Re-booting TNG For TV?

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by Jetfire, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. A Little Otter

    A Little Otter Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Why would anyone want to redo TNG as a show when the original is readily available on DVD, Netflix, and cable? It would be better to create a new show that builds upon what came before, just like TNG did.
     
  2. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The same reason anyone would want to redo TOS as a movie franchise when the originals are readily available on DVD, Netflix, and cable.
     
  3. A Little Otter

    A Little Otter Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    There's a big difference between returning to a series that was made 40 years ago with half of the cast dead by introducing a new younger cast in a movie (and its upcoming sequel) and redoing an entire TV series. Battlestar Galactica succeeded as an updated series because it was a completely different take on a show that only lasted one season in its original form anyway. Maybe in 20 years, we can think about remaking TNG.
     
  4. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Because Hollywood is in a creative slump right now and can't think of any original ideas, so instead they're remaking old stuff, with mixed results.
     
  5. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    For the time being, I think onscreen Trek will exclusively be the adventures of Chris Pine etc in the JJ-verse.

    When that comes to an end, TPTB will have to decide if they want to re-re-boot the series, they way Sony are doing with Spider-man or the way Chris Nolan did with Batman - ie new, even younger actors playing Kirk, Spock etc. This seems most likely to me - they are the iconic characters of Trek and once they're re-cast once, it can happen again.

    They could alternatively carry on the adventures of a new ship or space station within the JJ-verse. However, this carries the risk of lack of interest from the mainstream - just like how DS9, VOY and ENT carried on to ever diminishing viewers.

    The third option is to do their own take on TNG - a new starship Enterprise, with a new crew, set in the JJ-verse, after the time of their Kirk and Spock. But it doesn't have to be the ENT-D or E and, with this being an alternate timeline, even the ENT-D doesn't have to have the same crew (it would be odd if it did, in fact). They may, at most, retain Picard, maybe Data and Worf. Most likely, I think it would be an all-new crew.
     
  6. Jetfire

    Jetfire Guest

    With comic book characters while movies are being produced there are also animated movies and series being made...Trek is really missing out on not doing an animated series IMO.
     
  7. A Little Otter

    A Little Otter Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I'd hardly call the TNG movies a failure, other than Nemesis. Generations cost $35 million and earned $118 million worldwide at the boxoffice. First Contact cost $45 million and earned $146 million. Insurrection cost $58 million and earned $113 million. Nemesis cost $60 million and earned $67 million. These figures do not include DVD sales or rentals. (Resources: boxofficemojo.com and imdb.com)

    Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager all ran for seven years each and had millions of viewers for their run. Only Enterprise lasted a less amount of time, four years.
     
  8. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Nemesis is the most recent. Hollywood is all about "what have you done for me lately?"

    And even Nemesis isn't "lately." It's all ancient history, except for JJ Abrams' version. The lesson is loud and clear: TOS is what people want. Whether this lesson is fair or correct is beside the point. That's the message Hollywood has gotten.

    Face it, TNG is dead.

    The TV biz has changed so completely that those examples are irrelevant. Space opera as a TV genre is on life support. The only inkling we've gotten lately is Robert Hewitt Wolfe's pilot for SyFy and even that is far from certain.
    nuBSG was a creative success but not so much a ratings success. SyFy is doing great with their sci-fi/fantasy cop shows and bullshit ghost-hunting "reality" TV.

    That's definitely the most slam-dunky way to get Trek back on TV - animated series based on the Abrams' movie characters (with or without the movie actors doing the voice work), on The Cartoon Network, maybe paired back to back with The Clone Wars assuming it's still on TV when a Trek series debuts. If not, take over the timeslot.
    "Right now"? :guffaw:
     
  9. The_Emperor

    The_Emperor Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I wouldn't mind a TNG reboot at all, but that's probably because, if Abrams is involved, it might potentially result in some of his former tv show actors being cast. Michael Vartan, for instance, would make a pretty good Picard or Riker (And yes, I realize that he's not actually French, despite having grown up in France). And if he were Riker, then Victor Garber could be Picard. In either case, both actors have plenty of gravitas to carry the role.

    When it comes to the cast itself, I think that the genders and characters should stay the same. There should still be a Geordi LaForge, Beverly Crusher, Deanna Troi, etc. Some changes would definitely be required, though, particularly with Deanna, who should have a real job aboard the ship as opposed to being ships counselor.

    As someone else pointed out, Beverly would also have to be set up straightaway as a more obvious love interest for Picard. Personally, I think a good turn to take would be for Wesley to be Picard's illegitimate son, so long as Picard isn't aware of this at first. Maybe he slept with Beverly when she broke up with Jack, they both felt guilty about it, and six weeks later she and Jack get back together and they're married soon after. As for Wesley, he wouldn't be a bad character so long as he wasn't a super child prodigy who saves the ship countless times. Just let him be a kid, not a wannabe crew member.

