Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by cigol, Oct 7, 2011.
What is this "hard sci fi" thing?
Hard sci-fi should be extrapolating the effects of an aspect of science and technology on the world in which it exists. Gataca is a good hard sci-fi film on what could come with genetic engineering. I'd hardly call any Trek series hard sci-fi, though some episodes could be considered such. I wouldn't agree with the above assertion that hard sc-fi puts plot as of lesser importance to a story.
Tuvok's (and Kang's) "Flashback" scenes were supposedly offscreen events during "ST VI: The Undiscovered Country", not "Generations".
"Generations" had nothing to do with "Flashback". Tim Russ played a human, not Tuvok.
Janeway was pretty warm and compassionate yes, but that doesn’t mean she was a realistic character or that consistent in anyway
In my opinion, Janeway never made an out of character decision because she didn't really have any solid character traits. She just flailed about wildy during all 7 seasons. "We must stick to regulations", "this is no time for regulations", "Violence is not the answer", "Let's blow shit up to get our way out of this mess".
Janeway was however the writer wanted her to be for that week, the writers seemingly weren't that interested in developing Janeway the character or having any kind of arc.
We see Janeway regret blowing up the array for one episode in "Night". She suddenly regrets blowing up the Array five years after she does it and then that’s all wrapped up and finished after that episode.
There's no sign or suggestion that she really regretted it before that point. The writers clearly ignored the old maxim of "show don't tell here" and tried to superimpose a depth to her character by trying to convince us that she'd actually been struggling with it for 5 years, well I certainly didn't see it!
I also didn't see much relaxation of Starfleet protocols compared to what should have happened. There should have been a mixing of Maquis and Starfleet tactics and beliefs but there really wasn't any of that. Chakotay eventually became her lapdog, even apologizing to her for questioning her torture/"i will kill you" technique in Equinox Pt 2.
Voyager couldn't even flesh out all their characters when there were only like 8 of them, compared to something like 20 with DS9. That's a pretty sad indictment of the writers attention to character. When Ronald D. Moore asked the showrunners about B'Ellana when he was developing "Barge of the Dead", they simply told him that they'd given up on her character long ago.
And I don't really believe Tom or Janeway were particularly real characters. I've already covered Janeway, but we're supposed to believe Tom was a bad boy turned good. Well if Tom was meant to be a "bad boy" any time earlier in the series, the Federation is even more pathetic than we thought.
Regarding Seven of Nine, we saw some character development yes...mostly going into season 7. But most of her episodes had her finding out about her humanity until she was reset back to normal the following week so she could find out exactly the same thing but in a different way.
B'Ellana was a somewhat similar case, they kept giving her episodes about her anger and struggle with being Klingon. But there was a disconnect from the revelations of those mostly well written episodes and the B'Ellana we saw the rest of the time. She'd go from having a life changing experience in "Barge of the Dead" to never mentioning it again or changing her behaviour.
Well I don't remember them entering Borg space and the Borg being a constant threat, I seem to remember Kes clearing them of it in "The Gift". I do however remember the beginning of “Dark Frontier” when Janeway said they’d apparently added on thousands of lightyears to their journey by avoiding the Borg. When did we ever see that happen? At that point in the series, we thought they were nowhere near the Borg, but they wanted a Borg episode so now suddenly the Voyager crew were inexplicably surrounded by them.
Before I address the lack of general continuity, I'll just say that wasn't the only problem. As I said before, the characters didn't seem real in how they interacted each week. Voyager was made specifically to be watched out of sequence in syndication, so we didn't get the organic kind of week-week progression of characters that we got in DS9.
Regarding the lack of continuity in general, it’s funny that you mentioned how villains from earlier seasons couldn't show up, but that's exactly what happened so big was the showrunner's lack of attention to continuity (or just not caring).
The Hirogen and the Malon show up in "Flesh and Blood" and "Juggernaut" respectively over 25,000 lightyears after we saw them. The Kazon stick around forever considering their apparently inferior technology. The Talaxians in “Homestead” are to be found something like 40,000 lightyears from their homeworld.
Besides that, there are really a million things that bother me continuity wise that took me away from believing the show and snapped me back to reality. The neverending supply of shuttles, the fluctuating crew complement, the neverending torpedo supply, the holodecks being run all the time despite apparently having to conserve energy and let's not forget the ship magically fixing itself between episodes no matter how huge the damage. I mean, you say "every show has inconsistencies" but when your show is about a ship stranded far from home, you shouldn't really be making the kind of mistakes Voyager did.
