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  #601  
Old 08-24-2010, 09:41 AM
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Apart from the bad sciene of black holes not working like we currently understand them based on general relativity, i.e. that ships would crush if they approach one, in dramatic terms time travel was indeed handled briefly and well in ST09.

Explanations have their natural limits as the specific way of time travel is made up but I fail to see the problem of shortly dealing with temporal mechanics and its paradoxes. It is science fiction after all. I don't get why Trek should be idiot-safe and simpler than a movie like Back to the Future in this respect. I want Trek which fires my imagination and makes me think, not pure popcorn fodder.
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  #602  
Old 08-24-2010, 09:57 AM
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I don't have a problem with it as such - I can't imagine anyone would - but let's also not imagine that FC's was any more thought provoking in terms of explanation for why the time travel happened.

'The temporal vortex must have protected us' just isn't really the stuff of imagination firing, I think. Nor is 'The Bajoran Orb of Time did it'. So, you have to balance out that explanations for time-travel are frequently on the thin side in Trek.

And explanations are different from effects - the paradoxes and problems that can result and that you might have within that - like BTTF - are fun and also can be thought provoking. 'If I could..................' indeed.

At any rate, it depends what fires the imagination - to be honest, I'm kinda personally tapped out on time travel these days. I think I need to take a break from it. I've seen so many films that use it (not even in Trek) and TV shows............it's all been a bit of an overload really.
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  #603  
Old 08-24-2010, 12:08 PM
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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.

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.
I understand what you're saying, however I think it's fair to say I've seen more than fragments over the years. VOY, my college friends and I tried to watch during its first two years. We eventually ended up watching Babylon 5 instead. I remember Chakotay's spiritual quest, Janeway having Paris' lizard babies, and Seska becoming beautifully pregnant only to ruin the appeal by switching to a Cardassian face (Sorry!). I remember tuning back in when the Borg came along, seeing 'Scorpian' and 'Year of Hell', and thinking the show was still clueless to be relying so much on Seven of Nine's figure as a selling point. Tried to watch the series again when it re-ran on WB, got burned by too many hours of blandness. Was finally 75% successful when it ran on Spike TV (for I had found a really good ST review site to help me through it), and saw a lot of really smart, intriguing episodes of television. But in this case I would never substitute intriguing or fascinating with exciting, and I still suffered through a LOT of blandness. Most of Season 7 I still have not seen.

ENT, I followed 'fairly' closely until T'Pol's sexed-up backrub sessions on Trip turned me off for good. Everyone said give it another chance during Season 4, but it seemed like it was always the middle of one of these talked-about arcs rather than the beginning. It's hard even remembering what night a show is on once you've tuned out.

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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.
I'm not following what you're saying here at all. What exactly got nixed? If I'm throwing Berman and Paramount/CBS/UPN all together, it is just in my comment (and valid observation) that they were all too protective of their franchise. Berman, I at least believe it was out of loyalty to Roddenberry (though when has Roddenberry always known what was best for ST). Alright, my browser has just slowed to a *crawl* and there's no way I can finish this.
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  #604  
Old 08-24-2010, 12:32 PM
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I agree that VOY was very often very bad.
About ENT being sexed-up, they just got back into TOS waters.
About Berman, I don't know what's not clear about his idea to set part of ENT's first season on Earth, most likely in a serialized format and the studio's no. They are clearly not one entity, the lack of new ideas was not merely because of Berman and Braga but also because of a risk-averse studio.
By the way, risk aversion ain't a bad thing, it also let to the reboot of TOS and I think we agree that this is very good.
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  #605  
Old 08-25-2010, 02:56 AM
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I agree that VOY was very often very bad.
About ENT being sexed-up, they just got back into TOS waters.
Perhaps it was. I just remember at the time I didn't buy it. It seemed like ENT Season 3 was saying "alright, we 'get' that our show needs improvement, we're just clueless as to how to fix it, so please bear with us."

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About Berman, I don't know what's not clear about his idea to set part of ENT's first season on Earth, most likely in a serialized format and the studio's no. They are clearly not one entity, the lack of new ideas was not merely because of Berman and Braga but also because of a risk-averse studio.
You see, I didn't know that story. But I'm not just "throwing in" Berman with the studio, or suggesting he was one entity with the studio, or accusing him of being complacent (overprotective was the term I used, and that's nothing almost everyone hasn't already accused both him and the studio of being anyway).

