Think We'll Ever See A Trek Series Longer Than 7 seasons?

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by Knight Templar, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not. I was just pointing out how onw could approach serialization in a more Star Trek manner than let's say a anthology manner.

    American Horror Story has completely unconnected serialization. This is why Jessica Lange and Zachary Quinto, who had prominent roles in the first season, are returning for the second season... as different characters. There's zero continuity between the two seasons. This is not an unfamiliar structure for anthology series, like the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits and so on. While the first season of the show featured a strong supernatural element, the showrunners have not ruled out doing entire seasons about serial killers and other non-paranormal topics - so long as it's set in America and is in the genre of Horror and does not have vampires they consider it fair game.*

    A Star Trek series with zero inter-season continuity? Really? Because I don't even think Temis wants precisely that (presumably the events of previous seasons 'happened' even if irrelevant). So I suggested the obvious route of having the Starfleet characters of each season remain the same. That'd keep carrying some of the actors on, just in different roles... and it adapts the vaguely AHS anthology idea in a way that actually makes sense for the Star Trek franchise.

    Of course:

    Is a mischaracterisation. I said keep the Starfleet characters for each year - and DS9 did have three Starfleet characters, including the titular lead. A season about a bitter civil war on a planet. largely involved with the politics of the two major factions with Federation characters appearing as mediators and providing an 'anchor' for the viewers, and then the next season those same characters in a radically different situation like a season about a parallel universe where the Federation was defeated by the Klingon Empire.

    And even the scenario I just outlined might be a bit excessive. Star Trek is not just some elaborate space opera universe where a series should run around poking around all the implications of the vast universe, any more than one would make a Law and Order spinoff about a Brazilian shopkeeper and his family. There are certain expectations about what a Star Trek progam should be, and while they can be pushed and played around with, abandoning them entirely would not be wise.

    *It would actually be interesting to see a sci-fi series like this, an anthology which could do radically diffferent sci-fi stories on a yearly basis and carry over some of the cast, possibly even doing like miniseries-length adaptions of novels or whatever... but that obviously would not be a Star Trek series.
     
  2. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    My reason is this. A civilian science team on a Starfleet ship would allow them to have several story arcs per season with recurring science characters in each arc who can interact with the crew. Then after that mission, the science characters can go off to be replaced by new characters who come aboard for the next mission. Keeping the same characters for longer would limit the kinds of stories you could tell. For example, if you have a bunch of subspace physicists, you can't go off and tell a story about how they're looking at a brand new planet that's just been discovered. it's weird space stuff each week.

    And even if you decided to go with the same core scientist characters week after week, you're going to need a ship to get around in. Starfleet is the primary exploration and scientific arm of the Federation, so it makes sense to have a starship.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, that's taking the analogy far too literally. I'm not proposing anything remotely of the sort, and I don't think Temis was either. I'm just saying: we've already had multiple different series set in different places and times within the Trek universe, dealing with different crews in different situations. That's a well-established precedent. And of course there's continuity among them, just as there's continuity among the multiple different book series set in an even broader range of places, times, and situations. So all that's being suggested here is something that takes that same diversity of characters and situations and applies it within a single series.


    Okay, that sounds somewhat more reasonable. Playing it safe a bit, but the value of continuing characters/actors is understandable.


    Again, I find that to be playing it safe. Most of my career as a Trek novelist has been built on doing exactly what you say Trek can't do, which is running around exploring the untouched nooks and crannies of the continuity. The novels as a whole embraced that approach throughout the previous decade and the effort was quite well-regarded by the readership. Now, you had a valid point earlier that tie-in novels for the established fanbase are different from shows meant to attract a broader audience. But as always, the truth most likely lies between the extremes. Yes, there are certain expectations, but those expectations should be challenged, because that's what distinguishes good, fresh, compelling storytelling from safe, conventional, uninspired storytelling. For Star Trek to thrive, yes, it needs to hold onto the fundamentals, but it also needs to surprise people, to capture their interest by doing new things. The novels of the '90s settled for staying within readers' expectations and were considered banal and forgettable. The novels of the '00s have been critically acclaimed and garnered fan excitement by not staying within expectations.


