“In Conversation” or “Berman and Braga vs the world.”

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Scotty, May 2, 2013.

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  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Part of Firefly's issue was that it was ran out of order here in the States. Starting with "The Train Job" and ending with the pilot.

    As far as Enterprise goes, Americans tend to have little patience for a show that starts slow and remains slow for two full years. Usually once they leave, they never come back, no matter how compelling a show is.

    Objective or not, there was nothing about the show that compelled me to come back once I left and I'm a die-hard Trekkie. It had a very "been there, done that" feeling to it and I think that the most damning evidence that they were creatively burned-out was "Broken Bow" itself. We had just come off of fourteen straight seasons of Klingon characters and various Klingon storylines and the very first episode shown to the public features Klingons. Honestly, the technology served the very same purpose as it did in later series just with tweaked terminology. Phase pistols instead of phasers, photonic torpedoes, hull plating down to 'XX' percent!
     
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  2. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Yep, while the frequent use of the shuttle, the grappler, decon and so on was nice the technology was definitely not retro enough.
    About the Klingons, we got to see the honour concept of two non-warrior Klingons in Judgement and Affliction/Divergence which is more new ideas about Klingons than in all the previous 14 seasons.
    This is in my opinion the main problem of ENT, the bad stuff is obvious and good stuff is often quite subtle. So the series easily turns off many Trek fans (I didn't particularly like it either when I first saw it) and they will never come back.
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think the biggest problem Enterprise faced during its first two years was that it was dull. I can forgive many, many faults in productions, except that one.
     
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  4. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    I don't see why the third season should be better. It was just an extension of the Temporal Cold War plus a season long arc about finding a weapon of mass destruction. Sure, it was perhaps not dull as Earth was always in danger but I don't see how this old "let's endanger Earth" trick makes the show per se better. The only good stuff were the Xindi as a species (although it was a bit speciesist, only the Primate are reasonable), the difference with the way such an attack has been handled in the real world (Archer talked with his enemies and collaborated with the reasonable ones among them) and the 'ship all on its own' atmosphere. But then again we had the latter already in VOY and we also already had the Dominion War in DS9. In my opinion they should have waited for the Romulan War until they started with a story arc that endures for an entire season or longer. If the show had not been canceled and e.g. the sixth and the seventh season had been used to tell the war with the Romulans it would have felt too repetitive.

    So structurally speaking I don't perceive the third season as being better. Not that this matters particularly, in my mind the average quality of shows or seasons varies far less than the quality of individual stories. Which is why I like all Trek shows or to be more precise, the good episodes in them.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The story wasn't better, the pacing was. A forty-minute show actually seemed like a forty-minute show instead of two-hours. I didn't find myself constantly glancing at the clock wondering when it was going to be over.
     
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  6. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Well, in the third season there was more action so perhaps this is what you perceive as more exciting. But there were also fairly lame episodes in it like the one with the Wild West planet or where some crewmembers changed into an extinct species.

    I think the modern Trek shows are all told fairly quickly. TNG had a couple of minutes more than post-TNG and TOS about 10 minutes more and I wouldn't say that they dragged because of it. ENT did encounter some problems though with its three-parters in the last season, one episode always felt a bit superfluous, but then again this is unavoidable when you do more serialized kind of story-telling.
     
  7. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No.

    Only TNG was "a huge success."

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    You always gotta be a bit careful with ratings, first because they are subject to time slots and thus self-fulfilling prophecies like during the last season of TOS (cut the budget, move the show on a bad time slot and then play all surprised when fewer people watch it), second because of DVD sales (more serialized shows sell better on DVDs), third because they reveal little about story quality (most people consider the last season of ENT as best and yet the ratings were seemingly on their lowest level during the last year).
    But of course the rough picture is correct, TOS and TNG are the classics and the spinoff shows, well, they are just spinoffs.
     
  9. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Rather large leap in logic there. The Xindi story had very little to do with the Temporal Cold War even though it had some elements of time travel.
    Yes, it was simple enough story but "simple" stories have been the basis of some pretty great literature, movies, and T.V., over the years.

    Just because it is a simple story (or simple sounding) does not mean it is automatically mediocre. Best of Both Worlds was, at it's core, just another captain gets kidnapped story as was The Inner Light. It is what one does with a "simple story" that makes the difference. Now you may respond that what Ent did with thier simple story was mediocre, but it has been established that "mediocre" is in the eye of the beholder.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't say I found it more "exciting", the stories flowed better. There was more meat (ideas/action) to the episodes than what we had in season one or two. There were less letters to Dr. Lucas, less hemming and hawing over pineapple, less utterly uninteresting bullshit that just screamed that Berman and Braga were completely burned-out.

    Of course, everyone's mileage may vary. I find that seasons one and two of TNG were my favorites of that series. So what do I know? :rofl:
     
  11. Scotty

    Scotty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Never mind that you offer no source for those numbers, I was talking about worldwide success and popularity amongst fans.
     
  12. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Those numbers have been reproduced elsewhere. They're accurate.

    Of course, they're without the context of the changes being experienced in American television from 1987-2005, but objectively they do show one thing: a declining first-run American audience for the franchise since the early 1990s..
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Unfortunately, I don't think those numbers mean as much to Paramount/CBS as they generate less revenue from those sources.
     
  14. Scotty

    Scotty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You cannot use that graph to compare the succes off a syndicated show like TNG in the early nineties to that of a show in the late nineties on a small network like VOY. Also, they say nothing about Trek's worldwide success.
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't find it at all surprising that less people were watching Trek at the end of the nineties than at the beginning, there was just so much of it by the tail end of the decade people were tired of it.
     
  16. Scotty

    Scotty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You might be right but I'm not so sure. 33% of the worldwide gross of Star Trek 2009 came from foreign territories. I should think that the same percentage if not higher applies for the DVD and Blu Ray sales of Star Trek. I'm sure CBS cares about that.
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But it still means that two-thirds of the revenue generated comes from the U.S., so decisions are still made with that in mind. A $180 million dollar film isn't considered a success without that two-thirds ($260 million).

    Are they now trying to pump up International revenue? Yes. They probably figure that they're coming close to maxing out the American market, so they have to hunt for dollars elsewhere. But that wasn't the case in the 1990's. Does anyone have International market numbers outside of Paramount for viewing totals in the 1990's?
     
  18. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    A few points.

    (1) Historically Star Trek has been a bigger seller domestically than internationally (Paramount has tried to change this with the Abrams films). It's is not to say that worldwide profits are not important, but the domestic numbers matter more.

    (2) When I indicted that the numbers were without context, I was referring to the things you mention (size of network, shifts in the syndication market, the rise of cable dividing audiences, etc.). But those variables don't mean you can ignore the numbers completely.
     
  19. Anna Yolei

    Anna Yolei Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Braga's strength lie with high concepts more than character development. I was surprised to learn "Cause and Effect," among several other of my favorite TNG episodes were penned by him. Hell, even Threshold and the Warp Ten thing wasn't that bad until the lizard-human schtick.

    But Berman should've stayed his ass in his office overseeing that budgets are followed. There was no reason for them to write 75 percent of season two.
     
  20. eyeresist

    eyeresist Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Why did you dig up a three year old thread to say that?
     
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