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Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old November 4 2013, 11:35 PM   #211
Christopher
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

^In Ex Machina, I mentioned that Starfleet was depleted due to all the ship losses in TOS and a few of the novels (and Vanguard later added a couple more to the list), and had been slow in building replacements.
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Old November 4 2013, 11:50 PM   #212
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Christopher wrote: View Post
^In Ex Machina, I mentioned that Starfleet was depleted due to all the ship losses in TOS and a few of the novels (and Vanguard later added a couple more to the list), and had been slow in building replacements.
I remember reading that. Was Starfleet slow because of the number of ships lost or because they were debating about using some of the new ship design concepts to construct additional vessels, provided Enterprise performed well post-refit?

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Old November 5 2013, 12:25 AM   #213
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

^I think my idea at the time was simply that Starfleet had grown complacent about the need for core defense.
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Old November 5 2013, 02:40 AM   #214
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl...o3=&o4=&s=camp


Adjective
•S: (adj) camp, campy
(providing sophisticated amusement by virtue of having artificially (and vulgarly) mannered or banal or sentimental qualities) "they played up the silliness of their roles for camp effect"; "campy Hollywood musicals of the 1940's"
Okay, you looked it up. Now apply that in the context of the discussion without having to drag in TURNABOUT INTRUDER or other extreme moments.
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Old November 5 2013, 03:02 AM   #215
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Sran wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Although in both TMP and GEN, it makes no sense that there's only one ship available that close to Earth, the capital of the whole darn Federation.
Agreed. The in-universe explanation from David R. George's Crucible series is that Admiral Nogura ignored Kirk's advice to delay the deep-space missions of several vessels because the latter was concerned about Romulan and Klingon incursions into Federation space. When V'Ger showed up a few weeks later, Nogura conceded that had he listened to Kirk, more ships could have intercepted V'Ger before the Enterprise would have been needed, this avoiding the transporter and wormhole accidents that plagued the start of the mission.

--Sran
A lot of this was actually addressed in earlier drafts of TMP, but was lost in the rewrites.

The Phase II television version of the script ('In Thy Image') has got explanations for most of TMP's plot holes, but the movie version cut out a lot of the exposition scenes contained in the TV version. Among them was an extensive scene where Kirk is briefed by Admiral Nogura, where it is specified that the fleet is close to Earth but is just slightly too far away to arrive in time (V'ger is going to get to them in 8.6 days, but the nearest other heavy cruiser is nine days away). There IS also one other ship close enough to intercept V'Ger, the USS Aswan, but Kirk says she's a "light cruiser" with "less than half" the weapons and defence systems of the Klingons that V'Ger has already licked. The Enterprise is the only ship available with the technology to maybe take on the intruder, which is why she gets pressed into service (and Kirk, against his better judgement in this draft, accepts command of her and rushes to try and pull together a crew with enough experience to take out as quickly as possible).
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Old November 5 2013, 03:14 AM   #216
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Lance wrote: View Post
Among them was an extensive scene where Kirk is briefed by Admiral Nogura, where it is specified that the fleet is close to Earth but is just slightly too far away to arrive in time (V'ger is going to get to them in 8.6 days, but the nearest other heavy cruiser is nine days away). There IS also one other ship close enough to intercept V'Ger, the USS Aswan, but Kirk says she's a "light cruiser" with "less than half" the weapons and defence systems of the Klingons that V'Ger has already licked. The Enterprise is the only ship available with the technology to maybe take on the intruder, which is why she gets pressed into service (and Kirk, against his better judgement in this draft, accepts command of her and rushes to try and pull together a crew with enough experience to take out as quickly as possible).
Hindsight is 20/20, but I'd much rather have watched this scene than the endless shots of V'Ger's interior and crew reactions. It could easily have been re-written to depict Kirk's arguing that he'd be a better choice for commanding the mission than Decker.

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Old November 5 2013, 03:38 AM   #217
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Sran wrote: View Post
Lance wrote: View Post
Among them was an extensive scene where Kirk is briefed by Admiral Nogura, where it is specified that the fleet is close to Earth but is just slightly too far away to arrive in time (V'ger is going to get to them in 8.6 days, but the nearest other heavy cruiser is nine days away). There IS also one other ship close enough to intercept V'Ger, the USS Aswan, but Kirk says she's a "light cruiser" with "less than half" the weapons and defence systems of the Klingons that V'Ger has already licked. The Enterprise is the only ship available with the technology to maybe take on the intruder, which is why she gets pressed into service (and Kirk, against his better judgement in this draft, accepts command of her and rushes to try and pull together a crew with enough experience to take out as quickly as possible).
Hindsight is 20/20, but I'd much rather have watched this scene than the endless shots of V'Ger's interior and crew reactions. It could easily have been re-written to depict Kirk's arguing that he'd be a better choice for commanding the mission than Decker.

