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  #141  
Old 09-19-2013, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Thanks to Roddenberry?s self-aggrandizing view of ?evolved humanity,? we got stale and stiff characters with a ?higher sensibility.?

I guess the guy missed the stories in which Picard fought with his brother, Riker fought with his father or Geordi failed at dating.

I think it is important to emphasize ad infinitum to Next Gen fans like myself that the new movies are a return to TOS and that TOS differs in some ways from the other series. But I also think it is important to question some cliches about Trek which overemphasize the actual differences among the series. Picard isn't a stiff intellectual captain who never gets laid and Kirk isn't an action-hero captain who only thinks about getting laid. Actually they both have brains and balls and frequently use them.
If there was one thing that I loved about the Trek TOS movies vs. the TNG movies was how TOS handled interpersonal relationships and situations.

I thought the first three, and the sixth TOS films were exemplary in that regard. I thought the Kirk, Spock, McCoy trinity were really held up quite well.

There's just some nice personal touches about scenes like:
TMP-
-Kirk and Scotty in the travel pod
-Kirk breaking the news to Decker in engineering
-McCoy, Decker, and Kirk in Kirk's quarters.
-Kirk, Spock, and McCoy in the officers' lounge.

TWOK-
-Kirk and Spock outside the KM simulator
-Kirk and McCoy at Kirk's condominium on Earth
-Kirk and Spock discussing the situation in Spock's quarters
-Kirk and McCoy (extended scene) after the death of Peter Preston
in sick bay.
-Kirk and Carol in the Regula moon. That was probably the BEST interpersonal scene in all of the first ten Trek films. The dialogue, the meaning, everything.

TSFS-
-The crew gathered in Kirk's condominium on Earth, mourning Spock.
-Kirk's meeting with Morrow to get the Enterprise back
-McCoy talking to a comatose Spock on the Bird of Prey

TUC-
-Kirk confronting Spock at the command conference
-Kirk's personal log about David
-Kirk and McCoy talking about the future in their prison berths
-Kirk talking with Spock in Spock's quarters just before arriving at
Q'itomer.


The Next Gen movies tried to get a sort of interpersonal feel between some of the characters, but it always felt, no matter how personal they tried to get, so distant and formal. In the TNG movies, the best interpersonal scenes came when an individual crew member (usually Picard) is speaking with someone who is not a member of the crew.

GEN-
-Even though the dialogue seemed rather stilted, Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov still seemed to present a sense of familiarity that you knew these guys were friends for years.
-Worf's promotion on the holodeck sea-faring HMS Enterprise. There were still just elements that felt too distant. Picard's confiding in Riker about life at sea was about the nicest touch in the scene, as was Data learning to "get in the spirit of things", at Dr. Crusher's (and Worf's) expense.
-Troi talking with Picard about the deaths of Robert and Rene. While nicely intended, and played out, it still felt too much like a ship's counselor talking to the captain, rather than Deanna talking to Jean-Luc.
-Data and Picard in stellar cartography.
-Picard trying to convince Kirk to help him fight Soran. Beautifully played by both actors.

FC-
-Nice little scene with Cochrane and Lily just before the Borg attack on the Phoenix camp.
-Picard's talks, alone with Lily.

INS-
-Pretty much any time that Picard spoke with Anij. Some very nice personal interplay there.

NEM- -Picard talking with Shinzon at dinner in the Romulan Senate. Tom Hardy, in my opinion, really brought out the personality in the scene...understated, making it feel less formal.
-Data and Picard in astrometrics.
-Picard and B-4 in quarters set aside for B-4.


Just my personal observations. There are far more that I could list for TOS movies, but I don't wanna bore anyone with long lists. (too late? )
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  #142  
Old 09-19-2013, 11:35 AM
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Not at all!

It just makes me think of McCoy in 'The Voyage Home' after talking to Spock - 'You're telling me I have to DIE to discuss your insights on death?'. Characters that have a history and a relationship just having a moment.

Way I see it in a long running thing like Trek possibly more than the specific ideas and values it's the characters who keep you with a show for decades and keep coming back to it. And I don't think the original Trinity was necessarily bettered in the series for the adventures and cameraderie they shared. I don't know if I feel the rest of the crew got there til the films but the sense that these people were each other's family (even though they never started out that way) came through.

I did feel that happened in TNG as well because of the cast chemistry they all shared but the writing and talking probably was a little more formal at times. But it still was there.

And I think that's what gets you through the weak episodes, the bad episodes and makes you enjoy the good and great ones as well. The characters. For me, that's been recaptured with the Abrams cast again even though there's been some changes.
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  #143  
Old 09-19-2013, 09:12 PM
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Not at all!

