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Old April 10 2008, 03:22 AM   #1
KayArr
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TATV--what were they thinking?

I'm trying to ask a very serious question here--what were B&B thinking? I think this was an awful episode and a betrayal of the entire series. But I really don't believe that it was B&B being spiteful or saying "up yours." I'm just not that cynical--they must have actually thought that it was a Valentine to the fans.

So for anyone who's either read lots of interviews or even talked to B&B--what were they thinking? I know that Trip's death was supposed to be dramatic, and I can even understand the idea that one main character should die in a decade when it's all been dangerous--but why no promotions, and why destroy the Trip and T'pol relationship? Why make those choices? No promotions--that might have been lazy, not a choice--but why split up TnT? That clearly was a choice. And why no founding of the Federation, why no speech at the end?

So in all seriousness--does anyone have an real info on what B&B were thinking?
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Old April 10 2008, 03:36 AM   #2
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Re: TATV--what were they thinking?

KayArr wrote: View Post
I'm trying to ask a very serious question here--what were B&B thinking? I think this was an awful episode and a betrayal of the entire series. But I really don't believe that it was B&B being spiteful or saying "up yours." I'm just not that cynical--they must have actually thought that it was a Valentine to the fans.

So for anyone who's either read lots of interviews or even talked to B&B--what were they thinking? I know that Trip's death was supposed to be dramatic, and I can even understand the idea that one main character should die in a decade when it's all been dangerous--but why no promotions, and why destroy the Trip and T'pol relationship? Why make those choices? No promotions--that might have been lazy, not a choice--but why split up TnT? That clearly was a choice. And why no founding of the Federation, why no speech at the end?

So in all seriousness--does anyone have an real info on what B&B were thinking?
From what I have read around here, they honestly believed this was a tribute to the series and the franchise.

I also have read (here on TrekBBS) that Brannon has commented quite a while after its airing, that in retrospect, the episode was not such a good idea after all.
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Old April 10 2008, 03:49 AM   #3
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Re: TATV--what were they thinking?

Some things I can understand--killing Trip doesn't bug me, if it had been done well. I can understand using Frakes and Sirtis--if it had been done well. That's kind of the tagline of everything about the episode..."if it had been done well."

Maybe it was really just burn out--the two of them were so tired that they didn't think and plan clearly. No promotions--that does just seem lazy. But why split up Trip and T'pol? Wouldn't it have more dramatic if they'd still been a couple? Was that just lazy, too--or did they dislike the TnT romance and write it off on purpose? Did they think--if TnT had stayed together, they'd have had kids, and that wrecks Spock as the first hybrid, or whatever? That's the kind of thing that I wonder about...
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Old April 10 2008, 03:59 AM   #4
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Re: TATV--what were they thinking?

KayArr wrote: View Post
Some things I can understand--killing Trip doesn't bug me, if it had been done well. I can understand using Frakes and Sirtis--if it had been done well. That's kind of the tagline of everything about the episode..."if it had been done well."

Maybe it was really just burn out--the two of them were so tired that they didn't think and plan clearly. No promotions--that does just seem lazy. But why split up Trip and T'pol? Wouldn't it have more dramatic if they'd still been a couple? Was that just lazy, too--or did they dislike the TnT romance and write it off on purpose? Did they think--if TnT had stayed together, they'd have had kids, and that wrecks Spock as the first hybrid, or whatever? That's the kind of thing that I wonder about...
Well, they did have kids: Lorian (E2) and Elizabeth (Demons/Terra Prime). We don't know what became of Lorian and of course, little Elizabeth died.

But you're right, an existing, close relationship would have added to the drama and sense of loss. But of course, we didn't get any of that from any of the crew. Too busy fretting about speeches and nosebleed seats. Three years later, I still despise "The Valentine to the Fans."
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Old April 10 2008, 04:04 AM   #5
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Re: TATV--what were they thinking?

