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Scott Atwell Star Trek Discussion thread (Series and Films)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Ockeghem, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    @DaveF

    I totally get what you’re saying about original Trek as a foundational text and I can’t disagree. For me, I was only about eight when my dad took me to see the last Trek film with the original crew (my first exposure), and then I started watching TOS after that. So I had the experience both of seeing it a young age and also from the perspective that it was already “history” from my point of view. It already happened, so I accepted it as The Way Things Are.

    My wife’s intro to Star Trek was the ‘09 movie, and I tried to show her the original show, but she appreciated it more than she enjoyed it. But then we tried TNG and that was fine for her. It made sense to me since she’s a big fan of new Doctor Who but has that same relationship with classic Who.
     
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  2. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Screenwriter

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    I'm able to create a mind set of when a TV series was made when I watch an older series. Pacing, budget, music or acting styles never really bother me. I do have a similar experience that Dave has with older TV shows when I watch new ones. Because I've watched TV shows and movies of the 20th Century, I tend to recognize the re-cycled bits more in current shows.
     
  3. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I tend to look at things as products of their time and adjust my mindset accordingly as well. Which leads to some funny conversation starters at home.

    Wife: What are you in the mood to watch tonight?
    Mother-in-law: A comedy!
    Me: 1950s!

    They sort their moods by genre, I sort mine by decade :D
     
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  4. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    I do the same thing with my movie collection. My favourites are from the origin of film to around 1935. I usually don’t like anything from about 1940 to 1965 unless they are musicals. After 1965, I am entering eras l lived through and films that have a personal memory .
     
  5. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    Yeah... I'm with you guys on adjusting my mind set for different eras. I can watch a movie serial through the eyes of a 11-14 yo at the Saturday matinee and get all the wonderment of that age/time. I prefer movies from ~1925 to ~1970 and my TV from the beginning of the format until ~1974 or so (although I have favorites in just about every decade in a declining number as the year increases).
     
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  6. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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  7. Jason_V

    Jason_V Lead Actor

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    I don't disagree with any of the facts presented in that article, but I do think it's a bit harsh in some respects.

    It's not that Enterprise didn't know what it wanted to be; it's that it was on a network which Berman and Braga had to fight every step of the way. It's not that the Enterprise crew were unforgettable; it's that the first two seasons set the stage for them not being given anything meaningful to do. It's not that they couldn't do the work; it's that the idea of the "Main Three" came back in full force and pushed everyone else to the distant background.

    Voyager had the same problems and, because they were on a network, they had to worry about things like ratings instead of creating good, solid stories without the episode-finale and cliche phaser battle.

    But here's the thing: had the franchise evolved from TNG through Enterprise, there wouldn't have been a problem. TNG was groundbreaking - I thing everyone agrees. The first few seasons of DS9 were fine...but that show took off with it's serialized storytelling and large group of recurring characters.

    What did Voyager do? First female captain, sure. What else? By design, THAT show should have been serialized. One ship, alone in the Delta Quadrant. What happens one week directly impacts the next. But the network didn't want that. So it is a largely episodic series in a time when TV was moving toward serialization.

    And then Enterprise. It's more of the same for two seasons-seasons which would seal the show's fate. The third season was a hail mary to try something "new" for Trek. For me, it's a winning season because it tried to stretch and be something new. The fourth season is brilliant in almost every way, but it was too little too late. Enterprise should have been telling the fourth season stories in season one. Forget Trip being pregnant or the sixteenth shuttlepod crash of the year.

    If you really want to talk about what killed Trek for a decade, look at Star Trek 2009. All sides couldn't agree to work together for a wide-ranging connected experience....so we get three Kelvin movies with some comic book support and "some" novel support. Imagine what could have been with a new TV show in the Kelvin universe, the sharing of characters, appropriate fan service. But the companies couldn't play nicely and split the pot. So they flamed out the franchise (again).
     
  8. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    I still like voyager and ds9. I really like the motion picture and I still watch it often.

    the other films are a rarity for me to watch. The older films I have just seen so many times.

    the tng films and jj films were good but again I just don’t come back to them very much.

    I hope another Star Trek film is in the cards at some point.

    move inly seen 1 episode of discovery as I do not have cbs all access. Maybe someday I’ll get around to them.

