The 90's Golden Age.

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by WhateverMan, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. WhateverMan

    WhateverMan Ensign Newbie

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    (Forgive me if this thread has been discussed before, for I have not read everything on this website.)

    I'm talking about roughly these years: 1989-1999

    For someone who was born literally while the pilot of TNG was being filmed in early summer 1987, it's difficult to not be biased in this opinion. But after about two decades of being a Trekkie and growing up with TNG shooting up in the vein, I must declare my preference for the 90's Star Trek, which I've tentatively called "The Golden Age" of Star Trek.

    It's an old and boring question, which Star Trek do you like best? But my question is with the specific era of Star Trek. I'm only talking about the TV shows (don't much care about the films). But the 90's brought on the best (and possibly also the worst) of what Star Trek has to offer. TNG started to become great in season 2 and by season 3 had established itself as the new ultimate Trek.

    DS9 I never really got into when I was younger. It was either TNG or Voyager for me, it wasn't until later in life that I really started watching DS9 and was quite taken with it. It stands as the best Star Trek along with TNG and further perpetuated the 90's as a thriving era for Star Trek. TNG and Voyager are simply far more "kid-friendly" and therefore DS9 probably suffered with younger audiences.

    Voyager
    , now more than ever is clearly the "safest" of all the Star Trek shows. Despite its somewhat wild and fresh premise, it plays it so excessively safe that almost all the fun is smothered out of the show. But not completely, as it is an average show in my opinion. 50% of the episodes were pretty bad, the rest varied from alright to a few really great ones.

    The 90's was a playground of plenty when it came to Star Trek, by far the most episodes were released during this time. Starting with roughly season 2 of TNG and ending with the finale of DS9, Star Trek was never better before or since. I believe DS9 deserves some credit for "saving" Star Trek from damnation in a certain way. Season 7 of TNG was quite possibly the weakest season of TNG, the weakest since season 1 at least and if DS9 had not started when it did, the Star Trek saga could have gone a very different route.

    I also credit the death of Roddenberry (cruel as it may sound) as a pivotal point. As much as Gene deserves all the credit he can get, he did block many potentially great ideas and avoided to include any conflict in the show. I guess everyone here knows this, but Star Trek really opened up (in a good way) after his death. But I wont give Rick Berman too much credit for that, the guy seriously messed up most of the TNG movies. Michael Piller, Jeri Taylor, Ronald D. Moore and Ira Steven Behr were the reason Star Trek worked.

    I guess the ultimate question is, does anyone else agree with my assessment or is this mostly nostalgic nonsense?
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  2. TheSubCommander

    TheSubCommander Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I totally agree with you TNG/DS9/VOY, to me, was the heyday of Trek, and when I think of Star Trek, that is my favorite era. I still love TOS and the TOS movies, as well, and really, the TOS Movie era is my favorite movie era, as well, and to be honest without those 6 movies, we wouldn't have had TNG at all. So I have to include them in my favorite era, though it is a little early.


    Movies:
    Star Trek 1,2,3,4,6, Generations (grew on me), FC are the heydays of movies for me.

    Abramsverse movies to me are good movies, but I don't have the emotional connection to them I do with the rest of the movies.

    My favorite seasons

    TNG: Seasons 2-6, with select episodes from season 1 & 7

    DS9:I am a fan of pretty much the entire run!

    Voyager: Though I agree many episodes were hit or miss, and in some ways followed TNG a little too closely as far as formula, for me, there was far more good than bad about it, and I thought it had a lot of fresh ideas, too. At least until Season 7, then it started running out of steam for me.
     
  3. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    In retrospect, I think the 90s are when Trek was completely debased by bad movies, endless spinoffs, and pretentious nonsense like that embarrassing gala UPN Trek anniversary special which resembled an awards show. The 90s were when Paramount decided that fans would tune in to anything with the name Star Trek attached to it and so began churning out spinoff after spinoff like a Star Trek Fun Factory. The 90s were when Star Trek really became a franchise, a la McDonald's. The 90s, IMO, almost ruined Trek.
     
  4. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    It's hard to hate on the 90s when the bulk of it was TNG and DS9. VGR was the beginning of things going wrong, but it wasn't so bad when we were also getting a DS9 fix every week.
     
  5. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    so... not a fan of DS9, Voyager, STVI or Star Trek First Contact, huh?;)

    I don't know if the '90s were the "golden age" of TV Trek, but 1991-96 was the period when Trek hit its peak in its mainstream appeal.
     