    When it comes to Worf, any changes made to him should be dependent on any changes made to the Klingons. And personally speaking, I think Klingons need to stop being such a one-note race. The whole Space Viking shtick has gotten really old. Let them be a fully realized alien race as opposed to a caricature. The entire idea of their being a warrior society is ludicrous, and it didn't exist back during the days of TOS. You certainly didn't have ridiculous scenes like Klingon politicians wearing battle armor in council chambers. Chancellor Gorkon and his people showed up in regular clothes, not armor. Why in the world would Gowron and the members of the High Council be wearing armor all the time?

    Data, Geordi, and Tasha are all fine otherwise (And it'd be nice if Tasha stuck around the whole way, this time).
     
  10. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ship's councilor is a real job.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16673746
    http://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2008/11/sea.aspx
    http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=2005-01101-011
    http://nationalpsychologist.com/200...y-aircraft-carrier-battle-groups-2/10588.html

    It's a rather important job, too.

    In 1987 it was a somewhat radical idea to deploy a dedicated psychologist on a ship like the Enterprise. These days you'd be crazy not to.

    The benefits greatly outweigh the costs. The standard of care these days is to treat psychiatric causalities as soon as is possible and to treat them where they are rather than evacuating them to a hospital. This tends to be effective at reducing losses. The Federation is unlikely to go backwards in that regard.
     
  11. The_Emperor

    The_Emperor Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Ok, let me redefine that as "a job that actually matters on a space adventure show." After all, scrubbing the decks is a real job on a ship as well...

    ...but that doesn't mean that the ships janitor should be a member of the main cast.

    Can anyone say with complete sincerity that Troi's job on the Enterprise was actually a worthwhile one and added anything to the series? The most interesting uses for Troi certainly didn't involve her sitting on some couch listening to Ensign Crybaby blabber on about their feelings, or convincing Data that he should explore his feelings of homicidal rage. Come to think of it, Troi didn't have a whole lot of good stories. There's not a whole lot you can do with a counsellor. About the most interesting stories she had was the episode she was altered to look like a Romulan and the episode where she took the test for command, and neither revolved around her listening to a crewmember complain about how their parents didn't hug them enough when they were children.
     
  12. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's because of 80s writing, not because of a fundamental flaw in the character. The Sopranos shows us that a psychiatrist character is a very useful storytelling tool if properly applied.
     
  13. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not a big fan of Deanna but I can certainly see why you'd want on the bridge crew someone who can read the minds, however vaguely, of the crew members or captains of other ships with whom they come into contact.
     
  14. The_Emperor

    The_Emperor Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    That's because that was a major element of the series. The show was about a mob boss who was having emotional problems and went to see his psychiatrist to deal with them. The same would only work for Star Trek if the show was about a Starfleet Captain who had emotional problems. And if the Captain really does have so many deep seated problems that he needs to see a therapist every week... then how is he captain in the first place? Tony Soprano only got away with it because he was a criminal and worked in a business which didn't require regular psych evaluations, and even then, if word had gotten out that he was seeing a shrink he'd be dead.

    In addition, the psychiatrist on The Sopranos rarely had meaningful plotlines of her own (aside from her rape). She existed to further the character of Tony Soprano, not for her own sake. Deanna Troi, if TNG is ever rebooted, should exist as her own character, rather than serve as a tool to explore other characters.
     
  15. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You're talking about two different "they"s - Paramount for movies, CBS for TV. It's easy to see why a Star Trek movie series would be attractive to Paramount - big-budget action adventure is the sort of thing they do.

    Not quite so easy to make the connection with CBS. Where would they put a Star Trek series? Not on CBS. Probably not on the CW. Showtime would probably prefer original sci fi ideas that aren't tainted by association with free TV. It just isn't an easy fit for CBS's business, compared with all the other shows they could be doing instead.

    Whether CBS wants to do Star Trek at all is a far bigger question than whether they'd want to re-re-boot TOS. It all depends on where the series would air.

    Let's say CBS is going to sell the series to The Cartoon Network. That makes it animated, and then it becomes easy to see why it should be based on TOS - biggest name recognition, don't need to pay the Abrams movie actors to do the voice work, which can be done by other actors. But what's the advantage of a re-re-boot, vs just staying with Abrams' timeline?

    Or let's say Showtime is going to air the series. In that case, they might want to avoid associations with previous free-TV series, because their business is all about selling shows at a premium that people could never see on broadcast TV. So that might mean the best approach is to make no reference to any previous series, including TOS, and reinvent Star Trek in some striking and unique way.

    It's probably best not to contemplate what the CW would do with Star Trek. ;)

    Of all the likely possibilities, I don't see where a re-re-boot of TOS would be the most obviously successful approach.
     
