Spoilers R rated content - what does it add?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Smoked Salmon, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. oberth

    oberth Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    exactly the same with the press - as a freelancer you have pet projects nobody buys but there is always a big demand for the favourite rubbish of the season (when you have done three of them you can do another dozen just using leftovers) - when you are a 'made (wo)man' you have better chances with your pet projects but i know quite a few people riding that rubbish wave because they need that new porsche.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Commodore

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    A (new) Porsche is quite a creative motivator. And an art form in its own right. :whistle:
     
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  3. Onid

    Onid Ensign Red Shirt

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    I would not say that TOS (or Trek in general) dealt with those issues well. Certainly not for the most part. "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" for example is hardly a golden standard of the "issue" episode. "The Outcast" is another bad example (and one that needed R rating - and some balls from the creators).
    IMO, Star Trek was almost always VERY clumsy when it decided to deal with an "issue" and did it poorly for the most part.
     
  4. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    And yet, by the standards of the day, and certainly for a good many people, they were good. Is there any way R rated content would ‘fix’ either of those episodes to your golden standard? I sincerely doubt it. Battlefield is clumsy in its allegory, but I would argue deliberately so...the veneer hiding the moral is thin, and smacks the audience about the head about how stupid racism is, and how blind prejudice, and refusing to let go of it, ultimately is a destructive force...what would a bit of the old ultraviolence or colourful metaphors add that isn’t already covered by burning buildings and the character deaths? Are modern audiences so shallow they need their bread and circuses?
     
  5. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This has to be viewed through the lens of the times in which is was produced for TOS. In that instance, it did it very well, from "Let that Be your Last Battlefield" to "Errand of Mercy" there are always strands of a different way for the audience to look at things.

    The "Outcast" is a different series and is acknowledged by most to be bad. Not sure what that added to the discussion.

    As @jaime asked, what would an R rating add?
     
  6. seigezunt

    seigezunt Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I wouldn't say it adds as much as the lack of it would seem like holding back and self-censoring in a way that's pretty dated.
     
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  7. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Consider the following:

    EMH: There's no doubt that Seven was the victim of a sexual assault.
    JANEWAY: How is she?
    EMH: As well as can be expected. She's regenerating in her alcove. I predict her emotional recovery will take some time. I certainly hope you intend to hold Kovin responsible for what he's done.
    JANEWAY: First I want to know how much of her story we can corroborate. Tom, you were with her on the planet. How long was she alone with Kovin?
    PARIS: At least two hours.
    JANEWAY: And when she came back, did she say anything about what happened?
    PARIS: Only that they'd finished their work on the rifle. She seemed fine.
    EMH: Clearly Mister Kovin used some artificial means to suppress her memory of the event. That would explain the unusual brain activity I found in her MRI scans.
    JANEWAY: Did you find any other physical evidence of the... er... activities she described?
    EMH: No. I suspect Mister Kovin used Seven's own nanoprobes to repair any cellular damage. She distinctly remembers Kovin activating them.
    TUVOK: You seem to be accepting Seven's recovered memories as fact.
    EMH: Are you suggesting otherwise?
    TUVOK: Historically, recovered memories have often proven unreliable.
    EMH: Yes, in cases where a traumatic experience has been repressed for years. But we're dealing with a very recent memory here, that was blocked by artificial means. When I removed that mechanism, Seven remembered everything that happened.
    TUVOK: Human memory is rarely perfect.
    PARIS: What are you saying, Tuvok? That Seven is making this up?
    TUVOK: No, but we must remember that she's experienced hallucinatory images before.
    EMH: That was in direct response to a signal from the ship where she was assimilated. She's not having hallucinations now. She's remembering what happened to her. I've confirmed this by analysing the specific brain activity in her memory cortex. We're not talking about conjecture, we're talking about science.
    JANEWAY: Let's not get bogged down. Seven's made serious accusations and I won't dismiss them. If Kovin assaulted her, either as some sadistic attempt at revenge or what have you, we can't stand by and do nothing. Doctor, I want you to keep searching for any physical evidence to back up Seven's claim. I will talk to Kovin. Dismissed.
    [Ready room]

