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> Generic Star Trek, The Contractual Obligation Thread
maian
post Jul 2 2012, 05:48 PM
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DS9 was easily my favourite of the three trek shows from the '80s and '90s, I think at least in part because it was the first one that I started watching from the beginning on BBC2. (I think I started watching TNG about two or three seasons in.) As such, I got to see the show grow as it went along, and I enjoyed seeing the way in which the more complicated character dynamics played out in comparison to the slightly too-straightforward interactions of TNG.

Having said that, TNG is the one that has ultimately had the biggest impression since it had, for me, the strongest individual episodes and the best writing. I remember my mind practically blowing out of the back of my head when I first saw Picard as a member of the Borg, and I can't really think of any comparable moments from DS9.

Voyager I remember kind of liking, but never enough to stick with it. I would only really bother with it if my friends at school were getting super excited about something happening (e.g. the whole Species 8472 arc) but otherwise never really cared about it or any of the characters.
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gulfcoast_highwa...
post Jul 2 2012, 05:50 PM
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And as poor as Voyager was most of the time, they didn't even bother to give it a proper blooming ending! It might have been redeemed slightly, if they'd done a multi-episode arc featuring their final return to Earth, with a few of the crew being killed along the way (i.e. Harry Kim and Neelix).
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NiteFall
post Jul 2 2012, 06:42 PM
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In fairness they did kill Harry Kim about a dozen times. It just never stuck is all.
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Raven
post Jul 2 2012, 07:09 PM
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QUOTE (maian @ Jul 2 2012, 06:48 PM) *
Having said that, TNG is the one that has ultimately had the biggest impression since it had, for me, the strongest individual episodes and the best writing. I remember my mind practically blowing out of the back of my head when I first saw Picard as a member of the Borg, and I can't really think of any comparable moments from DS9.


I can't think of another cliff-hanger, period, that compares with the end of The Best of Both Worlds (Part 1).

It's not quite the same, but the DS9 episode In the Pale Moonlight is probably one of the best written and plotted episodes of Trek I have seen.

QUOTE (gulfcoast_highwayman @ Jul 2 2012, 06:50 PM) *
And as poor as Voyager was most of the time, they didn't even bother to give it a proper blooming ending! It might have been redeemed slightly, if they'd done a multi-episode arc featuring their final return to Earth, with a few of the crew being killed along the way (i.e. Harry Kim and Neelix).


Still waaaaaay better than how they ended Enterprise, though.
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GundamGuy_UK
post Jul 2 2012, 07:22 PM
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Am I right in thinking that Enterprise ended with Riker and Troi on a holodeck?
Spoiled in case anyone cares; I never watched anything past the premier episode of Enterprise. It just didn't sit well with me.
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NiteFall
post Jul 2 2012, 07:34 PM
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Yeah, it was supposedly Riker trying to resolve his moral dilemma in the TNG episode The Pegasus.
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GundamGuy_UK
post Jul 2 2012, 08:13 PM
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How does that work? I mean, time flows normally in the holodeck (because people can call them in there if there's a problem), so unless he spent four years in the holodeck it makes no sense.
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NiteFall
post Jul 2 2012, 08:14 PM
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Well, the finale jumped forward a bit from the rest of the Enterprise timeline. So presumably it was just that episode that was Riker in the holodeck
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GundamGuy_UK
post Jul 2 2012, 08:19 PM
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Enterprise for me suffered from the same problem a lot of people had with Star Wars I-III, in that it was set in the past but looked so much shiner and cooler than TOS.
At least Star Wars could kind of trick its way around it by saying the ships were shiny because they were expensive Naboo royal-made ones, and in IV-VI the Rebel Alliance cares more about function than keeping the coverings shiny. Enterprise just made no sense to me.

The fact that it was made later isn't really an excuse either; the ship looked waaaay too futuristic. It looked more futuristic than anything in the movies or TNG, DS9, and VOY.

Oh, and the intro song was terrible.

This post has been edited by GundamGuy_UK: Jul 2 2012, 08:27 PM
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Raven
post Jul 2 2012, 10:19 PM
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QUOTE (GundamGuy_UK @ Jul 2 2012, 09:13 PM) *
How does that work? I mean, time flows normally in the holodeck (because people can call them in there if there's a problem), so unless he spent four years in the holodeck it makes no sense.


QUOTE (NiteFall @ Jul 2 2012, 09:14 PM) *
Well, the finale jumped forward a bit from the rest of the Enterprise timeline. So presumably it was just that episode that was Riker in the holodeck


There are some who have inferred from the final episode that the whole of Enterprise was just Riker on the holodeck playing the oft mentioned, but never seen, Cook/Chef character. Personally, I just think it was the last episode that was meant to be set on the holodeck and some fans have got the wrong end of the stick, but hey-ho. Whatever, it was still a sucky way to end the series.