--Sran
To be fair TMP does tend to condense the same information into a few scenes, but it does it in much broader strokes than the earlier drafts. As such we get completely the wrong impression from Kirk's line about Enterprise being the only ship in range. The Phase II version cleverly addressed this plot point, while still keeping the fleet far enough away that it was the Enterprise which was being forced to respond.

Of course there are other changes made during the rewrites that were for the better. IMO making Decker the presumptive-Enterprise Captain was excellent change because it opened up the possibilities of more conflict between him and Kirk and made him a more fully fleshed-out character. IIRC in the Phase II draft he's not even an Enterprise crewmember but is actually an Executive Officer on Earth awaiting assignment to his first command elsewhere (the USS Boston), who Kirk shanghais into becoming the Enterprise XO due to him happening to be both qualified and available. The final version, eliminating the Boston and just making Decker the Enterprise captain-in-waiting, is much cleaner.

(I like the way the Phase II version gives us just a little insight into exactly what Kirk's job is in the Admiralty. His duties seem to involve the actual planning behind the deployment of officers, and he's instinctively able to tell Nogura which officers are assigned to which ships when asked. It's a nice little glimpse into the proceedural aspects of Starfleet Command which were likewise lost in the subsequent rewrites.)
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Old November 5 2013, 03:44 AM   #218
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Also 20/20 hindsight, this line from TMP:

TMP wrote:
KIRK: Mister Scott, there's an alien object with unbelievable destructive power less than three days away from this planet. ...The only starship in interception range is the Enterprise. Ready, or not, she launches in twelve hours.
could have been rewritten as:

CC's version wrote:
KIRK: Mister Scott, there's an alien object with unbelievable destructive power less than three days away from this planet. ...None of our ships can match it. Our only chance is the Enterprise. Ready, or not, she launches in twelve hours.
Related, but on a side note, I've never been happy with the Enterprise surviving the first digitizing torpedo fired against it, anyway. The original version at that point had Sulu say:
TMP (original theatrical version) wrote:
SULU: "The new screens held."
Removing that line actually makes things worse. The problem of even the new screens being implausibly strong against something like V'Ger should have been fixed "on the page", by structuring the scene so that Spock discovers V'Ger's attempts at communication and sends the response before the first torpedo hit. We'd already seen V'Ger attack the Klingons and Epsilon IX, and so had the crew. The danger was perfectly clear at that point.
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Old November 5 2013, 03:51 AM   #219
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Lance wrote: View Post
IMO making Decker the presumptive-Enterprise Captain was excellent change because it opened up the possibilities of more conflict between him and Kirk and made him a more fully fleshed-out character. In the Phase II draft he's not even an Enterprise crewmember but is actually an Executive Officer on Earth awaiting assignment to his first command elsewhere (the USS Boston), who Kirk shanghais into becoming the Enterprise XO due to him happening to be both qualified and available. The final version, eliminating the Boston and just making Decker the Enterprise captain-in-waiting, is much cleaner.
I agree with this. After all, it only makes sense that Enterprise would have a new captain with Kirk tied to the admiralty, and who better than a young officer who's not all that different from Kirk when he took command of the Enterprise before the five-year mission? That Kirk would regain the ship at Decker's expense creates all kinds of story possibilities.

One thing I'd have enjoyed seeing more of is an element that Christopher includes in Ex Machina- how the rest of the crew reacts to Kirk pushing Decker aside. Most of the Enterprise crew was hand-picked by Decker and expected to serve under him. But all of that changed when Kirk returned and Decker left with V'Ger. Only Ensign Zaand stood up for his captain in the actual film.

Lance wrote:
(I like the way the Phase II version gives us just a little insight into exactly what Kirk's job is in the Admiralty. His duties seem to involve the actual planning behind the deployment of officers, and he's instinctively able to tell Nogura which officers are assigned to which ships when asked. It's a nice little glimpse into the proceedural aspects of Starfleet Command which were likewise lost in the subsequent rewrites.)
I like this, too. It's hinted at in TMP when Kirk asks about Sonak's appointment to Enterprise and manages to get McCoy drafted back into service. But both of these things could have been accomplished by Kirk as captain of the Enterprise, so it would have been interesting to learn more about what he was doing for more than two years while the ship was being refitted.

