What's more important, good story telling or adherence to continuity?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by The Overlord, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. Monkey Klaus

    Monkey Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Some would complain but it wouldn't be over canon. It would be over the premise if they didn't like it. It would be like how with "Enterprise" the main complaint was that people didn't want a prequel since we would know how the future would turn out.

    I supose their was some about the tech and uniforms but that never seemed to be the main complaint . Actually letting Berman and Braga have another go was most likely the main one and then after that was the setting. I think the only real canon issue was the idea of having a Enterprise that existed we had never heard about.

    Also a visual retcon is okay just not in the time period they choose. Even people who talk about a more retro/future look were also calling for a visual retcon just one that feels more natural. It' also why The difference between "TOS" and "TNG" doesn't have this issue. If "TNG" had been set 10 years after "TOS" it would be completely unbelievable. Nobody would buy into it being in the same universe. People would have just called it a remake. Nobody wonders if the old "Battlestar Galatica" and the new one were in the same universe even if they would sometimes use some old stuff like Cylons and ships as kind of nods to the old show.

    Jason
     
  2. NeoStar9

    NeoStar9 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Story telling every single time.
     
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  3. EyalM

    EyalM Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Continuity is actually an important part of good story telling.
    Any fictional universe needs to have some basic logic and rules which are consisted within that universe (regardless of how fantastic they may be in relation to the real world) and consistent characterization of the players. If there aren't, then the story can't have any sense of stakes and drama.
    But let's not confuse consist rules and characters with inconsistent color of the phase beam....:)
     
  4. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Commodore Commodore

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    Wow -- THIS! 100% this!
     
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  5. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Missed the bit where Scotty says Starfleet (/Section 31) confiscated his transwarp equation?
     
  6. Dar70

    Dar70 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Good continuity is part of good story telling. Sure there will be some errors in continuity. Just about every tv show has continuity issues. But discovery pretty much outright ignores it.
     
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  7. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    Missed the bit where he was holding the freakin' thing in his hand? He said they stole it to build this device. Now it's there. And how the f--k are they supposed to confiscate something out of his head?
     
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  8. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Commodore

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    Nine times out of ten problems in continuity mean bad story telling. If a writer is too lazy to do proper research s/he’ll be lazy in his work too.
     
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  9. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

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    Continuity for me, sorry. That’s why I love the Trek novels - they explain a lot of gaffes away.

    If continuity wasn’t worthwhile, you could make any new Sci-Fi series without that “burden”.

    (Btw, I love DSC. It adheres to continuity.)
     
  10. King Bob!

    King Bob! History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    Um... there is seven hundred hours of this stuff. I like it and have watched it all my life and still get things confused/wrong.

    Your statement is totally unfair to the writers.
     
  11. Blamo

    Blamo Commodore Commodore

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    Generally adhering to continuity is part of good story telling. However in such a long running franchise, which already has contradicting continuity, adhering to it too closely will just cause issues when trying to write a good story.
     
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  12. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And some gaffes can be ignored, trying to explain why TOS Starfleet was so white, male and middle class, (Ex machina) makes a mockery of an intergalactic Federation. That was not necessary to the story IMO.
    .
     
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  13. Zeppster

    Zeppster Commodore Commodore

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    Good story telling. I've often overlooked continuity errors in Trek be it major or minor if a story is good. You are believing in a world were technology is advanced enough to travel faster than light breaking essentially completely destroying Einstein's Relativity theory and you can travel also via telaportation in a method that breaks down a person's at a cellular level and reassembles them elsewhere. And you have devices that can create objects out of thin air. Continuity or sticking to any type of reality aren't a priority for me. If it was I probably wouldn't be buying into a lot of Star Trek.
     
  14. The Raven

    The Raven Commodore Commodore

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    If you are a good writer, or good writters you can write a good story and make sense of all the canon on the subject.
    If we toss canon away, then just make a new non star trek show.
     
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  15. King Bob!

    King Bob! History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    It isn't canon you're tossing away. It is continuity with the old, which after seven hundred hours of this stuff, becomes a barrier for both writers and viewers.

