Species 8472 "neutered"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by Ghost, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. Ghost

    Ghost Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hello all,

    Perhaps a bit of a strange title for a topic, I could also have called it "Species 8472 defanged" but I decided to go with this.
    A little earlier I was looking at a list of the best Star Trek games that have been released in the last couple of decades and one of the titles mentioned was Star Trek TNG Birth of the Federation.
    For those of you who do know know about this, it is a turn based strategy game similar to Master of Orion by the same publisher in which you have to lead one of the classic Star Trek civilizations and establish an empire, though under the Federation it would be a "Federation".
    I don't recall what the end goals were, probably diplomatic and military victories, and perhaps who has the most territory but not the rest.

    Anyway it started to make me think about ideas for a Birth of the Federation 2 type game and at some point I was thinking of "outside" threats (AI threats that show up from time to time like disasters or "monsters").
    The most obvious normal threat would be the Borg Collective but I was also thinking of a threat from really outside, like another universe which would become active once the player's civilization has grown to a certain size, and for that Species 8472 would be the ideal choice.
    Or is it really?

    Species 8472 started out as this really formidable almost incomprehensible threat in "Scorpion", and they remained relatively unknown in "Prey", but in "In the Flesh" Species 8472 were working on an infiltration project that is not that dissimilar to that of the Founders from the Dominion, and a lot of their "alien-ness" disappeared as members resembling Starfleet Academy personnel talked to Janeway and Chakotay in English.

    I think this ruined what could have been a relatively good idea that could have been used in a few more stories.
    I know Star Trek is about diplomacy and finding common ground, resolving conflicts rather than engaging them but it may be carried sometimes a little to far, trying to "humanize" almost everything alien.

    Species 8472 was an almost Lovecraftian/Cthulhu Mythos type interdimensional threat, but still something that could be engaged military wise rather than them being such a powerful alien force that their mere presence warps reality around themselves and drives people insane by merely looking at them.

    I know that leaving them as a two dimensional type villain would not make them very interesting, especially on the long run, but on the other hand Star Trek could have used another "villain" that is truly alien and can not be approached diplomatically (at least for the time being) or truly understood. The best Starfleet can do for now is keep them at bay and stop any plans Species 8472 has against our universe and everyone in it.

    Years ago in a Star Trek fan magazine I read previews or should I say "speculations" about future Voyager episodes.
    One was about Voyager's hundreth episode and the writer had mistakenly mixed "Timeless" with "In the Flesh", Species 8472 planning an attack against the Federation and somehow the Voyager crew getting into contact with Geordie LaForge and now trying to prevent this attack or warn Starfleet.

    I think that would have been better than "In the Flesh" with its plot of Species 8472 wanting to impersonate humans, Klingons and other species to infiltrate the Federation and other civilizations.
    It would have probably be a very action/special effects oriented episode with not really a lasting message but it would have allowed Species 8472 to return in any future Voyager episode, or future Star Trek series as a really alien opponent.

    Perhaps some people here liked "In the Flesh" or feel the same like me?
     
  2. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree In The Flesh was awful. They should have had to communicate with 8472 as the terrifying creatures they were, truly 'New life and new civilizations', instead of handing the viewers an empathy crutch and flaunting the writers' weird Boothby fetish.

    The human village just made no sense, why would 8472 have to do that? They know that they vastly overpower the Federation except for their biological weapon, so there's no reason they'd have to infiltrate the Federation to begin with.

    Heck, all they probably had to do to get the biological weapon was: "Hey Voyager, we have a giant beam cannon pointed at Earth. Can we have the weapon?"

    This kind of story would have made a lot more sense if they did it in TNG with Romulans.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
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  3. XCV330

    XCV330 Commodore Fleet Captain

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    Voyager overused villains and made them silly and annoying at best. It's why it's my least favorite Trek series.
     
  4. Refuge

    Refuge Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Species 8472 would be (apart from the Borg) one of the best aliens/species in all of Star Trek.