    But that's not the only possibility. If Starfleet can put together a crew with diverse talents and send them out into space, why can't, say, a civilian research institution or university do the same? Why not go with the Trek-universe equivalent of Jacques Cousteau's Calypso, say?


    Just because Starfleet has ships doesn't mean they have a monopoly on ships, or on exploration. What I'm saying is that I resist the assumption that Starfleet is all that exists just because it's all we've seen. The Federation is huge. It's got trillions of people in it. What do the non-Starfleet people do with their lives? Just sit around watching holonovels? Sure, in a post-scarcity, replicator-based society, they wouldn't need to work for a living, but this is a society built around personal enrichment and betterment, so there must be tons of people motivated to learn and explore and innovate. Why wouldn't a multicultural, democratic society that celebrates diversity be inclusive of multiple different groups that performed scientific research and space exploration, with Starfleet just being one of them?
     
  4. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    A few reasons.

    First of all, since Starfleet is the primary scientific arm of the Federation, it makes sense that any civilian scientists will be working with them. We saw it all the time in Next Gen and DS9.

    Secondly, it will give the scientist characters a chance to conflict with Starfleet. If the only characters are the scientists, then they could all be happy to do something that would, say, bend the PD. But if they are working with a starship crew, then the Captain of that ship could be against it, introducing potential for a whole lot more conflict. And conflict is good for stories.

    Starfleet and the Federation has always been a prime factor in Star Trek. To have a trek TV show that had no Starfleet personnel is too far outside the scope of Trek, I think.

    Including a Starship crew is needed to allow new groups of people to come on and tell different kinds of stories. That way, they can have the wormhole guys for a few weeks for adventures in deep space, then after that mission is over, they can have the planetary geologists come on board and have a new set of adventures on a planet instead. And we'll still avoid the rising cost of the cast by having the starship crew rotate at longer intervals. At the end of the year, maybe the commander is promoted and gets his own ship, and a new character comes on board as first officer, allowing us to tell even MORE stories.

    If we don't include the starship crew, we're going to have a bunch of wormhole experts (for example) each week, and that is going to seriously limit the kinds of stories the show could tell. Sure, you could have a team where each character has their own specialty, but why would such a team exist? In any situation, only one or two of the characters will be able to work, the rest of the team being inexperienced. So why would a group performing research send a team to investigate something when most of the team won't be able to contribute? The only ways I can think of to get around this would be to have a Mission-Impossible style show where you have a bunch of friends at a university, say, and each week one of them goes and studies something different. next week, a different anomaly and a different character. But such a format would totally eliminate character development between the stars. The only other solution would be to follow one team for a few weeks, then switch to a different team for the next adventure, but this again eliminates character development because you are essentially recasting the show every few weeks. Having it set aboard a starship will allow the characters without experience in the anomaly of the week to still contribute by having them contribute to running the ship instead.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  5. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    My idea with The AHS format would be that it all takes place in the same universe, but actors play multiple characters, which isnt different from what Star Trek has done in the past anyway.

    But getting Star Trek on TV will be enough of a challenge without trying for unusual formats.
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    We have seen examples of non-Starfleet investigation teams before.

    Seven of Nine's parent aboard the Raven.
    Professor Robert Crater and his wife, in Man Trap, seemed to be a independent archaeologists.
    Janice Lester didn't appear to be working for Starfleet.

    John Gill was Federation, but not Starfleet. The same with Worf's brother, however a non-governmental team sponsored out of say a university could be doing similar research on a planet's culture.

    :)
     
  7. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the science teams would have to be Starfleet. But the crew operating the ship would be.

