If TMP had kept going

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by seigezunt, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. seigezunt

    seigezunt Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Doing my annual rewatch of TMP and engaging in some nostalgia and speculation.

    I got to thinking about how TWOK changed the film franchise, and Trek, in many ways, such that TMP is kind of this sometimes-forgotten blip in the Trek story, or considered a failed vision.

    But what if it hadn't? What if there had been no TWOK, or if it had been more similar to TMP? I'm not asking if it would have been successful, because that is probably doubtful, but where do you think it might have gone if the Human Adventure had just continued, instead of getting the kind-of-rewind in the Admiral-gets-his-ship-back story?

    I am just thinking back a little wistfully to the books, comics and other such things that came out around TMP and before TWOK, visions of how the adventures would go on, more like a Phase II on the big screen. Would you have enjoyed it?

    What if they had kept the pajamas?
     
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  2. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Wouldn't it basically be TNG?
     
  3. Damian

    Damian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The early Pocketbook novels are probably a fairly decent barometer of where they would go with no TWOK. Those books are interesting to read because all they had were the TV series and TMP to work from.

    TMP was my favorite Star Trek film personally. I always said it's what made me a Trekkie (I first saw it on VHS in 1986, just before TVH came out--which is the only reason I can remember the year).

    I recognize some its flaws, just because it's my favorite doesn't mean I think it's perfect. I really enjoyed the Directors Edition because it fixed some of the pacing issues I saw with TMP.

    But it was the 'purest' Star Trek film I thought. Sure Roddenberry wrote it, but it was more than that for me. And I loved the Enterprise in the film, how futuristic and pristine it looked.

    The uniforms could have been better, we had a discussion on a TWOK board about that. Some were fine (security uniforms, engineering suits..which were retained). But I didn't care for the primary same color uniforms (particularly the blue uniform). I can see why some compare them to PJ's. Retaining the black pants from the original series (upgrading them to go with TMP uniform tops) may have helped IMO. There was more variety, for instance the short sleeve shirts worn by Kirk and McCoy, that I was fine with. The admiral uniform was a good touch, and it was nice to see Star Trek (2009) give a nod to that uniform.

    All that being said, I recognize it was a lot more cerebral then most of the American movie public typically enjoys. When you do a movie the goal is to draw viewers. And I also enjoyed TWOK a great deal, it's in my top 3 Trek films, along with First Contact. But there's no doubt that it's a much different type of film.
     
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  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Not really. Decker and Ilia would still be gone. It would be the original gang all back in the slots they started out in.
     
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  5. Damian

    Damian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In a sense the 1st 2 seasons were a TMP continuation, esp. considering they even updated some scripts from the phase 2 project.
     
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  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    They still beat the geriatric track suits they are wearing on Discovery! :lol:
     
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  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Just one: "The Child". "Devil's Due" was the other recycled script and they didn't do that until season four.
     
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  8. Jedman67

    Jedman67 Commodore Commodore

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    I would not be here (on TBBS) if TMP had continued....that movie was godawful in every way (except the vfx)
     
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  9. Damian

    Damian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Weren't there some other parallels, for instance Riker and Troi standing in for Decker and Ilia, and Data for Xon?
     
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  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Yep. But they only recycled two scripts.
     
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  11. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    The music, even?
     
  12. Damian

    Damian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In a way it made some sense that TNG in it's early days may have reflected a bit of TMP, after all, Roddenberry was heavily involved in TNG's early years.

    It really wasn't until Rick Berman took over more responsibility around the 3rd season that TNG started to chart a different course.
     
  13. Damian

    Damian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Jerry Goldsmith was a master composer IMO. Never heard a score I didn't like from him. I remember reading a review of TFF that Goldsmith was one of the few good decisions Shatner made as a director.
     
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  14. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I found it a real turn-off that I never fully recovered from that TNG co-opted the TMP main title for itself...and then cut out portions. I could have lived with it for the pilot, but I wish the series had gotten a different main title afterward.

    It's hard for me to imagine TMP continuing in any meaningful sense because I felt the film alienated so many people that continuing business-as-usual would have been suicidal to the franchise.
     
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  15. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

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    My daughters know Goldsmith's music only as the TNG theme music. I doubt that I'll ever be able to get them to hold still for TMP. I don't feel that its reuse is a "turn-off"; many people know the theme who otherwise would never have heard it. (Yes, I'm sensitive to the edits - some seasons are better than others.)

    I just listened to the director's cut (while working) at listentoamovie.com, and it was as much a slog as in 1979. The music didn't help much. What an awful script, especially when there are no visuals to distract (yes, I know it was partly written on the fly). The decision not to continue on that path was a good one.
     
  16. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I love TMP, and I feel this is one of the most unexplored eras in the franchise.

    For people who feel the same, @Christopher Christopher L. Bennett wrote a Trek novel called "Ex Machina" which was a direct sequel and captures the feel of that era extremely well. If TMP had continued in that mold, I think it would have been pretty cool.
     
  17. Damian

    Damian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah. When I tell people TMP was my favorite Trek film I sort of get a weird stare. Like what's wrong with you. Most Trek fans I know (casual and more hardcore) usually cite TWOK as their favorite, or maybe Star Trek (2009). I loved those films too, but TMP just grabbed me. I can't explain it really. I recognize it's faults but I just don't care.

