Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
Star Trek
Byrne Robotics > Star Trek << Prev Page of 3 Next >>
Topic: Going BEYOND Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15244
Posted: 23 July 2018 at 11:26pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Oh, incompetence is my go-to option for these sorts of things. But, sometimes I wonder...
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15244
Posted: 23 July 2018 at 11:39pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I've been watching episodes recently of Gene Roddenberry's "The Lieutenant," and what I'm seeing greatly underscores what is wrong with modern incarnations of the various Trek franchises. None of them seem to acknowledge that Starfleet is not just a job, but rather a lifestyle and a calling that these characters have trained for and dedicated the next however-many years to. And they did so because they believe in what is being done by Starfleet. The notion that Kirk signed up on a dare from some old guy who challenged him about his dad makes the character lame. Lame enough that, yeah, three years in, he'd be looking for his next big thrill. Because space exploration... is somehow... what was it again? Dull..? Yeah, star mapping can take a long time. We've seen that on the show, but I didn't see anyone saying, "Man, I don't think star mapping is worthwhile. Let's stop doing this, and hey, go to Rigel! Who's with me, dudes?"
+++++++++


If you look at the broad history of the franchise, you can absolutely track its slow drift away from military discipline and core values like professionalism, the joys of science, and hard work. 

Same with the production design, which shifted from Matt Jefferies’ clean, elegant style to uber-greeblied monstrosities blasting the s*** out of each other. The design aesthetics of both AbramsTREK and STD are very unappealing to my eye. They may look fancy and expensive on TV and the big screen, but the internal logic behind them just isn’t there. Are those the sort of spaceships a person would really want to live and work aboard, 24/7, 365? With all of those harsh/blinky lights and uber-detailed, metallic surfaces? Not very homey.


Anyway, the Starfleet of TOS very much feels like what NASA would become if long-range space travel became a casual aspect of daily life. The best and the brightest would sign up, work hard, and take pride in what they do. 


I’ve been meaning to check out THE LIEUTENANT, too. Gary Lockwood has been on my mind, lately, given the recent buzz around the 50th anniversary of 2001 (...the film, not the year!).


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 23 July 2018 at 11:39pm
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15244
Posted: 23 July 2018 at 11:52pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

And Greg, Abrams has flat-out admitted that he thinks Star Trek is dumb and needed some good ol' fashioned Star Wars DNA spattered across its face to make it interesting.
++++++++

This made me think of making a crass joke regarding Abrams’ glans-nose, but I’m mature enough to tell everyone here that I’ve decided against it.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Brian Hague
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 14 November 2006
Posts: 7733
Posted: 24 July 2018 at 9:30am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I very strongly recommend THE LIEUTENANT, Greg. Many episodes "play" as if we're seeing the training of a young Captain Kirk. The premise requires Lockwood to make understandable mistakes, and as such, we can see how Roddenberry himself might have dealt with the premise of Kirk's early days in the service.

The series is set in peacetime so the majority of the military action takes place in war games. Nevertheless, the stakes do not seem inconsequential. The approach is firmly episodic with little or no carry-through from episode to episode. A crippling injury or tragic death this week will not be referred to the next. 

The performances are all good to excellent and the parade of guest-stars is eye-popping. Bill Bixby appears in the opener. I just watched the episode that featured Leonard Nimoy as a Hollywood glad-hander pushing his vision of a military encounter over the facts in a film Lockwood's character has been assigned to as an advisor. Nimoy is energetic and charismatic, no question. You pretty much can't take your eyes off him. And his assistant is played by Majel Barrett who comes across as a saltier, savvier version of Lee Meriwether. 

If I'm feeling up to it tonight, I'll be watching the episode that lost the series the assistance of the U.S. Military; a story of racial tension between men in Lockwood's unit. The Marines asked that Roddenberry shelve the script. After all, they said, there are no racial tensions in the Marine Corp. Roddenberry instead went out of his way to get it made, thereby sticking the production company with the full costs when the network refused to air it, bowing to a request from the Pentagon. It's appearance on set 2 of the DVD collection is the first time it's been available to the general public as far as I can tell.

