Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by bbjeg, Sep 6, 2013.
Not Klingon mind shredders?
Nah, they're murder on the electric bill. Stick with the classics.
Quite true. Although in fairness, narrative points of reference -- if not necessarily entire "continuities" per se -- can become strongly identified with a concept. If we're seeing a version of Batman, whatever else we see, we still expect him to be a billionaire motivated by the death of his parents, with a butler named Alfred and a secret identity as CEO of Wayne Enterprises and so on. If we're seeing the story of King Arthur, we expect the sword in the stone and Merlin and Morgan le Fey and Mortdred and for the Grail Quest to come up at some point, and so on.
So I guess the question is, does Trek as a concept have any organically-grown narrative points of reference like that, things that people have come to expect alongside the bare-bones concept, costumes, technologies and general somewhat-more-ambitious-than-pulp sensibility (assuming people even agree on all those things as necessary to the concept)? I think the answer to that is probably "no" -- Trek has told diverse enough stories hung around similar basic settings and the same concept for long enough that it doesn't need any particular anchoring continuity or set of characters. One could even say that trying to gesture at the old continuity is probably best left alone -- unless one is really sure of having an actually stronger dramatic take on it than the original material did.
Torchwood was good, I thought. Captain Jack Harkness is a pretty great character.
I have to confess I'm not really sure what Doctor Who "continuity" even really means. Seems like all sorts of fudging ought to be possible in a series based on time travel, and I have to admit I find references to "fixed points in time" in the new shows totally confusing. Fortunately it usually matters little to following any particular episode or story arc.
True, but each retelling tends to tinker with the details a bit, and nobody expects each new movie or TV show about Camelot to incorporate every previous version into its own continuity. Nobody expected MERLIN, for instance, to treat Boorman's EXCALIBUR or the musical CAMELOT as "canon."
And, more to the point, nobody suggests that, well, if they're not going to pick up where the previous versions left off, or do exactly what they did last time, they should just invent their own medieval wizard and not call him "Merlin."
One can certainly debate how far one can stray from "the basics" (and audience expectations) before something no longer resembles the original source. But the point I keep trying to make is that it's the basics that make something STAR TREK, not whether, say, "Amok Time" is still part of the continuity or not.
Indeed, what prompted me to dive into this debate yet again, was the bizarre notion that if you're not going to maintain the "prime timeline" why call something "Star Trek"--which suggests that there can only be one definitive version of any given story or character. Which pretty much flies in the face of the way stories have always been told . . . .
(I'm suddenly visualizing a caveman around a campfire protesting because another tribe member didn't tell the story of the Great Sabertooth Hunt exactly the same way it's always been told before. "Ogg violated canon!")
I sense that you have not achieved Kolinahr.
But yes, I quite agree with this.
I'm just trying to understand your point. You're saying that a Star Trek series based on Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek featuring Star Trek characters Kirk and Spock on the Starship Enterprise shouldn't be called Star Trek, but a series all but ignoring the source material featuring all new character should be called Star Trek. That seems exactly backwards.
I've been wondering lately when the obsession with continuity happened. I don't remember anyone caring that much about continuity except in a broad sense even back during the early days of TNG. Brannon Braga wrote a lot of garbage, but his term "continuity porn" is entirely apt.
Right, if the next Star Trek movie has Sargeant Crunk and his crew explore the ocean in their submarine, the USS Interpreter, you can sit through it. Star Trek is humans, warp vessels, teleporters, and exploring new worlds, seeking out new life and civilizations, boldly going where no man has gone before.
I find this idea... curiously appealing. Maybe I just like the name "Crunk."
But yes, this:
... is what I take to be the bare-bones Trek concept.
Instead of seeing a new one shot alien every week with that's more often than not a two dimensional stereotype, I'd just like the existing ones to be defined and fleshed out. More than enough story potential in that alone.
She may have had a nanny who cared for her while her adoptive mother, the Queen, went about her duties. To further obfuscate her origins once the nanny died they may have told Leia she was her biological mother. A falsehood that would keep her from looking too closely and dangerously into her adoption.
I vaguely remember seeing Tarzan movies as a child. As a teenager, I collected and read the novels, along with some other Edgar Rice Burroughs books. As I recall, the comics I read were quite faithful to the books (I still have some of those comics, and all the books). I've seen Greystoke, although it was a long time ago and I don't remember much of it.
As for Robin Hood... it's like Shakespeare. I prefer it to be as authentic as possible - as in period settings, costumes, speech, etc. I will admit to liking a few exceptions; I loved the Robin of Sherwood TV show and the musical West Side Story is a terrific adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.
Consider one thing you said:
That's what nuTrek did, though. They invented a "new" Kirk, Spock, etc. that are not true to the original characters. Some apparently like these new characters. I happen to think they're obnoxious.
I take it to mean that once something has happened, it can't un-happen (unless it wasn't supposed to in the first place). Take Adric's death, for example. That was the first Companion death since the Hartnell era. Nyssa and Tegan were aghast that it happened, and they begged the Doctor to go back a few minutes and save him. The Doctor was extremely upset (and indeed felt guilt over Adric's death right up to his regeneration), and told them that he couldn't do it.
