--Why I'm upset with DS9 and Voyager, and enjoy B5--

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ujdd...@cc.memphis.edu

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Jun 16, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/16/95
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In article <1995Jun16.1...@msuvx2.memphis.edu>, ujdd...@cc.memphis.edu writes:
> In article <1995Jun16....@eda.com>, pa...@eda.com (Paul J. Mackin) writes:
>> Peronet Despeignes (desp...@fas.harvard.edu) wrote:
>> : Christopher Johnson (cjoh...@puffin.Marymount.EDU) wrote:
>> : : I read a posting by JMS concerning a war on DS9. I don't watch DS9 and I
>> : : would really apreciate it if someone would get me up to speed. It'll
>> : : probanly make me mad because it's likely a B5 rip-off. But, then again,
>> : : Paramount did get the idea for DS9 by ripping off B5 to begin with.
>> : : -Christopher Johnson
>>
>> : It involves an advanced and authoritarian power from the Gama Quadrant
>> : called the Dominion (led by an elite
>> : of shapeshifters called the Founders), discovered at the end of the
>> : last season by the DS9 crew. The Founders infiltrate several top
>> : positions in the Federation and Starfleet and are manipulating things to
>> : incite a war in the Alpha Quadrant. Current speculation is that tensions
>> : are incited to disrupt the-so-far stable detente that has existed between
>> : the Federation and the Klingon Empire since ST VI (Undiscovered Country).
>>
>> Actually there have been hot flashes since ST VI.
>>
>> : From second hand news reports I've read over the 'net it looks like this
>> : was a very abrupt change in plot direction made just a few months ago (at
>> : the latest). It seems to be motivated by growing discouragement with DS9,
>> : Voyager and the strong following of b5....but that's just speculation.
>>
>> Yes, and it's incorrect. DS9 and Voyager are doing very well. B5 is doing ok
>> but I had the impression that it was touch and go for renewal. Hell, I mean
>> The Adventures of Hercules beat out B5, DS9 is at the top of it's catagory.
>>
>> The "abrupt change in plot direction" has been brewing ever since the
>> Dominion was first discovered, at the beginning of this season. Something
>> has to be done with them.
>>
>> As far as a war brewing. Come on, it seems likely that something will start
>> but it will be resolved as the Federation defeats the plans of the nefarious
>> Founders. I don't see this as an attempt to copy B5.
>>
>> Why the hostility? They are all good shows
>
> The hostility stems from the tragedy that is Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry (sp?)
> when he originally pitched the show called it _FIRST AND FOREMOST_ "Action
> Packed!" and "a Wagon Train to the stars!" The original cast was _out there_,
> they were _into_ things! They _BOLDLY_ went places! Sometimes they'd really
> pull a pooch screw, and sometimes everything would come out okay. But when
> they screwed up, there would be _serious_ consequences! Whole populations
> would live or die depending on how the well trained crew of the Enterprise
> reacted to different situations! Yeah, alright, sometimes the original series
> got cheesy (Let's not even go into the_Spock's Brain_debacle), but sometimes
> it really shined managing to tie an ever so subtle societal comment into an
> intricately woven plot! That's what I_LOVED_about the original TREK series,
> and that's what I love about Babylon 5 today!
>
> As I see it, the problem with DS9 is that they don't actually _GO_ anywhere.
> Even with their "Gadabout" class shuttles and the Starship "Deliverence".
> (Sorry, that was a cheap shot and there's no place for it in this post) <GRIN>
> This was a problem that I _thought_ Bablyon 5 would have, but B5 managed to
> evercome this problem by _bringing_ hell to frogtown! DS9 also tends to rely
> _quite_ heavily on the 'alternate reality/temporal distortion' plotline.
> Whether it's in the 'Mirror, Mirror' universe or in Dr. Bashir's (sp?) head,
> the obstacles faced and overcome by the characters really don't affect their
> lives or anyone elses. The episode just wraps up with "Whew, well that was
> close!" I really resent 'ar/td' plotlines because they're a cop out! No
> consequences and no development of the characters! And with the infinate
> possibilities of the Star Trek universe, they are absolutely and 100%
> unnecessary!
>
> Do I dislike DS9 _solely_ because I'm a B5 fan? No. Truth be known I really
> didn't like the pilot for B5, and I literally had to be held down and forced to
> watch my first B5 episode. I dislike DS9 because it let me down. It promised
> to show the darker side of the Trek universe and it failed miserably! I
> thought it would be "Action Packed" and it wasn't (by and large)! Now I know
> that every true DS9 fan will point to the "{Something} and Consequences"
> episode and say "SEE! It's got Action! They're not all 'ar/td' episodes, and
> you're an idiot for saying they are!" (I feel qualified to respond for the DS9
> crowd because _last_ time I posted a message to this effect I got flamed in
> about 20 personal mail messages saying that I suck, and that I don't know what
> I'm talking about.) But "{Something} and Consequences" isn't the series as a
> whole, is it? Now I understand that there are budget constraints and deadlines
> and only so much that one can do, but I'm not going to accept that as an
> excuse. Action doesn't have to be synonomous with 'expensive'.
>
> And maybe DS9 isn't meant to be 'Action Packed'. Maybe it is _meant_ to be a
> human drama, or a triumph of the human spirit kind of show. If that's the case
> then IMHO they might want to get a better cast, and maybe steal some of B5's
> writers!
>
> Now Voyager's a whole different animal! I was _really_ jazzed about Voyager!
> I even had a "Voyager" send off party for the series premier, and I _really_
> liked it! It looked like we were getting right back into the swing of things!
> We're chasing bandits through a ripple thingie and *BOOM* we get transported to
> another quadrent of space! We've been here all of half an hour and _already_
> we've managed to piss off a big powerful race, _AND_ close off our only
> possible way home! We've got a crew that should be at each other's throats,
> limited supplies, the _other_ cool guy from TV's 'Benson', and a holographic
> doctor that's actually _MORE_ Kermudgidy than Bones! I was excited, I was
> intriegued, I was HAPPY!
>
> Week 2: Voyager flies through a temporal anomoly and...oh, fuck....Hang it up,
> Star Trek is _Officially_ out of ideas! Not only that, but the Maquis (sp?)
> tension is _not_ a week to week subplot, but only seems to come up when it's
> convenient...villins aren't _BAD_ necessarialy, but just misunderstood (a theme
> which _DIDN'T_ work for ST:TMP, ST V, OR ST VII:Generations)...whoever that big
> race was that they pissed off in week 1 has apparently decided that "It wasn't
> _THAT_ bad" and has elected to leave the Voyager alone...the "Invasion of the
> Organ Snatchers" (which I thoght was okay, but nothing I'd like to see again)
> has reoccured TWICE in one short season...and what about Scarecrow's Brain!!!
>
> Hell, I got a little more in to this than I had originally intended. Think
> I'll go grab a donut and calm the hell down.
>
> {time passes}
>
> Okay, I'm better now. My point (Yes, I had one <smirk>) is this: I really
> wanted to give DS9 and Voyager a chance! I tried! I sat throught the mediocre
> stories in the hopes that better ones were on the way, but I was dissappointed!
> To paraphrase Malcolm McDowell: Don't go see it [Generations] just because
> it's Star Trek! If it sucks, let them know by -not- going to see it!
>
> That's it...that's all I wanted to say!
>
> Thanks for the opportunity (At least Congress didn't take away my right to
> bitch!)
>
> Yours,
>
> --jd

Franklin Hummel

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Jun 17, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/17/95
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In article <3rt80v$r...@wegener.ems.psu.edu> w...@essc.psu.edu
(Bill Capehart) writes:
>
>I don't think that I've betrayed ST. It stopped respecting my
>intelligence by recycling Spock's Brain and fighting "Bugs & Milk Gone Bad"
>(who ever gets that reference first gets a cookie! ;-).



I agree with this. I was a TREK fan since I started watching TOS
when it was first broadcast in the 60's. I wrote NBC to protest its
cancellation at the end of the 2nd season. Later on, I join a Trek fan
club and helped to run a number of Trek cons. I've met many Trek actors
and have even had them in my home for dinner.

For me, in 1991, when Roddenberry died and the suits gained total
control, and greed replaced RG's vision, that was the start of my loss of
interest in Trek. Oh, it took a while for the franchise mentality to
replace creativity, but it did and has totally now.

Fans did -not- betray Trek. STAR TREK betrayed its fans.


--
-- Frank Hummel [ hum...@netcom.com ]
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
NecronomiCon, 2nd Edition: The Cthulhu Mythos Convention
Danvers, Massachusetts, August 18-20, 1995
For information: P.O. Box 1320, Back Bay Annex, Boston, MA 02117 USA

Steven W. Effler

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Jun 17, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/17/95
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I really feel that I need to speak out in defense of Berman and Co.
According to most Trek fans, when did TNG finally start to reach its
high level of quality? I think that most people would say season three.
I don't know how many people know this, but following season two,
Roddenberry basically released control of the show to Berman. Roddenberry
was still Executive Producer in name, but it was basically Berman
(Roddenberry's protege) who was in charge. In other words, Berman more or
less took over at season three, not at Roddenberry's death during season
five. I in no way want to diminish Roddenberry's genius and brilliance,
but it is Berman who should be credited with making TNG what most of us
know and love.
As far as DS9, many people say that this betrayed Roddenberry's
vision. I do not see this as the case. It is merely showing his vision
being put to a test. Peace and goodwill now only face bigger obstacles.
Many people complain that there's no exploration, but that's untrue.
There's just exploration of a different kind, one that can be just as
interesting if not more than space exploration. It should also be noted
that before Roddenberry's death, Berman presented the concept of DS9 to
him. His response was, more or less, 'Sounds great. Go for it.'
And Voyager. Well, the potential is there, in both character and
concept, to carry on Roddenberry's vision, and I'm confitent that it will
live up to that potential like its predecesors.
Roddenberry's vision has not been abandoned. It has been expanded with
great care, and I'm sorry that you can not see that.

Damian

Bill Capehart

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Jun 17, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/17/95
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Though politics belong in other groups...

Some TOS lovers have moved to B5 for the same reason the Jackson is
threatening to start found yet another "third party." They assumed that
people would watch American SF series with the Star Trek name so they
stopped trying to be truly innovative. Star Trek stagnated and B5 filled
a vacuum. B5 has gone back to the genre's roots not only taking in Tolkien
but classic cult TV and other obscure references that make 60's SF and
Comic Buffs go wild. Not only is it Science Fiction -- It is also a pop
culturist's wet dream. The inheritor's of Trek have really squandered
what was left after TNG.