    My favourite is Species 8472.
     
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  5. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The thread is about 8472 being underused, not overused?

    There are some interesting contrast between 8472, the founders, the Borg, and humans(that I think are pretty cool).

    The founders always planned on conquering the Federation(apparently even before the wormhole was discovered), and all other civilizations, without a shred of doubt that they would succeed. They seek to bring order to the galaxy.

    Species 8472 were blissfully ignorant of the galaxy, living in their(gross!) fluidic realm. And were invaded by a race far superior to humanity. They got mad... Really mad, and when on the attack, finding the technologically superior Borg easy pickins. Then they run across an earth ship, who quickly develops a weapon against them, showing an area where the Borg are inadequate, where Starfleet excels: biological warfare.

    8472 now fears humans, and are worried about their survival. They're extremely reactionary to begin with, and know that humans possess a "weapon of mass destruction" that could destroy them.

    So they begin gathering information, and planning an invasion, but for the opposite reasons that the founders did. On the other hand, the founders also began from a place of fear, so in addition to the contrast, there's a parallel.

    As for the middle episode, "Prey," it's kinda neat to see some of the fallout from their Borg war. There's no doubt at least a few fluidic aliens floating around in the aftermath.
    The Hirogen find an alien that is able to kill a bunch of hunters, hide really well, and always get away...and they get all excited! They must be so bored with the usual species they hunt, because they also get all excited about Tuvok and Seven, and later on, when some holograms beat them, they get all excited about them, too.
     
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  6. Refuge

    Refuge Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would've loved for the 'Prey' Species 8472 to have lived and got home. Voyager owed something back to them, in my opinion. Instead it got screwed over by Seven.
     
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    It's a Trek tradition to humanize the baddies and make them sympathetic.

    8472 were just CG monsters spouting generic Naziish catchphrases through Kes until this episode.
     
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  8. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    Humanize indeed. Nothing says peace between species and universal understanding, when the persons sitting across the table look exactly like you.

    In The Flesh removed the "alien/creature" aspect from 8472 and made them literally humans.
     
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  9. cosmic mouse

    cosmic mouse Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ...by far the biggest drawback to this particular ep, but with budget constraints and 90s-era CGI costs... what're you gonna do?
     
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  10. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    Not do the episode. Idk, the Berman era crew liked the Boothby actor so much, but it was really distracting. "In The Flesh" won them nothing, and it effectively killed off any potential of using 8472 again.
     
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  11. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ray Walston was a pretty awesome actor, but I will agree VOY didn't use him effectively.
     
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  12. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Write an episode about a concept within your budget instead of ruining a concept beyond your budget.

    Voyager should have had to communicate with them as the fearsome creatures they are. That would have had such a bigger impact.
     
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  13. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Which was often good, but sometimes I don't see why we can't have aliens that are irreconcilable - like 8472.
     
  14. Ghost

    Ghost Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That is what I think Species 8472 (and the Borg Collective) should have remained, not another galactic civilization or empire like the Klingons, Romulans, or Cardassians, with which the Federation can make treaties with or have diplomatic relations with because at least all of these species have some common grounds on which a basis of communication can be established.

    As I mentioned before, I know Species 8472 were very two-dimensional from the start, basically "space nazis" (but less fascism and more "exterminate everything lesser than us that we see as a cancer or a blight") that outside their initial "shock" or "wow" factor (they can beat the Borg!) are probably not as interesting to write stories with other than action/conflict ones. But in any further development of them they should have stayed as scary other dimensional creatures which mindset in general is incomprehensible but the Voyager crew learning enough about them to keep them at bay without necessitating another conflict with them.

    Dumb comparison perhaps but it is like taming the xenomorph from the Alien franchise.
    When I read an old Dark Horse comic in which a corporation security team was using a xenomorph as a search dog to search for a stolen xenomorph egg that pretty much eliminated any mystery and alienness of the creature.
     