It just makes me think of McCoy in 'The Voyage Home' after talking to Spock - 'You're telling me I have to DIE to discuss your insights on death?'. Characters that have a history and a relationship just having a moment.

Way I see it in a long running thing like Trek possibly more than the specific ideas and values it's the characters who keep you with a show for decades and keep coming back to it. And I don't think the original Trinity was necessarily bettered in the series for the adventures and cameraderie they shared. I don't know if I feel the rest of the crew got there til the films but the sense that these people were each other's family (even though they never started out that way) came through.

I did feel that happened in TNG as well because of the cast chemistry they all shared but the writing and talking probably was a little more formal at times. But it still was there.

And I think that's what gets you through the weak episodes, the bad episodes and makes you enjoy the good and great ones as well. The characters. For me, that's been recaptured with the Abrams cast again even though there's been some changes.

Well told, sir!

Something else I like about the JJ Trek crew's relationships to each other...these are mostly people who came up through the same class (except for Spock, who was already a commissioned officer, as was Scotty, Sulu, and Chekov).

But the point I am getting at is just how many people actually have the sense of familiarity with Kirk...to be able to address him by first name, and on a more frequent basis than in the original series.

Scotty ever only called Kirk "Jim" once, as I recall, in the original series. And that was in "Mirror, Mirror" I believe, in an act of urgency to keep Kirk from remaining in the mirror universe while his crew gets back to their own.

In the new movies, Scotty refers to Kirk as Jim quite a few times...but, that could also largely have to do with the fact that they became friends before Kirk attained his captaincy. Uhura could get away with calling Kirk "Jim" probably in private or less formal instances since they both came through the same class together, as did McCoy and Kirk. In fact, pretty much everyone on the ship knew him as Jim Kirk, before they knew him as Captain James T. Kirk. Even a junior officer like Lt. Carol Marcus referred to him as "Jim" be they in dire circumstances or even more benign ones. The ones least likely to refer to Kirk as Jim would probably be Sulu and Chekov....but it is out of respect that they refer to him as Captain. They were already commissioned officers, and Kirk proved out to be just who they needed to lead them. He is their Captain by their measure.

To me, this is a reflection of StarFleet's standing. That it is not a fully military organization. They are explorers, as Scotty rightfully pointed out. The use of ranks is merely a formality. It's not like everyone would be calling out "Hey, Jim" from the bridge, but it is nice to see that in less formal circumstances (or perhaps more urgent ones that call for discretion between officers addressing each other), just about any crewmember could call their captain by his or her first name.
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  #144  
Old 09-20-2013, 07:18 AM
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If Star Trek didn't exist prior to JJ version, it would not achieve the cult-like status that it has today.

The movies and story lines are entertaining, and the action sequences are fast and look real, but there's no "vision" to it per say, other than making $$$ for the studios.

I guess that's the problem with reboots. Most of them can't stand on their own.
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  #145  
Old 09-20-2013, 11:51 AM
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<-----grumbles

I don't like cults.
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  #146  
Old 09-21-2013, 09:35 AM
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It's not like any prior ST following TOS could stand on its own. Except maybe TNG, but even there I am doubtful.

Here is I think the most interesting editorial yet.

http://trekmovie.com/2013/09/19/edit...-if-you-could/
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  #147  
Old 09-21-2013, 12:25 PM
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I quite liked that editorial and I would agree with some of the main challenges percieved by the writer as being a problem for a new TV series (and the franchise) to overcome on the journey back to TV.

(especially his point 3 on each successive TV series set of characters feeling eventually like copies of copies..........that is after all why I effectively check out after DS9 because VOY and ENT were just the spritual follow on's from TNG and DS9 and I like the originals better)

But again, at the end of the day it's fairly easy to say if you get everything 'right' during development you can have a successful TV show. He's effectively saying if they can capture lightening in a bottle once again like they did with TNG and to an extent DS9 then it can work.

Well sure..............that would definitely work. It's getting all that to fall into place that isn't as easy!

