could they do a show with "realistic" aliens?

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

  1. Wally

    Wally Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Would be rather ironic if when we finally do encounter intelligent life, they just look like humans with funny forehead bumps.
     
  2. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Roddenberry's status as a visionary would go through the roof!!
     
  3. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Or Michael Westmore's. :)
     
  4. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Real alien life will have almost nothing in common with us, though perhaps some elements of our design may be optimal or practical enough to have evolved in parallel someplace else. Genetically, humans would have more in common with yeast or the common cold virus.
     
  5. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sorry but all I could think was Sesame Street. I liked most other things about Farscape.
    Yet I was OK with the Gorn and Mugatu :lol:
     
  6. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Given that nature isn't opposed to similarities and duplications--as well as how vast our Universe is and the likelihood that Earth isn't the only planet of its kind within it, IMO--the odds that there are some alien life-forms that may be virtually indistinguishable from us are actually good, even if they are millions of light-years away in another Galaxy somewhere.
     
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Although, I've often thought that sometimes, instead of using guys with forehead bumps or worse, "aliens" who look exactly human, why didn't they just make the inhabitants of the planet of the week human colonists who had separated from the Federation? You could have done that with some TNG episodes, like The High Ground, or The Vengeance Factor and still have had the exact same episodes. Hell, very little would have changed had they done that with The Hunted, for that matter.
     
  8. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Even in Farscape the aliens were basically upright-walkers with eyes, nose, mouth and similar ways of thinking to humans.

    Ender's Game, if it's anywhere near true to the novels, has realistic aliens.

    I disagree. If the message of a show is that we can learn to tolerate and accept people's differences it undermines that point for all aliens to act exactly like us. You're not really accepting people's differences, you're saying that we can only really accept people who think and behave exactly like us.

    But Star Trek needs human-like aliens for two production reasons. Aliens must be: 1) Cheap, 2) F***able.
     
  9. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, they were able to do Centaurs on Hercules and Xena. Granted, they did a lot of close ups and the whole body affect looked a little cheesy, but that was almost 20 years ago...

    I'm sure they could do these aliens you mentioned today.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I was talking about the message of a particular episode, not the series as a whole. "Acceptance of alien lifeforms" is certainly the theme of some Trek episodes, but by no means all of them. If this week's episode is instead about political prisoners or global warming or genetic engineering or some other issue that doesn't require a completely alien lifeform, then making the aliens-of-the-week giant slime molds isn't necessary.

    Look at "Mark of Gideon" or "Conscience of the King" or "Chain of Command," for example. Those episodes were about overpopulation and war crimes and torture, respectively, so there was no need to make the aliens particularly alien to deal with those issues.

    Would "Half a Life" be as affecting if David Ogden Stiers's character was a telepathic cactus? Probably not, because that story wasn't about that.

    Not every morality play has the same moral! :)
     
  11. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Assuming parallel evolution on other M Class planets and further assuming that no asteroid hit there 65 million years ago, there'd be a big probability we might encounter intelligent velociraptors.

    Therefore the Gorn (the depiction in ENT seems more realistic, IMHO) and the bipedal reptiles from "Bem" (TAS) look like realistic aliens.

    Bob
     
  12. Isolinear

    Isolinear Commander Red Shirt

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    Who says us evolving into an intelligent species wasn't a fluke?
    As far as we know, we are the only intelligent species, after 600 million years of complex life.
    We don't have intelligent birds or crocodiles today... the closest cousins of the dinosaurs.

    I think intelligent life may be very, very, VERY rare in the universe.
    Technological societies will be even more rare. Who says they won't be stuck in the middle-ages forever? On our world science had an uphill battle against certain..... less clear-headed forces.
     
  13. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's true that it may be the case that intelligent life is incredibly rare, but that's certainly not the case in the Trek universe.

    Given the premise that every other planet has intelligent life, it's certainly believable that reptilian-like creatures could become intelligent.
     
  14. David.Blue

    David.Blue Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm gonna agree about Babylon 5 and Farscape. They did it. Trek could do it.
     
  15. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't know... if evolution (on earth) happened the way scientists say it happened, it's hard to see how aliens on a totally different planet could develop 5 fingers, two eyes, and a brain like ours.

    If they develop that far at all.

    OTOH, as far humanoid appearance, we tend to think we are the prototype, and if there is other humanoid life out there, they are the copies.

    What if they see us as the copies and themselves as the prototypes?

    And then there's the concept of alien creating or transporting life on this planet thrown into the mix- that would open the possibility that aliens can look like they do on Trek.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  16. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    TNG did play their get out of jail free card, by giving humanoid species a common point of origin, which then evolved on their own respective planets. That being said, I would like to see a very alien character make an appearance, though energy/light beings have been done many times before.
     
  17. Isolinear

    Isolinear Commander Red Shirt

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    That was the explanation in TNG's "The Chase". Nice retcon.

    "Humanoid" life is a Star Trek concept. There are no "copies" and "originals". Probably only vaguely similar shapes as a result of convergent evolution, and even then 2 arms + 2 legs may be rare; even on our own planet there are species that look nothing like us.
     
  18. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    TOS also did something similar in Return To Tomorrow.


    I agree, I tend to think the likelihood of finding human-like aliens with the similar brain structures, five fingers, ect, is because of the unique way different forms of life evolved on earth-(chance, accidents and opportunity).

    It's not so much as humans thinking they are the prototypes, but more like thinking we are the centerpiece to which all other life should be compared.

    For example, if we did discover that there was intelligent, humanoid looking life on Pluto we might ask them, how did you evolve just like us?!?

    Whereas the aliens maybe thinking the exact same thing.

    Perhaps aliens on other planets can evolve the same way we did if evolution were some repeating, re-occurring theme when the conditions are right?

    Like oceans, volcanoes, canyons, earthquakes etc on other planets.

    Not likely, I think, but this view does open the possibilities.
     
  19. FreddyE

    FreddyE Captain Captain

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    Well...if the results of the experiments with gorilla Koko are any indication...it seems we are NOT the only intelligent species on earth. Koko (and other gorillas who were thought Gorilla Sign Language) does show very clear signs of selfawareness, limited ability of comprehension (comparable to a 5 year old) and transfer ability (the ability to transfer known concepts to different situations)
     
  20. Isolinear

    Isolinear Commander Red Shirt

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    All primates are practically one big family. So, our kind of intelligence emerged only once. My point was, where are all the intelligent snails, birds and beetles?

    1 million years of human intelligence vs 600 million years of non-sentient life. (or even 3000 million if you count single-celled organisms)
    What then are the odds of several very human-looking species developing roughly the same level of technology at roughly the same moment in history? It's actually pretty ridiculous when you think about it.
    I love Star Trek, but it is Fantasy, not Science Fiction.