Enterprise epiphany

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Shayne Lebrun, May 24, 2002.

  1. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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    I'm watching the classic Trek episode, Dagger of the Mind, on Space. It's the first episode where Spock gets his Mind Meld on.

    Anywho, he explains that it's very dangerous, because he needs to physically alter blood flow, pressure, nerve connections, and the like. He takes care to caution McCoy that because he's not touching him, McCoy can't be affected.

    This impiles that it can only be done on beings close to Vulcans, physically, or beings where they've figured out the appropriate changes to make.

    Later in the same series, of course, Spock does it through walls, on beasties that are based on silicon instead of carbon, and so on.

    And I realized that, although Enterprise is taking this whole creative license thing a bit too far, Star Trek: TOS never really bothered being consistant from episode to episode, let alone season to season, let alone (really!) series to series.
     
  2. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    Shayne Lebrun wrote:
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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  4. Dan Paolozza

    Dan Paolozza Stunt Coordinator

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    So, Rex, some inconsistencies are excusable, tolerable, forgetable, forgiveable, while others are not? Your comments say "yes," conditional on the "scope" of the inconsistency.

    I think this concept is ludicrous, ridiculous, and if someone maintains this reasoning as a primary gripe with Enterprise, I'm inclined to say they're reaching for a cheap excuse to not like the show. Don't get me wrong - there are other faults to find and reasons for not liking the show, but "picking and choosing" inconsistencies is pretty weak.

    Right now, I'm pretty much on the fence as far as how faithful B&B (or any other writers that might come along) should be to the backstory which was nothing more than hinted at throughout the various Trek series. Bottom line for me is that every series were inconsistent to a noticable degree; both macro and micro, especially when you encompass the scope of analysis between one or more series.

    Bottom line for me - give me quality episodes and a quality series, and they can rewrite Trek history inside out. The backstory meant very little to the characters, the themes and/or morals to each ST episode in the previous story. They were neat little plot/story gimmicks thrown in there along the way to justify the story that was being told in the moment, and this was the case whether it was the details of Vulcan mind-melds or the vague references to "third world wars" or "nuclear space wars with the Romulans."

    Inconsistency in Enterprise wouldn't be a factor if there weren't other more pertanent problems rearing their ugly heads.

    And if one goes as far as to claim that consistency is of paramount importance, regardless of how high-quality the show may be (hypothetically), then I would say such a fan has completely lost sight of what Star Trek is really supposed to be about.

    In short, I think "backstory" or "extended universe" consistency is a frill that adds a nice element to a solid show, not a necessity. Focus on the main product first, then worry about the frills. Usually, if the former is done, the frills don't need much attention.
     
  5. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Jack, "Kahn's" rath - maybe in New Yawk, but in Star Trek lexicon it's Khan! [​IMG]
     
  6. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    Dan Paolozza wrote:
    The "main product" is the writing, which here is characterized by lack of versimilitude, both dramatic and (often) technical-scientific. This lack is itself in turn informed by laziness by the writers and the overseeing producers as well as by lack of respect on their parts for the intelligence (including the recollection) of the audience.
    I'm sorry, this is "science fiction", not just fiction, as much as many, seemingly younger, viewers seem to want to forget. When I see some of the poorly thought-through events that unfold weekly on this series, it puts me in mind of how, with a bit more concern for the audience, many of the technical improbabilities could be avoided, or at least made to seem more probable. (They have science consultants.)
    Science fiction for me requires some level of verisimilitude that standard Hollywood productions can perhaps slough off. Although it ain't "real", it's gotta feel "real"! There's no way out! Science fiction, supernatural, fantasy, all start with a tougher row to hoe in that they require much more effort and care to bring about and maintain willing audience suspension of disbelief. The more the "details" become implausible, or downright unacceptable for whatever reason, the less likely that suspension of disbelief. The backstory, too, is much more important for the establishment of this audience state of mind, since what's presented is a wholly fictional world. Is it "all-important"? No. But, if from week to week major aspects of the backstory---the very things that made the fictional world in question what is---if these can be conveniently forgotten, then one is forced to ask, what is the purpose of even devising that world in the first place? One could just as well have set the events in a contemporary or past Earthbound setting with no extra-normal elements. If these characters have a history that disposes them to have one attitude about some aspect of their world (universe) one day, why would or should we, the audience, be any more willing to accept an implausibly motivated or wholly unexplained change in the characters' position in the next episode---or the next series, for that matter---on the same issue?
    It's been Paramount's choice to keep this thing running, probably well past its point of viability. That's been a choice they've made repeatedly to use and re-use their "brand" to keep this massive lucrative merchandising and licencing---shall I call it an "empire"?---er, cash cow going into perpetuity. Using the same old name---the "brand"---, however, raises certain expectations (whether you, or Mr. Berman, or Paramount bigwigs like it or not) and brings with it the burden of some responsibility for the---pardon me---"integrity" of what they put on screen.
    And, yes, goddamn it, they owe us a "quality product" that respects that integrity. Improbabilities, dramatic or technical, in plot are correlative to the implausibilities that arise from sloughing off major aspects of the "franchise's" backstory whenever it's convenient to the current set of writers. The two are NOT TO BE SEPERATED.
    This ain't Ally McBeal!
     
