Enterprise: Exec wanted "Top Bands" on the show

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by FrontierTrek, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'd say Ron Moore's tirade over Voyager makes a convincing argument that those two were part and parcel of Trek jumping the shark. Just because the execs also made bad calls doesn't mean the blame should just shift over to them.
     
  2. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "What are these fellows calling themselves?"
    "Kollpla."
    "Sounds Klingon."
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It means that instead of falling for the simplistic allure of blame, we should recognize that creating television is a complex process with a lot of hands involved and can be difficult to get right even when everyone is sincerely trying to do their best. Now, I agree that Braga was probably the weakest Trek showrunner of the modern era, not counting the aged, infirm Roddenberry himself in TNG season 1. And I believe that Berman was a much better logistical producer than he was a writer. But I also think that both of them had good ideas as well as not-so-good ones, and we should be mature and honest enough to recognize that people are capable of doing both good and bad work in the course of their careers, rather than reducing people to caricatures of incompetence just because they made some creative decisions we didn't agree with.
     
  4. Takeru

    Takeru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But because we know their names the producers/writers also get all the credit when something's good, even if it was an executive's idea.

    I don't think the executive should be criticised for having that idea, in a creative environment bad ideas happen all the time, it's inevitable. At least he was trying to do something new to boost the show's popularity, that's not a bad thing and Enterprise was criticised for being the same old crap again.
    It's not even that different from stuff Star Trek had been doing for years, they always seemed to have a thing for incorporating the 20th century. Dixon Hill, Riker's jazz club, Joe Piscopo, Stephen Hawking, Sandrine's (technically a 24th century place that just happens to look like something you could walk into today), Tom Paris general fixation on the 20th century, various movie nights featuring ass old movies (from the characters' perspective).

    Having hot new bands really isn't that different, the real problem seems to be that the writer's were flailing their arms because they couldn't use the holodeck like they did for years.

    I also agree with the executive that it's the writer's job to come up with a way to make the idea work, that's what they get paid for, taking ideas and turning them into a filmable script.

    You what happened when executives suggested "Batman in High School" to the DCAU writers? Instead of whining that it doesn't work they made Batman Beyond.

    Maybe the band idea could have worked somehow but it doesn't seem like anyone even tried. At least it would have elevated the music from being accoustic wallpaper.

    Another thing that bugs me, future guy and the stupid temporal cold war was still Berman's and Braga's fault. UPN obviously wanted a stuff from chronologically later Star Trek incorporated into the show, but B&B failed to do it in a way that didn't suck, the executives wanted it is no excuse, I doubt someone at UPN send them a specific "shadowy future guy with mysterious nonsense plan that no one, not even you understands" order.
     
  5. Infern0

    Infern0 Captain Captain

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    Well that would have been one of the worst things in the history of television.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That happened anyway. The music in ENT was a lot richer than it had been on the previous couple of shows.


    I think that's a little harsh. It's hard to do a good job at something if you're not inspired by it, if it's just something you're ordered to insert by network fiat. The specifics may have been their idea, but it wasn't something they wanted to do at all; they wanted to focus strictly on the 22nd century. So without the desire or inspiration to do it, they were just going through the motions, and thus it's no wonder the results were unimpressive.

    Indeed, maybe there was an element of protest to it. Maybe they wanted the TCW stuff to be so unimpressive that the network would agree to let them downplay or drop it. And if so, they kind of succeeded, because the TCW was barely dealt with in season 2 (outside of the season premiere and finale there was only "Future Tense"), retooled into the Xindi arc in season 3, and wrapped up entirely at the start of season 4.
     
  7. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Are you saying the network wanted "These Are The Yoyages"?;)

    Believe me, there's plenty of blame to go around, but IMO B&B deservedly get a lot of flack for their own very poor decisions; and IMO, that's justified.
     
  8. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think if this nameless exec had suggested "let's incorporate contemporary pop music into the series" rather then "let's have hot young bands in the ship's restaurant", it might have been better received.
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Bringing in "hot young bands" to play aboard Enterprise would obviously have been implausible. But the idea of using modern music isn't inherently bad; they could have had the crew organize an "Open Mic Night" akin to the Movie Night they did use, and it wouldn't have been implausible to bring in smaller acts as Starfleet officers playing stripped-down songs on Open Mic Night.

    But to make this plausible and consistent with the tone of the show, it would have been a better idea to focus on a variety of acts, and it would have also been a better idea to mix it up with songs from numerous different decades -- everything from someone playing Cole Porter to someone playing a Nirvana song, for instance. Bringing in Britney Spears to sing "Toxic" wouldn't be the best idea, but bringing in lesser-known acts like, say, Billy Bragg or Flogging Molly might well have worked -- as might have, say, bringing in Norbert Leo Butz to sing "You're the Top" or other such works.

    I think that kind of flexibility would have allowed the writers to use "Open Mic Night" in much the same way the Bronze was used on Buffy -- not only a plot device to allow the characters to socialize in an off-duty setting, but to allow the opportunity to use a variety of musical formats to explore, express, and comment on the themes of a given episode.

    It would certainly have been a departure from the Berman-era Trek formula, but it might have worked on an artistic level if it had been approached from the perspective of, "How can we use the music of our lifetimes to illustrate the themes we're exploring in our stories?" first and foremost, rather than from the perspective of, "How can we get the biggest bands on the Hot 100 this week to come on the show and do cross-promotions?"
     
