Spoilers The return of the "reset button"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by eschaton, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    Location:
    New England
    I think people are saying different things here. I think continuity and consequences might be similar but different in this case.

    But I agree, VOY failed because it's premise, by very definition, demanded an ongoing arc of some sort. TNG and TOS did not, and were never intended to. So VOY is going to get ripped for it harder than those other two shows because of the expectations it set. The VOY effect that I've seen argued endlessly (and agree with btw) is when everyone and everything is back to normal the following week, despite the ship getting pummeled the prior week (for example).

    Hell, even TOS changed the shuttlecraft to "Galileo II" later in its run.

    Also, (and this is where the comparison to TOS TNG isn't holding) when I think of "reset button," I'm talking about the contained episodes (or two-partners) that within their own 45-min run time have no consequence or purpose. These are the episodes where by the ending credits, none of the events of the episode mattered or were even "real" as far as the characters are concerned. They are nothing more than elaborate what-ifs. VOY had a lot more of those pound-for-pound than the other series. It's one thing to have a purposeful episodic format (TNG, TOS) where major events don't carry week to week. It's another thing to have a ton of episodes in your portfolio where, even in their contained storyline, mean nothing / "never really happened" by the end.

    Again, VOY was weak because it didn't have the guts to live up to its own premise, and any risk taking was always erased by the end of an episode anyway. Unfortunately it deserves every arrow it gets in that area.

    Now DSC on the other hand is an entirely different animal. DSC didn't fail to live up to its premise. DSC may be dreadfully guilty of ABANDONING its premise (time will tell)...but it sure as hell isnt guilty of not living up to it.

    DSC has its own unique issues, but being tepid and watered-down Safe Trek (VOY) ain't one of them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  2. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Covington, Ky. USA
    Definitely came across as uninspired.
     
  3. Starflight

    Starflight Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2017
    I don't really disagree, but it seems like the same criticism ought to be applied to TOS and TNG albeit to a smaller degree. We're on a 5/7 year mission to fly far into deep space to explore the unknown, but the ships display no signs of wear and are instantly repaired to pristine condition after receiving ship-crippling damage from battles or negative space wedgies. We can also, despite being in deep space, head back to Starbase 11 at a moment's notice for a court martial, or to pick up Worf's parents from Earth and taxi them around, or to patrol the Neutral Zone within Federation space. I should mention again that none of this really bothers me because the stories are all worth it.

    Down to taste I suppose, but some of them are my favourites. Living Witness has already been mentioned as a great example - you never even see the main cast for real in that episode as far as I remember, but it's a fantastic exploration of a great topic (historical revisionism). Additionally, I'd argue that it does use the premise of the show, as the story works much better in the Delta Quadrant - future Alpha Quadrant historians somehow forgetting about the entire Federation would be bizarre. Other such self-contained/"never really happened" episodes like Course Oblivion, Year of Hell and Non-Sequitur more or less require the Delta Quadrant setting to work.
     
    Amasov likes this.
  4. KennyB

    KennyB Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2001
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany USAG
    Nothing between the lines. “But I guess it’s only par for the course that writers who don‘t seem to be able to craft a coherent arc even for a single season, won‘t be able to maintain any kind of arc for the series as a whole.”

    That seems pretty strong. Are you a professional writer or journalist? As I said before seemed pretty coherent to me. I know you can’t be mistaken so it must be us simple folk who enjoy it.
     
    ozzfloyd and Alan Roi like this.
  5. Michael

    Michael In alignment with canon Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Aloha Quadrant
    Why the hell would I have to be a professional writer or journalist to give my opinion about the coherence of the show‘s writing? I just have to watch it.

    I honestly have no idea why you would think me stating my opinion about the show‘s writing is somehow meant to be infallible or anything more than just that, my opinion.

    I‘m at a loss here, do we need to start writing ”... in my opinion“ at the end of each of our posts? This is a discussion board, right? People are supposed to state their opinions about the show.

    :confused:
     
    Longinus and BillJ like this.
  6. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Covington, Ky. USA
    End of each sentence is safer. That way no one gets their feelings bruised.
     
    ITDUDE and Michael like this.
  7. Amasov

    Amasov Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2001
    I think we got a good glimpse at what Voyager could have been in the Enterprise episode E2. We see that Enterprise has become a generational ship and has had all sorts of alien technology fused within it to the point where its appearance was significantly altered. That’s exactly what Voyager should’ve done as the seasons progressed. The show had placed a fairly big emphasis on the limited resources the ship had in the first half dozen episodes or so; this was eventually thrown out the window. Glaring examples of this were Voyager’s compliment of photon torpedoes (“...and no way to replace them after they’re gone!”) and the seemingly endless amount of shuttles they had.