  16. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ That's a two-week old post you're responding to, but FWIW, I really meant the big screen. As to why one wouldn't re-boot a reboot, well, again, I refer you to the comic movie adaptations I mentioned above.
     
  17. 23skidoo

    23skidoo Admiral Admiral

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    But it still lasted 4 seasons. Given the average life expectancy of science fiction programming on American television (network or otherwise), any show that survives 4 seasons has to be considered as success. That goes for Enterprise, too. Yeah, it's all "what have you done for me lately" but Enterprise lasted 4 seasons while Firefly failed after a dozen episodes, and during its run many other SF series died quick deaths. Do the math. (Put aside quality considerations - Hollywood doesn't care about that).

    Since the thread is more about TNG, I'd say a TNG animated series is probably the best bet, especially when you consider a number of the TNG actors - Michael Dorn and Marina Sirtis in particular - have many animated voiceover credits (remember Gargoyles?) it would be a natural fit and would allow the original actors to continue playing their roles regardless of age - much as scores of Doctor Who actors are continuing to reprise their roles for audio dramas made by Big Finish and all that's needed is someone with deep pockets to step forward and there are something close to 200 stories with full soundtracks just waiting to be animated).

    An animated TNG would also allow the original universe version of TNG to be presented without concern over major conflict with Abrams (they're focusing on TOS-era for the films and at 4 years between movies they won't get to TNG until sometime around the real 23rd century). The only concern would be turning off viewers with the wrong kind of animation or voice acting. Some might want it to be a close as possible to the original TV show using CG (think New Captain Scarlet), while others might prefer it to be more abstract like, say, "The Batman". Others might want an anime approach. Animating TNG (or Abramsverse TOS) probably would have that major hurdle to deal with.

    Alex
     
  18. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    nuBSG's ratings are no great shakes compared with the sf/f cop shows SyFy has had great success with, that are also almost certainly cheaper to produce. So from their perspective, space opera is not terribly attractive. They might launch another one someday (I'm rooting for RHW), if only out of a sense that they might be leaving a significant market unserved (they are).

    ENT's ratings started out disappointing and sunk ever after (I remember that like it was yesterday) and even if that hadn't been the case, UPN has been replaced by the CW, whose female-skewing audience strategy leaves no room for space opera (tho there's been at least one rumored space opera in development from them, which never made it to pilot stage.) So that channel is effectively closed off to space opera. I'd be mildly surprised to see even genuine sci fi from the CW, as opposed to vampires and ghosts.

    Who else might be a candidate? I keep hoping HBO or Showtime would be daring enough to try a space opera in the premium cable style. But I can see why a myriad of other topics would be more attractive.

    If Star Trek becomes an animated series, TNG isn't the most likely topic. By far the most likely is a spinoff of JJ Abrams' movies. That way you get the huge PR boost of a currently running movie series, and you can use Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto et al's characters without worrying whether you can afford the actors or fit into their schedules (although they'd be wise to get Quinto at least - his voice being the most unique and hard to replicate, and he still does TV).

    The animation and story style would most likely look to The Clone Wars as a template - appeals to kids and grownups, with the same CGI look, which may be a bit much to get used to, but it does allow the characters to integrate well with very beautiful CGI planets, spaceships, etc. The show would almost certainly run on The Cartoon Network, where there's already a space-opera-cartoon audience watching TCW. In other words, don't assume this series would be for Star Trek fans. It might be made for sci fi cartoon fans in general.

    It makes far more sense to create series that appeal to a channel's existing audience, who are easy to advertise to, and are used to watching shows in a certain timeslot. Make the new show and put it in the timeslot they're used to, or just after a compatible show they're already watching (depending on whether TCW is still airing when the theoretical Star Trek show is ready to go.)

    If you made a TNG series, how do you reach TNG fans? Where are they? What do they watch now? Do they even still care about Star Trek? Would a cartoon appeal to them, or would they automatically dismiss it as kid stuff? That's a whole lot of "if"s to get through, to get to a success, vs the far more obvious route of "make a new series that appeals to the existing TCW audience."
     
  19. The Castellan

    The Castellan Commodore Commodore

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    Ugh, I pray there's no remake of TNG. It was fine as it was.

    And just because something is animated, it's not automatically kiddie. Just look at what comes from Japan.
     
  20. AviTrek

    AviTrek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Japan != USA

    Show me a cartoon produced in the US and targeted at US audiences that is not targeted at kids or an "adult" comedy. The US audience has been trained that that's what cartoons are. If you tell the average viewer that there is a Star Trek cartoon on cable they will assume it's only targeted at kids and they will ignore it. A show could try to break that mold, but what network would be willing to risk airing it? Even Clone Wars had a little trouble finding the right fit. If there is going to be a Star Trek cartoon odds are it will follow the Clone Wars mold. Pointing out what happens in Japan has no relevance until a Japanese company buys Star Trek and creates a show for Japanese viewers.
     

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