Spoilers Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - Pike series and novel continuity

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Enterprise1701, Feb 5, 2022.

  1. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I do like how "Those Old Scientists" established that Pike had a troubled relationship with his father, as that jibes with both the Marvel Star Trek: Early Voyages comic and Margaret Wander Bonanno's novel Burning Dreams.
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I THOUGHT that sounded familiar!
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    One, they've already name-dropped Roger Korby, so I'm guessing Chapel will leave for a while and hook up with Korby on the rebound.

    Two, I think TOS's portrayal of Chapel works better if her feelings for Spock are based on a real romantic history that Spock is trying to put behind him, rather than just being a pathetic unrequited crush. Although it doesn't make "Mudd's Passion" any better, unfortunately.
     
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  4. Damian

    Damian Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, I tend to agree. Certainly the production design doesn't match up. But for arguments sake I'll set that aside.

    The storyline continuity in SNW is getting harder and harder for me to line up with the original series. I already noted it bothers me how many original series characters are showing up on the Enterprise. And I have to admit I'm a bit bothered that there are no characters that I see from "The Cage" other than Pike, Spock and Number 1. Granted a few may have left/retired/moved on. That's fine. But I don't recall them ever mentioning Dr. Boyce at all for instance. And how does Dr. M'Benga go from CMO on the flagship to an on again/off again assistant to Dr. McCoy? That sounds like a demotion to me.

    It's still the best of the modern shows IMO. But it seems more to me like a reboot, or an alternate universe to the original.

    One thing I really do like, and I'm glad about, is that they have maintained the episodic format. I'm fine with some continuing storylines that carry over. But it's nice to have a Star Trek show where the episodes have a major plot that starts and ends in the same episode. So many shows are serialized, and that can be good too. But I love variety and it's nice to have one show that starts and ends in the same episode.
     
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  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The production design in two different presentations of Hamlet or Our Town won't agree. This is theater. Continuity is a function of story and character, not set or costume design.

    I mean, heck, "Those Old Scientists" didn't bother to explain why Boimler is so much taller in live action, or why the Cerritos uniforms are so much darker red in live action. It's all just artistic interpretations.


    That doesn't bother me. For one thing, it's more realistic for officers to rotate between posts than for the same people to stay on the same ship for 15 or 20 years and create a roadblock for junior officers seeking to advance. This is 4-5 years after "The Cage," and there's been a major war in the interim. Sure, the Enterprise missed seeing direct combat since it was out on the frontier, but a lot of the experienced crew of the E were probably reassigned elsewhere to fill gaps left by all the casualties.

    For another thing, part of the reason NBC rejected "The Cage" was that the characters weren't all that interesting. Does anyone really miss CPO Garison, or the generic blond helmsman who was only named as Tyler in the end credits of "The Menagerie"? And heck, Boyce and Colt were just McCoy and Rand with different names, so it would've been redundant to use them.


    Given what we learned about him in today's episode, I can see why he might have a career setback, or choose to step back from the responsibilities of a CMO.


    People said the same about TMP & TWOK at the time, and about TNG. Every new version of a universe from new creators is going to be a different take on the premise, with a different feel. But over time, we get used to the differences and learn to reconcile them. Every single time a new Trek series has come along, people have initially said they couldn't see how it could fit with the previous canon; but then a decade or two later when the next new thing comes along, they say they don't see how that could fit together with everything before it, which they now perceive as a uniform whole. We always need time to get used to things and reconcile them in our heads, so the older stuff always feels more consistent to us than the newer stuff. But when the older stuff was new, it felt just as incongruous.

    To me, for the most part, I think that for a show made more than half a century later and necessarily updated in its storytelling and style, SNW does a remarkable job of feeling consistent with TOS. Just this morning, watching one of Ethan Peck's scenes as Spock, the way he stood with his hands folded behind him, I was struck by how much he looked like Nimoy's Spock, and how hard it was for me to see the difference between them. They're blending together in my mind into a single Spock.
     
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  6. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    That feels like a career-ender to me. I know everything they've said behind the scenes is that he's the same guy, and people expect his lackadaisical approach to rules is setting him up getting busted down in position and rank but, to me, they're going way, way past anything that makes sense, and they really should just suggest the character from TOS is his son, nephew, or an unrelated person who coincidentally has the same last name.
     