  10. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes but... this TrekCore interview remark leads me to think that appealing to a younger demographic via new pop music was only a small part of the deal.

    Seems to me that directly promoting whatever "hot young bands" was the main factor, what with the album card appearing at the eps end and all that.

    The big thing seems to be having these (again) "hot young bands" appear directly, performing their songs, in the eps, as part of a promotion deal.

    Having the crew only listening to their music, or playing their music, probably wouldn't be enough. Sounds like the bands had to show up playing on-screen somehow.

    Maybe that's not the case, but that's my read of the interview. It needn't be that way. I remember the eps promos used pop music, a way could have been found to use more of it without directly including the "HOT YOUNG BANDS" in the ship's restaurant.
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They could pretend that part of every episode was amateur night among the crew.

    Outfit the hot new band in ugly blue jumpsuits.

    :)
     
  12. feek61

    feek61 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Maybe one of the stupidest ideas I've heard regarding Trek. Talk about a disconnect!!
     
  13. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    They could have had a stage in the mess hall equipped with holographic projectors, and played the "retro 2001 is cool in 2151" angle. I really can't see it fitting in with the version of Enterprise we actually got, though.

    If they ever do a Starfleet Academy TV series, it'd be a perfect fit.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, I can kind of see what the executive's point of view was. After all, album cross-promotions have long been an important source of revenue for the small networks -- first The WB and UPN, now The CW. It's something they do on a number of their shows and it helps keep them in business. So probably this executive's specific job was, in part, to look for opportunities to incorporate album/band promotions into any and every show the network made. I doubt he saw Enterprise as a natural fit, but he was trying to figure out a way to make it happen anyway because that was part of his job, his particular responsibilities and priorities. The show's creators make the show their top priority, but the network executives need to make the overall needs of the network their priority, and sometimes -- often -- those come into conflict.
     
  15. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    Eh, there's several ways it could have been done.

    As previously mentioned, it could be a broadcast they are watching, or they could slide them into holoprograms, or as just mentioned, have the band members guest sar as Star Fleet personnel competing in a talent contest.

    Now, of course, none of these ideas could be used every week, and working a band in every week, would likely be a disster anyways, but, no reason they couldn't find ways to do it a few times a season.

    Another possibility might be to have different bands sing the opening theme.
     
  16. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    I thought that all the rubbing off in the decon scenes were them trying to appeal to a younger demographic?

    It probably did the exact opposite for many people. It made me feel so embarrassed that I was watching ENT at times.:scream:

    One of the advantages that TNG and DS9 had that VOY and ENT didn't was that TNG/DS9 didn't have to answer to any network since both were first run syndication shows. Paramount decision to bypass the big networks was a blessing. Trek was dealt a terrible blow when the first run syndication market died off.
     
  17. ChristopherPike

    ChristopherPike Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yep. Remixes & cover versions. One week Evanescence. Noel Gallagher the next. Linkin Park the next.

    But this being UPN, we'd have gotten some (now long forgotten) talent show winner doing it... They'd take that great idea and turn it into shit, because Enterprise had a demographic and you can stretch that slightly, but it wouldn't ever completely fit in with who their other programming was aimed at.

    I wonder if Berman & Braga ended up in anyway resentful of Manny Coto? I mean the reviews are much better for that last season, and clearly UPN seemed to have completely given up on tinkering with Enterprise - probably because its fate was already sealed - but there's a new found freedom, in which the show is finally allowed to be a Star Trek fans could identify with. Certain pre-existing elements from the show's history like the Orions and Augments, meeting some of that desire for more sexualisation and eye candy for a general audience, having been right there all along.

    On the basis of "In a Mirror, Darkly" they ought to have kept changing the theme tune every year. Weirdly, the song became more upbeat in the darkest season. Some contrasts between music and the scene surrounding it work. This one didn't for me. "Impulse" and T'Pol is screaming in Sickbay. Cut to the happy clappy song. "Twilight" and the whole Earth is gone. Cut to the inspirational theme.

    I'd have been quite keen to see Enterprise get a few "All Along the Watchtower" moments a lá BSG...
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
  18. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    It was an interesting juxtaposition, to say the least
     
  19. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    The last thing Trek needed was to copy other shows. For all the people that kept preaching how much nuBSG was SO much better than Trek, they certainly have disappeared now that nearly all interest in nuBSG has died off.
     
  20. jespah

    jespah Commodore Commodore

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    The whole idea is rather odd, but it's not like there's never been music in Trek that goes outside of theme songs and incidental music. I think what I dislike the most about it is the concept of it being a regular thing. Why not have it, but as a rare occurrence? Bring in whoever - dress them up as crew members and make it some sort of - the crew is getting a well-deserved break - or whatever. Hell, I actually write a pair of E2 crew members as playing guitar and singing because you've got a century to kill so why not do a little coffee house kind of act? But it would have to be small.

    Part II of an E2 two-parter (try saying that three times fast) - Archer: How'd you entertain yourselves over the course of a century? I mean, other than having kids and dodging the Xindi? Karyn: We turned the Observation Lounge into a performance space. Some of the intervening generations, well, you know not everyone is into science. Some of them turned out to be really artistic, and musically talented. My Uncle Pete is; c'mon and I'll take you.