Can TOS be appreciated by younger viewers?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Plomeek Broth, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Plomeek Broth

    Plomeek Broth Commander Red Shirt

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    I feel like I missed out on a golden age of growing up on TOS and I know how older fans love and revere the original.

    I own all 3 seasons, TAS, and all TOS films.

    I have only seen about a third of the episodes and I feel like I have a harder time getting into them as opposed to the newer series.

    It comes off as dated, campy, and slower to me.

    I wish I didn't feel this way and I know the series had some wonderful science fiction writers.

    I want to change how I feel and be able to dive in and enjoy just like all TOS lovers.

    Do other younger fans have this same issue with TOS?

    Maybe it is a generational thing but I definitely want to change and enjoy the series too. Could be the production values and time it was made in.

    I want to be a TOS lover but I struggle and feel like I am forcing myself to watch it as opposed to the modern Trek shows.
     
  2. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Dated, it's from the 60s. Campy, camp is a form of humor and while some episodes like 'A Piece of the Action' are campy the series isn't. Slower, that was the style of the time, also an episode had to fill more airtime as there were fewer commercials. Can it be enjoyed, obviously as there are folks born long after it who do. Casablanca isn't inaccessible to younger for having been made decades before TOS. Maybe, it's just you. Personally, I find it much more watchable than most of TNG Trek.
     
  3. Plomeek Broth

    Plomeek Broth Commander Red Shirt

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    Believe me I want to enjoy it and I love the TOS films.

    I still think I would appreciate it more if I grew up in that time and watched it when it first aired. Not having that perspective I believe hurts my appreciation of it.
     
  4. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    The series is of its time, the pacing and style really is little different from any other series of the period, so if you're predisposed to dislike it because it isn't made to current artistic form there's not much to tell you. Possibly, you might enjoy a different TV series of the era where the actors and stories would be engaging enough to overlook the aspects that make TOS hard to enjoy for you. Also, that could help bridge the hard to take aspects by allowing an appreciation for the film making of the time and help make TOS a bit more easy to swallow.

    I wouldn't recommend 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea', though. If TOS is hard to take that might make you wish for the joy of a migraine headache.
     
  5. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Interesting. Are you watching the remastered or original effects?

    I watched TOS in my childhood, which means late 80's-mid 90's, and I was absolutely enthralled by it. At that point the episodes were 25-30 years old, not exactly brand new.

    The only thing that ever seemed dated to me were the women's hairstyles. Maybe now for the latest generation (who grew up with a real communicator and tricorder in their pocket in the form of an Iphone), perhaps TOS feels dated to someone of that era who'd never seen it before.

    As for the pacing relative to Berman-era stuff, I doubt there'd be a single episode of TOS that is slower paced than Star Trek : Nemesis, a film that was made in, what, 2000-ish? A group of us re-watched that movie recently, and we all felt like time was going backwards...it was THAT slow.

    Anyway, I hope you will watch Seasons 1 and 2 of TOS, and give us your impressions. Season 3 may be a bit hard to sit through, the action/stunts quotient was severely limited in the last year of the show.
     
  6. Plomeek Broth

    Plomeek Broth Commander Red Shirt

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    The remastered blurays.

    I have seen most of season one which is pretty good.

    I think since the other series came along as technology improved and filmmaking as a whole grew some of the things like for example fight scenes are super corny and certain alien costumes.

    If I watched it back in the 60s I bet I wouldn't feel this way and would absolutely love it.

    I'm still determined to become a huge TOS lover and watch every episode eventually.
     
  7. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Thank Bruce Lee for helping revolutionize fight choreography.
     
  8. SpHeRe31459

    SpHeRe31459 Captain Captain

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    I'm with ya. TOS was my first Trek, I was first introduced to it in 1986, so at the time there was no other TV Trek. I loved it. Then of course I started to really got it into all things Trek as the TNG and TNG-era franchise expanded.
     
  9. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    You haven't said what age or age group you are. I know quite a few younger people who like TOS and older science fiction films. They are able to accept it on its own terms and what the creators were trying to do with what they had.

    Watch the 1933 King Kong. Can you accept it on its own terms in the era when it was made or are you turned off by the obvious stop-motion animation? It can be a matter of perspective.

    I myself cannot watch TOS-R's new f/x as they take me right out of the story because I find them so jarring. They are so obviously mediocre contemporary CGI that doesn't gel with the remaining live-action footage. On the other hand I've seen fan made CGI animation that does closely match the TOS aesthetic and it works fine.

    A modern automobile is in every way a superior piece of machinery over any older car, but there are some older cars whose beauty transcends their mechanical shortcomings. When you're 22 you think 20-25 year old girls look hot. When you're hovering between 40 and 50 twenty something year old girls can come across very much like kids.

    A lot comes down to perspective. And TOS might not be your thing. There are certain relatively recent shows that I know are very well done and deserve their accolades, but for some reason they just don't click for me. The West Wing was such a show. I watched a number of episodes and couldn't find fault with any of them, but I still never could develop an urge to watch it regularly.
     
  10. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Its funny your complaints echo those of my children but referring to the 'newer' series. My teenage boy reckons TNG, DS9 and VOY are old and campy.

    Hes probably a bit younger than you.

    He's not willing to give any series made before he was born a chance.

    My advice (for what its worth) is don't compare TOS to your favourite Trek. Just treat it as a totally different series. Don't compare Spock to Data or Kirk to Picard or the better sets etc.
    Treat it like 60s/70s Twilight Zone or Land of the Giants or Time Tunnel or Planet of the Apes, etc.
     
