Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Sam_I_Am, Aug 19, 2014.
I loved that show, but might not be as familiar with it as you, who did they change?
There are some fascinating parallels to "Shades Of Gray", though. "The Menagerie" was flagged up by Gene Roddenberry as early as the moment the show actually got green-lit by the network as being a possible schedule saver in the event of either the production falling behind demand or the money running out (or both). It was the ultimate ace card: they got two episodes for the price of one, because they only had to shoot the linking segments. As well as giving them valuable breathing space to meet their scheduled delivery dates, assembling all of this un-used footage resulted in a very cheap instalment of Star Trek.
In an ideal world it would've been nice for TNG to have had un-used footage that had fallen down the back of the sofa, that they could've called on for their clip show. Regrettably as we know that wasn't the case. But the modus operandi behind the decision to do a clip show was effectively the same: we've got a hole in the schedule to fill, we don't have any money left, what can we put together than will cost nothing and fill 40 minutes?
Mrs Carlson, owner of the station and mother of the station manager. She was played by Sylvia Sidney in the pilot and replaced for the series by Carol Bruce.
If I'm remembering right, the final episode of Leave it to Beaver was a clip show, in the format of looking through a photo album of the kids' younger years. With, what, five or six years to draw from, it worked out pretty well. If memory is serving me.
Yeah ,it's like I said above, one of "Shades of Gray"'s biggest troubles is that two seasons (only 48 episodes!) just isn't enough material to assemble a good clip show out of. The problem isn't necessarily with a clip show in itself, it's the general lack of material to source from. Now, if the clip show had only been made in Season 4 or Season 5, on the other hand...
This is why Mojochi's idea is such a good one. For better or worse, Wesley was one of the most developed characters in those first couple seasons, so at least making the threat about him would've opened up the options a little. Riker had seen some development, but to be honest it wasn't anything to write home about.
Not to mention the Wesley idea makes some narrative sense. Picard reflecting on Wesley's time on the ship, some of the instances being Wesley in danger due to Picard making Wesley an "acting Ensign"/an unofficial member of the crew.
That makes a lot more sense than "bore an alien virus with bad memories."
It has got me thinking, I wonder if Season 4's "The Drumhead" might have actually worked as originally conceived as a clip show?
Not only would the burden of the episode be on Patrick Stewart's shoulders, immediately lifting the episode for obvious reasons, but also having four seasons worth of episodes to source clips from would have meant a broader selection of material to choose. Which means more variety (and, potentially, a better episode overall).
Where a clip show didn't quite work in Season Two, it might have worked in Season Four.
Of course, we will never know, as the script was rejigged to avoid having to use clips from past episodes. Successfully I might add. But this discussion has got me pondering the path not taken.....
As a clip show I think Drumhead would have come off more like the B plot of 'Coming of Age'. Instead of getting the McCarthyism parallel, it would come off as just some jerk being a dick to our heroes.
Yeah, though I think a clip show would have gone over better in S4 than S2, I really think The Drumhead works best as is
Has anyone here watched any of SFDebris' reviews? He did one for Shades of Grey and throughout his review gave a few ideas of his own on how this episode could have been different while still maintaining an extremely short budget.
SFDebris "Shades of Gray"
Some of his ideas.
1. "Updated version of the Menagerie. A holodeck recreation of events from Enterprise's travels to reach some serious conclusion. Like a Starfleet inquiry or an investigation into whether or not if someone deserves a promotion. There's even room for Picard to give a speech, and we all know how much he loves doing that."
2. "A character is trapped in a maze of their own mind by a malevolent force. They have to relive past events in order to achieve 'such and so'."
3. "Similar to the last one, but it's about Data as crew members question what he's done and whether it was all the wrong things only to reveal in the end that it's all Lore who's tapping into Data and trying to use the memories to get compromising info on Starfleet. Lore means you don't need to have another actor to play the villain. And the memories are double edged because the memories of those experiences encourages Data to try to resist.
He even suggests the idea of using old clips and splicing them together with new ones in order to throw the audience off on whether what they saw was new or not.
Separate names with a comma.