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Future of Trek Discussion of future Trek projects.

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Old September 24 2013, 07:36 PM   #16
David.Blue
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Re: What Kinds of Characters?

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
Aliens. Lots of aliens.

It's about time we saw Starfleet as it should be, with a much more diverse crew, where humans make up only a small percentage--I'd say no more than three in the main cast. It would allow for looking at situations and problems from very different perspectives, rather than just applying human morals and ideals to them with the belief that they are right.

It would also be able to bring some visually interest characters to the screen, as well as unique backgrounds and story ideas (bland human characters such as Kim and Mayweather did nothing but tick a 'diversity' box which has already been done many times in Trek).

For example, an unjoined Trill woman as Captain, a Vulcan male Counsellor, an Andorian zhen at the Conn, plus a couple of totally new aliens in the mix as well as Science Officer and Chief Engineer. The humans could then fill the XO, Operations and Security roles, with maybe a human/alien hybrid as the Doctor.

Whatever the line up they have to be interesting, with their own stories and drives--not just single sentence descriptions (Kim started off as the inexperienced, in-over-his-head rookie, but that can only go on for a year or two before he needed something more to define him)
. (emphasis added)
This!
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Old September 24 2013, 07:47 PM   #17
C.E. Evans
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Re: What Kinds of Characters?

I'm of the opinion that a Trek show should have a group of regulars, who generally appear in the majority of episodes, but also should have reoccurring characters that pop up when a story demands it. With those supporting characters mixed in the regular characters, you can do quite a lot.

But I've said this before in many other threads like this one, that characters should be allowed to come and go when necessary, including the captain. But at least you can start off with an initial group of regulars and work from that.
David.Blue wrote:
For example, C.E.Evans gave a very brief list of the senior positions aboard a ship. I'd suggest giving each of his characters a name,
I intentionally didn't give any of my characters a name nor an ethnicity other than human or alien for brevity's sake (I'm not writing an actual fanfic here, just some basic character ideas--further details to be filled in later).
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Old September 24 2013, 08:08 PM   #18
David.Blue
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Re: What Kinds of Characters?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
David.Blue wrote:
For example, C.E.Evans gave a very brief list of the senior positions aboard a ship. I'd suggest giving each of his characters a name,
I intentionally didn't give any of my characters a name nor an ethnicity other than human or alien for brevity's sake (I'm not writing an actual fanfic here, just some basic character ideas--further details to be filled in later).
Understood! I was suggesting names for the purposes of the thought exercise of shifting up their positions aboard ship.

Another trick I've found--combining two not-quite-working character ideas together to create a much more interesting whole. To give a notion what I mean--Geordi LaForge remains a total cypher to me. Even after years of watching him on television and movies he almost never came across as a real person. I had a similar problem with Tasha Yar, and can hardly blame Ms. Crosby for bailing on such a pale shadow of a character. Yet her backstory, what we knew of it, seemed really cool!

Suppose their two concepts were merged. Call the new character Georgia Yar--exile from a failed colony that dissolved into social chaos. Suddenly we have a sense of why she left what must have been her home. Blindness. One can imagine things got so bad the elderly, weak and disabled began to be seen as legitimate targets. Cutting off all ties to her family, this blind girl manages to join a group of refugees one step ahead of the Culling Mobs. She arrives in the Federation, a strange new world that gives her a VISOR and then finds a home in Starfleet where her bone-deep survival skills and habitual paranoia fit in with Security. Not an easy-going type at all, but does enjoy the android Data's company, not least because she understands his total lack of secret agendas as well as the feeling that around him she's the one most human. She even finds herself joining him in the holodeck, exploring human literature to become slightly more socialized.

Voila! Frankly I prefer her to either character we actually got. But your mileage may vary. Offered as a possible way to make two characters who don't quite click into one really interesting one. Note: One translator of Cyrano de Bergerac did something similar with the roles of the Captain and LeBret. It is not an uncommon thing to do in productions of that play.
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Old September 25 2013, 01:01 AM   #19
SolitaryJustice
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Re: What Kinds of Characters?

