TOS unique?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by C57D, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. C57D

    C57D Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    As a huge fan, and player, of the FASA ST-TRPG I have long been bemused as to why it is an deal match for TOS (and the TOS movies to a lesser extent) but not TNG or any other Trek after.
    And that got me thinking just what makes TOS so unique both on my TV and on my gaming table. My list is as follows but I would love to read yours (or opinion to the contrary!).
    Improved humans -not superior ones. Better than we are today, but still with plenty of flaws. Creates drama, is more realistic and helps the audience to identify with them as real people.
    Following on from that is the oft mentioned triumvirate of Kirk Spock and McCoy. Everymans hero flanked by logical reason on one side and emotional humanism on the other.
    The "swashbuckling" combat style, whether diving behind dusty ruins phaser duels or "cheesy" punches and kicks.
    Seat of the pants encounters with monsters and mystery. The crew always feel like they are well beyond their comfort zone, on their own and facing the great unknown. And yet they somehow find a way to survive and suceed.
    Ship duels at warp speeds at ranges of several thousand miles. Seems more realistic and exciting than the mostly stationary, face to face "battles" of TNG.
    This is why TOS is unique to me.
     
  2. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Houston, we have a problem...
    I.E. 'Fun'?

    Pretty much nailed why I still love "Star Trek" and have issues trying to watch the later shows...
     
    ChallengerHK, Jadeb, Marsden and 4 others like this.
  3. C57D

    C57D Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    StarCruiser, your post instantly reminded me of one of Kate Bush's lines in her song "In search of Peter Pan" which say.
    "They took the game right out if it."
    So true of all Trek but the unique Original.
     
    StarCruiser likes this.
  4. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Covington, Ky. USA
    A ‘fun factor’ that the rest definitely lack.
     
    Jadeb, Noname Given, Galileo7 and 3 others like this.
  5. Doctor Bombay

    Doctor Bombay Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Agreed. What I think it boils down to is the magic combination of creator, producers, writers and actors that made the show what it was.
     
    Galileo7, C57D and StarCruiser like this.
  6. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2016
    Maybe not even that, just regular people in space.

    They fall asleep in the briefing room, the captain has to watch what he eats, the crew walks the corridors in their occasionally ill-fitting wrinkled uniforms, security personnel who don't always seem to know what they're doing, and a bridge officer who sometimes breaks into song.
     
    Marsden, Galileo7, Greg Cox and 3 others like this.
  7. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Houston, we have a problem...
    So...human!

    No wonder Spock was needed there!
     
    Greg Cox and C57D like this.
  8. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Like most parents, the first three series are tremendous, loved, and bring their own flavor to the Star Trek family. Those two on UPN? Well, I just blame it on the fact they weren't raised the same as the other three.

    Gene Roddenberry did not get caught in the trap of Science Fiction being "other worldy." It was a new setting, but the setting couldn't carry the premise of the show alone. The difference between great Science Fiction and bad incarnations is often that the show is not grounded in real emotions, at its center. I made a list of favorite movie scenes in another forum on this site, and I found the "human adventure" is very much alive, in Trek movies. TNG centers on technology and exposition, the job of being on the Enterprise. The theme of oppression. The science and pseudo-science.

    It's still compelling, just for a different reason; TNG is meditative and macro. TOS is human emotions and morality. DS9 is about the shades of gray, still omnipresent, of the Trek universe.

    Episodes like "The Inner Light" and "The Visitor" return Trek to it's roots. Kirk may be lecturing about a planet's false gods, but the emotions are indignation and protection, a little smirk communicating Kirk's lack of respect for the rules. It was still emotionally compelling from that perspective.

    Picard was not indignant, he was understanding and professional. Kirk wanted to bash the god in the face for oppressing people, Picard wanted to negotiate over tea. And when emotions became raw on TNG, it was often lauded as their best episodes and arcs. The Borg and Picard. Worf and Honor.

    TNG, for that reason, was tremendously imaginative and ground-breaking, but TOS was emotionally compelling. DS9 was, at best, a show about a group of people United by this city in the sky and all its problems and triumphs. At its worst, it tried to lecture like TNG when it had no white Knight armor to wear.

    I don't mess with the original. The concepts it tackles, the ability to stay grounded emotionally, it is amazing. The amount of ground covered in just 55 episodes...wow.
     
    StarCruiser and C57D like this.
  9. C57D

    C57D Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Very true.
    Ordinary people, but in a "just enough" improved society to work together, get beyond our present petty disagreements and outmoded tribalism and build a spacefaring society (Kodos and Garth excepted!!).
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
    Greg Cox and StarCruiser like this.
  10. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    And unlike the later versions of the franchise it could be quite scary too! :biggrin:
    JB
     
  11. C57D

    C57D Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Yes totally
    There is quite a bit of HP Lovecraft's "Cosmic horror" in TOS. But with an HPL circle particpant in the shape of Robert Bloch (he of Psycho fame) and some writers also writing for the Twilight Zone, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.
     
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    One ferry ride from Starfleet HQ
    55 episodes? Star Trek was 79 episodes.
     
    Vger23 and StarCruiser like this.
  13. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    I think he is discounting the third season!
    JB
     
    STEPhon IT likes this.
  14. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
  15. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Houston, we have a problem...
    There were SOME good episodes in the "Turd" season!
     
    johnnybear likes this.
  16. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Quite a few! :D
    JB
     
    StarCruiser likes this.
  17. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Location:
    usa
    Yes, unique. Having debuted in the '60s it was and still is amazing how well it turned out because of the choices made. They captured lightning in a bottle. TOS was my first exposure to Trek and I never avoid watching it.
     
    C57D and StarCruiser like this.
  18. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Location:
    Suburban Mos Eisley
    To my eye, FWIW, TOS has aged much better both visually and in terms of story content, than TNG which is 20 years newer.
     
  19. gakelly

    gakelly Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2019
    I think the fact that KIrk said sabotage the way he did in Wink of an Eye and then the woman actor pronounced it correctly with an amused look made it just that much better.
     
    C57D and StarCruiser like this.
  20. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    Location:
    New England
    I will always contend that the 3rd season is every bit as good as the 1st and 2nd. They all have some stinkers, and they all have great ones. I don't see S3 any differently, and never have. It's become a very group-thinkish thing over the decades to just dismiss it out-of-hand.


    But yes, TOS is unique in that it may actually be the best television series ever produced. I honestly think the argument can be made.