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My issue with Discovery and Picard. And to some extent the JJ Abrams films.  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
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Made in gb
Princeps of the Emperor's Titan!






How do?

First of all, I want to make perfectly clear that I did enjoy Discovery and Picard. Yes, I’m aware opinions vary and rightfully so. But this little rant is one of disappointment for what could’ve been.

See, it all comes down to DS9 and the bang up job of a series that it was. It let us see the Alpha Quadrant through different eyes. Specifically eyes that didn’t have the luxury of just warping away at the end of the episode. It introduced arcing consequences to familiar territory. And by the end of it, we saw an Alpha Quadrant more united than ever before.

Yet, to date, we’ve had no real follow up to that.

I mean, consider it all. There was a peace treaty between the Dominion and the various governments of the Gamma Quadrant. But is anyone really gonna just take the Dominion of all people at their word? They’ve already shown a staggering capacity to breed new troops and build ships. How long would they really stick to their word? If you were any of the larger powers of the Alpha Quadrant, surely you’d want to beef up security around the Wormhole, just in case?

That all leaves poor old Bajor as something of Piggy in the Middle. One presumes there’d have to be some kind of unified presence there, centred on DS9 (which one assumes the Federation would have to fully relinquish back to the Bajoran Government sooner or later).

What of peaceful exploration and trade with the Gamma Quadrant? Surely nobody in their right mind would pass that up?

Discovery and the JJverse, and indeed Enterprise really just bailed on it, instead going back to answer questions that were never actually asked in the first place.

Picard? Well....I’m going to hold off judgement just yet, as we’ve only had one season, and that was as much laying groundwork for the Future Setting as anything else.

But we need those that own the IP to follow up on DS9, and even Voyager’s return. Voyager in particular rocked up with some seriously snacky technology, pilfered from a future that now won’t be - but does anyone in Starfleet know that? And seeing how badass it was against Borg, would they really care?

And we’ve at least two other non-sequel things coming. Section 31 and one about Pike & Number One. Again I do not rule out those shows being good in their own right.

But.....why are they playing in the past, when the future is unwritten?

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Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

Your last sentence is a great question for many a franchise.....

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Made in gb
Princeps of the Emperor's Titan!






Actually.....yeah.

Wasn’t meant to be that profound! But out of the mouth of babes.

Well. I say babes.

More ‘slightly Lardy 40 year old blokes identifying a common trope’.

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SoCal

I’d say it’s because they don’t understand the source material, or why it worked. If you, as an Abrams-type, want to use Trek, you can either put in the work to understand the franchise and why it struck a chord, or you can play memberberry cosplay and hope taking the names and appearances of familiar things will summon the audience.

You could make the Fury Road of Trek, or for far less effort and with the same paycheck you could make the Ghostbusters Answer the Call of Trek.

   
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Dominating Dominatrix






Southeastern PA, USA

It has nothing to do with creators, and a lot to do with the audiences. I doubt there's enough pent-up audience demand for next chapters in stories that ended two decades ago.

Yes, there could be more stories to tell there. But is the hook really that interesting to anyone other than the real diehards? Reboots of TOS or stories about Picard are just much more accessible for more people.

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SoCal

That’s the reasoning, but does it hold up? How many people tuned into Picard who were not already fans of TNG? How much of the reboot’s “success” was due to Trek fans hoping for more Trek rather than non-fans who figured “this time I’ll like it”?

Besides, TNG was a continuation and was the most popular series. Good writing does more to introduce a new audience than any number of reimagining/reboot-gimmicks. Good writing would also develop from the strengths of what came before. A prequel or reboot is pretty much explicitly a tool for writers who know they cannot hope to continue the quality or themes of the existing series, an excuse for bad writing.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
And how accessible was Picard behind a paywall? The idea they were reaching out to casual sci fi fans...with a paywall and a “remember Picard” series doesn’t track.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/06/30 17:21:56


   
Made in gb
Wicked Warp Spider





really wished theyd gone with an anthology show as crowbarring more stuff into already crowded timelines is unwise

plus shorter time commitments might have pulled some of the old guard in, plus with different tones each episode you might get feedback on what folks like to see, you could even stick running background arcs a la Black Mirror

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Southeastern PA, USA

 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
That’s the reasoning, but does it hold up? How many people tuned into Picard who were not already fans of TNG? How much of the reboot’s “success” was due to Trek fans hoping for more Trek rather than non-fans who figured “this time I’ll like it”?

Besides, TNG was a continuation and was the most popular series. Good writing does more to introduce a new audience than any number of reimagining/reboot-gimmicks. Good writing would also develop from the strengths of what came before. A prequel or reboot is pretty much explicitly a tool for writers who know they cannot hope to continue the quality or themes of the existing series, an excuse for bad writing.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
And how accessible was Picard behind a paywall? The idea they were reaching out to casual sci fi fans...with a paywall and a “remember Picard” series doesn’t track.