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By the way, risk aversion ain't a bad thing, it also led to the reboot of TOS and I think we agree that this is very good.
I humbly think the movie was a very risky move.

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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
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?
Not in and of itself. And I can except that technobabble was just another characteristic of TNG. But at some point the writers began to abuse it, turn it into an excuse to make up nonsense, explain ridiculous premises, fill in plot holes, create meaningless problems and then solve them. VOY was probably the worst example, as episodes often featured entire pages of dialogue that you realized you had completely tuned out.

However, this is actually completely beside my point. Although I do prefer some sense of wonder (and a bit of velocity) to my time travel, I have thankfully just deleted the paragraph in which veered off into that discussion (you're all welcome).

I was talking about the familiarity/predictability of Berman Trek -not intended as a derogatory term- from the mid-90s on, and I just latched onto one of our favorite movies as a completely arbitrary example. I don't know if I can successfully convey that moment in the theater when the people I had gone with all scoffed at Data delivering that explanation about time travel. Because we were waiting for it. It's small, really... pointless, trivial, utterly redundant... just one out of more than a dozen-dozen items that might have earned snickers from us on any day of watching ST. And yet it stands out in my head to this day (probably because it's a movie, and to me movies have more replay value than TV episodes).

"Shielding us from the changes in the timeline," isn't just bad technobabble... or even technobbable period. It's just bad. It literally, does not mean a thing. As verbal exposition goes, it's about as amateur as anything I can think of at 3:00 in the morning. Maybe the Borgified Earth should grow this huge mouth, like all those Hitchhiker's Guide planets, and simply swallow the Enterprise as punishment for being erased from history. Chew chew, gulp gulp. Careful honey, this is a temporal wake, make sure you don't sleep at the wheel and drive us off the road. As if that's not bad enough, there is also 'Year of Hell'... "Captain, their weapon is pushing us outside the space-time continuun..." (Really? Your instruments are designed to actually tell you if that happens?) It's so ridiculous, that I am completely unable (as this paragraph already demonstrates!) to even articulate why it's ridiculous.

And I think it was Beth, sitting a couple chairs down, who suddenly whispered something like "3... 2... 1..." And then Data said that line. Total Mystery Science Theater moment, save for maybe a couple of younger students in our group who had missed this discussion the last time around (in response to some earlier DS9 two-parter, IRC).

Just one of those completely trivial things that 'says' nothing, if by itself, and yet everything if not. A perfectly avoidable cliche, and ST happily walked right into it.
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  #606  
Old 08-25-2010, 08:21 AM
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Funny, I found Spock's repetition of his Sherloch Holmes line from TUC in ST09 quite annoying.
Did you also mind rituals in TOS like the forced laugh at the end or Spock constantly bashing with McCoy or Kirk getting the half-naked girl? TV and cinema are arts of repetition, just imagine a car crash in a movie without an explosion. Everybody would be shocked because cineman doesn't repeat its oldest clichée.

Sure you throw Berman and the studio together, you just claim that he and the studio are both overprotective. Not that I understand what this word means in this context. All I can deduce is that Mr.Berman sometimes had creative ideas whereas the studio wanted to play it safe.

What is risky about rebooting the most popular Trek series? It's going back to the roots, into territory which you know many people will like. That's as safe as it can get. The Romulan War story would have been risky, a new series would have been risky, but back to the roots certainly isn't. If it really was a gamble they wouldn't have spent 150 million bucks.



I think that the underlying factor which influences our different opinions concerning TNG and post TNG might be the attitude towards techspeak or hard vs. soft science fiction.

In general I am not much of a fan of hard sci-fi, something like Asimov's robot stories are fun to read and an interesting fictional exploration of design issues of artifical intelligence but the characters are so dry and it's all written in a fairly technical manner.
Soft science fiction which explores the human instead of the technological sphere is much more interesting in my opinion (I own not even one book about a natural scientific topic.). Q's lesson in All Good Things or Archer's speech in These are the Voyages visible in my signature emphasize that the exploration of the social space is as least as relevant as the exploration of the physical outer space and it is no coincidence that these points occur in two series finales.

But should Trek be super-soft, should it be indistinguishable from fantasy or ordinary fiction? I don't think so, a bit of techspeak belongs in there. In TOS there wasn't enough in my opinion, you could watch the whole series and get the impression that the nacelles are rockets. TNG got it right, VOY went too far and DS9 as well as ENT kept it roughly on a TNG level.
So if (and please correct me if I am wrong) you are like Ron Moore a proponent of super-soft sci-fi it is understandable that you dislike certain aspects of TNG and post TNG.

