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Old September 3rd 06, 01:44   #81
B5_Obsessed
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Re: Star Trek XI .. after all?

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B5 fans tend to like DS9 best because it is grittier and less sanitized than the other shows - because it ismore like B5. Trek purists often dislike it for exactly the same reason. (BTW, I would tend to argue that TOS was less prone to the "man is perfected" fantasy than the later shows. Kirk could still have plenty of flaws that Picard, Roddennberry's ideal Federation captain, could never be allowed.)
Perfect example for that is probably Errand of Mercy - one of my favourite episodes of everything ever. I loved the way in the end, Kirk is left to wonder if he's in any way better than Kor, and the audience with him, that had firmly seen Kirk as the good guy throughout the whole episode
Yeah, Kirk was ready to kick some ass. WE HAVE THE RIGHT....

And a good downer episode for Shaal, the Mugato one. The Klingons are arming one side with superior weapons and in the end, Kirk's solution is to match every arms shipment with one of their own. Not a pretty or tidy solution, but a realistic one. The show was, of course, a parable to the US and Soviet Union's ongoing chess game in central Asia at the time.
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Old September 3rd 06, 03:11   #82
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Re: Star Trek XI .. after all?

This whole Academy thing is funny in some ways. There were STRONG rumors that Star Trek VI was going to be "Kirk and Spock meeting at Starfleet Academy" but ultimately Paramount didn't want to let go of the original crew just yet, and the original actors didn't want to end their run with ST5. Good calls on both fronts. But things were drawn up, and there was plenty of pre-work done on an Academy movie. Some actors still joke that there is this "lost" movie floating around out there because of it.

I think maybe that lost movie ended up in JJ Abrams lap.
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Old September 3rd 06, 04:02   #83
Joseph DeMartino
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Re: Star Trek XI .. after all?

I never heard the faintest rumor of anything having to do with "Starfleet Academy" until they were looking for a story to succeed Voyager, and later for a new venue for the movies. In none of those cases did any of the concepts involve the characters of Kirk or Spock.

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maybe that's why I am also losing intererst in both tv and Star Trek in general
Well, if happy endings are your problem you're also going to have to avoid movies, books, the theater, opera and comic books. Because most of the time in most media you're going to end up with a fairly happy ending. Even tragedies more often than not have some kind of morally uplifting message and feature the triumph of good. Richard III is the hero of that play, but he's also a Very Bad Man so his defeat and death at the end are a good thing. Hamlet ends up with a huge pile of corpses on the stage and practically everybody who's had a speaking role dead, but it also ends with the murder avenged, the evil king and queen gone, the curse lifted from the country and a - presumably - decent new ruler in the person of Fortinbras taking over. Gone with the Wind (book and film) end with Scarlett losing her husband and her daughter, but still believing that "tomorrow is another day."

There are some tales, even fairly popular ones, with very bleak endings, but they are few and far between because people simply don't have much appetite for that sort of thing. We all have more than enough sadness and unpleasantness in our own lives. For exactly that reason we prefer to immerse ourselves in entertainments where things are less bleak, where problems (which drage on for years in our own lives) get solved in 30 mintues or an hour, or a couple of hours in a darkened theater, where good overcomes evil (as it so rarely seems to do in real life) and where the ending is happy.

In the depths of the Great Depression one of the most popular American film genres was the screwball comedy - which generally depicted the foolishness of the very rich. People didn't want to watch socialist-realist tracts about living in poverty. If folks wanted to see people living in poverty they could look out the window - or in the mirror. They wanted to see people not living in poverty, going to speakeasies and nightclubs, sneaking in and out of bedrooms in tialcoats and silk nightgowns.

In a medium like television, which has to appeal to the broadest audience, and in any form of series, where you want the audience to come back nex week, there isn't a lot of room for downers. Even B5 didn't do a lot of episodes where the bad guys lost.

As for the Treks "doing the same story over and over again", you aren't being fair, don't remember the shows very well, or didn't watch a lot of them. At their worst (TOS in its third year, Voyager for all 7) the shows could fall into formulaic storytelling. But when they were on their game they demonstrated a great range. TOS alone essayed comedy ("The Touble with Tribbles"), farce ("I, Mudd"), tragedy ("The City on the Edge of Forever") and psychological study ("Obesssion", "The Conscience of the King") Hardly "the same story"

Regards,

Joe
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Old September 3rd 06, 04:38   #84
Jade Jaguar
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Re: Star Trek XI .. after all?

