Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by David Hanley, Feb 21, 2021.
How dare people want make money after spending their money? How dare they look at market trends to determine best possible return on investment?
I may not agree with their choices but it isn't my millions of dollars that is being spent. What has sold has been demonstrably TOS connected, from merchandise, to fan films to Abrams Trek reimagining that era and connecting via Nimoy.
As a fan it strikes me as odd that all these TOS connections bring such success and yet Discovery doing so is looked at with being mere nostalgia baiting. That's what audiences have demonstrated interest in.
They could've potentially avoid some backlash by saying this is set in an alternate universe rather than trying to tie it into the Prime Timeline.
And CBS had no input on the direction of the new show? CBS was beholden to do whatever Fuller decided to do? C'mon man!
Setting the show 10 years before TOS and including Spock's never seen or heard before sister was a deliberate and calculated choice by CBS to nostalgia bait old fans and give the show additional legitmatcy.
Astute viewers will notice they've done anything they want, from changing iconic designs, races of characters, designs of aliens and slapped "prime universe" on it.
In every episode of every series, we see people that we'd never heard of before.
CBS bought Fuller's pitch, so CBS ultimately agreed with his ideas, ergo they did make the decision. As for the Mirror Universe stuff, there's nothing about that storyline, Lorca, his motivations, or his designs for Burnham that rooted it in the 23rd century. That story could've taken place in the 25th century or beyond, no problem.
Regarding the monetary incentive to put DISCO in the 23rd century I have no argument there, but from a creative standpoint there was no reason. Further, if you do decide to go with the 23rd century it almost felt like CBS went of its way with it's 'visual rebooting' to make it look as non-23rd century as they could. Certainly the argument is out there that they couldn't be beholden to replicating 50-year-old starship designs or production values, but I do think more could've been done to honor the TOS aesthetic as well as spirit (and not just a tacked on "We are Starfleet" speech after a season of blood, mutiny, and murder). I am okay with making a series look good for a 21st century audience, but I think the Kelvin films and Axanar did that while also respecting the established aesthetic.
Beyond the monetary incentive, I don't think it hurts to look back at TNG. It had nothing but TOS to compare it to and it did alright, and also established a new aesthetic. There was nothing to preclude DISCO from doing the same, or attempting to do so.
Going by some of the comments, you wouldn't have guessed that Discovery was the flagship show that made Paramount Plus into a streaming contender, and sparked a Star Trek streaming tv universe to rival Disney Plus' Mandalorian and associated Star Wars shows.
They're doing what they can to make it fit. I guess I just feel fortunate that CBS is making the effort to stay in the same continuity as a 50 year old tv show, while over at Star Wars, Disney not just jettisoned its entire expanded universe (which was previously marketed as being a cohesive continuity, and the key advantage it had to Star Trek), it also jettisoned 3 entire tv shows and 2 movies from Canon (Clone Wars 2003, Droids, Ewoks, and the 2 Ewok movies). And even though these shows/movies have finally been put on Disney Plus, they still refuse to issue a statement saying they acknowledge them as canon.
CBS' statements that their Trek is all in the Prime timeline and making at least an attempt to try to make them fit seems like Olympic champion efforts in comparison.
The ship interior aesthetics would be more at home in the late 23rd century rather than the mid 23rd century.
They weren't "beholden" all I said was it was Fuller's idea, not CBS's. Indeed, the fact CBS rejected Fuller's original idea of an anthology series proves they had input.
Again, that was Fuller's idea and played a factor in why he was fired. You can see in the second season they walked back as many as the visual changes as it was practical to, to the point that with the Enterprise they were practically tripping over themselves with making it as faithful to TOS as possible, a mentality that will likely continue into SNW.
This goes as far back as TOS. General Order 24 is all about when it is okay to wipe out all life on a planet.
This is a completely wrong approach from CBS. This is a problem of their own making. Fans never asked for this in the first place.
Fans did not ask for a show set 10 years before TOS with a close relative of one of the most iconic character of Star Trek as the main character of the new show.
With SNW, set on the Enterprise, with Spock and Pike, CBS is doubling down with the retro/nostalgia-bait and they are opening themselves up to even more to critic (fan outcry) regarding both canon/story/history continuity and visual continuity.
