'Relics': missed opportunity?

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by LMFAOschwarz, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. trekker670

    trekker670 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan, United States
    If you've been paying attention, you'll notice no one stated TPTB weren't willing to kill of TOS characters, but rather that they didn't want to "waste" a character by killing them off-screen. Sure, people might like a reference to Uhura or some other character, but the fan outrage caused by killing them off with a single line of dialog would be suicide.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    alt.nerd.obsessive.pic
    :lol:

    I always love when people pull out "fan outrage" as the reason for a creative decision. They didn't seem too concerned about "fan outrage" when pumping out two shitty TV series and two shitty movies.

    I'm a huge TOS fan and wouldn't have cared one bit if they had killed off Kevin Riley or Janice Rand with a line of dialogue.
     
  3. trekker670

    trekker670 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan, United States
    I think the decision goes far beyond TPTB worrying about "fan outrage," it would have been needlessly killing off a character. Killing off someone that's known, be it a TOS regular or recurring character, wouldn't have added anything to the story we got, if anything it would have either derailed the story (Scotty and possibly the TNG crew mourning the loss) or would have felt out of place if it wasn't addressed more in depth than that of "Matt Franklin" (this character from canon just died, but who cares, life goes on).


    You're one of tens of thousands of fans, even more back when TNG was on air, so I don't think just because BillJ "wouldn't have cared one bit" would justify the decision.
     
  4. billcosby

    billcosby Commodore Commodore

    Relics is a fun little 42 minute romp.
    The Real TNG missed opportunity was Reunification.

    Bringing Spock back - yes.
    Hanging out in caves the entire time - no.

    The opportunity should either be fun or exciting... both would be ideal. Luckily, most of TNG is either fun or exciting. Whenever they roll out a TOS cast member it tends to be underwhelming so the writers really have to bring their A game.

    In Relics, Scotty encountered pretty much the entire main crew, he got drunk with Picard, pissed off (and saved) Geordi, argued with the computer... there was a lot of quality interaction with the Enterprise and her crew.

    It's so weird to me that Riker's scenes in Reunification (finding that renegade supply ship, playing piano with the four armed woman, etc) outshine any of the Spock or Sela scenes at least from my memory.

    What we got in Reunification was pages and pages of boring exposition. Spock lurking in drab, underlit caves. Sela was under used IMHO as well. The climax of the two parter is Spock's speech. When you think about it, the nonclimax of Reunification is hilarious. Who would have thought that Romulan espionage and intrigue would be so sleepy and slow.

    I understood the premise - Spock is working in the (literally) underground movement. But I didn't like it. It is, I admit, a bit more exciting that traveling to the retirement colony Scotty was going to.

    And if you want a textbook example of how an opportunity is missed, look no further.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  5. Richard Baker

    Richard Baker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Location:
    Warrior, AL
    IMO Franklin only existed to show that Scotty tried to help another survive- it would be rather awkward to have him use his uncanny knowledge of engineering to only save himself while the rest of the crew perished.
    I was disappointed in having the Dyson sphere being mostly ignored except to function as the 'danger of the week'- far too interesting a concept to just leave as a couple of matte paintings. It has been quite a while since I read the novel, IIRC the Enterprise sent out a exploratory shuttle which spent a little time in the surface before having to return. This show would have made a great two parter I think.
    I did wish they had also spent more time with Scotty on the Enterprise- the crew mostly treated him as a annoyance and he decided it was hopeless to try and understand the modern technology far too quickly. 'The Neutral Zone' treated their from-the-past guests with more courtesy. Any crewmember who joined the Enterprise D should know the rich history of the vessel's namesakes- that history is important enough to have it on the wall of the main briefing room and it is the only ship to keep the original registry number in honor of that service. Meeting one of the most famous people to serve on the first ship to accomplish so much that it's unique ship's arrowhead insignia was adopted as the official Starfleet symbol should have generated much more reaction. I could understand if it was Ensign Timmy from Ship's services perhaps, but her was the Chief Engineer who served on three different incarnations of the ship (TOS/TMP Refit/Refit-A)...
     
  6. trekker670

    trekker670 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan, United States
    Agreed. Relics was fun, one of my favorite cross-over episodes. Unification is rather boring, as much as I love Spock, it's hard to sit through the episode.
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    alt.nerd.obsessive.pic
    I think most people watching TNG wouldn't have cared one iota if a TOS bit player had been offed with a line of dialogue. Seriously, they obviously offed Amanda in "Sarek" and I don't remember any "fan outrage" and I'd say the character is a bit more important than a Rand or Riley.

    Some hardcore fans believe everything should be catered to them and if it isn't, then it's being done to piss them off.
     
