Is Star Trek (the original series) aging really badly?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Jefferies, May 2, 2013.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Many people now complain that Star Wars (the original) is slow and boring, but when it came out in 1977 a some people were complaining it was too damned fast. Times and styles change. We're accustomed to cuts of less than a second's duration these days, which would have seemed ridiculously fast to audiences in other eras. So, has it aged badly? That depends on by which metric you're using.
     
  2. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agree.:bolian:
     
  3. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    For much of the final days of filming Shat had a high fever, and may very well have been delirious. :lol:

    Seriously though, I love each and every one of the original episodes.

    Except Doomsday Machine. :p
     
  4. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Funny, this is exactly what I find wrong with today's television, and why I refuse to watch anything made now, with the exception of The Simpsons.

    I think you are making the same mistake most viewers (typically the younger folks) make: you are applying contemporary standards to a show made almost fifty years ago. If you do that, of course it's not going to compare. You need to watch it (or anything else really) with no expectations other than being entertained. That is, after all, what a TV show is for. Well, that, and to sell products of course.

    Once you do that, you might find that you enjoy a show alot more, regardless of the time it was made.
     
  5. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    I love the nostalgia, and TNG and DS9 were what started my decline in Trek viewing.
    Quite agree, look at contemporary shows, from Wild Wild West to Gilligan's Island and you'll see that it was made to the standards of its day.

    How many shows are in reruns from the 90's, much less the 60's? Some folks enjoy entertainment from other eras, while others don't for various reasons. To say something ages badly? That is often a personal dislike trying to mask itself as a fact. Everything ages even kids of the 90's.
     
  6. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Nostalgia can play a part at times. To a certain extent our tastes in music/film etc... are definied during our youth. People complain about modern music/films/TV shows etc.. not being as good as it was when they were younger. But of course it would be true to say "No matter the era there is some good and some dire stuff".

    Did I grow up on Trek, sure I did I remeber watching it on BBC2 in the 80's when I was a wee nipper, along with other TV shows from that era "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.", "Mission Impossible", the Gerry Anderson shows "Thunderbirds", "Captain Scarletand the Mysterions" etc..

    But of course the TV landscape has changed a lot in that time. I remember when we only had 3 TV stations in the UK. But today with hundreds of channels, OnDemand services etc.. Just about everyone is catered for.

    Star Trek has withstood the test of time. Is it because of production values, FX, acting etc.. Perhaps that has played a part, but I would say it has stood the test of time because of the stories it told. The best FX in the world can not compensate for the lack of a good story, a good story however can compensate for lacklustre FX.
     
  7. Josan

    Josan Commodore Commodore

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    I couldn't agree more. TNG is the only one I can't re-watch beyond a handful of episodes.
     
  8. nightwind1

    nightwind1 Commodore Commodore

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    Is Star Trek (the original series) aging really badly?

    Simple answer: NOPE
     
  9. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is like saying, "You still love your father? Come on, the old man hasn't updated his look in 40 years. Dump his ass!"
     
  10. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So many opinions be touted around as if they're fact. ;)

    To me TOS may well have laid down the foundation, but greater things were built upon it. Of course it hasn't aged well. Heck we have more modern technology today than when TNG, DS9 and VOY were airing. It happens and perceptions of the futures change accordingly with time. Besides, a lot of novel writers would be out of work if they couldn't recon mistakes in the shows/movies.

    Shatner and Nimoy never seemed more than average actors to me. Certainly the characters they played were iconic, but their acting careers beyond Star Trek weren't that great in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, TOS has a number of great, well written episodes, but it also has a number of just... faceplaming ones. Over all the pace of the show is just too slow to keep my attention or more accurately, my interest, for any amount of time.

    It really was the TOS movies that really got me liking the characters more so than the show. Which is why I have to ask if you're talking about the show or movies when asked which series I like better. Certainly there's something to the even/odd rules concerning which movies are better, but for the most part they told a single story, had great adventures and it was fun without being slow or repetitive like the show can be.

    So that's my opinion, take it as you will.
     
  11. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    To be fair, there are hundreds or perhaps thousands of actors who had trouble maintaining their careers after getting a lead role in a series.

