Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by The Overlord, Oct 20, 2019.
Which is why I said...
Agreed, though I'd hardly consider wormholes a "concept from TNG". They're both an theoretically actual thing and something that's been in tons of other sci-fi, including The Motion Picture nearly a decade before TNG started.
So, how long before our resident Ambassador to the Delta Quadrant makes a cameo?
S1E10: The Wrath of Neelix
Not back then, not really. Wormholes were a fairly obscure solution of General Relativity rarely featured in fiction. You had various space warps and "star gates" and "vortexes," or black holes as passages through spacetime (e.g. in Joe Haldeman's The Forever War, the movie The Black Hole, "The Magicks of Megas-tu," etc.), but ST:TMP's use of the specific word "wormhole" was exceptional in fiction at the time, and rather different from how it's used today. It didn't become a buzzword until Carl Sagan popularized the idea in his novel Contact in 1985. He'd asked physicist Kip Thorne to devise a credible means of FTL travel for the novel, and Thorne revitalized scientific interest in the wormhole idea by determining that it could be made viable by postulating "exotic matter" with properties that could prevent a wormhole's instantaneous collapse.
To the best of my knowledge, TNG: "The Price" was the first mention of the word "wormhole" in film or television since TMP. "The Price" came out in 1989, just four years after Contact. Deep Space Nine premiered in 1993. Stargate didn't come out until 1994, Sliders was 1995, the film version of Contact was 1997, Farscape was 1999, etc.
So yes, in fact, as far as the mass-media usage of wormholes as a story device is concerned, TNG pretty much pioneered it and DS9 took it from there. It sounds surprising in retrospect, since wormholes are such a ubiquitous trope now that we can't imagine a time when they weren't. But this is one of the few areas where Star Trek actually was on the cutting edge of science fiction.
Fascinating stuff. My relatively young age is showing (I’m 33), because yeah, wormholes have truly been a staple of science fiction storytelling for as long as I can remember. Despite awareness that Stargate and its successor TV series arrived considerably later than TNG, my brain has always distorted the chronology such that I’ve believed TNG was riding an existing trope at the time.
Well, it's a subtle distinction, since as I said, there was plenty of fiction about various similar types of space warp, just not under the name "wormhole." The closest thing (pretty much the same thing, really) was the idea of a black hole as a portal to another universe or another part of our universe. Filmation Associates was particularly fond of that trope -- not only did they use it in TAS: "Megas-tu," but in episode 2 of Space Academy, the backstory of Blackstar (essentially named for the concept), and the backstory of Queen Marlena in He-Man.
Ultimately it's all just a variation on the portal fantasy, the idea of a magic door that transports you instantly to a far-off land.
Aside from that, though, what DS9's concept borrowed from "The Price" was not just the idea of a wormhole per se, but a lot of its specifics: a uniquely stable wormhole that reached to the opposite side of the galaxy and thus sparked competition between galactic powers for control of said wormhole. Not to mention the Greek-letter quadrant notation that "The Price" introduced and DS9 ran with.
While I agree with your main point, I believe Bajor (and even the Ro character) were created specifically for DS9, but they used TNG episode to set up DS9. In a similar vein the Maquis were created for VOY but they used DS9 to set that up.
No, I just checked the various sources (DS9 Companion, Making of DS9, Memory Alpha). "Ensign Ro" was written and filmed in the summer of 1991, and the meeting where Brandon Tartikoff proposed a second spinoff wasn't until the fall of '91, shortly before Roddenberry's death. The show wasn't formally approved for development until late 1991. From Memory Alpha: "Even though this episode proved an inspiration on the creation of the DS9 TV series, it was written at a time before that series was envisioned." From Making of DS9, p. 60, sidebar on "Ensign Ro": "At the time, no one knew what would grow from this single, well-received episode."
The only thing in TNG that was put in to seed DS9 was "Chain of Command," which was the last TNG episode(s) aired before DS9 premiered (during TNG's winter hiatus). And even that had no real connection beyond giving the Cardassians a showcase.
