Trek Lit and Comics overseen by TV staff

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Jsplinis, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. Jsplinis

    Jsplinis Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Discovery and Picard are not the only shows to have comic books and novels published concurrently that were overseen by a member of the staff. The Kelvin movies had comics by IDW that were overseen by Roberto Orci and a few were actually written by him and Alex Kurtzman. Also, Voyager has 2 novels (Pathways and Mosaic) that were written by Jeri Taylor, the show runner and producer at the time, as a guide to the characters back stories.

    So I thought it would be interesting to discuss the ways that these stories may have eventually been contradicted by subsequent canon stories.

    I know that in the IDW Star Trek Ongoing Series Kirk has a few crew members die before Into Darkness yet claims he’s had no casualties in the movie itself. Also, there is a story where Sulu takes command that was printed before he takes command for the first time in Into Darkness.

    I haven’t read Desperate Hours but have heard that there are a few details that are contradicted in later episodes. These include Number One being a vegetarian in the novel as well as circumstances between Pike and Gieorgio’s previous meetings as well as Burnham’s and Spock’s.

    As far as Picard and Lower Decks, it looks like these series will contradict the 2009 Countdown comic in a few ways. Picard will probably contradict Jean-Luc having been an admiral and the resurrection of Data while Lower Decks seems to establish a different uniform in use than shown in the comic.

    So are there any other stories to add to the list of stories in other media overseen by the current show staff? The ones I can think of that have been published so far are:

    1. Voyager: Pathways and Mosaic
    2. Kelvin Timeline: IDWcomic books
    3. Discovery: novels
    4. Discovery: IDW comic books

    And what other examples of contradictions with subsequent canon are there? For example, I’ve heard that the 2 Voyager novels were contradicted once Jeri Taylor was no longer the show runner. How so?

    Thank and have fun,
    Jsplinis
     
  2. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Gene Roddenberry's TMP novelization (rereleased this October!) has lots of stuff not revealed by the movie.

    David Gerrold wrote the novelization of "Encounter at Farpoint" while working on staff at TNG, and his background for Data (whose colony world was Kiron III and his creator was unknown aliens) was eventually unwound by "Datalore", "Brothers" and "Inheritance".

    Jeri Taylor wrote the novelization of "Unification" while working on staff at TNG and added the first TAS reference (to Phylosians) since "that memo" of early 1989 that had excommunicated Arex and M'Ress from the DC Comics.

    The Kelvinverse comic story in "Wired" magazine (issue guest-edited by JJ Abrams) was devised by Orci & Kurtzman.

    She had already left to write "Pathways" and it was delayed to sort out how to add Seven of Nine to the bookend story, and Neelix had to channel the Key backstory. Jeri told the writers' room that her Janeway background in "Mosaic" was there for their use, but I think some factoids about the father and sister changed in later seasons.

    In "Pathways", the Torres background regarding the Maquis and her relationship with her father were eventually glossed over and rejigged. I suspect some Paris and Tuvok stuff might have altered a little as episodes filled out their backgrounds.

    Memory Beta should have explanations for a lot of differences.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think Orci's "oversight" over the comics was exaggerated, given how many of them had continuity issues relative to the movies even when they first came out. It seems like he probably just had some input into the outline stage and didn't necessarily vet every detail.


    I think Mosaic still fits pretty well, but most of the crew backstories in Pathways were contradicted by later episodes (e.g. giving Torres's parents different names and history). The Kes backstory still works because she was gone by the time the book came out, so the later writers had no opportunity to contradict it.


    I think that Data backstory came more from Roddenberry than Gerrold, since the "android built by benevolent aliens" business is a direct lift from The Questor Tapes.

    But the business about Picard's past romance with a woman named Celeste was all Gerrold, and never touched on in the show.


    One recent example: IDW's Discovery: The Light of Kahless depicts nearly all Klingons as bald, since it came out before the season 2 retcon establishing that as a custom specific to wartime.[/QUOTE]
     
  4. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    I just recently re-read “Mosaic”, and really the only major change was the name of the first ship that Janeway’s served on as an ensign with Admiral Paris. In “Mosaic” it was the USS Icarus, while on the show it was the USS Al-Batani.
     