    KOVIN: This is offensive and absurd. She's obviously lying.
    JANEWAY: Why would she do that?
    KOVIN: Maybe you can answer that. She's your crewmember. First she attacks me, then she invents these ridiculous stories, and you try to place the blame on me. Is this some kind of negotiating tactic?
    JANEWAY: I have no hidden agenda. I'm simply trying to clarify what happened.
    KOVIN: I told you already. We went to my laboratory to adjust the guidance system on the particle beam rifle.
    JANEWAY: And that took two hours?
    KOVIN: She insisted absolute precision.
    JANEWAY: We've confirmed that Seven was exposed to an intense thoron discharge.
    KOVIN: She was, after the rifle's power cell overloaded. We reported the accident immediately.
    JANEWAY: She now remembers that you fired the weapon at her deliberately.
    KOVIN: That's preposterous.
    JANEWAY: The Doctor now tells me the blast could have been enough to render her unconscious.
    KOVIN: But it didn't. We were both startled for a moment. And after I apologised for the accident, she asked if I had a dermal regenerator, which I did, and I used on her arm. The one with the mechanical implants.
    JANEWAY: Which you recognised as Borg.
    KOVIN: I was aware she'd been a Borg. She told me herself.
    JANEWAY: Did you ever express any animosity towards her? Any resentment of her Borg origins?
    KOVIN: No.
    JANEWAY: You never considered she might deserve some sort of punishment?
    KOVIN: Punishment? Is that what you think I've done?
    JANEWAY: There are many in the galaxy who believe the Borg are predators, users of others. You wouldn't be the first person we've met who felt that a Borg drone should be made to suffer the same way their victims have.
    KOVIN: I never touched her, Captain!
    JANEWAY: I'd like to examine your laboratory to be absolutely sure.
    KOVIN: No. This has already gone too far.
    JANEWAY: Then I'll have to contact the authorities. Maybe they'll be more helpful.
    KOVIN: Are you willing to risk our trade agreement all on the basis of one crew member's delusions?
    JANEWAY: Yes. Now, are you going to cooperate with our investigation?
    KOVIN: I don't seem to have much choice.​

    The subtext in "Retrospect" is so un-subtle that you could easily drag it out to Full Frontal just by changing a few lines of dialog. But Voyager has to wink and nod its way through that subject, which makes the entire issue both uncomfortable AND poorly handled.

    So what would that episode have been if Seven of Nine actually believed that Kovin raped her? Not a whole lot would actually change, but it opens the door for a somewhat darker revelation that would change how Seven of Nine -- and the audience -- thinks about what the Borg are actually doing to people when they assimilate them. Which, squickily enough, dovetails right into the Borg Queen's shenanigans in "First Contact", in trying to assimilate Data and Picard starting with their boners.

    And here's where it gets REALLY twisted: if they'd really had the balls, they would have done this episode WITHOUT some alien-of-the-week scientist and made the accusation against, say, Chakotay or Neelix. Then Seven has to try to figure out how to move on from making such a horrific accusation based on a false memory and the guy she accused now has to figure out how the fuck they're supposed to ever work together again after something like this. The conclusion is the one we all know, and the one we all shy away from because WE are not the evolved humans that Star Trek is trying to show us: Seven sits down with the accused, meet face to face, and apologizes. The guy she accused nods, says "I read the report. I understand what happened. I don't blame you for what happened, I forgive you and all. But also, for the record, I think you did the right thing... this was a false alarm, but the next time might not be. Just promise you won't let anyone ever put you in a position like that again. Not even me."
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  8. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    Except that episode isn’t just about sexual assault (and wouldn’t have needed an R rating to say it was) it was about the authenticity of recovered memories in general, but more importantly it was an episode of an SF show...not Law and Order SUV or whatever it is. it’s about the SF angle. It’s also not how allegory works. Allegory here means it ‘can be’ about sexual assault (which it in part is) but ‘can be’ about other things too. This is how the allegory part works. If you want a drama absolutely about rape and it’s consequences, then you are looking in the wrong place, because you don’t need a starship to tell that story. You certainly don’t need a family show (here meaning one families watch together, which Trek was for the longest part of its existence.) to do that. Allegory? That’s fine. There’s a ton of those. Riker and Troi have both been victims time and again in that regard, and I won’t even mention the number of times poor keiko and O’Brien have been possessed etc. But this is what the name of the game is, this is what Trek does. Remove subtlety and fuck it, go watch NYPD Blue. It’s a great show, but it’s not DS9. DS9 is a great show...but it’s not NYPD Blue.
     
