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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 June 6 2009, 05:59 PM   #1
Warped9
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Star Trek writ large?

Was Star Trek as a concept better served on film than on television?

Whether one likes it or not I've long thought that Robert Wise took TOS' original vision and gave it much of the texture and polish it deseerved in TMP, even if I didn't agree with everything he did. Overall, though, I think he used the larger canvas of film to good effect.

The other films also allowed for more elaborate interpretations of Trek's visual presentation.

Thoughts anyone?
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Old June 6 2009, 08:17 PM   #2
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Re: Star Trek writ large?

I agree; a larger budget and more time to put into a screenplay and simply extra time give us much better panoramas of Star Trek. That said the wait between movie installments is much longer than I can bear. Two years until XII. Seven years since X. Yeesh! It's like we're cicadas or something! You get another Trek Movie every 17 years . . .
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Old June 6 2009, 08:31 PM   #3
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Re: Star Trek writ large?

Actually, IMHO, Star Trek works better as a TV series. The latest film, for example, basically spends all it's time "getting its narrative house in order" (I think R. Ebert states that in his review). It only really has time to get the characters established and then we have to wait x number of years for another story with those characters. I also feel, due to box office pressure starting with Star Wars, there's too much of a temptation for wowie special effects. Which could be argued was the problem with the first and, to some extent, the latest film. The effects become more important than the story or characters. At times, the effects, such as in ST-TMP overwhelm the story.

In contrast, TV series have a chance to more carefully develop characters, cultures, ideologies, conflicts that seem more realistic and are not necessarily quickly tied up in a couple of hours. They can develop stories over several shows or a whole season that are more satisfying to me than a movie can be.
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Old June 7 2009, 04:28 AM   #4
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Re: Star Trek writ large?

TV has its strengths, and Middle Earther accurately conveys them.

At the same time, the TOS movies are leaps and bounds ahead of the show itself in terms of character development and the depth of their stories. I love both, but if I had to choose which ceased to exist, I'd pick the show before the movies.

TNG, by contrast, made terrible films, for whatever reason. The only one that's even okay is Generations, and it's very flawed.
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Old June 7 2009, 05:20 AM   #5
Nerys Myk
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Re: Star Trek writ large?

Depends on what story you want to tell. Star Trek works on the large screen, small screen and the printed page. It call tell small personal stories and big epic ones. Its not locked into one type of story or one format.
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Old June 7 2009, 04:56 PM   #6
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Re: Star Trek writ large?

I think movies have too much pressure to do something big. Big bad guy, bit explosions, big action. We would never have gotten any of the charming little stories in the various series if it was just movies.

This was the just one of the many problems with the Star Wars prequels. They had to one up each other in FX and scenery until it just became an FX real in ROTS. Give me little, interesting, and thoughtful vignette stories any day. Not that an epic isn't bad once in awhile, but you can't save the universe every day.
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Old June 8 2009, 05:07 AM   #7
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Re: Star Trek writ large?

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Depends on what story you want to tell. Star Trek works on the large screen, small screen and the printed page. It call tell small personal stories and big epic ones. Its not locked into one type of story or one format.
This is very on point. In terms of story I think it works best on television simply because more episodes gets you more stories which lets you cover a lot of ground over a season.

CGI and more sophisticated resources can work for a TV series today, but I still think a film has an edge when it comes to visual presentation.
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Old June 8 2009, 05:27 AM   #8
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Re: Star Trek writ large?

I was trying to figure out how to say it, but Gary_Sebben and Warped9 really hit it on the head for me. The advantage of the TV series is that they can tell a different kind of story each week. You can more easily go from an adventure story like "Doomsday Machine" to a character piece like "Amok Time," then something a bit more 'hard sci-fi' like "The Changeling" or a comedy episode like "Tribbles."

I'll give the TOS films credit for at least trying to replicate that variety — you've got TMP, which tried to be sci-fi rather than space opera, and of course TVH which was out-and-out comedy. The TNG films, on the other hand, all tried to be Wrath of Khan.
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Old June 8 2009, 03:19 PM   #9
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Re: Star Trek writ large?

Gary Sebben wrote: View Post
I think movies have too much pressure to do something big. Big bad guy, bit explosions, big action. We would never have gotten any of the charming little stories in the various series if it was just movies.

This was the just one of the many problems with the Star Wars prequels. They had to one up each other in FX and scenery until it just became an FX real in ROTS. Give me little, interesting, and thoughtful vignette stories any day. Not that an epic isn't bad once in awhile, but you can't save the universe every day.
You're absolutely right, Gary. The power of the TV format over the movie is that there isn't as much pressure for each story to be a major action-adventure piece with battles and enemies and destruction and huge special effects. Some of the finest Star Trek episodes never used a weapon or had a fight. Look at (as some already pointed out) "Tribbles," or "City on the Edge of Forever," or the amazing TNG story "The Inner Light." The movie format can produce some amazing work, like TMP and TWOK, but in general I have always thought that the series works better n the small screen.
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Old June 8 2009, 07:41 PM   #10
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Re: Star Trek writ large?

cardinal biggles wrote: View Post
The TNG films, on the other hand, all tried to be Wrath of Khan.
And, ironically, FC was the one that succeeded by not being TWoK at all.
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Old June 8 2009, 08:27 PM   #11
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Re: Star Trek writ large?

Gep Malakai wrote: View Post
cardinal biggles wrote: View Post
The TNG films, on the other hand, all tried to be Wrath of Khan.
And, ironically, FC was the one that succeeded by not being TWoK at all.
FC took the protagonist and antagonist of TWOK, carved them up, and put the bits and pieces into Picard.
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Old June 8 2009, 08:41 PM   #12
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Re: Star Trek writ large?

^Complete with Moby Dick references.
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Old June 8 2009, 09:02 PM   #13
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Re: Star Trek writ large?

middyseafort wrote: View Post

FC took the protagonist and antagonist of TWOK, craved them up, and put the bits and pieces into Picard.
Exactly. It used all the bits of TWoK but actually put them together in a new fashion for once.
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Old June 9 2009, 12:43 AM   #14
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Re: Star Trek writ large?

Generally, I think "Star Trek" on the big screen is different than the small screen. But is it "better"? Depends on your tastes.

On the big screen, I think it tends to be more about action and big events, with not as much room for the small stuff. On the small, there's more room for the little stuff and I'd say it tends to be overall more contemplative.

And I think the fact that the TNG movies were not as good as the TOS movies (and yes, I said "fact") is more reflective of the franchise being on the wrong track and mismanaged than it is a failing of the medium, like middyseafort, Myasishchev, and Gep Malakai point out. They were trying to replicate their past successes via formula, rather than just trying to make a good movie.
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Old June 9 2009, 03:22 AM   #15
Nerys Myk
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Re: Star Trek writ large?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Depends on what story you want to tell. Star Trek works on the large screen, small screen and the printed page. It call tell small personal stories and big epic ones. Its not locked into one type of story or one format.
This is very on point. In terms of story I think it works best on television simply because more episodes gets you more stories which lets you cover a lot of ground over a season.

CGI and more sophisticated resources can work for a TV series today, but I still think a film has an edge when it comes to visual presentation.
If its variety you're after, then TV is your best best. TOS was quite adept at telling different types of stories. Something that the latter shows couild never quite duplicate. Possibly because they were trying too hard to tell "Star Trek" stories.
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