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Future of Trek Discussion of future Trek projects.

View Poll Results: Do fans want the prime timeline back?
I'm a fan and I want the Prime timeline back. 211 56.87%
I'm a fan and I don't want the Prime timeline back. 61 16.44%
I'm a fan and wouldn't mind if it came back. 39 10.51%
I don't care, just give me Trek! 53 14.29%
I don't know. 7 1.89%
Voters: 371. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 26 2013, 12:35 PM   #961
F. King Daniel
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

It's still a nice thought
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Old December 26 2013, 12:47 PM   #962
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

I always wondered why they simply didn't release two films. One Abramstrek, one Primetrek. Abramstrek takes 4 years a film anyway, so they could fit a Primetrek film right in the middle of that gap. Make it 30 million a film, and you don't loose anything.

The one who replies with something along the lines of "the audience would have been confused" gets smacked on the head when he/she doesn't expect it.
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Old December 26 2013, 02:26 PM   #963
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
I always wondered why they simply didn't release two films. One Abramstrek, one Primetrek. Abramstrek takes 4 years a film anyway, so they could fit a Primetrek film right in the middle of that gap. Make it 30 million a film, and you don't loose anything.

The one who replies with something along the lines of "the audience would have been confused" gets smacked on the head when he/she doesn't expect it.
I think it's more the last Prime trek film bombed at the box office hence why they rebooted in the first place.
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Old December 26 2013, 03:36 PM   #964
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
I always wondered why they simply didn't release two films. One Abramstrek, one Primetrek. Abramstrek takes 4 years a film anyway, so they could fit a Primetrek film right in the middle of that gap. Make it 30 million a film, and you don't loose anything.

The one who replies with something along the lines of "the audience would have been confused" gets smacked on the head when he/she doesn't expect it.
Isn't $30 million just Spiner's and Stewart's fee.
Unless you have the film without Picard or Data.
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Old December 26 2013, 06:32 PM   #965
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

Making a film for that cheap would tarnish the brand. And execs in charge of that probably don't make the distinction about which universe it is at all.
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Old December 26 2013, 09:42 PM   #966
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
I always wondered why they simply didn't release two films. One Abramstrek, one Primetrek.
Because

1) the general audience doesn't make such a geeky distinction between the two, and

2) said distinction doesn't actually exist except in the heads of some hardcore fans.
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Old January 6 2014, 03:02 AM   #967
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
bbjeg wrote: View Post
SeerSGB wrote: View Post
Or you jettison all the baggage, and you start over with the characters that are the real pop culture icons: the TOS crew.
I liked TOS and all but I was born in the TNG era, they've been my icon when it comes to Trek.
I actually have a pet theory, completed unsupported by any hard numbers, that most of the opposition to the reboot comes from TNG/DS9/VOY generation fans, as opposed to us old-timers who grew up on TOS, which was arguably pulpier and more action-oriented than the later shows.
drt wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
bbjeg wrote: View Post
I liked TOS and all but I was born in the TNG era, they've been my icon when it comes to Trek.
I actually have a pet theory, completed unsupported by any hard numbers, that most of the opposition to the reboot comes from TNG/DS9/VOY generation fans, as opposed to us old-timers who grew up on TOS, which was arguably pulpier and more action-oriented than the later shows.
Heh, I've been cultivating the same thought.

I also get the feeling there's some resentment that the powers-that-be went back to the beginnings of Star Trek, and that not telling additional stories in the Berman-era continuity was somehow an indictment of the entire period (i.e. the perception being it "failed" and was no longer worth continuing).
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
There is a certain mind set in all fandoms that love continuity. To them its the most important element and makes the thing they're fans of "real". Take that away and they're lost and uncomfortable. They put a lot of stock in knowing the history and the details of the characters/universe. I'm reminded of a question asked by Mark Waid ( then just a fan) following the debut of the post Crisis Superman. "When is the real Superman coming back?"
The current feelings over the way DC's New 52 are is somewhat similar to this.