    I always tell people I had seen TWOK and TSFS already before TMP. I thought they were ok but they didn't pull me in. One day I saw TMP for rent at a local video store and decided since I saw II and III, might as well see the original. From that moment on I was hooked. I rewatched II and III and I saw Star Trek from that time on in a new light...then I started watching the original series and was excited that TVH was coming out. I was lucky enough to become a Trekkie just before a movie came out. I think I went to see TVH 3 times. I couldn't get enough of Star Trek on the big screen.

    I had my doubts about TNG when it first came out a year later. But I stayed with it and grew to love TNG too, along with all the other shows and movies. The first season was uneven, but there were enough good episodes to keep me coming back.
     
  18. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not a fan of TMP's story and themes but there's no question the production design and costumes were thoroughly thought through. As for Nick Meyer's backhanded compliment by calling TMP uniforms "Pajamas" , he also made that similar snide with TOS uniforms, well I would rather wear uniforms which were comfortable and practical for a 5 year mission than some derivative, red, space corset based on Horatio Hornblower. TMP wasn't Star Wars it was Star Trek, and I would've wanted something which had more of an adventure to it like TOS season 1 than being so preachy and at times lack a heart.

    TWOK was a good popcorn movie, but I strongly felt TVH was a superior film which a non- fan could watch and can relate to the material. I wish Paramount CBS would be looking for stories to tell like that one than trying to have a Wrath of Khan in every film; each nu- villain trying desperately to capture Montalban and failing. TNG was a great show from the start because of Patrick Stewart spearheading that series by himself. He made that cast something special and I accepted them until those wretched movies where Spiner wasted a ton of screen time on that Data character who refused to grow. I don't believe TMP, what I know of it, would've been like TNG-- Decker and Ilia were dead and what was left was an emotionless Spock, and a supporting crew who were too old to be subordinates.

    If they went forward with this, changes had to made, and I'm not sure Roddenberry was the appropriate producer for the films. Don't get me wrong, I don't believe Harve Bennett was appropriate either. I thought his sets looked cheap and were too inspired by Star Wars, check out the eye rolling stuff from TSFS as an example. For an extension of TMP, the studio would had to have hired a real motion picture producer who had clout, and I would've hired Robert Wise as director again and maybe had hired Harlan Ellison or Richard Matheson to conceive a Trek adventure.

    This has been the true disappointment in the entire Star Trek movie world; I've never seen an on point, true Star Trek movie. Exploration and adventure, not a revenge wannabe Hornblower battle fest or destroying the Enterprise because they've run out of ideas, or finding God or a melodrama piece where the murder mystery could only predictably lead to 1 suspect... a vulcan woman. Lets see this Constitution Class ship in full service, it will never be as beautiful, sleek, and futuristic as it's Starship Class counterpart from TOS. Expand on the neat costume ideas done on TMP, I hated the color scheme but the designs were very Star Trek, start with the metal object on the uniforms and make improvements of their props like phasers, tricorder, and other stuff.

    The films would have had to be boldly, and best way to do that would be to work along Leonard Nimoy on how to handle his character and make the movie about the main three actors of Shatner, Nimoy, and DeKelly. Oh, and have the Enterprise start off in outer space as the crew and systems are fully functional.
     
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  19. Damian

    Damian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I do remember TVH was very popular with the masses, showing you didn't have to do a 'new villain of the week' movie to be successful. I always thought TVH had a great balance of a serious story with humor that seemed natural (unlike TFF where the humor seemed forced and deliberately an attempt to try to go to TVH well again). And after TWOK and TSFS which were very serious, emotional films, TVH was very much a welcome light-hearted story. Almost like in horror movies where little bits of humor can be used to release tension (as long as it's done at the right times).

    I loved TWOK too, I'll admit it. But you're right, its a popcorn flick. But it was well done and I thought Meyer did a good job with the Kirk-Spock-McCoy dynamic. And I thought he got a great performance out of William Shatner. But it was so popular that the PTB kept trying to go back to that well. It seemed particularly in Nemesis-Star Trek (2009)-STID all tried to copy a few too many elements of TWOK. I liked all 3 movies (as I always say I'm one of the 10 people that liked Nemesis) but I couldn't help but feel that can we try to kick TWOK habit. One thing I really liked about Beyond is at least it tried to do some things differently. Sure there were still a few elements of TWOK present, but there was a lot less of TWOK I thought there then the previous 3 films (that and I was glad that we finally left Earth behind--sure the Starbase was probably a stand-in for Earth, but at least we were somewhere else in the Federation for a change).
     
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  20. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To be clear there are aspects of TMP that I like (the FX and production values are great, for instance). It's other aspects that sink the film for me, and if I'm forced to make a blanket call on continuing as-is, then I'm forced to say "I think that would be a bad idea".

    Bash the Star Wars prequel films all you like, but if AotC and RotS had continued the relatively juvenile tone of TPM then I imagine the criticisms would be much, much worse. Ironically in retrospect, I referred to TPM as "Disney does Star Wars".

    Now, further missions with the refit as a new vessel and the characterization we'd see in later films (or TOS)? That I could enjoy.