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Old 05-20-2009, 01:08 PM
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Default Drama and Star Trek

The current Star Trek is a fun, action romp; no-one denies this. However, many people expect and demand more from Star Trek, and it has proved to be difficult (not impossible) to make a 'thinking person's Star Trek' in a movie format, where screen time is limited and big action scenes are required to generate big bucks for the owners.

Even so, Trek movies have not been generally popular because they commonly depend so much on understanding Trek history. (The new movie has this in it's favor: A person who knows nothing about Star Trek can see it and understand enough to follow the story without having to know Trek history. Compare this to Generations, which was loaded with characters and allusions to past events that only Trek fans could know about.)

I believe that Star Trek has always worked best in a television format, in which smaller (read: 'cheaper') stories can be told and characters and themes can be developed over time. This wasn't always the case in every instance of Trek episodes, but it happened often enough to be, I think, true. With many episodes to work with, it's possible for characters to be developed and for character-driven stories to be told, so that instead of artificial crises being imposed requiring double-talk (technobabble) solutions and impossible feats of luck and heroism, we can see people reacting to situations out of their own characters, revealing who they are and their emotional responses to situations, and when they go through a difficult experience and learn from it, we the viewers can learn from it too. Writers have a term for this: it's called Character-driven Drama. I suggest that most of the best Trek stories were of this kind. This is much better story-telling than purely action orientated stories, or the sort of stories that come from philosophically and socially driven agendas, which tend to be heavy-handed and manipulate the viewer. Star Trek has been guilty of this.

I believe that character-driven drama is the sort of Star Trek that many people want, and so are disappointed that the new movie isn't as strong in this area as it might have been.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:15 PM
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Oh, this where it went to! I wondered where it had gone.

In short, I think that's correct.

Star Trek has a multiple personality disorder. From the start it's wanted to be an 'action-adventure series' and also 'intelligent character drama'. TOS was very good at being one or the other, but blending both has always troubled it and it's rarely gotten it 100% right.

Basically the films are the realisation of former and the TV shows are the latter (for the most part) - and they have continually had trouble fusing the two together for 2 hour feature films. And it is why Star Trek is basically meant for television. But the business being the business, they want theatrical films as well to earn the dollars.

It seems that this is a balance problem that even the infusion of fresh blood has not entirely solved.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:17 PM
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I disagree on the agenda aspect (at least you did not use that Goebeels comparison again) as well as the opinion that this movie is not character-driven. It very much is, the actors play terrifically.
But of course you empathize more with them if they are involved in a more substantial plot.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:23 PM
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Star Trek - The Undicovered Country

Character Driven Drama: Kirk cant forgive the death of his son. Spock got out of touch with his environment. Valeris is to young to have experienced opportunity in change and thus suffers fear.

Action Adventure: The attack on Gorkons ship, Rurha Penthe, the final battle with Chang.

Thriller: The dinner scenes, the hitman at the peace conference.

Socio-Political Commentary: The sudden and unanticipated Fall of the Wall (Praxis), the end of the Cold War.

And that ladies and gentlemen is why Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country is the best piece of Star Trek ever

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=638S8n2_Ab8
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:31 PM
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See, mileage varies for everyone! It's good, but not the best. But then I respond to different things probably.

I prefer the layered commentary of TWOK about life, death, age, usefulness, renewal that permeate TWOK. While cool things still blow up every five minutes!!
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:32 PM
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BB and Kevin, you have both brought up excellent points as to why I love VI and II so much.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:35 PM
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Must be Nicholas Meyer.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin View Post
Must be Nicholas Meyer.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botany Bay View Post
Star Trek - The Undicovered Country

Character Driven Drama: Kirk cant forgive the death of his son. Spock got out of touch with his environment. Valeris is to young to have experienced opportunity in change and thus suffers fear.

Action Adventure: The attack on Gorkons ship, Rurha Penthe, the final battle with Chang.

Thriller: The dinner scenes, the hitman at the peace conference.

Socio-Political Commentary: The sudden and unanticipated Fall of the Wall (Praxis), the end of the Cold War.

And that ladies and gentlemen is why Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country is the best piece of Star Trek ever

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=638S8n2_Ab8
Yes, Botany! A balance can be achieved. But that balancing act's going to be a tough one, particularly for the next movie as it's success will be measured by the boxoffice comparisons to not only this one but also to other successful sequels like The Dark Knight Returns. My fingers are crossed! But hopefully things'll be co-ordinated well enough to get a new and well done series on the air and 'this thing of ours' will continue and flourish.

Yeah, tv may be where Trek should be.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:46 PM
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Well, as an aside, I can't stress enough that I don't think Dark Knight should be applied to the laws of sequels when we get to Star Trek 12.

I think that's setting ourselves up for disappointment on that side.
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