On the flip side, in his actual review of 'Star Trek Into Darkness' I can kind of agree on the Khan issues and his suggestion of replacement villain, but then I also think if they did that they wouldn't necessarily have been able to drive home the thematic point of the death scene vs TWOK so I'm still mixed on the presence of Khan. I totally agree the character didn't strictly need to be him...............but there are aspects of it that did work for the Kirk and Spock elements of the film so I don't it's a bit of a mixed set of thoughts on him.
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Last edited by kevin : 09-21-2013 at 12:29 PM.
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  #148  
Old 09-22-2013, 02:30 AM
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I like the article, its nonsense density is pretty high.
First, there is a difference between claiming that a story arc from a serialized show like DS9 was too long and that a non-serialized show like TNG is too long. Apples and oranges.
Second, Arena and Darmok do not illustrate character differences as they are different scenarios, Kirk was attacked whereas Picard was abducted. The notion that Picard would have talked with the Gorn and that Kirk would have killed the Tamarian are the type of stupid and uninformed clich?s I already wrote about.
Third, it is not the characters but the stories. The arguably best TOS episode, City on the Edge of Forever ,contains very little character-idiosyncratic stuff. Kirk and McCoy could be anybody, only Spock's icy "Edith Keeler must die" is unimaginable with another character. TFF shows that even great character moments cannot save a bad story (and I am not a radical concerning the character-story issue, I like TFF more than most people precisely because of its beautiful character moments).
Fourth, number crunching does not lead to great television and comparing ratings (sans DVD sales, sans oversea watch numbers, sans streaming, ...) with Facebook followers is ridiculous. Fifth, even if you could establish faily objectively that the majority of fans want a Sulu show, since when is satisfying the whims of the fans equivalent to producing great Trek? Aggregating preferences leads to crap, not to great art.
Sixth, you can count the Cold War like episodes involving the Feds, Klingons and Romulans in the original series on one hand, i.e. it was not a theme of the show. Before you arrogantly claim to have found the godlen formula for the next Trek series you might wanna get your facts straight.

I don't know what ingredients were needed for a new Trek show and even if I did, good ingredients are necessary but not sufficient for a good meal. Being able to tell what you like in a meal does not mean that you can cook or write a recipe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samwiseb View Post
It's not like any prior ST following TOS could stand on its own. Except maybe TNG, but even there I am doubtful.
I thought that the "there can be only one" TOS purists died out somewhen after 1987 but it looks like the one show radicals are still among us.
Let me take the ridiculous notion that all Trek is bound to TOS seriously just for argument's sake. If this were so, if the child were forever tied to its parents, it would be hardly a surprise that Trek reached a threshold which it cannot cross. Thankfully it is not like this, Trek changes and evolves. Not always into the direction one likes (I do for example not like the current direction but I would never claim that TNG, my favourite Trek show, should be the eternal benchmark of the franchise; you cannot and should not repeat the past) but that is still better than stagnation.
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  #149  
Old 09-22-2013, 02:47 AM
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Certainly the Captain Sulu drum has been banged to death, I should have pointed out a disagreement with that.

And you just have to look at the comments on Trekmovie to know that fans ideas are best left sometimes in the recesses of their minds.

But I disagree it's always about the stories over the characters or that TOS isn't the father of everything that came after. In a perfect world you would have characters and stories in tandem working with each other but we can't pretend in Star Trek every story and every movie was a 'City on The Edge of Forever' level script. And personally I would argue the only thing that keeps people going through the duds is in fact maybe a character moment or two. Maybe a joke, a look, or just the bare fact it's the characters you enjoy watching that gets you to next week's show in the hope it's an improvement.

If you had fewer episodes to fill to start with, it's possible you could reduce the number of duds and mediocre episodes you had along the way. That's an idea with genuine merit.
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  #150  
Old 09-22-2013, 03:08 AM
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Of course you need interesting characters. Tuvok did not work because he was just an ordinary Vulcan and this hurt the show and I have often defended the bad story (or rather execution of it) of TFF via pointing to the brilliant character moments. You do need both, characters and a story but they do not interact in a symmetric fashion:

If you have a great story like City you automatically have a great character moment, Kirk's painful decision. But this great moment flows from the story, not from the character, i.e. you could have more or less the same story with Picard, Janeway, Sisko or Archer.
But this does not work the other way around, fantastic characters do not automatically create great stories. Otherwise TFF a kick-a*s story would flow out of the great characters writing.

The article also mentions Lower Decks but forgets to point out that the cadets are John and Jane Does. The story does not work because Lavelle or Jaxa are so interesting in and of themselves, it works because we see our familiar world, life on the D, from a different angle.
Yet if we saw these people regularly the Tuvok / soap opera problem would arise so I agree that you need interesting characters for a Trek show. And despite a few lame ducks (Sulu, Uhura, Crusher, Jake, Tuvok and Mayweather come to mind) in all casts in my opinion all Trek shows achieved this.

I think that fewer episodes per year increases production values but not the average script quality. Doctor Who features about 13 episodes per year and in my eyes the scripts vary as wildly as in any Trek show.
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