I, Borg and Descent

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Nerys Ghemor, Oct 19, 2009.

?

How do you feel about I, Borg and Descent?

  1. I, Borg--WIN! Descent--WIN!

    25.0%
  2. I, Borg--WIN! Descent--FAIL!

    62.5%
  3. I, Borg--FAIL! Descent--WIN!

    5.4%
  4. I, Borg--FAIL! Descent--FAIL!

    7.1%
  1. RobertScorpio

    RobertScorpio Pariah

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    Voyager created some cool aliens (Hirogen chief among them) but then ruined them by making them just another bland TREK alien race..bad writing, and only bad writing, can do that...so I agree with you..

    Rob
     
  2. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    If it ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage.
     
  3. StarryEyed

    StarryEyed Commodore Commodore

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    I didn't vote in the poll because I despise the win/fail slang. Sorry.

    I thought I Borg was a decent enough episode. It's not one of my favorites but it wasn't a bad idea. It established that the Borg did not have as tight a lock on individuals as was previously thought. It weakened them but not much. I think that was a good thing because if they were as badass as they seemed in the early episodes, the good guys are dead. Do we really want that in the Trekversw?

    I think it's incredibly naive to think that Geordi's plan would have in fact destroyed the Borg. Don't you think that races in the Delta Quadrant would have wiped them out if it were that easy?


    Descent was a mess but more for reasons other than how the Borg were treated. This is just a continuation of the revelation in I Borg that the original assumption of, "once a Borg, always a Borg" was not true.

    We got our first look at transwarp conduits here which was cool.


    First Contact was an enjoyable movie. It reestablished the Borg as very dangerous opponents but it also showed that Starfleet had closed the gap. I think this was logical. The Federation is vast and powerful. The initial contact with the Borg scared the crap out of them and they got up off their butts and made some serious advances.

    This movie gave us the queen. While I think Alice Krieg turned in an awesome performance in that role, I must defer to the arguments that this was a very bad idea. This was the move that cheapened the Borg - not what Voyager did.


    Star Trek Voyager: This was a mixed bag. I loved Unity and I thought Scorpion was absolutely awesome. We had never seen more than a single Borg ship before. The fleet of cubes in Scorpion was a definite holy shit moment!

    It went generally downhill from there. The low point was probably Unimatrix Zero. Voyager exchanges fire with a tactical cube here as if it were any run of the mill ship.

    Endgame helped restore the Borg as very dangerous opponents. It went too far, actually. The transwarp network it revealed showed once and for all that the Borg could have effortlessly assimilated the entire Federation had it wanted to. This led to all the fan theories that the Borg farm technology by scaring opponents into developing tactics and technology that could defeat them and then assimilating it. This is perfectly logical - and scary. It suggests that the Borg could come for the Federation any time they want.
     
  4. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's because the Dominion were allowed to win battles and stuff. They could destroy hundreds of Fed ships and kill lots of people without harming the main characters, which allowed them to keep their menace. With the Borg they couldn't be allowed any victories because all VOY had was their one ship, and they couldn't let them destroy THAT.

    So basically, VOY was again in a no-win scenario: Their dramatic situation meant their enemies couldn't be allowed victories that would endanger the ship and crew otherwise the show would be over. THus, their villains could never keep up a massive menacing aura.

    And yes, you DO need a constant enemy (even in a show like VOY), NuBSG and Farscape had them as well.

    And no, the writing wasn't the problem. The writing for guys like the Vidiians was no worse than anything on DS9.

    ...Which would make this...(gasp)...A double standard!
     
  5. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Awww, StarryEyed, have a sense of humor! I was just trying to keep things lighthearted, because I really didn't want to see this thread devolve into a flame war. (Pleeeeease everyone, keep that in mind!)
     
  6. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, and what exactly was the problem with the writing? I keep hearing "bad writing" this and "Bad writing" that, without any examples. What constitutes good writing to you, having every battle result in tons of extras dead and VOY having to run away like a pack of cowards every single time, thus emasculating everyone? Have the Vidiian Phage be some massive plague spread through the DQ and eat up their Makeup budget? Have the Borg destroy VOY in 5 seconds? Just what do you want? I want hard examples here.
     
  7. RyuRoots

    RyuRoots Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There are these things called "opinions", Anwar. They mean that someone else can feel differently than you but neither of you are objectively wrong. You're just going on your "haters, waaaaah" BS without actually saying it. People aren't demanding to know WHY you think something is well-written. Give people the same basic courtesy.

    Regarding the Borg and VOY:
    No, they weren't in a no-win situation. The way out? Don't use the Borg much! The Gift even gave them an easy out in that Kes propelled them well outside Borg space. Does that mean they have no possibility of encountering them again? Of course not. But it gives a plausible reason not to encounter them too often. Not that they took it.

    And they NEED a constant enemy, huh? Don't guess you've seen much TOS or TNG.

