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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old January 16 2009, 04:03 AM   #1
I am not Spock
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TOS fans. Was TNG's 'Relics' respectful or disrespectful of TOS?

I'm rewatching it now, as we speak. Geordi's attitude towards Scotty in the episode got me thinking. Is LaForge's attitude indicative of the writer's attitude towards TOS? Everyone (except Picard) treats Scott as though he is, well, a relic, and a useless old man. What do TOS fans think of this episode? Does it honour, or belittle the original series?
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Old January 16 2009, 04:41 AM   #2
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Re: TOS fans. Was TNG's 'Relics' respectful or disrespectful of TOS?

Speaking only for myself, I loved Relics, especially the bridge recreation and seeing Picard take a slug of booze and enjoy it.

As for the crew's attitude toward Scott, you've got to have tension or you don't have drama. That's all I took from it. One of TNG's problems was everyone loved each other. Having Scotty have to prove himself one more time just makes him more of a miracle worker.
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Old January 16 2009, 04:42 AM   #3
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Re: TOS fans. Was TNG's 'Relics' respectful or disrespectful of TOS?

Well gee, the same people who decided that Geordi should be impatient with Scotty were the ones who decided that:

a) The star of the show - Picard - should like and respect him;
b) Scotty should save the day;
c) The production should spend money to recreate the TOS bridge because it would be really, really cool.

That pretty much settles the question of what the writers' attitudes toward TOS were. There aren't many people on this BBS who are as admiring of or knowledgable about the original "Star Trek" as were the majority of writers, artists and other production people who worked on TNG.

That some fans find so much to complain about in this regard is not a shortcoming of the show.

Aside from all of that, "Relics" gave James Doohan his one and only opportunity to really be the star and central character in a "Star Trek" production. Bless the folks at TNG for that.
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Old January 16 2009, 06:02 AM   #4
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Re: TOS fans. Was TNG's 'Relics' respectful or disrespectful of TOS?

Starship Polaris wrote: View Post
"Relics" gave James Doohan his one and only opportunity to really be the star and central character in a "Star Trek" production. Bless the folks at TNG for that.
I agree. Perhaps more in this episode than in any other filmed story, Scotty seemed like a three-dimensional human being.
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Old January 16 2009, 12:24 PM   #5
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Re: TOS fans. Was TNG's 'Relics' respectful or disrespectful of TOS?

I think it's hugely respectful - indeed, after Trials and Tribbleations it's probably the modern Trek episode that most celebrates the original's legacy.
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Old January 16 2009, 06:46 PM   #6
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Re: TOS fans. Was TNG's 'Relics' respectful or disrespectful of TOS?

Absolutely it was respectful of TOS. It was written by Ron Moore, a self-proclaimed die-hard TOS fan. Geordi's reactions, while not wholly positive throughout, were realistic given the circumstances. I'd much rather have a dynamic, realistic (well, as realistic as you can get with Star Trek) story than some sugar-coated valentine where everything is hunky-dory.
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Old January 16 2009, 08:02 PM   #7
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Re: TOS fans. Was TNG's 'Relics' respectful or disrespectful of TOS?

Something those who do complain about Geordi and some of the others being dismissive of Scotty early on tend to miss is that they're pretty clearly shown to be wrong, and Scotty is portrayed very sympathetically. If anything, that episode was a message to that portion of the fanbase that's dismissive of TOS: Remember where you came from, there's still a few things you can learn from those who came before.
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Old January 16 2009, 09:03 PM   #8
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Re: TOS fans. Was TNG's 'Relics' respectful or disrespectful of TOS?

Respectful, I say. Sure, it seems like Geordi and later that greehorn ensign, are being dismissive and disrespectful to Scotty. But recall, Scotty starts mucking around in Geordi's engine room -- would Scotty have tolerated an engineer from 80 years in his past mucking around in his engine room? I think not!

And at the end, they both respect each other because of the one thing they have in common -- they're both chief engineers of their respective Enterprises. Recall how Scotty is able to figure out what Geordi and Leah did in weaning the space baby, Junior, off the E-D's engines. They both enjoy a heartfelt laugh at that. That's my favorite part, after Scotty's comment to Data, best line in the ep, IMO, "Synthetic scotch, synthetic commanders."

This ep is a much better homage to TOS than Unification, even though I still like that ep even with its plot holes. And it's about as good as Picard's meeting with Kirk in Generations.

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Old January 16 2009, 09:39 PM   #9
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Re: TOS fans. Was TNG's 'Relics' respectful or disrespectful of TOS?

Respectful. Dull and kinda lame but respectful.
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Old January 16 2009, 10:08 PM   #10
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Re: TOS fans. Was TNG's 'Relics' respectful or disrespectful of TOS?

On a meta level, I believe they were trying to pay homage to TOS. So that's cool.

But inside the story, it was a bit disrespectful. It's hard for me to believe that Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Scotty, etc., would not be revered and celebrated by the entire Federation. They saved the entire universe as we know it on several occasions in canon, more if you count novels. You'd think there'd be a holiday for them or something! They would be known, at least. A lot of the crew of the 1701-D acted like they didn't really even know who he was.
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Old January 16 2009, 10:11 PM   #11
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Re: TOS fans. Was TNG's 'Relics' respectful or disrespectful of TOS?

I liked "Relics", it was a very good episode, but I had only one (tiny) problem with it : Only Picard seemed to be interested in Scotty's history (understandable given Picard's background), but there should have been historians on board who should have jumped at the chance to talk to a man who's from almost a century ago.
Hell, even the original Enterprise had Marla McGivers (of course, she overdid it a bit), so on a starship crew twice the size of a Constitution Class Starship, that was a mistake that really bothered me.
But otherwise a very good episode.
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Old January 16 2009, 11:11 PM   #12
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Re: TOS fans. Was TNG's 'Relics' respectful or disrespectful of TOS?