    I should give enterprise another chance and I’m way overdue for watching beyond again.
     
  9. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    I agree that it's a bit harsh at times, but I think it gets it mostly right. I'd agree that Enterprise is much better than the article or most people give it credit for. I really disagreed with the article where it said Enterprise "pandered" and engaged in too much fan service. They're obviously referring to the fourth season, which most people would agree is the best. Why is it that giving fans what they want -- in this case, an actual prequel to the original series -- is always considered a bad thing? It's not. Many fans, especially Star Trek fans, are really smart, and have a good sense of what makes engaging stories. In the case of Enterprise, doing what the fans wanted was the best thing they did.

    They got it right with the network intervention with Voyager and the disregard shown to DS9. Once Voyager was going to be the flagship of the new network, all the marketing muscle was pulled away from DS9. In New York - the country's biggest market! - Voyager was on the same day and time as DS9! And no one cared! Paramount should have made sure that didn't happen.

    It was the fact that TNG and DS9 were syndicated that allowed the writers to experiment and tell the kinds of stories they wanted, unlike Voyager, which rarely experimented and felt very safe. And like with the network, once TNG moved to the big screen, there were too many cooks in the kitchen.

    I hope we are getting closer to having someone who understands the franchise oversee all aspects of it. Until that happens, it will continue to be a property mismanaged.
     
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  10. Jason_V

    Jason_V Lead Actor

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    The facts, yes. But when the cast is called unremarkable or forgettable or whatever...that has very little to do with the actors themselves and everything to do with what they were given to work with. With the first two seasons of Enterprise, it wasn't a lot. With most of Voyager, it was nothing. Chalk that up to network problems or whatever; I'm more than happy to lay the blame on UPN and absolve Berman and Braga (and both casts) to a large extent.
     
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  11. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    I'm not sure if we can absolve Berman. I've always felt his influence on the franchise was detrimental toward the end of Next Gen until the franchise "went to sleep" prior to the JJ film.
     
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  12. Jason_V

    Jason_V Lead Actor

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    He ceded control of DS9 to Ira Behr but had a say in that show. Voyager and Enterprise, both on a network, tried to tell him what to do. They pushed back as much as they could. The story of a band on the Enterprise every week tells you everything you need to know about UPN's thinking.

    He made a lot of bad decisions, but without Berman, I don't know what we would have gotten.
     
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  13. KPmusmag

    KPmusmag Screenwriter
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    I watched The Ultimate Computer tonight. Great episode, riveting, in fact. But one thing bothered me.

    First, this is the reason I chose that episode: This past Thursday, the I.T. dept. at work installed a program on my work computer called ASAP Utilities which is an Excel add-on. (If you use Excel, it is pretty awesome, I must say.) It was recommended to me by a co-worker, and it is great, but despite the fact that I do use Excel at home to a degree, I do not need that level of functionality at home. My point being, I had never researched it on my home computer. At all, whatsoever.

    Thursday night, I logged in to my home computer, and brought up Facebook to see if any family/friend was up to anything. Imagine my astonishment when it was riddled with ads for ASAP Utilities, which had been installed on my work computer that day, and which I had never researched at home. I had cold chills. Big brother was watching and Facebook or Google or whoever had connected the dots. I immediately thought of The Ultimate Computer (and Skynet and a few others, but The Ultimate Computer was my first exposure to the possibility of A.I. taking over).

    Great episode, but I just had to comment - and it is not just this episode - the "humorous" tags in the 2nd and 3rd seasons have become a turn-off for me. This was actually a tragic episode- a thousand Starfleet officers dead and a brilliant man, a treasure to the Federation, in dire mental collapse. And then they are all laughing at Spock's rather human (if you ask me) dig at McCoy. Next time, I may turn it off before the tag. Left a bad taste for me, as much as I have loved this episode over the decades.
     
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  14. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    The "humorous" tag is IMO even more inappropriate in "The Changeling". At least in "Ultimate Computer" it comes off more as a bit of breaking the tension they'd gone through (which Kirk's "I found one sufficient" I think did brilliantly in "Doomsday Machine")

    I have seen an early version of the script and in it, Commodore Enright was supposed to beam over with Wesley in the beginning and had all the dialogue about the M-5 etc. while Wesley was sympathetic to what Kirk was going through. As part of a budget saving move they just gave Wesley all the dialogue and that way James Doohan (who did the voice of M-5) could also do the voice of Enright and save them the cost of hiring another actor.
     
