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General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

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Old September 17 2011, 11:47 PM   #1
xortex
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Location: Staten Island, NY
No aliens

How many people would see a Star Trek series with no Humanoid aliens in it? Just the occasional non corporial entities. Star Wars blew the lid on that ship long ago. Hinting at something being out there but never finding anything I think would be cool 2001ish for another prequil. How many eps did GR write that had aliens in them anyway. Space 1999 and Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers I believe were smart to just be happy with Human alien populations explained somehow, until it becomes a hit of course and then include only the most familiar three or four races.
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Old September 18 2011, 12:27 AM   #2
CorporalCaptain
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Re: No aliens

If by this you mean reboot the Star Trek universe so that Spock doesn't exist in it, then I'll never be interested in that.

On the other hand, if you mean simply that more exotic aliens should be presented, then it depends. It depends on whether anything interesting and entertaining is done with said non-humanoids.

The Horta was a really fine non-humanoid alien, but mainly because its story was moving, as its motives were sensible and sympathetic. Vulcans and Klingons have worked out to be excellent humanoid aliens. On the other hand, I was not impressed at all with the Platonians, and also I didn't really care for the episode in which the Ornithoids figured prominently.

So, you know, it depends. Emphasizing non-humanoid aliens isn't a magic bullet that would improve Star Trek.
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Old September 18 2011, 02:55 AM   #3
The Wormhole
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Re: No aliens

Humanoid aliens are a basic necessity simply because of budget. And Star Trek has even taken a stab at explaining why everyone is humanoid with the Preservers.
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Old September 18 2011, 09:45 AM   #4
xortex
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Re: No aliens

It's irrelovant because aunt maude in peoria is not buying it anymore. Would a Star Trek without aliens work? That would seem to cut down on the budget of hiring actors and makeup but simply hinting at bigger alien threats or mysteries looming out there that are illusive. I guess I'm really referring to prosthetics and appliances and silly bumpy heads and such.
It worked for Space 1999, Buck Rogers, 2001, Battlestar Galactica, etc., etc. There are other ways to represent aliens or alien intelligances and/or presences.
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Old September 18 2011, 02:22 PM   #5
Robert D. Robot
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Re: No aliens

xortex wrote: View Post
How many eps did GR write that had aliens in them anyway.
I am not sure if you actually meant episodes that GR wrote himself, or simply episodes filmed, as IMO if it were on screen it is genuine Star Trek. Because if you think aliens were a rare occurrence on TOS, then I wonder if you actually watched the all the episodes.

By my admittedly quick (and perhaps containing a few errors) work, here is a list of TOS episodes featuring aliens, both humanoid and non-humanoid. As The Wormhole has stated, the Preservers may be responsible for the exitence of some of these aliens.

The Man Trap (Non-humanoid)
Charlie X (Non-humanoids come to get Charlie))
What Are Little Girls Made Of? (I am assuming Ruk was made in his creators' likeness)
Miri (VERY humanoid!)
The Corbomite Maneuver (humanoid)
The Menagerie (humanoid)
Balance of Terror (humanoid)
The Galileo Seven (humanoid)
The Squire of Gothos (Non-humanoid)
Arena (Non-humanoid)
The Return of the Archons (VERY humanoid!)
A Taste of Armageddon (VERY humanoid!)
The Devil in the Dark (Non-humanoid)
Errand of Mercy (Non-humanoid)
The Alternative Factor (VERY humanoid!)
Amok Time (humanoid)
Doctor Who Mourns for Adonis? (humanoid?)
The Apple (VERY humanoid!)
Catspaw (Non-humanoid)
I, Mudd (I am assuming Norman was created in his creator's image)
Metamorphosis (Non-humanoid)
Journey to Babel (humanoid)
Friday's Child (VERY humanoid!)
The Trouble with Tribbles (humanoid)
The Gamesters of Triskelion (humanoid)
A Piece of the Action (VERY humanoid!)
A Private Little War (VERY humanoid!)
Return to Tomorrow (Non-humanoid)
Patterns of Force (VERY humanoid!)
By Any Other Name (Non-humanoid)
The Omega Glory (VERY humanoid!)
Bread and Circuses (VERY humanoid!)
Assignment: Earth (Isis is?.....)
Spock's Brain (VERY humanoid!)
The Enterprise Incident (humanoid)
And the Children Shall Lead (Non-humanoid)
Is there in Truth No Beauty (Non-humanoid)
Spectre of the Gun (Non-humanoid)
Day of the Dove (humanoid)
For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky (very humanoid!)
The Tholian Web (Non-humanoid)
Plato's Stepchildren (humanoid)
Wink of an Eye (VERY humanoid!)
The Empath (humanoid)
Elaan of Troyus (humanoid)
Whom Gods Destroy (humanoid)
Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
The Mark of Gideon (VERY humanoid!)
That Which Survives (humanoid)
The Lights of Zetar (Non-humanoid)
The Way to Eden (humanoid)
The Cloud Miners The Savage Curtain
All Our Yesterdays (VERY humanoid!)

