Best structure for a Star Trek series

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Salinga, Jul 29, 2014.

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How should a Star Trek season be structured for best story telling?

  1. Each story takes one 42 minute episode

    10 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. Two parters

    5 vote(s)
    16.7%
  3. Three parters

    3 vote(s)
    10.0%
  4. Different multi episode arcs

    17 vote(s)
    56.7%
  5. One multi epsiode arc per season

    5 vote(s)
    16.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Chairslinger

    Chairslinger Ensign Newbie

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    A lot of my own thoughts. I've also noticed that serialized seems to becoming more and more popular format. And all in all I prefer serialized series.

    But I think Star Trek can be good with any of them. TNG is some of the best episodic television ever. DS9 is some of the best serialized television.

    And Enterprise was absolutely fantastic with it's three parter-heavy format of the 4th season.
     
  2. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think Trek works best when the issues take center stage and the characters act as more of a frame around them. In a serial format, the soapy life drama of the leads become center-stage and the issues can get lost in the shuffle. Serials always seem to tease the audience by slowly unraveling some mystery (ala Lost) or having a "slash" romance play out to its eventual anti-climax. It works as it goes along, but once all the mystery boxes are opened, there's not enough rewatchability.
     
  3. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I like the balance DS9 found. Arcs that continue throughout the season but also leave room for standalone episodes, with occasional long arcs for the biggest moments.

    Like others have said, I would rather watch an episodic show with great writing than a serial show with bad writing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  4. Bad Atom

    Bad Atom Commodore Commodore

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    Oddly enough, I preferred ENT's approach in its last season. Two and three part episodes that explored the mythology with cliffhangers to keep people coming back, and the occasional one-off episode, better suited to aliens of the week and weird sci-fi premises.

    DS9 also did well with its approach but there was entirely too much filler. It hadn't escaped the TNG mode of storytelling and the quality of individual episodes was wildly uneven, often killing any narrative momentum.
     
  5. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

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    Oct 8, 2013
    I agree with the notion that a season should have some two or three part episodes, while maintaining a general arc, and the occasional "stand alone" episode that allows viewers to take a breather from the overall story.

    Sometimes, a concentrated and continuous seasonal arc, especially one that requires you to watch every single episode each week to stay current in the story, can be a bit tiresome. That's why the occasional stand alone episode often seems like such a breath of fresh air....or in some cases, can be the "fart in church".

    I thought DS9 did the best job with this. :)
     
  6. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I lean towards serial.


    I don't know, the serial format seems to be a great success with a lot of shows recently. Like Spartacus, Game of Thrones,

    Is makes the viewer study the show more closely in order to understand the entire series.

    noticed that characters in an episodic series don't seem as fleshed out as with a serial series.

    They appear, deal with plot of the week and the episode ends, so you rarely get to see all aspects of their personalities.

    Geordi, Wesley, Troi, compared to say, Sisko, Jake, Kira don't seem as 3 dimensional .

    I wonder if alien of the week format may be as successful if we get a new Trek series, but I doubt it.

    Cable shows are the main thing--much more freedom to explore.
     
  7. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

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    Netflix Originals are also pretty rockin'!

    My favorite Netflix show right now is House of Cards. :)
     
  8. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

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    Indeedily-doodely.
    [RIGHT][​IMG][/RIGHT]
     
  9. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I heard that Netflix is getting in on the action too. Orange is the New Black is another one.

    This is what Wiki said about House of Cards :

    That's why you gotta like these new serialized shows--the characters, who are supposed to be the heroes of a show, have shades of grey.

    A lot of times you have to root for them to do crazy things, because that seems to be the only way they can win :lol:


    I still like watching trek reruns with the episodic format, but now that you think about it, with that format, everyone just sort of forgets what happened the week before and goes on to another new adventure.
     
  10. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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    I'd vote on "Depends on the story" if there was such an option.

    Some stories can fit and should be contained in one episode. Some require more to be properly fleshed out. Forcing one way or the other would do them a disservice.
     
  11. suarezguy

    suarezguy Commodore Commodore

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    Any can work and any can get tired; I chose different multi-episode arcs as probably the best but only if there are some one-offs mixed in. I think more important than the lengths of whole storylines is that the characters undergrow arcs in the sense of gradual change and growth and at least not forget what happened, especially to them, before.
     
  12. AirCommodore

    AirCommodore Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Feb 3, 2014
    I think it should be a mix of stand alones with arcs. Possibly each season with a big bad like Buffy with standalones thrown in.
     
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is the best description yet.

    I want there to be on-going "C stories" like Crusher and her plays, Riker and his music, LaForge and his romantic problems.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    What ever works for the story being told.
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Simply: ugh! Those elements weren't stories, they were there to try and make the characters seem interesting. Which failed in spectacular fashion. It reenforced just how bland they were.
     
  16. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    when you have the episode format, most of the scenes go to the main characters anyway. and the other characters always get pushed to background.

    Who knows about Uhura, Sulu and Scotty's lives and hobbies...

    Geordi and Beverly Troi, had only a couple of one shot 24 hour relationships and that was it. All is forgotten later on.

    When you have an ongoing story line all characters get to expand and grow.

    How about Geordi and Leah stay in contact until the issue of whether it's becoming an affair comes up...

    Or have them have an affair (they come to their senses and regret it, of course).

    Who wouldn't watch that, or see it as a major character development for Geordi?

    It would really make the characters interesting, because they have real flaws.

    Instead the episodic format requires it to last one day, and then the next episode it's forgotten.

    It seems boring now, compared to the way they write shows today (I think).
     
  17. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Geordi and Leah are more reoccurring than a one shot in a single episode, that what makes their "relationship" so interesting.

    But some people Nightdiamond just aren't "shippers."

    :)
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I just don't care about who is sleeping with who.

    The characters are usually interesting because of the actors and how they're written in times of crisis. It's interesting to watch how Kirk handles Kodos the Executioner or the Gorn captain or the Horta.

    It isn't interesting to watch Kirk grapple with relationship issues or what book he's reading. That's just window dressing.

    I love episodic television because it gives me a complete story in an hour.
     
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Structure? How about a nice flying buttress. ;)
     
  20. JesterFace

    JesterFace Captain Captain

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    TNG did it well, for example the thing with Worf's honor, the story starts with one episode (Sins of the father, season 3), continues later with another (Reunion, season 4) and finally concluding in Redemption parts 1 and 2 (seasons 4 & 5). And it's not the only one. These "hidden" storylines between 1 episode adventures are cool. Both are needed, continuing story and stand alone episodes.

    If a story continues through an entire season it's easily ruined by one little plothole somewhere... and the rest of it is done.

    The "humanity's trial" by Q in TNG is nice, going through the entire series, but not interfering too much. Each episode can be a part of it or not if someone watches only 1 episode.