Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by David Hanley, Feb 21, 2021.
Ah, thanks, I knew I was gonna forget something
You make a lot of good arguments here, though I thought Char Kais had a good rejoinder which prompted me to think through a response myself.
I don't disagree about VOY being when Trek fatigue perhaps started, but even there, you still had VOY and DS9 running at the same time, along with the TNG movies. VOY, even if a bad copy of TNG, still was different (perhaps surface level in some respects but also in terms of character and tone) than DS9, and the TNG movies also were more bigger budgeted actiony affairs which largely set them apart from VOY and the non-Dominion War episodes of DS9. So even under Berman Trek there was variety, but that still didn't stave off the fatigue or stop from exhausting fan interest. I don't disagree with your basic judgment of ENT as well, however with its prequel setting, it's more pointed Earth/Vulcan relationship, Porthos, it's introducing new villains like the Suliban, Future Guy, and then the Xindi, and it's too late realized promise of building towards the Federation, it too had a lot of things that set it apart from every other Trek series or film.
As for CBS Trek, the more I thought about it, while I agree with you that Picard is a character study, could not the same be said for the first three seasons of DISCO (especially the first two) when it comes to Burnham? The show creators have been upfront about DISCO being Burnham's journey, and only slowly (perhaps as a result of fan reaction) been turning it into more of an ensemble series, but one that still keeps Burnham at the heart of it.
SNW is being promised to be more episodic, but that remains to be seen. DISCO and PIC have both used arc-based storytelling, which made them feel similar even if on the surface there were differences. There's also the willingness to be more violent than other Trek series which ties them together. It also remains to be seen about Prodigy and I'll believe they are going to really do a Section 31 series when I actually see it. Personally I think the ship has sailed for that idea. The positive reaction to Pike, Number One, and Spock stole whatever thunder there was to do a Section 31 series. I don't see why that couldn't just be a recurring subplot in SNW. It could be a way to bring Tyler back as well. The Enterprise does need a dedicated security officer now with anyway.
Let me say I don't begrudge some of the moves CBS Trek is making. I've long thought they needed to do something like Prodigy, and I've thought that the Short Treks was an innovative idea, and could be a way to revisit the various parts of the franchise without making new movies, miniseries, or television series. I hope they do more Short Treks because it could be a great way to revisit Sulu, Chekov, Uhura, and even Kirk again. Most of what CBS has done or is proposing-outside of the Section 31 series-I feel aren't bad ideas. The execution of what I've seen though does often leave, if not a lot, then something to be desired.
I doubt it, by the time they were planning that storyline, the folks at CBS would already have known Picard was happening and Patrick Stewart was signed on. Remember, Calypso was written after Michael Chabon was hired as showrunner for Picard, and he chose to set it in the distant future based on conversations he had with Disco's writing staff.
TV executives have very strict standards when it comes to determining whether something is a success or a failure. It's why so many shows get cancelled early on if they are anything other than a smash success right out of the gate, even on streaming services. Hell, even with a smash success, the streaming services tend to cut the cord after two or three seasons anyway, with maybe Stranger Things being the one unique exception. So there obviously must be a demand for new Star Trek shows, otherwise we would not be at the point we are now.
The TNG movies didn't really have that big a budget. Maybe they had a larger budget than a typical episode of TNG, DS9 or Voyager, but compared to other action movies produced at the time, the budget was quite miniscule in comparison.
Disco is an action show with Michael Burnham as its lead character, Picard is character oriented drama. This is confirmed by the show's writing staffs. If you want to make an argument that Michael gets significant character development, moreso than you would expect from an action show's lead, fine, but that still doesn't change the fact that Disco is in fact an action show.
The budget for the TNG movies was similar to movies of that time.
The Matrix $63m
The Lost World: Jurassic Park $73m
The Mummy $80m
Exactly. I truly believe half of Discovery dissatisfaction is because of not realizing what the show actually set out to do.
Voyager and Enterprise had the illusion of taking a risk just based off their premises alone, but, in the end, they still felt like the same show. The two shows played it safe, which I found extremely disappointing considering how radically different they were presented against the shows that came before them.
I can remember watching the first season of Enterprise and being very disappointed strictly because it still felt like a product of the TNG era. I can remember even making a post on here at the time saying that I don't think Archer should even have a ready room. I got some pushback, but, then someone here defended me by saying that while it isn't technically wrong that Archer have a ready room, that's an element that was introduced in the TNG era, which only makes the show feel more connected to the ones that take place over two centuries later.