The episode features Dennis Hopper and Don Marshall as the two men in conflict, and Nichelle Nichols plays Marshall's wife. 

The show overall is quite mature and doesn't pull its punches, while still adhering to the storytelling demands of television from that era. Lessons are learned. Storylines do not carry over. Events tidy themselves up a bit too quickly at times. Nevertheless, this is top-drawer stuff for the era in which it was produced. Even edgy for the times. I'm pretty sure we all know what that couple on the beach are talking about when they fondly the reminisce about that night they spent together in June...

I'm enjoying the program quite a bit. 


Edited by Brian Hague on 24 July 2018 at 9:33am
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Brian Hague
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 14 November 2006
Posts: 7733
Posted: 24 July 2018 at 9:40am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Regarding Abrams' sense of production design, Apple Stores are designed to catch the eye as you walk past them in the mall. The funky transparent panels on all sides provide a sense of disorientation that keeps you a little off-kilter. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to live inside one or work there for any length of time. Employees generally come out of the back room to talk with you when you walk in. They don't want to hang around all the iridescent plexiglass any more than you do.

Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Brian Hague
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 14 November 2006
Posts: 7733
Posted: 24 July 2018 at 9:48pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

The episode regarding race relations was a tough watch. Everyone speaks intelligently to their point (well, Dennis Hopper's racist doesn't), but the overall idea was that this problem can't be fixed, and that the best you can hope to do, the absolute best, is move things in a given situation  about *that* much. The pain and anger on all sides runs too deep otherwise. 

Don Marshal again plays an angry character who demonstrates a certain disrespect for authority, but in this case it's because one of the goons who used to beat him with a bicycle chain in school is now an NCO in the platoon he's just joined. If that sort of man is who the Marines choose to honor, he feels he may have picked the wrong team on which to play...

Nichelle Nichols has a great deal more to do and say in this episode than she does in Trek, and she carries the episode well. The messages here, laced with the then-painfully-correct term "negro," off-hand uses of "boy," and even one surprising instance of the n-word, are difficult to hear, and the sense of hopelessness that pervades the conflict, the idea that part of fighting is choosing when to fight and when not to, is all there on the screen. Nichols even gets to argue a more articulate and measured version of her line from "The Savage Curtain" concerning words and the need to speak them without fear if we're ever to have any hope of talking about these issues.

Dennis Hopper manages to make his character considerably more than a simple, hateful cartoon. When he comes off of his bunk with a knife, the episode is not kidding about what might happen next. 

All in all, a fascinating look at what Roddenberry wanted his television shows to be able to say, and considering this episode never made it to air, what the networks and other powers that be, such as the Pentagon, were willing to tolerate as their part of the public discussion.  


Edited by Brian Hague on 24 July 2018 at 9:50pm
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15244
Posted: 24 July 2018 at 10:16pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I think the show came out on disc, a few years back. I should seek it out. The guest stars (Bixby, Hopper, etc.) alone are enough to sell it, to say nothing of the pre-TREK connections. 
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 112776
Posted: 25 July 2018 at 8:34am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I picked up THE LIEUTENANT a while back. Watched and enjoyed a few episode, but felt no need to marathon the show. I'll drift back as the mood hits.
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 112776
Posted: 25 July 2018 at 8:35am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

If you look at the broad history of the franchise, you can absolutely track its slow drift away from military discipline and core values like professionalism, the joys of science, and hard work.

••

Starting with TNG, we slipped from a military operation to a clubhouse.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Brian Hague
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 14 November 2006
Posts: 7733
Posted: 25 July 2018 at 2:40pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

A clubhouse where nearly everyone has amazing super-powers! Super-strength! Tricorder-Vision! Warrior combat skills! Cybernetic enhancements! Telepathy! Empathy! Multi-dimensional intellectual capabilities! Anti-rape-gang street savvy! What if every fan character you ever had suddenly came to life on the bridge of the bestest, fastest, biggest Enterprise ever??

As my mom said, turning away from the screen after the pilot episode was over, "It's not the same."