    If Discovery is going to move toward a similar premise as Voyager’s, in that sense, that is something I would like to see happen.

    Regardless of what I think of the season’s frenzied conclusion, where it’s heading for it’s third season is something that the other shows would never have even considered doing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
    MakeshiftPython likes this.
  8. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Location:
    California
    That's what really gets me, though, and something I've been having trouble trying to articulate specifically. I can think of several shows that do reinvent themselves, over and over, including The Expanse. Babylon 5, Agents of SHIELD, Defiance (especially Defiance!) all radically changed their premise and characters over the course of their runs, several times, and it was fine, great even, but the way Discovery has done it feels flailing and sloppy, every time.

    Wait, I take that back. The transition from the Klingon War to the Mirror Universe felt natural. But the return to the Klingon War in the last two episodes of the first season, then the Enterprise showing up out of the blue with the promise of... something?..., the shift from being sent on missions of mercy by the red bursts to time-travel cyber-war around episode six of season two, and now the jump into the future and Armin-Tamzarian-ing the ship and crew in the present all felt like someone new was commandeering the storyline and trying to steer out of a skid (you know, the thing that just makes it worse).

    The best I can think of is that for all those shows, they were typically shaking things up, realigning already-existing elements into a new paradigm that was still made of the same parts, while Discovery just swaps out stuff when they get bored and then, twice now, has stalled for a season hiatus before they swap in anything new. For all those other shows I mentioned, their lead-in to new situations actually led into them. Imagine... oh, this is going to be a pain in the butt, but I don't want to just throw out a bunch of spoiler grenades; Imagine if...

    Season 4 had ended with Sheridan freeing Earth and Marcus dying in "Endgame," and the next episode was the season 5 premiere, with Sheridan as president of a brand new government. To be fair, we kind of did get a Discovery-style shift between season one and two, but in that case, they didn't have a DSC-style half-tease at the end of season one (since no one knew at the time Michael O'Hare was leaving). It probably would've felt weird if the last moment of the first season was Ivanova calling down to Sinclair that he had a message from Earth, and then cutting to black.

    or

    Season 4 had ended with them all getting frozen in their base (not even going to the restaurant to wait to be arrested), and no tag showing Coulson waking up in space. Just, "Oh, we stopped Aida, yay" boom, everyone's hit with a freeze ray, roll credits.

    or

    The show just skipped the second and third arcs, and went straight from the Protomolecule infesting Eros to having it open up wormholes to other stars. The cold war between Earth and Mars comes to a dead stop, the Belt suddenly organizes without any legwork, all that.

    A lot of times, Discovery feels less like it has a story than first-pass notes from a brainstorming session. There's just a bunch of stuff, but none of it leads from one thing to the next, or builds, or develops. Things just happen until someone else takes over, or it's time for something else to happen.
     
  9. Refuge

    Refuge Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2016
    Discovery's premise? What is it, really. A prequel mess with advanced technology and gimmicks and character arcs that one is supposed to forget every time they make a jump into a mirror universe or the future? It's like quicksand.
     
  10. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 20, 2001
    Location:
    West Haven, UT, USA
    I firmly believe that many of the people who accuse Voyager of having no serialization or continuity and relying on the "reset button" have not actually watched the series in its entirety and in its proper chronological order.

    But that's a topic for elsewhere. Sticking to the topic of the thread, I have not yet had an opportunity to watch most of Season 2 of DSC, but have had much of it spoiled for me and can therefore say with relative confidence that the series has not invoked a "reset button".
     
  11. Refuge

    Refuge Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2016
    Is it possible for a show to have a 'rewrite' button? Pick a character, let's call him Lorca. So you think this guy is a flawed captain...then hit that button! Let's write him as a joke. A mirror universe loser. Or let's spend an inordinate amount of time showing bald Klingons and then hit that button, 'you can have hair' and 'YOU can have hair!'. What next? I know let's try and explain how spore drive tech and Michael Burnham existed but no one knew. And are you tired of the prequel TOS Universe?? Well how about we just change the landscape and century we're in.

    Do any of these writers have a plan or are they embarrassingly making this shit up as they go on?
     
    ITDUDE likes this.
  12. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Which is no different to TNG in season 1 and 2 - hell - TNG's central premise that it is a ship on a long term exploration mission (which is why the kids are there) doesn't even survive the pilot...

    And let's not get into the Klingon war that occurs a couple of decades before the show and is that then forgotten or the fact that the Klingons are members of the federation...

