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

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

  1. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks. It's all lost in the mists of my memory. The ones I saw a week ago seemed unrelated, but I might not have been paying enough attention.
     
  2. Ghrakh

    Ghrakh Captain Captain

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    The most highly rated show in the ST franchise. And unlike STXI, TNG is still being watched and discussed.
     
  3. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Keep in mind that TOS only had three Central Characters, and that was on a good day. A lot of the time it was just Kirk and Spock as the Centrals.

    It's inherently easier to tell a single story when you have such a small cast (also, in TOS the Trio were also Freudian Archetypes of the Id, Ego and Superego which makes the interactions easier) without needing any B or C plots. Not so when you have a larger ensembles of 7 or more characters.

    So if it's down to the pacing and lack of other plots, TOS had it easier due to the smaller cast and said cast also being designed to operate as one whole "Freud" unit vs TNG and Beyond's larger ensembles.
     
  4. BobtheGunslinge

    BobtheGunslinge Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I must be the odd man out, here. I grew up watching TOS for years before TNG ever came out. I've seen many episodes from both series multiple times. However, after I took a decade-long break from Trek, I came back to the series and I found that I could watch almost any TNG series and find something I enjoyed about it, but more than half of TOS episodes were now too tedious for me to finish. I think it's because I would remember the 'twist' or resolution of the stories and entire episodes were just build-up to that. In TNG, the character stories could still be interesting even if the main plot was planet-of-Romans silly.


    Also, the soap-opera nature of TNG really gave us a lot of fodder for Youtube edits.
     
  5. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The original series, aired in the three network era, had much larger ratings (even when it was in last place) than any other Trek series.

    The '09 movie of course is still being watched (I've seen it on TV regularly) and discussed (we've got a whole forum here devoted to it and the recent sequel).

    Which is not to rip on Star Trek: The Next Generation. I have the first season on Blu-Ray and have seen the entire series at least four times.
     
  6. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    If you're gonna get all offended by my opinion, I'd like to point out that, in addition to what Harvey pointed out, there's a new TOS movie coming in 2016. When's the next TNG movie?:devil:
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'd point out that there's 178 episodes of TNG and that Star Trek 2009 is two-hours long.

    There's obviously a lot more TNG to actually discuss. But then there's the fact that without the remaster I doubt there'd be very much traffic in the TNG forum at all. A discussion of TNG's consensus best episode has generated 23 replies in more than a week since the first post.
     
  8. Plum

    Plum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    On Topic, I gotta say the pacing in TNG and, too often, the rest of Star Trek was fabulously frickin' terrible! Especially compared to the best of the original show!

    Constantly we got the A and B story in TNG, a 'tradition' that continued in the later series that, frankly, was piss poor writing. Write one story or get out. Two half hour stories is a cop-out and just terrible. Hated it, every time.

    One thing that always bothered me was that, during an emergency, a red alert, characters might go from one place on the ship to another and, in TOS they would run, but in TNG they would walk. I'd actually jump in frustration! Hurry the smeg up!!!

    When TNG actually had a tight story I'd love it, but they far too often settled for this formula of A and B stories and characters seemingly barely aware of immanent destruction as they strolled along and spit out exposition. Drove... me... nuts.

    imho. Of course. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  9. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    B5 spoiled me on the A / B / C plot thing - but there it had continuity. The separate arcs kept several balls in the air, and often a B or C arc turned into the A plot in a few episodes. I prefer that, frankly, as the series is then a continuing saga, instead of a collection of syndicated episodes with no theme. Some TNG eps should have been run this way, IMO. The Child would have been so much more convincing if Deanna had turned up pregnant halfway through the season, and had the child near the end. When Q lost his powers, that should have been the B or C plot for several episodes.
     
  10. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    TOS didn't have to do B and C plots because they only had 3 central characters (and that's on a good day, sometimes it was just Kirk and Spock) with everyone else as background characters who didn't really matter (aside from the guest stars/guest villains). It's inherently easier to write a single story about 2-3 people than it is to write one about 7-8 people with all characters represented equally.
     
  11. Plum

    Plum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^^
    That's a good point, but it doesn't make for a better story I reckon. If both stories followed a theme and came together, that would validate and create a cohesive story. But that rarely happened. I can't think of an example in TNG right now but I'm sure it happened a couple of times. Though, it should have happened all the time, in my humble opinion. ;)
     
  12. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Depends on what you're writing. In B5, where it fed continuity, multiple arcs per ep was a good device. In syndicated writing, A & B arcs should be used more sparingly, and often complementing each other, or else contrasting, rather than disconnected. For example, the Ep with the Hathaway, Weasel's science experiment was a B-plot that fed the A-plot.
     
  13. Plum

    Plum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^^
    You're making excellent points. I just never watched B5. 'Cause I'm a snob. lol

    It's clear B5's story telling was effective and J. Michael Straczynski certainly wasn't anyone to sneeze at. He was writing all this while the TNG crowd was splitting up scripts to different writers and creating these A and B stories (cause it was easier with 9 characters? How many characters did B5 have? Yea, I see) that had nothing to do with each other. I think I'd have to say, B5 out did TNG in this regard even if I wasn't a fan. So, point taken my friend. :)

    Of course we all know that DS9 stole more than a little from B5, especially as it went on. And too it's benefit. I don't mean plot, but just style and, more importantly, writing. Or am I wrong?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  14. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, I quite agree. The more DS9 copied B5, the better it got, IMO.
     
  15. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, B5 had the advantage of having one single mind behind everything who knew what he wanted to happen. JMS always knew where he wanted the series to go.

    With TNG, it was the same as TOS: Basically just the random adventures of these guys with no greater plot. That's not a bad thing, personally.
     
  16. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    True, but in some ways this worked against TOS because Chekov, Uhura Sulu and Scotty never seemed really fleshed out, or had normal lives because they always focused on the Big Three.

    On the other hand, TNG dedicated some episodes around almost all the characters, like Geordi, Worf and even Tasha Yar.

    This fleshed out the characters a little more, plus they are some the best episodes of the series.

    Focusing on the Big Three gave TOS, at times, a one dimensional feel to it.
     
  17. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    B5 was fantastic as a long serialized story, but as individual episodes it fails miserably.
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think this was a huge flaw of TNG. If there wasn't something for Geordi to do in a given story then he just needed to be left out of it. They always crammed all seven characters into an episode and it weakened the show.
     
  19. Plum

    Plum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think BillJ makes a great point, but, there's something in the back of my head telling me that having many characters as the cause of this fractured storytelling, or perhaps just a way to deal with it, doesn't add up. Other stories manage with just as many characters or more, why not TNG? Firefly had, what, nine major characters and it didn't have this problem, did it?

    I wish I had some interviews with the writers on hand so we could see what they said about all this, then perhaps we'd gain some insight?
     
  20. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Serenity did have this problem, though. If you haven't seen the series, half the main characters are ciphers.