    Star Trek shouldn't be this insular subject that one needs a PhD in its fictional history to enjoy.
     
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  16. queerTrekker

    queerTrekker Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    What is more important? Good Story telling or Continuity?

    I'd have to say a bit of both really.

    When it comes to writting for a long running franchise, something of the continuity should remain, particularly if you are writing from a prequel standpoint and its not some sort of reboot. Television shows also contain something called television or show bibles. These are scripts, background documents, premises, etc. that are gathered and added to from showrunner to showrunner and so forth. They are used as reference as hands change on the riens so even if you are a writer, director, actor, etc. who has not even watched the property before hand, the show bible can be used as a reference to maintain the continuity even if the people involved change.

    With a property as old as Star Trek is show bible likely has its own library by now :D so any discontinuity is made with concious choice, updating the bible and so forth for future showrunners, The look of the Klingons are an example of this. There look changes so much over time due to the evolution of special effects, make-up and so forth, the same with the settings, Camera techniques, ship designs, etc.

    The formula's derived from show bibles are also used ot train audiences in expectations of the property, exectations being meant lead to comfort, which leads to loyalty for some of that audience.

    In television what you choose to keep or change in continuity particularly in a a television property, and one that crosses into feature films to boot, effects the entire property in the future. Which is why Continuity is such a vital component

    However, as much as continuity is important, a good story is even more so.

    To much adherence to maintaining continuity, or tradition, can lead to a static and outdated property. Good stories are those that appeal to the present auidences but also have a certain stayig power that can be carried on beyond the present. To have a good story you sometimes need to disrupt continuity. Because as humans, we are not a static species. our expereinces, culture, and knowledge evolves over time, and we like our stories to reflect our human nature, to be in someway relaitable to us, i.e good stories.

    So Continuity cannot remain entirily unbroken, Star Trek needs to evolve like the humanity of its audience, though it should still have something of a base of recognizability for the good stories to work with and be recognized by its auidence.
     
  17. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Commodore

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    So do I, but I’m not talking about minutiae, I’m talking about broad strokes. I can’t think of a single episode that had continuity problems, that wasn’t also badly written. Usually it’s the opposite, badly written episodes are also full canon ‘violations’.

    Also the writers can also use Memory Alpha like me and everyone else.
     
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  18. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Commodore Commodore

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    This. If I hire a writer to pen a period piece -- Renaissance, Victorian England, WWI, Nazi Germany, etc... -- I would expect them to see a serious part of their job as researching the era and associated events of the time, to make sure their story fits in without glaring anachronisms or contradictions.

    When one signs on to write Star Trek, I would think there's an understanding that it is a "period piece" and isn't open to every conceivable creative whim just for the sake of "storytelling".

    I think a great story would be how Abraham Lincoln, after taking in a show at the Ford Theatre, led an army against the Nazi colony on Mars to thwart their effort to build an Earth-destroying laser. But I suspect people would either argue this violates historical continuity, or see it as a fun ride that isn't taking itself seriously.
     
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  19. OpenMaw

    OpenMaw Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm with Nick Meyer and Arthur Conan Doyle on this one.

    Continuity has a place, but the more important thing is to tell a good story.

    I only care when it's something they make a big deal out of a lot. Like don't/can't beam through the shields. We had so many episodes where that was a major plot point or a hinge for drama, that if you suddenly ignore it, that comes off as the writer's not even doing basic research... Or if you have someone beam through the shields, it better be equally dramatic in the other direction. "They can beam through our shields! We're defenseless!" *DUN DUN DUNNNN!!!*
     
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  20. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't think the two are so separate ...
    I think, for the most part, fans only complain about continuity contradictions when the story that did so *wasn't* good enough for them to overlook it. A mediocre or lesser episode that contradicts can feel particularly frustrating as it really feels like an annoying waste without a point.

    They can do it but they should know they'll probably face higher expectations (especially with something like that given that "Balance of Terror" is one of the most popular episodes of the original series).
     
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