LGBT characters and themes in Trek fan films?

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by borgboy, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There's not much different between couples of any gender mix in terms of intimacy and playing around like that.

    The problem I had with the scene was it was overlong and too early in the story. We hardly even knew these characters names.
     
  2. lennier1

    lennier1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's part of what made it so annoying, though it's par for the course.

    Think back to Balance of Terror. The young couple about to be married had never received any screen time before, one of them dies over the course of the episode and the other was never to be seen again after the end credits. Why exactly were we supposed to give a damn about them?

    As constructed as the appearance in Phase II was, at least the character wasn't some insignificant throwaway character.
     
  3. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    Good. :)

    I agree that the scene was too long, but at least it had some nice eye-candy. :D
     
  4. Kruezerman

    Kruezerman Commodore Commodore

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    That's exactly it, and the fact that we weren't invested in the characters outside of their sexuality.
     
  5. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    Your reactions just show how necessary such scenes still are in science fiction.
     
  6. Kruezerman

    Kruezerman Commodore Commodore

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    You misunderstand, I want LGBT characters that are strong additions to the cast, not just there for to say "Hey, we have a gay character!"
     
  7. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    'Balance of Terror' is a great example.

    One reason we care about them is because the writing and the direction is top notch. And, their tragic love story ties into the theme of the horrors of war. If the love scene that happened in 'Blood and Fire' took place in 'Balance of Terror' – with Robert Tomlinson and Angela Martine – that would have killed the pacing as well and we wouldn't have the perfect episode that we have today. (Of course, being the 1960s, we wouldn't have seen a gay or lesbian couple. Hence, I'm looking at a 'what if' scenario; if the same episode was produced or remade today).

    If we were to replace Robert Tomlinson and Angela Martine with either Angelo Martine and Robert Tomlinson (a gay couple) or Roberta Tomlinson and Angela Martine (a lesbian couple) with the same 'Balance of Terror' script, we would still get characters we care about. The focus would be on them as characters, as people, rather than having the major focus on their sexuality. And, it wouldn't come off with the producers patting themselves on the back.

    Story is paramount (pun not intended). In regards to a movie or television episode, if a certain theme or comment on race, sexuality, or gender is to be made the story has to be good...and then any theme will flow from that. If the story or direction is faulty or not quite there, viewers won't really pay attention to whatever theme or comment is trying to be made (e.g. The TOS episode 'Let That Be Your Last Battlefield' which comes off as preachy and obvious with its commentary on race – specifically black and white, and ignoring all other racial demographics - with an overall story that isn't strong).

    I should also add a correction:
    We see Angela Martine a second time in the episode 'Shore Leave' (albeit her name is Angela Martine-Teller).

    Agreed.
     
  8. lennier1

    lennier1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You missed the point by so much, you're not even in the same galaxy anymore.
    My whole point about the TOS episode was that these characters were such a waste of time that after the end credits not a single fuck was given anymore. Might as well just have used that screen time for something worthwhile.
     
  9. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    And Peter Kirk wasn't?
     
  10. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

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    i was too mesmerised by the hideous dungarees to notice anything else in that scene.
     
  11. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    I think the criticism of Blood and Fire is disproportionate to any flaws in the episode.
     
  12. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    Indeed it is. I wonder why that is so...
     
  13. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, that's the beauty about the internet: Clarifying a missed a point that wasn't clear the first time around....and bringing those hypothetical galaxies together. The bad thing is: Being anonymous or behind a computer screen, a poster may not be as clear as he or she thinks.

    And, I disagree about Tomlinson and Martine. As stated previously, the big theme about 'Balance of Terror' was the horrors of war...and the loss of the groom - Tomlinson - showed that horror.

    While you personally didn't feel anything for those characters, I did. (The look on Kirk's face and the end of said episode shows he did as well). Not too mention, Angela Martine is one of my favorite characters in the Trek franchise.;)

    To each his or her own.

    But wouldn't that be according to one's opinion?

    I'm sure there is a thread for the episode, with posts by those who watched said episode, with personal criticisms about what they felt was flawed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  14. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Exactly how explicit to make the episode is something we obviously spent considerable time discussing in preproduction. Ultimately, the writers and director wanted to be more explicit that the earlier TNG version of the "Blood and Fire" script had been. As Co-Executive Producer, I support and help them to realize their visions. We knew full well that no matter what we did to portray the Peter Kirk-Alex Freeman relationship, some fraction of our audience would be dissatisfied.

    Ultimately, we let the "visual medium" of television be our guide. It's a tenant of scriptwriting to "don't say it, show it." You can have Spock say "I'm really, really, really, mad, Jim." Our you can have him punch in the door of the food synthesizer. The former says it; the latter shows it. We wanted to show their relationship--pretty much as Star Trek had historically done anyway.