    Basically, a Starfleet vessel that has science teams come on every few weeks, and not just science teams. You can have diplomatic teams to negotiate with a planet for Federation membership, a group of people starting a new colony, a team of doctors hurrying to a planet with a plague... The possibilities are endless.

    But with a small group of core actors (the crew of the starship), you can have a group of other characters come on every few weeks, providing new story opportunities by giving the core cast new people to interact with. And you can also have crew rotations, transfers, deaths etc to open up spaces to have the starship crew move off the ship every once in a while and allow new crew members to come on.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    We saw it all the time in those shows because those shows were set aboard Starfleet ships or facilities. Obviously there's a huge selection bias there. It doesn't make any sense to assume we have a representative portrayal of life in the Federation when the shows we have are exclusively from the Starfleet point of view. As I already said, that would be tantamount to watching JAG and NCIS and assuming that all criminal investigation in the United States was done by the military.

    And no, it does not make the least bit of sense to assume that every scientist in a free and diverse civilization of trillions would be obligated to collaborate with the military, or that every single one of them acting independently would make the exact same choice to do so. There must be other options in a civilization that immense and pluralistic. It makes no sense to think there wouldn't be. How many different research institutions are there just in the United States alone, a society thousands of times smaller than the Federation?


    Yes, that's one possible source of conflict. Of course it's not the only one. You really think that scientists and other civilians would never have any form of conflict among themselves? If anything, it'd probably be a lot easier to generate conflict within a civilian crew.


    There was a time when people would've thought "the scope of Trek" meant only shows about Kirk and his crew, or only shows set in the 23rd century, or only shows set on starships. Isn't Star Trek supposed to be about seeking out and embracing the new?


    Of course it is, but my point is that it's illogical and frankly quite disturbing to assume that the military has a monopoly on starships. Come on, it's a civilization consisting of trillions of beings on hundreds of worlds. Of course there are going to be groups other than Starfleet that are capable of building and operating ships and motivated to use them for exploration. And since it's not a dictatorship, since it's a society that welcomes plurality of thought and practice, there's going to be nothing to prevent those groups from exercising that capability and desire.

    Not to mention that space is inconceivably huge, and there's no way any single institution, even one as large as Starfleet, could make a reasonable dent in exploring it. There would be every reason for the Federation to encourage multiple groups, including civilian ones, to participate in space exploration.

    Again, what you're assuming is impossible is something that I have personally already done in a book. Portions of my novel The Buried Age feature a civilian research expedition organized by the University of Alpha Centauri, which commissions a custom-designed starship and assembles a team of experts in multiple fields. True, that's specifically for an archaeological expedition, but it would certainly be possible to assemble a more diverse crew for a more general exploration mission.


    In your model, sure, but my point is that yours is not the only possible model.


    Ohh, I dunno, to explore strange new worlds, maybe? Or to seek out new life and new civilizations? Why wouldn't such a team exist? Like I said, space is so huge that the Federation would be insanely stupid to forbid anyone but Starfleet from organizing a multidisciplinary starship crew for general exploration -- and the Federation is sufficiently democratic and free that they'd have no incentive or mechanism to forbid such an effort.


    Again, you're deliberately making limiting assumptions to force your desired conclusion, which is circular reasoning. Why couldn't a university or major research institution assemble a ship with a crew of, say, 50 or 60 people, with multiple individuals in each discipline? It's a post-scarcity society. Resources are abundant, and so, surely, is expertise.


    Yes, that's true, but again, not all starships must be Starfleet. Jacques Cousteau and Robert Ballard didn't work for the Navy. Civilians can operate ships too.



    Although, unfortunately, the designers made the Raven look like a Starfleet ship. Maybe it was a decommissioned one that was now in civilian use.
     
