Was it ever really possible to do a pure prime prequel in the "TOS" era?

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by Jayson1, May 18, 2017.

  1. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Admiral Admiral

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    This isn't just about "Discovery" but also the Kelvin Universe and even "Enterprise." I am in the category of thinking the show is a reboot. They might not admit it because I think the prime stuff is being used as bait to get old school fans intrested in it since many didn't like the Kelvin Universe.
    To me "TOS" is so different from all other Trek shows that I think it will always feel separate from everthing else. It is just inhumanly possible to ever capture that feel. 60's looks and atitudes just can't be captured and updated in any realistic way unless you were doing a period piece of sorts were your commenting on that time or using that time as metaphor for something going on in the world today but since Trek is a fictional setting you can't even do that. Even the "TOS" movies couldn't do it and they had the original cast.
    With that said don't you think that a reboot is the only true way to come close to exploring this time frame again? Even if you have established characters they can't be like they were in the 60's completely. Some of the complaints I here are not to different from the stuff we heard about "Enterprise" being to advanced to be pre-TOS and they are right. That show was right to sort of ignore "TOS" and be a more of a prequel to the TNG/DS9/Voyager era with only slight nods to TOS. That was the only way I feel that it could work as a prime universe show. "Discovery" doesn't have that luxary IMO because it is to close to "TOS" time to ignore the "TOS" look and still be a prime universe show.
    I mentioned this in another thread but I really do think that if you want to do a Kelvin style updating it would fit better in a post Voyager show if you want to do something in the prime universe. A kelvin style updating IMO in the past only really works as a reboot. When you watch the trailer do you think you view of it would change if it had been of a show post- Voyager? The differences would have been seen as typical updating that the shows always were doing as opposed to trying to reinvent the universe. Also if you do reinvent something like TNG basically did to TOS I do think it works better if your doing that to the future as opposed to the past because the past is where all the old shows happen to exist.

    Jason
     
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  2. Serveaux

    Serveaux Boomer American Premium Member

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    I'd tend to agree.
     
  3. Phil123

    Phil123 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think it depends if we are talking about the stories and history of the prime universe, or everything we have actually seen, including tech and visuals.

    I tend to take a story centric view of canon. Do the stories fit within a timeline? Do historical events match up and not contradict each other? It's always been when these things are broken that I get more annoyed. If the events of TOS are cannon but we just viewed them thought the "lens" of a 1960's production then we can have a prequel.

    If we view canon as strictly everything we have seen, then half our current technology currently makes TOS and even elements of later series look outdated so I'd agree with you. If everything on screen is interpreted literally, it is impossible to make a prequel to TOS.
     
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  4. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I mean, TOS uses ZIP discs ;)

    Honestly, the ability to capture the aesthetic perfectly is a challenge that I doubt a production studio would want to under take. Why? Because it feels so limiting for story and creative possibilities. As the OP pointed out, it's not feasible to get everything just right, primarily because much of the design of TOS was done on the fly, and under certain constraints that Trek doesn't have to worry about now.

    A friend of mine put it like this-It's like a band that comes back together after a while, and people ask them if they are returning to their "old school roots." The response is, "No." because when bands first get together, they are inexperienced, and make mistakes that they have grown out of over the years.

    Whatever look and feel that I enjoy about TOS is not coming to come across in a new show-period.
     
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  5. Balok's Decoy

    Balok's Decoy Commodore Commodore

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    The problem is that if you did a TOS era show with the exact same aesthetic, the show would look like retro-futurism. Star Trek Continues does TOS like TOS and it is so rooted in its nostalgia for TOS that that's the only way to enjoy it -- as a "what if TOS had a couple more seasons," rather than a new take. It's great but it's niche. DSC's updates are natural and, I think, necessary. Otherwise we're redoing 60's sci-fi in 2017, which makes no sense.
     
  6. Gojira

    Gojira Commodore Commodore

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    I remember a film critic saying that no matter what time period a TV show or movie is set in you can always tell within 5 years when that show or movie was filmed. So even though TOS is set 300 year in the future it screams 1960s just as TNG has the 90s written all over it. You can tell a Westerns set in the 1880s but filmed in the 1950s will look like it was filmed in the 50s. A Western set in the 1880s but filmed today will look like it was filmed in the second decade of the 21sr century. That doesn't mean the shows and movies can't be enjoyed or they they do not age well even though some movies and shows do age better than others.

    This makes doing prequels a big challenge. It can be done but with Star Trek and most science fiction set in the future it is difficult to recapture that original esthetic without looking dated.
     
  7. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which would be great, if that's what you were shooting for. A "Mad Men" aesthetic.

