Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by bbjeg, Sep 6, 2013.
What? Which producer of the Fast and Furious rules the universe?
Heh, I'm not speaking literally; no actual producers of Fast and Furious have yet conquered any universes that I know of (although one might fairly suspect from the ham-fistedness of his technique that Neal Moritz is a Talosian in disguise). NuTrek just happens to look and feel like they did.
Not even close.
One's mileage, of course, may vary.
Actually the Fast and Furious films aren't really that bad as dumb actioners go, and by similar token neither are the NuTrek films. But they are not more than that, and there's a reason two-thirds of the fans of NuTrek preface their film reviews with "I never really cared about Trek before, but..." Anyone who thinks that audience is going to be any more loyal to the rebooted brand than any other dumb actioner is kidding themselves.
Of course, maybe that's a plus in Paramount's outlook. Loyal fans can also be bitchy, demanding fans who sometimes don't really want what they think they want; I see that's been thoroughly hashed out in the other thread.
(I am no really radical partisan of the "Prime Timeline" either, which I feel has been weighed down by too much mediocrity in too many spinoff series. Actually I think "rebooting" in an alternate universe would have been an awesome idea, done with better writing and directing.)
For whatever it's worth, I personally prefer TOS and think BadRobot Trek is more at the level of Lost in Space and the other "junk" SF that Trek was originally designed to stand out from. However pulpy the original article got, it still made some effort -- however flawed -- at believability and internal consistency. There's really not even a hint of that in the Abramsverse.
"It's Time to Play the Music.
It's Time to Light the Lights..."
I agree to your first point, but IMO the second is invalid. The JJ-Verse claims to be a new approach to 'Star Trek' while on the other hand rehashes people and events from 'old Trek' on a large scale. Example: the whole Khan-angle in STID. If you don't know 'old Trek' the story is even more confusing. Going back to 'old Trek' would at least require the writers to consider new ideas instead of reusing and retelling old stories. I hope for a series set in the 25th century, concentrating on new characters and new stories (and i don't mind a new visual approach). And concerning the practical advantage: the 'old Trek' could be a deeper layer for this new series and sometimes be revisited (certain worlds or even characters).
My six year old had absolutely no issues following Star Trek Into Darkness and by the same token I became a fan of Star Trek at the age of five in 1975.
So let's not pretend that Trek is this smart, deep religious experience that no one but the clergy can understand or that Abrams has made the franchise any dumber than 99% of it already was.
Personally, I think a 25th century show would promote exactly what you're hoping to avoid. 'Fast forward 100 years' is basically just an older version of 'Ok, now we're in a different universe, so forget all that other stuff'. Keeping the story in one of the already established eras would, imo, be the only thing that could force the writers to really find new angles and new stories, because they would be forced to aggressively differentiate themselves from the existing stories in the same era, instead of just assuming a mantle of 'newness' and then giving us the same stories we've seen on TOS, TNG and Voy.
Personally, I think you can tell stories in the "past" or "present" or "future" of the series, having them work both as Star Trek and as a viable, quality entertainment. You have to balance things, no matter what the format--and a lot of what seems central to this debate is the "weight of mythology."
Consider for example Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For the first three seasons or so you could jump in and "get" the world of that show and its characters. But as time went on, each season increasingly built upon what went before. Starting BTVS in the fifth season would be very daunting indeed, because by then it depended on viewers essentially understanding what had gone before.
Ditto VOY, DS9 and ENT but not so much TNG. And yet, even though each of these were part of the same universe, they were most successful when branching out on their own. At least imho. One of ENT's problems was its constant self-referential stuff (that btw sometimes created violations of continuity for no good reason). It was at its best facing things unique to itself--like the T'Pol/Trip romance, or the Xindi storyline, or the tensions between Vulcans and Andorians (until they brought in the Romulans).
DS9 for example certainly had Cardassians and Ferengi, who had already been established but we got to know both those races so much more than anywhere else. Just as the Dominion never really featured in TNG or VOY. The latter had far more to do with the Borg than TNG, while the former had far more to do with internal Klingon Politics and the whole idea of Soong-type Androids (to mention one essentially wasted story opportunity).