  11. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Captain Captain

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    Here's a little advice from a relative old-timer--when you watch TOS, concentrate more on the individual actors (including the guests) and how they deliver their lines and take up the screen, rather than concentrating on the SF and plot.

    Anvalicious as it is, watch "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield" and concentrate on Frank Gorshin's Commissioner Beal. Watch "I, Mudd" and really watch Roger C. Carmel. Although a slow episode, watch "The Empath" and keep an eye out for the scene where McCoy injects Spock to knock him out. Watch "A Piece of the Action" for the fun and banter between Spock and Kirk. Watch "Amok Time" and really look at the early part of the episode where Spock is asking Kirk to divert to Vulcan and, without any explanation given (at first)Kirk does it for his friend. Then hold on for Spock's "Jim!" at the end.

    I think if you watch it for the characters (and don't dismiss the guests as unimportant), you'll find yourself drawn in, and then interest in the stories will follow. You'll find the characters from TOS are generally "bigger" and have more presence than in the newer series, and I think you'll come to like that.
     
  12. AverageWriter

    AverageWriter Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    TOS-era Trek is an interesting anomaly to me.

    When it's good- "City on the Edge of Forever" or "Balance of Terror" good, it can rank amongst the best science fiction, bar none. Good TOS gets scripts written by legends like Harlan Ellison and Richard Matheson.

    And when it's bad- we get "Spock's Brain".

    TOS doesn't really get to have a middle zone, and that becomes a problem for some viewers. They treat the whole series like it's nothing but rubber rug monsters and Shatner overacting and they miss the message the series sent.
     
  13. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Define "younger". I'm 30 and although I grew up with TNG (which I now see as extremely flawed) I love TOS. I'm sure some old timers would be furious that I enjoy it's dated campiness, or that I think it's ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek. I love the characters and their interactions (which can carry even the worst episodes), it's entertaining, colourful, fun and it created a wonderful universe which I'm thoroughly enjoying exploring anew in the reboot movies.

    All that said, coming to it many years later I'm not sure I can separate the 79 episodes of TOS itself with what the animated series, movie series, novels, comics and endless fanfic added. They made the world infinitely deeper and richer, and the novels and fanfic fleshed out the characters like a TV series never could.
     
  14. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    TOS had to grow on me. I'm 32 now and I enjoy TOS. 10 years ago, not so much.
     
  15. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I disagree, classic Star Trek is no different from any other good series; it has outstanding episodes, horrible episodes and middle of the road episodes. All that has really changed is the style of TV, acting and length. The stories, when great, still hold up. A bad episode is a bad episode and there were PLENTY of latter day bad Trek episodes. And plenty of great and middling episodes as well.

    Plomeek, don't bust a gut trying to love it. It's no crime if it doesn't light your fire. I give you a ton of credit for trying, for giving it a fair shake and for wanting to like it. But it's probably not your thing, and the style too divergent from your taste.

    To give some perspective, I grew up with the original series, so I will never be tired of it or feel it's outdated or (god why do people use this word?) camp. I still wish I could throw haymakers like Kirk. TNG was great at the time, with some of the best acting TV has ever seen, but it's the series I revisit the least. It became boring for me as they dropped the adventure in favor of message drama, crummy B stories, techobabble and family squabbles. DS9 wound up being my favorite sequel series, as it focused on character and had some great and exciting arcs. Enterprise has totally grown on me, becoming a lot better now than it was when I first saw it. Voyager is just awful, but some episodes transcended the mediocrity of the people involved. But it was a rare thing.

    So it's all a matter of taste. I appreciate the respect you're giving it, because no matter what one thinks of the show personally, it has well earned its place in pop culture history.
     
  16. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I started watching TOS when I was 11. In those early years it was the cool spaceships, costumes, weird aliens and adventure that drew me in, as well as the straightforward delivery. I didn't consciously appreciate the deeper aspects of the show until I started to grow in experience and perspective. Now I appreciate the show in ways I couldn't imagine when I was a kid.

    A kid today could be hard pressed to see what was cool in TOS given the slick productions they've likely been exposed to today. You need to be more perseptive to pick up on the other things going on and that comes with some age and experience.

    What could happen is what happened to a lot of us over the years. There were other things I thought were cool back in the day, but as I grew older very little besides TOS still managed to interest me. All the other stuff revealed itself to be mostly shallow beyond the cool visual stuff. Today I see lots of stuff that kids can be gaga over now, but I can pretty much guarantee they will see as silly when they get older. It happened to us and it will happen to the kids of today.

    They might also come to appreciate things they overlook now. There are a lot of older films I ignored when I was young, but now I can appreciate them. It happens.

    The thought, "I was a kid. What the hell did I know?' is a recurring one across the generations.
     
  17. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    I suspect that viewers that are influenced more by 'esoterics' (special effects, realism of sets, etc.) will be distracted by those factors while those who are interested in STORY will like TOS.
     
  18. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I think that's true in any era, but in terms of visual appeal the bar has been moved or raised. What was once accepted as state-of-the-art and then tolerated for several years is no longer acceptable anymore for the broader audience.

    Today it's rare that something visual on the screen will wow me simply because I know that there's very little they can't bring to life onscreen. From that standpoint I need story and characterization and ideas to engage me. If those aren't there then no amount of eye candy will hold me.
     
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    I actually find TOS faster paced than the modern Trek series. :shrug:
     
  20. Shat Happens

    Shat Happens Captain Captain

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    Since TNG (made in the 1990s), and due to the perceived need to stick to canon (I mean, who cares if transport works thru shields or not?), scripts and characters became terribly "bureaucractic".

    New Star Trek (up to JJ's) is that. Consistent, but specially distinguishable from TOS.
     

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