  15. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If the Borg remained what they were in Q Who, they wouldn't be able to keep using them, and wouldn't want to. If they used them anyway, the Enterprise would still manage to escape, trick them, beat them, etc.
    Oh, and the one constant in the universe would still exist: People would still complain.

    Species 8472 would pose a similar constraint. You can see how the writers were looking for new ways(because that's what creative people do) to utilize them in "Prey" and "In the Flesh," especially if you look at the BTS development for these episodes. There were all sorts of different ideas going around, that were tried, didn't work, and rewritten. As it is, "In the Flesh" appears to be a somewhat popular episode. I've personally seen a lot positive comments about it, and it has a 7.9 rating on IMDB. That's a 4/5 stars. There are also 4 critic reviews(on IMDB) on this episode, 3 of which are quite positive. And of course there's Jammer, who can be quite the stickler(particularly on Voyager), and he gives it 3/4 stars.

    It was written by Nick Sagan(yes, son of Carl)

    Personally, I think the more interesting aspect of 8472 is the story in Hope & Fear, where it seems "Species 116," a race much more advanced than humanity, appears to have baited the Borg into invading fluidic space, and was manipulating the outcome. I wonder what their plan was to "contain" the fluidic aliens once the Borg were gone.
     
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  16. Refuge

    Refuge Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's weird but for me I sympathise with non-humanoid appearance IF they seem picked on. In Scorpion I enjoyed the Borg biting off more than they could chew. It was a cool moment seeing the eye of Species 8472 and knowing they were owning the Borg.
     
  17. Voth commando1

    Voth commando1 Commodore Commodore

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    While it's arguable Species 8472 was made weaker or softer in "In the Flesh" there are good IU arguments to defend it and OU it did rap up that plot thread.

    IU-their whole "the weak shall perish" could easily have been a battle cry or something to that effect also Boothby Species 8472 makes it clear his own superiors might not necessarily agree to the truce(thus leaving conflict as a lingering possibility in the future), given the damage Voyager did with just one bioweapon it makes sense Species 8472 would seek to gather intelligence. As they didn't know Voyager was one lone ship half a galaxy away from its own home and state.

    I think it's also fair to say Species 8472 remained highly dangerous their capable of imitating Starfleet HQ down pretty close to an exact replica, still very imposing physically, and capable of blowing up planets. If I were a Starfleet Admiral I certainly wouldn't want to be facing a full Species 8472 even with Voyager's bioweapon.
     
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  18. Refuge

    Refuge Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    IF Star Trek had found its new franchise in the future rather than regressing in the 'past' like they did with Discovery (:() developing a story with Species 8472 could have been a real possibility.
     
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  19. Ghost

    Ghost Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't know, I think Species 8472 has lost what made them an interesting adversary just like the Borg Collective (and this comes from a Borg fan).
    Badly used, weakened to much, never having entered greater fandom awareness, pick your choice.

    Ideas for a new series are probably better reserved for the Future Star Trek sub forum or the fan fiction sub forum, but if I were allowed to produce a new series I would probably go with complete new adversaries, how much I would like to see the Borg, Species 8472, and the Hirogen (another favorite of mine) return.

    Voyager introduced a couple of very fun new adversaries during its run but either did not use them well or rather quickly dismantled them.
     
  20. Refuge

    Refuge Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I suspect the premise of the Starship Voyager moving on and aiming to leave behind the Delta Quadrant (and its inhabitants) did rather mean most of the aliens they encountered became 'regional'. The Borg being like an invasive cancer spread throughout the region and beyond the most, so did have more airtime.

    Thing with Species 8472 is that they too had the capabilities to 'reform' and we were led to believe they could make it to the Alpha Quadrant. I could see them used again and would have no issue with their form being unknown. That in a humanoid environment is that really another human in front of you or an 8472? That at the end of the day they let their hair down (or shed) and morph into their alien selves.
     
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