View Single Post
  #5  
Old 03-07-2011, 10:54 AM
kevin's Avatar
kevin kevin is offline
Federation Councillor
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: East Kilbride, Glasgow, UK
Posts: 21,078
Default

I'm not usually so enamoured of the wholly virtous (in real-life perhaps at times, though there's usually an issue or two lurking somewhere because no-one is that good ALL the time) for TV characters so much anyway nor am I remotely one myself, and I think that H has some points.

Maybe there has been a repositioning of some things in terms of the percieved drivers of the characters origins and directions from TOS. Warning - The following isn't entirely focused yet and may involve some rambling as I try to put across what I'm thinking..............I should probably wait before typing but nevermind, it's like a stream of consciousness.

I think there may be an element of what perhaps individuals want or need their characters to be in Star Trek at play in certain responses to the perception of the characters. I'm not going to dismiss H's lament to what was lost, but I'm wondering whether it's not so much an intentional loss as a restructuring of some of the necessities of dealing with characters and settings coming up on 50 years since the franchise began.

Since I wasn't around in the 60s I hope I'm not speaking out of turn too much, but in terms of TV characterisation the 60s were a less complex time for creating characters and there was a tendency for TV shows to be very clear cut over who was good and who was bad. The 'good' guys were almost routinely without significant vices, always made the right call, always wanted to do what they were doing for some important reasons - or put another way 'good people doing good things for good reasons'. TOS absolutely fulfils this structure with it's trio. Even if, they themselves had their moments. Kirk was a user. He usually did it for some good reason, but he was a user when he wanted to be.

And doing so never remotely hurt it at the time, but the relative simplicity of it is there still.

Nowadays the audience is often less prepared to accept necessarily these simpler constructs in favour of something they can more easily relate to and understand. We know now the 60s were not simpler in reality, they were just presented that way by umpteen TV shows. That doesn't play for audiences in the 2000s so much anymore because the audience is I think less receptive. It doesn't mean the character can't be someone to look and and in some way look to, but I think possibly that in a larger sense people don't want characters of completely unadulterated virtue. Humans have foibles, different motivations, many, many things. I think that they find that doesn't translate to something that they can erhaps always engage with because in the post-modern, post-deconstruction era of just about everything they want to see people who have a variety of motivations and reasons for doing what they do. And they don't need to be perfect, selfless individuals to accomplish that.

Or maybe that's solely me. Answers on a postcard.................

However, it's also the case that some people do want and prefer that more cleanly defined state of, well, the word we're using is virtue so may as well stick with it. I don't think preferring one or the other is wrong, it's simply what said person needs from the characters. And I don't pretend to be consistent any more than I pretend to be virtous. I like the TOS goodness, and I also like the slightly different reasons/motivations contained within the reboot. For me, they work within the context of the underlying story in Star Trek 2009, in as much as the TOS ones did then.

In essence what we may have with the reboot is the equivalent of 'good people doing good things...........for a multitude of reasons that don't damage them, but have their own origins'. The important parts (for me, I'm not saying anyone else should agree) are that they are and remain basically good people doing.......or attempting to do good things. Will they always succeed, or make the right choices? Well, certainly I hope not. There's little mileage in characters who never err, or do something the audience can be divided over sometimes.

- Spock's reaction to the offer of help on Nero. Should he have acted the way he did? Would he come to regret thinking that way? Should he regret thinking that way? Discuss away..........at least it's provoking a discussion and not leaving the viewers passively watching something perhaps obviously right.

The fact that Kirk in this new universe was for a while lost and aimless because of a lack of inspiration provided by his father in this universe doesn't prevent him from finding his way back around to the life that best suits him. And he will likely do good things in the future. His experiences to this point are different, but he gets on track. In becoming a Captain he undergoes the journey from aimless to having true purpose.

That perhaps at this point McCoy is still hurting from his divorce is one thing. Of course, we know that the theoretical character history of TOS his story was much the same. He was driven to Starfleet in the wake of a divorce and since we saw him in the show long after that we don't really know he wasn't hurting in much the same way when he signed up to Starfleet in the 'original' timeline. Divorce hurts people. It causes them to at times make great changes in his life. He makes a transformative move in the wake of his pain, to do something which will help and heal others. He'll keep his phobias, his grouchiness and his charm. But in time, he'll also move on from his pain and serve his ship well.

That Spock is more emotional has always intuitively made sense since even in the film he's much younger than when we first saw him in the series TOS. Is it or is it not a coincidence that in some ways he even at times feels a bit like Spock from 'The Cage'. A much more emotional performance and character. And also a younger one. His struggles haven't even reached the level of balance they have by TOS Season 1 - and we all know he never really balanced them that well anyway. His pretense simply became 'better' until many years later he was able to indulge himself in it and not be caught in the struggle to even try and balance it. To be himself. As it may also unfold in this timeline.

I'm at the end of my thoughts at present. I may have more later.
__________________
'If the Apocalypse starts, beep me!' - Buffy Summers
'The sky's the limit.....' Jean-Luc Picard, 'All Good Things'


courtesy of Saquist

Last edited by kevin : 03-07-2011 at 01:10 PM.
Reply With Quote