So while I may have enjoyed Enterprise at that time, deep down, I was feeling frustration over all this new Trek just feeling the same. I didn't experience any burnout with regard to their being too much Trek out there; I was feeling burnout because it all just felt the same and not much different between each series.
Due to the very nature of almost all of Trek focusing on Starfleet, by its very nature they will feel the same. It's like if we watched a documentary of our navy or air force. After a while, they'd all feel the same.
Picard is the first show to venture outside the confines of Starfleet. I think for Trek to survive it needs to explore their universe outside of Starfleet. At Star Wars, Mandalorian made a big jump in making the lead a non-Jedi (something experiemented before in Star Wars in the 1980s with Droids and Ewoks, before the prequels made the franchise Jedi-centric again). Star Trek needs to consider doing more non-Starfleet work.
That's literally what it is doing
Agreed - though I will say that I think Deep Space Nine managed to separate itself very well from its siblings, too.
I completely disagree.
Star Wars is a remix of different genres:
Western movies / Samurai movies / World War 2 movies / space opera / serial adventure movies
You can pull out an element of that mix and focus on that element and it works to some degree (The Mandalorian, a space western show).
You also could do a show that focuses on the fighter pilots from the Rebellion, focus on the military/WW2 elements of Star Wars, or a show about spy/infiltration missions (the upcoming Cassian Andor show).
I don't think you can do that with Star Trek.
Star Trek is an allegorical SciFi show about a utopia and an enlightened mankind.
If you deviate from that, you end up with a generic SciFi action show with a Star Trek brand, aka NuTrek.
Why does an utopia and enlightened future have to be told from the perspective of the military? If anything, an enlightened Star Trek in a peaceful, enlightened utopia would make the military more of a formality than a necessity, and more interesting stories would be told outside of Starfleet.
Exactly. It's a ridiculous box to put Star Trek in to that it can only be told from the point of view Starfleet.
I hate opening up this box yet again....I really do...but...
Star Trek isn't about a f-ing utopia. It's about space pioneers who live in a society that has finally learned to work together to overcome weaknesses and obstacles so as to explore the galaxy and get into adventures.
Utopia is a boring, banal, concept that Star Trek (at least, classic Star Trek) pretty much outright rejected at every possible turn. Just because Picard says it in TNG doesn't make it true. There are 700 hours of Star Trek that prove that the society is better than what we live in today, but people still face struggles and make mistakes, act like selfish a-holes, and not everything is perfect. We've seen examples in episodes of people motivated by all the same negative emotions (hate, greed, etc) we have today. We've seen examples where some people have more than others (and there are economics). We've seen war. We've seen corruption.
The difference is that in Star Trek, we ultimately find a way to overcome all that $hit and still win the day. It's not that we're flawless and utopian...it's just that we've learned as a society how to fight to get to a better place despite still having flaws and other inherent weaknesses.
What keeps it from being "generic sci fi" is that it isn't generally DYStopian.
And even when it has darker themes (which tend to be the more popular stories, i.e. Best of Both Worlds, Dominion War, TWOK, etc.) it still isn't dystopian.
But, this poor horse is beaten to death and now Jell-O.
Even if Trek isn't an utopia, I kind of think Starfleet's been overexplored after literally 50 years. Picard has shown that stories outside of Starfleet can exist.
Apparently, they managed not to destroy nature totally by the 24th century...Which is remarkable in and of itself.
I don't think one has anything to do with the other. I think that Star Trek, as presented, is a very large sandbox to tell a lot of different stories and variety of styles within it. That is a great positive which is why an effort to box in Star Trek I find rather odd, either as a Starfleet only show, a military only show, etc. Star Trek is about exploring new frontiers, both about humanity and out in space. That's a big amount of space to explore in.
I agree totally, it's one of the reasons that PIC is a fascinating show to me.
That said, I think Starfleet is a pretty good story telling tool/setting for this universe, so continued use of it doesn't bother or bore me...as long as it's continually presented in a fresh and interesting way.
At the end of day you can't please everyone all of the time, we all have our likes and dislikes when it comes to entertainment.
That being said in the case of a TV show your audiance has to be enganged by the characters if they aren't they'll stop watching at some point, and without scrolling through this thread I'm failry certain that some critisim levelled at the show revolves around the characters.
True but I feel like there is some strange aspect of this show that people coming back even though there is a lack of engagement with the characters.
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