Now that I think further on it, I believe I overlooked the matter of Rose and her parents. Rose's father was originally dead, but I seem to remember him surviving in another universe... which would make it correct to say that not all of the TV stories were set in the same continuity.
They can call it Star Trek, but if it doesn't FEEL like Star Trek, I'm not going to accept it as such. To me it has the feel of Abrams saying, "I'd like to make a space movie, with lots of young, pretty people as the crew. Nah, it doesn't matter if they can act. Nobody cares about that, as long as we have enough FX and explodey things. Now what's the best marketing angle we can use to get people to see this thing? Oh, yeah - use the character names from Star Trek! Sure, we'll make the actors look sorta vaguely like the originals, rip off elements of the old TV episodes, and tell everybody it's new and fresh! Who's gonna notice?"
They're the same characters. Every time a new writer, director, and actor take on an existing character they're going to be slightly different, of course. Different people play Hamlet, for instance, and every different performance is going to highlight a different aspect of the character. A thin, wispy little goth kid is going to play a different Hamlet than a big burly guy. It's still the same character.
Now I'm really confused about your point. You don't like the Abrams movies; neither do I. But is it Abrams specific vision you dislike or would you hate any reboot? If you'd hate any reboot, then you wouldn't have accepted Abrams movies no matter how good they were. If it's merely Abrams version you hate, then in that case what would be your objection to a good reboot?
Exactly. Getting back to the OT, the quality of any given Trek project has nothing to do with whether it's set in the prime timeline or not.
It felt like "Star Trek" to me and many other fans of TOS.
The alternate reality angle makes it feel like "Star Trek" to me. Does the Mirror Universe feel like "Star Trek"?
TNG doesn't feel much like TOS, Voyager doesn't feel much like DS9. TMP doesn't feel much like TOS, even! It's one of those "each to his/her own" things.
To me, it felt like Star Trek with a much-needed shot of cordrazine
Except when referencing to TOS, right?
I always took Voyager as an extended DS9 episode.
Star Trek in general to me is a much-needed shot of cordrazine.
I'm referring to the way the characters interact. That is what establishes the "feel" of a show for me. Stargate SG-1 feels more like TOS than TNG does, at least IMO.
Again, the point isn't your familiarity with Tarzan or any particular series. I'm trying to talk about enduring characters and series in general.
For the sake of argument, let's invent an imaginary series, Teenage Samurai Vampires, that had a good long run but is now in need of a facelift.
What I'm saying is that as long as you have the Teenage Samurai Vampires doing teenage samurai vampire stuff, you're still doing Teenage Samurai Vampires. You don't have to set it in the same "timeline" as the previous cycle of movies, tv shows, and comic books, or accept every previous episode as "canon."
And, please, don't reply by saying that you don't care about teenage vampire samurais. That's not the point.
Rebooting STAR TREK is no different than rebooting any other beloved fictional property, be it PLANET OF THE APES, LOGAN'S RUN . . . or TEENAGE SAMURAI VAMPIRES.
The thing is, the characters can have the same names, they can say the same lines, but what they look like and how they say their lines and perform the actions make a huge difference. For example, Hamlet: I loved the Mel Gibson movie. It seems more period, more authentic. But Kenneth Branagh's version? Hated it, and that's saying something, because I enjoyed his Henry V, and Much Ado About Nothing.
When I watched the 2009 movie, I wanted to find something to like about it. After all, even an abomination like Star Trek V had a few good quotable lines. Unfortunately, I didn't even find that in the 2009 movie. Yes, I hate the Abrams stuff. It's like he dressed up a bunch of people and gave them lines to say, but nothing feels right.
Others have mentioned the "show, not tell" aspect of storytelling. We're told a lot about nuKirk. But I never actually saw it. If any Star Trek TV show or movie is going to tell me that a character is smart, savvy, friends with someone, etc. they need to do more than say it - the characters' voices, facial expressions, and body language have to make me believe it. And the Abrams' movie actors failed to do that.
As to your question of whether I'd hate any reboot? That depends on the reboot, doesn't it?
That's your opinion, and you're entitled to it. There are other people who feel the opposite. I'm not the only person on this forum who doesn't think it feels like Star Trek.
Not really. It feels experimental - a "what if" that may be fun to play with, but I can't imagine such a society being viable for long - certainly not producing the same characters in the same settings.
It depends on HOW you do it. It depends on whether or not the new actors can make it convincing. It depends on whether the storyline makes sense and is respectful of what's already been established.
Let's take Logan's Run, for example. I've read the original novels. I've seen the Michael York movie. The movie is different from the book, but the major elements are still intact - the society is controlled by a computer, and people have a limited number of years they're allowed to live. In both of them, Logan is a Sandman who decides to run, and both he and Jessica are pursued by Francis. Logan and Jessica fall in love, and in the end they prevail against the computer that controls everything.
The TV series changes a few things - adds characters and other SF elements. However, the essential core of the series is similar to the movie and true to the spirit of the original novel, so I would count that as a "reimagining" that works. I still prefer the original, mind you. But I love the movie and don't hate the TV series.
This production, STID in particularly, is the closest anything has felt to the old spirit of Trek and enjoyment I had from it in nearly 20 years.
Separate names with a comma.