I don't think that I've betrayed ST. It stopped respecting my
intelligence by recycling Spock's Brain and fighting "Bugs & Milk Gone Bad"
(who ever gets that reference first gets a cookie! ;-).

==========================================================================
Bill Capehart (w...@essc.psu.edu) "If you're going to shoot someone you
Penn State Meteorology should mean it. Stun settings are
University Park, PA 16802 for people who cannot commit."
==================== /* John Galt, Call Your Office */ ===================

KAREN CUSHING

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Jun 18, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/18/95
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Well said Damain! It is refreshing to see Berman receive the credit he
deserves! Roddenberry was no fool when he selected Berman to take his
place!


Ronald

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Jun 18, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/18/95
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SNIP

> Well said Damain! It is refreshing to see Berman receive the credit he
> deserves! Roddenberry was no fool when he selected Berman to take his
> place!

Berman is a money grubbing egotistical jerk who doesn't even come close to
having the love of or vision for the Trek universe that Roddenberry did.
He is a pretender to the throne, at _best_.

Give him credit for the only thing he has done to "expand" the Trek universe:
allow the marketing of some of the most _absolutely_LAME_ products whose sole
purpose is to cash in on the tendency of Trek fans to buy anything that bears
a Trek logo.

I don't think Gene saw ST.* pogs as part of his vision for Trek....

Ron

******************************************************************************
Ron Jennings urjen...@cc.memphis.edu * Not everyone in Memphis
Electronic Engineering Technology * is a
The University of Memphis * tight-assed postal inspector.
******************************************************************************
I've got duct tape & I'm not afraid to use it.
******************************************************************************

Prakash Bakrania

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Jun 18, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/18/95
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> Roddenberry's vision has not been abandoned. It has been expanded with
> great care, and I'm sorry that you can not see that.


Then why is Voyager already ripping off plots from the previous Trek's ?


J.D. Roth

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Jun 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/19/95
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I originally posted the following last March, so some of the information
might be dated (there HAVE been a couple of good Voyager episodes since,
though DS9 remains pathetic). But it seems to relate to the on-going
discussion and it still captures how I feel. At the end is a portion of an
e-mailed response. Intelligent conversation on this topic is more than
welcome.

I'm really tired of the "if you don't like it, don't watch it" posters,
too. I've been watching Star Trek since I was four years old. The Next
Generation was my life obsession for too many years. I respect and admire
what Star Trek stands for. The whole Star Trek universe is the result of a
lot of thought and creativity.

But, ever since the end of TNG's fourth season the franchise has sunk into
a mire that it cannot seem to escape from (except for a BRIEF period
during TNG's sixth season and the end of DS9's first season). I belive
there are three factors which contribute to the demise of Star Trek's
greatness.

First, and most obviously, the death of Gene Roddenberry had a great
impact on the series. Though his involvement may have diminished with
time, his mere presence was surely enough to keep some of the silliness in
check. His vision and ideas are what brought the Star Trek universe into
being. Without him, the focus has dimmed substantially.

Secondly, Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore were allowed to take over and
mold the course of Star Trek's future. I don't want to be too harsh on
these two; I really enjoyed some of their earlier work on TNG. But
eventually they (along with Naren Shankar) sent the shows into the pits of
techno-babble, from which they cannote seem to escape. Everyone knows it's
a problem, even those of you who defend the techno-babble as valid,
reasonable, and plausible. Techno-babble is just an excuse for lazy
script-writing.

In additon to the techno-babble problem, Moore and Braga degraded Star
Trek in other ways. Moore's obsession with Klingons and Braga's with
"off-center" episodes quickly went from interesting to trite. Their
reliance on "space-time anomolies" of all sorts raises my hackles.
Watching Generations was like watching All Good Things... was like
watching Timescape was like watching Yesterday's Enterprise was like
watching...ad infinitum. I HATE that. I feel cheated. [Tangent: I'm also
tired of all the flaming of TNG's first season. IMHO, most first season
episodes are vastly superior to TNG's seventh, DS9's third, and VOY's
first...].

As a result of giving Moore and Braga so much control over the franchise,
the series lost a lot of its variety. As I mentioned earlier, I was fond
of their early work, but in the end they have just gained too much control
of the Star Trek universe and they are destroying it...

The third, and perhaps most important, factor which is sinking Star Trek
to new lows is the commercial jugernaut that it has become. I was an early
victim of it. I bought everything Star Trek. I collected every scrap of
information that I could. And more would come out. I'd get it. I had to
have it. I video-taped AND audio-taped every episode. I compiled my own
personal episode guide. I spend many hours and lots of money on this
obssession. Then I noticed that the volume just kept increasing. And that
the quality wasn't remaining consistent. My enthusiasm gradually
diminished. By the end of the seventh season of TNG (I think "Masks" was
the definitive moment--"Lower Decks" was so good, perhaps the best episode to
date, that it threw me for a loop, could the franchise actually be saved?)
I knew it was a matter of time before all interest waned. I only saw
Generations three times. I stopped audio-taping episodes. I stopped
keeping up the episode guide. Last week I stopped video-taping Voyager
(what's the point?). Long ago I stopped actually reading the torrid volume
of posts on the r.a.s. newsgroups. They're mostly noise anyway.

Look at what Star Trek is today from a commercial standpoint. It's a HUGE,
HUGE, HUGE financial power. They can turn out a movie that is at times
painful to watch and it makes millions. An entire television network can
be launched on the back of one Star Trek series. Entertainment Weekly
claims that its Star Trek issues easily outsell all others, providing it
insentive to produce "special issues" (by the way, where in the hell did
they come up with their ranking of top episodes? random drawing out of a
hat?). All of this stuff that is being produced is NOT being produced out
of a genuine love for the material (as I believe Roddenberry possessed, at
least in part). Rather, it's being done for money.

It's hard for me to believe that Star Trek has sunk to the depths seen in
Voyager. The show has such promise. A great premise, passable actors, good
effects, etc. But the writing STINKS. Not a SINGLE episode has contained
an original story premise (well, possilby Eye of the Needle...). We've
seen all of the stories before. Where are the STRANGE, NEW worlds? Where's
the NEW life and NEW civilizations? We've seen this all before. Done
better. (DS9 is no better right now...the Kira [suprise, not-Kira]
entrapped in stone episode was one of the worst Star Trek episodes that I
have ever seen. Give me Spock's Brain or Shades of Grey any day.

Well, I've had my say. A little cathartic rambling. I've never posted
anything like this before and I imagine it'll stir some ire (most of it
predictable: "if you don't like it, don't watch it", "everyone has
different tastes", etc.). I'd love to hear some intelligent respones, and
to get into a substantive discussion about the decline of Star Trek. Or
maybe even why you think Star Trek is actually improving. It'd be fun to
actually analyze the decline with examples, analyses, and so on...


This was the e-mailed response:

>My response? Right on! Your experience with Star Trek seems to mirror mine
>except I stopped recording episodes during DS9's second season and haven't
>recorded the first episode of Voyager and I only saw Generations once. I had
>such high hopes for Voyager and I was really let down. I though that this
>would surely pull ST out of the mire but so far it's only drug it down deeper.
>I'm just glad Gene isn't here to see it because I don't think he'd be happy.
>Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for posting your message and let you know
>that someone out here feels the same way you do.

--j.d.

--
May 1961: J.F.K. announces Apollo decision
J.D. Roth and/or Jul 1969: first steps on the moon
Kris Gates via Dec 1972: last American on the moon
jdr...@teleport.com Jul 1976: Viking I lands on Mars
Feb 1995: ...where are we now?...

R. Tang

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Jun 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/19/95
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In article <1995Jun18.1...@msuvx1.memphis.edu>,

Ronald <urjen...@cc.memphis.edu> wrote:
>SNIP
>> Well said Damain! It is refreshing to see Berman receive the credit he
>> deserves! Roddenberry was no fool when he selected Berman to take his
>> place!
>Berman is a money grubbing egotistical jerk who doesn't even come close to
>having the love of or vision for the Trek universe that Roddenberry did.
>He is a pretender to the throne, at _best_.

Ah, right.

And the many "fans" here would do better? Gimme a break....

>Give him credit for the only thing he has done to "expand" the Trek universe:
>allow the marketing of some of the most _absolutely_LAME_ products whose sole
>purpose is to cash in on the tendency of Trek fans to buy anything that bears
>a Trek logo.
>
>I don't think Gene saw ST.* pogs as part of his vision for Trek....

You think wrongly. Remember IDIC?
--
Roger Tang, gwan...@u.washington.edu, Artistic Director PC Theatre
STILL just another theatre geek....

The most unAmerican thing you can say is "He/she makes too much money."

David K. Leucht

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Jun 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/19/95
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In article <1995Jun18.1...@msuvx1.memphis.edu> urjen...@cc.memphis.edu (Ronald) writes:
>From: urjen...@cc.memphis.edu (Ronald)
>Subject: Re: --Why I'm upset with DS9 and Voyager, and enjoy B5--
>Date: 18 Jun 95 18:09:39 -0500

...snip...


>Berman is a money grubbing egotistical jerk who doesn't even come close to
>having the love of or vision for the Trek universe that Roddenberry did.
>He is a pretender to the throne, at _best_.

>Give him credit for the only thing he has done to "expand" the Trek universe:


>allow the marketing of some of the most _absolutely_LAME_ products whose sole
>purpose is to cash in on the tendency of Trek fans to buy anything that bears
>a Trek logo.

>I don't think Gene saw ST.* pogs as part of his vision for Trek....

Please correct me, if I'm wrong, but I doubt Berman has any *real* say over
the marketing of liscensed mat'l.

The rasberries belong to the execs at Paramount, who owns the copyright and
trademarks.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Guidance and Control Branch Voice: (301) 286-4460
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center FAX: (301) 286-1718
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Tom Thatcher

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Jun 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/19/95
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>SNIP

>> Well said Damain! It is refreshing to see Berman receive the credit he
>> deserves! Roddenberry was no fool when he selected Berman to take his
>> place!

>Berman is a money grubbing egotistical jerk who doesn't even come close to


>having the love of or vision for the Trek universe that Roddenberry did.
>He is a pretender to the throne, at _best_.

>Give him credit for the only thing he has done to "expand" the Trek universe:
>allow the marketing of some of the most _absolutely_LAME_ products whose sole
>purpose is to cash in on the tendency of Trek fans to buy anything that bears
>a Trek logo.

>I don't think Gene saw ST.* pogs as part of his vision for Trek....

During TOS third season, when it was clearly going under, Roddenberry
had a partnership with a merchandising company. He designed the IDIC
with the intent to sell them, then wrote a gratuitious scene into
an episode where Spock shows his IDIC off to someone and gives a pitch
for it. Nimoy objected strenuously and the scene was toned down.