    Or that Pulskai doesn't know Riker's father and then does.

    And How did Worf have a brother we'd never heard of! unpossible!
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
    Alan Roi likes this.
  13. Serveaux

    Serveaux The Man Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    Always seeking new and better distractions
    There's no reason. The practice of asserting or challenging (sometimes arguable) credentials to reach for the high ground in an online debate is...unimpressive.

    Personally, a great deal of what I've seen of STD bordered on incompetent (first year) and rarely much better than arbitrary and mediocre.
     
    Michael likes this.
  14. Soong-type Android

    Soong-type Android Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2019
    Ah, but you forget about the R2D2 repair robots Discovery introduced!
     
    ITDUDE and Starflight like this.
  15. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    This is very similar to what was done at the end of season 3 of Ent with the space Nazi's. It was a big WTF cliffhanger which caused the fanbase to freak out which caused much talk about the show during the hiatus and created huge anticipation for season 4.

    And as I recall, Manny Coto, who was named the brand new show runner for season 4, stated that the writing staff had no idea of how to wrap up the Nazi/time jump storyline. Not saying this is what is going on with the DSC write staff now, just that if it is, it doesn't mean disaster. The Ent writers came up with something pretty good, I thought. I liked Storm Front 1 and 2.
     
  16. donners22

    donners22 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Location:
    Australia
    That's surprisingly common for Trek cliffhangers, going back to Best of Both Worlds.

    Given that Paradise was on board before the end of S2, and that Kurtzman has been overseeing the show throughout, I expect there is something in mind for S3, but they've left themselves as much room as possible to refine it.
     
  17. Agony_Boothb

    Agony_Boothb Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Location:
    previously Mickmike
    I think bring out the 'you're not a writer, so you're opinion doesn't matter' is weak. Very few of us on this board are professional writers, but we're all intelligent enough to know whether a story makes sense to us. I also don't think that if you enjoy a story that others criticise makes you dumb, it all just comes down to taste and personal preference. What works for one person wont work for another.

    I like Discovery, but some of this seasons arc was definitely not as coherent as it should have been. And, as with the first season, you can tell that this season also suffered because of the background shenanigans in the writers room. The arc clearly was not planned out well or at the very least got changed mid-stream.

    I never thought I'd do this... but to compare Discovery to the Orville, the writing on the Orville, is a lot more focused and definitely one of it's strengths. The writing isn't perfect by any means, and there as definitely been missed opportunities and some cop outs in The Orville Season 2. However, I can tell you with a lot more confidence what the general themes and story arcs were for the Orville this season. With Discovery it gets a little trickier. It started out really strong and then it turns out the red angel is burnhams mother and it's a bit down hill from there. It was a fun ride, but there have been more than a few instances were I've been wondering what exactly just happened.
     
    ITDUDE likes this.
  18. KennyB

    KennyB Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2001
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany USAG
    If there are specific points that someone doesn't like I'm cool with that. A LOT of what I see people complain about was addressed in the dialogue onscreen, and people did not pay attention. I will admit there were some bumps in the road but for someone to say these writers "can't string one coherent story together" is just a gross exaggeration. I, and many people, have been entertained by season 2. This writer's room seems to know Trek lore and canon more than any other previous show. The art department and props have knocked it out of the park BOTH seasons and the ships were much better in season 2 (Enterprise and D-7).

    It would be like me........who knows nothing about rendering 3-D art to just go into the Art Forum and just start telling everyone how much their art just blows. "This sucks, that sucks, you can't even make a photo realistic ship to save your life!" While I don't have a clue how much work it takes or the programs involved.
     
  19. Alan Roi

    Alan Roi Commodore Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    Its always easier to tell the themes of short stories than it is to extract the themes from a novel.
     
  20. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    The thing about TOS (and to a lesser extent) TNG was that they were essentially established as anthology shows where we got different stories that just happened to have the same set characters. They weren't meant to be about a journey that starts from the first episode and ends with the last. This is why no one really gives those shows any flack for not having an event that carries over onto the next because it just wasn't expected or required. In fact, referencing past events from previous episodes was more of a bonus than anything (especially in TOS, which was rare).

    To be fair, I think VOY could have easily worked with the concept of doing standalone episodes like TOS and TNG. The problem is that unlike those two shows, it wasn't very good at being consistent with itself. Janeway's morals and ethics seemed to change too much just by the whim of the writer doing an episode, so I could never personally get a handle on what she stands for. I think that had a lot to do with the fact that VOY had more change in showrunners than any other Trek show.