TMP is the best film. It is not 'tedious' at all

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Spock's Eyebrow, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Commander Red Shirt

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    Hey, it's Star Trek, and "The Motion Picture" at that. You can never give these things enough thought. :)

    Well, I've always had the sense that V'Ger is "racing home" and has been doing so a while. While the fight between V'Ger and the Klingons may appear to be occurring at a sedate pace, at sub-light speeds, bear in mind that motion and velocity are relative things. There is no way to properly judge whether they are duking it out at sailing-ship speeds or caught in each other's warp bubbles (though I prefer the latter). Later on, the Enterprise is meant to penetrate V'Ger's warp bubble, meaning that both ships are at warp with respect to the surrounding spacetime fabric, but not at warp relative to themselves.

    To close in on a particular thing you said there:

    To quote our wonderful TMP-loving friend FcukTWOK:

    In other words, we can assume V'Ger has extraordinary data-gathering abilities, and not only would being at warp not impede those abilities, but it may even enhance them.

    Although V'Ger would probably be denser nearer its core, where the central vessel is located, its core -- if defined by the vessel itself -- is considerably smaller than our moon.

    From V'Ger's Memory Alpha entry:

    So we have four different sources offering four different size measurements. Even if you take the largest of those measurements (97 km), that is still an order of magnitude smaller than the diameter of our moon, which is measured at 3,474 km. V'Ger might be a beast next to the Enterprise, but it is still a minnow compared with our moon. Ergo, based on the craft alone, it would be impossible to observe occultation effects with present telescope technology.

    You could maybe get something on the cloud, but as I said earlier, that would depend on how luminous it is and its overall opacity. And the answer might be: not very.

    Another assumption there is that the cloud's luminosity stays constant. Some stars undergo extreme variances in their luminosity, and I don't see why V'Ger couldn't do the same. The same for its size and extent. There's no reason to assume they remain fixed. Indeed, given that the cloud surrounding the vessel dissipates when the craft makes its final approach toward Earth, it may be the case that the cloud is holographic, or can be retracted in some fashion. V'Ger could just be the "frilled-neck lizard" or epic "peacock" of space objects, deploying its immense cloud only on the final leg of its journey. The Enterprise crew is up against many unknowns, and I love the multitudinous mysteries of the V'Ger construct.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
  2. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

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    Well, that's all quite interesting and makes me wish all the more that the producers of TMP had resisted Paramount's hard 7 December 1979 deadline and had been able to take their time developing the script with regard to the technical aspects of what the audiences were seeing. We might have been spared (for example) exchanges like this one:
    SPOCK: A simple binary code transmitted by carrier-wave signal. Radio.
    KIRK: Radio!...​
    ...as if the term radio (as in "subspace radio") were as ancient as Bakelite and had never before been said by either character.
     
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  3. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Commander Red Shirt

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    Hey, you indented the dialogue! I need to do that.

    And yes, I get what you mean! "Radio!" -- when basically everything in the universe emits radio waves. Indeed, largely owed to their long wavelength, they're super-easy to detect, and radio astronomy basically inaugurated the modern SETI programme (and has given us many, many insights into the workings of the universe -- including our first glimpse of Venus' surface topography beneath its thick cloud layers).

    The first purpose-built radio telescope went up by amateur astronomer Grote Reber in 1937 in his backyard in Wheaton, Illinois, while the first SETI search was conducted by the astronomer and astrophysicist Frank Drake in 1960 at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), near Green Bank, West Virginia. And in 1977, while TMP was still in pre-production as "Phase II", there came the famous "Wow!" signal, received by Ohio State University's Big Ear radio telescope and first noted by astronomer Jerry R. Ehman when checking the printouts a few days later.

    The discovery of the first pulsar in 1967 by Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Antony Hewish at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory in Cambridge, England initially dubbed "LGM-1" (for "Little Green Men"), also caused quite a stir -- had we detected the unmistakeable sign of intelligence in the universe, just seven years after Frank Drake made his first radio observations of some nearby stars? Apparently not. Though the jury is still out on the exact nature of pulsars and what may be occurring in their vicinity.

    Still, I think the idea in TMP was to expose V'Ger as using a very primitive radio "dialect", in contrast to the extremely rapid communication pulse first detected by Spock when the Enterprise arrived at the edge of the cloud. V'Ger had rendered itself naked and needy, and the Enterprise was now picking that up, realising there was much more to V'Ger than just forbidding power fields and megalithic vessel structures. Perhaps there is also meant to be a little flashback to "The City On The Edge Of Forever" and Spock's tinkering with the primitive vacuum tubes of the period ("Radio tubes and so forth"). Incidentally, that classic TOS episode aired the same year that pulsars were detected. And what may we say of V'Ger? The space probe on the edge of forever.
     
  4. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    While they won't do it, I think it'd be interesting to reveal PICARD's "Extragalactic AI" as the people who modified V'ger.
     
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  5. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

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    Along with the SFX, especially during Spock's mind meld with V'Ger, there's a lot of images going on that tells an intriguing story within itself.
     
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  6. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    TMP deserved a mini series.

    Somehow I don’t think the Klingons lost only three ships...
     
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  7. Cyrus

    Cyrus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    TMP is my favorite Star Trek movie.
     
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  8. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Wasn't going to happen.

    Anyone who tried to resist Paramount's hard deadline would have been fired. Period. Even Wise. In late 1978 Paramount block booked the film with theater chains to the tune of $30 million in advances. They were legally liable for delivering by that date, and would have been class action sued into oblivion had they failed to deliver. A year is normally long enough to deliver post production, but the ASTRA VFX situation almost immediately put that in peril, hence the panic.

    The only way to dodge the date would have been to push for a change well before principle photography ended...which would have risked pushing the film towards the release of The Empire Strikes Back.
     
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  9. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    Please, no. Not everything needs to be connected to everything else.
     
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  10. Jadeb

    Jadeb Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And not everything needs explained.
     
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  11. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I wouldn't mind them hinting at a possible connection I don't need the direct line. Leaving it a little bit mysterious is OK.
     
  12. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    Its a balance. While I love the continuity porn of the novels, sometimes it did get to be, "Uhura wore a gold shirt in one episode! She must have been on the command track for a week!"
     
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  13. Tallguy

    Tallguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Isn't a better explanation that Starfleet re-designated the department of communications?
     
  14. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Communications should really be command and was switched to that again in TMP, before being allocated to science (wtf) in TWOK.
     
  15. ChallengerHK

    ChallengerHK Captain Captain

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    Here's a question:

    I've been thinking about V'Ger. I watched the movie over the weekend, and one of the issues is that I don't care about V'Ger, not in the least. I don't care if it succeeds or fails. I care if it destroys the Enterprise, or destroys Earth, and that's about it.

    I think that part of the problem is that V'Ger has no personality. It's likely that the Ilia probe was an attempt to give it personality, in typical Roddenberry-esque terms, but for me it fails. The only time that any personality emerges is when the probe channels Ilia's memories, and that's not V'Ger's personality.

    At the same time, I'm not sure that we could really understand a personality which would realistically be part of something like V'Ger. It's probably the most alien being which Trek has ever featured, and as I told a Lit prof long ago, we can only understand an alien to the extent that we can map its behavior onto something human. V'Ger was thoroughly and completely non-human. It wants to be human, but on what level, i.e. the level of a program searching for more data or the level of a sentient being with agency? And why does it value that?

    In terms of the Borg, I think they were ruined by the addition of the Queen. What had been a terrifying, relentless, thoughtless enemy, the Trek equivalent of zombies, suddenly had a personality, and it was a scenery-chewing personality at that. The borg became so human that I never feared them after that. They were just a major inconvenience, and all we had to do was find the right technological solution to stop their advance. So I really wonder what kind of personality could have been believably mapped onto V'Ger.

    What do you think? Would personality have helped? And how should it have been portrayed, if so?
     
  16. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I know it's not the question that you asked specifically, but with regard to the Queen I liked to interpret her as an avatar of the Collective, not a 'free-willed' entity on its own terms, constructed specifically to seduce Data into giving the Borg control of the ship. Which is to say, if Data had favored men, we might have seen a Borg King instead (and now I wish we'd had an episode where Data explored sexuality, but anywho...).

    Unfortunately, VOY kind of shot this down, both in having Janeway deal with a Queen as well (maybe the Borg knew something we didn't?), and then in going so far as to, IIRC, have the Queen verbally command drones, which...oy.

    Anyway, I thought V'ger's paradox was summed up nicely. It regarded humans as little more than infestations to be assimilated, so to speak, but ironically it needed the qualities that humans possessed in order to further evolve. Otherwise it is anthropomorphized to the point that we see it throw a temper tantrum, and we understand what it seeks. I think it does have a personality, it just has a far less approachable one than we're used to seeing on Trek. But then, we know even less about the Whale Probe other than that it wanted to talk to the whales. We don't even know whether Our Heroes might have been able to eventually communicate with the probe, whereas at least with V'ger they got the Ilia-bot to work with as a proxy.
     
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  17. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If you watch the movie ex machina it might give you insight into anthropomorphism of machine intelligence. We can't really imagine how tge Borg think and how much is for show.
     
  18. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think the personality would need to be more child like, behind a presentation of logic, with very rigid, black and white thinking and struggling to assimilate concepts that are outside that box.
     
  19. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'd love it if they could do that - say three hour and a half episodes (including adverts).

    Put in as many outtakes as possible, film some extra bits, expand the Klingon segment...
     
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  20. ChallengerHK

    ChallengerHK Captain Captain

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    I had started thinking something like that. My first thought was something like the Red Queen in Resident Evil, but not nearly as human as that AI comes across. Maybe something like the little kids in Village of the Damned. Those are some inhuman little things.

    Yeah, that's really my issue with it, or one of them. If we destroyed V'Ger by some miraculous means, I don't think my feelings about it would be any different than if it became a little Ilia/Decker/V'Ger Starchild. As presented, it's a thing, not a being.