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

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

  1. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I've always thought YESTERDAY'S ENTERPRISE had a premise that would sustain a good-sized arc, if not a whole season, while giving the actors a chance to play their characters in a dramatically different light (literally, the lighting was much more interesting on THAT version of the -D) and context.
     
  2. Xerxes1979

    Xerxes1979 Captain Captain

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    The whole A/B plot device breaks down when they are too unrelated. Such as when Troi gets promoted or Riker screwing around lightyears away in Unification. I like when the B plot is on the ship like in Data's Day or the numerous mini plots in TOS.
     
  3. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    I can't see this at all. B5 never had a Spock's Brain ep or a "We am Strong!" Pakled show. The closest I can think of is the embarrassing scene where Ivanova has "human-style sex" with the alien ambassador, doing a bunch of cheerleader stunts. That was a weak close to an otherwise decent ep.
     
  4. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Comics (and a lot of the better writers on TV and in film are doing that now) often have much larger ensembles, and they work. Of course, you don't have to pay an actor in comics, so the writer just writes in who he needs for that issue.

    I didn't see Firefly as having an issue with it, even considering how little we got. I do agree that putting lines in Geordi's mouth just to satisfy screen time for Levar Burton hurt the overall episode. Since they filmed several episodes together, a good editor could have helped with this. If their contracts had been based on appearances in the season, and someone was in charge of ensuring that each character got a reasonable amount of screen time, then Levar Burton could have been left out of episodes with nothing for Geordi to do - maybe using a pre-recorded "aye captain" or something in response to a call to engineering, without making Burton come in.

    I loved TOS, but the syndicated episodes precluded any arcs, the focus on the Big 3 hurt the lesser characters, and the simplistic A-plot only is quaint kiddie-tv for me now. I think DS9 got it right - adapt a lot of the B5 methods, but not completely. Some stand-alone eps, some that carry a plot through an arc. Some sequels and followups of previous eps, some new stuff. Give everybody something to do, but not necessarily every ep.
     
  5. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    That would have made it much better! I didn't even think of that one - I guess I knew it was supposed to be a one-off. But yeah, spinning that over 3-5 episodes, with Guinan talking to Picard in the middle of it, and having at least some of the crew remember the war-torn universe instead - that could have been real good.
     
  6. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The first season was pretty clunky, as hours like "Infection," "TKO," "Eyes," and "The Quality of Mercy" demonstrate.

    The final season has a few embarrassing standalone episodes, too, chief among them "A View From The Gallery."
     
  7. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    None were ever as bad as "Brain and brain! What is brain?" or "We am strong now", IMO.
     
  8. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    "Spock's Brain" has a good score. "Infection" has a nice scene between Garibaldi and Sinclair at the end. Otherwise, they're both pretty embarrassing. I'd say it's a wash.

    "And The Children Shall Lead" is a dog, though, no doubt about it.
     
  9. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    I thought that "And the Children Shall Lead" was a good idea poorly executed. A good score doesn't rescue an episode - at best, when listening to the cd later, one is liable to say "*that* horrible ep had music *this good*?"

    In any case, I think the lesson is not to wholly ape B5, but to do like DS9 - mix it with the standalone eps.
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    TOS wasn't syndicated, it ran on NBC.

    As far as "kiddie-fare" goes, I vastly prefer episodic versus arc. So many shows with arcs, Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5 and others, spend so much time trying to stretch out a story and it leads to lulls in pacing and massive throw-away episodes.

    I like getting a complete story in an hour, I don't need it stretched out over fiver years.
     
  11. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Technically, TOS wasn't syndicated at the time, but it was filmed as standalone eps to facilitate syndication. Soaps stretch out the story way too long, but I disagree DS9 and B5 did that. You get a much better story from arcs, as long as the writers are competent. It also builds continuity better.
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No. Pretty much all shows were episodic back then, it had nothing to do with syndication.


    Both shows bored me too tears. Deep Space Nine was the only Trek show I actively quit watching regularly.
     
  13. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It kind of did. A lot of the characters relied mainly on their "Mysterious Past" schtick (like Book) to the point where there really was nothing about the character as is to keep them interesting aside from the never revealed pasts they had.

    Serenity killed off some of those characters (Wash, Book) and had others gone for portions of the movie (Inara) purely because there really wasn't much room for them.

    So that's at least 4 characters that were shoved aside in the film, and there were two others (Adam Baldwin's Merc character, and Simon Tam) who didn't do much.

    So that's six down...
     
  14. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Most shows were episodic then BECAUSE producers hoped for syndication to keep bringing in royalties. Now, IIRC, TNG was the first show to be planned to go straight to syndication, or maybe just the first time Trek planned it that way.


    That's you. You missed some very good shows. DS9 and B5 expected the audience to invest a bit more in them, and that made them better shows qualitatively.
     
  15. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    I might not go so far as to say old fashioned but I do agree with your sentiment. It seems as if VOY was stuck in the TNG mold of story telling when there was a shift to another style of story telling.
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Better than what exactly? I'm sure there are good and bad arc-based shows just like there are good and bad episodic shows. Being arc-based doesn't make them automatically better than other Star Trek series, sci-fi series or other TV series in general.

    Audiences started to tune out of Trek while DS9 was on the air. So obviously they weren't as in love with it as you were. Enterprise also tried to do an arc-based season to stop falling ratings... it didn't work.

    Sometimes people simply don't want to have too tune in week after week after week in order to get a complete story. Sometimes they just want to spend an hour watching something and move on.
     
  17. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Fairy tales are nice for kids. Adults should be looking for more sophisticated fare.
    Tony Stark dating a vapid young thing and having to avoid letting her see his chest, ducking out to fight the bad guy, then resetting at the end of the issue was ok.
    Tony Stark has had the shrapnel removed, he's dating a widow who finds her husband's alive after she's been shacked up with Stark for months, and watching him starting to drink too much made for a much more interesting story for grown ups. If your target demographic is 12 year olds (and Hollywood thinks 12 is more like 6), then by all means wrap up the story in 42 minutes with no change to status quo *evar*.
    All IMO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Gotta love someone who thinks their tastes are superior. :rolleyes:
     
  19. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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  20. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    B5! I never saw it. Maybe that is my new show to watch. Goin to Netflix right now.