    Dick Van Dyke, Bob Denver, and David McCallum are just a few from that period that come to mind.
     
  12. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    ^ I sometimes wonder if people's memories of TOS are colored more by the movies than the television series itself.

    I love The Original Series, but I find I have to watch it with an active imagination. It leaves a lot of blanks for my mind to fill in - like a good book.

    If you're the sort of person for whom everything needs to be displayed explicitly onscreen and every second has to be packed with hyper-stimulating audio and visuals, then TOS is probably not the right series for you.
     
  13. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    No.
     
  14. SpHeRe31459

    SpHeRe31459 Captain Captain

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    ^^That's a pretty good summary of how I feel about TOS.

    With TOS getting a very nice HD transfer back circa 2006, the live action has never looked better. The bold colors used (especially in the first season) look great.

    Another thing about the '60s is that we have '60s influences in pop culture now, Mad Men is super popular, so I actually think TOS has aged reasonably well. Conversely, the first two seasons of TNG reek of tacky '80s fashion which have not aged as well, possibly because not enough time has passed. I suppose it's possible in another 25 years, the 1987 look will be respected retro style, but it doesn't seem like it.

    TOS is easy to get into and enjoy, it's usually pretty clear what's going on in each episode and each is pretty self-contained. The trio of Kirk, Spock and McCoy is also very easy to understand and enjoy, their clear respect and affection for each other comes through in most episodes.

    As many others have already said, TOS also is a product of it's time, and as such if you understand the themes and general pop culture of the time, you can see exactly how TOS fits in. The cold war allegories, the western influence (Gene Roddenberry wrote many episodes of Have Gun Will Travel just before creating Star Trek), the military influence (many of the production staff had served in WWII), etc.

    I grew up loving classic TV, I loved watching Get Smart, Dragnet, Lost in Space, I Love Lucy, Bewitched, etc. If Nick-at-Nite showed it in the early-'90s I probably watched it. So for me it all fits in with TOS and it just clicks. I also love TNG, but for different reasons and in different ways.
     
  15. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    There's another factor with TOS, in that if you listen to only the audio, it's often much like a radio show with pictures. The plot is revealed through dialogue, not onscreen action. Not sure where I first read that analysis, it might have been in David Gerrold's early background books.
     
  16. DCR

    DCR Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm another who felt it aged well, certainly better than TNG. The nature of the sets and the way it was filmed remind me more of a stage play than modern TV, but it hods together and it works as a whole.

    Sometimes it seems stilted, sometimes stately, but the stories work.
     
  17. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You made the same mistake I did: You started with season 1.

    Start with season 3 and TNG aged wonderfully.

    I think if you take the best of series TOS episodes, they aged pretty decently, though they do have some obvious 'warts'. But take TOS episodes outside the 'best of' ones, it did age pretty terribly.

    But then again, what TV series from the 50s and 60s are still watchable today? There's Twilight Zone and The Prisoner. I saw a few episodes of The Fugitive and thought they were okay. Sitcoms from back then are unwatchable.
     
  18. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Depends which sitcoms you're talking about. My Mother the Car is pretty much universally considered one of the worst shows ever. But at least it had a nifty looking fake old car (1928 Porter, which even got a model kit) and Avery Schreiber. And The Hathaways was pretty awful, with a married couple raising 3 trained chimpanzees (the Marquis Chimps).

    But there are some standouts-- I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which brought first fame to Bob Denver as Maynard G. Krebs. I first spotted John Astin, before he gained fame as Gomez Addams, from a failed series he did before that, called I'm Dickens, He's Fenster which was from one of the producers of the later Get Smart!

    And then of course, there's Batman, which people could never decide whether it was a comedy or adventure show.
     
  19. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    Couldn't agree more. TNG took a couple of seasons to get its space legs, but pretty much everything from season 3 onward (and a good chunk of season 2) still looks like the future to me, two and a half decades later.
     
  20. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well the biggest problem with TNG's first two seasons to me, seemed as if they were trying to emulate TOS too much. Once they defined the the show as their own and did there own thing with it, it was better.
     

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