Not real Star Trek

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by King Daniel Beyond, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Very good questions! Would Roddenberry have felt the necessity to introduce comic reliefs like Quark or Neelix? Would Roddenberry have felt good about a Star Trek film whose basic premise was vengeance, retribution and battle action? (on the other hand, I for one am confident he would have liked Nick Meyer's ST VI)

    There used to be a distinction between Star Wars and Star Trek and I liked it because I love both just as I love apples and oranges (however, having been an actifan back in those days collaborating in fan magazines about both universes I was always told "You can't have cake and eat it, too" :lol:).

    Anyway, I had my apple and orange pie, but the road Star Trek has taken since Roddenberry's departure tastes like apple pie most of the time and I miss the "real" orange flavor, metaphorically speaking.

    An overemphasis on space battles and VFX not make Star Trek "real" as the other character with pointed ears from the other universe would have probably said. ;)

    Bob
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    There's a quote somewhere on fanlore.org, where Doyle, supposedly when asked if Watson could be made female for a stage play, replied "do whatever you want with him."
    (someone's gone an updated the site and I can't find the exact quote anymore. Grrrr.)
    Like STV, Roddenberry considered VI to be apocraphyl, believeing his 23rd century Starfleet officers to be beyond things like racism (this coming decades after "Balance of Terror". Roddenberry was some what of a revisionist and admitted to such in interviews)
     
  3. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I re-checked, Roddenberry did not like the script and made the comment you were describing. Of course, as a reflection of contemporary culture, there was racism during the time of "Balance of Terror" and by 1991 most of it was gone, so maybe GR felt that this didn't reflect enough in the story and Starfleet of ST VI.

    But I realize that my "Roddenberry approved" approach isn't a good one, especially regarding TMP (that's not "real" Trek either, but a nice and extensive introduction of the new girl we are going to spend the subsequent 5 movies on and with).

    But since TMP is essentially a remake of "The Changeling" and since you mentioned "Balance of Terror", why is ST II not essentially a remake of this TOS episode?

    I think it's fair to say that "Balance of Terror" is one of the all-time favorite TOS episodes, while "The Wrath of Khan" is one or the all-time favorite TOS movie.

    However and IMHO there is a decisive difference between the two: BoT focuses on the inner conflicts of the protagonists (= "real" Star Trek) while ST II doesn't (conflict of egos and/or ideologies).

    The TOS Kirk was touched by the death of a crew member, the ST II Kirk is touched by a dying crew member, and despite all the misery and death he's seen and for which he shared responsibility it comes down to that:

    A bite into a fruit followed by "All right. I don't like to lose."

    Bob
     
  4. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Hmm. As I heard the story, the playwright wanted to know if he could marry off Holmes at the end, to which Doyle basically replied "you can marry him or murder him for all I care."

    (Doyle had profoundly mixed feelings, to say the least, about the way Holmes eclipsed his other, more "serious" work.)
     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Huh, I guess I mixed that one up pretty badly. My apologies.
     
  6. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    This thread may be of interest to those of you who consider everything bar the J.J. Abrams movies to be "real Trek". Be sure to read it to the end:)
     
  7. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Nothing to apologize for. The gist of the anecdote is the same: that Doyle didn't exactly get bent out of shape when dramatic versions took liberties with Holmes . . . .
     
  8. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Boy, can't disagree more strenuously. TWOK is not a remake of BoT because they are wholly separate entities. This isn't a case of replacing "biological units" and "sterilize imperfections" with "carbon units" and "patterned for data storage" like CHANGELING and TMP (and yeah, I'm shortchanging TMP in some big ways there, but they should have given JM Lucas screen credit, it was that close at times.)

    As for the inner conflict, TWOK has it in spades, with Kirk's genuine mid-life crisis heightened by all sorts of new issues arising from the past, which puts the focus even more critically on whether he did good with those previous calls re: David and Khan.

    Cosmetically and structurally, TWOK has got the WTF aspects that can bring it down, I grant that, like the idiocy of not raising the shields just to satisfy a necessary plot point (and if you want to be picky, Kirk's casual destruction of the ceti eel w/o even a peep from McCoy about needing it for study), but as far as delivering
    the real deal from TOS, it does it. It tramples some stuff that went before (never faced death?) but it does so with the end purpose of enriching character, not destroying it (wish the same can be said for the Kirk of TUC.)

    As for your summation about the apple, all I can say is that I agree with it completely: but only with respect to the Abrams film's total misfire with including that and the MARU scenario in so inept a fashion. In TWOK, it works as a summation of the character and as a point of departure pointing for where the character could have and possibly should have gone in sequels.
     