IIRC, Ensign Ro was originally supposed to focus on the Bajorans recovering from the Romulan occupation. Then someone remembered they created the Cardassians, and decided to resurrect them instead.
That's fascinating. DS9 would have at least looked entirely different. Cheaper makeup. Green station instead of brown. Horrible shoulder pads.
I don't know. At the very least, I feel certain there had to be plans to bring the Cardassians back when they made The Wounded. After all, they created new costumes, a new ship model and gave the Cardassians a more intricate look then the typical human with a forehead bump. I doubt they'd have gone to all that effort unless there were firm and definite plans to bring the Cardassians back. Likewise, because they had already gone to all that effort, I feel certain they would have gone looking for a way to bring them back, rather than develop a storyline for one race and then decide "oh hey, we can use these guys instead."
But they created new costumes, models, and elaborate makeup for a number of other species that they didn't bring back -- for instance, the Pakleds in "Samaritan Snare," the Sheliak in "The Ensigns of Command" (although their ship was a modified ST III model), the Promellians in "Booby Trap," the Tamarians in "Darmok," etc. And when they did use a species only once, they often recycled their ships or costumes for different alien species.
The thing to keep in mind is that for its day, TNG had an exceptionally high budget for television science fiction. It wasn't a bargain-basement production scrimping and scrounging wherever it could. Sometimes, yes, they had to cut corners and save money, but only after they'd used up their allotted budget on the more expensive episodes they made over the course of a season. The show was Paramount's crown jewel, its most successful and profitable production, and so the studio was willing to invest more resources in it than most SFTV shows got at the time.
I thought they all used recycled ships? I know the Pakleds used the omnipresent triangle ship that everyone else uses, and I'm pretty sure the Promellian and Tamarian ships were seen elsewhere.
The Pakled ship was the first use of that model. You're right, though, that the other two were recycled. I didn't check that. Still, the Tamarian ship was heavily modified from a simpler model, so I was half-right there.
Still, I was looking for cases where they had new makeup/costumes and ships in the same episode, but there were plenty of cases where a new elaborate makeup or a new ship was debuted. They didn't save it only for species they intended to reuse.
Or rather, I'm sure they were always open to potentially reusing a species if the right script came along. But they never absolutely knew in advance whether they would or not. There were cases where they did hope to reuse a species but then never did, like the "Conspiracy" aliens. (And they originally planned to use the Ferengi much more regularly than they ended up doing in TNG.) So it's looking at it the wrong way to treat it as a binary choice between "will definitely reuse" and "will not reuse." In just about any case (at least for spacegoing species as opposed to pre-warp ones), it could've gone either way. Any one-shot species could've caught on well enough to be reused, and any species intended to be reused could've fizzled out and been abandoned. So the smart thing was to keep their options open rather than making assumptions about the future.
What Eschaton said is true, though I’m having a hard time remembering the source. It might have been one of the companion books.
Memory Alpha cites the fourth issue of something called "DS9 - The Official Poster Magazine" as source for the claim.
I had the thought that the ship might be one of the deep space ships that was mentioned in "Life Line" as being sent to meet-up with Voyager. But it might mean the ship was unmanned and if not, it probably would have been called home once Voyager got home. And having a Janeway-based hologram doesn't make a lot of sense for a ship sent back in season six - I would think they wouldn't use her as a template until she returned home.
That would last maybe one episode, and it would have to be comedy relief.
Well, it was a joke. More in LD's wheelhouse than Prodigy's
I do kind of hope that this show has some slightly elevated comedy over what's come before - not over-the-top stuff that LDS is famous for, but also not titanium-rod-up-the-tight-ass stodgy dourness of Berman-era Trek, either. And I know it's geared predominantly towards kids but, for the Love of All That Does Not Suck, let's please try to keep the idiotic slapstick comedy to the barest minimum.
After re-reading what I just wrote, I suspect this will be a tall order for what's involved.
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