Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by David.Blue, Oct 6, 2013.
Any new series will likely be set on an Enterprise.
Because we did lose them. They weren't the crew featured in TNG, nor was the show in the same era. But having a ship named Enterprise was a way of continuing things forward a century, yet still maintaining an immediate and easily accessible link to TOS.
I'd bet money on it. I think the only way it wouldn't is if the new series was intended to be a same-era spinoff of the current movies already featuring the Enterprise.
I missed this earlier, but this is an excellent way of putting the point and I completely agree.
Okay. So coming back more directly to the subject: a couple of thoughts.
1. On the "League" concept: investigating and discovering the "truth" about the League and its Patrons could, it occurs to me, function well as an overall meta-narrative / story-arc for such a series (the crew's "golden fleece" as it were -- I think possibly you already have something like this in mind). That way it could build steadily through a series of reveals and twists and turns about what this entity really is and whether it's a Dominion-style threat or not.
2. One potential problem occurs to me about the "lower decks" concept. Senior officers are a handy vantage point on the events of a series because they believably have a hand in most of what the good ship Franchise is doing. It would be harder to have a group of grunts who could offer that same perspective. That does open up storytelling possibilities too, but it might frustrate people to only ever see their small slice of the bigger picture and the temptation to have them employed in an improbable number of roles would be strong (Space: Above and Beyond syndrome).
A valid point, and I have an answer to it!
First, these junior officers are "on the line" as it were, getting briefed about events as they face new situations and of course sharing their own speculations among themselves.
Second, they would interact with more senior officers. For example, somebody might form a mentor/protogee relationship a la Sisko and Dax, Kirk and Garrovick, Chekhov and Kirk, Picard and Ro, etc. Others could have a more adversarial setup, rather like that between Snape and Harry Potter.
Third, they won't stay at the bottom forever. These are very talented, able young people chosen for this assignment because of that. Over a few seasons, they'll be promoted and advanced to increasingly responsible positions.
There's a difference, however, between creating something new and something meant to be a continuation or sequel to something earlier, especially if it had some well-known elements.
One might surmise: only if you lack creative confidence in the conception of your continuation or sequel. [EDIT: And as a corollary: if you do lack that confidence, maybe the best option is the proverbial drawing-board instead of leaning on the continuity crutch. But I don't think that's necessary for David's idea.]
Basically, I think the contention that general audiences would care in any way about ties to the old continuity is something that would heavily [need citation] that we don't have. I still don't see why it isn't likely a manifestation of fan nostalgia rather than actual "general public" necessity, and while I don't think it's possible to decisively prove that what you're saying is wrong, OTOH I don't see very strong arguments in favor of its being right that don't arguably amount to question-begging. Outside the fandom, any contention in favour of the "general public needs such-and-such to care" proposition for Trek sports pretty much as many counter-examples as confirming cases, AFAICT.
So, the audience gains understanding as the characters do. Hmmm, interesting. With tight, strongly-executed story arcs, that could have some real legs.
And some good character-development potential, too. C.f. the junior officer who starts out thinking the upper decks are completely nuts, and subsequently starts to gain an appreciation of why they made the decisions they did.
What difference would that be? For the uninitiated, both are new. Just because something is "well known" by the fanbase does not mean that a reference to it is irritating or confusing.
I don't get why people are so insecure about that.
Let's take Avatar again. You can hide a whole TV show in the references they make to the past. The previous attempts to communicate with the Na'vi, Sigourney Weavers work on the planet, the bad guy Colonel's previous adventures (where did he get that scar from?), Sam Worthington's adventures before he got paralyzed, his relationship to his brother, etc... All these are references. The only difference is that these references lead to pure imagination, not a realized TV show.
But IF there was a TV show, you would find a lot people who would suddenly say how people are confused by all these references.
They are not, people have imagination that can fill in the blanks because everything is put into context anyways during the story of the film.
When someone references the Khitomer Accords in the context of Federation-Klingon peace/war, everyone gets it. Nobody needs to know The Undiscovered Country to understand that.
When someone mentions that Picard is pissed because he has been assimilated by the Borg, nobody needs to have seen Best of Both Worlds to understand.
When someone references Admiral Archers prized beagle, nobody needs to have seen Enterprise to understand. It's just an Admiral's dog. And we assume that Admiral is well known, because Kirk knows him as well.
When Spock talks about the transwarp formula Scotty invented, nobody needs to know the episode where he did. Oh, there isn't even an episode about that!
When Kirk dies behind a glass wall, you do not need to know that there has been a previous film where Spock died behind a glass wall. It's probably better that you don't, because otherwise you'd realize how lame that kind of rip off was.
And as said somewhere before, even when you reference real life events you also run into the risk that some may not get it. Lincoln assassination? Who the hell is Lincoln? But the context makes it clear again (let's say in a film about someone trying to assassinate the American President), that it is a reference to the assassination of a President, and you do not have to know anything about who the hell Lincoln was, or what he did, or why he was assassinated.
Of course you run into a problem when the folks don't know what an assassination is.
The more I think about it, the more I get the impression that Trek fans are a hindrance in themselves. They think other people would not understand something, even though that is complete bull.
Nice! Hadn't thought of that!