  9. Opus

    Opus Commodore Commodore

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    It has been said:

    You'd think it was written by a fan about Abrams and STiD.

    It was not.

    It was written by a fan back in 1983 to Harve Bennett about TWOK. Interstat, Issue 70: 1983

    TWOK was a success when it was released in '82, but it was hardly overwhelmingly beloved by fandom. Sure, much of fandom loved TWOK. But there was a very loud and vocal minority who spent much time and energy denouncing TWOK, its creators and the fans who dared to call it 'real Star Trek':

    Fans wrestled with whether or not TWOK was canon and if it should be considered an alternate universe. At least we KNOW STiD is an alternate universe.

    But it is good to know what is being said now by some in the fandom was also being said then and, ultimately, the cooler heads prevailed:

    Here's the link. Read it. All of it - the good and the bad.

    Interstat, Issues 61-70: 1982 - 83

    What has happened before is simply happening again...
     
  10. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    ^ Wow. The more things change . . . .
     
  11. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That was hilarious!
     
  12. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    @ Opus

    Many thanks for sharing this with us. As the chief editor of the Naval Communications Chronicle fanzine back in those days I can confirm that we did have exactly the same kind of discussion for a long time.

    One member especially took Dr. McCoy's posture and debated endlessly the ramifications of the Genesis Device and the excessive amount of violence in the film. I met him at a convention and he was really an okay guy. What I admired was his character strength to speak out what most others, IMO, didn't want to hear but most definitely had to hear.

    But sorry, than doesn't make the others feeling okay with what transpired on screen automatically "cooler" or "open-minded". Maybe one side had simply unrealistic expectations what a good Star Trek movie should be about while the other had no expectations and is okay with anything as long as the label "Star Trek" is attached to the product, regardless of good or bad content. :rolleyes:

    I tend to regard both TMP and TWOK to be extreme opposites and "real" Star Trek is somewhere in between (regarding TMP some deleted scenes would have helped immensely to move it closer to the middle, IMO).

    Of course, "real" Star Trek is not only about inner conflict of the protagonists, but it's one of those defining elements that make TOS still watchable and enjoyable up to this day.
    Kirk's second-guessing his actions, considering possibilities he screwed up, made a right turn where he should have made a left one etc. made him a believable and interesting character, one who is eager to learn, doesn't have delusions of grandure, admits to faults and listens to his real friends who don't tell him what he wants to hear but what he needs to hear (because real friends mean good and that's what they are for). ;)

    Which brings me to

    Kirk's mid-life crisis is close to a pity party about getting old. No reflections on what he learned or didn't learn during his career. He never was a father but this theme isn't properly featured in the film because there is too much fighting going on and by the time we really get to this we have run out of screen time. :lol:

    The focus may be that he is now confronted with having a son and an old adversary and both are trying to kill him. But again there's not a big deal of self-reflection, especially regarding Khan and what Kirk did (or did not do) to prevent this kind of lethal confrontation.

    Indeed, big Hollywood (!) feature films may not be the proper vehicles to showcase interesting inner conflicts of the protagonists and I'd say the target audience of TWOK was the summertime moviegoers of 1982.

    Kirk's "KHAN!!!" may have worked seeing the film for the first time (to convey the feeling that he is buried alive and has no way out) but we then learn that he had a Plan B all along and his Khan yelling was really just an act to mislead Khan (and the audience).

    And what is it with this last "I feel young" line?!? Admittedly Kirk had survived, but Peter Preston, Captain Terell and Spock (...) hadn't been that lucky.
    Of course, "flexing his muscles" and defeating his old adversary might have been exciting, but is this all this line was about?

    I enjoy watching TWOK for its fast paced action, the VFX (which still hold up) and the thrilling cat-and-mouse game him and Khan play.
    But given the choice whether to keep TWOK or "Balance of Terror" I'd choose the TOS episode.

    This had plenty of inner conflicts of the protagonists making it still worthwhile to rewatch and that Kirk didn't "feel young" at the end of the episode, unable to explain the Angela Martine character why it had to be her fiancee dying on their wedding day and no other member of his crew.

    IMHO, this was "real" Star Trek with a credible amount of compassion, which is painfully absent in TWOK. YMMV.

    Bob
     
  13. TheSubCommander

    TheSubCommander Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    For the most part TAS is pretty much just the forth season of TOS, to me. But there are some things, like personal shields that allow people to move around in a ship with no atmosphere bother me.
     
  14. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Leave it to someone to derail a conversation with fact.