--
Tom Thatcher | You can give a PC to a Homo habilis,
University of Rochester Cancer Center | and he'll use it, but he'll use it
tt...@uhura.cc.rochester.edu | to crack nuts.

aford

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Jun 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/19/95
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In article <jdroth-1806...@ip-pdx6-55.teleport.com>,
jdr...@teleport.com (J.D. Roth) wrote:

> good stuff deleted

Unfortunately, I agree with everything. This new vision of DS9 (war with
the Klingons) has
hit the bottom of the barrel. Is Babylon 5 doing that much better that
the ST people have to
copy it?

I will forever remain a fan of ST:TOS and ST:TNG, even to some degree DS9
and Voyager.
But to vigilantly watch each and every episode is a thing of the past. My
imagination is
not caught.

And let's not even bother with the movie Generations. There were holes in
that movie big
enough to drive 10 starships through, and I'm not even one of those people
who picks on the
inconsistencies in the episodes (if I even notice them).

And to try and twist the new ST around to say that this is just a new way
of working towards
G.D.'s vision of peace and harmony is really stretching things. The
vision and philosophy
of Star Trek that caught my imagination is no longer there. Much as I
hate to even think it,
perhaps All Good Things must come to an end. Perhaps the well has run
dry. Let's not prolong
the agony. Get while the getting's good. Help, I'm running out of cliches.

I feel like I'm losing a good friend to time and change and other people.

Ronald

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Jun 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/19/95
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>>Berman is a money grubbing egotistical jerk who doesn't even come close to
>>having the love of or vision for the Trek universe that Roddenberry did.
>>He is a pretender to the throne, at _best_.
>
> Ah, right.
> And the many "fans" here would do better? Gimme a break....

Not all of them, by any means.
But some, certainly...
They _love_ the Trek universe & ideology...Berman loves money & his job.

>>I don't think Gene saw ST.* pogs as part of his vision for Trek....
>

> You think wrongly. Remember IDIC?

So you wanna take a philosophy intended as the basis for the advancement of
culture/society and apply it to practices that are simply base profiteering?
I think it should be modified to:

IPIP ---- Infinite Profit through Infinite Products

R. Tang

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Jun 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/19/95
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In article <1995Jun19.1...@msuvx1.memphis.edu>,

Ronald <urjen...@cc.memphis.edu> wrote:
>>>Berman is a money grubbing egotistical jerk who doesn't even come close to
>>>having the love of or vision for the Trek universe that Roddenberry did.
>>>He is a pretender to the throne, at _best_.
>> Ah, right.
>> And the many "fans" here would do better? Gimme a break....
>Not all of them, by any means.
>But some, certainly...
>They _love_ the Trek universe & ideology...Berman loves money & his job.

Like I said, GIMME A BREAK.

None of them have the first clue about putting together a
television show. Purely impractical, too likely to spend time noodling
out obscure Trek continuity instead of getting something on the air on
time and not likely to work well with managing people.

Producing means balancing the line between the artistic impulse
and real world practicalities. Few people can toe it (and I haven't seen
anybody here who can).

>>>I don't think Gene saw ST.* pogs as part of his vision for Trek....
>> You think wrongly. Remember IDIC?
>So you wanna take a philosophy intended as the basis for the advancement of
>culture/society and apply it to practices that are simply base profiteering?

Why not? That's how it started.

Ted McCoy

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Jun 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/19/95
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In article <jdroth-1806...@ip-pdx6-55.teleport.com>,

J.D. Roth <jdr...@teleport.com> wrote:
> First, and most obviously, the death of Gene Roddenberry had a great
> impact on the series.

Roddenberry's death had a larger effect on small (but vocal) elements of
Trek fandom than it did on Trek itself. By all accounts, Roddenberry's
influence on the show was minimal after the first part of season one.

> Though his involvement may have diminished with
> time, his mere presence was surely enough to keep some of the silliness in
> check.

TOS certainly had its silly moments; but those can be forgiven since it was
a different age. (Might be easier for me to judge TOS if I'd been alive at
the time.)

I think some of us would point to the TNG episodes that Roddenberry influenced
most heavily -- the early season one episodes -- as some of TNG's silliest.

>His vision and ideas are what brought the Star Trek universe into
>being.

This is correct.

>Without him, the focus has dimmed substantially.

Without him, the show has matured dramatically.

I will say this: Trek lost a lot of its boldness as Roddenberry's influence
was replaced by The Franchise. But sometimes boldness is just another word
for foolishness.

> Secondly, Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore were allowed to take over and
> mold the course of Star Trek's future. I don't want to be too harsh on
> these two; I really enjoyed some of their earlier work on TNG.

I'd give them more credit for TNG's bright moments than I'd give Roddenberry.

> But
> eventually they (along with Naren Shankar) sent the shows into the pits of
> techno-babble, from which they cannote seem to escape. Everyone knows it's
> a problem, even those of you who defend the techno-babble as valid,
> reasonable, and plausible. Techno-babble is just an excuse for lazy
> script-writing.

Agreed. TNG certainly isn't the only show that has settled into a comfortable
but unfortunate formula as it aged, and I'm not necessary sure who deserves
the blame here...but I have to agree that technobabble (and also lack of
significant conflict, on TNG anyway) were major ongoing problems on TNG.

> In additon to the techno-babble problem, Moore and Braga degraded Star
> Trek in other ways. Moore's obsession with Klingons and Braga's with
> "off-center" episodes quickly went from interesting to trite. Their
> reliance on "space-time anomolies" of all sorts raises my hackles.
> Watching Generations was like watching All Good Things... was like
> watching Timescape was like watching Yesterday's Enterprise was like
> watching...ad infinitum. I HATE that. I feel cheated

Uh. Was Timescape the one with the Romulans frozen in time or something?
I'll agree that those "space-time anomolies" episodes became increasingly
contrived as the series went along...but I certainly wouldn't go so far
as to say that watching one was like watching any of the others.

> [Tangent: I'm also
> tired of all the flaming of TNG's first season. IMHO, most first season
> episodes are vastly superior to TNG's seventh, DS9's third, and VOY's
> first...].

Well, you have the right to be wrong. ;-) Actually, I wouldn't rate VOY's
first season all that much higher than TNG's first, but that's partly
because VOY has less excuse for stumbling than TNG had.

> As a result of giving Moore and Braga so much control over the franchise,
> the series lost a lot of its variety. As I mentioned earlier, I was fond
> of their early work, but in the end they have just gained too much control
> of the Star Trek universe and they are destroying it...

I agree that Trek has lost a lot of its variety. Its settled into a
comfortable formula -- unfortunately.

However, I disagree that this is a result of Moore and Braga having too much
control over the Trek universe. The Trek franchise is big enough at this
point that nobody can effectively control it; it's no longer any one man's
vision. Which is why I have trouble blaming Moore, Braga, Berman, etc. for
Trek's problems.

> The third, and perhaps most important, factor which is sinking Star Trek
> to new lows is the commercial jugernaut that it has become. I was an early
> victim of it. I bought everything Star Trek. I collected every scrap of
> information that I could. And more would come out. I'd get it. I had to
> have it. I video-taped AND audio-taped every episode. I compiled my own
> personal episode guide. I spend many hours and lots of money on this
> obssession. Then I noticed that the volume just kept increasing. And that
> the quality wasn't remaining consistent. My enthusiasm gradually
> diminished. By the end of the seventh season of TNG (I think "Masks" was
> the definitive moment--"Lower Decks" was so good, perhaps the best episode to
> date, that it threw me for a loop, could the franchise actually be saved?)
> I knew it was a matter of time before all interest waned. I only saw
> Generations three times. I stopped audio-taping episodes. I stopped
> keeping up the episode guide. Last week I stopped video-taping Voyager
> (what's the point?). Long ago I stopped actually reading the torrid volume
> of posts on the r.a.s. newsgroups. They're mostly noise anyway.

("Only" saw Generations three times?!)

Anyway, I find myself wondering if you're reacting against the show's
popularity more than anything else (it's always more fun to root for the
underdog, the alternative). But I'll agree that the merchandising has
become a significant problem, as far as creativity is concerned.

> Look at what Star Trek is today from a commercial standpoint. It's a HUGE,
> HUGE, HUGE financial power. They can turn out a movie that is at times
> painful to watch and it makes millions.

That's not just Trek; that's Hollywood.

> An entire television network can
> be launched on the back of one Star Trek series. Entertainment Weekly
> claims that its Star Trek issues easily outsell all others, providing it
> insentive to produce "special issues" (by the way, where in the hell did
> they come up with their ranking of top episodes? random drawing out of a
> hat?). All of this stuff that is being produced is NOT being produced out
> of a genuine love for the material (as I believe Roddenberry possessed, at
> least in part). Rather, it's being done for money.

Easy to pretend Roddenberry was a saint now that he's dead...

> It's hard for me to believe that Star Trek has sunk to the depths seen in
> Voyager. The show has such promise. A great premise, passable actors, good

"passable" actors?! Acting and fx are probably the only areas where each
Trek show has been better than the one before it.

> effects, etc. But the writing STINKS. Not a SINGLE episode has contained
> an original story premise (well, possilby Eye of the Needle...). We've
> seen all of the stories before. Where are the STRANGE, NEW worlds? Where's
> the NEW life and NEW civilizations? We've seen this all before. Done
> better. (DS9 is no better right now...the Kira [suprise, not-Kira]
> entrapped in stone episode was one of the worst Star Trek episodes that I
> have ever seen. Give me Spock's Brain or Shades of Grey any day.

Hell, we've already given you TNG's first season!

> Well, I've had my say. A little cathartic rambling. I've never posted
> anything like this before and I imagine it'll stir some ire (most of it
> predictable: "if you don't like it, don't watch it", "everyone has
> different tastes", etc.). I'd love to hear some intelligent respones, and
> to get into a substantive discussion about the decline of Star Trek. Or
> maybe even why you think Star Trek is actually improving. It'd be fun to
> actually analyze the decline with examples, analyses, and so on...

I agree with some of what you say. I disagree with the way you paint some
of the people involved (Roddenberry, Berman, etc.) in simplistic terms to
make them saints and villains in this story. Also, personally, I've found
that as Trek has moved away from Roddenberry's vision (ie, in the direction of
DS9), it's actually matured and in many ways improved. More realistic
conflict, more intelligent drama, more political intrigue, less moralizing,
more shades of grey. And, I suppose, all at the expense of the original
sense of adventure and boldness. Old Trek and Modern Trek are very different
animals, each with a unique set of strengths and weaknesses.


