Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Captain Clark Terrell, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    So you're saying that The Next Generation was a trend-setter? :lol:
     
  2. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Huh? At least here in the UK, I find TNG is VERY fondly remembered by loads of people that I wouldn't even call Trek fans. Possibly more than TOS.
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Here is the States, TOS is the one the general audiences still know after all these years. That was true even prior to the Abramsverse films. TNG and the rest of the spin-offs really have dropped from the minds of the public.
     
  4. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Are you kidding? THE WIRE? DEADWOOD? THE HOUR? MAD MEN? Entertaining and thought-provoking, artistic but not pompous.

    TNG was a mediocre show with moments of greatness, and it will probably date as badly as any SF series that lasted long enough to be remembered. That hardly compares to TOS or FIREFLY or to put it on a more comparable playing field, DS9.
     
  5. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Wise normally got the producer credit, so there WAS some backNforth over that.

    But I'd guess based on the Trumbull joke-credit, which reads something like 'actually produced by Jeffrey Katzenberg' that GR was hardly hands-on ENOUGH. Also, I'd put the entire effects fiasco wholly on Paramount and the film's producers, because they should have stepped in a lot earlier if the problem was as big as they've made it out to be. Otherwise they should have stayed the hell out of the way and let Abel's folks deliver (the parallels between TMP and STAR WARS in terms of panic over VFX are rather stunning; only difference is that GL was pretty much forced to stick with Dykstra and co, since the whole core group might have bolted if he had found anybody to replace Dykstra. Wasn't that kind of loyalty issue on the Abel/TMP show, though.)
     
  6. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It would be nice if it had been. Then, TV wouldn't be the forgettable garbage it is now.
     
  7. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Interesting statement. Though by most accounts we're in a new "Golden Age" thanks to groundbreaking programs on cable.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    TNG was a trendsetter. It was a pioneer in first-run syndicated scripted drama/action programming, and started the wave in such programming that dominated the '90s.
     
  9. LOKAI of CHERON

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

    It's EXACTLY the same situation here in the UK IMHO. Obviously this is purely anecdoctal, but pretty much EVERY non-fan I speak to knows Kirk/Spock/Bones and TOS as Star Trek. A steep recognition drop-off begins with TNG - with a veritable plunge into the abyss of total oblivion for DS9, VOY and ENT.

    Certainly, TNG is the most popluar of the modern Trek pantheon in the UK, but doesn't come close to the cultural awareness and penetration TOS still enjoys.
     
  10. drt

    drt Captain Captain

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    I think shows like the original Star Trek and Firefly are more beloved because their premature cancellations leaves fans with a feeling of untapped potential, so they want more, whereas TNG/DS9/VOY by lasting seven years each are perceived as having their stories play out to a natural conclusion.
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Agreed. I'd put most modern programs up against a lot of the network shows we consumed as kids. Is anyone really going to argue that Charlie's Angels or Marcus Welby M.D. were vastly superior to, say, The Walking Dead or American Horror Story or The Americans or even Castle or CSI or Leverage or whatever?

    Even on the genre front, I'll put Sleepy Hollow or Warehouse 13 or Once Upon a Time up against The Six Million Dollar Man or the original Battlestar Galactica any day.
     
  12. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    A lot of that TOS potential played out in fanfic, authorized novels, and to a slight degree in the movies. I'd say TOS is the way it is because it was good.
     
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Yeah, I'm not certain longevity is really the issue here. The Twilight Zone ran for six or seven seasons, but it's still regarded as a classic of TV science fiction

    Honestly, I suspect TOS vs. TNG is largely a generational thing.
     
  14. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's probably true nowdays. But in my case, I wasn't born til almost a year after TOS' cancellation, and was 17 when TNG came on, and was always a fan of both.

    Blame my mom. She loved TOS from it's 1966 premire, and I watched the first wave of reruns with her as a baby (so she claimed, anyway).
     
  15. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I admit this makes me chuckle. Since when have we Trekkies ever agreed on anything? As this board proves every day. :)

    Seriously, I not sure you can assume there's some sort of consensus on this point . . . .
     
  16. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, the entire discussion of this issue has morphed into something it wasn't to begin with. Such is the web.

    Anyway, my position is really that the auteur theory is false, not only in general, but first of all in the case of TMP, and in the case of TMP that goes for whomever we assign as the primary source of work, whether the credited director Wise, or even, as if he had been the director, Roddenberry himself.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    TNG, Roddenberry's pièce de résistance? Hardly. His health was failing, his judgment was poor, his writing had deteriorated badly (seriously, the dialogue in "Hide and Q" is painfully inept and amateurish), he'd bought too fully into his "visionary" persona to have his story priorities straight, and he shut his collaborators out of their due credit and let his lawyer abuse them and drive them away. Much of the show's concepts came from its uncredited co-creators David Gerrold, D.C. Fontana, and Bob Justman -- and most of what Roddenberry brought to the table was just recycled from his former projects (Picard, Riker, and Troi were based on Phase II's matured Kirk, Decker, and Ilia, while Data was a cross between Xon and Questor).

    And it didn't become a really good show until after he stopped having much of a say in its creation. It was Michael Piller's pièce de résistance, perhaps (although I'm tempted to say that was Legend instead), but not Roddenberry's.
     
  18. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Calling TNG Gene's pièce de résistance borders very close to the fan adulation that considered Roddenberry some sort of television god for coming up with Star Trek in the first place, which he unfortunately seemed to believe at times. He'd gotten one series on the air, The Lieutenant, but it only lasted one season. He was desperately trying to put new pilots together and get back on the air to maintain his status as a creator-producer. With Star Trek, he got lucky with the concept and all the people he pulled together who helped flesh it out.

    Roddenberry's best work was most likely when he was still hungry.
     
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My point was that the "a ___film" credit is negotiated. The Directed By credit is the one with weight, since it has the DGA behind it, and they make sure the person who actually directed the film gets credit in the appropriate place.
     
  20. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    William Goldman's claim was that only Russ Meyer was a true auteur, since he really did do nearly everything on some of his softcore efforts. I'd agree that the auteur business is mostly bunk, but that there are exceptions.

    Some of Welles' later films would qualify in my mind. It's justifiable to think of the film as Orson Welles' THE TRIAL, cuz it really ain't Kafka's. Plus that's the one where when there was no money for the crew (Salkinds as producers, what else would you expect?), you have Welles shooting a scene with Anthony Perkins in a car on a rainy day by roping the vehicle to himself and walking backward pulling the car with his own weight while filming Perkins with one hand and using the other to spray the car with rain from a hose. Literally the guy was doing it all. Plus he had a legitimately different view of the material, especially the ending, given that the book was written before The Holocaust and the film made nearly two decades later.
     

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