Are certain aliens too difficult to take seriously?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by LobsterAfternoon, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. lurok

    lurok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I always thought they were really unsubtle LA gangs. Sheesh...

    That said, they were far from the worst of 'forehead of the week'. Though for me the creepiest and scariest alien still is that French guy in VOY S1. Yeeuch. And he had no make-up bar that stupid headpiece.
     
  2. pepperminty

    pepperminty Cadet Newbie

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    I do agree that it probably comes down to budget issues most of the time. However, I'm in the middle of a TNG rewatch right now, and I couldn't help but point out this gem that showed up in an ep I recently saw (4x09 Final Mission):

    [​IMG]

    That is one alien I'd have trouble taking seriously. It looks like she sneezed, her makeup dribbled down her face, and the wardrobe folks called it a day and sent her on set.
     
  3. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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  4. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The one species I fins hard to take seriously on Trek are humans.

    If/when we get a new Trek TV series, humans definately need to be in the minority. I always find it ridiculous that so many ships have human dominant crew, even though there aren't that many humans in the galaxy and only a small proportion of who would want to enter Starfleet. DS9 got it right with four main characters being human and four (later five) being alien, as well as most of the recurring characters.

    Titan tried to remedy this with making a big thing about humans only making up 15% of the crew, I would think that would be the norm, with the Enterprise, E-D and Voyager being the exceptions. The Titan might get a prize for the most non-humanoid crewmembers aboard, but not over all aliens.
     
  5. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just wanna know how they eat with those things over their mouth.
     
  6. FFunctionalData

    FFunctionalData Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    :rofl:

    good one.
     
  7. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    Lobe-o-phobes!! :)
     
  8. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    Remember the one on DS9 whose nose attached to his chin like he had a handle on his face? Blocked his mouth from the front, yet the script called for him to eat something at Quark's!
     
  9. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    These days I have trouble getting most of the standard latex-appliances alien species seriously. They look very silly to me. "I'm a Rognarian, we have latex spikes on our nostrils and we are always angry!"
     
  10. Xhiandra

    Xhiandra Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    In terms of powers, I had trouble accepting the Suliban, tbh. Especially the flattening thing.
    In terms of appearance, the weird guys in JJ Abrams' Star Wars bar scene and the caitians/ferasans: frankly, the much-maligned rubber-foreheads are just easier to take seriously than the "completely alien" aliens. Undine excepted, those kinda worked.
    Oh, and the Letheans. How do they eat? HOW???

    As for why so many Humans/Vulcans: make-up budget and practicality. They just can't afford to make every extra spend hours in make-up.
     
  11. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I actually really like both make-ups. I don't get what the problem is with eating. No she couldn't chomp down on a drumstick. But she's an ALIEN. They probably eat other stuff. If anything, Trek's been too lazy not being more creative with makeup. Yeah budget is an issue, but they can do a lot with the budgets they have. Especially at this point. They just got used to the latex nose/forehead Trek alien "brand" and kept churning out the same stuff week after week. Trek aliens just don't do it for me as an adult like they did it for me as a kid. I blame Trek for that: it dazzled me too well in the past to accept less in the future.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  12. QCzar

    QCzar Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I tend to think by now that it has been well established that TPTB were hardly that forward thinking. The shows were simply not built around it, but instead around the tried and true narrative convention of the "stand in". As such aliens would have very "alien" outlooks on life, with an accompanying set of values, they make poor choices as "everymen".

    After all, that's what most Trek humans are. The "that's probably how I'd react in that situation". In industry jargon, they're "relatable". As Trek has rarely aspired to make its aliens anything more than single-note caricatures of human pathos, supernatural fairies (Q, Prophets/Pah-Wraiths), "magic" humans (Betazoids/Ocampans, Holograms, Trill) or hyper-unrealistic "moral of the story" plot devices (most of the really "alien" aliens), there is simply no room for the deeper exposition that would truly make an alien like that into such an avatar for us.

    Even Trek's can't-live-without-it "fish out of water" characters, such as Spock, Data, Odo, Seven and T'Pol are not eye-shatteringly alien in appearance and are thus more approachable.

    I give them the BoTD, since it is something very hard to do on film and if not done right can actually kill a show real quick. Novels make for a far more flexible medium for exploring such characters, as does the occasional feature film with the right budget.
     
  13. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

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    It could easily be explained away, in that the environmental conditions that humans find comfortable would make other races uncomfortable, and vice versa. Really, it would be unrealistic to have too many mixed-species ships, even though most of the Federation members seem to come from class-M planets - there still would be a lot of variation in environments, trace gasses, radiation levels, etc.
     
  14. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I think TOS was quite inventive with some of their aliens, even moreso than some of Westmore's masterpieces. Sulu's pet plant Gertrude, the Tholians, the Melkot, false Balok, the Horta, Yarnak the Excalbian-- even the natural forms of Korob and Sylvia in "Catspaw", though I have a fondness for marionettes.
     
  15. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    TNG era AotW became silly with all the forehead aliens. I think it would have been better to just end it and sometimes go with "human aliens" like TOS.

    TOS had great non-humanoid aliens, but many others were just "human"... Landru's people, Eminians, Capellans, Argelians, Ardana troglytes, Ekosians, and so on. Aliens, but plain old human-looking.

    Decades later, I don't hear a lot of bitching about these TOS aliens being identical to humans. But I do hear a lot about silly forehead aliens.
     
  16. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Don't get me started on the Baku.
     
  17. Dantheman

    Dantheman Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Some of those human-looking TOS aliens could've had two hearts or literal blue blood, things like that. Sometimes you gotta use your imagination with things like that.
     
  18. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^^^ Sure. I agree.

    But it seems TNG era didn't think we could do that, so they HAD to keep sticking foreheads pieces, to the point of absurdity.
     
  19. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Uh, both would be absurd. And part of what the forehead aliens were about was viewers having fun getting new designs every week. Hell, some weeks the make-up was all that was worth watching! Of course too many weeks like those...too many seasons like those are what lead to no new Trek on TV today.
     
  20. magarity

    magarity Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    The most absurd aliens in any Star Trek must be the wierdos who only speak in phrases recycled from past events. OK, sure, it was a clever twist to reuse the episode outline from the original but the idea you could communicate effectively like that is just too much.