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Thread: The Final Frontier - Star Trek Thread

  1. #1
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    The Final Frontier - Star Trek Thread

    It's been an interesting few years for Star Trek fans. After Enterprise was cancelled things looked pretty bleak for a while, but while there's been a lot of mixed feelings about the film reboots the one thing that has been proven is that the franchise is often still commercially viable. The first film in the trilogy did $386m at the Box Office, Into Darkness did a huge $467m, while even the least successful third instalment, made $343m. As long as they keep posting those kind of numbers then there'll be more films, and there's another one slated for next year with this cast.

    With that said, for many people Star Trek is really about TV and the movies are just a novel diversion, and that's where things have gotten more murky. The long-promised Star Trek Discovery is not only going to be available solely through on demand sources apparently, rather than through mainstream TV, but CBS have pushed it back, and back, and that's eroded a bit of confidence. The current rumour is that it'll arrive later in 2017.

    Either way, Star Trek retains one of the most committed fanbases - so Trekkies (Trekkers?!), what's your thoughts on the state of the franchise right now? How have you felt about the reboots? Are you looking forward to the new film, or the new series, or do these 21st century instalments just not feel the same? And, perhaps the most important question of all.... Kirk or Picard?



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    I mean I'm not the one to answer these questions really as I'm just starting the franchise now (in season two of The Original series... ) But i freaking love it. I've seen bits and pieces of all of it, the latest movies not really, although i did see the first reboot Trek movie.. To me, tv shows are always better than movies, you don't get the investment in a 2 hour movie like you would in a TV show.. Even Star Trek mostly episodic in nature changes a bit over time, especially TOS because of the wonky production order...

    I feel like the time is ripe for a new Trek show, my issue is not the streaming aspect; Trek still has a huge fanbase and while being on traditional tv has potential to grow that base, the younger demo is moving to a digital age.. The new show will be found and this way CBS will make money off of it and grow their service.

    Rather my issue is the time period. Putting it shortly before TOS means it can feel familiar yet new (evidenced by Harry Mudd casting) but wouldn't hardcore trek fans want to explore the galaxy going forward?

    Also, James T Kirk all the way. Just going off the show, i'd run thru fire for Kirk. He's a true leader imo.

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    I read a fourth Trek film in the reboot is not a lock because it didn't do as well as they had hoped. I thought it was the best of the new films too. Spock-Bones relationship was great.

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    That doesn't sound promising, if it's gone from being a certainty to unsure.

    On the plus side, it does sound like Discovery is basically ready to go. Just waiting for it to launch in the autumn.

    And for what it's worth, I'm Team Picard. Love me some Next Gen.



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    Picard, man.

    Don't know anything else.
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    Sisko: Deep Space Nine is the best Trek.

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    I love DS9. Don't really know why Sisko/Janeway/Archer never get into the question, but they never do really. It's always Picard vs Kirk. But yeah. I think we're crying out for another more fixed, DS9 style Star Trek show. The whole ship flying into a new adventure every week thing has been done four times to one with more of a base, and I think revisiting the other would be attractive if the new show works.



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    I go the other way in a sense.. i don't really have the trek knowledge but dark, serial drama is so overdone now that i feel like a more episodic, hopeful trek would be refreshing. I don't think Discovery is that... With the way its shot, the impending doom, i feel like its going for that dark trek feel.

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    I think it'd still have to feel like Star Trek. And even though DS9 did have a darker edge, I still think it was essentially Trekkie at its core, and it never got to feeling the way something like the Battlestar reboot did a few years later. But yeah, I did mean in terms of its fixedness, it's ability to have a recurring set of players outside the core cast, rather than anything to do with the tone.

    And yeah, it does sound as if Discovery is going to be very much in keeping with the modern format. Hopefully it'll still feel like Star Trek. My feeling is it might be a little bit like the seventh Star Wars movie, and it'll be an attempt to play it safe (though in a different way to the Star Wars movie, which was a nostalgia-fest) with the idea of being a bit more adventurous once this has landed and pulled in an audience. I may be wrong there of course, because that's just a guess. No real way of knowing for sure.