  9. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Science is cool, but I'll just repeat what I've said before, if they want to add a new non-military element to the next show, they should go back to TOS and bring back the cop-on-the-beat facet of Starfleet that has been largely dropped from the spinoff shows. Have the crew spend some time on law enforcement and safety matters in the outlying areas of the Federation, the far-flung colonies, mining operations and lunatic asylums of the frontier.

    Cop show elements are easy for the audience to relate to, are a reasonable part of Starfleet's job, and can involve scientific exploration too. When the flying fried eggs invade a colony, you need science to fight them. When miners are being burned alive by a mystery beast, science lets you understand what's happening.

    Maybe there would be guest scientists not from Starfleet brought in to handle the cases. TOS did that on occasion, too - Miranda Jones, Richard Daystrom, etc. Usually their non-Starfleetishness served the purpose of dramatic conflict, we don't do things your way, whose way is right, etc. So that's a good reason for having people on the show who aren't all wearing Starfleet uniforms, keeps things lively and interesting.
     
  10. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    American Horror Story's risky format appears to be working.

    I saw a lot of kvetching online when the anthlogy format was announced after the end of S1. People were invested in the characters and didn't like how the season ended and that those characters would not be returning. Maybe not everyone in the audience has realized what is happening, and next week the numbers will drop, but the previews pretty clearly communicated that this season is an entirely new story.
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Jacques Cousteau's ship, the Calypso, began it's life as a French Navy mine sweeper.

    I don't follow, why would they have to be Starfleet?

    I was watching an old documentary resently on how Robert Ballard found the RMS Titanic, the research ship wasn't being operated by military personnel or government employees. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, nonprofit research and higher education facility.

    Having the next Star Trek series starship operated by a similar organization would be one possibility.

    :)
     
  12. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    A Trek show about science teams would be boring.

    People want action along with their exploration stories. Even the Enterprise fought the Borg between the times they did sensor sweeps.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Exactly what I was thinking.



    So you're telling me that there has never, in the entire history of film and television, been an action-adventure series whose protagonists were not military? I think there's a wealth of evidence to the contrary. For instance, MacGyver. In the first season, MacGyver was an intelligence agent, but for the remaining six years of the series, he worked for the Phoenix Foundation, a nonprofit scientific/humanitarian organization. Yet he still got caught up in plenty of action. So, for that matter, did archaeologist Indiana Jones. The Doctor in Doctor Who is a scientist, and some of his traveling companions have been as well, and they get in trouble everywhere they go. Not to mention other starship-based shows whose crews, while not scientists, have not been military either, e.g. Farscape and Firefly.

    And again, this is something that Star Trek itself has already done. Enterprise made it explicit that NX-01 was not a military vessel. They used a military-type rank structure, but Archer and his crew set out on a mission of pure exploration and science. After their first combat, they expressed the hope that it would never happen again. They left spacedock without a full weapons complement, because they didn't expect to need it. In "The Expanse" and "Home," it was stated explicitly that Earth Starfleet personnel considered "the military," in the form of the MACOs, to be a separate institution. Earth Starfleet may have had the same name as the Federation Starfleet, but it was a very different institution. So in a real sense, we've already seen a Star Trek series that was about a crew on a mission of pure research and exploration.
     
  14. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Gee, I'm beginning to think you just want to disagree with me, Christopher! :lol:

    I'm not saying that Starfleet is the only organisation that conducts scientific research. I'm just saying that it gives the most flexibility.

    And my idea of having a civilian crew working with Starfleet will still allow all of the potential conflict within that civilian crew, as well as introducing another source of conflict on top of it.

    And my idea of having the guest characters staying on the ship and having much greater interactions with the crew isn't new?

    Yes there are, I'm not disagreeing with this point. My point is that Starfleet is the only way to get the characters to the newest and most top secret locations, like newly discovered planets.