    Deliberately try to make it seem that it isn't our modern culture with current modern sensibilities projected into the future.
     
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  8. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Commodore

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    Exactly this. Movies and TV shows ALWAYS show the decade they where filmed.

    Star Wars has been doing it since 1977. They chose a retro future aesthetic and stuck with it.
     
  9. CommanderRaytas

    CommanderRaytas DISCO QUEEEEEEN Premium Member

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    The prequels and TFA kind of break with that, though.
     
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  10. Balok's Decoy

    Balok's Decoy Commodore Commodore

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    Right, and the look of Rogue One kinda feels like throwback 1970's sci-fi, which is cool, but I think it has diminishing returns for creativity and moving a franchise forward. So it's probably ideal that Rogue One is a one-off, notwithstanding the deluge of character prequels we're about to be hit with.
     
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  11. CommanderRaytas

    CommanderRaytas DISCO QUEEEEEEN Premium Member

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    I feel the same way about it. I loved Rogue One, but let's not stagnate just for the sake of nostalgia. Luckily, all the characters from that one are toast. :biggrin:
     
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  12. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Commodore

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    The Prequel trilogy kinda did and it was condemned for not looking like Star Wars. The Force Awakens, Clone Wars, Rebels, (and of course Rogue One) drew heavily from the '70s aesthetics of the Original Trilogy and Ralph McQuarrie's concept art.
     
  13. CommanderRaytas

    CommanderRaytas DISCO QUEEEEEEN Premium Member

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    Sure, true; that's why I said 'kind of'. The prequels do incorporate stuff from the OT, too, in part, and TFA doesn't look nearly as retro as Rogue One (for obvious reasons).
     
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  14. Ralphis

    Ralphis Captain Captain

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    I don't think you can make a pure prequel at this point and have it be successful. The best you can do is try to remain faithful to the narrative of the Prime Timeline, while showcasing modern design aesthetics that would resonate with contemporary audiences. That's not saying there wouldn't be an audience for a pure TOS-style prequel, but it wouldn't do anything to further the franchise.
     
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  15. Ralphis

    Ralphis Captain Captain

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    It works for Star Wars because it is set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Star Trek is our future.
     
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  16. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Star Trek is a romanticized fictional idea of the future run by entertainment studio executives trying to grab as large an audience as possible.

    Our future has yet to be written, but Star Trek gives us hope that we will maybe have one--and perhaps it'll be better than our present.
     
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  17. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Commodore

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    If Star Trek is our future then we should treat it with the same "respect" as our past. You wouldn't change the uniforms in a Napoleonic era film no matter how stupid they look today. The look is set.

    If Star Trek is not our future then what I said about Star Wars and its visual aesthetics should apply also.
     
  18. cgervasi

    cgervasi Commander Red Shirt

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    I can accept some natural artifacts of the time it was made:
    • Technology - In the 60s computers didn't have keyboards and monitor screens, and you can see the reflected in TOS. You see the computer store a procedure on tapes that the crew carries and plays in other computers. In the new series people may make more frequent use of tablet-shaped computers with swipe screens because that's what's common in our time.
    • Cultural - The sexist elements of the 60s don't have to be replicated. The same goes for things like views of gender, which have evolved radically during my lifetime. I don't expect them to re-create the 60s zeitgeist on these issues.
    • Special Effects - I never cared about the Klingon appearance issue. I could have accepted the Klingons of TOS were supposed to look like those in future series, but they didn't have the special effects to show it. Similarly, phasers, torpedos, and transporter effects do not need to look like TOS. I'd like them to try to sort of make them similar, but they don't need to preserve the look of the effects.
    • Modern Events - They should not insist that events mentioned in early shows, e.g. the Eugenics Wars in the 1990s, happened in the years mentioned in shows made previously. They should just vaguely work them into some time in the future.
    I really hope they do not, however, use people, places, things, and ideas we saw discovered in shows that take place in the future. There should be no Ferengi, holodecks with interactive characters, or anything earlier shows made a big deal about being discovered in the future. You can't just say people in earlier times encountered them without learning their names.
     
  19. Andrews

    Andrews Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I just don't think it would be creatively pleasing or received well. Pre-TOS you'd still have to make things look shiny and new without it looking dated. Trek doesn't lend itself as a series that looks back. Taking place in the Kelvin universe will allow it more creative freedom.
     
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  20. Phil123

    Phil123 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    And on an episode of Voyager, Nelix delivers to Seven a Trolley for PADDs containing her parents journals. That bothered me so much as wi-fi existed when the episode was made!
     
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