--Sran
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Old November 5 2013, 03:56 AM   #220
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Removing that line actually makes things worse.
Also cut were a few lines just before that while the Enterprise is waiting for the impact from the energy pulse. Kirk asks Spock if the screens will protect the ship, to which Spock replies that any calculations to determine this would be impossible.

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Old November 5 2013, 04:34 AM   #221
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Nebusj wrote: View Post
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Now the 1701-A in TFF is another kettle of fish again. There's no Earthly reason at all why they had to send that ship. Sure, Kirk and crew were assigned to Enterprise, and Admiral Bennett clearly wanted their unique experience, but given the fact that 1701-A is clearly not ready for service in that movie, it would have been more logical to assign them to another ship for the duration of the mission.
You're mistaken. 1701-A in The Final Frontier is fundamentally ready for service. It's embarrassing to have glitches in the turbolift doors or the ship's log recorder, but none of those are essential systems. The only mission-critical system that wasn't working was the transporters, and those were touch-and-go, with a considerable chance that they'd be working by the time they were needed. And since there were acceptable alternate methods of doing the rescue that transporters might be used for, even those weren't properly mission-critical, just, darned convenient.

(Hm. Had the Enterprise had working transporters, then how would the hostage rescue on Nimbus III have shaken out? Specifically, how would what's-his-name have taken over the ship after all?)
That's a good question. Maybe the 'transfixed' hostages would have been pawns in some kind of sham prisoner-exchange type setup that sees the Enterprise drop her shields long enough for Sybok or his goons to beam up covertly?

Regarding the 1701-A, you are correct that she is mostly operational. But if we take the hypothesis about it being a renamed former ship as fact, then perhaps the upgrade/refit process (she looks substantively different internally in STV than she did in STIV) has created incompatabilities within the systems? Whatever case, I'm still not convinced at all that she was "flight ready".

The exact exchange between Kirk and Bennett is:


ADMIRAL BENNETT: Now I know Enterprise is not exactly up to specs...
CAPTAIN KIRK: With all due respect, the Enterprise is a disaster. There must be other ships in the Quadrant.
ADMIRAL BENNETT: Other ships, yes, but no experienced commanders.

A clear implication from Kirk there that the ship isn't ready. It might be functional, barely. But service-ready? To be honest, I still don't buy Bennett's reasoning. If other ships are available, then parachute Kirk into one them if his experience is so essential to this mission.
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Old November 5 2013, 04:40 AM   #222
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Sran wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Removing that line actually makes things worse.
Also cut were a few lines just before that while the Enterprise is waiting for the impact from the energy pulse. Kirk asks Spock if the screens will protect the ship, to which Spock replies that any calculations to determine this would be impossible.

--Sran
I also know that some lines were added in that part to the theatrical version for the network version. I only have the DE on disk, so I can't definitively compare any versions.
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Old November 5 2013, 10:12 AM   #223
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
It's also interesting to me how this book gets NO hype, anymore, whatsoever. Nobody ever talks about it, it's like a forgotten remnant of a bygone era.
You must go to the wrong places.
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Old November 5 2013, 11:55 AM   #224
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

T'would seem so! I am not sanguine about movie novelizations, but as this was written by Gene Roddenberry, I had to own it! It's great to see I am not alone in my appreciation of this page-turner! If anyone were to own any STAR TREK novel - this is the one to get. I don't believe a hard-cover exists, much to my chagrin. You know, I could be mistaken, but didn't GR talk about Vulcan having more than one sun? I'm not sure what to make of that, other than possibly alluding to STAR WARS and that's if it's even in there ...
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Old November 5 2013, 03:16 PM   #225
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
You know, I could be mistaken, but didn't GR talk about Vulcan having more than one sun? I'm not sure what to make of that, other than possibly alluding to STAR WARS and that's if it's even in there ...
Many star systems are binary or multiple, and many, many works of science fiction featured planets with multiple suns long before Star Wars came along (most famously in Asimov's "Nightfall," about a world with six suns). The problem with assuming that a given trope is a reference to Star Wars is that absolutely everything in Star Wars is itself an homage or pastiche of something from an earlier work. (But then, so is almost everything in Star Trek. Neither Roddenberry nor Lucas was an innovator so much as a distiller and popularizer of pre-existing genre tropes.)

It was in 1968 that James Blish first proposed 40 Eridani as Vulcan's home system in his adaptation of "Tomorrow is Yesterday." 40 Eridani is a system with three stars. However, I can't find a reference in the TMP novelization to Vulcan having more than one sun. The chapter set on Vulcan makes two references to the "red dawn," but that's as close as it comes to mentioning a sun or suns.
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