    And let's not assume that I'm talking about non stop scientific missions. My idea of a quick-response starship that picks up new mission specialists every few weeks will allow them to tell stories about colony establishment, medical emergencies, diplomatic missions, first contact scenarios, rescue missions etc. All of which are impossible if the series is following a group of civilian scientists with their own vessel. After all, why would you have a group of wormhole experts working to save a colony that's just been attacked by the Breen?

    But like I said, Star trek is not just about space exploration. It's also had stories about diplomacy, and all the other stuff I mentioned just up there. Having a group of civilian scientists will not allow those kinds of stories to be told.

    But could that premise work in a multi-season series?

    Let's say that you have a team consisting of a wormhole expert, a diplomatic expert, a planetary geologist, a stellar physicist and a subspace field specialist. If the story this week calls for them to go and help a team who has just discovered a wormhole, would you really decide to take the diplomat, the planetary geologist or the stellar physicist? You'd be leaving half your team behind each week.

    On the other hand, my idea will allow you to carry your core group of characters with you each week, and bring aboard new mission specialists each week.

    I can't think of any way to get around it without having half the characters that come with you each week totally unsuitable for the task, as I explained above.

    But such a crew is quite unbelievable. Teams like that are put together for specific purposes. In the military today, they do not have teams where one person is trained in desert tactics, another is trained in jungle tactics and the third is trained in Arctic survival. Because if they go to the jungle, two of the group will have no experience.

    Would you want to pay to send out a crew to investigate something when most of that crew is totally inexperienced in what they are studying?

    Or would you say, "Well, we're sending them out to study a wormhole, so let's just send the wormhole specialists out and leave the rest at home. In fact, if we leave the planetary geologists at home, we can send them over here to this planet that's breaking up from tidal forces."

    True, but they were specialised ships. They'd be great for telling stories about sea exploration, but they're useless for telling other kinds of stories.

    Likewise, if we followed a group of wormhole specialists who had their own ship, how would we tell any stories where they have to infiltrate the bad guy's lair to steal some top secret data rod? Or a story where they had to carry a group of colonists going to settle on a new planet? Or a diplomatic mission to end a civil war on a planet? You can't.

    But if you have a Starfleet vessel that is "hired out" to various groups, you can. You want to tell a story about a new wormhole? Then you can have the wormhole specialists come on board. You want to tell a story about a civil war? Then the wormhole specialists leave and you get some diplomats come on. Want to tell a story where they have to carry some colonists? Then the diplomats leave and the colonists come on.

    And meanwhile, you have the crew of the starship in each episode who provide the bridging structure across the different story arcs and serve to tie the different arcs into one continuous series.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But if it's flexibility we want, why not flexibility in how the stories are told?


    What????????? Why in the name of all that's holy would a newly discovered planet be a military secret??? That doesn't make one damn bit of sense. I mean, they're in space. With a good enough telescope, anyone can just plain see them, so how the hell can they be kept secret? More to the point, why would anyone want to keep them secret even if it were possible? Secrecy is anathema to science. Comparing notes with other scientists, encouraging them to review your data and run their own tests, is an essential part of the process.

    Sure, there was a news embargo on announcing the discovery of Alpha Centauri B b earlier this week, but that was just to avoid spoiling the announcement, and it was a leaky embargo anyway, with a lot of buzz getting out in advance of the press release -- and it was a civilian project that confirmed the planet's existence.


    Again, I'm not saying your idea couldn't work. But you seem to be assuming it's the only possibility there is, and I'm trying to point out that there are others.


    Again, you're defining the premise too narrowly in order to make it easy to shoot down. That's circular, straw-man reasoning and it's an intellectual cheat. A civilian ship wouldn't have to have a crew consisting exclusively of scientists. You mention diplomacy -- well, most diplomats are civilians in real life. Look at the history of exploration here on Earth, and you'll see that a lot of "first contact" missions were conducted by non-military people, like the subject of my senior college thesis, Mary Kingsley. The explorers of the past had to engage in diplomacy and trade when encountering new peoples. And they sometimes had to be fighters as well. To assume that civilian explorers are somehow incapable of doing those things -- that they'd somehow freeze up and be useless if faced with that necessity -- is disproven by a wealth of real-world history. Explorers are adaptable people by nature and necessity.


