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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Future of Trek

Future of Trek Discussion of future Trek projects.

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Old April 24 2012, 10:04 PM   #1
Temis the Vorta
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space opera's fortunes are turning around...

Will wonders never cease? Syfy is back in the space opera game!

This has implications for Star Trek because Bryan Fuller is the EP of one of Syfy's new space operas (that little minx, I had no idea he was working on a space series! ), and also it shows that space opera is not a budget-breaker even on a cheapish cable channel like Syfy. If High Moon or Defender (or better yet, both) are successful, then that will make the whole space opera genre look less problematic. Anyone with a Nielsens box out there?

This really makes me wonder about Blood & Chrome. I took the fact that Syfy passed on it as a bad sign for space opera in general. But Syfy is no longer allergic to space opera, and the budget for space-based shows is not a deal-breaker. B&C must have had something seriously wrong with it. It had the advantage of being part of a known franchise, and the shows they went with instead don't have that advantage. I'm really curious to see it now.

Here are the space opera series:

High Moon – Based on the novel, The Lotus Caves, by John Christopher, this imaginative, out-of-this-world series explores a world where the countries of Earth have established colonies to mine the Moon’s resources. When a new life form is discovered, chaos erupts as various factions race to uncover its powerful secrets. Executive producer: Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies). Co-executive producer: Jim Danger Gray (Pushing Daisies). Writers: Bryan Fuller and Jim Danger Gray. Executive producer: Granat Entertainment. A production of Universal Cable Productions.

Defender – In the aftermath of an intergalactic war between humans and transhumans, the starship Defender, populated by a combustible mix of former enemies, is sent on a seemingly simple goodwill mission, which turns into a fight for their lives and for the safety of the Universe at large. Executive producer/writer: Robert Hewitt Wolfe (Alphas). A production of Universal Cable Productions.
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Old April 24 2012, 10:11 PM   #2
C.E. Evans
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Re: space opera's fortunes are turning around...

Well, until any of these are actually greenlighted, it's a bit too early to start counting chickens. SyFy still has more reality shows in development than scripted ones, and more of those are likely to make it to series where only one of these may, IMO.
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Old April 24 2012, 10:12 PM   #3
xortex
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Re: space opera's fortunes are turning around...

Temis, do you know anything about the Pulsar science fiction screenplay contest? I entered and lost. Is it above board?
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Old April 24 2012, 11:10 PM   #4
Temis the Vorta
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Re: space opera's fortunes are turning around...

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Well, until any of these are actually greenlighted, it's a bit too early to start counting chickens.
This is their upfront presentation, which traditionally includes only projects that have been greenlighted so that they can sell advertisers on the shows. At least that's how it works in broadcast. However, I've been thinking that 28 series is way too much stuff for one channel over one season. And most of these shows are not cast yet.

Blastr's article includes the original press release, which clarifies things some. Yeah, just Defiance is greenlit among the scripted series (along with a lot of reality crap). So it will be a while before we can definitely say how much less lame Syfy is.

Last edited by Temis the Vorta; April 24 2012 at 11:27 PM.
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Old April 24 2012, 11:10 PM   #5
Temis the Vorta
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Re: space opera's fortunes are turning around...

xortex wrote: View Post
Temis, do you know anything about the Pulsar science fiction screenplay contest? I entered and lost. Is it above board?
Never heard of it, sorry.
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Old April 25 2012, 03:49 AM   #6
AviTrek
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Re: space opera's fortunes are turning around...

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Well, until any of these are actually greenlighted, it's a bit too early to start counting chickens.
This is their upfront presentation, which traditionally includes only projects that have been greenlighted so that they can sell advertisers on the shows. At least that's how it works in broadcast. However, I've been thinking that 28 series is way too much stuff for one channel over one season. And most of these shows are not cast yet.

Blastr's article includes the original press release, which clarifies things some. Yeah, just Defiance is greenlit among the scripted series (along with a lot of reality crap). So it will be a while before we can definitely say how much less lame Syfy is.
SyFy has never said they disliked space opera. In fact, the only explicit space opera mentioned was when an executive said they were looking for the next big space opera. The virtual sets on B&C were probably a problem. Not to mention that it probably belonged more in the miltary sci fi than space opera category anyway.

Either way, here's hoping Defenders gets picked up and is a hit.
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Old April 25 2012, 04:19 AM   #7
Ian Keldon
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Re: space opera's fortunes are turning around...

Sy Fi isn't CBS. And 2 shows out of 28-30 is a pitiful showing for a network that allegedly was/is about sci-fi programming.
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Old April 25 2012, 10:10 AM   #8
The Green Mushroom
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Re: space opera's fortunes are turning around...

