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  #591  
Old 08-23-2010, 09:09 AM
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Well, I think it depends on the tone of the thread.

Clearly if one is dicussing what 'went wrong' - as opposed to 'what went right' which is generally not discussed - then names such as Berman's are clearly going to enter the frame since there remain the unescapable fact he was in charge of the whole thing when things went wrong.

This is not cherry-picking, this is simple fact.

(Personally I'm happy to blame Braga more for VOY - but that's an aside!).

However, if there was a thread about 'what went right with (insert as appropriate)' then maybe there would be room to talk about what he also did right in the early to middle period of his tenure.
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  #592  
Old 08-23-2010, 09:27 AM
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Perhaps it is more natural to focus upon the perceived mistakes than upon the things that worked. Keeping things running smoothly in the background is harder to notice than big bangs in the foreground, it took quite some time until guys like Coon and Justman got their props for TOS.

Of course you have to weigh the inputs and as far as I know Berman had a larger influence upon ENT, VOY and TNG than upon DS9.
I think that you summed it up nicely when you said that the first two thirds of Berman's "reign" were good and the last one was bad.
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  #593  
Old 08-23-2010, 09:32 AM
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DS9 seemed to exist slightly under the radar because it seemed to get overshadowed first by TNG and then VOY as the 'lighter shows'.

Though I think that let it get away with more.
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  #594  
Old 08-23-2010, 09:37 AM
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Yep, I also got the impression that it was the secondary show at its time (don't know its ratings in comparison to TNG and VOY though), a bit of a semi-spin-off. I didn't see much of it when I first saw it during reruns in the late 90s.
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  #595  
Old 08-23-2010, 09:39 AM
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I believe it's ratings were never the best out of the shows overall. Not sure offhand where they would be found.

But it was never the sole Trek show in existence. Round 1994 between the fanfare of TNG ending, Generations coming out and being a hit and VOY getting launched I think they kinda forgot they had it there as well
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  #597  
Old 08-23-2010, 09:53 AM
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It often does. I'd have to go back into some interviews by the producers and writers to perhaps find stuff to back up that idea, but I think it's possible.
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  #598  
Old 08-24-2010, 04:34 AM
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I'm fairly certain DS9 maintained higher ratings than VOY throughout, even if just barely. First-run syndication in general was pretty much dead by the time DS9 finished.

It's also worth noting that VOY played in progressively fewer markets due to the slow failure of UPN network. In markets where both shows were available, public perception was VOY was beating out DS9. On the other hand, VOY had the advantage of more advertising and press (with the help of its failing network), whereas DS9 in many markets got pushed off of prime time during later seasons when WB began to thrive alongside FOX.

Subjectively speaking, it seems to me there's also a kind of pop culture phenomenon in which the minute something is perceived as 'sucky', people will make a public show of 'embracing' whatever comes after, regardless of what that is. To sort of prove how much the earlier thing sucked, if you will. Whether accurate or not, most of the VOY fans I talked to (however briefly, since I wouldn't have been able to carry on a conversation about a show I had stopped watching) were people who admitted to having dismissed DS9 pretty much from the get-go.

As for Berman, I don't think anybody takes away from him the fact that he (may have) saved TNG from Roddenberry himself. But if you ask when ST started to go downhill, some will tell you it happened when Roddenberry died (before most of us probably even knew who Berman was). Others will tell you it was DS9. Or VOY. Or Insurrection.

By the time you get past the mid-90s, probably everyone was at least 'aware' of a growing dissatisfaction with the familiarity of the franchise... being able to predict the beats, the steps, the music, etc. Even in ST's stronger moments, that predictability remained. ("But if the Borg changed history, why are WE still here?" Wait for it... "The temporal disturbence must be shielding us from the changes in the time-space continuum..." Funny how I just knew you were probably about to say something like that. Minus two points).

Berman's 'fault' may have been simply in promoting the wrong people (Taylor or Braga, for instance). That, and I think he and the studio were both WAY too protective. You could make the argument that anyone who wants to let himself get too comfortable sticking around the same job for so long, is probably not the right person.
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  #599  
Old 08-24-2010, 06:53 AM
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I agree that Trek suffered from what is often called franchise fatigue, i.e. too much Trek in too little time and too little creative change at the top, which had a negative impact upon VOY and ENT.

But you cannot throw three TNG movies and two series together and forgive me for saying so, if you have just seen fragments of VOY and ENT you are aware of what put you off these shows but you missed their subtle differences.

It is also factually wrong to throw Berman and the studio together just because he has been implemented by Paramount initially as some kind of watchdog for Roddenberry. One example is Berman's idea to set (parts of) the first season of ENT on Earth which has been nixed by the studio.
Sorry for destroying your picture of Berman as the complacent guy at the top who just sits out his time.

