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day permlink Thursday, 21 August 2003

permlink QOTD

A man does not acquire the fame of Galileo simply by dying for his beliefs. He has to be right too.
--found in a thread at Tacitus. Yes, yes, Galileo wasn't killed, he was just put under house arrest. The point still stands.


permlink Trek history and future

Some historical behind-the-scenes Trek gossip (possibly self-serving, but plausible enough) [plus pictures!]:

How Harve Bennett helped 'Star Trek' live long and prosper [The Seattle Times]
If "Star Trek" isn't dead [...] it's critical. The 10th feature film, "Star Trek: Nemesis," performed so dismally, making less than half domestically than its $70 million budget, that it may have euthanized the big-screen series. Meanwhile, UPN's "Enterprise," the sixth "Star Trek" TV outing (don't forget to count the '70s animated one) has never clicked with audiences. Producers hope to energize its poor ratings with a major thematic overhaul in the new season. (They could start with its theme song , a ballad from 1998's "Patch Adams" so widely hated that the studio received a fan petition against it.)

...[Trek III:] The chance to direct lures Nimoy back, although it cheapens the greatest death scene since "Psycho." "It's special to me because I'm the sole writer, and I wrote it in five weeks. Because I had my beginning, my middle and my end in my head from the first get-go. I think for what it is, it's a swell Act Two of the trilogy that ends with ...

[Trek IV:] "It was time to explore the comedy depths of these people, to really play to the camaraderie, the fun, the enjoyment of what 'Star Trek' was about when not fighting demons. And also because we did a little dramatic trick that nobody has ever much said anything about: There is no antagonist in 'Star Trek IV.'

...As for how he'd take the franchise in [a] new direction... his answer is a movie that almost was, called "The Academy Years." Here's what that alternate reality would have looked like:

"It was Kirk and Spock at Star Fleet Academy," Bennett says. "They're both 17. Spock is the first Vulcan to attend the academy. It was a story of prejudice against Spock, who almost dies in it. It's the story of Kirk's first and last love, with a cadet lady who dies heroically saving the planet or something similar. But its undertone is about racism. It's about redbloods vs. bluebloods vs. greenbloods. And at the end Kirk is alone. He and Spock part, and you understand why Kirk is going to run around the galaxy chasing illusions and skirts."
I've watched roughly two episodes of 'Enterprise' when you add it all up. It's just not that interesting, and the inconsistencies with the established continuity bug me just enough that I don't care what happens to these characters. Oh, and the theme music sucks. :) I also have yet to see Nemesis, so I'm part of the problem there.

Since they're apparently not doing any more of the theatrical films (No DS9 films? I thought those were a given!), maybe they could start making some new 'current' continuity without fear of messing up any plot points of A Future Motion Picture Starring The Enterprise Crew.

Star Trek: Generation 3, anyone? Or even The Federation, a West Wing-esque big-picture-SF series where you don't have to follow the rules of U.S. law in the 20th century? I imagine there are some very good writers who wouldn't mind a shot at moving forward with Trek, given enough freedom to write New Stuff. permlink     5 comment(s)  
The thing that has disappointed me the most about Enterprise (other than the music -- I really didn't think it could get any worse than DS9) is the complete lack of politics. Based on early descriptions of the show, I thought there would be much more inside baseball stuff about the Federation's early days.

Instead, it's the same, boring old stuff about the Captain being a Great Man with Important Ideas that are better than those of his colleagues.

Yeah, whatever.

And Nemesis? Don't bother. It makes Enterprise look both exciting and canonic.
      ...posted by Katxena on August 21, 2003 10:13 AM
No wonder the "Nemesis" DVD is at $14.95, while "Wrath of Kahn" is sitting at $18.88. (WalMart prices).

Huh. Who knew?
      ...posted by Neil on August 21, 2003 5:42 PM
Well, K & I watch Enterprise and we both like it. I think you need to give it more than a couple episodes. We were probably four or five episodes into the first season before it started to click for us. Plus, all the Trek series seem to take a couple seasons before they hit their stride. Some of those Next Gen episodes from season 1 were pretty awful.
      ...posted by Scott on August 22, 2003 1:57 AM
Actually, Nemesis is an interesting rental --- it probably does the best of the TNG movies (IMHO, of course) of capturing the *crew* aspect of the TV show, but when it's all over you realize not a whole lot happened...
      ...posted by Roger on August 22, 2003 11:58 AM
I watched the first couple episodes of Enterprise, and what struck me most (even more than the theme music) was how stupid and ignorant the captain was. They have one spaceship and they put him in charge of it? Today's astronauts are far more capable. Even science fiction fans would do a better job. Has all science fiction (and imagination) been destroyed in the trek universe, leaving this lunkhead unprepared for anything remotely different? Sigh.
      ...posted by Seth on August 22, 2003 1:35 PM
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