  6. Mycroft Maxwell

    Mycroft Maxwell Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I completely agree. The 1990s was the best time for star trek. Especially the first half. I could find star trek merchandise everywhere. And at a decent price too. Best being the Micromachines. THe star trek micromachines to this day are my favorite piece of star trek merchandise ever released. I was a child in the 90s (turned 14 in 2000), and all of star trek appealed to me. There was no such thing as a bad episode. I imagine if i were still a child, the new trek movies would have really appealed to me as well. But as a child I grew a great anger toward star wars, because I kept seeing SW merchandise replacing ST merchandise. I ask where the star trek merchandise was and the stupid walmart, kmart, hills employees would direct me to the star wars merchandise. This started happening in 1997. When Insurrection came out, I could not find a model of the Enterprise E anywhere. Not even the ugly playmates toy. And I was raised in a family with no credit cards, so there was no ordering out of magazines...
     
  7. Viper78

    Viper78 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The 90's for me was the best for Trek. Loved TNG, DS9 & did enjoy Voyager although it's my least favourite of the 3.

    Star Trek since then has been a bit of a let down, Enterprise was okay , slow to get going then cancelled when it hit it's stride & both JJ Abrams films were okay at best but didn't have the same Trek feel for me. I actually preferred them the first time I watched them, having watched them both again it doesn't make me enthusiastic for another installment of the alternate universe. I hope for a return to the prime timeline for the next film!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This.

    There was some good product in the 90's, but also way too much crap to wade through to find it.
     
  9. Halmirdax

    Halmirdax Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree, the 90s was immense for Trek. Grew up with TNG, DS9 and then Voyager. Got to see TOS as well but not in the same consistent fashion. Enterprise was a bit yawn worthy after all the awesomeness of TNG, DS9 and VOY but I can't decide if I necessarily dislike it. Golden age, I like it.
     
  10. WhateverMan

    WhateverMan Ensign Newbie

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    Although my point wasn't really directed at physical products or the commercial franchise surrounding Star Trek. I do agree that during this time, especially after First Contact that the franchise started to sell out (or just get tired). I also agree that the TOS films were far superior to the TNG films. First Contact was really the only acceptable TNG film (others probably disagree) while TOS had at least four good ones.

    By my count there were roughly 470 episodes of Star Trek released during the 90's, I would think at least 300 of them would be considered good to great episodes. It's unavoidable that in this pile of good stuff some horrendously awful elements trailed it. The commercial element of Star Trek has always been an issue to me, the TV spots are really lame in a sort of campy, funny way. I don't care in any way about the merchandising, the only appeal I find in Star Trek is in the substance the show brings.

    I also agree with the words stated that Enterprise was cancelled when they started getting good. I watched the first season back in the day and some parts of the second before tuning off. It wasn't bad, just never really came alive. It was later that I decided to go all the way and was really surprised how good they turned out in the end, the serialized format (two to three story arcs) really worked well for Enterprise. The finale however, was very lackluster.

    The 90's was the peak of Star Trek, but I would argue it also had the best of Star Trek but also some of the worst. I think this "Golden Age" will never be brought back or revived, for I think J.J. Abrams movies are pretty embarrassing, especially Into Darkness. They aren't Star Trek for me, they're dumb action movies, which is fine except I'm not looking for dumb action in Star Trek.
     
  11. Viper78

    Viper78 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Agreed the 90's were the peak of Star Trek. TNG & especially DS9 had my excited about watching Star Trek each week. Sadly something that hasn't happened since DS9 finished in 1999.

    Everything after the original series is a spinoff! so why people complain about them is beyond me.
     
  12. Viper78

    Viper78 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    for I think J.J. Abrams movies are pretty embarrassing, especially Into Darkness. They aren't Star Trek for me, they're dumb action movies, which is fine except I'm not looking for dumb action in Star Trek.[/QUOTE]


    Couldn't agree more!
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The "Abrams movies are dumb action flicks" chant gets tiresome. Anyone whose watched them without preconceived notions about what Star Trek is, knows this simply isn't true.

    The Abrams films hold up quite well when compared with what the franchise has produced before.
     
  14. Viper78

    Viper78 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I for one was looking forward to the Abrams film when I saw the trailers. I will admit I thought it was a risk producing what is essentially a remake but this didn't put me off going to see it. The problem is that they aren't very good. More thought into plot rather than action might have changed my mind.
     
  15. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I dunno. While I enjoyed TNG and loved DS9, I think the golden age of Trek was in the '70s, when it was in the hands of the fans and our imaginations ran wild.
     
  16. WhateverMan

    WhateverMan Ensign Newbie

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    The simplest answer to this is "No". I watched these films without any expectations of what I wanted them to be. These are stupid action films, which is why many Trekkies call them stupid action films. Because they are... Stupid... Action... Films.

