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Old June 19 2009, 08:06 PM   #151
Praetor
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Re: The Borg, a defence

Anwar wrote: View Post
The fans didn't like the Suliban, which is why they decided to create the Xindi to serve as new antagonists. Also, being a brand new race meant that the writers wouldn't have to worry about being constrained by prior writers when it came to using them like if they had used the Romulans. Same reason they made the Suliban in the first place, they didn't have to worry about any silly complaints of how they were misusing the Orions if they didn't use the Orions at all.

And guess what, when they DID use the Orions they got complaints they were misusing them. That reaction in itself justified the creations of new races.
Fans didn't like the Suliban (or at least this fan didn't) because we'd never heard of them before and because they were a part of that horrible Temporal Cold War. If the Suliban had been Orions in the first place and they'd dropped the time travel bit, I doubt they'd have gotten the negative backlash, at least from me, even if they'd still been able to climb walls and slink under doors.

Also, from what I've seen most of the issue with the Orions when they finally did appear on ENT had to do with the "revelation" that the girls were masters and the men the slaves. I didn't mind this, personally.
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Old June 19 2009, 08:30 PM   #152
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Re: The Borg, a defence

The cloaking devices didn't help the Suliban much, either.

Adhering to established canon puts hard limits on storytelling, but that isn't always a bad thing. Working within those limits can sometimes produce much more interesting and compelling narratives than would be possible with total creative freedom.
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Old June 20 2009, 03:30 AM   #153
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Re: The Borg, a defence

hyzmarca wrote: View Post
The cloaking devices didn't help the Suliban much, either.

Adhering to established canon puts hard limits on storytelling, but that isn't always a bad thing. Working within those limits can sometimes produce much more interesting and compelling narratives than would be possible with total creative freedom.
Not with how utterly constrained ENT would've been if they slavishly obeyed every last thing TOS said about the pre-TOS era.

The main problem is that TOS wasn't made with a prequel in mind, too much stuff was explicitly stated to be brand new in TOS for there to be anything leftover for a prequel. And plus, if anyone heroic had been around pre-TOS they'd have been mentioned but no one ever was. Wars worked (to an extent) in that it was still the same guy in charge, featured a lot of the same characters from the other movies, and they never told us anything about the past aside from one mention of the "Clone Wars" leaving them free to do whatever they wanted.

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Old June 20 2009, 05:20 AM   #154
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Re: The Borg, a defence

Anwar wrote: View Post
They're acceptable targets.
I bet they wouldn't be if they loved ENT and VOY more than any other trek series.

Wait a sec... the point I'm making here seems familiar.

Can't quite put my finger on it.
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Old June 20 2009, 12:34 PM   #155
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Re: The Borg, a defence

If you're implying I like those two more than any other series you're wrong. I like TOS, TNG and DS9 probably more than I like those, I just don't despise UPN Trek and I don't worship DS9 as the end-all of TV.
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Old June 20 2009, 03:12 PM   #156
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Re: The Borg, a defence

Personally, I don't despise VOY or ENT; I'm just terribly disappointed in them. In my view, neither one lived up to their true dramatic potential (though ENT began to in its final year). VOY started off promisingly, but the first major dramatic flaw hits at the end of "Caretaker" -- even though the Maquis make up a third of Voyager's crew, and even though the Starfleet crew needs the Maquis, and even though the Maquis had demonstrated bravery and selflessness by sacrificing their ship to save Voyager, Janeway still forces the Maquis to join Starfleet and demands that Voyager be run as a Starfleet ship, instead of creating a more democratic command structure that acknowledges the reality of Voyager's situation (cut off from Command) and treats the Maquis as equal partners instead of subordinates.

The basic problem with both VOY and ENT, so aptly demonstrated with the finale of "Caretaker," is that each one set itself up to be very different from TNG... and then fell into the pattern of trying to be TNG again. Neither one lived up to their differences, to the things that made them unique; both spent most of their lifespans trying to be TNG again, and both failed dramatically. TNG succeeded by not trying to be TOS. DS9 succeeded by not trying to be TNG. VOY and ENT failed by trying to be TNG -- and ENT only began to succeed when it stopped trying to be any series but itself.
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Old June 20 2009, 04:24 PM   #157
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Re: The Borg, a defence

Like I mentioned in other threads, that's because they were UPN Trek. UPN wanted TNG clones, the writers didn't. The writers lost.
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Old June 20 2009, 05:06 PM   #158
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Re: The Borg, a defence

Anwar wrote: View Post
Like I mentioned in other threads, that's because they were UPN Trek. UPN wanted TNG clones, the writers didn't. The writers lost.
Then they really should have left, because it should have become clear to them that they were not turning out a good product.
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Old June 20 2009, 05:15 PM   #159
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Re: The Borg, a defence

They were contracted beforehand. Quitting would have been a violation of said contract and led to lawsuits/blacklisted from the industry.
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Old June 20 2009, 05:27 PM   #160
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Re: The Borg, a defence

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They were contracted beforehand. Quitting would have been a violation of said contract and led to lawsuits/blacklisted from the industry.
Tell that to Ronald D. Moore, who did quit when he realized he wasn't going to be able to turn out good work under those conditions.

