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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old March 25 2014, 04:00 AM   #166
Clark Terrell
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
I asked this in another thread, but what was even the reason for going back to Genesis? They were surprised to find a living breathing Spock on Genesis, so what exactly were they doing there in the first place? Someone replied to me that the novelization of the film cleared up some of the confusion, but IIRC it's never made clear in the movie.
Spock or no, Kirk seemed interested in following up on the planet's progress and didn't realize Starfleet had quarantined the planet due to the political fallout with the Klingons, who were rattling their sabers.
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Old March 25 2014, 04:30 AM   #167
TREK_GOD_1
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
In 1979 there were 78 TOS episodes in reruns, which ranged from action to mystery to character drama to comedic. At the time TMP was made, how could there be a consensus on what "worked" in the series that was specific enough to provide a formula to apply to the big screen?

Justin
TOS has its essence--that which defined the series no matter the sub-genre of any particular episode. At its best, TOS' essence was the difference between having a story unfold as fantastic, or be some soulless, gadget-laden production, like most of Lost in Space. TMP rejected that essence in a vain attempt to be some eye-roll-inducing, would-be highbrow search for meaning. Chalk that up to Roddenberry, et al being hopelessly stuck in the pretensions of late 60's hippy / faux philosophers' inability to accept themselves, thus leading too many to fantasize that they "must" have some lofty purpose in the universe.

Where some ST episodes were indeed about man's "place," or destiny, they were human, amazing and clever--not the nose-in-the-air, heartless PBS production that just so happened to have Trekstuff in the background..that being Star Trek: the Motion Picture.

One of the reasons TWOK had to be produced as seen
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Old March 25 2014, 04:57 AM   #168
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

^^ No.

Actually something Yarn said upthread I agree with. TMP should have been set 8-10 years after TOS.
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Old March 25 2014, 06:11 AM   #169
Shaka Zulu
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Kirk did not maroon Khan and his people. Kirk offered Khan and McGivers a choice.
Kirk had no choice but to maroon Khan and his people, IMHO: taking them to a starbase for trial and then a rehabilitation center would have just resulted in the same movie as TWOK, but it would be called TROK (The Return of Khan) since all Khan had to do was just be as he usually is, and then he'd take over and escape with his people.

BTW, the reason Khan acted the way he did in TWOK was because of what happened to Ceti Alpha VI; he believed that Kirk didn't care or bother to check up on him and his people, and so he left them to die. Also, it seems that Kirk didn't tell Starfleet anything about Khan or where Khan & Co. were placed, so Starfleet knew nothing about Ceti Alpha V and VI or what happened to both planets (although that doesn't explain why Chekov knew nothing about the system or just plain forgot.) Anyway, Greg Cox talked about it in his books, and IDW also did a version of the story (Star Trek: Khan - Ruling in Hell) that fills in the gaps.

Last edited by Shaka Zulu; March 25 2014 at 06:13 AM. Reason: Spelling correction
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Old March 25 2014, 06:17 AM   #170
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

Kirk had to tell Starfleet what he'd done. It was already part of his logs (and other officers as well) and he was holding a hearing at the end. And how can you realistically keep 429 other people silent?

What he did was give Starfleet and the Federation time to decide what to do: leave them there or go get them if they so chose. They could even have ordered Kirk not to go back.

But that part of TWOK was told from Khan's now insane perspective and not the reality of what happened in "Space Seed." Meyer and Bennett chose to ignore that part of the original material.
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Old March 25 2014, 02:26 PM   #171
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

Warped9 wrote: View Post
- Starfleet and the Reliant fuck up royally and mistake one planet for another. And all because one planet explodes and shifts the orbit of another.

That is patent garbage. Firstly Starfleet should have flagged the Ceti Alpha system: OFF LIMITS. DO NOT GO THERE.

Setting that aside planets do not explode for no reason. They can be wrecked by the collision from another object, but they sure as hell don't shift orbits of other planets so drastically. If Reliant comes along and finds, hey this rock ain't where it's supposed to be, then they should be investigating what the hell is gong on. There's supposed to be x many planets and now there are only y and they're in the wrong place. WTF?
^ All examples of a False Dilemma #1: designed to find some "deal-breaking," all or nothing fault with a celebrated chapter of ST--a dilemma having no effect on the heart of the plot, its characters, or anything else. You are harping on what is MINOR point which would have been just as minor if Starfleet simply forgot Khan was on his world sans the explosion dialogue. Khan could still seek revenge for a host of other perils of being in exile--which he touched on in his dialogue with Chekov and Terrell.

There's a reason no one cared about the implausibility of the planet exploding: it was not significant, and it happens in a science fiction story, not a documentary. Again, it is not the problem of the film if one cannot accept a minor, fantastic event in a fictional universe where transporters, pointy-eared aliens who mind meld, warp drive and routine time travel are the norm.


False dilemma #2:

You don't need any of the training ship bullshit. Kirk can have his midlife crises (if necessary) while he's still commanding the ship during regular operations.
"if necessary?"

How are you missing the central plot/message of the film? He's aging, and in a different career position in life, so he's no longer a young ship's captain. The glory years are in the past--all tied to his depression--necessary, as Kirk has no solution for this sad turn of life (early on). The related theme of rebirth from a "death" applies to three: Kirk (escaping the "death" of old age in returning to space / conflict with Khan), Khan in gaining what he believed was a new lease on life (escaping the "death" of exile via Reliant, etc.) and the Genesis program/device, and its theoretical use--life from lifelessness.

There's no secret in how all are interconnected and necessary to the central plot.