My point--and I do have one--is that any ST needs to be a part of the Trek cosmos, but at the same time build its own mythology. For example (to borrow a notion) if we have a show dealing with the adventures of a starship called USS Revelation, then right off the bat we have a new crew. Their backstories and priorities start pushing the story of this new ship in a unique direction. Good! And no matter where that ship is assigned, writers will hopefully start giving it a different throughline, creating a new specific mythology of its own (just as Angel did, the BTVS spinoff). In fact, one thing guaranteed to make this new show fail would be to staple it directly onto events in the other shows all the time.
For example, if the majority of the regulars were characters from the other shows. And the ship operates from Deep Space Nine. Yet has constant contact with the Borg. Or its episodes are mostly 'sequels' to eps of TNG, DS9 and VOY. Ick.
Much more interesting if Revelation explores an uncharted area of space. Includes in its senior staff an alien race we've never seen before, and regularly encounters yet another (perhaps the same--our officer might be a refugee from an oppressive government, assigned to this ship as a kind of guide). Perhaps they are given a specific mission, to try and learn all things possible about a specific sector unique in some specific way--like the Briar Patch or Delphic Expanse. Maybe this is a region where some kind of psionic illness keeps popping up, resulting in violent behavior that has wiped out whole cultures. Or million year-old ruins dot the sector, all very similar and every single one baffling. Whatever. The point is--the show creates its own backstory, its own unique mythology, its own background unlike what has gone before.
I personally think any successful new ST will need to do that. Be itself, within the context of Trek but without requiring anyone to have seen (or worse, studied) other shows in the franchise.
^ That all sounds eminently reasonable.
Really? I think Trek works best when things tie in from the other shows. Certainly makes it 'mean' more to me anyway. I like 'studying' trek, it's characters, ships, species etc.
^The best episodes in Enterprise were the tie-ins IMO.
So do I, but we're at the far end of the convention-going, fact-memorizing, bbs-posting fan spectrum. Trek also has to be accessible to general audiences, who shouldn't have to be experts on all the previous shows to appreciate the All-New Star Trek of 2020 . . .
"Tonight on HBO: a startling new vision of the future that boldly goes where no Star Trek series has gone before!"
Without judging individual episodes that might be a tie-in, a Trek show needs to be itself not an annex of some other program. And while a hardcore fan no doubt will enjoy hints, homages, references, etc. if the average viewer cannot watch a show without doing homework--that show is a failure. How can it not be?
Although it makes for a staple of fanfiction, the idea of different characters from all three contemporary Trek series in one show doing sequels and crossovers to previous episodes would be an attempt to re-capture something unique by making a xerox copy. You want to do a really good production of a Shakespeare play? Don't try and copy anyone else's idea. Do your own!
Bingo. And succinctly put.
We should recall that Roddenberry himself was initially reluctant to include Vulcans, Klingons, Romulans, and such in TNG, because he wanted the show to be its own thing, apart from nostalgia for TOS.
Initially reluctant yet the show ended up featuring those species countless times because not only were they were pre established but they managed to improve on them. But for me I always like to see how they were first introduced, the history of it all. For them to simply exist and come in and out of the show just because they're an alien race has no meaning.
I know what you're saying about appealing to new audiences but Star Trek isn't something new, millions/billions of people are aware of it's existence yet some choose to watch it infrequently or not at all and some like me will watch all of it... Many times
Personally I think one good thing about J.J Abrams coming on board was it appealed to people who weren't necessarily into Star Trek but liked his movies, so I think the right director/group of well known actors can be the thing that appeals to new audiences rather than drastically changing Trek as we know it.
Same universe. Its own story and characters.
Not a collection of favorite bits from previous shows, with an elaborate story arc involving episode after episode that are direct sequels to one or more stories in previous Star Treks. If all a new ship does is fly through plot holes of previous voyages, no one but the most hardcore fans will care. Everybody else will change the channel.
But--same universe. We only need pretty slight reminders who the Vulcans and Klingons are, what the Federation is, what is meant when anyone mentions "transporter" or "phaser," etc.
Vulcans and Klingons are an integral part of the Federation, however I think that we could start seeing lesser mentioned races more often and expanding on them whilst introducing new ones.
Another clear cut would be fine. TNG was 100 years after TOS. The next show could be 100 years after TNG.
But I still can't imagine a valid reason for yet another show that's about a spaceship crew having some adventures every week.
As said before, the initial concept of Enterprise was the right one because it was actually different. First season set on Earth, and then NASA style exploration, with great limits, a small crew, a not fully functional ship, etc...
The end result was TNG dressing up as a prequel just because the characters were a bit more down to Earth.
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