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

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Old September 4 2013, 11:16 PM   #16
jpv2000
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Re: Did TNG's Early Scope Shrink?

Dream wrote: View Post
I think a TNG show SOLELY about exploring uncharted space would have been boring. Very glad they mixed it up in terms of storylines.
I agree.

And Leto II, as I recall Kirk told Sulu it was nice and told him a story about when he tried to grow a beard and it came in red.
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Old September 5 2013, 02:57 AM   #17
The Dead Mixer
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Re: Did TNG's Early Scope Shrink?

Dream wrote: View Post
I think a TNG show SOLELY about exploring uncharted space would have been boring. Very glad they mixed it up in terms of storylines.
And when TPTB came up with a series premise that involved a ship that's entire voyage was through uncharted space, it wound up playing like TNG lite anyway.
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Old September 5 2013, 03:40 AM   #18
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Re: Did TNG's Early Scope Shrink?

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
And when TPTB came up with a series premise that involved a ship that's entire voyage was through uncharted space, it wound up playing like TNG lite anyway.
Which wasn't the fault of the format. It was because Voyager was on a network rather than syndicated -- indeed, it was the flagship show of the new UPN network -- and the network execs imposed a lot of limits on both it and Enterprise. The creators of both shows wanted them to be different, to take full advantage of the potential of their settings, but UPN wanted another TNG, so they forced both shows to be in that vein. If VGR and ENT had been syndicated like TNG and DS9 were, they probably would've both been much more interesting.
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Old September 5 2013, 12:15 PM   #19
The Dead Mixer
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Re: Did TNG's Early Scope Shrink?

If wishes were horses....

And speaking of DS9, even that show played like TNG with runabouts for its first couple of seasons. Between that and VGR, Trek firmly established onscreen that exploring the farthest reaches of the Galaxy wasn't very different from exploring within a commercial break of Earth. POTW's inhabited by forehead aliens abounded.
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Old September 5 2013, 12:20 PM   #20
JarodRussell
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Re: Did TNG's Early Scope Shrink?

Christopher wrote: View Post
The reason the ship had families aboard was because it was meant to spend as much as 15 years away from a familiar port, and few would be willing to commit that much of their lives away from their families, so the ship had to be a full, self-sustaining community, almost a mobile space habitat, rather than just a workplace. The show started at "Farpoint," the most distant Federation port in the galaxy, and the ship was supposed to just keep going farther out from there, literally going where no human had gone before.
The way you describe it, it could have been like Deep Space Nine regarding character interactions and development.
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Old September 5 2013, 12:26 PM   #21
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Re: Did TNG's Early Scope Shrink?

To be honest, the idea of a ship far away from earth exploring uncharted space, well we got that in Enterprise didn't we?
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Old September 5 2013, 01:10 PM   #22
JarodRussell
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Re: Did TNG's Early Scope Shrink?

Infern0 wrote: View Post
To be honest, the idea of a ship far away from earth exploring uncharted space, well we got that in Enterprise didn't we?
It wasn't uncharted for the audience.
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Old September 9 2013, 10:33 PM   #23
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Re: Did TNG's Early Scope Shrink?

Christopher wrote: View Post
The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
And when TPTB came up with a series premise that involved a ship that's entire voyage was through uncharted space, it wound up playing like TNG lite anyway.
Which wasn't the fault of the format. It was because Voyager was on a network rather than syndicated -- indeed, it was the flagship show of the new UPN network -- and the network execs imposed a lot of limits on both it and Enterprise. The creators of both shows wanted them to be different, to take full advantage of the potential of their settings, but UPN wanted another TNG, so they forced both shows to be in that vein. If VGR and ENT had been syndicated like TNG and DS9 were, they probably would've both been much more interesting.
I have heard this as well, however I have to wonder, once it became apparent that the network restrictions made Voyager's premise unworkable in any meaningful sense, why not retool it into something more like TNG. At the end of Season 1, they could have found a stable wormhole / transwarp drive / pick your own plot device, which brings them home. Season 2 they are sent back out by Starfleet via the same means to conduct further exploration. Same show and all you lose are the marooned far from home and limited resource elements that were frequently glossed over in the show anyway.

The one downside I could see is that this altered premise would allow writers to incorporate more elements and state of affairs of the rest of the Federation, which may have constrained the writers of DS9. DS9 among other things, had the advantage of pretty much having the entire sandbox to themselves once TNG went of the air. Since Voyager was away in the Delta Quadrant and (for a good while) out of contact, nothing the writers did on that show would really impact DS9.
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Old September 9 2013, 11:06 PM   #24
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Re: Did TNG's Early Scope Shrink?

Tangent, but still related to the OP, I've always felt TNG would have worked as a revolving door "Law & Order" style show. Just rotate in new cast members as older ones want to depart. Promote Riker to Captain. Give Data his own ship. Promote LaForge. Transfer Worf. The drama becomes more about the mission, which TNG kind of already had going for it.

I'm not saying that the cast members are completely interchangeable, but I could really see this format working for TNG. Rather than spinoffs, your show is your spinoff. You reinvent it with new main characters. Obviously, this also wouldn't prevent DS9 or VGR from happening. Look at how many "Law & Order"s there are.
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Old September 9 2013, 11:30 PM   #25
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Re: Did TNG's Early Scope Shrink?

