Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Infern0, Dec 22, 2013.
^I think Michael Dorn proposed something like that.
Here's a crazy idea: how about a prime universe Pike-era series, starting right where The Cage left off? Get Bruce Greenwood and Quinto to reprise Pike and Spock. Use the 1964 model Enterprise, giant bridge, spiked nacelle caps and all.
And don't let JJ anywhere near it.
^I suppose Pike has to be a misogynist asshole, in order to exactly conform to 1960's Trek canon?
That is a must!!!
Dorn wants Star Trek: Captain Worf, which is retarded.
They were under contracts that kept them from doing just that. They just never expected the Studio to become do domineering.
Ron Moore was able to quit the way he did because he was just a writer who WASN'T under that kind of contract.
I liked Enterprise but aside from the last season it was just not telling the stories I would enjoy- the Temporal Cold War was a huge time waste IMO.
A franchise makes money by giving people a product they enjoy and expect. Sometimes it mines all the potential a particular vein and has to reach beyond. Stargate is a perfect example for that- the followup series went further and further each time.
I think leaping past Voyager several centuries would have been interesting- seeing what happened to all the old conflicts and finding new ways to explore. Life on the Enterprise-J looked interesting and with digital sets they could pull it off. Another idea would be to return to the USS Relativity's mission and have a show that visits multiple timelines but for specific missions. The novels involving the Department of Temporal Investigations have some great stories with a much more complicated universe that we have seen before-
^^Seasons 1 and 2 weren't terrible, but did suffer from mediocrity. Enterprise didn't hit its stride until season 3. I thought the Xindi arc did improve Enterprise, especially with a more serialized feel. However, I think if the intention was to introduce the Earth Romulan War, the enemy should have been Romulans instead of the Xindi.
I would set a series maybe 10 years after the end of Voyager so you can see them midway through the process of rebuilding from the war.
Totally new writers, and make sure they're very opinionated writers. That's what Trek needs, writers with fresh ideas and strong personalities who fight hard for their own vision.
A lot of people tuned in for the premier of DS9 and then dropped off in droves. DS9: "Emissary" was the most watched episode of Star Trek since TNG went on the air, if not ever.
Similarly, many more tuned in for the premiers of VOY and ENT than stuck with the shows, though with each successive premier, their numbers got smaller and smaller.
The market was there to be had; people just didn't like what they saw, pure and simple. In many cases, people gave the shows a chance, but once they got dissatisfied, they never came back. On the other hand, many kept giving the successive premiers "just one more chance."
Excuses such as that the syndication market was contracting just obfuscate the issue, which is simply that Star Trek, or at least the Star Trek that was being aired, was just another one of the things that people didn't want to watch in large numbers.
To put it another way, things that interested Star Trek fans did not interest most people. This way attempting to solve the problem by changing the century, the specific setting (ship, station, starbase, etc.), or the available species, I think that it's just a symptom of this. For every fan that thinks that these sorts of ideas are totally awesome, there are many more people who think that they're ever more ridiculous. That's a bad equation for a prospective TV show.
I invite you to research the ratings history for shows like Hercules, Xena, Babylon 5, and Baywatch. They parallel the ratings decline of Deep Space Nine. Should we assume that all those shows, all of which found themselves moved from prime time slots on Saturdays to Midnight slots on Sundays (if they were even reordered), were afflicted, at least in part, with the same disease? There was indeed a ratings ceiling that started to emerge--and lower--in the mid-1990s for syndication.
The man's made Star Trek popular again, and so he's going to be the one in charge or at least still having some input on what's going on in future. There's no way (short of dying) that he won't be a part of Star Trek from here on in.
They also have to be not afraid of pissing people off or doing things that people wouldn't consider 'moral'.
A few things.
First of all, you say "all those shows" as if you're talking about a large sample. You aren't. There are only a few shows there, really. The four shows you mentioned have one thing in common: to a lot of people, if you've seen one of each, you've seen them all. Heresy to a science fiction fan (3/4 of the shows you mentioned besides DS9 are sci-fi/fantasy), but it's a fact of life. Formula, when repeated often enough, wears thin, and viewers bail.
Then again, Baywatch, the non-SF/F example on your list, isn't really like the others. It was actually popular. Very popular. For a time, Baywatch was the most-watched TV series in the world [link]. Sexiness > sci-fi/fantasy?!? I'm shocked, shocked! This was actually a formula people liked; having only niche appeal is a charge that didn't stick to Baywatch.
Second of all, UPN can't count as syndication. It was a full-blown network. There were hit network programs with stable ratings during this era, just on the big three/four. The fact that The Simpsons was able to rise up through the ranks and put Fox on the map meant that with good (i.e., appealing) enough programming, more or less anybody could earn the success normally reserved to the big three, even in a period of so-called market contraction. That means that a lot of "blame" for ratings declines must be laid at the feet of the programming itself (formulaic shows with only niche appeal), and that's especially so for the Star Trek spin-offs, which had their chances again and again.