    How the hell is that any different from what Star Trek already does?????? Every Trek series has a lot of different specialists in its main cast, but they aren't all needed in every episode. You don't bring Geordi along on a sensitive diplomatic mission and you don't bring Deanna along to solve an engineering problem. Plus they've supposedly got hundreds of other specialists onboard who almost always get left behind. So this makes no sense as an objection. Of course different episodes of a show are going to focus on different characters. What's wrong with that?


    Again -- yes, your idea could work, but that doesn't mean mine couldn't. The problem is with your insistence that any idea besides your own is impossible, and with the illogical arguments you're coming up with to justify that bizarrely narrow-minded assumption.



    Then by your argument, the starships we've canonically seen in Star Trek can't exist because their crews are too diverse. I don't understand what the hell you're trying to say here.


    For gods' sake, do you have to take every analogy so damn literally? Use your imagination for once! Try to apply your mind to coming up with a reason why something could work instead of obsessing on finding excuses for why it couldn't! You're so frustratingly negative about everything. You're blinding yourself to the possibilities.
     
  16. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    And how exactly is my idea of a ship that has a different team of mission specialists come aboard every few weeks inflexible?

    A new planet with a valuable mineral, something of strategic importance, a fragile ecosystem that they want to keep safe... hell, they did it with Genesis, didn't they?

    When did I say it was the only one? You seem to think I am being stubborn and unreasonable. Sure, lots of other formats will work. I'm just saying that the idea of a ship that has different teams of mission specialists every few weeks is a very flexible one and would work well as a weekly show.

    I get the feeling that you just aren't willing to look at my idea and consider it based on its merits.

    I think that any group of civilian scientists will fit into one of three categories.

    Firstly, they could all be specialised in one particular field, but this would prevent them from telling stories outside this field.

    Secondly, they could be experts in a variety of fields - each person having their own speciality. But in that case, why keep them together as a single team? Why not just send the diplomat to Planet A where he's needed, the planetary geologist to Planet B where he's needed, and the wormhole specialist out to anomaly C where she's needed? They'd be split up all the time.

    Thirdly, they could be generalists, but that would mean that most of the situations they encounter would be ones where a specialist team would work better.

    You say that civilian teams could rise to meet any challenges - for example, if they are scientists suddenly forced to negotiate with a newly discovered hostile species, they could possibly do it. But my point is that they will not be assigned such a mission. Every time they end up doing something outside their area of expertise, you;d have to come up with some way to get them into it. And then the story would be about how they got into conflict with the alien species (for example) rather than be about how they cope with the negotiations. You;d be forced to use PLOT to justify how they got into the situation, rather than using the situation of dealing with a hostile alien to establish CHARACTER.

    Because the Enterprise is designed to be a jack of all trades. They've got everything they;d ever want.

    But if we had a smaller ship that DIDN'T have all that, then it opens up a whole new range of stories.

    You are putting words into my mouth. I never said that any other idea would not work. I'm merely saying that I think my idea is the most flexible.

    I think it was quite clear that I was referring to small teams. Your idea would seem to be a rehash of TNG.

    Woah, calm down, dude. Chill out. Seriously.
     
  17. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Right, but.

    It's obvious that you and Temis wanted a middle ground, but Temis wanted the same actors returning to play different roles. This as a practice makes more sense for an anthology series where stories are not supposed to have 'happened' in the same universe, though it is of course something you also get in non-anthology TV (and there are countless examples from Star Trek alone.)

    I was drawing a line between the model of anthology TV - like the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits, shows which do not need internal continuity of any kind - and episodic TV, which is what most Star Treks have been about. Episodic TV like anthology TV has the ability to be about a different story each week, and even be about entirely new characters each week, but it also has an established cast of characters who work through the premise of the week's story and indeed can be a focus for the story itself.

