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Topic: There Were Never Any Plans For A DS9 Movie Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 20 August 2017 at 2:43pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

STAR TREK MAGAZINE, published by Titan, has a Q&A section in each issue. In the latest issue, a reader asked whether there were ever any plans for a DS9 movie. Here is the editor's response:


 QUOTE:
During the 1990s, the Next Generation cast was seen as the marquee brand and the baton-bearers for Trek on the big screen. However, despite the success and broad audience bases of DS9 and Voyager, Star Trek was not deemed a big enough property to sustain more than one cast's adventures in cinemas. By the time it was decided to fold the Next Generation's movie tent with Nemesis, the perception in Hollywood was that neither Trek spin-off, nor the prequel Enterprise, was popular enough to support a movie, and Trek's 18-year run on TV ended soon after.

I wanted DS9 to have a movie. I spoke to others who did, including a colleague. I saw letters in sci-fi magazines asking for one. And when I first came on the internet (2001), there were bulletin boards and the like with people expressing a desire for the "movie baton" to be passed to DS9.

Sure, I'm not saying those comments were representative of the "Trek community" (not that such a community exists, we are not a collective like the Borg), but I'm sure there are many who felt that every post-TNG series deserved a shot at cinematic glory. 

The post-TNG shows certainly deserved a shot at the big screen more than Abrams' reboot vision did. Thoughts?
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 20 August 2017 at 3:21pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I think this is a natural effect of a long-running franchise: the law of diminishing returns causes the studio to focus on the earliest iterations, which tend to be the most popular, since they were the ones that made the franchise a success in the first place. 

TOS was first out of the gate, and has the highest recognition factor for the general public. When it comes to pop culture awareness/parodies/references, TOS is far and away the king of the franchise.

TNG came along, and proved immensely successful. But, as Wayne Campbell noted, "In many ways it's superior, but will never be as recognized as the original". The TNG movies were still quite successful, overall, but there were fewer of them than the TOS cast had. Four TNG movies over eight years, versus six TOS movies over 12 years.

The subsequent spin-off shows fall more and more into niche/For Fans Only territory, so I'm not surprised that there were never serious plans for the feature film treatment. Joe Q. Public, who went to see THE VOYAGE HOME without drowning in nerdy continuity, back in the day, would probably be scratching his head at DEEP SPACE NINE: THE MOVIE or ENTERPRISE: THE MOVIE.

Note that, when Paramount decided to reboot the whole thing, they went back to TOS, the most widely-known and beloved iteration. Just as DISCOVERY is going back to that era (sort of).


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 20 August 2017 at 3:22pm
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 20 August 2017 at 3:23pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Joe Q. Public, who went to see THE VOYAGE HOME without drowning in nerdy continuity, back in the day, would probably be scratching his head at DEEP SPACE NINE: THE MOVIE or ENTERPRISE: THE MOVIE.

***

I certainly understand that point.

I suppose the location of DS9 *may* have been a problem for casual fan or Joe Q. Public. "To boldly sit" isn't the same as "to boldly go".

I wish the modern movies had explored other areas of the franchise. i.e. Starfleet Marine Corps.



Edited by Robbie Parry on 20 August 2017 at 3:24pm
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 20 August 2017 at 3:41pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I remember DARK FRONTIER from Voyager being advertised as a 'movie' on first airing -- of course it was actually airing the two episodes back to back.   If you search on the yewtubes you'll find a Jeri Ryan interview on Conan from that period where they refer to it as a 'movie'.

Which gets me thinking.

I don't think DS9 or VOY as they were being written then would translate well to big screen cinema.  They would have to... erm... spruce up things to get bums in seats.   TNG had this issue with GENERATIONS, where you get Picard being an action hero alongside Kirk, and Data swearing (because that's what you do in the grownup movies!).  FIRST CONTACT fared better because it got the action/exposition more balanced, but it still felt like it was action movie window dressing tacked onto stodgy TNG writing.  You run into the conundrum that STAR TREK *can* make good cinema but moviegoers expect some flash-bang for their money and STAR TREK was never really about that sort of thing.   