QUOTE (GundamGuy_UK @ Jul 2 2012, 09:19 PM) *
Enterprise for me suffered from the same problem a lot of people had with Star Wars I-III, in that it was set in the past but looked so much shiner and cooler than TOS.


Surely that's like complaining about the heat of a candle when standing next to a supernova?

I think most fans will have accepted that time moves on (in the real world) and that having ships with big chunky buttons, flashing lights and a distinctly retro look just wouldn't cut it with a modern audience.

QUOTE
The fact that it was made later isn't really an excuse either; the ship looked waaaay too futuristic. It looked more futuristic than anything in the movies or TNG, DS9, and VOY.


They did try to make some concessions to Enterprise having come before TOS, in that monitors etc looked more like monitors do today than the consoles on the Enterprise D etc. Also, things like phasers and the transporter were a lot lower tech (at least when the series started) than the other series as well. As for special effects etc, well, that's covered by my comment above.
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widowspider
post Jul 5 2012, 06:39 PM
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TNG was always my Star Trek show. I did watch some DS9, but never really got hooked with it the way I was with TNG. I quite enjoyed Voyager, mainly because they had a female captain and for a geek girl that was really exciting.

I'm slowly collecting all the TNG seasons and, re-watching the first three, you can really see how the show struggled to settle. Once it does though, you get some of the best writing on television, not just in sci-fi IMO.

I still have a Wil Wheaton crush.
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NiteFall
post Jul 6 2012, 10:03 AM
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I think the main problem I have with Voyager as a whole is that they never did anything high-concept or really shocking in it. Even episodes like Year Of Hell ended with the big galactic reset button getting hit and the status quo being restored. Whereas in TNG you'd have episodes like Skin Of Evil, Tapestry and The Inner Light. Even DS9 had episodes like Far Beyond The Stars and In The Pale Moonlight. Also the complete lack of anything resembling an ongoing continuity or expanding characterisation on Voyager means that it never pulled off anything like Families or It's Only A Paper Moon, because unlike the other two shows, if a character suffered a trauma, instead of then referencing back to it, making it part of the story they just either ignored it or made it so that it never happened!
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Raven
post Jul 6 2012, 11:38 AM
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With some exceptions, Voyager basically hit the reset button every week and I don't think you would get away with making a show like that today. The one reset that really annoyed me was the crew from the Equinox; they were bought aboard at the end of the two-part story never to be heard of again - surely there was some mileage in reusing those characters? (especially as Chakotay had a relationship with one of them!).
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NiteFall
post Jul 6 2012, 11:47 AM
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I just think that the writers on Voyager seemed a bit scared to do anything hugely out of the ordinary. Certainly you'd have never got an episode like Families, which is basically an hour of the enterprise crew catching up with their loved ones and Picard having a small breakdown over being turned into Locutus. And you certainly wouldn't get something as high concept as Far Beyond The Stars, which very nearly led to a DS9 finale that would have pissed off every single Trekkie out there.
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Raven
post Jul 6 2012, 02:35 PM
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There were some good individual episode of Voyager, that were in the mould of traditional ground-breaking Trek episodes, but they were very few and far between.

My reading of what happened with the production is that the producers decided that the falling viewing figures DS9 suffered from as it went along were due to the more involved story line so they decided to go back to a more traditional self contained episode format for Voyager.

Personally, I think they called this wrong and that the fall in viewing figures was probably due more to Trek saturation than a problem with the format.

Shows such as Babylon 5, DS9, Buffy and Angel changed how weekly TV series worked. They demanded more of a commitment from the audience, but they also delivered greater rewards for those who stuck with them (and by and large this more involved format is the trend television has followed in recent years with series such as 24, Lost, Heroes and Homeland etc).

They realised this with Enterprise, and the third series was an attempt to address that, but by that time the milk in the cash cow had run dry, and there just wasn't an appetite for the product being offered.

Enterprise didn't fail because it was particularly bad, Enterprise failed because no one was interested anymore (the Stargate franchise has also suffered from the same problem of diminishing returns where the casual viewer doesn't see any significant differentiation between the different series, it is just more Star Trek, or in this case more Stargate).

Voyager is the one Trek series, more so than DS9 (I feel), that could really have benefited from more involved on-going story development. It was a self contained universe and that should have been exploited rather than ignored.

ETA:

I do miss new Star Trek, we really do need a new series. God help me, I've even been considering readings some of the novels recently!
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