Ted

Ted McCoy

unread,
Jun 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/19/95
to
In article <aford-19069...@47.73.4.51>, aford <af...@bnr.ca> wrote:
>Unfortunately, I agree with everything. This new vision of DS9 (war with
>the Klingons) has
>hit the bottom of the barrel. Is Babylon 5 doing that much better that
>the ST people have to
>copy it?

If Paramount is disappointed with DS9's performance, it's not because they
wish it were bringing in the lower ratings, poorer demographics, and lower
merchandising revenues of B5. It's because they want it to be the megahit
that TNG was. Look back at TNG: it's most popular seasons involved war
with the borg, Klingon Civil War, threat of war with the Romulans. Seems
to me that those storylines are the "inspiration" for these newest twists
on DS9.

>And to try and twist the new ST around to say that this is just a new way
>of working towards
>G.D.'s vision of peace and harmony is really stretching things. The
>vision and philosophy
>of Star Trek that caught my imagination is no longer there. Much as I
>hate to even think it,
>perhaps All Good Things must come to an end. Perhaps the well has run
>dry. Let's not prolong
>the agony. Get while the getting's good. Help, I'm running out of cliches.

The well *did* run dry, quite a while ago in fact. Roddenberry's well, that
is. The early part of TNG's first season are pretty good evidence of that.

So Trek moved to a different well. Deal with it. ;-)

>I feel like I'm losing a good friend to time and change and other people.

Hey, it's just a tv show!


Ted

Tom Thatcher

unread,
Jun 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/19/95
to

>And to try and twist the new ST around to say that this is just a new way
>of working towards
>G.D.'s vision of peace and harmony is really stretching things. The
>vision and philosophy
>of Star Trek that caught my imagination is no longer there. Much as I
>hate to even think it,
>perhaps All Good Things must come to an end. Perhaps the well has run
>dry. Let's not prolong
>the agony. Get while the getting's good. Help, I'm running out of cliches.

Maybe the problem isn't that the well has run dry but that the people
dipping into it aren't dipping deep enough. The problem as I see it is
that nothing ever changes in ST:TF (Star Trek: The Franchise) and thus
with very few exceptions, one can watch the episodes in any order, without
reference to past or future developments.

Sisko is THE EMISSARY -- so what?
Quark falls in love with a female business-Ferengi -- so what?
Jadzia meets her past lives -- so what?
Harry goes to another dimension -- so what?

Let's have someone undergo a soul-changing experience that lasts more than
45 minutes! How about someone getting married where it actually affects
their job! Let's have some bad guys STAY bad, and cause problems on a
regular basis.

I mean, what if insteasd of Bareil dying, he married Kira. How does she
divide work and home. Does she get pregant? Does Odo shape-shift into
their bed (whoops--getting off track:)

Ted McCoy

unread,
Jun 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/19/95
to
In article <1995Jun19....@galileo.cc.rochester.edu>,

Tom Thatcher <tt...@uhura.cc.rochester.edu> wrote:
>Let's have someone undergo a soul-changing experience that lasts more than
>45 minutes!

DS9 characters really haven't had any soul-changing moments. On the other
hand, real life usually doesn't offer many soul-changing moments.

DS9 characters have evolved over time, slowly reacting to various situations.
Just like people do in real life. (For instance: the way Kira has slowly
come to terms with her past and moved past that. The way Bashir has
matured and calmed down. The way Odo has tried to come to terms with his
nature. The way Sisko is gradually coming to terms with his perceived role in
Bajoran prophecies, and has also slowly reclaimed a sense of meaning and
direction in his life after the Borg disaster. Even the way Nog has come
to realize that he will never realize his true potential in a ferrengi
world.) These are subtle changes, but that doesn't mean they haven't
happened. And to say that DS9 episodes could be viewed just as easily in
any order displays a supreme ignorance of all of the character development
that's been going on for the past three years. (Not to mention ignorance
of the political arcs, but that's a different story.)

>How about someone getting married where it actually affects
>their job! Let's have some bad guys STAY bad, and cause problems on a
>regular basis.

Like the Dominion? (People have been predicting that the Jem'Hadar would
turn into good guys for almost a year now. It still hasn't happened, and,
after "The Adversary," it seems unlikely that it will anytime soon.


Ted

R. Tang

unread,
Jun 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/19/95
to
>In article <aford-19069...@47.73.4.51>, aford <af...@bnr.ca> wrote:
>>I feel like I'm losing a good friend to time and change and other people.

Change happens. Change is good. Children may have trouble
adapting to change, but we're all adults here, right?

John Pietrzak

unread,
Jun 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/19/95
to
R. Tang <gwan...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
>>In some article, someone said:

>>> In some article, someone said:
>>> Ah, right.
>>> And the many "fans" here would do better? Gimme a break....
>>Not all of them, by any means.
>>But some, certainly...
>>They _love_ the Trek universe & ideology...Berman loves money & his job.
>
> Like I said, GIMME A BREAK.
>
> None of them have the first clue about putting together a
>television show. Purely impractical, too likely to spend time noodling
>out obscure Trek continuity instead of getting something on the air on
>time and not likely to work well with managing people.

And I say, SO WHAT? So the people working on Voyager today puts an
amazing amount of love, care, expertise, and production values into a
story that is a piece of crap. I'd prefer a good plot with horrible
production to a bad plot with all the money in the world behind it.

John
--
Babylon 5 -- a surfboard riding the Tsunami

Timothy W. Lynch

unread,
Jun 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/19/95
to
Note followups, set to r.a.s.misc.

mc...@math.ohio-state.edu (Ted McCoy) writes:

>If Paramount is disappointed with DS9's performance, it's not because they
>wish it were bringing in the lower ratings, poorer demographics, and lower
>merchandising revenues of B5. It's because they want it to be the megahit
>that TNG was. Look back at TNG: it's most popular seasons involved war
>with the borg, Klingon Civil War, threat of war with the Romulans. Seems
>to me that those storylines are the "inspiration" for these newest twists
>on DS9.

Careful about how you define "popular". They're generally regarded in
the fan community as some of TNG's better arcs, yes -- but if you want
to talk ratings, it's a different story.

"Family", for instance, was generally pretty well liked by the fans,
but had rotten ratings -- significantly lower than shows before and
after it. And on the other hand, there's "Cost of Living" -- held by
many (yours truly included) to be one of the worst pieces of celluloid
TNG ever produced -- and yet, if memory serves, one of the
highest-rated TNG episodes up to that point.

This may be a question of marketing rather than of quality, or we may
want to measure popularity some other way. (However, Paramount *will*
measure it by ratings and demographics, and DS9's are weaker than TNG
and appear to be slipping slightly, hence the "improvements" we've
gotten this season that were anything but.)

Tim Lynch

R. Tang

unread,
Jun 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/19/95
to
In article <3s4t6i$7...@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu>,
John Pietrzak <piet...@pistachio.cs.uiuc.edu> wrote:

>R. Tang <gwan...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
>>>> Ah, right.
>>>> And the many "fans" here would do better? Gimme a break....
>>>Not all of them, by any means.
>>>But some, certainly...
>>>They _love_ the Trek universe & ideology...Berman loves money & his job.
>> Like I said, GIMME A BREAK.
>> None of them have the first clue about putting together a
>>television show. Purely impractical, too likely to spend time noodling
>>out obscure Trek continuity instead of getting something on the air on
>>time and not likely to work well with managing people.
>And I say, SO WHAT?

And that's the PROBLEM in a nutshell.

No practicality. No sense for getting things done. All it is is
talk, without a shred of sense of the compromises you have to make to
getting something done and ready to broadcast.

>amazing amount of love, care, expertise, and production values into a
>story that is a piece of crap. I'd prefer a good plot with horrible
>production to a bad plot with all the money in the world behind it.

But you're not getting it on the screen.

Jonathan Blum

unread,
Jun 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/19/95
to
In article <1995Jun19.1...@msuvx1.memphis.edu>,
Ronald <urjen...@cc.memphis.edu> wrote:
>>>I don't think Gene saw ST.* pogs as part of his vision for Trek....

>> You think wrongly. Remember IDIC?

>So you wanna take a philosophy intended as the basis for the advancement of
>culture/society and apply it to practices that are simply base profiteering?

You do realize that the IDIC pendant was created and written into TOS simply
so that Gene and Lincoln Enterprises could sell copies of it?

Regards,
Jon Blum
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
"All this time you two thought you were playing some twisted game of
chess... when it was just me playing solitaire!"
D O C T O R W H O : T I M E R I F T

Franklin Hummel

unread,
Jun 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/20/95
to
In article <1995Jun20.0...@msuvx1.memphis.edu>
urjen...@cc.memphis.edu (Ronald) writes:
>
>First, I'm not saying _everyone_ here can do a better job than those who
>produce ST.* right now. But I wholeheartedly believe that many of them are
>capable of writing better stories which is ST.*'s main downfall. There are


1,000% agreed.

The reason why I have all but stopped watching TREK is because
of the stupidity of most of the stories -- and the fact that they have
little to do with Science Fiction anymore. (All my opinion, of course.)

I look at the original TREK with SF pros writing for it like
Bloch, Ellison, Sturgeon, Spinrad, Gerrold, Matheson, Bixby, and the
rest. Look at how the ideas by these people, like tribbles, like
Vulcan sexuality, like the Mirror universe have become very central
parts of the Star Trek Mythology.

With very few exceptions, TREK's producers seem to have gone out
of their way NOT to have pro SF writers doing scripts. Even TNG
suffered from this, especially in its last seasons. Instead these SF
professionals are ghettoize to write TREK novels -- whose stories "never
really happens" as far as the canon of the TREK universe. What a -waste-
of talent!

For me, what TREK needs to become a good show again, the show
I loved and followed for 25+ years, is to become a Science Fiction
series again. Hiring SF writers to do scripts would sure be a big,
big step in the right direction. It would likely get -me- to start
watching TREK regularly -- and maybe * sigh * even -liking- it again.
Heavens, how I wish that would happen. I really -miss- STAR TREK.

In the meantime, when I do bother to turn on TREK, I guess I
will be faced with such further stupidity like I suffered through
with DS9's laughable version of a solar sailing craft -- or watching
them repeat the same story idea (other characters act out various
personality aspects of one character) in the same season. * gag *

R. Tang

unread,
Jun 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/20/95
to
In article <1995Jun20.0...@msuvx1.memphis.edu>,

Ronald <urjen...@cc.memphis.edu> wrote:
>> Like I said, GIMME A BREAK.
>> None of them have the first clue about putting together a
>> television show. Purely impractical, too likely to spend time noodling
>> out obscure Trek continuity
>God forbid Trek should have anything that resembled continuity!!!!!!!!