Third, as I said, the first episode of DS9 was hands-down the most-watched Star Trek episode in post-TOS history. What does the fact that there was an instant drop-off mean, given that it was immediately followed by the downward slope that spanned all post-TNG Trek shows? It means that, in aggregate, viewers found DS9 to be nothing special, and that the same applied for VOY and ENT.
^Perhaps you didn't see that I brought up market contraction specifically in the context of DS9?
"All those show" were the best performing syndicated shows of the nineties. You may research overall market trends, but you would likely require a university library.
Huh. I'm not sure exactly what your point is here. Are you suggesting that Xena and Babylon-5 were somehow more formulaic than TNG or DS9?
I mean, I'm sure that for some people all fantasy or sci-fi shows look the same, but I'm not sure the shows cited were more formulaic than any other TV show, be they sitcoms, cop shows, or space operas. And as a diehard Xena fan, I gotta protest the idea that "you've seen one ep, you've seen them all." As with TOS, Xena eps ranged from comedies to dramas to action-adventure--with even a musical or two thrown in, by the Gods!
If the slope of DS9's decline really had to do with it being in syndication, then why was it the same as the slope in the decline of both VOY and ENT as well? The fact that the slopes were parallel, with the decline of one Trek show leading into the next, would suggest that something else might be going on, besides a phenomenon specific to just syndication, or even to just one show alone; something more overarching, yes?
The non-sci-fi one of the ones you mentioned did well. Very well. The others you mentioned were formulaic sci-fi entries with only niche appeal. What more should have been expected? They got their day and then some, as they all stayed on longer in syndication than they could have on network. The results were nothing that couldn't have been expected based on content alone.
Yeah, my point is that to non-sci-fi fans they all look alike. These shows are all inaccessible to people who can't get past the fact that it is fantasy. I'm convinced that most people don't get anything out of these kinds of shows beyond what they get out of the first episode they see. To them, it looks like it's all formulaic, because it literally all looks the same. It's off-putting to most viewers.
Please consider my remarks amended accordingly with this qualification.
I'd also like to revise the bold text to read:
I think that captures not only what I originally literally wrote (which while itself correct in the abstract, wasn't really applicable in those cases, as Greg Cox pointed out) but also my intent that it's the perception of every episode looking the same that's a problem (irrespective of whether, to the fans, each episode generally speaking has something new to offer, e.g. in the form of novelty, character development, or arc continuation).
If people can't connect to a show because it all looks the same, then they will bail, because they know what to expect. If they do connect to a show, but find it is too repetitive after a while, then they may bail, because they know what to expect. In the last case, they are more likely to bail, if what they expect to get isn't something rewarding. I guess I was really trying to say these two different things in one sentence.
This puts sci-fi at a disadvantage, even when people can connect with it. When the pay-off in a sci-fi show is the completion of an arc about how the Niloobians' teleplasm is really tetrahedral after all, instead of trigonal as was widely believed, then just exactly what is the viewer supposed to take away to enrich their lives? They have no teleplasm in their lives, and they know no Niloobians. In some fields, such as technical fields, water cooler talk of it might be expected, but I doubt that's generally true. I feel confident in claiming that most people wouldn't feel elated upon knowing this about Niloobians, in a way that's as personally rewarding to them as when they hear a good Seinfeld joke or insight. I think that DS9, VOY, and ENT all suffered from this sort of self-importance. I believe that viewers knew either instinctively or in short order that the shows were going to be about things that mattered only in the world of Star Trek. For most people, there could be no takeaway to enrich their lives, because they don't value the fantasy world.
TNG retained its casual viewers because it was not challenging and did not require any viewer investment, and also happened to have very good writing. That kind of show, like TNG but moving forward in time is the most likely to keep a big audience. And I think enough time has passed that it would work.
Would it be the show I want to watch? I'd rather Trek go for a small cable audience and be more ambitious.
I think a new show would be a big sell with the right components. Center the plot around five bikini-clad Starfleet officers (all of varying ethnicities, one of which should ideally be a vampire) who are supermodels by day, but paranormal crime-fighters by night. They'll traverse the galaxy winning beauty pagents for the betterment of mankind, while solving crimes deemed too tough to crack. Each weekly episode will feature heavy and obvious product placement for the sponsors of the week, and once a month, the crew will become marooned on a tropical planet where they must compete against each other to stay on the show. All this excitement and more, coming soon, to a low-rated network near you.
Returning to the prime universe would be confusing to a lot of viewers but bringing back Greenwood and Quinto in a prequel could draw in fans of the movies without having the costs of bringing in the whole cast.
Popular? Certainly. JJ has dumbed Trek down for the masses and turned it into another Star Wars style cash machine, which is wonderful, I suppose. The Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies are popular too, and also show the same lack of respect for the original source material. Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes was a detective with a clockwork intellect, not an action hero. Roddenberry's Kirk was a disciplined, professional Starfleet officer and brilliant tactician, not an impulsive, smug little punk.
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