Again, CBS was not forced to do this by original fan demand.
From what I have observed, the number one demand from fans (even since the time of the announcement that Enterprise was a prequel show) is to move forward in the timeline. Sometimes I see people express interest in a new show in the early-to-mid 24th century (Lost Era, Captain Sulu and the Excelsior, Picard the Stargazer, something like that). Even less often people want a show about the early Federation/Archer.
The number one demand from fans, for 20 years, is to move forward.
Before STD, I did not see a demand for a show set shortly before or in the TOS timeframe.
What they finally did with STP (2399) and the third season of Discovery (32nd century).
So i don't see your point here.
Both Picard and Discovery are post Nemesis, yet people are still complaining.
What the fans you talk about wanted was a show that was in 2380 or 2385 or whatever but had the same stories about the same stock characters (Captain, commander, engineer, doctor, security officer), same Okudagrams, same ships designed by Rick Sternbach. That is not really moving forward at all, it's just changing the date but keeping the status quo. The fact of the matter is that Star Trek as a franchise had been run into the ground by the time ENT came to the screen. It was no longer taking risks and unable to tell challenging stories because of Berman's conservativism and general burnout in the writers room. I was pretty active on the old Startrek.com chat room back in the late 90's and the majority of fans in that space wanted Trek to end for a while, or for someone else to take over.
TOS is and always will be the most popular series. It's timeless and will always be the touchstone of the franchise. TOS has wide mass appeal and even the most layman among the general population knows who Kirk and Spock are. They wanted a new series to cater to existing fans but also be accessible to new ones and rebuild mass appeal. Add to this the fact that Star Trek 2009 was a financial juggernaut and critical success, naturally the 23rd century was where any series relaunching the franchise would be set.
I can't speak for Char Kais here, but from what I gather his concern is that those moves you mentioned should've been made before DISCO's first season. We know with the hiring of Kirsten Beyer that they have a good writer on the staff who had a finger to the pulse of the Trek fan community (the literature reading side anyway, but I would argue the book and comic readers are some of the hardest of the hardcore when it comes to any fandom so if you want to get those folks in your corner it would behoove CBS to listen to the person I'm gathering is closest to them on the DISCO writing staff). I do wonder how much influence Beyer has in the writing room and how much she's helped stave off some bad decisions with CBS Trek and how often her advice has been ignored.
I could see the moves to catapult DISCO into the 32nd century, as well as going with PIC as reactions from CBS to fan pique over the issues some of them had with DISCO regarding its canonicity, etc.
I don't think fans should be the ultimate end all, be all in terms of who CBS, Disney, or whoever has to appeal to. To have a breakout hit or blockbuster you need more than the hardcore fan base. That said, it makes little sense to not do what you can to satisfy that fan base, to get them excited, so that they can cheerlead and spread the word to their family and friends, as well as on the internet. And those are going to be the people who buy the merchandise and ancillary books, comics, and video games, who go to the theaters repeatedly to look at the films, and who get (and maybe keep) the streaming subscriptions, etc. Getting these fans on your side is a good thing, and though it might not seem to be the case, I think that many old fans can be flexible regarding new Trek or Star Wars, it's just how it's brought to them, and if they feel that the old or 'classic' stuff (i.e. them, and the time and money they've invested already) has been respected. Even there, that's not an absolute and depends on how revered the franchise is. I didn't see too much outcry about all the changes new Battlestar Galactica made due to the short run and relative obscurity of the original series. I'm a BSG: TOS fan so I was heartened by the nods to the original series, but I was also okay with many of the changes new BSG made. My issues with new BSG came more from the lack of direction for the overall story and some writing choices pertaining to some of the characters, but not the re-imagining itself.
For DISCO I didn't care for Burnham being Spock's surprise sister, however it wasn't a deal breaker for me. I also didn't like the visual reboot (even though I liked many of the designs on their own), some of the characters or actors cast didn't do anything for me, and I didn't care for a lot of the writing, and the attempt to put wow or kewl moments over giving us time to bond with these characters. If the writing had been better and characters are compelling I can forgive a lot of things when it comes to canon or special effects, etc. To me, DISCO's first season had some of its strongest arc-writing, but fumbled in character development, mainly outside of Burnham. Character development got better in the second and third seasons, but the arc-writing didn't. I hope in the fourth season that it can all come together, that we get satisfying story arcs along with character development/arcs.