A damn site better than most shows and fairly good overall. It's
not perfect, and it couldn't be improved, but the sheer volume and the
taks of managing a shared universe is not a trivial one.

>First, I'm not saying _everyone_ here can do a better job than those who
>produce ST.* right now. But I wholeheartedly believe that many of them are
>capable of writing better stories which is ST.*'s main downfall.

I don't. Most people are perfectly fine with plotting, but that's
only a part of the process. Characterization and practicality for
production are rather major component.

> There are
>probably about as many that would do a fair-to-good job acting (another
>downfall),

Feh. If you're talking about main cast, now I KNOW you're talking
through your hat. From an acting perspective, the Berman casts are fairly
strong (particularly DS9). They have their weak spots, but what cast don't?

>at I'm sure there is at least 1 good director & 1 good producer in
>this crowd.

Not from where I sit (and I speak as a producer).

>What they lack is experience & opportunity. And if the work produced now is
>from "seasoned professionals", experience doesn't seem to matter much.
>And on top of (or at least in addition to) their capabilities,
>THEY would care about the quality & fidelity of their work.

This is rather insulting (as if the current crew does NOT care).



>> Producing means balancing the line between the artistic impulse
>> and real world practicalities.
>

>Ya think?

I know.

>OH, & Berman is doing SUCH a wonderful job!!!!!!!
>Now you give me a break...

Workmanlike, but not inspired. Unlikely to get a measuredly
better producer.

>
>>>So you wanna take a philosophy intended as the basis for the advancement of
>>>culture/society and apply it to practices that are simply base profiteering?
>>

>> Why not? That's how it started.
>

>Read my other followup to the IDIC point.

Read history.

R. Tang

unread,
Jun 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/20/95
to
>>>> You think wrongly. Remember IDIC?
>>>So you wanna take a philosophy intended as the basis for the advancement of
>>>culture/society and apply it to practices that are simply base profiteering?
>> You do realize that the IDIC pendant was created and written into TOS simply
>> so that Gene and Lincoln Enterprises could sell copies of it?
>I had never heard of it till the followup at the top of this post, and even
>then didn't know the correct reference till I read yet another followup.
>This doesn't change things much though....

Like hell it doesn't. This, and Lincoln Enterprises, totally
destroy the very point you want to make.

>Still, GR was marketing something that became (if it wasn't already (I'm
>inclined to believe it was)) a _fundamental_ part of the Trek universe
>(thought I must admit he did it in a rather underhanded manner).
>
>Berman/Paramount markets for the purpose of PROFIT. Nothing else.
>This is not to say that profit is bad (I'm quite a capitalist myself :) ),
>but the principles have become a DISTANT second (at best) to profit.
>This is something I see as rather tragic...& I'm not a Trekkie.

Sorry, but you sound like one. When Roddenbery does
IDIC, it's OK. When Paramount does it, it's moneygrubbing. When
Roddenberry casts, it's progressive. When Berman casts, it's PC. Feh.
Hypocritical.

Omar Latiri

unread,
Jun 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/20/95
to
Franklin Hummel (hum...@netcom.com) wrote:
: With very few exceptions, TREK's producers seem to have gone out

: of their way NOT to have pro SF writers doing scripts. Even TNG
: suffered from this, especially in its last seasons. Instead these SF
: professionals are ghettoize to write TREK novels -- whose stories "never
: really happens" as far as the canon of the TREK universe. What a -waste-
: of talent!

A possible reason for not having pro SF writers is that the
producers wish to keep the Trek Universe written by those who know it best.
"Keeping Trek in the family" for lack of a better choice of words.

--

****************************************************************************
* In many people's attempts to be different, they wind up doing the exact *
* same thing as everyone else... *
* "There are no .((^). Omar Latiri *
* atheists in the ((( ^ *
* foxholes." ((( * o41...@acs.bu.edu *
* ((( . *
* -- William Thomas Cummings ^((.)^ "Peace be with you." *
****************************************************************************

John Pietrzak

unread,
Jun 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/20/95
to
In article <3s6uer$4...@news.bu.edu>, Omar Latiri <o41...@bu.edu> wrote:
>Franklin Hummel (hum...@netcom.com) wrote:
>: With very few exceptions, TREK's producers seem to have gone out
>: of their way NOT to have pro SF writers doing scripts. Even TNG
>: suffered from this, especially in its last seasons. Instead these SF
>: professionals are ghettoize to write TREK novels -- whose stories "never
>: really happens" as far as the canon of the TREK universe. What a -waste-
>: of talent!
>
> A possible reason for not having pro SF writers is that the
>producers wish to keep the Trek Universe written by those who know it best.
>"Keeping Trek in the family" for lack of a better choice of words.

Which would make for a good reason why it seems that the problems of
incest are showing up now...

Tom Thatcher

unread,
Jun 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/20/95
to
In <3s6uer$4...@news.bu.edu> o41...@bu.edu (Omar Latiri) writes:

>Franklin Hummel (hum...@netcom.com) wrote:
>: With very few exceptions, TREK's producers seem to have gone out
>: of their way NOT to have pro SF writers doing scripts. Even TNG
>: suffered from this, especially in its last seasons. Instead these SF
>: professionals are ghettoize to write TREK novels -- whose stories "never
>: really happens" as far as the canon of the TREK universe. What a -waste-
>: of talent!

> A possible reason for not having pro SF writers is that the
>producers wish to keep the Trek Universe written by those who know it best.
>"Keeping Trek in the family" for lack of a better choice of words.

Isn't that called incest?

And what happens when a species or tribe undergoes severe repeated
inbreeding? Mutants, weakness, reinforced deleterious recessive
characteristics, etc.

User Support

unread,
Jun 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/20/95
to
R. Tang (gwan...@u.washington.edu) wrote:
: In article <1995Jun20.0...@msuvx1.memphis.edu>,

: Ronald <urjen...@cc.memphis.edu> wrote:
: >>>> You think wrongly. Remember IDIC?
: >>>So you wanna take a philosophy intended as the basis for the advancement of
: >>>culture/society and apply it to practices that are simply base profiteering?
: >> You do realize that the IDIC pendant was created and written into TOS simply
: >> so that Gene and Lincoln Enterprises could sell copies of it?
: >I had never heard of it till the followup at the top of this post, and even
: >then didn't know the correct reference till I read yet another followup.
: >This doesn't change things much though....

: Like hell it doesn't. This, and Lincoln Enterprises, totally
: destroy the very point you want to make.

: >Still, GR was marketing something that became (if it wasn't already (I'm
: >inclined to believe it was)) a _fundamental_ part of the Trek universe
: >(thought I must admit he did it in a rather underhanded manner).

There's a significant detail that nobody's mentioned yet. Lincoln
Enterprises was owned by Majel Barrett.

No comment necessary.

Jim_...@transarc.com

unread,
Jun 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/20/95
to
tt...@uhura.cc.rochester.edu (Tom Thatcher) writes:
> Let's have someone undergo a soul-changing experience that lasts more than
> 45 minutes! How about someone getting married where it actually affects
> their job!

This did happen at least once: the continuing relationship (and
problems that pop up in it) of O'Brien and Kiko

> Let's have some bad guys STAY bad, and cause problems on a
> regular basis.

The old series did that in a way. The new series has taken another
tact. It's made it's "bad guys" three dimensional so that they aren't
just nasty villians. This makes for a much more complex and
interesting situation (and a much more realistic one).

******************************************************************
Jim Mann jm...@transarc.com
Transarc Corporation
The Gulf Tower, 707 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (412) 338-4442
WWW Homepage: http://www.transarc.com/~jmann/Home.html

Jim_...@transarc.com

unread,
Jun 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/20/95
to
hum...@netcom.com (Franklin Hummel) writes:
> In article <1995Jun20.0...@msuvx1.memphis.edu>
> urjen...@cc.memphis.edu (Ronald) writes:
> >
> >First, I'm not saying _everyone_ here can do a better job than those who
> >produce ST.* right now. But I wholeheartedly believe that many of them are
> >capable of writing better stories which is ST.*'s main downfall. There are
>
>
> 1,000% agreed.
>
> The reason why I have all but stopped watching TREK is because
> of the stupidity of most of the stories -- and the fact that they have
> little to do with Science Fiction anymore. (All my opinion, of course.)
>
> I look at the original TREK with SF pros writing for it like
> Bloch, Ellison, Sturgeon, Spinrad, Gerrold, Matheson, Bixby, and the
> rest. Look at how the ideas by these people, like tribbles, like
> Vulcan sexuality, like the Mirror universe have become very central
> parts of the Star Trek Mythology.

No more so than the Borg. Or Data and his quest to become more human.


> With very few exceptions, TREK's producers seem to have gone out
> of their way NOT to have pro SF writers doing scripts. Even TNG
> suffered from this, especially in its last seasons. Instead these SF
> professionals are ghettoize to write TREK novels -- whose stories "never
> really happens" as far as the canon of the TREK universe. What a -waste-
> of talent!

There's a good reason for this, though. In the 1960s, the number of
non-SF writers who understood TV SF was small. This pushed the Trek
crew to look outside the TV ranks a bit more. Today, SF is much more a
part of the general culture. SF, especially in the TV and movie media,
is now part of the mainstream. Star Trek could thus more easily put
together its own stable of writers.

> For me, what TREK needs to become a good show again, the show
> I loved and followed for 25+ years, is to become a Science Fiction
> series again.

As long as they continue to produce good fiction, I'm satisfied.
Perhaps its because I have a very broad defintion of SF.

Hiring SF writers to do scripts would sure be a big,
> big step in the right direction. It would likely get -me- to start
> watching TREK regularly -- and maybe * sigh * even -liking- it again.
> Heavens, how I wish that would happen. I really -miss- STAR TREK.
>
> In the meantime, when I do bother to turn on TREK, I guess I
> will be faced with such further stupidity like I suffered through
> with DS9's laughable version of a solar sailing craft -- or watching
> them repeat the same story idea (other characters act out various
> personality aspects of one character) in the same season. * gag *
>

Again, I disagree. The surface story of the solar craft was minor. The
real story, the one that made this a good episode, involved two sets
of character intereactions: Jake and Sisko, and Bashin and O'Brien.
One reason I like Star Trek so much is that the characters are real
and interesting, and this episode demonstrated that.

John Pietrzak

unread,
Jun 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/20/95
to
In article <kjtmteOSMUE41C=g...@transarc.com>, <Jim_...@transarc.com> wrote:
>
>In the 1960s, the number of
>non-SF writers who understood TV SF was small. This pushed the Trek
>crew to look outside the TV ranks a bit more. Today, SF is much more a
>part of the general culture. SF, especially in the TV and movie media,
>is now part of the mainstream. Star Trek could thus more easily put
>together its own stable of writers.

