Berman-era v. TOS Pacing: What do you think?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by plynch, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    "The Alternative Factor" is certainly padded; what would have been an awful 30 minute episode becomes interminable as an hour-long installment.

    I'd have to think (and re-watch) a bit to come up with more examples.
     
  2. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    HOW COULD I forget "That Which Survives," my least fave evah? Yup.:klingon:
     
  3. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I never found TNG's characters bland and unrelateable. But I agree Shatner and Nimoy could carry the show when the writing was bad. I just think Stewart and Spiner could too.

    Flashback was just a bad episode, I don't think pacing was the problem. The story doesn't necessarily need to be moving forward all the time, so long as something interesting is going on. Sometimes taking the time to breathe and explore the characters makes the payoff better, and I think TOS is a good example of this. A lot of TOS episodes start by just beaming down to a planet where people are behaving oddly, and they build enough mystery so when it becomes clear what's going on, it hits you a lot harder.
     
  4. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I'm always gonna have a soft spot for that episode - despite being a fan my whole life I'd somehow never seen it and had no clue it existed until I got the whole series on DVD a few years ago. It was so cool to see a "new" episode after so long!:)
     
  5. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I have always found TNG pacing slow, much slower than than DS9, VOY or ENT.

    TOS now.. is nice and snappy :D
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe it's because I'm a TOS enthusiast, but I'm never bored watching it. I can really get into some episodes of the Berman-era series, but I find the bad ones simply unwatchable.
     
  7. PicardSpeedo

    PicardSpeedo Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I still think DS9 would have been better with Mister T as Sisko.
     
  8. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Depending on the episode, one thing I liked about TOS's pacing was the sci fi talk.

    They took more time to get deep into the sci fi aspect of a situation instead of just using techno-babble.

    Spectre Of the Gun- the scene Spock is explaining to everyone what happened to Chekov--it's a good example.
     
  9. PicardSpeedo

    PicardSpeedo Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    "Spock's Brain" is considered by many to be the pinnacle of TOS, and one of the finest pieces of American television cinema ever made. It is truly unfortunate that "Tuvok's Genitals," the planned sequel, never got the traction it needed with the studio to be produced.
     
  10. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It seemed that technobabble was created in the TNG series and stayed through Voyager.
     
  11. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    TNG's stories are divided among more officers: just 3.5 on TOS, really -- Scotty as a half, though I love him; the others are really only a bit more than extras -- but 7 on TNG with Riker, Bev, Troi, and Geordi either dull characters or actors imho.

    And I generally like TNG. But that dilution of storylines among players, half of whom were dull-ish might account for some of its perceived dullness by some here. Picard, Worf, and Data make up for that with me, esp. Picard however. Plus I remember it on the air and it was fun.


    Watching recently on the beeb, it was just the switching between the two plots bit by bit that seemed slow. I do remember TNG as having good stand alone sci fi eps. Actually maybe it's time to watch it again! One could do worse. Been thinking I need a new Netflix show (no real TV in house) since Breaking Bad ended.

    EDIT: Forgot Wesley! He's not boring, I'll give him that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  12. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The closest I've come to bored watching TOS is The Alternative Factor which while not my least favorite ep (The Omega Glory is) is certainly the dullest to me and by dullest I mean "the only dull episode".

    But yes, watching TOS at an impressionable age when it wasn't competing with better tv and better sci fi especially does mean I may be less than objective. I do love the characters though which I have never been able to say about TNG, my least favorite Trek. Shatner's Kirk is very entertaining doing.. anything :lol:

    I remember The Cage as being slower paced than the rest of TOS, is this accurate?
     
  13. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hey maybe you're right. Maybe Shatner is a big part of it. Along with Kelley.

    Maybe Hunter's Pike combined with Majel's Number One are too serious/dull to sustain a fast-paced series.

    I also think what they crammed into some episodes in TOS like 'Journey to Babel'. Spock had a human mother, his father disowned him, Spock was teased as a child, Vulcans are shown to be sexists (or something like that), Spock's father nearly dies of a heart condition, Kirk is nearly killed, Spock is nearly killed, we are introduced to Andorians, Tellerites, Orions, Spock's Mother slaps him across the face. Have I missed something? Probably:lol:
     
  14. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think the draft titled "T's Nuts" was what really sunk it.

    On-topic: I do in most ways prefer TOS' sense of pacing and focus to the parallel-storyline thing that TNG pioneered. TNG's character-development byplots did, admittedly, over the long term make me like and relate with the characters better and made the larger-ensemble thing work; but the soap-opera-in-space feeling that went with it hasn't aged well for me.

    Moreover, while TNG made the idea work with some simple, likable hooks -- Data-learns-to-be-human, Worf-learns-to-be-Klingon, Riker-learns-why-he's-still-on-the-ship -- the character-development subplot was something that subsequent shows felt obligated to copy. DS9 was able to make it work most of the time, since they had some vivid and likeable characters to work with. But with VOY and ENT it was almost uniformly disastrous.
     
  15. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Coloured cubes of food! Dress uniforms with shiny ribbons on them that make everyone look hot! Vulcan domesticated animal revealed! (no, not Sarek) The Orion Syndicate first mentioned but trickily leaving out the word Syndicate!

    Yes, crammed is right.
     
  16. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Well, I restarted TNG with S3 (heeding people's advice) and it was pretty good. "Evolution" with a decent guest role and actor, one main plot with a bit of Wes and mom plot, but integrated with the main. I truly didn't know what would happen other than the Big E would be ok. I cared how the aged wunderkind and Wes would resolve their probs. A couple nice directing bits, hangar deck set, computer core set, Picard Trekkily not wanting to just nuke the nanos wrecking his ship: a solid B.

    Was the "unrelated subplot" a later development in the show?
     
  17. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think the subplot was usually unrelated; it generally tied in to the main plot at some level and sometimes proved the key to its resolution, it was just more focused on character development.

    Samaritan Snare -- with the Enterprise dealing with the Pakleds and Picard dealing with surgery -- was in Season 2. Other well-known examples include The Host (introduction of the Trills), The Most Toys (the crew comes to terms with Data's apparent demise), Hollow Pursuits (Reg Barclay), The Measure of a Man (Picard's past with the JAG officer), Force of Nature (a Data-Spot subplot), and quite famously Yesterday's Enterprise (Yar's subplot) and The Best of Both Worlds (Riker's rivalry with Shelby). That's a very abbreviated list, and I have the feeling a lot of those are from Season 3 or later.
     
  18. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's why I covered myself-- That's why I said "depending on the episode" :lol:

    TOS had some pretty bad episodes, but I discovered that 50- 60's style sci fi had something going for it; they couldn't rely on special effects all the time, so they took extra time to tell a story.

    The same thing with the Twilight Zone when you pay extra attention to the dialog.

    Balance of Terror -- this was an example of perfect pacing (IMO).

    It started off interesting, the battle/strategy scenes were intense.

    But one of the things I really noticed was the ending. after the incident, after speaking with a sad crewman, Kirk walks off into a main corridor while the closing credits are appearing.

    It had a cool, modern feel to it.
     
  19. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agree with this, definitely.
     
  20. I am not Spock

    I am not Spock Commodore Commodore

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    TNG is slower paced than TOS. And definitely slower paced than VOY or ENT.

    Not sure about DS9, though. The pace could be quite slow in its first couple of seasons, before the Dominion and Defiant, and Worf, showed their heads. Seasons 1 and 2 in particular, are SLOOOOOW.