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
TNG I see as a group of unrelatable, unrealistic and ultra-PC characters going through far less colorful adventures.
What is it with the constant use of the word PC (Political Correctness) all of the fracking time? And what makes the 24 century shows/characters like this? They were just people having adventures who acted a different way.

Last edited by Shaka Zulu; January 6 2014 at 07:07 AM.
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Old January 6 2014, 03:18 AM   #968
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

Hober Mallow wrote:
said distinction doesn't actually exist except in the heads of some hardcore fans.
The distinction is quite plainly meant to exist in more than just "the heads of some hardcore fans." The Abramstrek films are carefully crafted to not be Trek as it previously was (while exploiting those pieces of the property known to a general audience), and were also marketed that way -- that's why Abrams always made a specific point of saying when asked that he wasn't a Trek fan and didn't know or care what they thought.

Which, I would hasten to add, proves to have been a commercially viable strategy, at least over the short term. I for one wasn't expecting any further "prime Trek" films; the Abramstrek films are what the studio has clearly been wanting to do with the property for years, packaged with a crew young enough to actually sell it. But don't let's go pretending there's no difference.

Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
The current feelings over the way DC's New 52 are is somewhat similar to this.
You do realize your post consists of only one person actually saying anything like what you're talking about and three people just speculating freely about it? (Albeit not trying to treat the speculation as fact, as you are wont to do?) And that it also comes from a thread where many other people gave contrary testimony, myself included?
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Old January 6 2014, 03:53 AM   #969
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

BigJake wrote: View Post
Hober Mallow wrote:
said distinction doesn't actually exist except in the heads of some hardcore fans.
The distinction is quite plainly meant to exist in more than just "the heads of some hardcore fans." The Abramstrek films are carefully crafted to not be Trek as it previously was (while exploiting those pieces of the property known to a general audience), and were also marketed that way -- that's why Abrams always made a specific point of saying when asked that he wasn't a Trek fan and didn't know or care what they thought.
I think you misunderstood my point. My point is that's always been the case with every incarnation of Star Trek. Harve Bennet's Trek is not Gene Roddenberry's Trek. Rock Berman's Trek is not Nick Meyer's Trek. We can pretend it all represents one unified whole, but it doesn't and it never did. So to lump Abrams' films on one side and every other singular vision of Star Trek produced by everyone else on the other side and call it "Prime Trek" is creating a distinction that doesn't really exist.
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Old January 6 2014, 05:13 AM   #970
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
I think you misunderstood my point. My point is that's always been the case with every incarnation of Star Trek. Harve Bennet's Trek is not Gene Roddenberry's Trek. Rock Berman's Trek is not Nick Meyer's Trek. We can pretend it all represents one unified whole, but it doesn't and it never did.
I actually don't buy that Harvey Bennett's Trek is not Roddenberry's Trek, a few butthurt fan quotes from Interstat in '82 notwithstanding. Nor does the rest of Trek need to form "one unified whole" for the discontinuities between its iterations -- which most certainly do exist -- to be less radical than their collective distance from Abramstrek, a distance which I think was achieved very deliberately.
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Old January 6 2014, 07:21 AM   #971
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

^Okay, what's so different about Abrams Trek from Roddenberry Trek, Bennett Trek, and Berman/Braga Trek?
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Old January 6 2014, 08:17 AM   #972
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

^ Short answer would be "aspiration."



Aspiration stayed alive in various forms for some time; TWOK is the spiritual heir of "Balance of Terror," TNG continued to try to tell genuine SF stories and innovated new approaches to its medium. But aspiration nevertheless gradually decayed under the weight of sentimentalism and convention as Trek progressed, both in the movie franchise and in the shows, until by the time Voyager was on the air, believability of characters was rarely to be seen, inertia had mostly won out and Trek "science fiction" was mostly motivated by adherence to convention, not scientific plausibility.