I cannot agree with this sentiment. Even today, the science fiction
that I read diverges greatly from the science fiction I see in movies
and on TV. As far as I can recall, the closest thing I've seen to a
real SF novel on the big screen is Blade Runner (especially the
director's cut), which managed to represent a PKD story pretty well.
Or, perhaps, 2001, which did a "hard SF" story the right way. There's
been a real flurry of new "SF" flavor TV shows lately, but only B5
comes close to something you might actually read in a book. Trek does
occasionally strike near the mark (such as in "Inner Light"), but it
misses a great deal more than it hits.

Ronald

unread,
Jun 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/20/95
to
>>> You think wrongly. Remember IDIC?
>
>>So you wanna take a philosophy intended as the basis for the advancement of
>>culture/society and apply it to practices that are simply base profiteering?
>
> You do realize that the IDIC pendant was created and written into TOS simply
> so that Gene and Lincoln Enterprises could sell copies of it?

I had never heard of it till the followup at the top of this post, and even
then didn't know the correct reference till I read yet another followup.
This doesn't change things much though....

Still, GR was marketing something that became (if it wasn't already (I'm


inclined to believe it was)) a _fundamental_ part of the Trek universe
(thought I must admit he did it in a rather underhanded manner).

Berman/Paramount markets for the purpose of PROFIT. Nothing else.


This is not to say that profit is bad (I'm quite a capitalist myself :) ),
but the principles have become a DISTANT second (at best) to profit.
This is something I see as rather tragic...& I'm not a Trekkie.

Ron

Ronald

unread,
Jun 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/20/95
to
>>> And the many "fans" here would do better? Gimme a break....
>>Not all of them, by any means.
>>But some, certainly...
>>They _love_ the Trek universe & ideology...Berman loves money & his job.
>
> Like I said, GIMME A BREAK.
>
> None of them have the first clue about putting together a
> television show. Purely impractical, too likely to spend time noodling
> out obscure Trek continuity

God forbid Trek should have anything that resembled continuity!!!!!!!!

> instead of getting something on the air on time and not likely to

> work well with managing people.

First, I'm not saying _everyone_ here can do a better job than those who

produce ST.* right now. But I wholeheartedly believe that many of them are
capable of writing better stories which is ST.*'s main downfall. There are

probably about as many that would do a fair-to-good job acting (another

downfall), at I'm sure there is at least 1 good director & 1 good producer in
this crowd.

What they lack is experience & opportunity. And if the work produced now is
from "seasoned professionals", experience doesn't seem to matter much.
And on top of (or at least in addition to) their capabilities,
THEY would care about the quality & fidelity of their work.

> Producing means balancing the line between the artistic impulse
> and real world practicalities.

Ya think?
Berman seems to have done a good job killing any good artistic (ie writing)
impulses.

>Few people can toe it (and I haven't seen anybody here who can).

OH, & Berman is doing SUCH a wonderful job!!!!!!!


Now you give me a break...

>>So you wanna take a philosophy intended as the basis for the advancement of

>>culture/society and apply it to practices that are simply base profiteering?
>

> Why not? That's how it started.

Read my other followup to the IDIC point.

Ron

Mike Thomson

unread,
Jun 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/20/95
to
urjen...@cc.memphis.edu (Ronald) wrote:
>SNIP
>
>> Well said Damain! It is refreshing to see Berman receive the credit he
>> deserves! Roddenberry was no fool when he selected Berman to take his
>> place!
>
>Berman is a money grubbing egotistical jerk who doesn't even come close to
>having the love of or vision for the Trek universe that Roddenberry did.
>He is a pretender to the throne, at _best_.
>
>Give him credit for the only thing he has done to "expand" the Trek universe:
>allow the marketing of some of the most _absolutely_LAME_ products whose sole
>purpose is to cash in on the tendency of Trek fans to buy anything that bears
>a Trek logo.
>
>I don't think Gene saw ST.* pogs as part of his vision for Trek....
>
>Ron
>

Roddenberry and his Wife were making MILLIONS off of there merchandising company
LINCON ENTERPRISES.. They even tried to push NIMOY to wear the IDIC badge in a Star
Trek episode..and Nimoy was pissed that Roddenberry would have push the
merchantdising of TREK.


Franklin Hummel

unread,
Jun 21, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/21/95
to
>In article <3s6uer$4...@news.bu.edu>, Omar Latiri <o41...@bu.edu> wrote:
>> A possible reason for not having pro SF writers is that the
>>producers wish to keep the Trek Universe written by those who know it best.
>>"Keeping Trek in the family" for lack of a better choice of words.
>


The problem with this, of course, if that (in my opinion)
most of the staff writers (which includes the producers as well)
have repeated shown they have NO understanding of what STAR TREK is.

You are taking about staff writers who solve problems by
writing [tech], who constantly violate the TREK mythos and cannon
by changing what was previously established as fact in one season
in the following one (Trills can't beam, now they can. No one's heard
of Trills before season 4 of TNG, yet a Trill has been in Starfleet
and has been an officer by the time of DS9. Fergini females are -not-
intelligent beings in TNG 1st season, then they are in DS9. An
entire WAR with Cardassia is suddenly announced to have occured
in TNG in season 6(?), etc. etc. And do NOT bother with the
rationalizations for these stupid mistakes -- or rather, lack
of caring about staying within your own cannon -- by Trek's
writers. I'm sick of fans trying to explain away * BAD * writing!)

And this is only part of it. One has no further to look
the TNG's "The Outcast" in the 5th season to see that these folks
do NOT understand STAR TREK: otherwise they would have done what
Roddenberry promised before he died, to including regularly-appearing
gay characters in TNG starting with its 5th season, finally treating
gay people as the original TREK series treated women and asians and
blacks: as just regular people who were part of the TREK universe.
Roddenberry was -very- clear in what he wanted, what he promised
the fans. And Trek's current producers have -not- to this very day
done what Gene Roddenberry promised the fans -would- be done.

Much of the STAR TREK universe you claim these staff writers
-know-, as I pointed out, WERE CREATED BY PROFESSIONAL SCIENCE FICTION
WRITERS IN THE ORIGINAL STAR TREK SERIES. Star Trek was once a Science
Fiction series; in my opinion, it sure isn't one now.

Getting Science Fiction writers back writing scripts would
change that -- and I have not the slightest doubt it would be for
the *best* for STAR TREK and its fans.

Jim_...@transarc.com

unread,
Jun 21, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/21/95
to
hum...@netcom.com (Franklin Hummel) writes:
> >In article <3s6uer$4...@news.bu.edu>, Omar Latiri <o41...@bu.edu> wrote:
> >> A possible reason for not having pro SF writers is that the
> >>producers wish to keep the Trek Universe written by those who know it best.
> >>"Keeping Trek in the family" for lack of a better choice of words.
> >
>
>
> The problem with this, of course, if that (in my opinion)
> most of the staff writers (which includes the producers as well)
> have repeated shown they have NO understanding of what STAR TREK is.

No, they DEFINE what Star Trek is. It's their show after all. "Trek"
is not some concept defined by and limited by the original series. In
fact, for most people, Trek is Picard and Data and Worf as much as
(and maybe more so than) it is Kirk and Spock.

>
> You are taking about staff writers who solve problems by
> writing [tech], who constantly violate the TREK mythos and cannon
> by changing what was previously established as fact in one season
> in the following one (Trills can't beam, now they can.

Agreed here. The show does suffer from this kind of inconsistency.

No one's heard
> of Trills before season 4 of TNG, yet a Trill has been in Starfleet
> and has been an officer by the time of DS9. Fergini females are -not-
> intelligent beings in TNG 1st season, then they are in DS9.

We don't know that Ferenghi females weren't intelligent in the TNG 1st
season. All we no is that is what the Ferenghi males claim. They are
still trying to claim this sort of thing. But a few of the females
are trying to break out of this mold.

An
> entire WAR with Cardassia is suddenly announced to have occured
> in TNG in season 6(?), etc. etc. And do NOT bother with the
> rationalizations for these stupid mistakes -- or rather, lack
> of caring about staying within your own cannon -- by Trek's
> writers. I'm sick of fans trying to explain away * BAD * writing!)

I'm not sure this is quite "bad" writing.

Trek is not as good as B5 when it comes to overall consistency or the
plot of the series as a whole. Trek is much more an episode by episode
show, that makes some attempt to be reasonably consistent from show to
show and which stays consistent for the major characters and major
plot threads. But they will sacrifice minor background consistencies
to do what they need to do to make the current episode a good episode.


> And this is only part of it. One has no further to look
> the TNG's "The Outcast" in the 5th season to see that these folks
> do NOT understand STAR TREK: otherwise they would have done what
> Roddenberry promised before he died, to including regularly-appearing
> gay characters in TNG starting with its 5th season, finally treating
> gay people as the original TREK series treated women and asians and
> blacks: as just regular people who were part of the TREK universe.
> Roddenberry was -very- clear in what he wanted, what he promised
> the fans. And Trek's current producers have -not- to this very day
> done what Gene Roddenberry promised the fans -would- be done.

How do we know Roddenberry would or could have done this? So many
people seem convinced that Roddenberry's control of Trek was always a
good thing. Actually, in most ways, I think TNG improved as
Roddenberry's control waned.

> Much of the STAR TREK universe you claim these staff writers
> -know-, as I pointed out, WERE CREATED BY PROFESSIONAL SCIENCE FICTION
> WRITERS IN THE ORIGINAL STAR TREK SERIES. Star Trek was once a Science
> Fiction series; in my opinion, it sure isn't one now.

You have a narrower definition of SF than I do, then.

> Getting Science Fiction writers back writing scripts would
> change that -- and I have not the slightest doubt it would be for
> the *best* for STAR TREK and its fans.
>

Again, what makes you say this. TNG, seasons 2-4, were the best things
Trek of any flavor ever did. As I look back on the great TNG
epsisodes, I can't think of any that were written by major SF writers.
Yet the best ones were as good or better than any that the
professional SF writers produced for the old series. (Some of the
episodes by SF writers in the TOS were quite mediochre. Look at the
two Robert Bloch episoded, for example.)

Marty Busse

unread,
Jun 21, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/21/95
to
TNG was good while Melinda Snodgrass had some influence on it-the
episode where Troi sits down and explains the problems of communicating
with an alien race to Picard is one of my favorites.