Since I like TOS and the TOS Movies, as well as the TOS characters more than anything else Star Trek has to offer, I'd say I got exactly what I wanted. I'm all for exploring that era and expanding the backstory of those characters further. In my mind, it's a heck of a lot better than yet another bump forward in time with yet another Starfleet ship doing yet another impersonation of TNG.
"The Fans" have no f-ing idea what they want. It's as splintered and diverse a group as there are humans on Earth. Trek has shown repeatedly that trying to give "The Fans" what they ask for is a fool's errand.
I think you're projecting your own desires onto what an ill-defined, finnicky, nit-picky population of people "want most." For every fan that wants something, there's a fan somewhere else who absolutely hates that. For everyone who wants to see "Star Trek The NEXT Next Generation," there's a fan who wants to totally go against the standard formula and push the envelope.
In the meantime, relax. The show has been on since 2017 and it isn't going anywhere anytime soon. And DSC has been profitable enough that CBS (who apparently "took a completely wrong approach") is continuing to produce the show at $8M a pop, and churning out a number of new series as well.
It's a shame you and other didn't get what you wanted. But a lot of people did. It happens. Life goes on.
This is largely conjecture, but my two cents:
Bryan Fuller had a particular story reason why he wanted the first season set 10 years before TOS, but the series was so revamped after he left that we never got to actually see what it was. I suspect, though I have no evidence, that he wanted Michael Burnham to be bicultural - a human raised by Vulcans - but the idea of her as Spock's sister only came about later on. For example, the scenes in the opening two-parter with Sarek seem like they were added later as reshoots - they aren't actually necessary to the plot of the episodes, as Michael could figure everything out even without Sarek's advice.
On the other hand, the redesign is apparently totally on him - though of course CBS might have chosen to throw him under the bus to try and excuse the decisions. Nonetheless, it seems like he got the idea that since everything was redesigned from TOS to TNG, there was no reason why he shouldn't also redesign everything. This wasn't just true with the Klingon makeup design either. There was way, way too much time and money wasted in pre-production on the ornate Ship of the Dead and various props we barely even see clearly for a few seconds. I think this played a big role in why he was fired, since he seems to have been fired from American Gods for roughly the same reason (spending/asking for too much money).
Ultimately, as the first season turned out, there was little reason to have it as a prequel. Sarek was there, but he didn't act like Sarek. Mudd was there, but he didn't act like Mudd. The Klingons were there, but not only didn't they look like Klingons, they didn't act much like them (in either their TOS or Berman-era versions). Aside from this, the series didn't really introduce much of anything from TOS ahead of time, and left more questions regarding the TOS era than providing any answers (except for providing an in-canon explanation of why Sarek didn't get along with Spock - probably the smartest bit of writing in the entire season), and a real deep-cut reference to Enterprise.
This is a thread about Discovery and why people hate it, not about Picard (but I'm going to talk about it).
With seasons one and two, the damage was done and there is still the issue with Spock's sister.
I have never argued that moving forward in the timeline would automatically result in good stories.
You still have to do the groundwork of good storytelling, obviously.
The problems with Picard are numerous.
One of these problems is that it is, again, a nostalgia-bait show.
With "moving forward in the timeline for the setting of a new show" is implied to move forward as TNG did with TOS (60+ years, multiple generations). Do a clear cut.
All three live-action NuTrek shows are nostalgia-bait. Two of these shows are prequels or did start as such.
Akiva Goldsman as co-showrunner will always result in a catastrophe no matter when the story is set.
The comments came from people on the art team, not like people directly working at CBS.
It's a prequel, we've never seen Sarek before TOS before. So we don't know how he acted until now. He still had his stubbornness and all that.
Disagree. They acted very much Berman-Era Klingons just with a new coat of paint.
They still went on about honour, and were contradictory with that just like in the TNG Era.
Though on the other hand, Kol felt very TOS Klingon to me.
Again ~10 years before he appeared in TOS. Maybe he mellowed out. His record in TOS said he went under psychiatric treatment, while it says the effectiveness is a dispited, maybe it changed him a bit.
He isn't a co-showrunner in any of the series.
Separate names with a comma.