    And, most of all, writing quality is subjective. I don't think you know what that word means, so take your time and go look in a dictionary.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  8. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, TOS had the Klingons and Romulans (though 60s standards meant they didn't need to meet much) and TNG had the Romulans, Ferengi and the Cardassians (though 80s and early 90s standards meant they didn't need to meet much).

    And yes, it was no-win. They needed a constant foe and thanks to the audience rejecting every single last original alien they created (even when the writing was "good") they had to fall back on the Borg who were the only ones the audience liked.
     
  9. RyuRoots

    RyuRoots Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    's an interesting idea. Have to admit, I'd never thought of that before.


    "recurring" and "constant" mean different things. The Klingons and Romulans on TOS and TNG were recurring enemies. The Dominion on DS9 were a constant enemy.

    And since this point has been rehashed far beyond tedium, I will simply implore you to stop being an attention whore and remind you again that writing quality is subjective and that there ARE people who don't like things that you do and that doesn't make them wrong.
     
  10. RobertScorpio

    RobertScorpio Pariah

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    And once again, I have to say...the Hirogen WERE created by Voyagers writers, and they WERE liked. It was the writing of the Voyager writers that eventually ruined the HIROGEN. So don't blame fans for falling back on the old aliens since it was the writers that made us do that becaues they ruined whatever small amounts of originality they stumbled upon...

    Rob
     
  11. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Uh-huh

    No they weren't. The audience hated them from their first story because they were Predators.

    No, it was the negative reaction from the audience.
     
  12. Saito S

    Saito S Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Who is this "audience", anyway? Did you go door to door across America, polling viewers on what they thought of the latest Voyager developments? Did you scour every last corner of the internet to find out what people thought? Or is this simply your experience with people you knew, web sites you visited, etc? Cause I can say that I NEVER encountered the venomous, teeth-baring hostility toward EVERYTHING VOYAGER that you have. And I spent plenty of time talking to friends about Trek when it was on and hanging out online looking up stuff on the shows in the late 90's. Plenty of people liked the Hirogen.
    Here's a thought: Perhaps this negative reaction from the audience that you keep hammering about was CAUSED by said audience, oh I dunno... not liking the writing?

    Voyager certainly did not need a "constant villain". In fact, I think the show would have been more interesting without one (and certainly, if they WERE going to use one, the Borg were a bad choice). But this is all technically off topic.

    "I, Borg" was good, but "Descent" was terrible. The only really good thing was, as others have pointed out, Crusher commanding the Enterprise. That was cool in and of itself, but the reason for her commanding the ship was incredibly stupid. And even though it was also cool how they used the Metaphasic Shield tech to escape the Borg ship by skirting near a star, they even farked THAT up by having Crusher refer to it as something LaForge came up with, despite the fact that it was actually Ferengi scientist Dr. Reyga who invented the thing, in an episode focused on Crusher, no less! It's like the writing staff were all on drugs or sleep deprived when crafting Descent.

    Other than that, it had a dumb story (emo Borg hook up with Data's emo twin, then they turn Data himself emo... great), enough logic lapses and plot holes to fill a Borg Cube, and one of the most cringe-worthy lines in all of Trekdom: "The sons of Soong have joined together. And together... we will destroy the Federation." Geez, Data... twirl that moustache any harder and it'll fall off. And... destroy the FEDERATION?? The whole thing? Why? No motivation is given to do this for Data, Lore, or the rogue Borg, making it "Because that would be eeeeevillllll and we're eeeeeviillllll mwahahahahahahahahaahackghack *cough*"

    Easily one of the worst eps of TNG's entire "good section" (seasons 3-7), and the worst of the two-parters.
     
  13. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You're lucky and/or not reading the same posts/boards as me. Because I can say that with all the folks I talk to and the boards I visit, VOY is considered a worthless piece of garbage without a single redeeming quality to it.

    So did I, and...

    ...None of the people I interacted with did.

    Nope, I observed it in some cases and it pretty much was just some inherent bias/dislike of the show that caused it. Why were they so biased, I don't know. People I watched "Caretaker" with disliked the show within 30 minutes of the premiere.

    It wasn't the writing.

    So every other "Voyager" type show like Farscape and NuBSG can have one, but not VOY, double standard rears it's head again..

    And in VOY's case, the show got blasted away at enough for having Aliens of the week even when it was trying to make original aliens. Make it just aliens of the week is just suicide.

    Yes, the Borg were their only choice. They had NOTHING else left and weren't going to bother making another original race after they saw how their hard work meant nothing to the audience.

    But yes, this is off-topic.
     
  14. RyuRoots

    RyuRoots Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    :lol: Couldn't have phrased it better, myself.
     
  15. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Putting all that aside, and speaking very generally, the problem I had was the writers put no more imagination into the aliens than did TNG or DS9. When the series was announced a full year before it premiered, the producers sold it to us the fans by saying we were going to go into a completely unexplored section of the galaxy and see some real alien aliens. And what did we see as soon as we got there? The same boring TNG aliens with funny foreheads.