Trek has always been about "seeking out new life and new civilizations", so I would feel shortchanged by a Trek without aliens. I don't mind a few forehead bumped aliens here and there, as I have already suspended my disbelief a great deal by sitting and enjoying the show. With special effects and prosthetic applications as good as they are nowadays, we don't have to smirk at the likes of original pig-faced Tellurites. I would really like to see more non-humanoid aliens now, though, since the effects today are so much better.

Although I really like 2001 and nuBattlestar Galactica, Trek is not these nor (thankfully) Space 1999 or Buck Rogers.
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Old September 18 2011, 02:57 PM   #6
xortex
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Location: Staten Island, NY
Re: No aliens

I made exceptions for very Humanoid as in basically Human again as I said for whatever reason again like Buck Rogers and Space 1999 and 2001 and Battlestar Galactaca and many more smart enough not to get involved in that. How many eps did Gene write himself that had aliens in them? I wonder if a new series would be a slave to any kind of continuity at all anyway considering the new movie blew that up to begin with. If the future is different the past would be different too as any new targeted audience would not care. The audience that has an alliegiance to GR's Trek is not what tv is looking for because it is too small and limited and irrelovant to them. A tv show is a tv show, no matter what it be, except if it has aliens in it, then it becomes campy unbelievable unnacceptable behavior.
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Old September 18 2011, 03:26 PM   #7
Robert D. Robot
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Re: No aliens

^ If we are talking Irwin Allen talking carrots and aluminum-foil-wearing aliens, then I think that we would indeed be better without them as these are unbelievable and campy. But they are now able to create more convincing aliens (Babylon 5 and Farscape did it very well, and some of the beings in nuWho are pretty cool (like the humanoid feline nuns of the Sisters of Plenitude) and I think that that is the way to continue going for Trek. Otherwise, do create a completely new non-Trek program and really broaden the offerings for the world of science fiction on screen.

Also, while Roddenberry did create Star Trek, there were others around like DC Fontana and Gene L. Coon that were just as important in creating the vision for Trek. Things do not need to have come from GR's pen to be genuine Star Trek.

If budgets are a concern that would cause TPTB to cut back on "building" aliens out of human actors for episodes, we might also logically consider cutting back on special effects showing ships, planets, and spacial phenomena. Since accounting will undoubtedly remain an important concern in the future, how about a program based on Earth in the Star Fleet Accounting Department? Hardly any aliens or special effects would be needed at all! "Star Trek: The Office" would be a fresh break from previously established Trek, yet still be attractive to old fans and yet broaden the target audience!
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Old September 18 2011, 03:43 PM   #8
xortex
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Location: Staten Island, NY
Re: No aliens

Well wev'e got The Office already here and an economic crisis as well which you don't have as evidenced by Dr Who still going strong but it's hard to be out in space without a Starship unless Trek is all an hallucination or Kirk is jacked into a cybernetic or telepathic experiment by the Talosians or maybe Spock found Kirk dying alone on a space ship or on Earth and in order to save him superimposed his reality on his, like V'ger did with Decker.
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Old September 18 2011, 03:43 PM   #9
xortex
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Location: Staten Island, NY
Re: No aliens