    I think a series that treats seasons as independent stories but has that level of character continuity would feel more like Star Trek and further take advantage of the continuous universe aspect to actually have characters we'd recognize regularly showing up, which is kind of a big deal for TV shows.

    True but my point is less 'what is a better story' and more 'what can TV sell a broad audience on.' Instead of looking at Star Trek as a universe with numerous species and factions and centuries of history, Abrams approached Star Trek as a media property with iconic elements that are well known parts of pop culture: Kirk, Spock, the Enterprise, the guy who wears red and dies horribly.

    Deep Space Nine was probably the one series that invested itself the most in letting its involvement with the mythos try to cancel out its relatively unusual premise. It began without a starship or a captain and with the majority of the cast being aliens, some of which were aliens already very familiar from TNG, and dealing with the political fallout of a planetary situation that had been referred to a couple of times on that program and featuring in a key role one of TNG's lower rung antagonist races.

    It also - like Voyager, a decidedly safer show - had steadily declining ratings.

    But can't we have both? This is where the underexplored idea of Starfleet having large civilian components to their crew could be relevant. You could have a starship with university faculty and/or experts in various fields in addition to Starfleet personnel. It could be a ship where the scientists basically decide the itinerary and examining spatial phenomena and strange new worlds (say starship mills in orbit as anthropologists study social behaviour of pre-industrial sea beings and archaeologists extrapolate existence of a once more advanced civilization that perished with an unclear catastrophe) but the starfleet crew take charge in case of a crisis (sea beings want to sacrifice anthropologist and they can't transport because of... whatever interference in the water).

    I mean - being Star Trek - these people are no doubt going to encounter situations that put them in physical danger. So you either have them include people who are sufficiently skilled at extricating them from that danger but who are not Starfleet for whatever reason, or you have people who are Starfleet.

    In other words it's a series about people doing the things we associate with Starfleet without being Starfleet. Hence:

    I think it'd be fair to say that all things pertaining to the military in the United States are done by the military. And Starfleet has treated as both space and ground forces, though the lore about the existence (or non-existence) of Starfleet marines has always been a bit fuzzy.

    Who starts shooting when things go south, is kind of the question there. University students with phaser training? Civilian starship crew who have done this kind of crisis management before? Etc.
     
  18. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So they can wear uniforms that visually communicate "this is Star Trek." If we're watching a show about civlians in space, where is the link to Star Trek so that the audience connect it to the movies and previous TV series? Creativity is great and all, but there needs to be some common connection, communicated visually since TV is a visual medium.

    The irony is that, science should be exploration, but you're right, both science and exploration are boring in and of themselves. The drama comes from: we discovered something dangerous that science may help us fight; or there's a culture clash between Starfleet and the civilian scientist who just came on board. Science and scientists can't inherently provide the dramatic conflict, nor are they particularly necessary to that conflict.

    So, more focus on scientists and exploration is a nice idea, but won't inherently provide what the show really needs, namely conflict. You can have that conflict regardless of whether there are scientists or civilians on the show. The main benefit of civilians and/or scientists on the show is variety, because all Starfleet all the time can get boring and limited.
     
  19. billcosby

    billcosby Commodore Commodore

    I know it's perverse but I do consider TNG-DS9-VOY to more or less be part of the same series.
    I'm banned now, aren't I?
     
  20. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Location:
    Tatoinne
    Hah, I'm banned too because I think I already said that somewhere in this thread, that Star Trek has already gone on for far more than seven seasons. And the notion that a series has to be just seven characters who are never allowed to be killed or transferred is archaic anyway.

    A new series could be what we used to think of as several series, strung together for many years under the same name but changing over time, maybe with a tagline that changes occasionally too. Characters, ships, premise, location could all change, and yet it still could be Star Trek.