I'd love to see a Tholian or a Gorn or something of that nature. Bring it back to Old School but make it New School. Just for kicks.
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Old September 25 2013, 07:14 AM   #20
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: What Kinds of Characters?

SolitaryJustice wrote: View Post
Star Trek has has grown from young, white male to old, bald male, black man, female Captain, it's time for a gay captain (omnisexual works, too). Jump on the civil rights fight of OUR generation.
If the next Captain isn't gay then definitely the next First Officer, but since it is well past the point of a gay character being something new on a TV series then the fact the he is should never be mentioned in press releases, etc, but rather to have it revealed either in his first 'romance episode' or have him with a partner at the start of the series. Make him just a normal character who happens to like men, rather than trying to sensationalise it.

SolitaryJustice wrote: View Post
Not anymore, but I want the heroes to have pasts that are more than just your friendly "Public Service Announcement" that your typical Star Trek takes. I want heroes with flaws. One of the things I loved about Sisko's character was that he had flaws, he was a single dad, he conspired to murder a Romulan Senator: flaws. I want characters that have real problems that an audience can relate to.
I agree characters should have flaws, but believable ones. A doctor who used to cook drugs but saw the error of their ways and managed to hide it from the Academy entrance board seems pretty far-fetched. Trek characters are supposed to be optimistic outlooks for us, but that doesn't mean some can't have some rough edges.

Also how is being a single dad a flaw?
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Old September 25 2013, 08:07 AM   #21
R. Star
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Re: What Kinds of Characters?

Having a token gay character just to show how politically correct the show is really does both the show and audience a disservice. If it's going to be done, it shouldn't be made a big deal of and certainly shouldn't be cliche or stereotypical. Heck I wouldn't even reveal it until at least half way through the first or second season.

And I guess single dad could be a character flaw for Sisko being he was boneheaded enough to go up against a Borg Cube with his wife and son below decks.
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Old September 25 2013, 11:57 AM   #22
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: What Kinds of Characters?

R. Star wrote: View Post
Having a token gay character just to show how politically correct the show is really does both the show and audience a disservice. If it's going to be done, it shouldn't be made a big deal of and certainly shouldn't be cliche or stereotypical. Heck I wouldn't even reveal it until at least half way through the first or second season.
Exactly how it should be done.

R. Star wrote: View Post
And I guess single dad could be a character flaw for Sisko being he was boneheaded enough to go up against a Borg Cube with his wife and son below decks.
That's true for any ship with families onboard, they should never be used for frontline combat.
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Old September 25 2013, 02:33 PM   #23
Chemahkuu
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Re: What Kinds of Characters?

SolitaryJustice wrote: View Post
I'd love to see a Tholian or a Gorn or something of that nature.
Ambassador Tezrene is one of my favourite characters from the novels. I know it would be hard to have a regular character 7 feet tall, several feet long with a prehensile scorpion tale all dressed up in a spun gold suit but still, it would be nice.
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Old September 25 2013, 02:41 PM   #24
David.Blue
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Re: What Kinds of Characters?

Does seem to me Starfleet doesn't see itself primarily as a military organization. Sisko's ship the Saratoga also might well have just been one of many summoned best speed to Wolf 359. For huge vessels of exploration, like the Kelvin and in theory the Enterprise-D families make more sense. Still, it wasn't Sisko who commanded Saratoga so he can hardly be blamed for her tactics.

And I personally don't see how hiding a character's sexuality is "Exactly how it should be done" (emphasis added). It might be appropriate of course. But so might a character in a relationship, or one who flirts.

I personally don't see how a character with a criminal past is so very unbelievable, even a criminal career in which they were never caught. The Federation's institutions aren't perfect after all. Depends on the specifics of character and story. DS9 even had an ep where a traumatized Vulcan officer in Starfleet became a serial killer. And one of Babyon 5's very best episodes deals with a man who discovers he had been a serial killer, was caught, and had his memories wiped as part of the sentence for his crimes. Both of these made for powerful stories, although I'm not suggesting either one be copied.

