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Star Trek: Another Modest Proposal


Dr.Bedlam
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So I hear they're making another Star Trek television series. Apparently, they think this one is so good, people will pay to watch it, like HBO and Game Of Thrones. I have my doubts, but I haven't seen it, so what do I know?

Star Trek has had several spinoff series of varying quality. I didn't expect to like Next Generation, but they lucked out with a combination of a cast that could do ANY durn thing (Patrick Stewart's one of the few actors I know of who can literally carry a one man show) and enough good scripts in the first two years to carry them past the bad ones (planet of the black people, anyone? How about the toga people who wanted to kill Wesley for stepping on flowers?)

By the third season, though, the show really shone, and even its detractors had to admit it was some good television. So they decided to make ANOTHER one, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. And, again, after an uneven first season, it did some mighty good episodes.

...and then they tried yet again with Star Trek Voyager... which... was less good. More uneven. I don't know what it is about TV executives thinking that people want to see people on a spaceship all lost somewhere in the universe. I don't WANT to be lost. I liked Star Trek because they KNEW where they were, and could go home ANY TIME THEY WANTED. But, no, the TV execs think I want to identify with people stuck a zillion miles from home. But I digress.

...and then they tried again with Star Trek: Enterprise. Which... well, they tried.

And now they're trying again with another prequel series. And I just don't know. This "prequel series" thing presumes I want to know what led up to Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock and everyone. 

And I was thinking about this when I saw that one episode of the original series where Captain Kirk gets shanghaiied by the glowy brains to be a gladiator. Remember that one? The glowy space brains that have tremendous cosmic power and can't think of anything to do with it except set up sporting matches and bet on the outcome? And Captain Kirk convinces them that setting everyone free and setting up a civilization would be more interesting than betting on sports?

First saw that episode when I was, I think, ten. It was good enough when I was ten. Now, I just wonder what the hell Captain Kirk was thinking, handing a civilization over to a race of glowy space brains that couldn't think of anything better to do with amazing cosmic powers than bet on how American Gladiators is going to turn out today. What kind of civilization are THESE people going to set up?

And then I thought about it: what if a Federation spaceship happens to come back some hundred years later? What kind of civilization DID they set up?

And that's when it hit me: they wanna do a new Star Trek series? Everyone I talked to agreed that Enterprise stank, all the way up until they remembered all the OLD Star Trek stuff... the Gorn, the Tholians, the Mirror Universe... all that old stuff left over from when Shatner and Nimoy were on board.

What happened to all the Thralls on the planet of the gambling-addicted space brains?
What happened to the planet of the Space Gangsters?
What happened to the planet of the Space Nazis?
What happened to the planet of the Space Romans?
What happened to the planet of the Space Children who were actually 200 years old?
What happened to the planet of the Space Indians?
What happened to the planet of the Space Hippies With The Big Pompadours who worshipped the Computer Snake Monster Cave Thing?
What happened to all the space women that Captain Kirk had, um, diplomatic relations with?

It occurred to me that Captain Kirk alone left enough weird floating around in space that a whole new Star Trek series could spend the first couple seasons just finding out what happened afterwards. Did any of these planets join the Federation afterwards? Is there a whole planet of people who look like six year old Clint Howard? More importantly, are there a zillion space babies out there who resemble William Shatner?

And lastly, is this new series going to be more interesting than finding out what the Space Hippies with the Big Pompadours did?

 

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Up here in Canada the new Star Trek show is going to be on our scifi channel SPACE, so I won't have to pay extra to watch it.

Because of that I will be watching it because, hey, Star Trek.

I'm trying to stay away from previews as I want to be surprised, for better or worse.

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51 minutes ago, Werkrobotwerk said:

I'd kind of want to see the continuing "adventures" of the Kirk clean up ship. Preferably with a very stodgy captain of a large slow support ship. The poor guy who needs to build federation embassies on all of these weird mess worlds.

 

Yes. This is exactly what I was thinking. Every episode starts with a captain's facepalm, and a "Buddha in a bunnysuit, what did that lunatic do on THIS planet now?"

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8 minutes ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

 

Yes. This is exactly what I was thinking. Every episode starts with a captain's facepalm, and a "Buddha in a bunnysuit, what did that lunatic do on THIS planet now?"

 

So basically the Federation Temporal Police or whatever from DS9? The episode where they end up back in The Trouble with Tribbles, as soon as Sisko mentions seeing the Enterprise they go "Captain James T. Kirk. He has one of the most extensive files in our department. Over 47 incidents by himself." Or something similar to that, and they say it with such disdain that you just know they've had to clean up a ton of his messes.

 

I'd watch a show about that.

Edited by Unruly
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8 hours ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

 

Yes. This is exactly what I was thinking. Every episode starts with a captain's facepalm, and a "Buddha in a bunnysuit, what did that lunatic do on THIS planet now?"