Then you get into the dichotomies of movie marketing.   If your film doesn't fall into one of the easily-classified boxes (action, summer blockbuster, chick-flick, indie, etc) then you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.  STAR TREK is *marketed* as action but underneath it's considered cerebral Sci-Fi -- and there's an expectation that a big name IP like STAR TREK should be more like STAR WARS (and note: I'm not saying STAR WARS is less cerebral than TREK, but STAR WARS has a completely different balance between it's action/drama/comedy than TREK).  The Abrams films decided to chuck everything STAR TREK in the bin, keeping just the names and wrote them as action heroes from the start to conform to one of the easy Hollywood boxes. 

Back to TV. 

I think the franchise would have been better served if GENERATIONS had not happened and pushed TNG into the publish-or-perish situation as the TREK flagship.  

From what I understand the cost/episode to produce TNG skyrocketed in the last few seasons, mostly due to actor salary increases.  A better solution may have been to take the TNG finale ratings (which were very, very good) and use those as a template to produce quarterly or even annual TNG TV movies.  A TV movie 'event' slot commands more advertising dollars to help offset the cast salaries. TNG suffered a lot because many of it's stories had to be shoehorned into an hour timeslot, and multipart stories required padding in the later parts to make up the time slot (BEST OF BOTH WORLDS is a good example of this).  The TV movie format would offer a little more flexibility and allow the writing to relax into a more comfortable pace and not feel rushed or padded.

It also would keep the then-current and most recognizable iteration of the franchises in the public eye on a regular basis.   DS9, VOY, and ENT all suffered because none of the characters were well known outside of fan circles.  Picard, Data, and Worf could be picked out of a crowd by a casual viewer.  Sisko, Janeway, or Archer?  I doubt it.

With the framework for TNG TV movies in place it would have been easier to transition to a DS9 or VOY film.  That's the only way I could see a DS9 'movie' working.


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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 20 August 2017 at 3:45pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

That's given me much food for thought, Rob. This is why I am on forums! 

I have seen some good TV movies based on TV shows. I could see how your idea would work well.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 20 August 2017 at 3:51pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

The brings us back to STAR TREK as TV series vs. STAR TREK as movie series.

The TOS movies largely worked because they were about catching up with our heroes during their golden years. No longer were they on the five-year mission. Literally every film begins with them on Earth or returning to Earth. Not a single film begins with the Enterprise orbiting a strange, new world. The traditional format was jettisoned in favor of showing Big Movie Events. The rebuilt Enterprise flies off to save Earth from V'GER. A training cruise goes horribly wrong, and turns into a battle to stop terrorists. Our heroes steal and destroy their own ship in order to save Spock. On their way to court-martial, they have to time-travel to the 80s in order to save Earth (again). A renegade Vulcan steals the Enterprise. in an attempt to find God. Kirk and McCoy are framed as part of a conspiracy to sabotage vital Federation-Klingon peace talks.

Of those six films, the only one which really comes close to the classic TOS structure is THE FINAL FRONTIER, aside from the fact that the Enterprise launches from Earth at the film's start. All of the others deal with Big And Important Events for the characters and/or the Federation, rather than isolated adventures and morality plays on lonely little planets.

The TNG movies are similar, with the one most like a TV episode (INSURRECTION) being the one called out as "bland" and "bloated". The other movies fall into more standard action-film/revenge-crazed villain territory.

STAR TREK was designed as an ongoing anthology (albeit with continuing characters). The movies, by their very nature, have been more limited in content, because they're an every-few-years special event that a huge amount of time and money is sunk into. So, they tend to be action-adventure romps designed to let the fans spend time with beloved characters, rather than insightful morality tales and intimate character dramas.
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 20 August 2017 at 7:52pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply


I never did understand why Paramount didn't at least give the greenlight to some TV movies/mini-series or direct-to-video films of DS9, VOYAGER and/or ENTERPRISE... much like the various attempts from the creators of BABYLON 5 and the rebooted BSG.



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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 20 August 2017 at 8:39pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Bean-counting, I guess. Unless it can make millions, they probably don't care.
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Marten van Wier
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Posted: 21 August 2017 at 1:53am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Bit tired with as a response that I can not fully respond but I agree with the poster who suggested that instead of big movies on the theater screen that TNG and perhaps Deep Space Nine and Voyager should have had a couple of television movies. (especially as that would probably have been more feasible for the last two as there was no chance that they would ever get a full theater movie)

Well Voyager did have sort of television movies (two parter episodes running after another) such as Dark Frontier, Flesh and Blood, and Endgame, but I find their quality varying to put it mildly.