I've long felt that the show missed an opportunity in having Counselor Troi aboard the Bridge. Her apparent lack of rank seemed to suggest that she was a civilian; the only one representing the large civilian population that the ship housed during that first season. She was completely deferential to Picard and Riker's authority at all times, but I couldn't help but wonder if she had to be. What would have happened had the command team proceeded with a course of action that she knew was the wrong one? Did she, in fact, have any authority at all?

Her role seemed to be to literalize McCoy's frequent presence on the Bridge in the original series; to provide the compassionate, emotional side of whatever argument was taking place and not have to be away from her station to do it. Riker would represent Kirk's action-oriented, impulsive side and Data would provide the coolly rational mathematical evaluation of their circumstances that Spock used to. Picard's perspective, experience, and wisdom would now be the final deciding factor.

McCoy occasionally did challenge Kirk's authority and had the regulations to back him up. I wondered if Troi, an apparent civilian, would have had the wherewithal to do the same. Did Starfleet of the 24th Century recognize civilian authority? Or was it still the same quasi-militaristic operation it was in Kirk's time? And by "quasi-" we of course mean "completely."

The question quickly became moot as Troi's rank and uniform requirements eventually became story points, as did her place in the chain of command. But for a moment there, it looked as if Trek might have been able to do something different with the command structure and maybe allow the populace aboard the ship a voice in their fate, absent all the combat training and snappy salutes. Battlestar: Galactica's rebooted version would later deal with some of these questions, but in a far different manner.

Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15244
Posted: 25 July 2018 at 10:14pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

And now it’s the Burger King Kids Club. People chosen on the basis of “representation” to sell us products full of trans fats, which aren’t any good for us, and have little-to-no nutritional value. 
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Brian Rhodes
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2931
Posted: 26 July 2018 at 10:11am | IP Logged | 12 post reply


A clubhouse where nearly everyone has amazing super-powers! Super-strength! Tricorder-Vision! Warrior combat skills! Cybernetic enhancements! Telepathy! Empathy! Multi-dimensional intellectual capabilities! Anti-rape-gang street savvy! 

Maybe they should have been called the Guardians of the Galaxy. 

I mean, they were in a Galaxy Class starship.


Edited by Brian Rhodes on 26 July 2018 at 10:12am
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Brian Hague
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 14 November 2006
Posts: 7733
Posted: 26 July 2018 at 10:39am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

"I am Worf."

Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Steve De Young
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 April 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 3037
Posted: 26 July 2018 at 6:58pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Everybody on the bridge except for Picard on TNG was Spock.

You had the first officer, a guy with unique sensory powers, a person with limited telepathy, a person with mixed human/alien heritage and great physical strength, a completely logical being without emotions and an incredible memory....
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 112776
Posted: 27 July 2018 at 5:57am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

You had the first officer, a guy with unique sensory powers...

••

I must have missed this. Riker?

Back to Top profile | search
 
Marten van Wier
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 07 August 2015
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 469
Posted: 27 July 2018 at 6:36am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I must have missed this. Riker?

****

He means LaForge and his VISOR.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 11050
Posted: 27 July 2018 at 11:34am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

And Wesley.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Jozef Brandt
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 03 March 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 2385
Posted: 28 July 2018 at 3:11am | IP Logged | 18 post reply


Greg is usually pretty on the nose with this thoughtful reviews and I am pretty much in agreement with him on this one too.  I just hate that the filmmakers bend the "rules" that they have already established just to serve a plot.  Example:  The main drama at the end is the poison maguffin cloud he's going to release in the air conditioning of this giant sized space citystation.  We know that transporters can beam clouds into space.  We had seen just minutes before a transporter grab someone jumping through the air on a dirtbike holding hands with an alien babe and save then, but you're telling me there isn't a single transporter on that giant citystation that can just pluck the maguffin cloud out of the air conditioning and beam it into space?

Also, I would like to note that they also seem to have co-opted the Minmei defense from Macross in disrupting the drones. 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Marten van Wier
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 07 August 2015
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 469
Posted: 28 July 2018 at 5:17am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Also, I would like to note that they also seem to have co-opted the Minmei defense from Macross in disrupting the drones. 

