How Could The TNG Films Be Improved?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Emperor Norton, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Captain Captain

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    The Next Generation films have been criticized as being lackluster, with the exception of "First Contact". "Generations", "Insurrection" and especially "Nemesis" have been criticized on a number of points. In comparison to the series, and in comparison to the original series films, the TNG films have their faults. So my question is, how could the TNG film series have been better?
     
  2. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Captain Captain

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    One of the problems in my view was a lack of change to the TNG cast. The only person to go off and come back was Worf, and that is because DS9 used his character. The TOS films were all about change. People had moved on with their lives and were facing a new and changing life situation. But they all found their way back together for the plot. TNG never did that. Granted, the films were decades after the original show had ended, but the TNG films still could have showcased that. Have Riker get his own ship, for example. Have Picard as an admiral at Starfleet or an ambassador, who is thrust back into taking command because of some threat. And it could even be Riker now in command of the Enterprise, but Picard has to come back and take command. Have Riker and Troi get married. Marry Picard and Crusher, or have their relationship developing in that direction. Anything. That would not have to happen all at once, but it could be somewhere in the film series.

    TNG also did not do a lot in terms of lingering effects from the previous films on the characters. The loss of his son lingered with Kirk all the way to "The Undiscovered Country", along with a fear of getting old and being past his prime. Picard's loss of his family, and thinking about having his own family now when he never had to consider it before could be an element, and would go along with a relationship with Crusher. That could have even been an element in "Insurrection", where he is getting older, he has to consider these things, and compare the fantasy of living forever with alien girlfriend lady with the reality of accepting change and living the fullest with Crusher.
     
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  3. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Page one re-write. :)
     
  4. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Captain Captain

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    I think "Generations" certainly could have been better. The idea of life changing and the fight against change and time and the loss that comes with it was a good one. But the execution of everything else was severely lacking. The threat did not feel big. The events were not that interesting. And comedy relief Data wears thin after a while. Also, Kirk was killed for something that he should not have been killed for. The stakes were not high enough and the villain was not good enough for that. One of the more interesting ideas I have seen proposed was that Kirk should have returned to the Nexus to live out his retirement in infinity, having cheated death once and forever. And basically, being something of a constant presence and a living god now and forever across the Star Trek universe. And that would have been an interesting end for that character.

    EDIT:
    Also, along with that, Picard meeting a Kirk who had been in the Nexus for a while, who had gone through his life reliving things and changing his own history (retiring from Starfleet, living with Carol Marcus, raising his son, etc), only for it to feel empty, and understanding that it was his mistakes and the bad things that made him who he is as much as his successes and good things, and he is proud of what he is. And this could be reflected in Picard accepting his situation because of what Kirk had taught him. And it could be reflected in Soran going through time to change things, only for new problems to cascade out whenever he fixed something, always trying to fix everything with no problems arising and never being able to, and being forced to understand he has to accept life as it is and live what life unfolds to the fullest, and not fear time but accept it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  5. OtherGene

    OtherGene Captain Captain

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    The only TNG movie that I struggle with is Nemesis, the rest I think are fine. However, if I could make changes...

    Generations - It should've been the old cast and the new cast. I read about the problems they had scripting all those characters in but, dammit, work a bit harder, that's your job (I'm also aware that there were serious problems getting insurance for Kelley to perform which no amount of script doctoring would solve but this is all fantasy anyway so...). Also, the concept of Soran destroying worlds to get into the Nexus is fine but make the worlds more important. A rock in the middle of nowhere inhabited by a bunch of idiots who haven't even discovered Warp drive yet? Meh.

    First Contact - It's pretty much perfect as it is, it would've been nice to see Lily kicking the Borg ass she looked capable of kicking perhaps? Tom Hanks would've increased the box office but James Cromwell is a finer actor.

    Insurrection - I was with the Son'a and Admiral Dougherty all the way on this one. They were right, a few hundred people on a planet that they'd invaded (doing who knows what damage to the natural ecological development of it) against, well, everyone else in the universe? Hey, McCormick, pack your beige clothes and get the hell off the planet! Also, the bloody awful moment when Riker takes manual control of the Enterprise using that bloody awful Quickshot II joystick was bloody awful.

    Nemesis - There is a good movie within Nemesis but, sadly, it is a good illustration of the criticism that people often level at all of the TNG films in that it comes across as an extended episode. Tom Hardy today would have made a ferocious villain but back then my Grandmother could've taken him down. So a better villain was required. Also, rather than waste all that time faffing about driving in the desert, why not fill the running time with an example of what the Scimitar and it's weapon could do to a planet in the same way we saw the Death Star destroy Alderaan? Also, someone should've been killed and that someone should've been Picard. I get that they were still hopeful of another movie but Data not-really-dying was a real cop-out. And it could have been done, look at the Wrath Of Khan, Spock died, we all felt it, and yet they scripted their way out it when the need arose.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  6. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Captain Captain

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    On Insurrection, I do have a few ideas. One, make the villains the Romulans as Michael Piller planned before Berman shot it down. New bad guys were not interesting. Frankly, bring back Tomalak. We can then hint at the Dominion War and the grave measures everyone has taken since, without getting too in depth for the general audience. You could have just said that there was a war that had happened that was devastating, and leave it at that, with the whole thing being the driver for such actions. Two, make it a 6,000 people across the planet rather than one village of 600. Have these people start disappearing and whole villages disappear, where it turns out that it was actually the bad guys taking them off via transporter to forcibly migrate them -- with the big secret being they are experimenting on them to discover the secret of their immortality and rejuvenation, resulting in massive deaths and mutilations. And then the one village is the last one left, and the stakes are high. Picard and crew then have a reason to ignore their orders and take everyone on the run.
     