Well wev'e got The Office already here and an economic crisis as well which you don't have as evidenced by Dr Who still going strong but it's hard to be out in space without a Starship unless Trek is all an hallucination or Kirk is jacked into a cybernetic or telepathic experiment by the Talosians or maybe Spock found Kirk dying alone on a space ship or on Earth and in order to save him superimposed his reality on his, like V'ger did with Decker.
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Old September 18 2011, 10:30 PM   #10
Temis the Vorta
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Re: No aliens

I'd be okay with a rewrite of Star Trek to leave just a few humanoid alien species - the vital ones, Vulcans, Romulans, Klingons and maybe Cardassians - and populate the galaxy with more Horta and Medusan type truly alien species.

But maybe we need a space opera series that starts from the first to build a picture of a cosmos in which the only humanoid aliens live on Planet Earth, and effort is put into creating plausible inhuman aliens that nonetheless, come across believably as characters. The way they left the season finale of Falling Skies made me wonder if they're going in that direction...
It's irrelovant because aunt maude in peoria is not buying it anymore.
Aunt Maude in Peoria hasn't bought Star Trek for decades. But if you want to put it on cable and attract a few million fans, then you should play up the link to the Abrams movie series, since that has the PR value you'd need. Aunt Maude will still be watching Desperate Housewives, but we don't need her anymore.

Otherwise, you could also attract a few million cable fans with truly alien-type aliens, which is what Falling Skies has done. That's Earth-based (so far), but I could see the same basic idea being set in space and still getting 6-7M on TNT or FX. Maybe Starship Troopers: The TV Series, or something along the lines of Outland.
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Old September 18 2011, 11:49 PM   #11
Lowdarzz
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Re: No aliens

Humanoid aliens are a necessity on television spaced based science fiction shows for the sack of budget alone. However, they don't all need to be that way. Back when Trek 2009 was still gearing up, I hoped they might hire the Jim Henson Creature Shop to come up with some truly imaginative aliens like they did on Farscape.

Here's hoping that if Trek ever does come back to television, they look the creature shop up.
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Old September 19 2011, 12:52 AM   #12
T'Girl
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Re: No aliens

xortex wrote: View Post
Space 1999
Non-humanoids in Space 1999. There was the Dragon from Dragon's Domain. The Cyclops from Bringers of Wonder. the Rock people from All That Gliders. The Plant people from Rules of Luton. And the warrior Thaed from A Matter of Balance.

Battlestar Galactica
There were those Insect people who lived under the casino in the original pilot, at least until Apollo and Starbuck blew up their planet. And I remember some Pig people on horseback too, in one of the episodes.

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Old September 19 2011, 03:15 AM   #13
xortex
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Location: Staten Island, NY
Re: No aliens

My point here is aliens shouldn't be depicted with appliances and bumpy heads anymore but in other more creative ways as Temis says is being done already on falling skies. If they are not mysterious or different enough they should all be Humans and explain it as a parallel reality syndrome or something. Sometimes silly and surreal is weirdly believable like the little alien birds Sylvia and the other guy was in 'Cats Paw'
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Old September 19 2011, 05:19 AM   #14
Greg Cox
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Re: No aliens

Then again, TRUE BLOOD has vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, were-leopards, fairies, and witches, and tv audiences don't seem to mind . . . .

I think Aunt Maude may be more open-minded than people think.
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Old September 19 2011, 05:26 AM   #15
xortex
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Location: Staten Island, NY
Re: No aliens

Maybe that's the answer. We need aliens that originated on Earth somewhere at aunt Maude's place in peopria perhaps or Area 51 or under water or in Hollywood or wherever to keep people remotely interested or continually offer explainations as to where they came from and how tand why they're Human or not. Are there alien witches? or how about witchy Captains? more grounded in science and reality would be better.

Last edited by xortex; September 19 2011 at 02:40 PM.
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