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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 3:35am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

From an issue of "Star Trek Magazine", published a little while back:


 QUOTE:
TNG had spectacularly demonstrated that not only was there life in STAR TREK but in the science fiction genre as well. A wealth of new sci-fi shows, both in first-run syndication and on the networks, would premier over the next few years. Some would not last, but others became huge hits, including THE X-FILES, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS, XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, BABYLON 5 and FOREVER KNIGHT. TNG had set a ball rolling and it's still rolling today, with a crop of new sci-fi and fantasy shows debuting every new season.

If I may be pedantic, Buffy, Hercules, Xena and Nick Knight (the cop from FOREVER KNIGHT) are not sci-fi characters. The paragraph does at first suggest TNG inspired sci-fi shows, but then the last sentence suggests it inspired *both* sci-fi and fantasy shows.

That aside, do you think TNG was influential? 

I don't recall as many sci-fi shows airing in the 80s as we had since the 90s. I don't know if TNG did influence anything. Would those shows have been made if TNG had never existed?

Thoughts?
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 4:18am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

The success of TNG is credited for the rise of the first-run syndication hourlongs in the late 80s through the early 00s. So I'd include XENA, HERCULES, and BABYLON 5 as shows that wouldn't exist (at least not in the forms they did) if not for TNG. 
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Warren Scott
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 1:56pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Besides syndicated sci-fi and fantasy shows, it had a huge impact on the Star Trek fanbase. As I mentioned in another thread, many fans didn't support the idea of new actors playing the original crew so there was skepticism toward another crew being featured in a series.
There were viewers who called Data "the Spock" of the series and Riker "the Kirk" and compared Picard unfavorably to Kirk. Not everyone, of course, but a fair number. I don't think the series really gained a big following until two or three years in.
Anyway, the point I'm getting to is that its eventual success led to other Star Trek shows with new casts and the popularity of Wharf, I think, really heated up the fan fascination with Klingon culture.
I also think the modest uniforms worn by NG men and women (Troi being an exception.),to some extent, made Star Trek more popular with women. It's not that there weren't female Trek fans, but they were more visible because they could join male fans who enjoyed dressing up for conventions without having to wear a 60s Trek miniskirt.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 2:11pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I also think the modest uniforms worn by NG men and women (Troi being an exception.),to some extent, made Star Trek more popular with women. It's not that there weren't female Trek fans, but they were more visible because they could join male fans who enjoyed dressing up for conventions without having to wear a 60s Trek miniskirt.
+++++++

...but the unisex skants of early TNG didn't exactly catch on with male fans.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 2:12pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

It did pick up the pace more towards seasons 2/3/4.

I did find it odd that the second episode of the show was "The Naked Time". If you're going to do a show where the characters act out of character, at least establish them over a season or two first. ;-)
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Byron Graham
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 2:29pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

TNG certainly influence me. I hadn't previously uttered the phrase, "Make it so!"
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 2:40pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Yes, Byron, but reading that phrase in your post is one thing; if you say it out loud, some people might think you are instructing them to SEW something...
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Paul Gibney
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 3:16pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Obviously it was influential. Not all of that influence was beneficial, however. It began the erosion of the core of what Star Trek was and should have been.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 3:46pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

It began the erosion of the core of what Star Trek was and should have been.

***

I'd be interested to hear more if you're willing. :)
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 4:23pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

It's not that there weren't female Trek fans, but they were more visible because they could join male fans who enjoyed dressing up for conventions without having to wear a 60s Trek miniskirt.

-----

The funny thing is that the early Trek conventions were organized by women and had a high percentage of female attendees. The men squeezed them out at some point. 
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Roy Johnson
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 4:29pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

The scene with Data listening to multiple musical recording simultaneously was credited in one tv special to have inspired the eventual development of mp3 and that sort of thing. At the time the episode was made, no computer could do that.
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Ray Brady
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Posted: 13 August 2017 at 6:41pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Following the cancellation of Buck Rogers in 1981, I can't think of another space-based TV series until TNG came along. That was nearly six years where the best an American sci-fi fan could hope for was the occasional V or imports of Doctor Who.

In my opinion, TNG reinvigorated the genre the same way Star Wars had a decade previously, and the way the X-Files and Buffy reinvigorated Horror.
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Daniel Gillotte
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Posted: 14 August 2017 at 10:22am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Definitely influential. A big effects-heavy show as a rarity at that point, right?
Now it's the norm.
Beyond that, we would not have seen DS9 (my favorite) without it!

(Of course then maybe we wouldn't have Voyager or Enterprise either so you take the good with the bad I guess.)
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 14 August 2017 at 12:10pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

A big effects-heavy show as a rarity at that point, right?

***

KNIGHT RIDER. ;-)
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 14 August 2017 at 7:27pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

KNIGHT RIDER. ;-)

Don't laugh, Vi-Fi (Vehicle Fiction) was the 80's equivalent to Sci-Fi.   All it takes is one success to make a genre.   In this case, Blue Thunder (Rod Schneider film).