But I can imagine a good story in which a ship's doctor had a past that dark, and undiscovered. One detail that springs immediately to mind would be his/her assignment to the starship USS Redemption. Okay, a bit heavy-handed but no more than Voyager. The trick is to make sure it all makes psychological sense in terms of character and to weave it into stories. Mind you, the discovery of same should mean the loss of that character under normal circumstances. So you have to keep it a secret or come up with some reason why Starfleet doesn't rip off their uniform in record time and kick them out! A good reason preferably. Might prefer a backstory where this person was caught and rehabilitated.

Bottom line, I don't think a criminal past necessarily precludes a character working as a regular on a Star Trek series. Tis all in the details.
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Old September 25 2013, 02:49 PM   #25
David.Blue
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Re: What Kinds of Characters?

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
SolitaryJustice wrote: View Post
I'd love to see a Tholian or a Gorn or something of that nature.
Ambassador Tezrene is one of my favourite characters from the novels. I know it would be hard to have a regular character 7 feet tall, several feet long with a prehensile scorpion tale all dressed up in a spun gold suit but still, it would be nice.
The real trick seems making sure someone can act through the suit or CGI or whatever it is. It can be done, though! Look at Kosh on Babylon 5 or Ood Sigma on Doctor Who. Maybe some kind of encounter suit for a Medusan, complete with vodor?
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Old September 25 2013, 02:51 PM   #26
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: What Kinds of Characters?

David.Blue wrote: View Post
And I personally don't see how hiding a character's sexuality is "Exactly how it should be done" (emphasis added). It might be appropriate of course. But so might a character in a relationship, or one who flirts.
I mean that in the way that their sexuality shouldn't be used to identify them (such as when VOY was launched Janeway was the female Captain). A persons orientation is only a small part of what makes them who they are, it shouldn't be made into their defining characteristic--which could see them turn into a stereotypical "gay" character.

As a gay man, if the PTB even contemplated going in that direction I'd rather they left the character out rather than have a mincing queen being a bitch on the bridge.
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Old September 25 2013, 03:12 PM   #27
David.Blue
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Re: What Kinds of Characters?

Agree with you about both Janeway and a hypothetical mincing queen on the bridge.

On the other it is rather fun to imagine Captain Jack Harkness in Starfleet, or a post self-esteem therapy Shane from The L Word.
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Old September 25 2013, 09:55 PM   #28
SolitaryJustice
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Re: What Kinds of Characters?

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
Also how is being a single dad a flaw?
I've been a single dad before. Granted my ex didn't die in a horrible Borg attack, which, I guess, in my case, makes it a flaw. lol
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Old September 25 2013, 09:59 PM   #29
SolitaryJustice
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Re: What Kinds of Characters?

If we had a reformed criminal on Star Trek, who's to say he went through the Academy? O'Brien was a chief. I like the idea of NCOs involved more, take some of the stuffy elitism out of the show. Tyrol was one of the best characters on BSG. O'Brien was, too, with DS9. At any rate, maybe this isn't even a Starfleet ship? Maybe it's just a freighter, like Cassidy's ship. Maybe starfleet is destroyed or not worth talking about anymore. I mean, how many of our history's great explorers were affiliated with the military? Air Force was involved with lunar missions, but Hillary and Norgay climbed Everest because they could. Just a thought.
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Old September 26 2013, 03:25 AM   #30
T'Girl
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Re: What Kinds of Characters?

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
That's true for any ship with families onboard, they should never be used for frontline combat.
I came up with the idea that the majority of the ships responding to Wolf 359 loaded their families (spouses and children) into lifeboats and ejected them into space many lightyears away from the battle site with the Borg cube. Informing Starfleet where to pick them up.

Except for the Captain of the Saratoga, who was a overconfident fool.

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