Anthology Series

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by yousirname, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Mirror Sulu

    Mirror Sulu Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I think an anthology series would be an excellent way to go. You could do so much with the franchise; do stories set in the Prime, Alt and Mirror timelines, you could even bring back older characters and establish them even further, years after they left television screens. I'm sure even cast members hesitant to do another series could be enticed to return for an episode or two.
     
  2. Caretaker

    Caretaker Commodore Premium Member

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    I would do an anthology series under the following rules/policies:

    • a series of television movies, maybe 4-8 per year (coming to a total of 8-16 hours) - similar to David Tennant's last year of Doctor Who or in comics terms, "one-offs".
    • each movie/episode would cover totally different aspects and subjects in the Star Trek universe and using different narrative and stylistic formats
    • avoid the alternate reality (let the Supreme Court deal with that)
    • avoid "overused" subjects such as time travel
    • get big name actors who wouldn't want to be regulars for a long-term television series
    • have the budget to shoot elsewhere than the Los Angeles area
    • use the stories to fill-in gaps in the chronology or even explain a few changes or retcons
    I know, that's pretty generic. But having a couple of months between each episode/movie would lead to a build-up of excitement and energy.
     
  3. Mykl

    Mykl Ensign Newbie

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    I think it would need to go back to including the 'morality tail' that the best Trek has had. My problem with jj was that he went too action/adventure and had such a huge scale (blowing up a planet) that the important part of Trek was lost. It's the interaction of the character and how they cope with the problem of the week that makes Trek what it is.
     
  4. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    A live action anthology series in the Star Trek universe would never be financially viable. One of the reasons you stick to a group of characters in the first place is so you can amortize the immense costs of sets, props, costumes, etc. over the course of number of episodes.

    I imagine The Clone Wars is able to cover so much ground because it is animated. The cost of frequent changes in setting would be much greater if the program were live action (another reason why the live action Star Wars series has never come to fruition, no doubt).

    There's a reason there are very few anthology programs on television and none (at least, as far as I know) on a major network: they're too expensive. They're also not great at cultivating a fan base, which don't have a group of characters to follow every week.

    It's little surprise that so many of the few long-running anthology programs of the past thirty years have been based on pre-sold properties (Friday the 13th, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits) or recognizable brands (the feature film horror directors brought on to make Masters of Horror).
     
  5. Konata Izumi

    Konata Izumi Commander Red Shirt

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    ^There's the idea that pieces of sets can be dragged into another shape to make other ships with similar architecture. But the part about the characters might be true. I would like to see many great characters but I don't know about others.
     
  6. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    You're right about the cost, that seems to me to be the major objection. But Star Trek is a highly recognisable brand, isn't it? It doesn't seem like your last paragraph works as an actual objection to the idea of a Trek anthology series.
     
  7. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Keep in mind that the two series in that list to be produced in the past decade -- Masters of Horror and The Twilight Zone -- we're failures. Being recognizable brands got them on the air, but it didn't provide the ratings needed to get them there. And, of course, a Star Trek anthology series would be more expensive than either of those shows, which were mostly set in contemporary times.
     
  8. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, it is unlikely, I admit. Still think it would be great, though. :(
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In effect Star Trek WAS a sort of anthology show. The constant was the Enterprise and the regulars as a device to drop the characters into new and different situations each week.
     
  10. Tracer Bullet

    Tracer Bullet Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I was just about to post this, so thank you! Anthology doesn't necessitate new characters each week in a completely different setting.
     
  11. AviTrek

    AviTrek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Except that's what every poster here wants when they say "anthology". "Let's see a star fleet ship one week, then a freighter the next, then maybe a romulan ship, ooh and how about a show in the Federation presidents office..."

    What classic Trek was would now be called a procedural. Where each episode is a self contained story, but the main characters stay the same from week to week.
     
  12. Tracer Bullet

    Tracer Bullet Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, the terminology has changed, that is true.
     