    Like I say: no matter what we had done, someone would be unhappy. Folks might recollect that in the original TNG script for "Blood and Fire," the sole indication that there was any relationship between the two officers was a brief bit of dialogue from Riker to the "Peter Kirk" character: How long have you been together?" The response: "Ever since the Academy." That's it. But that, too, was too scandalous for some and got the script axed. Heck , even when David Gerrold reluctantly agreed to deleted that single line, the script was still too scandalous. "We shouldn't have such incredible fear of an AIDS like disease and we shouldn't treat its sufferers like pariahs" was still just too darn controversial.

    We got a lot of complaints from people who thought the characters' relationship should only have been mentioned, not actually portrayed. And, of course, we received lots of input from people who said "if all you are going to do is say they are gay, why would you even have the characters reveal that? How could that ever be a plot point? Why bother?"

    So lots of audience members don't want a story about the characters' orientation (understandably), but they don't want their orientation to be revealed unless it's actually relevant and is a plot point (understandably) Otherwise it's just irrelevant pandering. So, we're damned if we do and damned if we don't.

    We do welcome feedback on our "Blood and Fire" episode--as we do on all our episodes--even seven years out from its production.
     
  15. Kruezerman

    Kruezerman Commodore Commodore

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    Damn, has it been seven years?
     
  16. Solarbaby

    Solarbaby Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I am gay and I know a lot of gay people who range from OTT flamboyant camp queens to your average guy next door. So its hard to know how to write a gay character that would be serving in Starfleet. Would the identity of a gay culture be as strong and recogniseable in the 24th century? In the 17 years since I have visited the gay scene on and off I have noticed a slow dilution of the "gay factor" for lack of a better phrase. This is mainly due to British society becoming more accepting and tolerant both legally and in society. At one time I could tell a gay bar just by the music coming out of it or the people inside. Today it isn't so obvious. The bars have become mainstream with many straight people going there. This is great. IDIC after all.

    It seems to me that generally the gay scene has adapted to fit in more with society. Take a look at gay TV and film characters. Will and Grace; how different are those 2 gay characters portrayed? 1 is an overtly camp and a narcissistic drama queen. The other is an insecure but grounded hunk. Both are likeable characters. Take Brokeback Mountain. That was a boring long winded film and if it wasn't for the fact the couple were gay and I wanted to see the fuss over the film I'd have walked out the cinema half way through.

    Will gay culture have disappeared by the 24th century so that it is virtually indistinguishable between same sex and opposite sex couples? I'd hope not. What I'm getting at is that whilst I enjoyed the episode I thought the couple were rather bland in Blood & Fire. And I would have liked to have seen a little more homosexual identity. I'm not suggesting have a leather queen covered in tattoos and piercings or acting camp or other such stereotypes. Just a little more joy to celebrate their sexuality. We had sexual characters in Star Trek. Kirk was a lady lover. Troi walks around in the bunny suit cleavage popping and has a few romances. Riker had his fair share too. There's the T'pol /Trip affair.

    If anyone has seen Orphan Black there's a really cool character who is gay. And he is really in your face with his sexuality and his effeminate, bitchy mannerisms. But he's written so well that even though you are aware of it all the time it doesn't detract from his funny charm, and as the show progresses he's revealed to be a very nice caring person.

    You are never going to please all of the audience. I thought Blood & Fire took a good stab at it. I've watched Osiris. The captain is gay and in a relationship with another gay captain. No fuss is made that they're gay. The interesting aspect is the long distance relationship of 2 captains. Something I had never seen before.
     
  17. stell

    stell Cadet Newbie

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    i'm personally intrigued by the thought of there being any kind of transgender approach in the star trek universe; it seems almost implicit that they may not exist, having their genes 'fixed' before birth or otherwise being easily remedied after birth, and never mentioned again.

    i recall in 'the offspring' that the crew was rather strict about lal needing to choose a gender, saying it would decide her interrelations. it seems a weirdly conservative take for the future, and i'd have a hard time believing humanity wouldn't be at least a touch more androgynous by this point in time. especially in a series so largely anthropological, so supposedly open to new ideas of cultural difference -- why is the gender binary so strict, still?
     
  18. Solarbaby

    Solarbaby Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In Nemesis Data says Ladies gentlemen and enlightened transgendered species at the Wedding reception. Also there is no basis in science for curing someone of identifying as experiencing gender dysphoria now with science or therapy before or after they are born. In fact I doubt it would be considered a problem if humanity had become more enlightened. It's important to note the completely different situation of transgendered vs sexuality. Being trans doesn't imply homosexually.
     
  19. stell

    stell Cadet Newbie

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    oh, i didn't mean to imply that it did! just acknowledging the T part of "LGBT" in the discussion, haha.
     
  20. Auroratrek

    Auroratrek Lieutenant Red Shirt

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