I appreciated what B&B were trying to do even if I didn't care for the execution.

I'm in the minority but I actually liked the idea Brannon came up with to be able to bookend the TNG era of Trek by having Riker/Troi observing the final mission of the ENT crew on the holodeck. I thought it was fitting and appropriate to have someone in the future reflect on their contributions and added poignancy realizing that from the 24th century these characters we had just seen in Terra Prime are long since dead and only alive in the minds of the future generations that benefitted from their efforts and by extension in the hearts of the show's fans. Admittedly it didn't come off nearly as well as the idea suggests.

I thought they could also use the technique of seeing Riker/Troi watching a scene on the holodeck but flashing back for the audience to the actual events in "realtime" to cut down the frustration many had by it being a holoprogram. This way you would have gotten a bit of both.

I also thought that too much was happening in a relatively short period of time. Given that Riker could jump around within the holoprogram they could have easily written to where Trip's death occurred years earlier, perhaps during the Romulan War, instead of having Trip die just as Shran's daughter was kidnapped all on the eve of the Federation ceremony. It was too busy.

That said, I did think there were plenty of nice character moments--some that even tugged at the heart strings-- and I got a kick out of the 1701-D sets and exterior shots.
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Old April 10 2008, 04:10 AM   #6
KayArr
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Re: TATV--what were they thinking?

That's a very interesting assessment--it clears up a lot of things for me. I thank you! Still, the execution was excrutiatingly bad--so bad, that I just can't watch it ever again.

I hated it so much that I gave up on Enterprise for years--no reruns, no dvds. Then I caught a couple on Sci-Fi while doing something else, and I was hooked. I started in on dvds and remembered how much I LOVED it when it was on. Now I own all the seasons and just never watch the finale. I accept the most basic of the facts as cannon (Trip died just before the Federation was founded), but in my mind, the holo program was just that--a bad novelization, and nothing happened as portrayed in that episode.

Last edited by KayArr; April 10 2008 at 04:17 AM.
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Old April 10 2008, 07:34 AM   #7
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Re: TATV--what were they thinking?

In a vacuum, this was a fine episode. If it would've been something like, episode 4 of season 2, it would've worked well enough with some tweaking. Vague hints at future events. Sans Trip's death, of course. But as a final episode? Are you kidding me? I have never been so, so, so... incensed. I follow these characters for 4 years and this is what you give me as a final episode? A Riker episode with the ENT characters as mere background interaction? A RIKER EPISODE?! No. Just, no.

Also, sure this is all canon. It's canon that Riker was running a holodeck program. It's canon that Trip (bites tongue in anger) died in a holodeck program run by Riker. But I refuse to acknowledge that Trip actually died. I can't. I won't.
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Old April 10 2008, 07:50 AM   #8
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Re: TATV--what were they thinking?

B&B were trying to make a good episode, and the idea of connecting ENT with future series was good. I agree that the use of holodeck was a mistake and they should have used flashbacks. The main reason they used the holodeck was to have Frakes/Riker interact with ENT crew. Some of the ideas posted here before the episode aired like "Riker & Troi visiting NX-01 in a museum and talking about Federation history and then having flashback scenes" would have been much better.

What surprised me most was how inept the script was. I am not the biggest supporter of B&B but whenever they wrote a big episode like season finales it was always competent (Shockwave, The Expanse, Zero Hour). This was their only season 4 script so they had plenty of time to work on it, but they blew it. They got just about everything wrong: Trip's death was badly handled, Shran return was badly handled, the connection to Pegasus was badly handled. And on top of that the pacing of the episode and the dialogue weren't that good either. I was bored while watching it. It was just a bad script and it surprises me that Braga (who is a decently good writer) didn't realize it while working on it.

And while I understand why they wanted the future scenes to be on Enterprise-D (since that was the starship that started the modern Trek shows), even that was misguided. If they had used Enterprise-E they would have saved some money (the CGI version of that ship was available), and also Frakes and Sirtis could have played their characters closer to their age.