And I'm skeptical of the idea that it's all UPN's fault, frankly. Numerous statements from Moore, Ira Steven Behr, Garret Wang, and others, have strongly implied over the years that Trek was being run according to the arbitrary, risk-adverse whims of Rick Berman. (In particular, Wang's claim that actors playing Humans were instructed by Berman to tone down their performances to create emotionally flat Humans because Berman felt that was the only way to make alien characters believable sticks with me.)

I'm not saying Berman and Braga are bad guys. And both of them did turn out good scripts at times, too. But it's my strong opinion that by the time of mid-VOY, both were suffering from creative burnout and weren't producing good stories anymore -- and that their aversion to creative risk stifled other writers.
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Old June 20 2009, 08:18 PM   #161
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Re: The Borg, a defence

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Also, given the confusion between assmilation and death, it is by no means clear that anyone is killed by the Borg other than in combat. There is no reason to think that combat deaths of civilians are a problem for any other posters here. Certainly, the vehement desire of the majority to exterminate all the Commies, er, Borg, shows no distinction between combatants and civilians in the Collective.
People seem to be killed by the Borg in defense against involuntary servitude. I don't think the comment that posters are forgiving towards civilian casualties in combat is on the mark. I imagine most, if not all, find it repulsive, as I do.

I am curious about the way you differentiate between Borg civilians and Borg combatants--the series never dramatized them as having a society organized in such a way. There is certainly a moral problem in the killing of Borg drones, for the series dramatized repeatedly that drones could be removed from the Borg Collective and reintegrated into society, even those assimilated at a young age. This moral complexity was brushed upon in the series, but never adequately confronted in my opinion.

On the other hand, the extermination of the Borg may be the only way to preserve one's way of life. As depicted on screen, the Borg are an unstoppable, voracious enemy (that they moved on the Federation rarely was a plot contrivance, and unrepresentative of their behavior towards other species). I highly doubt a peace of any kind could be forged between them and any other species. It's notable that even in the face of a practically invincible enemy in Species 8472, the Borg were never shown offering surrender.



The Picard version may be all horror show but it makes no sense for a computer program to go to the trouble of suppressing organic minds to use the bodies. Robots would be much more sensible. The sentimental attachment to such nonsense is puzzling.
Robots may have been more sensible, but outside of the uniqueness of Data and a few other sentient robots in the Star Trek universe, robots just do not exist. The Borg incorporated organic components out of necessity, unable to transcend them by taking on a fully mechanical form, as dramatized in Descent and Descent II. Admittedly, it is absurd that the Federation has not developed such technology, let alone the Borg, considering what other things we have seen them routinely use on screen, but that's the narrative presented on screen.

The Voyager episode Child's Play was directly inspired by the Elian Gonzalez case, with the Borg playing the role of Cuba. The episode cleverly condemned the mother for risking the boy's life yet still saving him from the evil Fidelistas, and fictionally kicking their asses for good measure. Oh, yes, the Collective was indeed usually a symbol of Communism. Beating the Cold War drums was one of the ways Berman Trek really was stick in the mud trash. But no one here complains about that.
I must admit, it's been ages since I've seen any episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, particularly from the season that Child's Play was produced for. However, from my memory and a brief search of the internet provides no creative link between the Elian Gonzales affair and this particular episode. The timeline doesn't dismiss the possibility--Child's Play was broadcast on March 8, 2000 and likely written and filmed in January and February of that year; the Gonzales affair had certainly gained press attention beginning in November of 1999, although it did not come to a head until after the episode was produced and broadcast. I suppose I'm just curious where you're drawing your information from here.

