Spoilers Section 31: Control by David Mack Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Mar 17, 2017.

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Rate Section 31: Control

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  1. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    For some context, "Control" was also the code-name for the person appointed as head of "the Circus," the fictionalized version of the Secret Intelligence Service (aka, MI-6) in John le Carré's novels, most famously The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. I would not be surprised if both David Mack and the DIS writing team independently chose to name the head of their respective versions of Section 31 after the le Carré character (though I don't know for certain if that is the case).

    On the other hand, CONTROL is also the name of the United States espionage agency Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 work for in the sitcom Get Smart, sooo.... :D
     
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  2. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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  3. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    I am almost certain that any similarities that might exist between what I penned in my novel and what the writing team at DSC has cooked up for season two can be explained as a case of parallel development, both of us having started from the same pool of shared narrative assumptions and backstory, and from there having derived similar conclusions.
     
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  4. Galaxy

    Galaxy Commander Red Shirt

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    Kirsten Beyer is still a Discovery writer is she not? I would assume that she would have some knowledge of your novel.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Just being on the team doesn't mean she's the sole decision-maker. And the writing staff is under no obligation to follow the novels just because they're aware of them. After all, the novels are just one of several mutually incompatible Trek tie-in continuities running at the moment, alongside the IDW comics and the Star Trek Online and Star Trek Adventures games.
     
  6. Unimatrix Q

    Unimatrix Q Captain Captain

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    I wouldn't be surprised if the concept of Control being an AI, arising from Uraei would be canonized.

    Wouldn't be the first time that things from the novels became canon...
     
  7. Galaxy

    Galaxy Commander Red Shirt

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    I was referring to the "...can be explained as a case of parallel development, both of us having started from the same pool of shared narrative assumptions and backstory, and from there having derived similar conclusions."

    That would not really be the case of one of the people involved had knowledge of the work, especially since David Macks's book came out 1 year before they would have wrote the episode.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Again: Just because they've heard of it doesn't mean that's why they did something similar. You can be aware of another creator's version of a thing and choose to do something different anyway. So if they chose to do something similar, they had their own reasons for making that choice; it wasn't just blind copying.
     
  9. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I would say if David Mack is saying any similarity is likely based on a parallel development, working from the same foundations in canon, I'd think that'd be pretty reliable. He did say he's pretty certain so I'm inclined to go with that. I'm a huge Trek-lit fan and would love it if they were inspired to incorporate the Section 31 storyline that was further developed in the novels. But like the litverse in the remainder of the relaunches when the nu-TNG show comes out, I don't have any real expectation of that occurring.

    And the name "Control" as used in the novel is not all that uncommon. I was a huge fan of the show "Person of Interest" and they had a character called 'Control'. I even noticed some similarities between the AI in Section 31 and Samaritan in "Person of Interest". It made me wonder if David Mack was at all inspired by that series (assuming he watched it of course).
     
  10. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    I was a huge fan of Person of Interest, and I have said before (perhaps in other forums) that it served as part of the inspiration for Section 31: Control. Likewise, I drew inspiration from classic spy-thrillers, including the work of John Le Carre, whose novels established the idea of calling the person with operational command of an intelligence service "Control." (Which is, incidentally, from whence it was derived for use by Get Smart.) It's all part of a continuum of espionage thriller literature and film.
     
  11. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commander Red Shirt

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    Cool, that particular "shout out" sent up a red flair when I heard it.. Was like.. "huh?" Had to think, was that ever mintioned in Ds9.. didn't think so. Anyways, probably nothing, or maybe something, we'll see :)
     
  12. marlboro

    marlboro Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Useless trivia from the Wikipedia article on John le Carré's character Control:


    The real chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (the equivalent of Le Carre's Circus) is known by a similar name: "C". This originates from the initial used by Captain Sir Mansfield Smith-Cumming, RN, an early chief of the service, who signed his letters "C" in green ink. This custom has been upheld throughout the history of the service.


    Not so useless trivia: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is both an excellent book and a very good movie.
     
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  13. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    It is also my understanding that the example of Captain Sir Smith-Cumming signing documents as "C" inspired the moniker of the character M in the James Bond series. So two wildly divergent variations of the espionage genre -- the dark and thoughtful melancholy of le Carré and the extravagant wish fulfillment of James Bond -- were both inspired by the same guy.

    Definitely. So is Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and the 2011 film adaptation. (Incidentally, to bring this full circle, the late Sir John Hurt is magnificent as the bitter and heartbroken Control.)
     
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  14. MadeIndescribable

    MadeIndescribable Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sir John Hurt is magnificent full stop.
     
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  15. Unimatrix Q

    Unimatrix Q Captain Captain

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    Think with all that is happening right now in Discovery, it's time to revive this thread.

    It really seems like that Discovery's Control is based on this novel.

    @David Mack: Do you like what the Discovery producers did with Control and Section 31 so far? What would you have done differently?
     
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  16. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commander Red Shirt

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    When they said it was an AI.. was like.. Oh oh oh! he he..
     
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  17. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah I had that inkling of Control being behind it all before yesterday's episode, but honestly I expected they might take it in some other direction and not follow or borrow from the Lit interpretation. There's also a parallel with Identity from The Orville, with sentient AI being the bad guy.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I haven't seen the episode, but judging from the reviews/summaries I've read, that's basically what they did --
    the show's Control is a non-sentient AI trying to achieve sentience and openly conquer organic life, while the books' is already sentient and trying to remain hidden.
     
  19. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    I was expecting...
    Control is a human being and there's no advanced A.I being used by Section 31. But yes, they haven't exactly followed the Lit version.
     
  20. Unimatrix Q

    Unimatrix Q Captain Captain

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    From the fact that it has already killed some admirals, had taken posession of Ariam and the way it acts in "Project Daedalus", i would assume that it is already sentient for some time...