As FC is my favourite movie I have to play its advocate.
Seriously, is a bit of technobabble like chronitons and temporal vortex really worse than slingshooting around the sun? The latter seemed more like a post-hippie time-travel method and while the psychedelic pictures in TVH were sweet I prefer something a bit more technical. It's sci-fi, not a trip.
The polemics aside, I have no problem with time travel of whatever kind as long as the technicalities are kept on a minimum and so far they always have been in my opinion. But you need a bit of explanation and causality paradoxes deserve some attention. A few seconds for one Dataesque line are perfectly fine.
I like to choose Well's Time Machine as a benchmark. On the first ten pages or so the protagonist describes basically that time can be considered to be the fourth dimension and that his time machine will increase the velocity with which you move through time, i.e. he fast-forwards through history when he starts his journey. Once this short but necessary exposition is over the real story starts.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samwiseb View Post
I'm fairly certain DS9 maintained higher ratings than VOY throughout, even if just barely. First-run syndication in general was pretty much dead by the time DS9 finished.

It's also worth noting that VOY played in progressively fewer markets due to the slow failure of UPN network. In markets where both shows were available, public perception was VOY was beating out DS9. On the other hand, VOY had the advantage of more advertising and press (with the help of its failing network), whereas DS9 in many markets got pushed off of prime time during later seasons when WB began to thrive alongside FOX.
Thanks, not having been really aware of that at the time, and since the shows were only ever shown on the one channel here (BBC) at that time (ENT went to Channel 4 years later) ratings as such were not something I had access to much information on.

Quote:
Subjectively speaking
Quote:
, it seems to me there's also a kind of pop culture phenomenon in which the minute something is perceived as 'sucky', people will make a public show of 'embracing' whatever comes after, regardless of what that is. To sort of prove how much the earlier thing sucked, if you will. Whether accurate or not, most of the VOY fans I talked to (however briefly, since I wouldn't have been able to carry on a conversation about a show I had stopped watching) were people who admitted to having dismissed DS9 pretty much from the get-go.
Possible.

Quote:
As for Berman, I don't think anybody takes away from him the fact that he (may have) saved TNG from Roddenberry himself. But if you ask when ST started to go downhill, some will tell you it happened when Roddenberry died (before most of us probably even knew who Berman was). Others will tell you it was DS9. Or VOY. Or Insurrection.

By the time you get past the mid-90s, probably everyone was at least 'aware' of a growing dissatisfaction with the familiarity of the franchise... being able to predict the beats, the steps, the music, etc. Even in ST's stronger moments, that predictability remained. ("But if the Borg changed history, why are WE still here?" Wait for it... "The temporal disturbence must be shielding us from the changes in the time-space continuum..." Funny how I just knew you were probably about to say something like that. Minus two points).

Berman's 'fault' may have been simply in promoting the wrong people (Taylor or Braga, for instance). That, and I think he and the studio were both WAY too protective. You could make the argument that anyone who wants to let himself get too comfortable sticking around the same job for so long, is probably not the right person.
I do think that there is more than one direction one can look to in terms of the decline, and I do think it's combined with saturation of product mostly being controlled by the same handful of people.

In my fairer moods - I would chalk it up to people staying too long in the one place and running out of juice. But I could also blame the studio for insisting on more and more product in the first place, because at that time, things were percieved to be going well and that Trek could sustain that constant output.

Ultimately, I think it was proven it couldn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
I agree that Trek suffered from what is often called franchise fatigue, i.e. too much Trek in too little time and too little creative change at the top, which had a negative impact upon VOY and ENT.
Yes.

Quote:
As FC is my favourite movie I have to play its advocate.
Seriously, is a bit of technobabble like chronitons and temporal vortex really worse than slingshooting around the sun? The latter seemed more like a post-hippie time-travel method and while the psychedelic pictures in TVH were sweet I prefer something a bit more technical. It's sci-fi, not a trip.

The polemics aside, I have no problem with time travel of whatever kind as long as the technicalities are kept on a minimum and so far they always have been in my opinion. But you need a bit of explanation and causality paradoxes deserve some attention. A few seconds for one Dataesque line are perfectly fine.

I like to choose Well's Time Machine as a benchmark. On the first ten pages or so the protagonist describes basically that time can be considered to be the fourth dimension and that his time machine will increase the velocity with which you move through time, i.e. he fast-forwards through history when he starts his journey. Once this short but necessary exposition is over the real story starts.
The motto perhaps being - don't get bogged down in 'explanations' per se. Just give the audience enough to hang their coat on and they will (mostly) go with the rest of the film and the story within.

Maybe!

At the end of the day, I would think that both 'slingshot' and 'temporal vortex' are equally meaningless in anything other than 'Trek reality' for the most part, but one tries to sound more technically authentic than the other.

In this sense, for example, O&K really didn't do anything different. All you really need to hear is 'Going back in time created a new timeline. Here we go.................'
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