View Single Post
Old 2015-10-14, 08:10 PM   #32
Warcry
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
 
Warcry's Avatar
 
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
It's clear from his commentary on Insurrection though he finds the whole moral point the film is trying to make really dumb. He even says when Baku Bloke sets his pacifist stall out that it's "Typical Piller crap". If the director, who sets so much of the tone and feel of the film, doesn't think the story is any good it's no wonder the film winds up no good.
Fair point. If the director isn't into it, that's going to hurt things a fair bit. It's kind of a shame that they couldn't either find a script the director liked, or find a director that liked the script. I can understand why they didn't want to fire one of the main cast of the film from direction duties, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
The films have to try and service all the characters and tell a big self contained plot all within two hours. Themes tend to be a bit surface level. Which is why The Motion Picture is so annoying, it thinks it has this great big 2001 style revelation, but it basically boils down to the sort of thing the series did so often it should really be a post it note.

I think Khan actually does the layers thing better than any of them. Mainly because it doesn't go for the easy answers, it looks at the effect of ageing on a hero but doesn't come up with the stock "You're never too old for this shit" conclusion. Kirk does make mistakes, and they get people killed. He has to accept he's older and slower and that's no bad thing in and of itself because he also has experience.
I think part of why Khan was so good is that it ignored a bunch of the stuff in your first paragraph, though. I honestly can't remember if Sulu and Uhura even have lines, though I'm sure they did. And I only remember Scotty from that stupid "take the dead cadet's body up to the bridge" scene (that was his nephew IIRC, but I don't think the final film mentioned it), with Saavik "stealing" their screen time instead. And the plot wasn't self-contained, instead being built on the foundations of an old TV episode. I think that gave them a whole lot more room to maneuver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
In retrospect it's amazing Will Wheaton even showed up for a cameo, he's been very clear in interviews recently he deeply dislikes the way Rick Berman treated him on the show and still bears a grudge there.
Apparently it was his idea too. I remember reading that he contacted the producers after one of the other cast members told him that they were making another TNG film and that it'd be the last one.

I always thought that writing the character out with "he's a Traveller now LOL" was silly, because it was such a random about-face for the guy. It's a shame they didn't end his arc differently so that he could have actually, properly been in one of the movies. It would have been cool to see an adult Wesley actually do something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
When written at its worst the Federation is clearly evil, like in that episode with Worf's step brother where he's trying to save some people from an exploding planet and Picard is all "No, helping these people not die would break the Prime Directive, who knows what could happen if we interfer with the natural course of evolution on this planet and these children weren't all dead. Now let us watch the world explode!
The same general thing happens a few times in the series if memory serves, although they usually find a way to fix things anyway.

In a real-world sense I don't disagree with the "not our problem, warp nine to the next system!" policy towards crises like this. The Federation's mandate is to take care of Federation citizens, not spend their resources fixing problems outside of their borders. Non-interference is the only practical way of dealing with things, because if you help one species you're going to have fifty more banging down your door, and if you don't/can't help them then suddenly you're making yourself new enemies.

