could they do a show with "realistic" aliens?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by JT Perfecthair, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. JT Perfecthair

    JT Perfecthair Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I put that in quotes since obviously nobody really knows what real aliens actually look like. What i mean is, aliens that clearly are not human actors with styrofoam on their heads speaking english.

    Do you feel the fans would accept that, something that communicates but does not speak, not at all human, maybe corporeal maybe just light. We've seen such things on Trek, the Medusans, The Companion, the shimmering thing that made the humans and klingons fight, Redjacks true form etc but they still had to influence something bipedal and then we learned of their intents through the people.

    It would make for slow storytelling, first contact would take months instead of an episode which would be a nice change in itself. I would just love to see Trek do more than endlessly project 20th century political and social issues in the "future".
     
  2. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Aliens made of LIGHT has to be the laziest thing ever. I imagine TOS kept doing that since it was cheap to do instead of being imaginative! :lol:
     
  3. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Yes.
    Farscape.
    Babylon 5.
     
  4. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If they can just scrape together enough money ... sure.

    The fans would accept the new alien if the production crew did a reasonable job in depicting it. Would it have to be perfect, not for most of the fans (some small number will alway bitch).

    :)
     
  5. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Budgetary restraints were always the problem with Trek aliens. While the craft is willing to create such aliens, the accountants may not be.
     
  6. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In Farscape they used puppets. They were better concepts for aliens but terrible implementations.
    That was the one thing about the show that put me off it. They also had a heap of alien races that looked exactly human.
     
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, who cares? Even the shows that do go in for imaginative aliens always have someone who is just a human in an obvious costume. Yeah, we all get tired of the vagina-headed aliens of the week, but truly "alien" aliens can get just as tedious and boring. Just look at Stargate Universe, its aliens were CG and never spoke English. And it was boring.

    The solution is better writing that utilizes the weakness of a budget and turns it into a strength, not gimmicky attempts at creating a realistic alien.
     
  8. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The not speaking english is hard since it's hard to interact with them from a storytelling perspective. Enterprise half heartedly tried this for awhile before finally just dropping it. With CGI these days? The truly alien creatures are possible, now, sure.
     
  9. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    You're forgetting the Sheliac. And, of course, Armus. Though there were humans under the suits, it was really hard to tell.
     
  10. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Like the Horta?
     
  11. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I even preferred the Gorn on TOS to the CGI one on ENT.

    You have Gollum in Lord of the Rings and this was obviously a very costly enterprise. And he was a mad bastard so you expected him to be not quite right. If you wanted say Spock who appeared in practically every scene in TOS to be CGI'd then he'd have to be spot on for you to relate to him.

    I don't think we have that technology now but we may have a more realistic cheaper CGI in the future.
     
  12. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I loved the puppets on FarScape. The likes of Pilot and Rygel had far more development and depth than Mayweather or Kim. I'm on a mammoth rewatch of the series at the moment and I find that I forget/ignore the fact that they are puppets because they were done so well.
     
  13. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As for communication, the UT makes it possible for aliens in Trek to talk to one another, so if they did have a language it could be interpreted. If they didn't then the cast would need to include either a telepath (to communicate mentally with them) or a specialist in non-verbal communication (which would most likely be a counsellor, diplomatic officer or cultural specialist).
     
  14. Captain Rob

    Captain Rob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Aliens that are light. I just hope Orci, Kurtzman or JJ don't read this.
    ST2016: " The lenseflares!... They're alive!!....They're alien beings!!"
    I think Voyager did it already with the Equinox.
     
  15. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Despite the limited budget for a more realistic costume I really thought the Excalbians from "The Savage Curtain" were really alien.

    Or you take the Shadows of Babylon 5.

    That is that their thinking and understanding was very different from ours, while usually Trek aliens are rather "mirrors" of ourselves and our ethnic variations.

    What was really great about Solaris (not the George Clooney travesty but the original Russian film) and a bigger theme in Stanislaw Lem's story was that the ocean intelligence covering the planet was so alien, that human science couldn't find a way to establish communication. ;)

    Bob
     
  16. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I never had a problem with the majority of aliens encountered thus far are humanoid. It does suggest a certain commonality, be it of natural or deliberate design.

    I think with TNG there was a conscious effort to move away from having "alien monsters"--be it a guy in a bug-eyed rubber costume or puppets--in order for it to be taken more seriously. There have been a few here and there since then via CGI, but that's one of the more expensive and time-consuming special effects to produce, even more so if you want it to not look CGI. It's definitely not something a weekly TV show, even one with a decent-sized budget like Trek, can do very often and look good alongside human actors, IMO.

    Maybe it's time to go back to guys in rubber suits and puppets if we want more non-humanoid aliens, with CGI aliens every once in a blue moon...
    :)
     
  17. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Gonna have to disagree.

    Gonna have to agree! :)
     
  18. TheGoodStuff

    TheGoodStuff Commander Red Shirt

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    It doesn't really bother me. I kinda like variations of the humanoid theme, I think it is also easier from a story telling perspective to just have different looking humanoid aliens.

    We have the Tholians, Gorn, Sheliak, Xindi....there have been numerous attempts at making some species that look alien. Though the most effective have all been humanoid: Romulan, Klingon, Cardassian, Ferengi...
     
  19. _C_

    _C_ Commander Red Shirt

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    I'd love to see somebody pull off realistic Andalites someday. Imagine these telepathic creatures walking around DS9.

    I'm sure their morphing technology would mess with Odo's head!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    But yeah, what people said above. The budget made it hard to come up with a million aliens and have them look like more than a cheap B-movie monster of the week.
     
  20. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    In large part it depends on the story you're trying to tell. If you're trying to tell, say, a morality play about racism or euthanasia or overpopulation, what's the point of making the aliens eight-armed crystalline monotremes or whatever? That's not the point of the story. If anything, making the aliens too exotic would just be distracting.

    If, on the other hand, you're doing a story about the challenges of communicating with truly exotic lifeforms . . . well, then you probably can't settle for a few bumps on the forehead.

    It's all about throwing your time and resources at what ultimately serves that particular story.