To be honest, I doubt you could list story arcs in Voyager for more than a minute. Once Michael Piller left, the show went into standalone episode overdrive. The network stopped them from doing a year long "Year of Hell" arc and after that they seemed totally resigned to limiting any long stories to two-parters only.
Basically all of my problems with Voyager were outlined by Ronald D. Moore after he quit the writing staff at Voyager in this interview
It’s a fantastic read and outlines completely how wasted the concept became
I think what you're doing is giving everything far more credit than its due. The story of what we actually saw ON SCREEN on Voyager is being expanded in your mind which a lot of people do. For example:
It did? Where did we see that? The whole Maqui situation was really brushed under the rug very early on. To have the Maqui all wearing Starfleet uniforms by the end of the pilot and only once consider using any kind of Maqui tactics in the entire show was fairly absurd (referring to "Alliances").
You're assuming that it took a long time for them to work together and respect eachother because it makes sense, but the writers didn't give us that or show us.
In conclusion, there was a time that I was really pissed off from Voyager. I watched it after DS9 and the complete disregard for continuity or any attempt to make the show a realistic depiction of a single ship alone and away from home really pissed me off.
Now I've learned to accept its flaws and simply accept it as a show that gives me more of what I love - science fiction stories in a Star Trek setting. It has a lot of good writing as long as one doesn't take a step back and look at the big picture and mostly I'm happy to do that. It just annoys me a bit when people try to give certain things more credit than their due- such as claiming Janeway was some kind of "real" character when its obvious upon closer inspection that she just wasn't written consistently at all.
Overall I kind of know what you mean by saying the Voyager characters were *better* than the DS9 ones. But there's a difference between being better/more likable and being more developed.
i'll give you one reason why Voyager was crap.
SERIOUSLY! No one thought to put a fucking timed detonator on the tricobalt device and use the array to get home and then it blows up? what the fuck, man? and Tuvok was suppsoed to be some brilliant tactical genius and he can't think of putting a timer on there?
if they were bent on the Array being destroyed and Voyager being stranded, they should've just had it get blown up during the battle with the Kazon, or like, the Caretaker died and it didn't work any more or something...
don't get me, wrong, I know other shows did stupid things too, but... DAMN...
(i still watched all 7 years, but it still bugged me)
I love all the star trek series'. The only one I like rather than love is Enterprise, as it just feels un- star trek like to me. I think one if the great things about star trek apart from the concept and the stories are the characters. I have favourites from every series but in general I like all the characters. I can understand why TNG may seem dated to some but for me TNG and TOS really sum up the essence of star trek.
As a Niner, I'll say something unexpected and agree with you, by mid-season 3 Sisko isn't a well fleshed out character. During the first two and a half years, the writers didn't seem to get a grasp on that character except in a handful of episodes, and it's something that a lot of fans mention. However, after Past Tense the writers began to find Sisko's voice and he becomes far more interesting. His work, personal and spiritual lives begin to play a larger role in the show starting around that point and he becomes a very interesting man.
I can't agree on this point. Kira was the stand-out character of the first season, and probably the second too. Some people don't like her and think that she was too "whiny", but those people all deserve to be sent to work in Cardassian labour camps, in my humble opinion.
I don't want to spoil anything for you, but Nog has one of the most impressive character arcs in the entire Star Trek franchise. He may come across as one-dimensional if you're not paying attention, but even back in the first season there were signs of depth to his character, such as learning to read in The Nagus. You can barely imagine the journey that Nog goes on over the course of the show, he is a brilliant character.
Janeway is an odd character for me. Jeri Taylor seems to have had a vision for the character that reads quite similar to what you describe, but the other writers would often stray away from it and write a different character altogether, something that was exacerbated once Taylor left the show in season 5. Any consistency that the character had seems to have come more from Kate Mulgrew than the writers themselves. Kate comes across as a very likeable and charismatic person in real life, and that spills over into the Janeway character, it's just a pity that she was often written in a way that didn't suit the character.
No it didn't.
Actually, the Year of Hell was supposed to a a year-long arc that lasted throughout the forth season. The Krenim were supposed to pop up every few episodes, the ship was supposed to get damaged and stay damaged, crewmembers would be injured and need to recover... but Paramount wanted the show to remain episodic and TNG-like, so it never happened. Instead, Braga was forced to re-write his story as a two-parter with a reset button on the end so that the whole thing never happened.
DS9 wasn't perfect, but it did have story-arcs lasting multiple seasons, most notably the war arc. They would purposefully end episodes ambiguously so that they could revisit the plot later. There were shocking twists that were only possible because they had spent time developing the universe. These were all things that Voyager either didn't do or never did to the same extent as DS9.