Given the known intention for the Kazon to represent Bloods and Crips, i.e., Blacks, the wisecrack about not assimilating the Kazon had distinctly unpleasant overtones.
Not the same overtones if the same comment had been made about the Klingons, which often take on stereotypical African-American characteristics (though, curiously, have also served as stand-ins for Communism as well). That would have been distasteful. In universe, that the Borg have no interest in the Kazon, a species that was consistently depicted as entirely dependent on the theft of technology from others, is no surprise. Outside of the fictional world, the Kazon were never representative of most blacks like the Klingons were, and I think you're stretching to take so much offense in this case.
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Old June 20 2009, 08:22 PM   #162
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Re: The Borg, a defence

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Outside of the fictional world, the Kazon were never representative of most blacks like the Klingons were, and I think you're stretching to take so much offense in this case.
Don't mind stj. Everything's right-wing propaganda to him.
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Old June 20 2009, 09:22 PM   #163
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Re: The Borg, a defence

Sci wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post
Outside of the fictional world, the Kazon were never representative of most blacks like the Klingons were, and I think you're stretching to take so much offense in this case.
Don't mind stj. Everything's right-wing propaganda to him.
I can't recall Klingons being said to represent Black Americans before, later editions of Trek just used Black actors to portray them. I thought they went from Soviets to a quasi Samurai and Viking mixed culture. But if memory serves the gang, not African American, allusions to the Kazon were made
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Old June 20 2009, 11:21 PM   #164
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Re: The Borg, a defence

Sci wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
They were contracted beforehand. Quitting would have been a violation of said contract and led to lawsuits/blacklisted from the industry.
Tell that to Ronald D. Moore, who did quit when he realized he wasn't going to be able to turn out good work under those conditions.

And I'm skeptical of the idea that it's all UPN's fault, frankly. Numerous statements from Moore, Ira Steven Behr, Garret Wang, and others, have strongly implied over the years that Trek was being run according to the arbitrary, risk-adverse whims of Rick Berman. (In particular, Wang's claim that actors playing Humans were instructed by Berman to tone down their performances to create emotionally flat Humans because Berman felt that was the only way to make alien characters believable sticks with me.)

I'm not saying Berman and Braga are bad guys. And both of them did turn out good scripts at times, too. But it's my strong opinion that by the time of mid-VOY, both were suffering from creative burnout and weren't producing good stories anymore -- and that their aversion to creative risk stifled other writers.
Moore wasn't under the contract Berman and Braga were under, and Michael Piller was asked to leave (he was fired), their situations were different.

Frankly, Behr comes off as a whiner to me these days. And Wang has little room to complain as he was hardly a Master Thespian to begin with. Moore, well I've made my feelings about him and Trek clear before (disgruntled ex-employee). B&B were burnt out from years of being under UPN's thumb, but they're hardly the spawns of Satan the (Hate)dom made them out to be.
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Old June 21 2009, 07:11 PM   #165
Praetor
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Re: The Borg, a defence

Anwar wrote: View Post
hyzmarca wrote: View Post
The cloaking devices didn't help the Suliban much, either.

Adhering to established canon puts hard limits on storytelling, but that isn't always a bad thing. Working within those limits can sometimes produce much more interesting and compelling narratives than would be possible with total creative freedom.
Not with how utterly constrained ENT would've been if they slavishly obeyed every last thing TOS said about the pre-TOS era.

The main problem is that TOS wasn't made with a prequel in mind, too much stuff was explicitly stated to be brand new in TOS for there to be anything leftover for a prequel. And plus, if anyone heroic had been around pre-TOS they'd have been mentioned but no one ever was. Wars worked (to an extent) in that it was still the same guy in charge, featured a lot of the same characters from the other movies, and they never told us anything about the past aside from one mention of the "Clone Wars" leaving them free to do whatever they wanted.
Other than the cloak and the weapons of the ENT, what else was "explicitly stated to be new"?

Technological limits should have, in theory, made for better drama.

Sci wrote: View Post
Personally, I don't despise VOY or ENT; I'm just terribly disappointed in them. In my view, neither one lived up to their true dramatic potential (though ENT began to in its final year). VOY started off promisingly, but the first major dramatic flaw hits at the end of "Caretaker" -- even though the Maquis make up a third of Voyager's crew, and even though the Starfleet crew needs the Maquis, and even though the Maquis had demonstrated bravery and selflessness by sacrificing their ship to save Voyager, Janeway still forces the Maquis to join Starfleet and demands that Voyager be run as a Starfleet ship, instead of creating a more democratic command structure that acknowledges the reality of Voyager's situation (cut off from Command) and treats the Maquis as equal partners instead of subordinates.

The basic problem with both VOY and ENT, so aptly demonstrated with the finale of "Caretaker," is that each one set itself up to be very different from TNG... and then fell into the pattern of trying to be TNG again. Neither one lived up to their differences, to the things that made them unique; both spent most of their lifespans trying to be TNG again, and both failed dramatically. TNG succeeded by not trying to be TOS. DS9 succeeded by not trying to be TNG. VOY and ENT failed by trying to be TNG -- and ENT only began to succeed when it stopped trying to be any series but itself.
Ths is exactly how I feel about it.
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