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    It's very weird that they have decided to set Discovery in the original Star Trek continuity instead of in the new Abrams created one. If you're not looking at what's new, what's next, you're just going backward. I don't see the point of that; we've already gone there with Enterprise.

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    I've got a friend who said exactly the same sort of thing about Enterprise. Eventually he watched it and didn't mind it but generally, he thinks that you always need to be pushing on into the future.

    I'm a bit more happy to see wherever it goes. I don't really want much more in the alternate Universe though. I kind of treat the Abrams movies like I would if I ever read one of the novels. They're fun, quite happy to watch them, but they don't count. The original timeline is what I want more of and what I'm most interested in. I've heard a lot of other people say the same thing too, but I guess whether doing that is any more commercially viable now than it was when Enterprise was cancelled is something that is yet to be seen.

    Of course, it could just be a legal thing. CBS don't own anything to do with the new timeline, as Paramount still own the movies. Since CBS are the ones behind the show, it could be not only that this is what they want to make, but also this is what they legally can make, or that this is what makes sense for them to make in line with their own existing content in terms of branding.



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    Seems like most hardcore trekkies really get hung up on the timelines.. I don't really care, maybe cause i'm a new fan.. the mental gymnastics to make everything fit is annoying enough without talking about multiple timelines.. I do think moving the story forward would be best move, at least aesthetically. TV Trek hasn't been on the air in 12 years. In that time, we've seen TV change and i think if Trek moved forward, it could open to new possibalities..

    Instead doing it this way in the TOS era means you'll have people complaining that it doesn't look like TOS.. or that it looks too much like Abrams Trek and then the story has to explain that.

    I just want to enjoy a new trek show and not worry about that

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    Yeah, I don't worry about making it all fit. Just cut the Abrams films out and it becomes a lot easier, so I treat them as if they're standalone. As I say, like they don't really count.

    I remember when I was speculating about a new Trek show with some friends, I said that they should pick things up around 10-15 years after Star Trek Nemesis, and you could base the show around dealing with the chaos that the plot of that movie would inflict on the Romulans, and the uncertainty and instability for everyone else. In that sense it'd mirror a lot of real life over the past few decades. So I'd like to see them going forward, too - but I'm not as wedded to it as some people. At the same time as I can say that if it was up to me we'd be going forward, I much preferred Rogue One to Star Wars 7, so I'm not averse to prequels and I don't see why Trek can't pull it off too.



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    Ideally they could do both, i just think the time is right for trying to move things forward instead of looking to the past but then again, I'm not going judge the show when its taking place. I just want this to be successful so that we can get more trek.. I wasn't a fan in the 90s but it was on all the time. Star Trek will never die but I think it needs a success right now.

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    Yeah, I agree with that. I love Star Trek and think it'll always come back but if this doesn't work, that could be it for Trek on TV for another decade.

    A lot of people but the failure of Enterprise down to the fact that there'd been so much Trek on through the 1990s. From 1992 to 2001 there were always at least two shows on, and that's before you factor in the TNG movies. Hopefully the gap in the intervening years has given those people who got fed up of it a chance to miss Star Trek, and they'll come back.

    I believe we've got a date for Discovery now - first two episodes are late September. I might actually move into the 21st century and get Netflix for this.



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    It's not on Netflix, though. It's on CBS All Access. Am I wrong or doesn't Viacom own both Paramount and CBS? I'm not saying the show is going to be terrible because it's set in the past; I just think it's an odd choice to not show what happens after TNG and those movies. What new can we really see on a show set earlier than that? And I don't know that I would consider Enterprise a failure. I think it lasted 5 seasons; which is two more than the original did.

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    I think in the UK where prime time is I believe, the new trek show will be on Netflix. only here in the States will it be on CBS access..

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    That's somewhat surprising considering CBS rarely allows its newer stuff on Netflix, at least here.

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    Yeah, it's on Netflix here. I'm not entirely sure why if they don't allow they're stuff on in the US, because we do have some small CBS stations that show re-runs here (mainly old Star Trek but also things like Bonanza and The High Chapparal or whatever it's called).

    If Viacom own them all, and I guess that's possible, I've no idea why people would have made such a fuss about the show and films being split up, or why they'd even bother 'buying' the rights from themselves in the first place. But yeah, certainly sounds possible, and that would open up the chance to do TV with the Abrams timeline, if they wanted to.