  8. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Location:
    Va. Beach, VA
    I don't know man I think Trekker's point makes perfect sense. It doesn't really have anything to do with the episode so not really a reason to off someone for shits and giggles. I know that most people wouldn't care but I hardly think it's fair to go at Trekker with your second paragraph there. I don't think that is what he is saying at all. I think it is more along the lines of meh, what's the point of killing someone with a disposable line of dialogue. :shrug:
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    alt.nerd.obsessive.pic
    I'm not the one who brought "fan outrage" into the discussion...

     
  10. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    Go ahead, caller. I'm listening...
    You weren't at my house when it aired. Perrin can die in a fire. (But no, they saved that for Picard's nephew that I liked okay. :evil: )
     
  11. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    Quebec City
    It's not the same thing. They didn't beamed up Sarek and Amanda...and whoops...sorry Ambassador it was a bad idea to transport a 160-year-old human, she's dead. It's easy to accept she died decades ago.
     
  12. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Location:
    Va. Beach, VA
    Yes but it seems kinda like a valid point. We are talking about Star Trek fans here. Do you really consider it outside the realm of possibility that the TPTB said to themselves, "Nah, lets just kill some random name. I really don't want to deal with the fanbase if we kill some name character they hold dear." I really wouldn't have cared if they had killed Rand or Riley or even Sulu but it is obviously a road they didn't want to go down. The reasons seem pretty obvious to me. :shrug:
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    alt.nerd.obsessive.pic
    I don't think it's a valid point... at all. Rick Berman/Michael Piller don't strike me as people to strike a creative decision based on potential "fan outrage". Berman allowed the Enterprise-D to be pissed on by a twenty-year old Bird of Prey and Kirk to be crushed by a bridge.
     
  14. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Location:
    Va. Beach, VA
    I don't think they gave it much thought at all to be honest. I don't think they would have killed someone just to tickle their fancy. They had Jimmy Doohan and decided to focus the episode on him. The example you gave about the Ent-D was at least fueling the storyline of Star Trek Generations. The whole "Franklin vs Known Character" thing isn't even remotely comparable because it pretty much had no bearing on the story.
     
  15. Keith1701

    Keith1701 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Warner Robins Georgia
    Good Idea!!!:)
     
  16. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    ON further reflection....wouldn't it have been great if Scotty's sessions with Troi went nowhere and he turned to Guinan for counselling instead? Now THAT's a missed opportunity!
     
  17. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    #istandwithcbs
    I'm with Allyn, the Dyson Sphere is one of the most amazing things ever, and they wasted it on a B-plot. You could do an entire series exploring that thing.
     
  18. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    No royalties would be owed for merely name-dropping a known character, only if that character was being portrayed in the episode.

    As we said, to kill off Rand, Chapel, Chekov, Sulu, Uhura, or even Garrovick, Lesley, Lemli or Romaine, in an offscreen incident, with no emotional pay-off, would be extremely upsetting to fans of that character, and to the actor who played him/her. Spock, Kirk, Sarek, Jadzia, Data and Tucker were all killed off onscreen, and in episodes that focused on them.
     
  19. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    Whoopi Goldberg was unavailable. Hence the bar was unattended by her when Scotty visited and Data got the funny "It's green" line.

    Any time Whoopi was available, Troi's lines would end up being repurposed for Guinan to say in her inimitable style.

    But the fans had often speculated that Sarek would outlive Amanda. There were even Star Trek novels, "The Vulcan Academy Murders" and "The IDIC Epidemic" that explored this - and Amanda's life was extended somewhat in a medical procedure.

    Scripts are about emotional payoffs. There's no payoff in killing a regular or known character the way Matt Franklin was killed. There was emotional payoff with the offscreen death of Amanda. We see Sarek's life after he had to go on without her.

    True, it's not as if Berman and Pillar avoided fan outrage, but they were both often quoted about how TV scripts are written, and how the emotional payoffs must be set up and earned. The story always comes first. But killing off a known character in a throwaway line that never gets developed is not good TV drama. And if it did get developed, then the Scotty episode is no longer about Scotty.

    I remember chatting to TV's Batgirl, Yvonne Craig, and how devastated she was when the comics version of Batgirl was shot through the spine, paralysed, stripped naked and photographed by The Joker, thus ending the character's career as Batgirl. Not Yvonne Craig's incarnation, but the incident did seemingly affect how often Yvonne Craig got convention work in the years afterwards.

    Having met Grace Lee Whitney, Majel Barrett, Walter Koenig and George Takei, I know that they, and their fans, would have been just as devastated by their character getting killed off in such an offhanded manner, and to be removed from the possibility of future work.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  20. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    USS Berlin
    I concur. At least they could have thrown in a few lines how big that thing actually is (like using the surface of Earth as a reference) and wonder where its inhabitants went to after it became uninhabitable. Definitely one of the greater Star Trek mysteries.

    Bob