  5. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This one is kind of tenuous, but it’s my understanding that alot of Garak’s backstory in A Stitch in Time was worked up and possibly even written throughout the run of the series by Andrew Robinson.
     
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  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Which isn't the same as being developed by the actual writing/producing staff. Actors come up with character backstories as aids to their performance, helping them get in character and get a handle on their motivations and such, but the actual writing staff won't necessarily be aware of those backstories or accept them as true.
     
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  7. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Matches the show bible which I guess he was working to?

     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Gerrold largely wrote the TNG bible, but as we know, Roddenberry repurposed a number of ideas from his older failed pilots for TNG, e.g. Riker and Troi being a rehash of Decker and Ilia from Phase II/TMP. Data was an amalgam of Phase II's Xon (unemotional, inexperienced science officer seeking to understand emotion to relate better to his human crewmates) and The Questor Tapes' title character (android on a similar journey of emotional discovery, turning out to be built by aliens).
     
  9. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    DS9: Section 31: Abyss was cowritten by David Weddle, who was a regular writer on the later seasons of the series with Bradley Thompson.
    Are we only counting people who were regular writers on the shows? Quite a few of the authors wrote one or two episodes of the different series.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The headline says "staff," so, yeah. Freelancers are more like contractors. They're brought in to help out, but aren't the people in charge.
     
  11. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    This one might not fit quite right here , but how about the whole “Day Of Honor” episode and novel series. Sure it was originated by John Ordover, but then Jeri Taylor incorporated it into Voyager.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But the books themselves weren't written by the show's staff, just borrowed from by them.
     
  13. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    The Al-Batani was established in the show before Mosaic was ever written, in Caretaker itself. If Mosaic said they served on the Icarus, then that's a mistake made by the novel, not a change the show made.
     
  14. Stephen!

    Stephen! Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That particular continuity issue is apparently addressed somewhat in the "Enterprise War" novel.
     
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  15. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    David Gerrold wrote the first version of the TNG Writers' Bible, adapting and including elements of his "Whither Star Trek?" chapter of "World of ST", and Roddenberry's work on "Phase II" and "The Questor Tapes".
     
  16. WebLurker

    WebLurker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Would need to reread that. Course, she could've changed her eating habits in between stories (or have ordered fake meat cheeseburgers in the show, thus technically still being vegetarian). Either way, have to say that this error wouldn't be enough for me to kick it out of continuity.

    John Jackson Miller's Enterprise War novel fixes these issues.

    Beyond that, it's my understanding that certain details of Saru's homeworld (the name from Desperate Hours and some facts from Fear Itself) don't quite mesh anymore. I've also gathered that the one-shot comic giving Stamits backstory was replaced with alternate facts (yeah, bad joke) down the line. However, I'm not sure whether these are canon-breaking stuff that renders the whole work out of sync, or just retroactively creates a few typos in a book that still in continuity otherwise.

    Yep, in an interview on the Literary Trek podcast, Miller explained that he and the publishing people put that together specifically since another tie-in novel was the best place to fix continuity errors like that. Sounded like the DSC staff were happy with that, too.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Enterprise established that 22nd-century Starfleet vessels used protein resequencers to create synthetic foodstuffs, which presumably would include meat. Assuming those are still in use in the 23rd century, then resequenced meats wouldn't come from animal sources and there'd be no ethical or ecological issue with their consumption.
     
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  18. WebLurker

    WebLurker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, unless the vegetarian chose to abstain from even fake meat, but yeah, was thinking something like that.
     
  19. Jsplinis

    Jsplinis Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    It was mentioned above that there might be continuity issues with the IDW Discovery Annual 2018 concerning Stamets back story. Can anybody elaborate on what these contradictions are?

    Also, how severe is the discontinuity between the TV Show and Fear Itself concerning Saru’s back story and home world?
     
  20. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Fear Itself? Not much, but then they rarely go into much details aside from mentioning the Ba'ul or whatever they're called. I don't thing they mention Saru having plants growing all over his quarters as we see in season 2, but I guess we could infer he just started doing that when he transferred over to Disco. Desperate Hours offers a slightly different take on Saru's origins and a different name for the planet (Kelpia in that book as opposed to Kaminar on the show).