RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 139,657
Posts: 5,428,820
Members: 24,813
Currently online: 552
Newest member: SB118_Pavlova


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy

Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 29 2012, 04:26 AM   #1
ElimParra
Fleet Admiral
 
ElimParra's Avatar
 
The Unfulfilled Promise of Gritty Space Opera

I found this article on facebook earlier today on io9's newsfeed, and thought it was interesting, as one thing I miss at the moment on television - is that there is no space operas showing. And I really wish there was.

Everybody talks about the fact that there's no more space opera on television, and only the occasional movie. What's easy to forget, though, is that just a decade ago we appeared to be on the verge of a brilliant new era of space adventure.

In the early 2000s, space opera was being reinvented. Gone were the shiny sets and pastel uniforms — and in their place came a new gritty realism, with handheld cameras and flawed characters. Space opera was coming of age at last. And then, it was gone. What happened?

With space opera all but vanished from the mass media these days, it's actually kind of weird to remember how much the subgenre appeared to be renewing itself in the early 2000s. (This year, the only space movies are Prometheus, Gravity, and maybe Lockout. And on television, there's bupkis, unless Syfy hurries up and gets Untitled Robert Hewitt Wolfe Project on the air this fall, hopefully with a catchier name.)
Linky
ElimParra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29 2012, 04:51 AM   #2
M'rk, son of Mogh
Rear Admiral
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
Re: The Unfulfilled Promise of Gritty Space Opera

I've never cared much for "gritty realism" in my space opera (in fact, I don't care for the term in general).

Maybe it's tough to get a show like that off the ground since all the comparisons now are either to Star Trek or nuBattlestar? Those are a lot to live up to.
M'rk, son of Mogh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29 2012, 02:15 PM   #3
Faldor
Fleet Captain
 
Location: the mad spaces between the stars
View Faldor's Twitter Profile
Re: The Unfulfilled Promise of Gritty Space Opera

I think two of the big factors are how popular fantasy has become since Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter first came out in 2001 and the fact TV production has changed to try and get an immediate hit with a pilot rather then give a show a season to make its money back which is obviously very important for a space opera with a lot of large sets.
__________________
Occasional Filmmaker
Blog | Twitter | Vimeo
Faldor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29 2012, 02:49 PM   #4
Deckerd
Fleet Arse
 
Deckerd's Avatar
 
Location: the Frozen Wastes
Re: The Unfulfilled Promise of Gritty Space Opera

I don't think many people want to see it. That's why there isn't any on the horizon, except for movies.
__________________
They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance.
Deckerd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29 2012, 05:04 PM   #5
Yevetha
Commodore
 
Re: The Unfulfilled Promise of Gritty Space Opera

There was a space opere during the naughties.

Andromeda.
Yevetha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29 2012, 05:12 PM   #6
Mistral
Vice Admiral
 
Mistral's Avatar
 
Location: Between the candle and the flame
Re: The Unfulfilled Promise of Gritty Space Opera

I think for any future projects to work, they are going to have to get someone who has read a lot of scifi and can adapt things to the television world.
The modern audience is too sophisticated to be captured with mediocre writing and hackneyed concepts dating back to the 50s. BSG expl;ored the gritty side-now they have to find and take the next step.
__________________
...sf fandom is only a personality disorder if you do it right.-Klaus
http://www.adastrafanfic.com - archive stories! www.4rumboys.com for honest gaming

Mistral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29 2012, 05:17 PM   #7
Deckerd
Fleet Arse
 
Deckerd's Avatar
 
Location: the Frozen Wastes
Re: The Unfulfilled Promise of Gritty Space Opera

In BSG they actually had something resembling sex now and then too.
__________________
They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance.
Deckerd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29 2012, 07:59 PM   #8
Temis the Vorta
Fleet Admiral
 
Temis the Vorta's Avatar
 
Location: Tatoinne
Re: The Unfulfilled Promise of Gritty Space Opera

"What happened" is that space opera - gritty or bubbly - is expensive, and audiences are fragmenting into smaller groups, meaning it's harder to justify a big budget to serve their tastes vs doing something that is nichey & cheap (aka, the SyFy channel strategy).

Somebody figure out that conundrum, you win a kewpie doll.

If that article's theories about why people don't want "gritty" space opera are true (and I'm skeptical that the whole thing isn't 90% economic), then a good old fashioned corny us-vs-them space opera could really catch on. But who's going to take that chance vs just doing another cop show in sci fi window dressing?

nuBSG would never appear on a major network because no space opera, not even an old-fashioned corny one, can get the audience needed to justify the cost. That will happen only on cable, where they have more than advertising to support their programming.