  7. Dan Paolozza

    Dan Paolozza Stunt Coordinator

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    Unfortunately, I have to disagree. For me, Enterprise still feels real regardless of inconsistecies with the other series. Inconsistencies within itself is the first thing I would notice, and even that isn't of major concern, because the other series had those faults as well. I think the two can be separate, and a strict adherence to the consistency part is not mandatory for a "quality product."

    As for yor comments on Paramount's motives, I couldn't agree more. I just think that consistency of backstory and technological development is the least - and most irrelevant - of Enterprise's problems. What else can I say?
     
  8. Frank Anderson

    Frank Anderson Cinematographer

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    Um... I like Star Trek. [​IMG]
     
  9. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    Dan Paolozza wrote:
    I would point out that this series, unlike its predecessors, has moved backward in time, rather than forward, which even the writers of every incarnation of ST have acknowledged to be pretty risky business. And, so it is, dramatically speaking as well. (Actually, they're bouncing all over the place in time, and that, for me, is one of their biggest problems already.)
    I've thought from the first moment I heard about a "prequel" series---when Rick Berman, or Brannon Braga, or both, publicly denied it---, that it was a bad idea.
    I think I was right then and still think so now.
     
  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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  11. Dan Paolozza

    Dan Paolozza Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I think all's been said that needs to, at least between the two of us. Looks like we'll agree on one thing:



    On more than one occasion while watching Enterprise this season, my "Voyager Alarm" has gone off. Seeing as I dropped Voyager into the second season...
     
  12. DaleR

    DaleR Stunt Coordinator

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    some of you guys oughta getta life. it's just a t.v. series. sheesh!
     
  13. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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  14. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    After "Enterprise" will you still be able to respect yourself in the morning? [​IMG]
     
  15. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  16. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Those lips, duhn-duhn, duhn-duhn, duhn-duhn,
    Those eyes, duhn-duhn, duhn-duhn, duhn-duhn...
     
  17. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Finally, we have elevated this conversation to a level of much more serious discourse! [​IMG]
     
  18. DonWinzen

    DonWinzen Stunt Coordinator

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    What you all failed to realize is that all of the Star Trek series, spinoffs, movies were all from different alternate dimensions so they did not violate any consistency as you have feared. [​IMG]
    The next Star Trek show will have Tatoo manning the helm, while a confused Khan is forced into playing the host [​IMG]
     
  19. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    DaleR wrote:
     
  20. DaleR

    DaleR Stunt Coordinator

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    hey! i love star trek. i have since the original series first aired. but i enjoy it, not analyse it. even Enterprise is more engaging than 80 0/0 of the other t.v. series out there.
    when it gets dull i just try to decide who i would rather be stuck in a shuttlecraft with: Nana Visitor, Jeri Ryan or Jolene Blalock. right now jolene is ahead by a b... nose.
     

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