    I still think you can see all sorts of new things from a dramatic standpoint. But what you won't get is anything new technologically speaking, which I know some people are really into. But yeah, I've got no problem coming after TNG, DS9 and Voyager - but I don't care if there's much more in the Abrams world. For me, rebooting was the ultimate example of going backwards rather than forwards, and I'm just not that interested. Alpha timeline, all the way.

    As for Enterprise... I mean maybe this is a little harsh, but by Star Trek standards it's a failure. You can't really compare it with the original series for all kinds of reasons. It's also the only show in the franchise since the original to be cancelled, with all of the other three running for their full 7-year cycles. It ran for four series, but was in danger of being cancelled after the second, and only survived into the fourth when the budget was reduced.

    And while I like the show, there's no getting away from a couple of things - that the best ideas for stories in there were convoluted and consequently didn't fully deliver, and that the critical reception generally was far weaker for Enterprise than for any other show in the franchise.

    So.... I mean, four series and 98 episodes might be successful for any other show, but judged by Star Trek standards, up against shows like TNG, DS9 and Voyager, it does look like a bit of a failed venture.

    If I were to offer a counterpoint to my own arguments, I'd suggest that it's only partly the fault of the show. You could point to the scheduling moves that killed not only Enterprise but the original series back in the sixties, and also that Trek had been on the air continually for so long by that point. So while the show has to take it's fair share of the blame, there are some complexities in the picture.



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    The Abrams movies are produced by Paramount, CBS owns the right for the tv series and even the tie in novels... As such when Abrams wanted to do the movies, he wanted to do a total reboot but CBS blocked him....

    I don't think Viacom gets involved in that at all.

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    Ah, that explains it.

    I'm not generally a fan of reboots anyway. When it's something like Trek, that I'm actively invested in, I go from being sceptical to hostile.



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    It's a bit of a shift in conversation, but I actually just recently got through watching DS9 in its entirety for the first time - it was always the one I'd never seen. I really loved it. I thought the fifth season was just relentlessly excellent start to finish in particular. I also loved the more serialised approach to the storytelling. In the Pale Moonlight is undoubtedly one of my favourite episodes in all of Trek lore too; right up there alongside Measure of a Man, TBOBW Part 1, Scorpion and Year of Hell.

    I know I might very well be in a minority of one here, but Voyager, for all its flaws, is still my favourite; which makes me a Janeway man, before Kirk or Picard. I know that, dispassionately speaking, it's far from the best Trek, but it was my first series and for that reason I love it to this day; Tuvok and the Doctor in particular. If only they'd had the balls to kill Janeway off properly in Endgame to get the crew home, and not a shortcut "future Janeway," it would've made for a hell of an ending to the show.
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    I freakin' love DS9. My favorite series without a doubt.

    I would actually agree that Voyager is quite underrated. It has it's flaws, as you said, but it has some powerful strengths and is mostly a really fun watch.

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    Voyager and Enterprise are both underrated because they come after TNG and DS9. I don't think either show is as good as the other two, but there was definitely an overreaction to both shows perceived deficiencies. But I liked them both, to be honest. I could nitpick about them both, and I think with Voyager in particular there is a massive frustration both in some of the characterisation and that it just isn't the show it could and should have been. But that doesn't mean that there weren't some fun arcs, and a lot of really fine episodes along the way. And a couple of the characters - Janeway, Neelix, Tuvok - still stand up to anything you see elsewhere in the franchise. You have to look a bit harder for it in Enterprise but there's some gems tucked away in that lot too.

    Honestly, if the new series is as good as either of them, I'd be satisfied. But if it does reach the complexity of DS9 or the sheer verve of Next Gen, I'd be thrilled.

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    Favourite ten episodes across all series? Counting two part episodes as one.

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    I'm doing a marathon watch of all trek' i'm up to the orignal movies at this point which is why i took a break.. Now i was kid when Next Gen and DS9 came on but i wasn't into trek then, so i didn't watch. If i had to guess, i think people got burnt out on trek in the 90s with all the different shows and if one was to watch Voyager and Enterprise now.. they might have different perspective.