It's trying to wrap it up as a moral choice that gets my hackles up. The Prime Directive is usually a good rule, but the almost religious fervour that Picard defends it with is a bit unsettling. There's no valid argument where letting millions of innocents die is morally right, only scenarios where letting it happen is better for Federation interests. The other captains never seemed to have that same devotion to it, thankfully, so it's mostly a "Picard" issue and not a sign of the entire Federation being brainwashed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Though he's called by at least one other name during the course of the series (I don't know how IMDB/Memory Alpha divy up the roles), so how many times he's Leslie and how many times he's The Other Fellow is open to debate. He could have been playing a different non-speaking character in every episode he's not called by name!
Memory Alpha pretends that they're all the same guy even when they're called different names, I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Well, famously Piller put no thought whatsoever into what would happen in Part 2 as he thought he was leaving the show. It's remarkable it works at all really (little things like how the saucer separation plan is set up in the first part are just luck rather than planning), it's shame it seems to convince them that writing the first part of a cross-season two parter without deciding on what was going to happen in the second was the way to go as none of the others are anywhere like as neat.
As a kid I always got super-excited for the two-parters whenever they came up, and I still have a soft spot for some of them (the Klingon civil war and that Mark Twain one) but for the most part they are some of the weakest parts of the series.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
The smart thing to do with Riker once he was obviously ready to go off and be his own captain would be to give him the spinoff show. Doing a version of DS9 with Captain Riker would be fairly easy (though the different backstory to Sisko would have created a different dynamic), but by the time they seriously started thinking "Spinoff" they knew TNG films were on the horizon, so I guess even if he'd been offered it, Frakes would have opted for the movie career anyway.
Actually, I would have gone in the opposite direction -- give Riker the Enterprise and move Picard to the spin-off. That way you're leaving the weaker actor (no slight meant to Frakes here, I'm a big fan of his, but Patrick Stewart is a superstar for a reason) on the existing, established show while the bigger name moves over to the new show and gives the existing fanbase a big reason to tune in. In fact, split the crew in half and send Worf and O'Brien and Crusher along with him. Then introduce a few new characters on either show to fill up the roster.

They could make the movies work even with that, though obviously it'd be a huge departure from what they actually did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
It says a lot they seriously talked about killing Riker in Second Chances, promoting Data to first officer and having Thomas Riker take over ops. Apparently they decided not to shake things up that much with the films coming (I suppose billing would have been an issue as well, Frakes is the show's official second lead. Effectively demoting him to a lower role--even if the character was already in reality the fourth most important behind Data and Worf--would have likely caused issues).
Though at the same time, playing Tom Riker could have given Frakes so much more to do that the billing would have been justified again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Which is lucky as some of the action stuff has dated (Borg walks down corridor. Gets shot and falls over. Another Borg walks down corridor. Gets shot and falls over. Another Borg walks down corridor. Gets shot and falls over. Another Borg walks down corridor. It's forcefield has adapted! Shelby: Enterprise, get us out of here!. It's Jones' score that really sells that stuff), but overall it's still an extraordinary piece of TV.
The score is great, but the lighting, costumes and set design are a big part of it too. They obviously put a huge amount of work into making the Borg terrifying, and it worked in a way that the later, CGI-driven attempts in Voyager never really did.

Part of why Best of Both Worlds works so well for me is that it was way more character-driven than anything that happened in TNG prior. It handles the crew's loss of a comrade with way more force than any of the one-and-done "Picard/Data/some other guy is missing or presumed dead" episodes that we got, and actually shows how important these people are to one another. It also tells you more about the sort of person that Riker is than the entire series up to that point (or rather, the person he grew into over three years), has one of the first actually good moments of Troi counselling someone, etc, etc. It also shows how much Data has grown, by making an intuitive leap that early Data never could have managed during his chat with Locutus.

(Intuition -- another irrational, emotional response that Data is allegedly incapable of!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
It was nice to at least hear on DS9 that Shelby made captain before Riker (though Ron Moore apparently had to apologise to Peter David as they'd assured him before starting New Frontier they weren't going to do anything with Shelby. I've a feeling officially that's now a different Captain Shelby in deference to him, but screw that).
Even by the books' timeline I'm pretty sure that's still true. In fact I think she made admiral before Riker made captain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
I read something a couple of years ago I'd never noticed before: At no point during the first two seasons is it said Data can't feel emotion. Indeed, he generally seems to, even if he doesn't really understand them and mostly has a childlike glee about things. It's Michael Piller in season 3 who decided he can't feel anything at all.]
That makes perfect sense to me, and that's about the time when I noticed that swerve as well. "Childlike glee" is a perfect way to describe early Data. He had flashes of it later on, but he also became a much more mature character as he became comfortable (Comfort! An emotion!) with himself and his life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
I think Data's big problem comes from the conflice Datalore creates with the backstory in the show bible everyone had been working from: That he'd been built by aliens to study humanity and was presumably relatively new at it.
How new at it could he have been, though? He was already a lieutenant commander in Starfleet, thought highly enough of to be made second officer of the fleet's biggest, newest and most important starship. He would have gone through the academy, plus time as an ensign, lieutenant junior grade and lieutenant before the series started (assuming he was promoted to lieutenant commander when he was chosen for the Enterprise job). Since Starfleet is based on the US Navy I looked up their rules, and apparently you need to have nine years of service before you qualify for promotion to lieutenant commander. Add on four years at the academy and he'd have been in Starfleet for at least thirteen years (indeed, the novels and such say he was around for much longer than that because he wasn't very ambitious and didn't seek out promotions the way a Riker would).