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  7. OtherGene

    OtherGene Captain Captain

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    ^That's a good point about the Son'a operating a deception, until things start going wrong it appears that they did indeed plan to share the rejuvenating qualities with the Federation which isn't evil it's incredibly altruistic. How hard would it have been to include this scene...

    Int. Ru'afos quarters. Night

    Gallatin - We're not really going to share this with the Federation, are we?

    Ru'afo - No, of course not

    Both laugh

    Fade out
     
  8. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I loved TNG buut didn't particularly like ANY of the movies, not even First Contact. They were all lacklustre. I prprobably enjoyed Nemesis most, but the criticism is correct - it was very flawed.

    I know it's a bit of a basic comment, but none of the stories were very good - it's as simple as that. Compare the films to Yesterdays Enterprise, Best of Both Worlds or whatever your favorite episodes were - they just don't stand up.

    How could they have been improved ? Better writing...
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
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  9. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Generations needed to have Picard save his family from the fire.

    Insurrection needed sympathetic victims, not middle-class white people in their gated community.
     
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  10. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Captain Captain

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    No matter the plot, the personal character arcs should have been stronger or there to begin with.
     
  11. TommyR01D

    TommyR01D Commander Red Shirt

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    There should have been less focus on Picard and Data. The other characters were all rather neglected - Beverley Crusher could have been cut out of all four films entirely and we barely would have noticed.
     
  12. JonVP

    JonVP Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I think part of the problem is that the TNG movies somewhat felt like two-parters. The only one that stood out imo was First Contact. That story really deserved to be viewed on a big screen. With TOS you had a trilogy in TWOK, TSFS and TVH. Those movies somehow felt ‘bigger’ than the original series. They had a sense of adventure that was missing in the TNG films.
     
  13. Paradise City

    Paradise City Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I liked the movies well enough -- but you certainly could modify them. It's interesting that First Contact is well received. We're back with the borg again, we're back to earth in the past again. The sultry dominatrix smooches Data, lol, Picard runnin' around the place, yelling, like Rambo. The hero that everyone venerates but is really a drunk type that's looking for money. That said, the concept of weaving classic TOS icon Cochrane with a classic TNG villain the Borg does intrigue. There's loads I don't like in that film yet for all of that I did enjoy it.

    Insurrection is a fine as a TV movie. It's a light romantic action film. I'm glad it was done once but it certainly lacks the scope that befits the big screen. But it's not a bad film; it's very sentimental but with a fair share of action pieces.

    Generations is a good film. It's just the Berman crew was at a loss to know what to do with Kirk.They could write for the TNG crew well enough, but they kind of stalled doing something proper for Kirk. Data flaking out is a bit overdone.

    Nemesis -- I haven't got any major problem with this film actually. The biggest issue I have with it, is that it draws a bit too much on TWOK in the way that Data sacrifices himself. I quite like Shinzon at the beginning of the film anyway. Shinzon both needs Picard but can't abide a another "version" of him either. Picard is unnerved that something tenuous as a different life circumstance could've made him a bad person. So there's a dynamic there.

    I wish they contrived to include Worf in his ambassador guise. Use the change in that characters circumstance to one's advantage. If they are carrying Worf as an ambassador, he could still fall into a combat role should emergency strike. It's that big hulk reappearing on the bridge in his dull uniform with some lame excuse as to why he's there strikes me as something of a damp squib.

    Overall, I'd tone down the appearances of Rambo Picard, do something interesting with Worf and make the interiors of the Enterprise E a little less soulless, get Troi (or Riker!) shot instead of Data going Genesis and do something else with the BQ.
     
  14. Vger23

    Vger23 Captain Captain

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    Have the movies run by people who know how to make movies.
     
  15. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Things to improve about each film:
    GEN: If you're going to destroy the D anyway, don't do it via the "oops, we took one hit too many" approach. And for god's sake, don't use stock footage of a BoP exploding in a theatrical release.

    FC: Lose the Borg queen in favor of the Borg we know and fear. Make Hawk gay without making it a plot point. Make the Borg's motivations for journeying into the past more clear.

    INS: More conflict both among the heroes and villains about the morality of the situation we're presented with.

    NEM: Replace that stupid low-budget room Picard and Data meet in with something better (Stellar Cartography, for instance). Lose the dumbass buggy chase. Lose the "have your cake and eat it too" situation with Data vs. B4.
     
  16. Vger23

    Vger23 Captain Captain

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    A fair number of the films had stock footage. Generations had more than just the BoP scene.

    Not to nit...but would making Lt. Hawk gay really improve FC substantially as a film...especially "without making it a plot point?" I have no issue with Hawk being gay (in my head cannon, he is), but this is kind of like saying "paint the hallways a darker grey" in terms of how to improve a movie...
     
  17. Vger23

    Vger23 Captain Captain

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    There are days where I actually think Nemesis is the best of the TNG films (not that this is saying a lot). They were all woefully flawed, but at least Nemesis attempted to illustrate movement in the franchise and in the characters and took some risks in doing so. It also seemed the most theatrical of the bunch.
     
  18. TommyR01D

    TommyR01D Commander Red Shirt

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    Previously stock footage had been limited to flyby shots and the like - not climactic battle scenes.

    I notice GEN also used footage of the Excelsior NCC 2000 to represent the Enterprise NCC 1701B, forgetting that the latter had those hideous bulges on the stardrive section which the former lacked.
     
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  19. Vger23

    Vger23 Captain Captain

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    There isn't an original shot of the Enterprise in Star Trek II until you see the Enterprise on the Reliant's screen just before the sneak attack.
     
  20. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But none of those were used at the climax of a battle.

    I'd prefer the movies never use stock footage, but if you're going to use it, at least don't use it in that kind of situation.