Speaking of 90's Sci-Fi that I think owes their existence to the success of TNG, off the top of my head (in addition to the ones mentioned):

Space Rangers
Space Above and Beyond
Earth 2
Earth: Final Conflict
TekWar
and a couple shows based on some mostly-forgotten movies called Alien Nation and Stargate :-)

Farscape may also just squeak in there as well.

Yes, not all of these are 'space' shows but there was a brief few years where Sci-Fi was considered viable television and networks were willing to take a risk. 

I also wouldn't discount the other factor in the viability of Sci-Fi in the 90's: The X-Files.
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Warren Scott
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Posted: 14 August 2017 at 7:54pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I will hear Paul Gibney out, if he's willing to elaborate. But I think Next Generation,at least in its early years, was truer to Gene Roddenberry's vision. In the original Trek, there's talk of following the Prime Directive, but Kirk wasn't above violating it.
I think as the original series continued and other creative folks became involved, it shifted from Roddenberry's influence. But the same could probably be said for the Next Generation, too.
Robbie, the timing for "The Naked Now" also was odd because it was inspired by an episode from the original series, which led some fans to criticize it for recycling old ideas (Some also compared "The Big Goodbye" to "A Piece of the Action.")
But I think it helped the viewers to get to know the characters a little better because it allowed them to let their hair down. Some of them had seemed a little stiff in the first episode.
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 15 August 2017 at 5:00am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Following the cancellation of Buck Rogers in 1981, I can't think of another space-based TV series until TNG came along.

Would 'V' count? It had spacecraft and aliens, but they were occupying our world as a hostile force, so I don't know if it could truly be considered space-based.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 15 August 2017 at 5:43am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

It's a tough one, Andrew.

If I were to be pedantic, of course it's sci-fi, but it's neither fish nor fowl in another sense. I'm sure I read that Kenneth Johnson originally considered the invading force to be another country. So they need not necessarily have been reptiles if things had gone differently.

But, yes, it is sci-fi.


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James Woodcock
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Posted: 15 August 2017 at 2:20pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

You are correct Robbie. Ken Johnson really wanted to do an 'America occupied by fascists' story but couldn't figure out how to get to the central premise.

Then he hit on the alien invasion idea and off he went. The original clearly meets his agenda. the Final Battle? Not so much

And of course. There never was a follow on series was there? (although, in all honesty, it took my local tv station almost a year to show that series from start to finish, including both episode threes)
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Warren Scott
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Posted: 17 August 2017 at 1:00am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I guess you Brits missed the ongoing series that followed. To be honest, I didn't see much of it myself and have heard I didn't miss much.
The original miniseries had some interesting ideas, including the Visitors' manipulation of public opinion to distrust all scientists since they might suspect their true nature. But the public could never be influenced to distrust a whole professional field. Or could they? (Think "fake news.")
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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 19 August 2017 at 10:04am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

I'm pretty sure we got V and V:The Final Battle stripped across five nights in 1984. This was on ITV while the BBC were covering the Olympics. We did get the series as well but I think in most regions it was relegated to a late-night slot.
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Paul Gibney
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Posted: 19 August 2017 at 4:00pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Sorry for not responding sooner; I only just saw this.

I begin by stating that this is, of course, MY opinion; I'm sure there are those who hold a different perception. (How Canadian of me...)

Star Trek was a lot of things, but for me it was an optimistic adventure show. It was gunboat diplomacy. It had a crew of strong characters who had different viewpoints, to some degree, and who could argue, but who we saw work together to achieve a shared goal. Even while fighting, we knew they genuinely liked each other. The technology was window dressing to the adventure.

Next Gen was tonally a very different show. While ostensibly similar, it was much more bureaucratic. The characters were relatively bland. Not a group of friends, these were work-mates. There were few personality clashes, as by this time Roddenberry had come to believe that everyone in the future would all get along without any clashes. The show was, too often, more about the technology (or technobabble, really) than about the people. The show, to me, seemed too self aware. It tried too hard, if you will.

Next Gen also began that Erase TOS movement that we see playing out in all later iterations, especially in the new movies, and, I see strongly suggested in the previews, in the new TV show.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 19 August 2017 at 6:21pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Paul, I agree. It is hard to accept people getting along without there being clashes. Human nature does not work that way.

Regarding V: THE SERIES, yes I did see it, but it was more of an A-Team style action adventure. Nothing profound at all. And a complete lack of continuity (the visitors' distinctive voice was gone, visitors walked around the ship without their human disguises on, etc.).

And I'm not sure why the envoy Charles showed up wearing General Zod's clothing. Looking back, it works as an action-adventure show, but it sure missed the point.
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Joe Boster
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Posted: 19 August 2017 at 9:02pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

The biggest way TNG was influential is the laundry list of Writers, producers and directors that got their big break on TNG,  I was lsitneing to the audio of The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years and the list of people that went on to be show runners and more was at least 5 minutes long. 


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James Woodcock
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Posted: 19 August 2017 at 11:25pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Warren Scott. Yes we got V the series. I was being facetious. It really did take Yorkshire almost a year to show all the episodes because they kept taking it off for sporting events.
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