I think the problem with all the Trek shows is that they've ceased to
be science fiction-they've become fantasy, and not very good fantasy. Clarke's
Law applies here-the tech that Trek invents day by day might as well be magic.
B5 has been guilty of this as well on a few occasions-but not as badly as
Trek has. The worst examples have been on Voyager-a disease that causes
victims to undergo atomic fission? This brought interesting images to mind-
"Nurse, what happened to the patient? He underwent fission Doctor. 20kts-
quite a bang. Nurse, does our insurance cover that?...)

--
"Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggie" while looking for a
rock."-attributed to Talleyrand


A J Whitehead

unread,
Jun 21, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/21/95
to
: This did happen at least once: the continuing relationship (and

: problems that pop up in it) of O'Brien and Kiko

It wasn't pulled off very successfully though: the continuing
relationship was rather comical really.

: It's made it's "bad guys" three dimensional

If there are three dimensions to the bad guys I've seen, then the edges
are very flimsily joined....

I've only seen whats been on the BBC in the u.k. plus the odd
video, but frequently ST:TNG has the emotional and intellectual subtlety
of 'Saved by the Bell'. Occasionally it shines, but most of it is
appalling.

I loved TOS though, brilliant stuff.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
It's always funny until someone gets hurt I Andy Eldy pudding and pie
And then it's just hilarious I Make an album before you die
------Alex Whitehead - The Vampire Kersplat... ------------------------------

Eric Muller

unread,
Jun 21, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/21/95
to
Jim_...@transarc.com wrote:
: Again, what makes you say this. TNG, seasons 2-4, were the best things

: Trek of any flavor ever did. As I look back on the great TNG
: epsisodes, I can't think of any that were written by major SF writers.
: Yet the best ones were as good or better than any that the
: professional SF writers produced for the old series. (Some of the
: episodes by SF writers in the TOS were quite mediochre. Look at the
: two Robert Bloch episoded, for example.)

I beg your pardon? "Wolf in the Fold" was a brilliant story, better then
half of the TNG stories. Mr. Bloch cannot and should not be held to
task for the speical effects of the late '60s. Imagine if that story
was filmed today, using a VOY/TNG budget and effects...

Hell, they fancy effects and massive budgets have become a crutch for
the writers and producers. Story is weak? Throw in some gee whiz
effect or a space battle. Because the TOS budget was so small, and
the fx not that great, they had to rely more on stories about people.
"Wolf in the Fold," "Day of the Dove," and "The Balance of Terror"
were fantastic stories, with wonderful charecters. Few TNG
episodes, and nothing of VOY, have come close to matchint these.

Someone once said that if a critic raves about the set, then the
play must be terrible. Well, there sure is a lot of talking about
the set in TNG and VOY. Great space battles! Cool effects!
Incredible make-up. Uh-huh. Some folks may think that is all
science fiction is. More power to them. For me, though, I am
insulted. I am insulted that the writers, esp. on VOY, think
I am not smart enough to notice the ridiculous "science." I
am insulted by the treknobabble. I am insulted by the fx
used to pad a weak story. I am insulted by the one demensional
enemies protrayed in TNG and VOY.

I have one wish for VOY: give us one sold, well crafted, well
acted episode with no treknobabble. Just one in the second
season, taht's all I ask. TNG did it. Can VOY?

Eric

--
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Eric Muller ** zer...@netcom.com ** Waitin' for the revolution
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Q: What is the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the Hindenburg?
A: One is a flaming Nazi gasbag and the other is a dirigible.
----------------------------------------------------------------------


R. Tang

unread,
Jun 21, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/21/95
to
In article <zericmDA...@netcom.com>,

Eric Muller <zer...@netcom.com> wrote:
>
>I have one wish for VOY: give us one sold, well crafted, well
>acted episode with no treknobabble. Just one in the second
>season, taht's all I ask. TNG did it. Can VOY?

Yes, PRIME FACTORS.

What YOU want (and many other people do) is for the show to get
above the Mendoza line in its batting average.

Matthew Clark

unread,
Jun 21, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/21/95
to
Omar Latiri (o41...@bu.edu) wrote:
: Franklin Hummel (hum...@netcom.com) wrote:
: : With very few exceptions, TREK's producers seem to have gone out

: : of their way NOT to have pro SF writers doing scripts. Even TNG
: : suffered from this, especially in its last seasons. Instead these SF
: : professionals are ghettoize to write TREK novels -- whose stories "never
: : really happens" as far as the canon of the TREK universe. What a -waste-
: : of talent!

: A possible reason for not having pro SF writers is that the

: producers wish to keep the Trek Universe written by those who know it best.
: "Keeping Trek in the family" for lack of a better choice of words.


Which doesn't make sense when they bring in people like Jeri
Taylor (whose previous experiece was, I believe, over on
the soaps) Keeping it "in the family" is all fine and good,
but if my cousin Bubba is a mechanic AND an idiot, I'm not
going to take my car to him...


--
_____ __ __ __ _ ___ _ ___ ___ ___ _ _ _ _____ ________
|_ _| \/ | \| |O| _| | | | __| __| | \/ | |_ _|_ _|
| | | | |\ | | |_| |_| A |__ |__ | |> < _| |_&_| [] |_
|_| |_|\/|_|_| \_|O|___|___|/ \|___|___|_|_/\_| |_____|________|
cl...@daffy.csee.usf.edu cl...@thinker.csee.usf.edu

John Benn

unread,
Jun 22, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/22/95
to

>Trek is not as good as B5 when it comes to overall consistency or the
>plot of the series as a whole. Trek is much more an episode by episode
>show, that makes some attempt to be reasonably consistent from show to
>show and which stays consistent for the major characters and major
>plot threads. But they will sacrifice minor background consistencies
>to do what they need to do to make the current episode a good episode.

Actually, about 90% or more of Trek episodes have a major
inconsistency in them that breaks the plot. Go on, try me. :)

>How do we know Roddenberry would or could have done this? So many
>people seem convinced that Roddenberry's control of Trek was always a
>good thing. Actually, in most ways, I think TNG improved as
>Roddenberry's control waned.

I don't think it mattered much. Roddenbery was just as bad as
Piller and Berman as far as I'm concerned.

>You have a narrower definition of SF than I do, then.

Yes, but no one would argue that Trek is GOOD SF. It's often good
drama, but never good SF. The benchmark is: would any Trek episode make
a good SF short story that would actually receive acclaim? The answer
is most certainly no. There are too many plotholes and inconsistencies.
The reality is that Trek is just another TV drama now. There was
never any innovation really. Even in the early days.

>Again, what makes you say this. TNG, seasons 2-4, were the best things
>Trek of any flavor ever did. As I look back on the great TNG
>epsisodes, I can't think of any that were written by major SF writers.
>Yet the best ones were as good or better than any that the
>professional SF writers produced for the old series. (Some of the
>episodes by SF writers in the TOS were quite mediochre. Look at the
>two Robert Bloch episoded, for example.)

ST:TOS didn't have the budget it needed and the special effects
weren't possible. This was reason that TNG faired better coupled with
the fact that Stewart and Spiner were such fine actors. Besides, all
that you've stated is that it was better television. I'd agree, but
it was very poor SF.


--
**** The Shadows were old when even the Ancients ****
**** were young. ---Delenn, Babylon-5 ****

Jim_...@transarc.com

unread,
Jun 22, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/22/95
to

be...@uwindsor.ca (John Benn) writes:
> In article <Uju1oPmSM...@transarc.com>, <Jim_...@transarc.com> wrote:
> >You have a narrower definition of SF than I do, then.
>
> Yes, but no one would argue that Trek is GOOD SF. It's often good
> drama, but never good SF.

I would, but then again I think being good fiction is the most
important criteria for being good SF.

The benchmark is: would any Trek episode make
> a good SF short story that would actually receive acclaim?

Why? The are different media, after all. Would Casablanca or Citizen
Kane make good novels? How about The Seven Samauri or The Music Man?

The answer
> is most certainly no. There are too many plotholes and
inconsistencies.

OK, what are the plotholes in Offspring? How about Family? Measure of
a Man?

> The reality is that Trek is just another TV drama now. There was
> never any innovation really. Even in the early days.

You have a strange defintion of "innovation" is you don't think Trek
was innovative. TNG was the first major SF show that was willing to
experiment with non-standard types of shows, shows that weren't always
action/adventure, plot-driven shows like other SF shows. Before TNG,
no SF show would try anything like Data's Day or Family.

> >Again, what makes you say this. TNG, seasons 2-4, were the best things
> >Trek of any flavor ever did. As I look back on the great TNG
> >epsisodes, I can't think of any that were written by major SF writers.
> >Yet the best ones were as good or better than any that the
> >professional SF writers produced for the old series. (Some of the
> >episodes by SF writers in the TOS were quite mediochre. Look at the
> >two Robert Bloch episoded, for example.)

n>

ST:TOS didn't have the budget it needed and the special effects
> weren't possible.

Who cares? I don't think special effects are near as important as the
overall quality of the show.

> This was reason that TNG faired better coupled with
> the fact that Stewart and Spiner were such fine actors. Besides, all
> that you've stated is that it was better television. I'd agree, but
> it was very poor SF.

Depends upon how you define SF.

Simon Shurville

unread,
Jun 22, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/22/95
to
In article <3s4rlm$i...@nntp4.u.washington.edu>
gwan...@u.washington.edu (R. Tang) writes:

> >In article <aford-19069...@47.73.4.51>, aford <af...@bnr.ca> wrote:
> >>I feel like I'm losing a good friend to time and change and other people.
>
> Change happens. Change is good. Children may have trouble
> adapting to change, but we're all adults here, right?

The changes in Star Trek of late have been as disapointing as the new
world order. Change is inevitable, accept that, but not always good.

David Roy

unread,
Jun 22, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/22/95
to
In <DAJ04...@midway.uchicago.edu> mbu...@kimbark.uchicago.edu (Marty

Busse) writes:
>
> TNG was good while Melinda Snodgrass had some influence on it-the

>episode where Troi sits down and explains the problems of
communicating
>with an alien race to Picard is one of my favorites.

If the episode you're talking about is "The Big Goodbye," then she
wasn't on staff at this point. This was a first season episode.

Dave Roy


--
*****************************************************************************
* Dave Roy hi...@ix.netcom.com *
* Garak: "Are you sure that's the point, Doctor?" *
* Dr. Bashir: "Of course. What else could it be?" *
* Garak: "That you should never tell the same lie twice." *
* ST:DS9 "Improbable Cause" *
*****************************************************************************


John Benn

unread,
Jun 23, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/23/95
to
In article <EjuL6iGSM...@transarc.com>, <Jim_...@transarc.com> wrote:
>be...@uwindsor.ca (John Benn) writes:

>The benchmark is: would any Trek episode make
>> a good SF short story that would actually receive acclaim?
>
>Why? The are different media, after all. Would Casablanca or Citizen
>Kane make good novels? How about The Seven Samauri or The Music Man?