Abramstrek is essentially the confirmation and the apotheosis of that trend, repackaged with better effects and a younger cast (and to its genuine credit, better character work than VOY or ENT ever enjoyed) and refocused at a broader market. It's very carefully and specifically designed as a generalized nostalgia delivery system.

[NB: Please put a giant asterisk beside and salt the following with as many "in my opinions" and "as far as I can see" clauses as you like. I'm speaking speculatively, but I think it's well-motivated and well-founded speculation.]



I once said that Abramstrek was badly-written. For the purpose of believable, immersive storytelling with any sort of real dramatic heft that is, I think, absolutely true. But as a nostalgia-delivery system -- built around a core of reasonably saleable character arcs and action set-pieces -- I've come to see that it's actually one of the more carefully and successfully crafted Hollywood "reboot" projects ever made.

(Postulate: The perfectly-crafted Hollywood remake project is to cinema what Britney Spears Gives Birth on a Bearskin Rug is to sculpture. Discuss. )
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Last edited by BigKrampus; January 6 2014 at 09:34 AM. Reason: A few edits to expand and clarify, and to add a perhaps offensive but also perhaps accurate allusion to sculpture.
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Old January 6 2014, 10:40 AM   #973
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

BigJake wrote: View Post
There's a lot of vague talk about "Gene's vision," much of it off the mark and/or confused by Roddenberry's latter-day grandiosity. What originally set Trek apart from other properties and acquired its fandom in the first place was not that it was "utopian" or "optimistic" or "philosophical" or progressive -- many people got these things from TOS according to their lights and circumstances, but insofar as they were part of Trek they were incidental.
I think the optimism was a more important element than you're giving it credit for. It certainly helped set Star Trek apart from dystopian fantasies that were probably the dominant form of filmed science fiction from 1967-77. I'm thinking of things like The Prisoner ('67-68) Planet of the Apes ('68), THX 1138 ('72), Soylent Green ('73), Silent Running ('73), Zardoz ('75), A Boy and His Dog ('75), and Logan's Run ('76), and that's far from a comprehensive list.

There's a relevant Bob Justman quote...

Bob Justman wrote:
"One of the most important things we have attempted to say in this series is that there is hope for Mankind and that things will be better for humanity in the future."
That might sound like '80s revisionism, but it's actually from an internal memo he wrote about an episode in 1967. Of course, that Justman thought this was important does not mean that it was important to fan response, but I think it was.

Which is not really to quibble with your overall point. Star Trek was an action adventure series first and foremost. The importance and presence of its philosophies and progressive politics has been grossly exaggerated by decades of fan adoration, studio publicity, and Roddenberry's own tireless self-promotion.

BigJake wrote: View Post
And that aspiration showed: in the original series' willingness to draw on different kinds of drama for plots, to solicit scripts from working SF novelists and storytellers, and in its attempt to keep its characters believable in their pseudo-military setting no matter how wacky the story got.
I'd say the single most important thing that set Star Trek apart from its sf television contemporaries (beyond the anthologies, which were a different beast that didn't have the continuing characters important to fandom) was that it attempted to appeal to an audience beyond young children. It obviously appealed a great deal to children, but unlike many other SF programs of the era, there was still something there to be enjoyed when those kids grew up.

The use of established SF writers helps set the original series apart from its franchise successors, I think, but it shouldn't be overblown. After the first season, the producers shifted their attention to hiring writers with television experience rather than those with experience in science fiction.

...by the time Voyager was on the air, believability of characters was rarely to be seen, inertia had mostly won out and Trek "science fiction" was mostly motivated by adherence to convention, not scientific plausibility.
I'd say the "scientific plausibility" was mostly abandoned during the original series, where Roddenberry let his RAND consultant go near the end of season one and frequently ignored the scientific advice from de Forest Research. Although you certainly have a point about the fictional conventions of the universe piling up over time.

