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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?
So I hear Paizo's got this new game, Starfinder, up and coming. And I am not sure what to think.
Pathfinder filled a need; I tried 4th Edition D&D, and did not much care for the radical changes after several years of 3.5. Pathfinder was just an extension of the d20 system, and worked well as a generic fantasy game ... that, as splatbook after splatbook and so forth, grew steadily less generic. Still a fine game, although it begins to show signs of splatcreak*, as the sheer amount of rules pile up.
Makes sense they'd want to expand their base of gaming; a one-game company is vulnerable to changes in the market, and D&D has finally gotten its head on straight. Time to seek out new life and civilizations... if only to stay competitive.
But I dunno.
First science fiction RPG I ever played was Traveller, which did an amazing job of distilling the basics down to three little booklets in a box, which seems to be how things were done, then. We had combat, we had spaceships, we had computers, find a ship, find a crew, find a job, keep flying. It worked. (I will not discuss Gamma World or Metamorphosis Alpha; while I enjoyed 'em, these were more postapocalyptic and less space opera, and this is hard enough to keep on track as it is).
Another game, Space Opera, was interesting and fun, although waaaay too in love with its rulesset; as I recall, you could burn a whole gaming session just creating a character. Which I guess was a little better than Traveller, where you could accidentally get killed before your character entered PLAY, but Space Opera's extra crunchy rules were a bit much, even for the times.
I enjoyed Star Frontiers, once TSR finally got off their duffs and designed a neat space opera setting, although I took it kinda personally that they did not include a starship design or purchase system, or for that matter much of any information about space travel other than "buy a ticket." What, Traveller could do it, but you can't? They were up front enough, though, about the fact that they'd be out with a separate boxed set that would include the starship rules... eventually. And they did.
Aaaand that's where we take a sharp left, because Star Frontiers was the last generic science fiction space opera I ever played.
FASA quickly came out with a licensed Star Trek game, set during the TOS era, because that's all we had back then; Next Generation was still years away. Still remember the one adventure we played as Klingon officers, who wound up blowing up the ship due to a complex web of backstabbery... but I digress. Not long after that, they also came out with a licensed Doctor Who game, which preoccupied us for a while, as there were a hell of a lot of VHS tapes to track down to keep up with the setting! It did have the advantage of spreading across all TIME, as well as space... although we took a break when West End Games's Star Wars came out, because to a nerd-child of the seventies, the history of mankind breaks down into pre-SW and post-SW. After all, you never saw any Planet Of The Apes RPGs, did you? Hell, I still have a copy of Leading Edge's Aliens RPG around here somewhere; it was fun, albeit rather sketchy, as it was based entirely on the two movies in the Alien franchise as of 1988... had plenty of information about Weyland-Yutani, the Space Marines, the Aliens... and nearly nothing else...
Which brings us to now. As I said above, Pathfinder filled a need.
But there are a great many licensed science fiction games now. Firefly is still going strong. A new Star Wars game still circulates, albeit unsupported due to licensing. A new Star Trek game is in the works, assuming its maker ever gets it out of playtesting, and the current Doctor Who game still seems to be selling.
Is there a place now for a generic science fiction setting? Will it appeal to people who've never tried Pathfinder? Or does the current market favor established licensed science fiction settings where one can watch a movie or three and get an idea INSTANTLY about the world and how it works?
Opinions? Ideas? Rants?
Actor Anton Yelchin, known for playing Pavel Chekov in the newest reboot of the "Star Trek" franchise, died today in a freak accident, apparently pinned between his car and a brick post in his driveway.
He was 27.
This year the minis I manage to paint will all count towards the resolutionary challenge. As per the resolutionary painting challenge guidelines, I will post them here, and link in my post in the challenge thread.
With the refurbishment of the old house complete and it now up for sale, I have at last some time to paint a miniature or two. It has been more than a month since I touched a brush smaller than two inches wide, and I have come to the conclusion that I utterly detest redecorating houses, especially everything that involves masking tape.
Space...the final frontier. These are the voyages....yeah, you know the rest.
And these little grey aliens in Bones from the second KS. Just had to do them like the Blue Man Group were cosplaying some modern era Star Trek:
Away Team, Command:
Captain leading the away team, wearing the red shirt of command. What can possibly go wrong?
Away Team, Security:
"We are the Bald. Resistance is Futile. You must comply." -Locutus of Bald
Away Team, Medical:
The one to the right...Mould line to the face!
And, yes. Those are Voyager uniforms, not Next Generation.
I switched the team members a bit around from what was on the sprues, because I thought my selections suited the roles better.
Now to do the Flying Saucer up as the Yangtsee Kiang...
80045,80046, and 80047: Gray Aliens
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