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  7. Damian

    Damian Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I miss debating with you, LOL :lol:. I haven't been on TrekBBS much in the last year for various reasons. But you always bring up good points and force people to think about their comments, even if they disagree.

    I grant some of this is just preferences. I like a stronger continuity storywise and yes, in production design. Some people are even more rigid than me, then there are those that wouldn't care if they made Klingons look like blue blob people and turned the Enterprise into a cylinder. And everything in between those extremes. In TMP they did throw in the 'redesign' of the ship and the passage of some time to explain, in universe, the changes. We can certainly argue how they completely redesigned the ship in so short a period, but the fact remains they did provide an explanation.

    TNG is far easier since it's 78 years after TVH. You can say a lot changed in 78 years, and that seems entirely plausible to me.

    And I guess I got spoiled by Berman era Trek. For better or worse, there was an attempt to keep things consistent, at least on a macro level (yes, there were some things that weren't, but I'm not totally inflexible, I'm not going to nitpick every little thing). One thing current Trek shows have done is given me a stronger appreciation for Enterprise. What I mean is how hard they all worked to try to keep it consistent in universe considering it was over a century prior to the original series, while at the same time trying to balance that with the fact it's still supposed to be in the future. I give them credit for coming up with what I thought was a pretty good balance.

    Still, I do enjoy SNW for the most part. Yes, there are things that bother me, but so far it's entertaining and as I noted I'm glad they have at least one episodic live action Star Trek show. And they picked the perfect show for that format IMO. It's a nice change of pace. It's nice to know whatever story your watching will be concluded at the end of the hour. And not weeks later for at least one show.
     
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  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, they gave lip service to an "explanation" that doesn't hold up to a second's thought. There's no way every single thing in the whole of Starfleet would have been redesigned simultaneously; nothing works like that. Three years is way too short a time for such wholesale change to be remotely credible. Not to mention, why would the Klingons upgrade their ships, uniforms, and weapons simultaneously with Starfleet? And why would a monitor station like Epsilon 9, which presumably has been watching the Klingon border for many years, have all the brand-new uniforms and tech? Surely a remote outpost like that would be among the last places to get upgraded.

    The real explanation is that they did the thing that they would naturally do when given a much bigger budget and a decade more technological advancement, and reinvent the totally imaginary thing to look better, because imaginary things can always be reimagined. The in-story excuse is just a token handwave for it, a weak sop to our suspension of disbelief. You're not supposed to take it literally, any more than when a magician says "nothing up my sleeve."


    Of course -- but at the same time you had the exact same corridors as the TOS movies set 78 years earlier, and Starfleet consisted mostly of Excelsior and Oberth and Miranda-class ships that were unchanged after eight decades, because the show needed to save money by reusing sets and models. Not to mention the starbase in an alien system that was represented by stock footage of Earth Spacedock from ST III right down to Earth and the Moon in the background, and with the identical starbase having to be much bigger in order to fit the larger Enterprise-D through its doors. In the case of TNG, it's the stuff that isn't changed that's implausible and requires suspension of disbelief. Especially in retrospect when you consider all the new ship designs, uniform changes, etc. that came along in the subsequent 15 years.
     
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  9. TheAlmanac

    TheAlmanac Writer Captain

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    That's what Smallville ultimately did, establishing that the "Jimmy Olsen" we'd watched for several seasons who was a photographer at The Daily Planet was not in fact the Jimmy Olsen destined to have the same job and become Superman's pal.
     
  10. mastadge

    mastadge Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    One of the things I like about not having a visual imagination is that I rarely notice things like identical corridors. I occasionally notice reused stuff -- like the re-used shot in Generations, or the repeated Cardassia exteriors in DS9 -- but for the most part this kind of thing isn't even on my radar.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, when my wi-fi was out last week, I passed some of the time by reviewing a few of my Trek novels and checking how much of them was still reconcilable with canon in light of SNW.

    A fair amount of The Captain's Oath has been contradicted already. I established that Kirk didn't meet Pike, Spock, or Uhura before taking command of the Enterprise. I clearly referred to the Farragut as a Constitution-class ship and said that most of Kirk's formative years in Starfleet had been in service aboard ships of that class. I implied that Dr. Boyce had retired not long before Pike turned over command to Kirk. Maybe one or two other details. Maybe you could gloss over those bits and assume the rest still works, although SNW's time frame is only a couple of years shy of overlapping with the book, so I expect more contradictions to accumulate.