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  9. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    Writing a sex scene is a piece of cake. Writing a scene that is doing the same job, without the sex scene, is a work of art.
     
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  10. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    While I appreciate your write up and such, that really missed my point since I was discussing TOS episodes.

    But, thank you :)
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Depends on the project. It's also possible to be too coy when it comes to sex scenes.

    True story: Many years ago, an editor offered to buy a horror story by me, but only if I added an explicit sex scene. In retrospect, that was probably the right call; I was possibly too oblique about what was going on in the original version. Sometimes subtlety is a virtue, yes, but other times you don't want to dance around the subject. There's something to be said for the direct approach as well. Blunt is sometimes best.

    For the record, I've actually sold that story--with the added sex scene--to two different anthologies so far. :)

    Another story: I once edited a novel in which I honestly couldn't tell if two characters were sleeping together or not, so I asked the author go back and spell this out for the reader. Again, it's possible to be too subtle or discreet about this sort or thing.

    It's all about clarity. Sometimes a blunt statement gets the idea across better than an elegant innuendo.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  12. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Vice Admiral Admiral

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  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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  14. fonzob1

    fonzob1 Captain Captain

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    Well then, your statement wasn't really relevant to the discussion. It was an unrelated random comment.
     
  15. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Commodore

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    Some of the most famous sex scenes in cinema history aren't in R-rated films, such as Titanic(PG-13), or Top Gun(PG).

    So, far there hasn't been much in Discovery to warrant the rating, and the few things they have done weren't necessary, and don't add anything to the show.

    Maybe Quentin Tarantino will change my mind.
     
  16. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    I was talking about Screen xD (different kettle of fish on the page.) to keep in line with the discussion. Thomas Crowne affair, that sort of thing.
     
  17. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    And those sex scenes...didn’t show sex. Titanic builds to it with the drawing scenes etc. It does have a tiny bit of non-sexual nudity.
    Maybe DSC can do that... ‘draw me like one of your Klingon women Ash’ and Burnham can runaround declaring there aren’t enough lifeboats.

    Edit to say I haven’t sat through Top Gun.
     
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  18. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Commodore

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    Lol@ the mental image you just gave me.

    Edit to say: It's cliché in all the right places. It might even be great.
     
  19. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I know what the episode was about. I'm referring mainly to the subtext woven throughout the dialog and even the setting that is about as subtle as a hand grenade. More importantly, the subtext becomes depressingly relevant to today's society in the aftermath of the Weinstein Scandal and the tidal wave of sexual harassment allegations thundering through American conscience and social media these days.

    Because "memory isn't always reliable" is part of a broader issue, an issue with many sides that is controversial and very hard to deal with. The scifi setting gives you room to tackle that issue in a variety of ways (e.g. it lets you determine conclusively whether or not her memories really are false, and lets you explore possible motivations without invoking real-world prejudices and motivations and thus triggering half your audience), but Voyager instead used that setting to dance around those issues without having to take them seriously.

    And this is America. "Mature subject matter" is enough to give you a TV-MA rating even if you never actually SHOW a sex act.

    Considering this exact subject was just featured explicitly on "Discovery," I don't think that's true.
     
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  20. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    It was featured on DSC in two, maybe three conversations and two shock shots, one shadowed crotch, one breasts. So until DSC, pretty much as many have said, no, Trek was basically a family a Family show, and therefore not the place to look for actual Rape as a subject Stories. Which, since that neatly explains why Trek does allegory...

    Voyagers ep was about ‘recovered’ memories specifically, not just memories (I.e regression hypnosis etc.) Which is an important difference, and dancing around a subject is basically the definition of what allegory is. Star Trek does allegory, has done since 1966.

    My point is that you don’t want allegory, and see it as a failing or a form of censorship...it’s actually much more than that, and not a failing. It’s a core tenet of some branches of SF, of which Trek is one.