* * * *

Ah so that is the Anime on which I saw this "solution" earlier.


Edited by Marten van Wier on 28 July 2018 at 5:17am
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 112776
Posted: 28 July 2018 at 6:15am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

He means LaForge and his VISOR.

••

LaForge was First Officer?

Back to Top profile | search
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15244
Posted: 28 July 2018 at 10:32am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Greg is usually pretty on the nose with this thoughtful reviews and I am pretty much in agreement with him on this one too. 
+++++++

In recent times, my eyes have really been opened as to just how creatively bankrupt the people currently in charge of so many beloved franchises like TREK are.

It’s the self-referentialism and rehashing which really get to me. From blatant copying and pasting (See: NuKirk’s “death” from INTO DARKNESS) to a constant parade of references to the past glories of people who were actually creative. Quoting old dialogue, tossing out references to past stories, etc.

I was listening to a TREK podcast on BEYOND, the other day, and it was said that Simon Pegg revealed on Twitter that the two crewman drained and killed by Krall were intended to be Robert Tomlinson and Angela Martine, from “Balance of Terror”. While this is never mentioned in the movie proper, it absolutely speaks to the mindset at work, here. Constant references to—and riffs on—past characters and works. The sort of fanwanky Easter Eggs that generate clickbate trivia articles about these new films/shows, and thus artificially generate excitement. Rather than, y’know, excitement over the actual story being told.

These people don’t have a creative leg to stand on, I tells ya. If I went through the Abramsverse movies with a fine-toothed comb, and made a list of every callback/Easter Egg/homage/rehash of characters, dialogue, and moments from TOS, I’m sure it would be a very long list. As opposed to the TOS movies. A similar list for them would probably barely crack double-digits. Cameos from Janice Rand and Mr. Kyle are about as far as it went. 

And, really, the very existence of AbramsTREK is a massive piece of nostalgia-milking. An attempt to revitalize the flagging franchise by going back to the most beloved and iconic version and supercharging it with expensive effects and action. 

We’re living in a Pop Culture Age of Incest, people. Constant self-refefentialism, recycling, and rebooting. Just look at the rumors of the BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER reboot. It apparently won’t be a legitimate sequel to the old show, which wouldn’t be hard to do. No, it looks to be a reboot, with a Black actress playing Buffy Summers (because race-swapping/virtual-signaling with established/beloved characters is all the rage, now), and what will surely be a parade of rethinking and rehashing of characters and concepts from the old show. Instead of trying to expand the lore with new characters and new ideas which are in-line with what has come before.

And so it is with STAR TREK. AbramsTREK and STD are built atop—and at the expense of—TOS, rather than trying to expand it in a logical and meaningful way. It’s all a big “Memba that?” cheat. Say what you will about TNG, but they largely went out of their way to avoid referencing characters and concepts from TOS, and tried to break new ground using the basic TREK series format. They were afraid of people comparing the new show to the old. Now, they want people constantly thinking of the old show, so their own products can have a false sense of legitimacy and familiarity. 
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Tim Cousar
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1550
Posted: 28 July 2018 at 10:40am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Well said, Greg Kirkman.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15244
Posted: 28 July 2018 at 10:44am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

...also, on that same Podcast, the hosts made a connection I hadn’t: At the end of BEYOND, the crew defeats the swarm with the power of music, just like in Tim Burton’s MARS ATTACKS!
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10277
Posted: 28 July 2018 at 10:45am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Except in Mars Attacks it was meant to be funny, in
Beyond it was meant to be cool...and wasn`t!
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Tim Cousar
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1550
Posted: 28 July 2018 at 10:52am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

I think it was used in a kaiju film in the 60s or 70s. I recall my brother and I were using a similar idea to have one of our heroes thwart an alien invasion, but we were going to use a Tiffany song. My brother died in early 1989.

Edited by Tim Cousar on 28 July 2018 at 10:54am
Back to Top profile | search
 

<< Prev Page of 3 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login