Exercising my brain a bit more, another aspect of the League might be a genuine "Hive" mind, especially if they encounter another race first that badmouths them/it. Let us say the Hive methodically exploits each system it inhabits, terraforming and settling such systems until they are industrialized in the extreme. Thousands of space stations, gigantic cities, habitats coating over barren planets and moons. The Hive's ships travel around looking to see what is out there. Enterprise encounters a people who still tell tales of when the Hive started to set up on a barren moon in their system, and the natives defended themselves from this invasion with atomic weapons (that moon is still radioactive).
When Enterprise encounters the Hive, one of the latter's ships has been observing them discretely at a distance. As the two ships get closer, telepaths aboard Enterprise "feel" the Hive's collective thoughts, an overwhelming experience until they get used to it. Until then, the telepaths are each incapacitated. Not surprisingly, Starfleet officers might see this as an attack. If the Hive attempts to withdraw, and succeed, it will look as if the Hive did a probing attack that didn't succeed.
And when another member of the League approaches Enterprise with the Hive's apologies, will they be believed?
In this scenario, one of the junior officers would likely be a Vulcan, to be impacted by the proximity of the Hive ship.
It is rather ironic that some of the arguments for "needing" ties to the old continuity are similar to old arguments that were once used to kibosh the exercise of filming sci-fi at all. Better to give the viewers something "familiar" like a WWII or Western setting or a good solid cop or detective show, otherwise they might get confused and wander off.
I'm leaning further toward the theory that this is people unconsciously using the apocryphal "general audience" as a stand-in for preferences of theirs that they assume to be general.
It would be refreshing to see a Hive-mind/collective-mind concept that is non-evil as part of the League. Challenging to find a really fresh way to do it after the Borg, but not necessarily impossible.
Hm. Maybe a bit too close to Borg "assimilation"?
Another thing that might motivate fear on the part of encountering peoples is if the Hive's lifestyle is a genuinely materially attractive one, it's possible to join the "Hive" voluntarily... and the "Hive" makes that offer freely to one and all. Thus presenting the unwitting appearance of "seducing" people into its fold and "enslaving" them.
On this interpretation the Hive would not really be a species but a paradigm. Perhaps even a collectively-sentient ecosystem whose tech is organically based, whose plant-life is just as much a part of decision-making as its humanoids, and which converts worlds into verdant paradises instead of industrial parks.
I think there are other telepathic races one could use. OTOH it might be fun to see a Vulcan character who for once is not a scientific uber-genius -- though surely knowing it is stereotypically expected of them by everyone, including other Vulcans -- but is a gifted and intuitive telepath, who cannot fully develop her gifts because they are rooted in emotion. Some genuine conflict with the Surakian standard in which the argument isn't rigged in favour of Surakian... ism.
That might be the truth.
I tend to use "general audience" to be people who wouldn't know the Enterprise from the Excelsior. The prime universe vs alternate universe means nothing to them, and would not know the difference unless it was pointed out to them.
Star Trek is just a sci-fi show/movie with spaceships, explosions, laser beams, and occasional girls in their underwear.
Nope. "General audience" just means the general public.
The difference between creating a sequel/continuation of something already established and creating the first installment of something that's not, of course. In the latter, there's nothing to continue from a previous installment. When doing the former, selected elements from an earlier installment are carried over into the sequel to continue things forward. It's the reason why sequels/follow-ups are done, to continue something, be it characters, a storyline, a setting, or even an entire fictional universe.
TNG was conceived as a continuation of Star Trek, so they correctly brought over a number of elements from TOS and took them forward a century.
And for none of these elements you had to have seen TOS to understand them.
But they were there for fans of TOS and Star Trek in general. It wasn't a case of just catering to people who had never seen Star Trek before.
Maybe we're talking about different things.
My point is that "Don't make references! The general audience will be confused." is bull and that you can make a lot of references, because - for someone who doesn't know the previous stuff - there is no difference between new and old. Everything is new to him.
Thus a reference to that "blonde lab technician" Kirk used to date (which was never shown) is just as confusing as a reference to his son that got killed (which was shown): it's not confusing at all.
Yeah, that's not what I'm talking about at all.
I'm actually talking about continuing some popular or well-known elements in an equally popular or well-known ongoing franchise. It's done because of the public's familiarity with them or for fans of the original/earlier installment (ultimately a basis for doing a sequel or spinoff of something).
I know you think that's who you're speaking for. I just don't know that you're actually correct. What you're saying just doesn't line up with what I know of the "general public."
(The discussion with Jarrod seems to have gotten a bit confused, but basically whether the point is whether audiences will be confused either with references or without them, I still agree with the point -- as correctly made with Avatar -- that audiences for modern SF have a proven capability to embrace new work without hand-holding. This flies in the face of the assertion that the "general public" need some "familiar" name to anchor them in the setting.)
The general public are a mix of different people with different backgrounds, who tend to watch various movies and TV shows. Their familiarity with Star Trek varies from high to low, with some only hearing about Trek as pop culture references.
You've got a different definition of the general public?
And yet they're going to make an Avatar 2 and Avatar 3. Do you really think they're going to jettison everything from the original movie or do you think a few familiar elements from the first one will continue in the sequels?
Yes, they do need to continue some aspects from an earlier installment into a sequel. It's the whole basis of doing them, to continue them.
Separate names with a comma.