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In the depths of the Great Depression one of the most popular American film genres was the screwball comedy - which generally depicted the foolishness of the very rich. People didn't want to watch socialist-realist tracts about living in poverty. If folks wanted to see people living in poverty they could look out the window - or in the mirror. They wanted to see people not living in poverty, going to speakeasies and nightclubs, sneaking in and out of bedrooms in tialcoats and silk nightgowns.

Regards,

Joe
One of my favorite screwball comedies from the 30s, Sullivan's Travels,directed by the great Preston Sturges, is about that very subject. BTW, "I, Mudd" is my favorite TOS ep, and "The Trouble With Tribbles" close to my least favorite. Very different, indeed.
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Old September 3rd 06, 08:36   #85
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Re: Star Trek XI .. after all?

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I never heard the faintest rumor of anything having to do with "Starfleet Academy" until they were looking for a story to succeed Voyager, and later for a new venue for the movies. In none of those cases did any of the concepts involve the characters of Kirk or Spock.
Check out the "extras" on the Star Trek VI: Undiscovered Country (collectors edition) DVD. Spells it all out in there, even has story boards that they show. That was the original plan for ST6, but direction was changed in favor of where they went.
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Old September 3rd 06, 13:08   #86
Shaal Mayan
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Re: Star Trek XI .. after all?

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JMS always talked about the bell curve too, and Shaal, your sliding off the edge. You can have your heroes lose a war at the start, if need be (think Firefly) but not at the end. How much of a downer would that be?

Wouldn't be much of a downer to me. Can't make a comment about Firefly cause I haven't seen it nor do I care to.And I am not *sliding off the edge * you don't even know me.Tv has became boring it all telling the same type of story with a new or different twist to it and our heroes have to solve it .How original .
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Old September 3rd 06, 14:00   #87
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Re: Star Trek XI .. after all?

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As for the Treks "doing the same story over and over again", you aren't being fair, don't remember the shows very well, or didn't watch a lot of them. At their worst (TOS in its third year, Voyager for all 7) the shows could fall into formulaic storytelling. But when they were on their game they demonstrated a great range. TOS alone essayed comedy ("The Touble with Tribbles"), farce ("I, Mudd"), tragedy ("The City on the Edge of Forever") and psychological study ("Obesssion", "The Conscience of the King") Hardly "the same story"

Regards,

Joe
True in the earlier days .. but by Enterprise, they had actually fallen to the level where they made episodes that were basically carbon copies of old episodes.

Oasis = Shadowplay (DS9)
Vanishing Point = The Next Phase (TNG)
EČ = Children of Time (DS9)
Chosen Realm = Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (TOS)

.. but that was the point when Trek had long been a zombie, yes.
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Old September 3rd 06, 14:20   #88
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Re: Star Trek XI .. after all?

I'm hardly qualified to speak on the Trek issues... but regarding happy endings:

To my mind the best possible ending is the "happy ending with a price," better known as "bittersweet." The Ring is destroyed, but Frodo can no longer live in the Shire. Ivanova lives, Marcus dies. Firefly does that kind of ending well because even on the best days, when everything goes right for our heroes, all they've really won is the ability to keep flying for another day -- and oftentimes there's a price in blood and suffering attached. There's no final victory or rest. BSG has a similar theme going; winning the fight means survival, not final victory. In fact, with BSG, I can tell when something truly awful is about to happen. How do I know? Things are good and people are smiling, that's how.
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Old September 3rd 06, 15:28   #89
hypatia
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Re: Star Trek XI .. after all?

Well, if Trek tries to move forward by essentially producing fanfiction, I certainly am not going to be interested.

Sorry if "fanfiction" isn't the right word. What is the word for "relies extremely heavily on already-established characters in the readers minds"?

When Star Trek stops going forth and starts sinking inward, it's not just dead, it's begun to decay.

So, I can only hope it's just not true.

It's too bad they never even considered doing a DS9 movie. If they want to rehash stories with established characters, I'd rather they use them.
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Old September 3rd 06, 17:03   #90
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Re: Star Trek XI .. after all?

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JMS always talked about the bell curve too, and Shaal, your sliding off the edge. You can have your heroes lose a war at the start, if need be (think Firefly) but not at the end. How much of a downer would that be?


Wouldn't be much of a downer to me. Can't make a comment about Firefly cause I haven't seen it nor do I care to.And I am not *sliding off the edge * you don't even know me.Tv has became boring it all telling the same type of story with a new or different twist to it and our heroes have to solve it .How original .
That wasn't meant to be an insult. I meant sliding off the edge of the bell. Sort of a metaphorical image kinda thing. Much apologizings.
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