Workbee wrote: View Post
I have heard this as well, however I have to wonder, once it became apparent that the network restrictions made Voyager's premise unworkable in any meaningful sense, why not retool it into something more like TNG. At the end of Season 1, they could have found a stable wormhole / transwarp drive / pick your own plot device, which brings them home. Season 2 they are sent back out by Starfleet via the same means to conduct further exploration. Same show and all you lose are the marooned far from home and limited resource elements that were frequently glossed over in the show anyway.
Maybe it's because once they defined it as a "quest" show, it was subject to the usual television logic that if the quest is fulfilled, the show is over. "Will they ever get home?" was the hook to grab the audience, but UPN didn't want to deal too much with the ramifications of that question.

I don't know, though. The creators' original intention, according to their interviews at the time, was never to have the quest for home be the dominant element of the show; their desire was to get back to the flavor of TOS where the ship and crew were completely on their own without a Starfleet Command to call for backup, and stranding them on the other side of the galaxy was just supposed to be the means to that end. They intended to move away from the "oh, how do we get home?" stuff before long and have the crew embrace the wonders of the Delta Quadrant. Yet for some reason, it wasn't until season 3 that they really committed to making that transition; after "False Profits" near the start of season 3, we didn't see another quest-for-home story for nearly the remainder of the year. But then they did "Scorpion," in which Janeway made an insane deal with the devil in order to get closer to home, and that solidified the quest for home as the single overriding priority of the ship's mission and the series' premise. From that point on, it could never be about anything but the quest for home. So for whatever reason, the producers changed their minds, or had it changed for them, about what the focus of the show should be.


The one downside I could see is that this altered premise would allow writers to incorporate more elements and state of affairs of the rest of the Federation, which may have constrained the writers of DS9. DS9 among other things, had the advantage of pretty much having the entire sandbox to themselves once TNG went of the air. Since Voyager was away in the Delta Quadrant and (for a good while) out of contact, nothing the writers did on that show would really impact DS9.
That's probably a major part of it. Since DS9 was syndicated and VGR on a network, there might've been a desire to minimize crossover elements. Recall how Buffy and Angel crossed over heavily when they were on the same network, but when Buffy switched networks, the crossovers mostly ceased.


Praetor wrote: View Post
Tangent, but still related to the OP, I've always felt TNG would have worked as a revolving door "Law & Order" style show. Just rotate in new cast members as older ones want to depart. Promote Riker to Captain. Give Data his own ship. Promote LaForge. Transfer Worf. The drama becomes more about the mission, which TNG kind of already had going for it.
I think they considered it once or twice. And yeah, it could've worked -- and would've made a lot more sense than having the same crew stay together on the same ship for a decade or three.
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Old September 10 2013, 04:24 PM   #26
Lance
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Re: Did TNG's Early Scope Shrink?

^ There is quite a fluidic feeling to the way the cast changes happen in the early days of TNG. First Tasha Yar's death sees Worf take her place, then Bev Crusher is unceremoniously moved off somewhere and replaced by Pulaski. So there was always a kind of feeling that they could turn the cast upside down at any moment and just kept moving forward. BOBW also had a potential 'departure' for Captain Picard that felt so organic that many people to this day still conjecture about how well it could have gone as a swansong for Patrick Stewart.
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Old September 10 2013, 04:58 PM   #27
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Re: Did TNG's Early Scope Shrink?

Lance wrote: View Post
^ There is quite a fluidic feeling to the way the cast changes happen in the early days of TNG. First Tasha Yar's death sees Worf take her place, then Bev Crusher is unceremoniously moved off somewhere and replaced by Pulaski. So there was always a kind of feeling that they could turn the cast upside down at any moment and just kept moving forward. BOBW also had a potential 'departure' for Captain Picard that felt so organic that many people to this day still conjecture about how well it could have gone as a swansong for Patrick Stewart.
I think it would have been a disaster as Jonathan Frakes didn't have the acting skills to carry the series.
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Old September 10 2013, 05:48 PM   #28
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Re: Did TNG's Early Scope Shrink?

Christopher wrote: View Post
their desire was to get back to the flavor of TOS where the ship and crew were completely on their own without a Starfleet Command to call for backup,
You know whenever I hear someone describe TOS as "the ship and crew were completely on their own without a Starfleet Command to call for backup" I honestly have to wonder if that person or persons has ever watched TOS, because that was not really the case.

In fact they frequently running into other Starfleet vessels and stations. And if they weren't doing that they were visiting federation member planets and colonies, or had dealings with federation officials.
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Old September 10 2013, 08:58 PM   #29
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Re: Did TNG's Early Scope Shrink?

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
You know whenever I hear someone describe TOS as "the ship and crew were completely on their own without a Starfleet Command to call for backup" I honestly have to wonder if that person or persons has ever watched TOS, because that was not really the case.

In fact they frequently running into other Starfleet vessels and stations. And if they weren't doing that they were visiting federation member planets and colonies, or had dealings with federation officials.
Frequently, yes, but not constantly. There were other episodes that were predicated on the ship being isolated, having to wait weeks even for a response from Starfleet Command, so that Kirk had to be the one making decisions that could make the difference between war and peace. "Balance of Terror" is a prime example. The point isn't that TOS was always like that -- the point is that it could be like that, could tell that kind of story in a way that TNG rarely could.
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Old September 10 2013, 11:30 PM   #30
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Re: Did TNG's Early Scope Shrink?

I heard that they considered bringing Voyager home and just having the show set in Federation space like TNG. But if they did that, what would have happened to the Maquis? Would a quick pardon have been plausible?
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