I am not Spock wrote: View Post
I'm rewatching it now, as we speak. Geordi's attitude towards Scotty in the episode got me thinking. Is LaForge's attitude indicative of the writer's attitude towards TOS? Everyone (except Picard) treats Scott as though he is, well, a relic, and a useless old man. What do TOS fans think of this episode? Does it honour, or belittle the original series?
That's a truly bizarre question. Stories aren't about people gushing over each other, they're about tension and conflict. It's ridiculous to assume that the attitudes of the characters in a story are simply those of the author. Characters need to have their own independent personalities and values, and those values have to come into conflict with each other to generate a story. If "Relics" had just been 45 minutes of the TNG crew telling Scotty how magnificent he and his crewmates were, that would've been a bad fanfic, not a professional television episode. If they were going to tell a story about Scotty, there had to be a dramatic reason for doing so. And what better drama for a brilliant engineer brought into the future than to discover that his knowledge is obsolete and he can't make a difference anymore?

It's obvious to me just from looking at "Relics" that it was made by creators who have great love and respect for TOS. Hell, they never would've made the episode otherwise, let alone gone to the effort of lovingly recreating parts of the original bridge. They even put in an homage to "It's green!" The whole damn episode is a celebration of what Scotty is all about. His dramatic arc of fearing obsolescence merely serves to set up a demonstration of how valuable his knowledge and insight can still be in any era. Or didn't you see the ending where Geordi helped him to realize that and they saved the day together? Ultimately, everyone was treating Scotty with respect and appreciation. But if they'd started out that way and nothing had changed, there would have been no story. That should go without saying.

USS_Triumphant wrote:
It's hard for me to believe that Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Scotty, etc., would not be revered and celebrated by the entire Federation. They saved the entire universe as we know it on several occasions in canon, more if you count novels. You'd think there'd be a holiday for them or something! They would be known, at least. A lot of the crew of the 1701-D acted like they didn't really even know who he was.
When did they ever save the universe? Arguably in "The Alternative Factor," but that's an incoherent episode whose assertions about antimatter and dilithium have been ignored in the rest of Trek canon, TOS included, so it's questionable whether it ever "really" happened. I can't think of any other episode where the entire universe was literally at stake.

True, they saved various planets and defeated some large-scale threats like the Doomsday Machine and the Space Amoeba, sure. But there have been plenty of other starships that probably did equally heroic feats; we just didn't see their adventures featured on television. But to people in the Federation, the Enterprise is probably one of dozens of starships whose crews have saved planets or defeated threats to large portions of the galaxy. We know that Captain Garth was a great commander whom Kirk looked up to as a hero, so who knows what great feats he accomplished in the 2240s or so? And what about all the hundreds of starship captains between the TOS and TNG eras? Given how often the Earth and other planets came under threat in TOS and its films alone, there must have continued to be other large-scale existential threats popping up dozens of times in the intervening decades, and there must have been heroic starship captains and crews who dealt with them.

We consider Kirk and his crew more famous and important than anyone else in Starfleet because we watch them on TV. But within the Trek universe, there's no reason to assume they're the most famous Starfleet officers that ever lived.
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Old January 17 2009, 12:24 AM   #13
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Re: TOS fans. Was TNG's 'Relics' respectful or disrespectful of TOS?

Christopher wrote: View Post

True, they saved various planets and defeated some large-scale threats like the Doomsday Machine and the Space Amoeba, sure. But there have been plenty of other starships that probably did equally heroic feats; we just didn't see their adventures featured on television. But to people in the Federation, the Enterprise is probably one of dozens of starships whose crews have saved planets or defeated threats to large portions of the galaxy. We know that Captain Garth was a great commander whom Kirk looked up to as a hero, so who knows what great feats he accomplished in the 2240s or so? And what about all the hundreds of starship captains between the TOS and TNG eras? Given how often the Earth and other planets came under threat in TOS and its films alone, there must have continued to be other large-scale existential threats popping up dozens of times in the intervening decades, and there must have been heroic starship captains and crews who dealt with them.

We consider Kirk and his crew more famous and important than anyone else in Starfleet because we watch them on TV. But within the Trek universe, there's no reason to assume they're the most famous Starfleet officers that ever lived.

I think you're selling them a little short. They did save the Earth, the home of the Federation twice, and Trials and Tribblations indicated that they were well regarded, to a near hero-worship level by Sisko and crew.

That said, I think Geordie's actions were perfectly believable. If Alexander Graham Bell showed up and started telling me how my cell phone worked I'd be a little dismissive as to what he could offer me.
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Old January 17 2009, 12:31 AM   #14
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Re: TOS fans. Was TNG's 'Relics' respectful or disrespectful of TOS?

Starship Polaris wrote: View Post
c) The production should spend money to recreate the TOS bridge because it would be really, really cool.
they did nothing of the kind. They recreated one small area (I understand they actually bought it from a fan), and it looked pretty lame, at that (I think it was the lighting, mainly).
It was respectful enough, indeed, a little pandering, but its movie of the week life lesson really showed how vacuous and facile the show was when compared with the original. Stewart and Doohan brought a lot to what was otherwise a pretty lame story.
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Old January 17 2009, 01:30 AM   #15
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Re: TOS fans. Was TNG's 'Relics' respectful or disrespectful of TOS?

You're partly correct. They did build a relatively small portion of the bridge, just what they needed for their shots. They bought the helm console and the captain's chair from a former fan who has worked for years as a professional prop maker.

By all accounts, it's not cheap to build sets, so even if you thought it looked lame, someone obviously believed in the original series bridge and wanted very much to see it on screen. And it was really, really cool to see Scotty back on that original bridge.
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