  13. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I've never heard TOS or any episodic series described as an anthology, not in previous decades and not now. That term is used for Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, etc. Every episode is not just a separate story but has new characters and new actors.

    At most, you could also call American Horror Story an anthology series because each season is a separate story with different characters and premise. Anthologies are rare on TV. There's no point in saying "I want episodic Star Trek" and then referring to it by the wrong name.
     
  14. T'Cal

    T'Cal Commodore Commodore

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    I don't think anyone mentioned this one: Police Story. That was an anthology series in the '70s and '80s about the LAPD. Each week was a different story about different characters all from the same large agency. Sometimes it was about Patrol Officers, others it was about Detectives, and occasionally it was about those assigned to the Administration. It dealt a lot with their personal lives probably more so than their professional ones. On occasion, they brought back characters and it had three offshoots. I can see this type off premise for a Star Trek series. As others have stated, stories could take place on various ships, planets, space stations, etc. - both Starfleet and alien. Another advantage a Star Trek anthology has is so many eras have been written about that the writers could use virtually any time period as a backdrop. We could see known, established characters as cadets, teens, or even children. We could see scenes from various wars or incursions, discoveries of planets, first contacts with various races, or just a "lower decks" tale about what goes on throughout the ship day to day. It could be exciting, romantic, depressing, funny, frustrating, etc. It opens up all kinds of doors and, if done right, A-list actors may campaign to be on the show, which would bode well during the sweeps.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  15. HarryM

    HarryM Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    One thing with a sci-fi show, if it were say, one week on a starship, next on a station, next on a freighter, etc, 3 times the sets, costumes, etc. so 3X the initial $. Something contemporary like a cop show you can just use whatever cop stuff the studio has or rent it, use an already existing set with miminal fuss. How much to build DS9's Runabout or a full-scale Viper? I was just reading some stuff about "Columbo". When they decided they needed a car for him, they just walked to the lot where they had a bunch of old cars and Peter Falk just pointed at the old Peugot and said, "that's it".
     
  16. T'Cal

    T'Cal Commodore Commodore

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    Like on TNG, DS9, and VOY (and maybe ENT), the sets would be modular and easy to redress so the cost could be minimized. In addition, CGI could be used to enhance the sets. As for costumes and props, they would be reused as well.
     
  17. TerraNovan

    TerraNovan Lieutenant Commander

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    This is a great idea, and could easily fit in along with the fan fiction being created currently.

    The cost control mechanism is amazing. Reusing sets with different actors is an extremely cost efficient mechanism. The cost of this would be very low, and you would get far more bank for your buck.

    Also the cost of actors would be much cheaper, as you would only have to keep on those actors that have quality and kill off those that dont.

    Game of thrones FYI could easily be edited to be an anthology. There are multiple story arcs in the show, and one could easily edit them to be seperate streams. Obviously trek is not GofT but its important to understand the concept.

    Also Star trek itself if you compile all the movies and series can strongly be an anthology.


    I would use the episode Lower decks as a template for an anthology show.

    Characters can be linked but not directly so.

    If you think that episode wasnt trek, didnt introduce riveting characters, or expensive to make your out of your mind.

    Id argue many of the better episodes of much of trek fits better into an anthology. The writers themselves were more directed towards an anthology when they wrote each episode. As there were multiple developers reusing the same cast and setting..
     
  18. Tarek71

    Tarek71 Captain Captain

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    More like True Detective or American Horror Story, I think. Season long arcs. It would be nice to have it switch up more frequently, but that might be harder to budget for, even with very creative work in redressing sets, etc.

    By no means a new idea, but one I have always liked. Different species, Starfleet, a freighter, private investigators, bounty hunters, Federation law enforcement, etc. and in different centuries. Tons of character and story ideas possible there.
     
  19. TerraNovan

    TerraNovan Lieutenant Commander

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    Anyone wanting to know what a good anthology would be like watch from the earth to the moon series.

    Its a perfect anthology that trek could copy.

    Its not strickly a new cast each episode, but simply different pieces of a diverse story.