    What makes an alien interesting and unique and, well, alien isn't the amount of damage they inflict. Have you ever read any literary SF? There are loads of imaginative aliens which bring all kinds of story possibilities, some of which could never be represented on television, but many of which could. Having an alien with a funny forehead with all the same technology -- starships, shields, subspace communication -- is lazy, unimaginative writing. Certainly TNG and DS9 were guilty of this as well, but Voyager wasn't supposed to be TNG or DS9. Voyager, for me, had everything I didn't like about TNG and DS9 without anything that I did like -- good scripts, believeable characters. Acting and production values were top notch, IMO, but it's all about the story for me.

    Isaac Asimov rarely wrote aliens into his books, but the ones he came up with for "The Gods Themselves" were fantastic, very well though out. If you can find a copy of it somewhere, I suggest picking it up. It was written about midway through Asimov's career and one of his best. I think once you start seeing how real SF authors create aliens and allow stories to naturally come out of those creations, you'll be able to better understand why Trek aliens are so often unimaginative.

    But going back to your point about the VOY writers not being able to have an enemy that scored victory -- why not? Why not have the ship damaged, crewpeople -- including regulars -- killed? There would at least be a sense of danger.

    And as far as the bad writing, that wasn't at all limited to the creation of alien races. My biggest problem with the writing was that it didn't even pretend to buy its own premise. The ship takes a severe beating every episode, with sparks flying and the lights going out on the bridge, only to be perfectly pristine by the next episode. Crappy writing.

    But I'm not going to dwell on a show I never watch. There's a reason I never go into the VOY forum.

    Why? Why do you have to have a recurring villain? Just because other generic "sci-fi" series do? Especially given the fact that the ship is constantly on the move, you wouldn't expect them to keep running into the same people over and over again. Why not just write good, imaginative stories that take advantage of the situation you've set up?

    And that makes it good? "Yes, I cheated on my taxes, but so did my neighbor, so that makes it okay by comparison." Odd.
    I completely disagree.

    Season seven wasn't part of the good section.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
  16. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, because alien aliens would be too expensive to create for a one episode appearance and the writers wouldn't want to waste their talents on making them the deepest race out there when we'd never see them again.

    That should read "most of which could never be represented on television", and the makeup FX or CGI needed for those that could would be too expensive. I have read my share of literary sci-fi, but lately I've been getting too irritated with how right-wing the more action-oriented stuff is.

    Having the aliens be a sentient swarm of dung beetles (or whatever an "alien" alien would be) wouldn't make a story good.

    The difference in mediums is often too great, and the time allotted in Trek wouldn't be adequete either. Literary sci-fi gives us looks into the minds of the characters and descriptions that are near-impossible for Television.

    Because have the ship be too damaged and they never get home, which makes the whole series too nihilistic. Kill off people and regulars and soon the audience is turned off by you getting rid of the people that got them into the show to begin with, or they question how the ship can run when so many have died which AGAIN makes the whole show nihilistic in not getting home.

    If VOY have a ragtag fleet, then they'd have ships full of nameless faceless extras to blow up and kill off without harming the main ship or the main characters, but all they had was one ship and one crew they couldn't afford to damage or kill.

    Too expensive to keep up the continuity damage, too nihilistic to damage the ship beyond repair, easy to assume that they just manage to fix the damage between episodes instead of wasting lots of money on FX of them landing anywhere to fix everything.

    But I'm not going to dwell on a show I never watch. There's a reason I never go into the VOY forum.

    According to most complaints, yes.

    That's what I say, but what do I know...

    What, like some sappy BS of two people who fall in love, get married, get divorced and yet still have to work together over a course of years? This isn't a soap opera.

    I'm saying that it wasn't the writing that caused the negative reaction, I don't know what did cause it but it wasn't the writing.
     
  17. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    No, like "Tapestry," "Inner Light," "Yesterday's Enterprise," "The Big Goodbye," "Cause and Effect," "Paralells," "The Measure of a Man," "The First Duty." I never saw a VOY episode that even approached that level of quality, and most of those episodes didn't offer a "villain." Or take nearly every "Twilight Zone" episode. You don't need a mustache-twirling villain to make a good story.

    You've made a lot of excuses for why they couldn't do anything that actually supported the premise they created for the series. If they didn't want to do any of those things, maybe they should have come up with a different premise, something they actually intended to flesh out in a natural and believeable way.

    Whether you can accept it or not is, as the Borg would say, irrelevent. It was the writing that caused my negative reaction.
     
  18. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, truth be told half of those episodes DID require a recurring foe. And some Zone episodes DO revolve around adversaries.

    It was more UPN and Paramount not wanting to put up the money and allow the serialization to cover the premise, but I already covered that it was more complex than just "crappy writing" that they didn't focus on every single last damaged panel and they perhaps gave us more credit than we deserved in thinking they could fix it between episodes.
     
  19. RyuRoots

    RyuRoots Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hober Mallow, he just wants attention, don't pay him any mind. Let's just get back on about I, Borg or Descent or the Borg in general.
     
  20. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, I just want to know what this "better writing, better writing, better writing" blather actually is. And I want to know what everyone's problem was with VOY's aliens in the first place that they hated them all.