Titan related question about latest Discovery episode....

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by PKSTRAUB, Jan 3, 2021.

  1. PKSTRAUB

    PKSTRAUB Cadet Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2021
    Hello all,
    I used to post on this page regularly up until about 5 years ago when life happened, as it is prone to do!
    However I did not let it stop my reading all things Star Trek and in fact, it was those books that actually helped me get through a lot of things!
    I recently got a CBS Access account and have been working my way through getting caught up on the new shows.
    Which brings me to my question....
    In this week's episode the Sphere Data downloaded itself into robots....and I couldn't help but wonder...is this the show's way of adaptation the 2 Gen White Blue character from Riker's Titan series to the screen?
    I couldn't have been the only one to have noticed the similarities and we have seen Discovery carry over material before like the Control AI.
    Maybe it's wishful thinking but thoughts?
     
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  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Nope. There is no such thing as a unique idea, and different creators use similar ideas by coincidence all the time, especially when they're working in the same genre or the same series. As of this week, we reached a total of 800 different Star Trek episodes, films, and shorts in official release, and probably an even greater number of published books, comics, and stories. With so many different stories, coincidental reuse of concepts is pretty much inevitable.

    For that matter, the use of an AI named "Control" by Section 31 was apparently also a coincidence, not an homage.
     
  3. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Jan 25, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    It was not a coincidence. Kirsten had mentioned Control as an AI running Section 31, in the room while they were planning Season 2, and the idea, once in the mix, took on a life of its own. But it's not a total coincidence.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Ah, okay. Thanks for clarifying.

    Still, it seems clear enough that the original idea for the Sphere data in Discovery came from Michael Chabon's "Calypso" episode of Short Treks, while the DOT drones have become popular thanks to the "Ephraim and Dot" animated episode. The Secret Hideout production team is taking inspiration from their own previous stories, not from novels that I doubt any of them (aside from Kirsten) have ever read.
     
  5. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

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    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    Ah, I wish! Sure, there are some surface similarities - the "sphere" that turns up in the episode "An Obol for Charon" does sound a bit like the FirstGen versions of the Sentry Artifical Intelligences I created back when I wrote my Titan novel Synthesis, but that's just a coincidence, and the character of SecondGen White-Blue does use proxy robot bodies - but the idea of an AI being 'software' capable of being uploaded into robotic 'hardware' isn't unique, this is just the show's take on the same concept.

    I wrote the Sentries because I wanted to redress the balance on Star Trek - which. let's be honest, has never had a lot of positive representations of non-humanoid AIs! - so I'm pleased to see Zora/the Sphere Data doing the same on Discovery... It's a cool idea and I'm intrigued to see how it plays out.
     
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  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    And of course there are plenty of other fictional iterations of the concept of a starship's AI communicating through its peripheral robots, such as Rommie in Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, various drones controlled by AI Minds in Iain M. Banks's Culture series, Aya in Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Arachne's avatar in my just-released Arachne duology, etc. There's also Ann Leckie's novel Ancillary Justice, with the variation that the peripherals controlled by the ship AI are human bodies.