    I'm really excited for Discovery, but i'm cautiously optimistic as to how its going to play out.. I think the Hardcore fanbase will tune in with big numbers for the CBS premiere but I also get the sense the fandom is divided on what they really want the series to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 'Plan View Post
    Favourite ten episodes across all series? Counting two part episodes as one.
    I'll have to admit up front, I'm going to be incredibly biased in this because I've watched some of them a lot more than others, and it'll doubtless come from TNG and DS9 more than the others. Honestly, I think I've got 10 eps of TNG I like more than anything in Voyager. And that's not even a little bit of a knock on Voyager. But here goes. All very instinctive and I've only been able to narrow it down to 11 rather than 10, and if I finish this rewatch of DS9 I think I might come up with a different list entirely.

    The Best of Both Worlds (TNG)
    The Drumhead (TNG)
    Unification (TNG)
    Cause and Effect (TNG)
    A Fistful of Datas (TNG)
    Tapestry (TNG)
    Lower Decks (TNG)
    Duet (DS9)
    Civil Defence (DS9)
    Trials and Tribble-ations (DS9)
    Far Beyond the Stars (DS9)


    If anyone wants to get on this, let's add favourite 3 films in the franchise to the game.

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    Thoughts on Discovery? I thought it was really good, still some minor issues but the serialized nature really gives the show an urgency... this isn't just about exploration.... its about Self discovery, for Michael and how she faces adversity. Also really enjoyed Saru. He should give Michael some balence.

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    I liked it. It was very low risk, and I don't think they established a lot in terms of characters. But there's places that they can go, and they've set up an overarching story to hold everything else together. Plus there's plenty of action to hold any casual fans checking it out. Definitely willing to give it time based on the first episodes.

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    Apparently I just deleted an entire post...

    I started cynical with Discovery, but the way the story developed in the same way stories used to on the TV shows won me over majorly. In the end I thought it was a really effective marriage of classic Trek and reboot Trek; the political themes and emotional crises of the former injected with the adrenaline and urgency of the latter. Really enjoyed it, even in spite of the continuity nightmares it throws up.

    That said, man I love those new Klingons. T'Kuvma compelled me from his first moment.

    Still mulling my top ten episodes. My three films? Two obvious, one perhaps controversial. Wrath of Kahn; First Contact; Into Darkness.

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    I quite enjoyed Into Darkness. It wasn't perfect but it had a lot of positives that were lost from view when people started hype backlashing against the new Trek films.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    hype backlashing
    I didn't know anything like that went on. If anything I thought the more common perception was that this was the future, and we just had to get on with it - more antagonism towards the holdouts, if anything.

    I've only heard three 'bad' (crass simplification, but go with me on it) things about the alternate timeline. One comes from the oldsters like me, who say 'nothing wrong with them, but they're just not Star Trek'. The other two things I've heard were that Into Darkness was no more than a twisted (and the inference generally being inferior) Wrath of Khan. And then thirdly, that Beyond was just like an extended episode - which is incidentally the same criticism that was levelled at both Generations and Insurrection.

    I was watching with some people who aren't into the franchise the same way I am, and they're biggest objection to it was the Klingons, interestingly. There was a bit of uncertainty about antagonists at a near-bestial level and some comparisons were made with the Uruk-hai from the Lord of the Rings films. I didn't feel quite that way myself, but I have to admit I prefer the Klingons from the Next Gen/DS9 era. Just more rounded. I get that sometimes you don't necessarily want your villains to be all that rounded, but having done all that work with the Klingons it is hard to go back to a version of them that is closer, in its core, to the original series and the movies from the early 1980s.

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    Oh man, I love the DS9 Klingons. Great characterization. I absolutely loved the three Klingons they brought back from the original series, that was some great stuff.

    I've definitely heard some bitter complaining about the new Trek movies, specifically that it's all become mindless action and lens flares. I like them myself, which is why I was surprised to see how hard some people have come out against them. Sounds like they are even more of a minority than I thought though, if you haven't even come across them.