Ian Keldon wrote: View Post
Sy Fi isn't CBS. And 2 shows out of 28-30 is a pitiful showing for a network that allegedly was/is about sci-fi programming.
I'm not saying that most of the shows will be any good. I am certainly not saying that any of the reality crap will be any good. In fact I AM saying that I believe that the reality crap will reach a new level of bad, far below so bad its good, that eyeballs will start to bleed from merely watching the commercials.

However, most of the non-reality crap does fit in with the science fiction and fantasy genres. Science fiction is not just space operas and time travel--which alone add up to three shows on the list.
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Old April 25 2012, 01:24 PM   #9
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Re: space opera's fortunes are turning around...

I've never forgiven Skiffy for cancelling MST3K...
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Old April 25 2012, 02:46 PM   #10
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: space opera's fortunes are turning around...

SyFy presented Farscape and Battlestar Galactica, two thirds of the worthwhile space operas other than Star Trek in decades (Firefly being the other). They were the outlet for the new Doctor Who here in the States for years; they even put money into Stargate year after year. Their track record is awesome compared to every other channel on the dial.

MST3K was not terribly good on SyFy. The Comedy Central years were the outstanding ones.

Last edited by Admiral Buzzkill; April 25 2012 at 06:31 PM.
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Old April 25 2012, 05:39 PM   #11
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Re: space opera's fortunes are turning around...

Yea, I believe Blood and Chrome's problem was the virtual sets. They got far more labor and longer turn around time, then it seems they were prepared for. Many folks seemed quite impressed with the content, but, it took them about 8 months Post Filming time to get all the effects and music and so forth completed for a single 2 hour Pilot, even if Cost wasn't the problem, there's no way they could operate with that kinda turnaround time for a 10-20 episode season if a single 2 hour Pilot took that long to turn around
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Old April 25 2012, 07:03 PM   #12
Ian Keldon
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Re: space opera's fortunes are turning around...

"Virtual sets" are the epitome of the meaning behind the expression "penny wise and pound foolish".

Yes, they cost less "up front", require smaller crews, etc. However, as noted above they have long turn around times, require much more elaborate pre-prep for filming scenes and cost as much or more than practical sets to do right.
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Old April 25 2012, 08:05 PM   #13
Redfern
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Re: space opera's fortunes are turning around...

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
MST3K was not terribly good on SyFy. The Comedy Central years were the outstanding ones.
Though I never had a chance to see the series until it hit the SciFi Channel, even I realized how the format had veered from its original premise (thanks to the "Colossal Guide"). It finally got a bit back on course when they returned to earth orbit and Pearl set up Castle Forrester. But yeah, something was amiss with the absence of Dr. Clayton Forrester.

Still, the running gag of poor ol' Mike becoming an accidental destroyer of worlds was a pretty funny idea. And it's hard to top the "Noh Theater" bit.

Sincerely,

Bill
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Old April 25 2012, 08:41 PM   #14
Temis the Vorta
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Re: space opera's fortunes are turning around...

Ian Keldon wrote: View Post
Sy Fi isn't CBS. And 2 shows out of 28-30 is a pitiful showing for a network that allegedly was/is about sci-fi programming.
Yeah, I was probably being too effusive yesterday due to my total surprise that they aren't being entirely lame. There's still plenty of time for them to pass on Defender and pick up some ghost hunting crap instead.

But I'm clinging to the hope that Comcast buying NBC means that they're exerting pressure on Syfy to engage in some long-term thinking and not just go with whatever's the cheapest and easiest path to profit. Syfy has a degraded image now, and could stand some long-term thinking to rebuild their brand. Ditto for NBC, which is also undergoing this process so I'm guessing it's a mandate from the new bosses. There's definitely something new in the air, and for once it doesn't stink.

However, most of the non-reality crap does fit in with the science fiction and fantasy genres. Science fiction is not just space operas and time travel--which alone add up to three shows on the list.
That's always been the case on Syfy. Is that really enough? I don't think so. If/when they finally get a show that's worth my while to watch, then my opinion will improve.
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Old May 11 2012, 01:07 AM   #15
TerraNovan
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Re: space opera's fortunes are turning around...

Connecting Star trek to the term space opera is marking the franchise for failure. Star trek died because of its association with space opera. It's a dated concept, to the days when one couldn't make a sci fi show without certain formulas. Star trek, as a space opera is a cliche. If you wanna bring it back you need to look at where open minded people now view television. The premium tier television networks, producing mainly dramas is where the show needs to go. 10-13 episode seasons, with a priority set on casting above all else.

The modern era of star trek, had it's greatest moments with the character acting of ds9, and patrick stewart.
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