    I am, however, pleasantly surprised by how compatible my version of Christopher Pike is with Anson Mount's version, even though I wrote it before he debuted on Discovery.

    As for the Rise of the Federation series, it's still pretty much un-contradicted, except for the brief portions in Tower of Babel about Rigel VII, which conflict with "Among the Lotus Eaters." But then, it's always been difficult to reconcile "The Cage"'s Rigel VII with all the later references to other populated planets around Rigel (like, if those civilized planets were right there in the system, why did the E need to go all the way to Vega Colony to treat the crew's injuries?). I suppose you could assume that the memory-wiping asteroid only hit the planet after the events of ToB, but then, why didn't the Federation already know about it? (Unless it wiped everyone's memories in a very selective way...)
     
  12. Sci

    Sci Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    My inclination is to rationalize the apparent contradiction by assuming that the Rigel VII of "The Cage" and "Among the Lotus Eaters" is from a different system than the United Rigel Worlds and Colonies; I conjecture that its name is an anglicization of a name that happens to be similar to that of the Rigel system.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Although I made it clear in Tower of Babel that Rigel VII was the home of the Kalar (drawing of the version of them depicted in the Early Voyages comic). I considered making it a different Rigel, but I decided I wanted to incorporate and reconcile every "Rigel" reference that I could. The only one I left out was Rigel XII from "Mudd's Women," but I made an oblique reference to planets beyond Rigel X that might be mined in the future.

    Also, in the book, it's the United Rigel Worlds whose name is an Anglicization of Raij'hl, because the "Rigel" established in ENT is far too close to be Beta Orionis (and is called "Beta Rigel" in Star Charts and the novelverse).
     
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  14. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not sure this is necessarily on topic for this thread, but I'll mention it here anyway. Having recently read the Pike era TOS novel Vulcan's Glory by DC Fontana, I was surprised with how well it fits with SNW. I mean, okay, there are some obvious contradictions with canon, the novel basically tells the story of Spock's arrival on the Enterprise which of course does not fit with the Q&A Short Trek. We also have details about his relationship with T'Pring and details about her family which are not compatible with SNW at all. And Scotty has also started serving on the Enterprise as well, though his rank is the same as it is in SNW.

    What I mean when I say the novel fits with SNW is how the characters are written. Pike, Number One and Spock are written in characterizations which are more or less similar to how they are depicted in SNW. With Pike, I could easily imagine Anson Mount there instead of Jeffrey Hunter, though it did mean ignoring the occasional reference to Pike's "dark hair."

    And in one instance of the show adhering to something the novels established, Number One (she isn't called Una in this novel) is actually established in this novel to be an Illyrian. Though, in the novel Illyrians are actually Federation members who are open about their genetic modifications, which SNW has deviated from.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Vulcan's Glory was always hard to reconcile with Trek as we knew it, despite being from Fontana. It was weird that it established such a large Vulcan contingent in the Enterprise crew, given that TOS always gave the impression that a Vulcan serving in a human crew was rare if not unprecedented. And I found Fontana's Vulcans to be surprisingly emotional.


    Well, technically the novel establishes her as an Ilyrian, one L, which is probably a reference on Fontana's part to Ilyria VI from "Mudd's Passion." SNW chose to conflate it with the two-L Illyrians from Enterprise, even though their name was only given in the script.
     
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  16. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Never forget Awful Dye Job Pike from those early Disco-S2 episodes.
     
  17. Disposable_Ensign

    Disposable_Ensign Commander Red Shirt

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    Despite some inconsistencies, it's my favorite TOS novel. RIP D.C. Fontana.
     
  18. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Moderator

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    DC Fontana actually used material brainstormed by Majel Barrett in 1964, as she prepared to play "Number One" in 1964. Actors often imagine a past for their character, especially when the information is not in any scripts or writers' guides. Whoopi Goldberg also did this for preparing to play Guinan, saying (in interviews during TNG) that only she knew the real story of how Guinan and Picard first met. And she would never tell.
     
  19. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    I will be sad when a probable future canonical story explicitly grafts the ENT makeup together with the TOS and DS9 mentions of Vulcanoid physiology as one singular Rigelian Federation species. I loved how Tower of Babel justified Phlox's reference to five sexes with the never-illustrated silver-skinned Rigelians from the Stargazer novels and the often-forgotten turtle humanoids from TMP.
     
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  20. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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