did I hear somewhere that at least one transitionary draft of the script actually had Kruge stealing his ship from the Romulans?
IIRC, there was a draft that mentioned Kruge having Romulan connections of some sort, possibly to the Romulan Commander from "The Enterprise Incident."

It's also my understanding that the Romulans were dropped in favor of Klingons because the latter were felt to have a more operatic/movie quality to them.

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Old June 18 2013, 07:53 PM   #26
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Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

Sran wrote: View Post
It's also my understanding that the Romulans were dropped in favor of Klingons because the latter were felt to have a more operatic/movie quality to them.
I always figured it was because casual viewers would be confused that the villains looked like Spock.
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Old June 18 2013, 07:59 PM   #27
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Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

Christopher wrote: View Post
I always figured it was because casual viewers would be confused that the villains looked like Spock.
Never heard that before, but it's an interesting point. Here's what Wikipedia says about it:

Originally, the Romulans were the villains, but Nimoy preferred the more "theatrical" Klingons, feeling that their pursuit of Genesis was analogous to the Soviet race for nuclear weaponry. Bennett took the opportunity to flesh out the alien race, whom he felt were ill-defined in the television series. The name of the antagonists' ship, the Bird of Prey, remained unchanged. Early script drafts mention that Kruge stole his ship from the Romulans, but this idea was cut.
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Old June 18 2013, 08:06 PM   #28
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Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

As an aside, had the Romulans been kept in TSFS, I wonder if they'd have been the featured villains for TUC, as well. Imagine if Spock had been able to start his Reunification movement while still a member of the Enterprise crew. It would have been a nice way of making things come full circle in TNG when the TV episode "Reunification" aired that same fall.

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Old June 18 2013, 08:51 PM   #29
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Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

Things change over time, then perhaps add a dash of revisionist history.
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Old June 18 2013, 08:54 PM   #30
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Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Things change over time, then perhaps add a dash of revisionist history.
History written by the victors, no doubt.

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