Actually, thinking back on it, the character would have made more sense if he'd started the show as a junior bridge officer like Worf or Geordi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
And seriously, how had he not had sex before Tasha? People in the Trek Universe will pay to have sex with holograms so presumably a bit of fun with a "Programmed in multiple techniques" android who is going to be entirely about your pleasure rather than his would appeal in the sexually liberal 24th century? Surely as part of his exploration of humanity he'd try just about every type of position and partner across as many species and genders as he could?
Data wasn't exactly a social butterfly at the start of the series. Doesn't he say a few times that Geordi was the first real friend he'd ever had? I wouldn't be at all surprised if, due to a mix of his own awkwardness and the discomfort it caused in other people, nobody had ever offered. And while I could totally see early Data going up and asking someone if they want to bang, the way he'd say it would be more likely to get him slapped than anything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
If you'd have just said "Computer end program" I'd have locked the thread for you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Denyer View Post
Seems to be general experience of the series. I'd say you can read the four mini-novels plus #5 and #6 and skip ahead to Stone and Anvil (which is mainly flashback) plus maybe Double Helix #5: Double or Nothing and get the best of it. There's also a short story collection, No Limits, although I don't recall anything particularly memorable. Plus the obligatory short stories in anthologies such as Tales of the Dominion War, which also has a brilliant Scotty/McCoy story.
Double or Nothing is probably the last book in the series that I really enjoyed without any reservations, mainly for the Riker bits. Once Burned was probably my favourite, though, since it really did a great job setting up how Calhoun got to be who he was at the start of the series (sidenote: the Captain Pike space whales story that came right after it in the Captain's Table series was also fantastic).

The next two were okay, but after that he lost me a bit more every time until Blind Man's Bluff had me saying "Enough already!"

(Stone and Anvil would have been great if the linchpin of the whole thing hadn't been the third retelling of Ensign Janos's backstory...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denyer View Post
PAD wanders off into fanfic territory and power level creep a lot of the time. Didn't think he'd pull it back after Blind Man's Bluff, but the first part of The Returned doesn't seem too bad so far in that respect and will hopefully be a better capstone if that's where it wraps up. Overall it's been a neat concept.
I was actually really surprised to find out that they published a followup at all. Wasn't he on death's door a few years ago? I can't say that any more New Frontier will be high on my to-do list, though. There's already more Star Trek books than I have time to read (the only thing I've been able to keep up with lately has been Vanguard, which was amazing, and its follow-up, Seekers).

I think the thing that annoyed me the most about the later NF books was how little they felt connected to the rest of the Star Trek universe. Initially it was the story of a tight-knit Starfleet crew exploring the unknown, familiar stuff even if the characters were a bit weirder. But then basically everyone left the Excalibur, characters started dropping like flies, every enemy that shows up are basically gods, the events of the universe at large are basically ignored and I can't help but wonder why these books even have Star Trek on the cover anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetsuro View Post
A friend of mine watched DS9 some time ago and he hated it - or rather, he hated the last two seasons, when the writers suddenly backpedaled on character development just so one of them could re-introduce the Kira/Odo relationship. Or something. I haven't watched the series in like six years, but I am currently in a state of re-watching it. He also hated the more "supernatural" aspects of the show, but so far I've just been able to shrug it off with that Arthur C Clarke quote.
I'd tend to think that the writers agreed with you. The show itself explained away a lot of its' own supernatural trappings, though. From the beginning the Prophets were just non-linear aliens with weird tech living in a wormhole, and I don't think they ever did anything that we hadn't seen accomplished with normal technology by other aliens in other shows.
 
Warcry is online now   Reply With Quote