I'll skip the rest of your analysis about the Abrams films except to say that I think much of it is right. Nonetheless, I wouldn't call them "nondescript pulp" or "badly written" in all but a nit-picky sense, but I like the movies more than you do!

As for the films being a "nostalgia delivery system," well, yes, but I fail to see how that sets them apart from most of the franchise to follow the original, beginning with Star Trek--The Motion Picture. The big difference seems to be that these are $200 million films which must appeal to a broader audience even more so than earlier features to be financially successful.

If I wanted this post to stretch into infinity, I might argue with your interpretation of the characters (I'd say Kirk's "stack of books with legs" characterization was largely abandoned in favor of the womanizing rule-breaker as Shatner made the character his own, and that Spock's emotional outbursts so memorable to fans are probably not what defines the character in popular memory -- quite the opposite), but I believe some ancient windbag once used a 33,000 word play to claim that "brevity is the soul of wit," so I'll leave it at that.
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Old January 6 2014, 11:18 AM   #974
Shaka Zulu
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

BigJake wrote: View Post
^ Short answer would be "aspiration."



Aspiration stayed alive in various forms for some time; TWOK is the spiritual heir of "Balance of Terror," TNG continued to try to tell genuine SF stories and innovated new approaches to its medium. But aspiration nevertheless gradually decayed under the weight of sentimentalism and convention as Trek progressed, both in the movie franchise and in the shows, until by the time Voyager was on the air, believability of characters was rarely to be seen, inertia had mostly won out and Trek "science fiction" was mostly motivated by adherence to convention, not scientific plausibility.

Abramstrek is essentially the confirmation and the apotheosis of that trend, repackaged with better effects and a younger cast (and to its genuine credit, better character work than VOY or ENT ever enjoyed) and refocused at a broader market. It's very carefully and specifically designed as a generalized nostalgia delivery system.

[NB: Please put a giant asterisk beside and salt the following with as many "in my opinions" and "as far as I can see" clauses as you like. I'm speaking speculatively, but I think it's well-motivated and well-founded speculation.]



I once said that Abramstrek was badly-written. For the purpose of believable, immersive storytelling with any sort of real dramatic heft that is, I think, absolutely true. But as a nostalgia-delivery system -- built around a core of reasonably saleable character arcs and action set-pieces -- I've come to see that it's actually one of the more carefully and successfully crafted Hollywood "reboot" projects ever made.

(Postulate: The perfectly-crafted Hollywood remake project is to cinema what Britney Spears Gives Birth on a Bearskin Rug is to sculpture. Discuss. )
As others have said, considering what TOS was as an action-adventure series to begin with, your reasoning of what the Abrams movies are is flawed. So they made Kirk a horndog? So what-he was one somewhat. So Spock lost his logic? He was dealing with the death of his planet and his mom, as well as being a half-human Vulcan, so he was bound to lose it sometimes. So Uhura and Spock are in love? Big deal-there was a residual thing going on between them on TOS. And remakes are as much a part of movies as revivals are to Broadway and the West End-they are not bad in and of themselves. You also forget that Star Trek is space opera just like Star Wars is; the movies storytelling isn't any worse (or off) than the original series was or is.

Although I understand what you've wrote, I don't agree with it.
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Old January 6 2014, 12:15 PM   #975
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

BigJake wrote:
TNG continued to try to tell genuine SF stories and innovated new approaches to its medium.
Examples, please? Because TNG to me is anything but innovotive or genuine sci-fi. It's Data and Picard playing games on the holodeck, Troi and her mother being kidnapped by the Ferengi, Geordi and Ro being turned into ghosts, tedious Worf episodes, the transporter turning the crew into children and other ridiculous plots which leave me utterly bewildered when the show is held up as any form of art.

I submit that the only difference between TNG and the rest is that it was far more pretentious.
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