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  15. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    The laughs at the tag were there from the first season as well and almost hardly at all in the third. They dialedback on the humor dramatically, as apparatly Roddenberry thought they were getting too chummy for a military vessel. The Galileo Seven was the first one that was eye-rollingly bad. Two crewmen were brutally killed, but since it wasn't Spock, McCoy or Scotty, Kirk was hunky dory and at the end, they cracked a wise so "hilarious" the bridge crew was wiping their eyes and Scotty was holding the doorjamb because he could barely breathe. The best episodes to use humor used it lightly and with a bit of character. The series, though, had a habit of laying on the comedy music (something fan films beat to death), so light touches were hammered home a bit more than necessary. Still, some that worked were...

    Spock: "Captain, you almost make me believe in luck."
    Kirk: "Why Mister Spock...you almost make me believe in miracles."

    Kirk: "You were so concerned about his Vulcan eyes, doctor, you forgot about his Vulcan ears."

    Spock: "A thousand years, Captain?"
    Kirk: "Well, that gives us a little time."

    Kirk: "I found one...quite sufficient."

    And the third season had one nice one, becuse it was really underplayed.

    Kirk: "Well, this is an Enterprise first. Doctor McCoy, Mister Spock and Engineer Scott find themselves in complete agreement. Can I stand the strain?"
     
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  16. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    Which is one reason why his comment at the end in "Catspaw" where he reminds everyone that "Jackson is still dead" is refreshingly different.
     
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  17. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    The “happy ending” was never something that bugged me. I guess because I watched it in my youth, it was just part of the way it was. Maybe in the 1960’s, that was more of what TV producers wanted to do. With all the action going on to resolve the problem and then ending successfully, they needed to give the audience a relief. I don’t know as each show is different. The Outer Limits always ended with a downer. It’s true there was a lot of terrible things that the M5 did, so the ending can be seen as incongruous with the joking to a modern audience.

    There are several episodes of TOS that ended on a downbeat note. Such as Charlie X, The City of the Edge of Forever, Dagger of the Mind. I recently watch The Empath, a really good one I thought and I liked that ending. They were all impacted by Gem.
     
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  18. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks for the Screenrant article. Who are they anyway, are they a more focused entertainment publication like Variety aimed more at genre productions? I’ve always wondered what they are, must be a web based publication and not a printed magazine?

    I thought the article was well written and the author know his topic. I agree he was harsh on Voyager and Enterprise. I never thought of them as UPN specific network shows, but they were I realize now. For me it was no different then watching TNG and DS9 as to me, it’s on the same channel. I just ignored the UPN promos for those other shows.

    I think Enterprise had a good cast and characters. Same with Voyager, I remember Voyager brought in a larger number of female fans. That’s a good thing. Both shows had good characters. Both had some very good stories and some mediocre ones too. I enjoy rewatching both.
     
  19. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    The happy ending tags had become such a TV staple that Police Squad lampooned them perfectly and brutally for the entire 6 episode run. Ever watch the first season of Buck Rogers? Every single episode had to end with Buck smiling or laughing. I really believe it was a written rule, because they went out of their way to make sure it happened.

    There was a point, I think when Gene Coon arrived, that Star Trek got lighter and the characters starting being more familiar. The humor was ramped up. The second season had the largest number of all out comedies and reportedly, that's one reason Roddenberry and Coon eventually didn't mesh. When John Meredyth Lucas replaced Coon, the humor was still there, but in the third season, there was a huge crackdown. Seeing Fred Freiberger's other work, and comparing it to Roddenberry's earliest Trek's, the lack of humor comes down to Gene. He wanted his series to be grim, serious and only occasionally light.
     
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  20. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Has anyone ever done an A/B comparison on the DS9 DVD version of "Trials and Tribble-ations" vs the TOS Blu-ray upscaled version of the episode?

    I'm putting DS9 into my home theater PC and wondering if I should replace the DVD version with the BD version of that one episode or if the upscale looks pretty much the same as the DVD, or if there's any other reason why one version could be considered more definitive than the other.
     

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