Curious how well the Discovery novels tie in with what's been canonically depicted onscreen!

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Quinton, Mar 6, 2021.

  1. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Can you say what of your ideas made it into the show?
     
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  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I really don't understand why people think that. I mean, it's three years after "The Cage" and eight years before "Where No Man...". The changes can easily be handwaved away as the result of refits, the same way the TOS-to-TMP changes were explained.

    Short Treks is shot on a budget. The stories are clearly written to take advantage of standing sets and feature minimal casts and visual effects to save money. So naturally they were going to use the standing Discovery and Enterprise sets, costumes, and digital assets for the ST episodes, regardless of when they were set. It shouldn't be taken too literally. Just see it as "recasting" the ship along with recasting Pike, Spock, and Number One.

    Besides, the makers of TOS never intended the Enterprise to actually look like it was built with 1960s technology. That was just the closest approximation of something futuristic that they could manage with their resources. They would've been delighted to see it reinterpreted to look more advanced. Like how Roddenberry asked fans to accept that the TMP redesign of the Klingons was how they'd really looked all along. There's a difference between a continuity error and a revision by choice.


    That's how it goes when writing science fiction in general, except there it's the "continuity" of real life and scientific discovery catching up with you.
     
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  3. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That may be, but I'll say this -- if Gallery reprints Desperate Hours as a Strange New Worlds tie-in with the Czech cover (which features Ethan Peck's Spock), I'm buying another copy. I've got money here, Gallery, and I'm ready to spend it! :bolian:
     
  4. WebLurker

    WebLurker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If it was isolated to just DSC season 2, I'd agree (although there would be the logic puzzle of why they'd rebuild the ship to look exactly like it did before the Disco-prise configuration, down to the interior remodeling). However, since we see the Disco-prise in pre-"Cage" stories, like "Q&A," that makes it look like Starfleet was constantly refitting the Enterprise between two different configurations (e.g. undertaking the first movie's refit project time and again for unclear purpose). Like you said, it was a budgetary reason to reuse the Disco-prise sets, but it still is a heckuva logic mess.

    I think that ship sailed when "Relics" (TNG), "Trials and Tribble-lations" (DS9), "Affliction"/"Divergence," and "In a Mirror, Darkly, Parts I and II" (ENT) showed that the TOS era really did look like TOS in all it's '60s glory. And in the case of TMP, it was seen as necessary to explain why the Enterprise looked different then it did in TOS.

    I like DSC as a TV show, but I think it's fair to be able to say that it's a good Star Trek show, but that, when the show runners were saying that they were keeping it canon consistent, that that was always with an asterisk, at best.
     
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  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It didn't "really" look like anything, because none of this is real!! No matter what it looks like, it's just made-up stories about a made-up future that we know will never really happen. So it's ludicrous to use words like "really" when talking about this stuff. It's just people putting on a show. Every version is as imaginary as every other.


    You can say the exact same about every Trek show, TOS included. It changed its "canon" all the time because it was making it up as it went. Really, fans today have gotten unhealthily literal-minded about all this. Star Trek has never been all that consistent. We've always just pretended that it has.
     
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  6. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Don't mince words; what do you really think?:guffaw:
     
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  7. Dr. San Guinary

    Dr. San Guinary Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think we just invented a new word:

    Treksplaining. :D
     
  8. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And this is completely understandable, you can't be consistent with stuff the show writers haven't come up with yet.
    It sounds like it was fairly minor references, so at least it wasn't the whole book.
    In cases like this when they are talking about canon, I think they tend to be talking more about the story and characters, not how things look.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes. The scenery is not the play, it's just the stage.
     
  10. Hades Temperature Checker

    Hades Temperature Checker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yup! It's starting to concern me the literal minded nature of interpreting everything put to screen or in a book.
     
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  11. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I’ve seen people grump about things like the DOT bots and such (as a prominent example), that these weren’t part of the franchise before, we never saw any of them before Discovery. Meanwhile, I’ve just been over here all “yeah, but we have roombas now, so...”

    Like Christopher said, science fiction as a genre will always run the risk of “canon” (meaning reality) overwriting it. It’s not the franchise’s fault that in the 1960s, someone didn’t anticipate how technology would develop over the course of the 21st century. Now, it’d be stranger NOT to include these evolutions of what is now everyday tech.

    For my money, I’ll take emotionally consistent character stories over slavish dedication to an aesthetic of the future that no longer meshes with the modern conception of it.
     
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  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As I see it, there should have been maintenance robots all along, so it's a retcon I'm happy to accept. Really, it's frustrating how rare robots are in Trek.

    Although there is at least one precedent for this. In "Once Upon a Planet," we saw that when the Omicron Delta computer took control of the Enterprise, it used robotic arms to build a new computer. Scott said "it's being assembled by our computer," and it didn't sound like he thought there was anything odd about the Enterprise computer having the manipulative capability to assemble things -- just that it was doing it without permission. So that is evidence that some kind of robotic systems were always part of the ship.

    And there have been occasional mentions in the TNG era that the ships are self-cleaning and self-repairing to an extent, and maintenance drones are as good a way as any of doing that. You can't prove a negative, so just because we didn't see them doesn't mean they weren't there. They just weren't there when we were looking. Even Discovery is consistent with this -- the first time they showed a DOT drone, it was straightening the chairs in the mess hall after nearly everyone had gone.
     
  13. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    I raise you a Yeoman Colt.
     
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  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Names that only appear in the credits don't count. The credits aren't part of the narrative.

    Anyway, it's an easy fix: the alien Colt is the human Colt's wife.
     
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  15. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Just wait until Strange New Worlds starts proper, unless they've had a big change in creative direction since Disco S2, I suspect Yeoman Colt will be the least of the things fans will be bending over backwards to reconcile with TOS.
     
  16. Phoenix219

    Phoenix219 Commodore Commodore

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    Alien Husband? (TOS Colt was heavily implied to be straight.)
     
  17. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Bisexuality is a thing.
     
  18. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    I somewhat agree with this perspective of TOS versus DIS Enterprise on the grounds of the DIS showrunners intentionally establishing that the Terran Empire made modifications to the Defiant over the course of decades and depicting through actors that Terrans' eyes are more sensitive than humans' eyes to light.

    It's just a TV show, but we are supposed to pay attention to certain fine details.

    *grumbles about the Enterprise being upscaled from ~300 metres to 450 metres because of widescreen cameras for walking characters*
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  19. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

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    Most of it was high-level conversations about how the Kelpien culture of "living in fear" would work, what their society would look like, and there's echoes of that in the show. But as a gamer, one of the things I really enjoyed creating with Kirsten Beyer was kaasad, the "memory box" game described in Fear Itself - and there's a neat moment in the Short Treks story "The Brightest Star" where we see some Kelpiens playing with what appears to be kaasad dice.
     
  20. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

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    Exactly right! We can't know what directions the shows or movies will take in the future, so the best we tie-in writers can do is make our work dovetail as closely as possible to whatever the current state-of-play is for the franchise at the time of writing.

    In an ideal world, everyone writing on the Star Trek IP would be working from and contributing to a single shared continuity, carefully policed so as to avoid all internal contradictions, buuuut....