An episode that is nothing but surly starfleet engineering crews phasering Tribbles out of the vents on that farming station. 

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4 hours ago, Werkrobotwerk said:

An episode that is nothing but surly starfleet engineering crews phasering Tribbles out of the vents on that farming station. 

 

I think an interesting episode could have been made about ecological damage on at least one planet due to the accidental introduction of tribbles into the ecosystem. At one point, Worf even growls about the necessity of hunting all the little "vermin" down.

The gangster people of Sigma Iotia had a communicator when Kirk and company left, and Spock talks about how they could take it apart, reverse engineer the transtator, and promptly extrapolate all of then-current Federation technology from it. What about THAT?

The expanded universe has had quite a bit to say about the Gorn lizard people. The best they got was a cameo in the Mirror Universe, changed from hulking tyrannosaur people into speedy lethal Xenomorphy lizard people. The Tholians didn't do much better. Special effects are cheap enough now, we couldn't have an episode or two about these folks?

Wouldn't even have to limit it to TOS. Whatever happened on that planet where Picard dumped a load of Space Irish onto the desperate clones? If there was ever a clash of cultures waiting to happen, that was it. What the HELL?

My point is this: some episodes of ST, any ST, are absolutely golden. "The Inner Light," "Yesteryear," "Our Man Bashir," "Cause And Effect," "Trials And Tribble-ations," "Parallels," and so many others. And then you have the others... the ones where crew members devolve into lizards, or face off against toga people, or ... yeesh.

Seems to me that looking back on the consequences of previous episodes? Some of those scripts would write themselves...

 

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Honestly, Star Trek bores me.  Nothing against the actors or writing.  It's just that every time I see an episode, it's like eating a bologna sandwich, after eating bologna sandwiches every day for the past year.  It's no longer trivial and I want something else.

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I'm in the notable minority as I actually kind of liked Enterprise.  Granted, it wasn't the best Star Trek has had to offer, but I did actually like it.

 

Also, a bit ironically, I'm much less a fan of TOS.  I think I was "ruined" by being too young and having already had a chance to see shows with much better effects, etc. before seeing any of TOS, which of course, made TOS a bit of a let down in comparison -- though I do like the movies with the original crew.  

 

As to the original topic, I think that a few episodes thrown in here and there about the damage that Kirk did, etc. could be fun, but not sure I want an entire series about it.  I think it would get just as old just as fast.  

 

As for the new series, yeah, probably not going to pay to watch it.  Sorry CBS, good try, but not gonna happen.  

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I wanted a Worf show.  I hope Michael Dorn has many long and happy years ahead but he ain't getting any younger.  Now I will NEVER get Captain Worf.

 

Star Trek is thus dead.  Now I'm gonna just watch Worf Space Nine and imagine what might have been in a just timeline.  I hope alternate universe me is enjoying it.  Maybe I can get some transdimensional bootleg VDVs.

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What I wish for in sci-fi would be something like Babylon 5 tried to do: the idea of an over-arching story-line with a predetermined beginning, middle, and end.  I just can't bring myself to care about the threat of the week when I know everything is going to reset to zero by the end -- even if Captain Janeway and Paris turned into lizards and had lizard-babies, and the clock shows there are only 5 minutes left to the show, because somehow they'll STILL be back to normal in the medbay, and we'll just never talk about this again, because ... SCIENCE!  

 

I mean, when Tasha Yar died, the fact was hyped up before I even got to see the show.  There was no surprise -- only a shock, if anything, that her death was just so pointless and arbitrary.  (Fair enough, I suppose, except that it only underscores how much plot armor everyone else has, so long as the actor doesn't have a contract up for renewal, and hasn't been caught driving drunk in Hawaii recently.)

 

I love the "Damage Control" concept for a retro Star Trek series, with some B-crew flying around and trying to clean up all the messes Kirk leaves in his wake.  I could imagine that working as some sort of "file-the-serial-numbers-off" lampoon, the same way Galaxy Quest worked (I LOVED that movie!) but it would be all the more fascinating if it actually was somehow done in a more "quasi-canon" Star Trek setting.  

 

Not that it REALLY matters, but what DID happen to all those wacky worlds in that timeline that now, according to canon, no longer exists at all thanks to the reboot movies?  ;)  And doing it with true-to-period sets and beehive hairdos and go-go boots and the whole shebang, for that retro vibe would only make it all the more cool.  :D  (Disclaimer: I wasn't actually alive when the classic Star Trek series aired, but my dad was a fan, and I got to see the shows, scrambled, in syndication as a kid.  Much later, thanks to Netflix, I got to watch the entire series.)

 

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11 minutes ago, Jordan Peacock said:

What I wish for in sci-fi would be something like Babylon 5 tried to do: the idea of an over-arching story-line with a predetermined beginning, middle, and end.

None of them are Strek Trek but I mean, yawanna list?

Edited by etherial
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