Ideally, it should happen on the most well-heeled segment of TV - premium cable - but then the question is, are they too damn sophisticated to give their audience something as "silly" as space opera? HBO and Showtime don't seem very interested in sci fi at all.
Temis the Vorta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29 2012, 08:35 PM   #9
Admiral2
Vice Admiral
 
Admiral2's Avatar
 
Location: Peregrine Cliff
Re: The Unfulfilled Promise of Gritty Space Opera

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Ideally, it should happen on the most well-heeled segment of TV - premium cable - but then the question is, are they too damn sophisticated to give their audience something as "silly" as space opera? HBO and Showtime don't seem very interested in sci fi at all.

They would be if all the female charcaters were half-naked and they all fucked the hero twenty minutes after a bloody set-piece battle. It's doing wonders for Spartacus.
__________________
"That's another thing Hollywood gets wrong. Real women EAT."

-Tom Clancy
Admiral2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29 2012, 08:44 PM   #10
Temis the Vorta
Fleet Admiral
 
Temis the Vorta's Avatar
 
Location: Tatoinne
Re: The Unfulfilled Promise of Gritty Space Opera

Spartacus is on Starz! A space opera on Starz would be like Lex, but sleazier and less restrained. On HBO or Showtime, it would be more like Game of Thrones, not something you can sneer at.

I'd love it if there was a space opera on: Starz, HBO or Showtime (they're pretty interchangeable in their approach), AMC, FX, TNT and yeah let's let Skiffy play, too. They'd all be distinctly different. I'd watch some and avoid the others, but at least there would be several to choose from.
Temis the Vorta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29 2012, 09:25 PM   #11
Holdfast
Procul, O procul este profani!
 
Holdfast's Avatar
 
Location: 17 Cherry Tree Lane
Re: The Unfulfilled Promise of Gritty Space Opera

I find the argument that's it more about space opera in general being expensive quite persuasive. I am not generally a fan of gritty sci-fi shows (depth is not synonymous with grit) but I don't think a light-hearted one can be explosive enough out of the audience blocks to be cost-effective either.

The series that would theoretically stand the best chance of changing this dynamic would be the much-promised Star Wars live action TV show. It has the brand to capture lots of viewers, and if it worked it would have potential to act as a tentpole, enabling a diverse range of other sci-fi TV series (including "gritty" ones) to be commissioned in its wake as being "like SW, but..."
Holdfast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29 2012, 09:41 PM   #12
xortex
Commodore
 
Location: Staten Island, NY
Re: The Unfulfilled Promise of Gritty Space Opera

Problem solved. Make Star Trek a fantasy - a Talosian illusion and set it on Talos IV. Turn Kirk into Vina, etc., create a religion around the Talosians and have a primitive society led by Captain Pike (Mr. delusional, himself). Therefore none of it is real. Include V'ger and Q and walah! it's grounded in fantasy, almost similar to Planet of Titans even.
xortex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29 2012, 09:45 PM   #13
Temis the Vorta
Fleet Admiral
 
Temis the Vorta's Avatar
 
Location: Tatoinne
Re: The Unfulfilled Promise of Gritty Space Opera

The Star Wars brand name would get attention, but if the SFX aren't as spectacular as the movies, and they won't be, people will bitch. If Lucas makes good on his threat to make it a dark and gritty show about bounty hunters and not Jedi, the bitching will reach catastrophic proportions.

A dark and gritty show about space bounty hunters on, say, FX, could be a big hit - but I wouldn't slap the Star Wars brand on it. Far too confusing. If someone wants to make a live-action show that has the same character types and style as The Clone Wars, that could work - but since animation is working fine, is there a point to doing that?
Temis the Vorta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29 2012, 09:52 PM   #14
DarthTom
Fleet Admiral
 
DarthTom's Avatar
 
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Re: The Unfulfilled Promise of Gritty Space Opera

The TNT series, Falling Skies while it doesn't fit the catagory perfectly of 'space opera,' because it isn't set in space, I personally consider it the sci-fi alternative to The Walking Dead and has many components of the drama that you're speaking of.
DarthTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29 2012, 10:26 PM   #15
Nerys Myk
Fleet Admiral
 
Nerys Myk's Avatar
 
Location: House of Kang, now with ridges
Re: The Unfulfilled Promise of Gritty Space Opera

xortex wrote: View Post
Problem solved. Make Star Trek a fantasy - a Talosian illusion and set it on Talos IV. Turn Kirk into Vina, etc., create a religion around the Talosians and have a primitive society led by Captain Pike (Mr. delusional, himself). Therefore none of it is real. Include V'ger and Q and walah! it's grounded in fantasy, almost similar to Planet of Titans even.
Star Trek is a fantasy.
__________________
The boring one, the one with Khan, the one where Spock returns, the one with whales, the dumb one, the last one, the one with Kirk, the one with the Borg, the stupid one, the bad one, the new one, the other one with Khan.
Nerys Myk is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:47 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.