    I'm not patronizing you or trying to be a douche, but I'll try to explain my opinion in more details...

    Why are they stupid action films, you may ask? Where's my proof? First off, I'll agree that these new Star Trek films are very little departure from most of the TNG films which were also mostly stupid nonsense. The 2009 film was an acceptable action film, but the stupid aspects of it were so many that I can't see how it can be considered Star Trek. The look is sort of right, but the feel is wrong. The emphasis is on the physical, not the cerebral. The characters are all hyper charged for the sake of stereotyping. Uhura is promoted to the third main character, a change I will never forgive. Her character is terrible and completely out of sync with her original counterpart and the Spock-Uhura relationship is boring and bereft of all chemistry. Poor Bones has been demoted to nothing.

    All this aside, Into Darkness was a new level of awful. All it did was rip off from all other Star Trek films into a convoluted stupid mess. The laziness of the writing, the stupidity of the story (super blood that brings people back from the dead??????????) and the endless references (rip offs) were just cheap and unnecessary. Why not make a very good original story with interesting developments which makes the audience think? The reason is obvious, because these films are made to only make money. There is no real interest in making a good movie with an interesting story, just something safe that will make money. Which is why they used all the cheapest tricks to draw in all the Star Trek nerds to see it. I was one of them.

    With The Butler, Into Darkness is the worst film I've seen in theater this year.
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They're simply younger versions of the characters we saw in TOS. How dare they actually show people who will grow and change. I know I'm the same exact person I was ten years ago. How about you?

    How dare they upgrade her from "Hailing frequencies open" and "Captain, I'm scared".

    Go watch early TOS and you'll see exactly where the idea comes from.

    I'm not for shoe-horning characters into the spotlight just because I like the character. The last two movies haven't needed McCoy to be front and center so he hasn't been.

    You do know that both TOS and TNG had episodes that brought folks back from the dead? TNG has an episode where Crusher brought three people back who had been dead for three-hundred years.

    I'm sure you believe that Roddenberry and Berman were making Trek for free from the goodness of their hearts and that Paramount gave all profits to the Little Sisters of the Poor?

    What non-sense. Star Trek has always had money as its driving purpose. Studios don't invest tens to hundreds of millions of dollars into a product just for the hell of it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  18. Isolinear

    Isolinear Commander Red Shirt

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    For me the 90's was definitely the Golden Age of Star Trek. Starting with TNG season 3, Star Trek became really good, and stayed that way for most of the ninetees. However, with ST:Insurrection and VOY season 6, it's almost like the writers were on autopilot by then.

    I still liked VOY, and ENT was ok, but there were far more boring episodes than good ones. And ST:Nemesis was a major disappointment. I think that movie sealed the fate of the franchise, and we're lucky we got ENT Season 3 and 4 as a farewell gift.

    I see JJTrek as the flower on Trek's tombstone, a nice gesture to remind us of the good old days. But it will quickly wither away.
     
  19. Opus

    Opus Commodore Commodore

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    Berman Trek lives and dies by 'The Best of Both Worlds". That moment, that summer of 1990, was the height of Modern Trek. Everything else that came after it in the Berman Era built off that moment. Period.

    Trek began to wane in popularity by TNG's 7th Season. Personally, I loved DS9. But I cannot ignore the fact that less people were interested in Trek. Berman Trek had great moments in the 90s, but it was hardly "forward thinking". The shows had the same pacing, music and style. The stories were, for the most part, blocked out the same and became bland. It became "Star Trek paint-by-numbers". Good, but like pizza is good. By ENT, Berman Trek was stagnant.

    Like him or hate him, Abrams brought life back to Trek, like Harve Bennett did with TWOK.
     
  20. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    The 90's was Trek's most prolific period, where they churned out the most episodes, movies, novels, comics and toys - but I see it as an era of creative stagnation. It was the era of "canon" where imagining a vast universe was replaced with TPTB telling us what to think - the novels don't count, none of the old manuals or timeline books count, the Original Series doesn't really count wherever there were conflicts with anything new. It was the era of meaningless babytalk techbabble solutions, incomprehensible inch-thick technical manuals and novels written under the most ridiculous contraints imaginable. DS9 borrowed heavily from Babylon 5. The Voyager actors were told that the ship was the star of the show, not any of them. Considering all of that. it's amazing how much enjoyable content was created.

    Give me the 60's series, the 80's movies and the rebooted ones over the 90's any day. Relatable, fun characters and adventure in a colourful universe. I love it:techman: