TNG season 1 drafts from Creating TNG by Mark Altman & Ed Gross

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Lance, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Commodore Commodore

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    Well I really don't like Noir stories/stuff centered around "hard boiled" private detectives, so a episode that replaces my science fiction with .... that naturally wouldn't rank high on my personal list.
     
  2. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I can take or leave "The Big Goodbye", but I'm not down on private eye fiction generally. "The Big Sleep" and "The Maltese Falcon" are two of my favorite movies (although I don't like the original book of "The Big Sleep" very much!). ;) But yeah, I only skipped it because I didn't much see the point of summarising a draft version that on paper feels almost identical to the finished product anyway. :)

    There are some episodes where the plot beats in the draft versions are the same, but the stories/general tone are radically different. I consider those worth summarising for their differences, but "The Big Goodbye" feels more or less complete in the draft version; there's actually very little differentiating it from the broadcast one apart from a few characters and names being switched around here and there. In the draft version, the private eye character is named 'Dixon Steel', for example, but that's only a minor cosmetic detail in the grand scheme of things, not a major change. :p
     
  3. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Great to see this thread resurrected - definitely one of my favourites on the board. :-D

    Apocalypse Now - Why have they been dumping toxic waste on this world if it's important to the system that it survives. I would have rather they explored the environmental angle with this story at some point. Although I am not a fan of Datalore this version is definitely missing a "shut up Wesley" or two! He invents two "save the day devices here? - Yuk!
     
  4. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    (Original source: "Creating The Next Generation" by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, Boxtree Publishing 1994, ISBN 0-7522-0843-8.)


    13. "ANGEL ONE"


    Plot Summary:

    In orbit of the planet Angel 1 looking for a Federation ship that went missing in this sector, the Enterprise sends an away team of Riker, Deanna Troi, Tasha Yar and Data to the surface to speak with the planet's government. Angel 1 is a strictly matriarchal society. The away team meet with the leader of Angel 1, Victoria, and Riker immediately commits two faux pas: firstly, when he speaks to her he looks directly in her eyes (something which men are forbidden to do on this planet), and secondly, when she attempts to strike him for looking at her, he defends himself, and in so doing touches her -- another strike. Victoria's security forces level their weapons at the Commander, but Tasha, recognising how this society works, thinks quickly in stepping into the breach, using her phaser to stun Riker, and assuming command of the away team.

    After the credits, discussion resumes between Tasha and Victoria. Tasha asks why they did not react as negatively to Data as they did to Riker, to which Victoria responds that while he may look like a man, Data is in fact a machine and therefore higher than a man and they are willing to give him more freedom accordingly. Tasha remains diplomatically respectful towards Victoria while still voicing her opposition to Angel 1's practices, and asks for the government's help to track down the missing Federation personnel.

    Meanwhile, aboard the ship Captain Picard has caught some kind of a virus, flu-like symptoms. While there are no other reports, Beverly puts him into isolation and an order is given that there should be no beam up of the away team until she is absolutely certain the contagion isn't spreading.
    Riker has been taken away and is now dressed in the clothing of the men, and is put to work in menial tasks. In so doing he eventually discovers that the situation on Angel 1 is more fragile than it appears: there is a sizeable rebellion movement among the male underclasses, and a revolution seems to be imminent.

    The missing Federation ship is eventually located and its leader, Lucas Jones, is brought before Victoria. It transpires Jones is behind stiring up revolution on the planet. He is ordered to denounce his crimes. Instead, he openly insults Victoria, and is quickly executed, to the horror of the away team.

    A matyr for the cause, Jones' death soon passes down through the ranks, and violent revolution begins. In Victoria's tower, the sounds of fighting can be heard far below. Victoria attempts to get Tasha's help to quell the rebellion, but the Lieutenant refuses to get involved. She and the others leave Victoria, and find their way through the fighting to get Commander Riker.

    Back on the ship, Picard has been treated and has recovered from the virus, and questions the away team about what happened down there, fearing the Prime Directive has been breached. Riker pledges that the Enterprise crew were strictly witnesses to this uprising, which was already taking place before their arrival at the planet.


    How It Differs From The Broadcast Version: Like some other earlier drafts we've seen, this version of "Angel One" feels in some ways closer to The Original Series in tone. The situation on the planet is much more fluid, and the revolution comes from actions rather than words (it is suggested in the broadcast episode that Angel One may one day change their system of matriarchal society, but it is done through gentle persuassion rather than through violence). The allegory to the apartheid situation in South Africa is much more blunt in this draft storyline, with the difference in standing between the female upper-class and subjucated male lower-classes much more clearly defined. A very notable difference is that in the early draft version Riker doesn't romance the planet's leader, but instead he is locked away for inadvertently breaking the law by treating himself as an equal to her, when by her standing he most certainly is not. Another major difference is that the virus aboard the Enterprise only affects the captain in this draft, whereas it's a much more widespread contagion in the final broadcast version.


    My Take: I'm unsure what to think of the draft version of "Angel One". I like that it's much starker than the finished product, and it sells the anti-apartheid message much more strongly. But the basic premise still remains a sort of cliched 'Planet Of The Warrior Women' (as TOS writer David Gerrold once said ;)). I like that Tasha is effectively 'promoted' to a much more important role in the story, because it is she who must negotiate with the planet's government, rather than the way Riker sleeps his way into the leader Beata's confidence in the finished version..... although part of me does like the humor of the finished version, which is missing here. :D Nevertheless, my gut instinct is that the premise in the draft version is better than the somewhat watered-down version we eventually got; and that, like so many rewritten storylines in TNG's first season, the rewrites seem preoccupied with adding gratuitous sexual content to a story that maybe worked just as well (or maybe even better?) without it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
  5. Bad Atom

    Bad Atom Commodore Commodore

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    I remember reading this book many times at the library when I was a kid, and that synopsis brought back a lot of memories! I loved the idea of Tasha kicking ass and taking charge. Maybe if she had been given a larger role in this episode, Denise Crosby would have stayed...
     
  6. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's a great book. It's really interesting to chart the changes made along the way. :)

    One of the things I've gathered about Crosby/Yar is that originally Worf wasn't even in the cast, and then he was strictly a background character, but as the season progressed it seems to me that the writers started to shoe-horn him into more and more scenarios that, by rights, Tasha should have been handling. "Hide & Q" is the obvious one, where Tash gets sent off into isolation before she can so much as throw a punch at Q, while Worf gets to stay on the planet and fight against the vicious animal things. There were plenty of lost opportunities to show Tasha kicking ass, it's no surprise that Crosby had enough of it and asked to leave. :(
     
  7. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Commodore Commodore

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    :wtf: Angel-One was almost a Tasha Episode? How...why...why did they exchange that for "Riker prances around in a glittery outfit and seduces a very wooden actress?"

    Idk about the outline being more like TOS...to me Angel One was always one of the most TOS-esque episodes of TNG (forming an unholy trinity with Code of Honour and Justice).
    Especially the part where Data asks what an aphrodisiac is and everybody just smiles bemusedly...that scene was 100% TOS.

    It's a pity we lost Tasha like that I wish they would have found a niche for both Worf and her.
     
  8. tenmei

    tenmei Commodore Commodore

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    Is this the same book that has a reference to the Logan family as recurring characters? The husband was supposed to be a school teacher on the ship whilst the wife was going to be the career military character (presumably alongside Worf, taking over positions on the bridge when required)?
     
  9. Phantom

    Phantom Captain

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    Could the reptilians in the first draft for "Code of Honor" be a sideways reference to the Gorn? This would be in keeping with Paramount's "Plan B" (tacking TNG onto the TOS syndication package).

    The WNMHGB first draft is a TON closer to "The Wounded Sky", which is to the good, but TWS is such a literary novel I don't see how it could really be made into even a movie. It would be trippy beyond 2001 or even TMP.

    And I don't see how it could have done justice to one of the best scenes in the book: Kirk (or in this case, Picard) getting to experience the existential nature of the Enterprise herself.