Last edited by horatio : 08-25-2010 at 08:24 AM.
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  #607  
Old 08-25-2010, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by samwiseb View Post
Not in and of itself. And I can except that technobabble was just another characteristic of TNG. But at some point the writers began to abuse it, turn it into an excuse to make up nonsense, explain ridiculous premises, fill in plot holes, create meaningless problems and then solve them. VOY was probably the worst example, as episodes often featured entire pages of dialogue that you realized you had completely tuned out.
Oh yeah!

Quote:
However, this is actually completely beside my point. Although I do prefer some sense of wonder (and a bit of velocity) to my time travel, I have thankfully just deleted the paragraph in which veered off into that discussion (you're all welcome).

I was talking about the familiarity/predictability of Berman Trek -not intended as a derogatory term- from the mid-90s on, and I just latched onto one of our favorite movies as a completely arbitrary example. I don't know if I can successfully convey that moment in the theater when the people I had gone with all scoffed at Data delivering that explanation about time travel. Because we were waiting for it. It's small, really... pointless, trivial, utterly redundant... just one out of more than a dozen-dozen items that might have earned snickers from us on any day of watching ST. And yet it stands out in my head to this day (probably because it's a movie, and to me movies have more replay value than TV episodes).

"Shielding us from the changes in the timeline," isn't just bad technobabble... or even technobbable period. It's just bad. It literally, does not mean a thing. As verbal exposition goes, it's about as amateur as anything I can think of at 3:00 in the morning. Maybe the Borgified Earth should grow this huge mouth, like all those Hitchhiker's Guide planets, and simply swallow the Enterprise as punishment for being erased from history. Chew chew, gulp gulp. Careful honey, this is a temporal wake, make sure you don't sleep at the wheel and drive us off the road. As if that's not bad enough, there is also 'Year of Hell'... "Captain, their weapon is pushing us outside the space-time continuun..." (Really? Your instruments are designed to actually tell you if that happens?) It's so ridiculous, that I am completely unable (as this paragraph already demonstrates!) to even articulate why it's ridiculous.

And I think it was Beth, sitting a couple chairs down, who suddenly whispered something like "3... 2... 1..." And then Data said that line. Total Mystery Science Theater moment, save for maybe a couple of younger students in our group who had missed this discussion the last time around (in response to some earlier DS9 two-parter, IRC).

Just one of those completely trivial things that 'says' nothing, if by itself, and yet everything if not. A perfectly avoidable cliche, and ST happily walked right into it.
I completely understand that.

Of course you're talking with someone who still find FC his favourite TNG film despite having about as much of a ludicrous set up as the latest one.

I still - since 1996 - have not been able to come up with an actual really good reason to understand why it made 'perfect sense' - I'm sure Riker has a line like that - for the Borg to come all the way to Earth's doorstep then go back in time to assimilate the planet. Then we have the 'protected us' line, and then at the end the even better 'we just set our computers to match the Borg ship' at the end, which is apparently all you need to do to travel forward in time to the moment you left!

(And people seriously wonder why this stuff in the new flick doesn't upset everyone?)

Now of course, all this is because it was made in Trek's anniversary year and they wanted a story that got to the heart of Star Trek as a whole, and no-one could grudge that at all.

But it really doesn't exempt that there's a whole lotta Trek silliness involved getting them there!
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  #608  
Old 08-25-2010, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Funny, I found Spock's repetition of his Sherloch Holmes line from TUC in ST09 quite annoying. Did you also mind rituals in TOS like the forced laugh at the end or Spock constantly bashing with McCoy or Kirk getting the half-naked girl? TV and cinema are arts of repetition, just imagine a car crash in a movie without an explosion. Everybody would be shocked because cineman doesn't repeat its oldest clichée.
Again, the motto being Star Trek has a whole lotta cliches in it - they work differently for all.
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  #609  
Old 08-25-2010, 09:47 AM
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Yep and I simply don't mind a bit of techspeak as this is friggin's science fiction ... and I certainly don't mind Data speaking more technical than other characters because it is in his nature. There are plenty of characters who don't use techspeak, Troi usually tells someone like Data to repeat and rephrase it such that she can understand it.
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  #610  
Old 08-25-2010, 09:50 AM
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I don't really mind tech-speak either - but I think also there's no harm in allowing it can be meaningless garbage at times no matter what show, film or timeline is in question.
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