The final line of the episode was another misstep, probably a bad joke attempt by Braga. For years the ENT detractors were claiming that the series would end with the "end holodeck program" line, implying the entire series didn't happen. And Braga actually finished the series with that line.

The montage at the end was great though.
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Old April 10 2008, 08:10 AM   #9
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Re: TATV--what were they thinking?

The Enterprise-D is, by far, the most beloved of the TNG-era ships. To me, it makes a lot of sense to use it instead of the Enterprise-E, even if the ages of the actors weren't quite right. I watched the -D for seven years, whereas he -E was only in two or three movies, only one of which I really liked. The -D means a lot to me. The -E, not so much.
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Old April 10 2008, 08:33 AM   #10
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Re: TATV--what were they thinking?

To me it makes no difference between Ent-D or Ent-D. I do understand the desire to see Ent-D and that's why they did it, but I don't think it was worth the loss of credibility by having actors attempt to play younger versions of the characters. And the money they would have saved could have been used elsewhere.
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Old April 10 2008, 12:12 PM   #11
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Re: TATV--what were they thinking?

There were only 2 things wrong with TATV.
a) it was the last episode
b) Trip died.

if it had been a mid season episode and Trip hadn't died, everyone would have loved it.
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Old April 10 2008, 12:16 PM   #12
KayArr
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Re: TATV--what were they thinking?

Some great responses here--stuff I hadn't thought of. Still hate it, of course--as you say, a really, really terrible script.
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Old April 10 2008, 01:15 PM   #13
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Re: TATV--what were they thinking?

Very short-sighted in my opinion. I like possibilities left open or "get out of jail cards" hidden in a final episode... no matter how grim a cancellation appears. Even if Manny Coto and the rest of Season Four's writing staff are never likely to contribute to TV Star Trek ever again, it wouldn't have hurt to turn in a show with less finality. For one thing, it avoids all that contrived backpaddling necessary to continue their adventures in the books or whatever other media our fanbase ends up settling for in the future... Rick and Brannon simply didn't care anymore and we're counting the days until their contracts ended. These are the Voyages... was a writer's equivilent of scuttling the ship, or torching the office on the way out. That deeply hurt all those who stood by the show for four years, in the face of constant critism.
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Old April 10 2008, 03:07 PM   #14
witchie
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Re: TATV--what were they thinking?

ChristopherPike wrote: View Post
Very short-sighted in my opinion. I like possibilities left open or "get out of jail cards" hidden in a final episode... no matter how grim a cancellation appears. Even if Manny Coto and the rest of Season Four's writing staff are never likely to contribute to TV Star Trek ever again, it wouldn't have hurt to turn in a show with less finality. For one thing, it avoids all that contrived backpaddling necessary to continue their adventures in the books or whatever other media our fanbase ends up settling for in the future... Rick and Brannon simply didn't care anymore and we're counting the days until their contracts ended. These are the Voyages... was a writer's equivilent of scuttling the ship, or torching the office on the way out. That deeply hurt all those who stood by the show for four years, in the face of constant critism.
ITA with this assessment.

I knew before hand what was going to happen, so I didn't bother with the ep. 3 years later, and I still won't watch it. I loved Enterprise. I defended the show to those who hated it, and then B&B did this.
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Old April 10 2008, 03:57 PM   #15
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Re: TATV--what were they thinking?

I didn't think TATV was terrible or a betrayal. I didn't mind that Tucker died - sad though it was, but I believe it would've been better if he'd died without such a rush. I have never been a Riker or Troi (or Riker/Troi) fan, but seeing them was nice. Seeing Shran was good.

The only character I thought acted a little odd was T'Pol. And frankly, I believe the writers had spent a lot of time mistreating the character and her "journey" (which felt like more of a see-saw). It didn't surprise me she seemed out of character.
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