Now, if you like lighter episodic stories, that's fine, plenty people do. Personally, I prefer the direction that DS9 went. So there's nothing wrong with you if you prefer Voyager, it just means that you're not cool, like me.
Wow - that's pretty much nailed everything that was so wrong with Voyager : it was damning. Ron has been a bit of a hero to me for years, and he has just gone up in my estimation.
The only thing I'd disagree with him on is the strength of the cast. I disliked Janeway, Tuvok and Neelix from the outset and unlike DS9 when, for instance, Sisko and Odo really grew on me, these didn't. Well, Neelix got a little better. The problems were probably as much the fault of the writing as the casting though.
I managed to watch and even enjoy Voyager after a fashion, as a halfway mindless bad guy of the week sci-fi show, but it could have been and should have been much, much more.
I'd like every Trek fan to read that interview, especially Voyager fans...
That was Daffy Duck and the treasure of Ali Baba. Hasson chop! 'It's mine.. mine..all mine!..' My respect for him is below sea level. Like he was the only one there. Wow.
Menosky and Braga squashed him like a bug.
VOY's strength is it actors (great cast) which is why you might be responding to the characters. DS9's best characters were in the recurring cast - Garak, Dukat, Weyoun, Damar, Winn, etc. Keep going, even Nog turns into a fascinating character.
DS9 got around Star Trek's way of squelching character growth among the main cast by focusing on developing the non-main cast. Of the main's, Kira does undergo growth, but like Nog, it doesn't become obvious unless you stick with the show.
The other thing about DS9 that the other series don't have is the development of plotlines and themes.
There I fixed it for you.
I haven't seen as much Trek as most people probably have on these forums but here is what I think of each series:
TOS - Considering this was cancelled over a decade before I was born I find it difficult to get into. Don't get me wrong, some stories were terrific, but it's from another age. Some scenes are unintentionally hilarious by today's standards.
TNG - My favourite, and I've seen every episode multiple times. This is what got me into Trek when I was a kid. It kept the original series' sense of exploration but added some maturity to the themes covered. Also, Best. Captain. Ever.
DS9 - Had some good moments, but they were stuck on a space station for most of the time. For me Trek is about exploring the unknown, and that's difficult when you are stuck in one place.
VOY - Didn't work for me. Once again, for me Trek is about exploration, and they did do a lot of that, but the entire premise was the crew getting home. Exploration was only a by-product of the journey back to the Alpha quadrant. Also, they screwed up the Janeway character; she seemed like a different person from episode to episode. I don't think this was necessarily Kate Mulgrew's fault. When she had some good writing, she kicked ass, but unfortunately most of the writing was terrible.
ENT - Haven't seen enough to comment. I watched part of the first season when it was first on TV but it didn't grab my attention. Although I plan to bite the bullet and watch the series soon.
I have to second YWF: revisit TNG and give it another chance, at least from season 3 on. Season 3 I think is my favorite season for the simple fact it is where I really consider TNG became a great show, but 4,5, and 6 are every bit as good, IMHO. Season 7 got a little weak, but still is great to me.
Also, just look at it like this: TNG came first, so the series that followed had an easier time to adjust and evenflesh out the characters. TNG had it harder because it was the first series on air in about 18 years (1969-1987), excluding TAS, and they were still making TOS movies during most of its run.
What are you on?? TOS is campy space adventure. Kirk vs. Apollo. Kirk vs. Klingons. Enterprise invaded by space hippies. Spock's brain is stolen. Nazi planet. Roman planet. Spock's Vulcan mating urge means he has to fight Kirk to the death. A giant space amoeba threatens the galaxy.
I LOVE TOS, and a few episodes had big ideas, but let's be realistic, eh?
ENT had some deeply shitty episodes in the first 2 seasons, and the worst theme song in the history of television, but IMO it was ultimately as enjoyable as Voyager. The third season, especially, was fantastic fun.
I enjoyed the whole Xindi arc in the third season, and was very happy - minus one or two episodes - in the fourth. By the last season, they had the proper guidance to be able to carry on successfully. In fact, possibly introducing the Romulan War into the final couple of seasons may have made the final assessment of this series something different than it is today.
If not moreso.
A whole episode? That's like, FOREVER!!!!!!
Everyone is welcome to having their own opinions, but when they are based on ambiguous claims, it's hard to argue otherwise. Each series has its own merits and detriments. It's up to the viewer to appreciate the worthwhile parts and disregard the rest. If one can't get past the faults and waves off an entire series, well, that's their loss...
If any of you are true Trek fans, you will like every series. I LOVE EM ALL!! I like TNG, Voyager, and DS9 all the same. I like TOS and ENT the least, but I still like em.
Separate names with a comma.