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    Hmm. I put the greater emphasis on action not just down to an attempt to update it, and the fact that it's a film rather than TV, but also to the fact they're going back to the original characters. There was generally a lot of action in the original series. It's series 3 of TNG before the character-driven stuff starts to become more dominant.

    Honestly, I do think the new show needs to show more of that if it is going to be a success, and because of the format will have to show more of it than the movies did. I've no issue with a bit of action in there and can admire the efforts to create a sense of peril in the villains, but TV demands something a bit more thoughtful to go with it. Everyone can have a pizza every so often, but you need a bit of fibre if you're eating it all the time, you know what I mean?

  35. #35
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    Oh for sure. I haven't caught Discovery but at some point I will, and it will absolutely need to be character driven to really hook me in.

  36. #36
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    See, I think Kermode has it right when it comes to the new films - and I think this applies to Discovery at this early stage too.

    They still do all the thematic stuff and character stuff; it's just that now they do it whole a ship is blowing up or a timebomb is going off, rather than in a meeting room or the like. Maybe that shift in method is why some felt alienated by the films. The sobriety was gone.

    I personally have no preference, though there's little doubt the classical approach of the TV makes much more room to really explore the themes and character in greater depth. Hopefully DSC can master striking a balance.

    Will save more of my thoughts on Discovery until mizfan is all caught up!

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    Haha, don't wait on my account. I'm waist deep in too many other shows/wrestling companies and can't make any promises to when I'll actually get to it.

  38. #38
    Samuel Plan
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    Well alright then!

    I think Captain Georgiou is an excellent character already, and I'm kind of bummed she isn't going to be the lead of this new show. I think Michelle Yeoh did a brilliant job; I got some real Picard-esque vibes from her.

    I'm not massively sold on the notion that Michael's relationship with Sarek was necessary. If there's anything about it that feels shoe-horned for the sake of needless nostalgic connection, I think it's this notion she was Sarek's adopted daughter of sorts. Though the idea of inverting the Spock formula by having the first human from the Vulcan science academy is a great idea, I kind of wish it had been done with an original Vulcan character rather than this sort of cheeky retrofit. It does put Michael in a really interesting place though. She's a sort of Spock/Worf hybrid.

    I also feel, having thought on it some time, that basing the series around the first officer rather than the captain is a bit of a masterstroke. Michael can afford to make mistakes and earn our forgiveness for them. I'm not sure a Captain enjoys that kind of liberty. It opens up some real new potential for storytelling in the Trek universe that has me rather quite excited.
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    It's funny how worried people got because CBS didn't allow advanced reviews, but it ended up being well-received. I have not seen it ut plan to check it out soon.

    It's not Star Trek, but anyone see the Orville? Episode 3 got really serious, and definitely brought on bigger themes like Star Trek does (not the new set of movies).

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    I don't know The Orville but have seen it referenced. Will probably check it out when it's on our TV if I have the channel, but it has been getting slated from the reviews I have seen. Already seems to have a hardcore fanbase though, as plenty of Orville fans seemed to be taking shots at Discovery, which isn't a good way to get me on board. But I guess I won't hold that against the show and will check it out.

    Not sure I buy that Kermode thing. Sounds to me like an excuse for liking the big explosions but needing to dress it up a bit, which is kinda daft because not everything one likes has to be good and its fine to look action for its own sake. I'm not fully convinced either way as to whether you can do that kind of character work in those situations, but I am pretty convinced that they just aren't doing it in the new films. The big giveaway for me is that Kirk's more unique characteristics have been junked in favour of turning him into a more conventional - dare I say generic - hero. I also don't think they do as much with Bones or any of the rest of the bridge team as some of the older episodes and movies did. You could maybe offer Spock as a counter-example, but even there I'm not sure I'd be fully convinced - probably have to watch them all again, and all the original series/movies, to come to a conclusion on Spock. But yeah, I don't think it's at the same level at all.

    We were actually all left a little bit cold by Yeoh, actually. I said I didn't feel like she really 'got' what a Trek captain involves (basically the Hornblower tradition), while someone else who knows more about world cinema than I do said she's a great actor but nowhere near as strong in English. Either way, it didn't fully work for me. The only actor who did really go down very well in the room was Sonequa Martin-Green... which is, I guess, the best way around for it to be.

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