Kirk being out of action is critical to his depression. There's no getting around that.
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Old March 25 2014, 03:21 PM   #172
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

Meyer works for you, but doesn't work for me.
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Old March 25 2014, 05:52 PM   #173
Hober Mallow
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Meyer works for you, but doesn't work for me.
That's a very revealing statement. Don't you mean TWOK doesn't work for you? Looks from the above statement as if it's Meyer himself you have a problem with.

Or maybe not. There's a good reason I'm not a psychologist.
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Old March 25 2014, 05:54 PM   #174
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

This thread started as about Meyer's take on Trek. So in those terms, no, his interpretation doesn't work for me.
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Old March 25 2014, 10:18 PM   #175
Greg Cox
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Meyer works for you, but doesn't work for me.
It's funny. Just the other night, I was chatting with a long-time Trek writer who commented casually, as though it went without saying, that TWOK and TVH were the only two Trek movies that ever captured the feel of the original TV series.

I mention this not as proof that he's right and you're wrong, but as yet more evidence that there can never be any real consensus about what the "essence" of "real" Trek is. Trek is a Rorschach blot shaped like a Constitution-class starship. People see different things in it and can have widely varying views about what actually constitutes a good Trek movie.

Personally, I remember breathing a sigh of relief when I found out Meyer was coming back for #6--and wondering why, after TWOK, we had to wait so long to get another Trek film from the guy who'd made the best one by far. (Aside from the obvious fact that Nimoy and Shatner both pulled rank.)

Then again, TWOK, TVH, and TUC are far and away my favorite Trek movies so I'm obviously coming at this from a completely different perspective . . .
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Old March 25 2014, 10:32 PM   #176
Warped9
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

As I've said before I've gotten something out of each of the first six films, but as a whole they just don't register anymore. For me the best parts of the TOS era are in the series.
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Old March 25 2014, 10:47 PM   #177
Hober Mallow
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

I've never seen the Trek movies as an integrated whole, so I don't even try to reconcile them. To me, there is no reconciling Roddenberry's version Trek with Meyer/Bennet's. But I've also never felt any real need to reconcile them.
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Old March 26 2014, 05:23 AM   #178
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

There's no way to judge Meyer's Trek without understanding where the franchise was left post TMP. Much is made of how much money TMP made in order to prove it was a success, but I remember reading a Starlog episode which reported that a future Trek film was considered "doubtful". The franchise was hanging by a thread.

Khan was the anti-TMP. Whatever you may think about the TMP uniforms now, after Gene kind of tried something similar again in the TNG era, people hated the form-fitting leisure-suit look when the film came out, and they liked the nautical look of the Khan uniforms. They also liked the horatio hornblower vibe overall as it translated to the bosun's whistle and Khan's phaser broadsides and the loading of the torpedo tubes--not to mention Shatner's amazingly-ham-free Kirk (save Khaaaan, which people love regardless).

We've now had over 30 years of sci-fi between then and now to compare it to (including JJ Trek with its Star Wars kinetics). But at the time, Meyer's Trek was welcomed with open arms (including by your's truly). So say what you want about it now, but it saved Trek.

There's something about VI, maybe because of the low-budget and whodunnit storyline and just the fact the actors were getting so long in the tooth, that it just doesn't pop as well as the earlier films, but it's much better than V, that's for sure.

The worst part about Meyer for me is his penchant for anachronisms, like the old furniture in Starfleet HQ or the pots and pans in the galley. I'm fine with the buckles and pins but not the other stuff. Meyer was sometimes a little too literal in his horatio hornblower approach. It would have been just as easy to imply tall ships without going quite so far with the production design and the photon torpodo busting through the hull in VI like it's a cannonball going through wood in Master and Commander. It works, but it does stand out as quirky compared to the standards that were being very firmly established by that point in the TNG shows.
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Old March 26 2014, 06:32 AM   #179
Brutal Strudel
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

I thought it was interesting that Meyer caught the Hornblower-in-Space vibe without knowing that Roddenberry was shooting for that (along with aspects of the western genre) with TOS. But he leaned on it a bit too heavily--too much Hornblower, not enough -in-Space.

A similar example comes to mind with one of Goldsmith's early efforts to score the scene of TMP where the Enterprise is in drydock. In it, some people heard sailing ships, others heard covered wagons but no one heard Star Trek. When Goldsmith reworked it, pulling out of a somewhat aimless score what would become the basis for the Enterprise and TMP themes, it incorporated the sails and wagons but streamlined it into something that sounded futuristic.
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Old March 26 2014, 06:41 AM   #180
Lance
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

Brutal Strudel wrote: View Post
I thought it was interesting that Meyer caught the Hornblower-in-Space vibe without knowing that Roddenberry was shooting for that (along with aspects of the western genre) with TOS. But he leaned on it a bit too heavily--too much Hornblower, not enough -in-Space.
It always puzzled me that Roddenberry then objected to these flourishes in the movies, feeling there was too much overt militarism in Meyer's production design!

I think Hornblower undoubtedly had some basic influence on Roddenberry's broader application of the universe of TOS, but he envisaged a looser interpretation, one that kind of used those military aspects as setting a kind of broad strokes tone for the audience at home to identify with. Certainly, Pike (and later Kirk) was inspired by a Hornblower-esque captain, thrust into great responsibility and having periods of self-doubt.

I do think maybe Meyer did swing the pendulum too far back the other way. He correctly identified the Hornblower-esque aspects of TOS, but in things like the Monster Maroons and the visual nods to the days of sail he arguably sacrificed the look of the 'verse a little too far towards historical romantacism. In my opinion.
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