The Continuity and Serialization of Voyager

Discussion in 'Voyager' started by DigificWriter, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Christopher did something kind of similar to what you guys are talking about with his story Places of Exile, but while the concept works well as a literary work, it wouldn't have worked as well in the visual medium, nor would it have been practical from a production standpoint to have built all these ship-board sets only to suddenly and permanently abandon them.

    Furthermore, Voyager, as I said, already works perfectly fine as-is, especially if you're not viewing it 'piecemeal' and at random.
     
  2. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, if the series was about them staying in the same general area of space instead of being always on the move, it would mean they'd keep using the Ship sets and also get to keep reusing the sets they made for the various aliens who would now no longer be one-shots.
     
  3. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Do you know "what the other shoe drops" means?
     
  4. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    @Anwar: The thing about spin-offs of any given franchise is that each installment ideally needs to have something about it that sets it apart, and if Voyager had just been about the ship staying in one general area, it would've basically been TOS Mark III (with TNG more or less being TOS Mark II). It probably could've worked as 'TOS Mark III', but at a certain point would probably have begun to feel repetitive and a major step backwards from the evolutionary experiment that was DS9.

    As-is, Voyager took the serialization introduced into the franchise with DS9 and combined it with the episodic elements of TOS and TNG to create the franchise's first Serialized Procedural, which does set it apart and give it its own distinct qualities and 'feel'.
     
  5. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Putting together an Alliance to fight off an extradimensional threat sounds pretty unique as a series plot for Trek, considering most of the time said Alliances have already been formed. Especially when the folks in question had no power base to begin with. Seeing all that being built up would've been enough to set it apart. It would've been a way of combining TNG and DS9's approaches. Planets of the Week that later come together into a stationary plot.

    The whole "Lost in Space" thing just isn't sustainable for more than 2 seasons. Even the VOY writers themselves knew this, which is why when Braga came on he wanted to do new ideas like "Year of Hell" and the 8472 aliens and stuff.
     
  6. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It either means "Wait for something bad to happen" or "Wait for the inevitable conclusion".
     
  7. BruntFCA

    BruntFCA Commander Red Shirt

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    Honestly other then the brief kazon arc VOY really wasn't any more serialized then TNG and was definitely a step back from DS9.
     
  8. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    DS9 had more luxuries than VOY did when it came to serialization.
     
  9. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    DS9 Didn't get it's shit together till season 3.

    Sure, there was three of four stories where off hand the Dominion was mentioned before everything routed to a climax with the finale... But season 3 DS9 is when Voyager Started.
     
  10. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think I've been able to sufficiently demonstrate otherwise.

    You also really can't compare DS9 and Voyager because, as I've noted and tried to demonstrate, they're very different. The former is a Babylon 5-style 'televised novel' (although it plays out its narrative differently than B5) and the latter is a Serialized Procedural.
     
  11. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Captain Captain

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    If VOY could have taken something from DS9, it should have been more recurring characters. Since there are no transfers like in the other shows, you're likely to bump into the same people and form some kind of bonding after going through an experience like VOY has gone through. By the end, the whole crew should have functioned less like Starfleet and more like a community.

    There was Carey, but he was quickly forgotten and assumed dead by the writers for some reason. Wildman and Vorik would pop up, but they were just bland and usually only showed up once a season. One character I wish they had kept was Suder. He would have been VOY's Garak, and I like the idea of someone who committed an unforgivable crime trying to do what he can to make himself useful. He could never make up for what he did, but he won't stop trying. Such a shame he was killed off, as Brad Dourif was a huge bucket of win for VOY to get, but then thrown out because Jeri Taylor doesn't like shades of gray.
     
  12. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What Voyager did with the recurring characters that it had was perfectly fine for the type of show that it was.
     
  13. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Make up your mind.

    You say that Voyager was fantastic for what it was.

    Which is a big fish in a little pond sort of dealio.

    So was it fantastic period, or relatively fantastic compared to nothing in particular.
     
  14. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Voyager works very well as the Serialized Procedural that it is and ultimately didn't need to be anything other than what it was. It's not a perfect show, but few things actually are, and what it did it by and large did very well.

    It's also a good representation of how to do a Sci-Fi version of the Serialized Procedural and strike a balance between the episodic and the serialized.
     
  15. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Tell me a couple genre shows from about the same era that had inferior continuity?
     
  16. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ I'm not sure what you're asking me for, but I've already compared it to series like Bone, The Mentalist, etc.

    Two specific examples of other genre shows that also follow the Serialized Procedural formula are The X-Files - which is also a good example of how to strike a balance between the episodic and the serialized - and Fringe, which was a great show but veered more and more into the territory of heavy serialization as it went along and therefore moved away from what it was when it started out.
     
  17. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Captain Captain

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    Given that I thought most of VOY was shit, I disagree about the show being fine "for what it is". I see nothing to lose by having more recurring characters and a general storyline for each season making it actually feel like a journey. What worked fine for TNG wasn't suitable for VOY.
     
  18. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Do you think that X-Files or Fringe had worse continuity than Voyager?

    There's a spectrum.

    If Voyager is good, right there in the middle, then "relatively" what's bad and what's excellent?

    For Voyager to be just good, then a lot of other shows have to be bad.
     
  19. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    @MakeshiftPython: Do you understand what the term 'Serialized Procedural' means? You seem to be condemning Voyager for not being what you thought it should've been rather than looking at it and accepting it for what it was.

    I used to have a similar attitude, but realized that if it is judged on its own merits as the type of show it actually is rather than the type of show it was originally envisioned as being, it actually works very well. It might not be everyone's 'cup of tea' when accurately judged as the Serialized Procedural that it is, but that's an entirely different thing than dismissing it because it wasn't more like, say, DS9, B5, or BSG, because that's not the kind of show it ended up being even if it was originally envisioned as being such.

    @Guy: If I were going to compare and contrast The X-Files, Fringe, and Voyager based on how well they reflect the Serialized Procedural formula, I'd say that X-Files struck the best balance, with Voyager striking the next-best balance, and Fringe starting out striking a good balance before sort of morphing into a more heavily serialized show (there's nothing wrong with that per se, but it does sort of undermine the original concept of the show).

    Answering the question of whether or not Voyager had worse continuity than X-Files or Fringe, I've never thought to analyze the three shows that deeply, and therefore don't really have an answer for you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  20. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Wouldn't TNG fit your "serialized procedural" framework, too?