Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by ZapBrannigan, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    James T. Kirk is named after his mum's 'Love instructor'.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I planned on just leaving that one alone. Gene was obviously experimenting with the pharmaceuticals when he came up with that one. :lol:
     
  3. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    We can remove the "everyone is an officer" from the list. It was really just something said off-camera, but it doesn't jibe with actual stuff onscreen, where enlisted have been shown in Trek since day one.
     
  4. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination

    As to the "what happens if someone refuses to perform" question, well, what happens when someone doesn't think it's right that they have to pay a chunk of their income in taxes in our modern society? Or they don't think they should be forced to wear seatbelts?


    people like to act like coercion is somehow the deal-breaker in a socialist or quasi-socialist system, which I always find hilarious. There's coercion of some sort in EVERY society that has and ever will exist, so let's just be open about it.
     
  5. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I never actually read the TMP novelization, but I found what you're talking about at Memory Beta. It strikes me as a sleazy, vulgar kind of futurism. But Robert Heinlein's novels were that way too regarding future sexual mores, which was probably Roddenberry's influence. [And neither of them were cynical and sleazy enough to predict the Paris Hilton/Kim Kardashian career path of parlaying an explicit sex tape into a whole career about being famous for being famous.]

    Incidentally, it's been pretty well documented that GR didn't just experiment with illegal drugs. He started smoking pot seriously during STAR TREK's third season if not sooner, and later got addicted to cocaine. Can't say I admire that behavior.
     
  6. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Having a world without money may not be feasible in real life but it works really well for a television show. Seriously, libertarians preach worse than Roddenberry, and think they're twice as smart. (And I consider myself one).

    I would imagine the people who do the crappy work are the people who haven't proven themselves yet. Just because there's no money doesn't mean there's no competition for the best positions.

    You want to be an architect, you take a crappy entry job at an architecture firm and do the work nobody else wants to do for a while, then when you prove yourself you take on better work.

    Plus based on what we've seen of Earth life, people are willing to clean up after themselves. None of that privileged aversion to picking up a broom.
     
  7. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not refuting it, but could you tell me where that information comes from? It wouldn't surprise me that he got into drugs along with the whole sweep of the counter-culture movement, and I read that he married Majel Barrett in a Buddhist-Shinto ceremony while kind of implies him getting into eastern ideas ala the Beatles, but this is the first I've heard of him being addicted to coke.

    Of course, I didn't know about Nimoy's bout with alcoholism until fairly recently.

    I don't think that changes things. Dragging your family out into uncharted space seems like a reckless thing to do. Kind of the intergalactic equivalent of the Mosquito Coast. The only way to white-wash that is to just not put the ship in much danger of being destroyed, which is basically how most of TNG went down.

    People kind of munge TNG in with TOS now but there definitely was a concerted effort to show how technology had improved since the days of TOS. And the more you allow technology to progress like this, the more you remove some of the adventure aspects of explorers being out there in the middle of nowhere roughing-it. Letting the Federation and Klingons kiss and makeup didn't help matters either. There's a line to be draw with utopian ideals and if you go too far, you remove too much suspense and conflict.
     
  8. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I got Roddenberry's marijuana consumption from INSIDE STAR TREK by Justman and Solow (recommended). That book might have mentioned his cocaine addiction as well; I read a borrowed copy and have since returned it. I'm sure I've seen his cocaine problem mentioned in various TNG-era contexts. It was a somewhat debilitating predescessor to his very debilitating end of life health problems that eventually put him in a wheelchair.

    I too learned (relatively) recently about Leonard's drinking problem. He says he was an alcoholic by the third season, as this misleading photograph clearly illustrates, but you have to hand it to him: it never showed in Spock.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Rather like packing our family into a wagon and following the Oregon Trail. We live in a very risk averse society today (in some ways) but that's not necessarily how it always was or will be.
     
  10. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That works with the original concept of TNG but not how the show actually ended up - danger inherent to travel into the unknown is one thing - flying your ship full of families into battle with the Borg is quite another. It's no surprise that quite a few episodes simply ignore the idea that there are children on-board.
     
  11. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Considering the number of times the ship was in danger or had to be evacuated, it was a bad idea.

    And yet it seemed like a cool idea and an impractical one at the same time.

    The men's uniform skirt was another idea that was pretty bad. It was pushing the notion of sexual equality to a weird level.

    I've seen certain Trek characters talk as if certain jobs were beneath them. So why would anyone want to serve as a butler or maid in the 24th century, like the woman who was Data's maid in A.G.T?

    Especially when no one needs to work for money, or uses it on earth.
     
  12. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ This. :bolian:

    My working theory is that he got confused at some point during the 'convention circuit' years in the 1970s. There's no doubt that TOS was infused with certain ideas which were revolutionary, and that Trek's view of the future has always been more optimisitic than pessimistic. But somewhere during that decade away from the franchise, where he was often asked to wax lyricial about his thoughts on humanity's future and how they related to the world of Star Trek, Roddenberry's ideals got mixed up with what TOS actually was: an action-adventure series, Horatio Hornblower in outer space. The result of this confusion permeated the Phase II series pitch, as well as TMP; and Roddenberry returned to it for TNG. But it's not really at the core of Star Trek. It never was.

    The "Starfleet is not a military" thing was always particularly :facepalm: worthy to me. You don't have an organisation on board vast ships, who talk in terms of fleets and formations and battle maneuvers; who address each other with naval terms and use naval ranks; and try and pass them off as not being a military. Undoubtedly, Starfleet is a benign military. But their role is still broadly the same: peacekeeping, diplomacy, exploration, and yes, even occasionally engaging an enemy. Roddenberry's ideals were noble ones, but they sat uneasily within Star Trek's format IMHO.
     
  13. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You have to wonder that to get an A on the test, instead of offering sexual favours to the instructor, the students offer to write an assignment.

    "Gee John, I'm really don't know what to do - I was teaching oral sex 101 and one of the students offered to write me a 5000 report instead of blowing me, should I report them?"
     
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  14. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    She was a holographic maid. What? He had a holographic fireplace, why not a maid?
     
  15. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Iv'e read the idea that she was a hologram before, but I never saw it confirmed officially anywhere.

    Not that there's anything wrong with being a maid, but the dialog in TNG especially suggests that humans seek high profile jobs that signals accomplishment.

    It's all about careers and achievement, since they cant impress one another with money or wealth it seems.
     
  16. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    My post was more tongue and cheek than it was a serious theory, but really, there's no reason she can't be holographic. And given she's such a stereotype of a British maid, it certainly fits.
     
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  17. Anji

    Anji Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've always thought his worst idea was hiring Rick Berman? Well, nobody's perfect.
     
  18. Davros

    Davros Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Humans mating successfully with Vulcans and Klingons was a pretty bad idea.
     
  19. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    I've a feeling the franchise and TNG would not have survived without Berman.
     
  20. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In terms of real biology, yes. In story and character terms, no.

    The "interplanetary half-breed" is just a sci-fi take on the classic character who's torn between two different cultures, with the two sides of his or her own nature constantly in conflict. In real science, of course, successful interbreeding between species that evolved independently on different worlds is less likely than crossing a cat with an artichoke.