They would IF the reason they received acclaim in the first place
was due to the story and the writing. I'll give Trek 9 out of 10 for
production, but about a 2 out of 10 for writing.

>OK, what are the plotholes in Offspring? How about Family? Measure of
>a Man?

Give me some details. I'm not the greatest with just titles.
Was Offspring about Data's child? Was Family the Lore/Soong episode?
Was Measure...about Data's status as a Federation citizen? If so....

Offspring: Data creates Lal and Starfleet tries to take her away.
Data actually succeeds in creating another android like
himself but there are some problems. At the end of the
episode he no longer cares about having offspring and
Starfleet never presses him to do further research even
though it's obvious that he has advanced the field of
robotics by leaps and bounds in a matter of days.

Family: Data takes over the Enterprise due to a call from Soong. A
child nearly dies as a result and there are no consequences.
This is especially hard to swallow since Picard threatened
to have Starfleet take Data apart for lying in a previous
episode.

Measure of a Man: Data has to contest the notion that he is property
of Starfleet because he is the only sentient
android with a will of his own and they want to take
him apart. They acknowledge his sentience and free
will but deny that he should be allowed to make his
own choices.

All 3 of the above show an emotional Data. Completely out of
character. Don't get me wrong, I liked these episodes, but they still
had plotholes. The biggest hole of all being that if Starfleet was
really interested in androids they'd just replicate Data and be done
with it.

>You have a strange defintion of "innovation" is you don't think Trek
>was innovative. TNG was the first major SF show that was willing to
>experiment with non-standard types of shows, shows that weren't always
>action/adventure, plot-driven shows like other SF shows. Before TNG,
>no SF show would try anything like Data's Day or Family.

This isn't innovative. Any prime time drama can do any of those
type of stories and get away with it. Just because Trek was the first
SF show to do it doesn't make it innovative it just makes it like
every other drama on TV.

> ST:TOS didn't have the budget it needed and the special effects
>> weren't possible.
>
>Who cares? I don't think special effects are near as important as the
>overall quality of the show.

Production budgets matter. ALOT.

>> This was reason that TNG faired better coupled with
>> the fact that Stewart and Spiner were such fine actors. Besides, all
>> that you've stated is that it was better television. I'd agree, but
>> it was very poor SF.
>
>Depends upon how you define SF.

Not really. Any SF series that consistently disobeys the
scientific laws of its own universe is poor SF by anyones definition.

Christopher Novosad

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Jun 23, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/23/95
to
In article <3s6uer$4...@news.bu.edu>, Omar Latiri <o41...@bu.edu> wrote:
> A possible reason for not having pro SF writers is that the
>producers wish to keep the Trek Universe written by those who know it best.
>"Keeping Trek in the family" for lack of a better choice of words.


Inbreeding! Thanks for clearing that up.


-Voltayre

R. Tang

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Jun 23, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/23/95
to
In article <3sfa8h$2...@geraldo.cc.utexas.edu>,

To be fair, this is a charge most shows are guilty of [for
example, almost all of WISEGUY was written by a small team of writers;
for at least two seasons, all the scripts of LA LAW were written by two
people].

Ted McCoy

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Jun 23, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/23/95
to
In article <hummelDA...@netcom.com>,

Franklin Hummel <hum...@netcom.com> wrote:
> The problem with this, of course, if that (in my opinion)
>most of the staff writers (which includes the producers as well)
>have repeated shown they have NO understanding of what STAR TREK is.

The staff writers seem to have little understanding of what TOS was.

But that well ran dry a *long* time ago -- just look at the Roddenberry
episodes in TNG's first season. The staff writers have *defined* what
modern Trek is.

> You are taking about staff writers who solve problems by
>writing [tech],

This is the big one for me. It's not just bad science fiction, but it's
just plain bad writing.

>who constantly violate the TREK mythos and cannon
>by changing what was previously established as fact in one season
>in the following one (Trills can't beam, now they can.

Agreed. It can be rationalized, but it shouldn't have to be.

>No one's heard
>of Trills before season 4 of TNG, yet a Trill has been in Starfleet
>and has been an officer by the time of DS9.

Agreed again.

>Fergini females are -not-
>intelligent beings in TNG 1st season, then they are in DS9.

Uh, all TNG's 1st season showed was that ferrengi males don't believe the
females are intelligent. That's remained consistent. (Unless I'm forgetting
an episode where a ferrengi female actually appeared in season one.)

>An
>entire WAR with Cardassia is suddenly announced to have occured
>in TNG in season 6(?), etc. etc.

I don't think it was season 6...anyway, this one didn't directly contradict
anything, but I agree that it was a minor inconsistency (a war as relatively
major as that one seemed to be should have been mentioned before). Then
again, if Trek only built upon preestablished storylines, we'd be seeing
a lot more spacial anomolies and a lot fewer political intrigue storylines.
(In other words, more of Voyager and less of DS9.)

>And do NOT bother with the
>rationalizations for these stupid mistakes -- or rather, lack
>of caring about staying within your own cannon -- by Trek's
>writers. I'm sick of fans trying to explain away * BAD * writing!)

cannon? ;-) Anyway I agree that the bad continuity has been a major problem.

> And this is only part of it. One has no further to look
>the TNG's "The Outcast" in the 5th season to see that these folks
>do NOT understand STAR TREK: otherwise they would have done what
>Roddenberry promised before he died, to including regularly-appearing
>gay characters in TNG starting with its 5th season, finally treating
>gay people as the original TREK series treated women and asians and
>blacks: as just regular people who were part of the TREK universe.
>Roddenberry was -very- clear in what he wanted, what he promised
>the fans. And Trek's current producers have -not- to this very day
>done what Gene Roddenberry promised the fans -would- be done.

Wait a second, that's a more serious allegation. Is there any reason to
believe that it's the current producers and writers who killed that idea?
Seems more plausible to me that the folks at Paramount didn't like the idea
and killed it. The sad truth is that homosexuality is a *long* ways from
being accepted in this country. And Paramount has a franchise to protect.

> Much of the STAR TREK universe you claim these staff writers
>-know-, as I pointed out, WERE CREATED BY PROFESSIONAL SCIENCE FICTION
>WRITERS IN THE ORIGINAL STAR TREK SERIES. Star Trek was once a Science
>Fiction series; in my opinion, it sure isn't one now.

As far as I can tell, your definition of "science fiction" is "created by
science fiction professionals." Circular reasoning is fun, isn't it?

> Getting Science Fiction writers back writing scripts would
>change that -- and I have not the slightest doubt it would be for
>the *best* for STAR TREK and its fans.

Yup. It won't happen, but it's always nice to dream.


Ted

gary weiner

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Jun 24, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/24/95
to
In article <3sfdg5$9...@nntp4.u.washington.edu>,

R. Tang <gwan...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
>In article <3sfa8h$2...@geraldo.cc.utexas.edu>,
>Christopher Novosad <volt...@actlab.utexas.edu> wrote:
>>In article <3s6uer$4...@news.bu.edu>, Omar Latiri <o41...@bu.edu> wrote:
>>> A possible reason for not having pro SF writers is that the
>>>producers wish to keep the Trek Universe written by those who know it best.
>>>"Keeping Trek in the family" for lack of a better choice of words.
>>Inbreeding! Thanks for clearing that up.
>
> To be fair, this is a charge most shows are guilty of [for
>example, almost all of WISEGUY was written by a small team of writers;
>for at least two seasons, all the scripts of LA LAW were written by two
>people].

And JMS is writing almost all the scripts for season 3 himself.

Pot. Kettle. Etc.

--
Gary J. Weiner |"Red Riding Hood screamed, not out of alarm at the
BNL-NSLS | wolf's apparent tendency toward cross-dressing,
wei...@bnlux1.bnl.gov | but because of his willfull invasion, of her
PO BOX 715 Upton, NY 11973 | personal space" -James Garner, PC Bedtime Stories

Gabe White

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Jun 24, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/24/95
to
Franklin Hummel (hum...@netcom.com) wrote:
: In article <3shcdo$q...@sun20.ccd.bnl.gov> wei...@bnlux1.bnl.gov
: (gary weiner) writes:

: >>>In article <3s6uer$4...@news.bu.edu>, Omar Latiri <o41...@bu.edu> wrote:
: >>>> A possible reason for not having pro SF writers is that the
: ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
: >>>>producers wish to keep the Trek Universe written by those who know it best.

: >>>>"Keeping Trek in the family" for lack of a better choice of words.
: >
: >And JMS is writing almost all the scripts for season 3 himself.
: ^^^

:
: This is just to note, however, the fact that JMS -is-
: a professional writer, having had published two novels in the
: horror genre. (Anyone know if he has published short stories
: as well?)

He's published a few short stories. Nothing that great (from
what I hear).

: How many novels have Berman or Pillar or Taylor written?

Um, I think Berman and Piller are the producers (I've never heard of
Taylor). They don't write the scripts for trek.


--
"[Religion is] deemed in other countries incompatible with good government
yet proved by our experience to be its best support."
-Thomas Jefferson


Franklin Hummel

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Jun 25, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/25/95
to
In article <3shcdo$q...@sun20.ccd.bnl.gov> wei...@bnlux1.bnl.gov
(gary weiner) writes:
>>>In article <3s6uer$4...@news.bu.edu>, Omar Latiri <o41...@bu.edu> wrote:
>>>> A possible reason for not having pro SF writers is that the
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>>>>producers wish to keep the Trek Universe written by those who know it best.
>>>>"Keeping Trek in the family" for lack of a better choice of words.
>
>And JMS is writing almost all the scripts for season 3 himself.
^^^


This is just to note, however, the fact that JMS -is-
a professional writer, having had published two novels in the
horror genre. (Anyone know if he has published short stories
as well?)

How many novels have Berman or Pillar or Taylor written?

Gharlane of Eddore

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Jun 25, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/25/95
to
In <hummelDA...@netcom.com> hum...@netcom.com (Franklin Hummel) writes:
>
> This is just to note, however, the fact that JMS -is- a
> professional writer, having had published two novels in the
> horror genre. (Anyone know if he has published short stories
> as well?)

There's a collection of short stories from the "New Twilight Zone,"
which as far as I know has only appeared in paperback. And, of
course, there's Straczynski's industry-standard text on scriptwriting.

> How many novels have Berman or Pillar or Taylor written?
>--

Zip. Nada. Zero. None.

In fact, the same number of novels that Bill Shatner has written....

*grin*

Michael J. King Sr.

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Jun 25, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/25/95