Enterprise, well I am not a big Enterprise fan but perhaps the Romulan Wars should have gotten a couple of television movies. Perhaps about a major turning event in the war or about the final stage of the war as Earth and her allies push the Romulans back to their home systems.

As for television vs movies, I always felt Star Trek worked better on the television screen in general.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 21 August 2017 at 5:47am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

re: Romulan Wars telefilms, I think there are some things better left to the imagination.  BALANCE OF TERROR tells you all you really needed to know about it.  Same for the two Kzinti wars referenced in TAS:THE SLAVER WEAPON.  There were plans to show the first Kzin encounters in Season 5 of ENT and I'm kind of glad the show got canned before that happened.  Too much filling-in-the-blanks prequel-itis was really starting to drag the franchise down not to mention diminishing the accomplishments of (better written) characters previous to the prequel series.   It seemed like every week the crew of the NX-01 were inventing or discovering yet another technology or race that that was commonplace on the NCC-1701. **

More DS9 film food for thought:

Even if a DS9 telefilm were to be greenlit it presents some very difficult writing challenges.  The DS9 narrative, much like that of BABYLON 5's is a slow burn designed to reward longtime viewers (ie. fans) rather than the occasional drop-in or channel surfing audience.  The B5 films weren't very well received -- the best of the lot was a filling-in-the-blanks prequel (*see my above notes on prequel-itis), two films were basically standalone stories that had zero bearing on the main narrative, and two are rather blatant backdoor pilots for series that didn't work out.  

There's really only two options for a DS9 film: 

1) A story that's central to the main narrative, 

2) A story that's separate from the main narrative, like B5's THIRDSPACE or RIVER OF SOULS.  

If this theoretical DS9 film were to follow on from TNG telefilms then you are getting a rare television gift -- a ready-made grandfathered audience.  If you try dropping this audience into the middle of a multiple seasons political intrigue story that requires 'homework' (either by watching episodes or lots of exposition in dialogue) then you risk losing a lot of that viewership that cannot be made up by your smaller core audience of regular DS9 viewers.   If you write a standalone story like the B5 films you risk alienating your core audience to court the larger TNG audience, with the added detriment that your standalone film in the long run will be viewed negatively against the rest of the series or ignored altogether.     

Kind of a no-win situation guaranteed to put the brakes on any future telefilms if you ask me.



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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 22 August 2017 at 12:48am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

With STAR WARS films now an annual event, and both the MCU and DCEU releasing films on a regular basis, I wonder if Paramount is slightly envious, given their STAR TREK output amounts to three films in seven years (2009-2016) - with no new TREK film even in development.
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Marten van Wier
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Posted: 22 August 2017 at 10:40am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Probably, but do remember that we would get even more films in the style of the last three if Paramount also decided to make Star Trek an annual event.

They would probably accelerate the reboot of TNG in order to be able to alternate between the casts and have some time to actually make the films.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 22 August 2017 at 7:11pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Ugh, don't think I could stomach a TNG reboot/recast
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 22 August 2017 at 8:12pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I wouldn't mind a Starfleet Marine Corps film. I'd be intrigued by that. 
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Richard Stevens
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Posted: 23 August 2017 at 4:50am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I would have loved to see a couple TNG actors stop off at DS9 in the first act of a movie, pick up a couple DS9 people and go forth on an adventure together.

Maybe even have them escorting Ambassador Spock!
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Jason Scott
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Posted: 24 August 2017 at 3:55am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

When I was at the London Destinations convention that had the five actors that had played the Captains on the various series, one of the first persons I met when I got inside was Patrick Stewart at the autograph tables. I think because it was first thing in the morning on the first day of the event, and he was sitting next to the always friendly Scott Bakula, he was in an unusually talkative mood at that point. And so when talking to him about Nemesis, and how I actually thought it wasn't that bad a conclusion to the film series, he dropped the bomb shell on me that before the film underperformed at the box office, there had actually been plans for a follow up that would also have included the main casts of DS9 and Voyager. As a sort of big screen wrap up of all the modern shows.

I guess that could have been interesting.
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