For starters, "fans of TNG" isn't a homogeneous group...AT ALL. You have a large audience of people who've seen the show or maybe one of the movies, a smaller group that were more regular watchers, and a fairly tiny group of ST diehards. You don't aim expensive entertainment at the most diehard because there's too few of them and they're never happy anyway.

Picard WAS obviously created with moderate to casual fans in mind. That's why it didn't carry a lot of heavy baggage from the series...the stuff you needed to know was easily referenced for the casuals (he got Borged, the Romulan homeworld blow'd up, Data's dead, etc.). Hell, the captain's name was the series title and Stewart's big head was front and center in the ads. The hook was flat-out 'come see Stewart play Picard again' nostalgia.

I honestly don't see how most of the things referenced by MDG would hook most audiences. Yeah, you could theoretically have fantastically written episodes/movies/whatever in that setting featuring some new captain and crew. But what's going to get people to actually give it a try in an era when we're buried in content? Quality writing <> eyeballs. Sure, it's easy for you to say they should roll the dice, because it's not your money. But when millions are on the line and people's jobs are in the balance, it's pretty easy to see why a 'political/social ramifications of TNG/DS9' series is a tough sell.

Turnip Jedi's point is solid...maybe it could make more sense in a Black Mirror-ish format, bringing in different creators, stars, styles, etc. It could actually provide something for everyone that way and explore aspects of that period. Probably wouldn't be the deeper dive that MDG seemed to be asking for, however.


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I don't know. Your argument is predicated on the idea that new stories are somehow a turn off for audiences.

Doc's hooks aren't really important- they can be easter eggs for old viewers, but there isn't any real reason to alta-verse old ground rather than going forward.

Building on what came before can go further than just recycling variations.

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MN

In JJ's defense, his is in an alternate, non-cannon universe.

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SoCal

 Easy E wrote:
In JJ's defense, his is in an alternate, non-cannon universe.


If we really want to defend him, the original universe is a series of nested causality loops if you consider how many times Kirk alone has interfered with his own past. Altering Kirk would naturally alter the course of histories that altered-Kirk will now meddle with differently or not at all. Perhaps Edith Keeler’s untimely demise was postponed, Gary Seven never distracted, etc., and a totally different donor is chosen for the Eugenics program.


But we should know better than to defend JJ by now.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/06/30 23:46:47


   
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Regular Dakkanaut





Armpit of NY

The farther into the future you go, and the more magical the tech becomes, it becomes less relatable as the need for any organic crew at all is a head scratcher at that point.
   
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SoCal

 totalfailure wrote:
The farther into the future you go, and the more magical the tech becomes, it becomes less relatable as the need for any organic crew at all is a head scratcher at that point.


Yeah, the impossibility of writing good stories with advanced technology is why Ian Banks never wrote a successful Culture novel.



   
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Member of the Ethereal Council




USA

See, it all comes down to DS9 and the bang up job of a series that it was.


I think it's also worth nothing that DS9 was written capably. It tackled complex and long running plot lines with ambiguous questions and provided 'Star Trek' answers to those questions. So many shows today try to do that, and end up just being mello-dramatic crap that sounds like it came from some edgy teenagers notebook he doodles in during lunch while smoking a joint by the fire exit.

With Discovery in particular, I often felt like I was watching a Star Trek series that desperately wanted to be anything but a Star Trek series. It's not even that it was bad per se, in retrospect. It just wasn't what I wanted from the franchise. What little I've seen of Picard made me think it was basically the same. An action scifi series that has the Star Trek label on it, but simply isn't Star Trek.

Yet, to date, we’ve had no real follow up to that.


This is probably the most consistent complaint of critics. Everyone wants to know how the Dominion, the Klingon Empire, the Cardassians, Bajor, the Borg and literally everything else turned out. The TNG series might not have been everyone's cup of tea, and had varying quality, but they did build a world and that world has basically been abandoned by all subsequent products. Even Picard, being the first series set after DS9 chronologically, from what I understand did nothing to really follow up on that except to add a really bizarre robot uprising and the Romulans apparently not being as fethed as they're supposed to be.

But.....why are they playing in the past, when the future is unwritten?


Because I honestly believe they just don't want to be writing Star Trek.

I honestly don't see how most of the things referenced by MDG would hook most audiences.


I honestly see this as the opposite. It's like CBS is so obsessed with trying to get old fans to stick around, they're shackling themselves from both angles. They drag up the corpses of the TOS era and Captain Picard to try and convince older fans to come check it out, then present a wildly different tone and style of show. I honestly think they'd have more success if they just picked one direction and went with it. Either make something new and build it to be the new style they seem to want, or make something retro. I could see the argument for either even if one would be my preference. As it is they try to do both and basically produce drivel.

EDIT: And I say this as someone who liked the first JJ reboot, thought it was completely worthy of the brand and people who complained about it were just whiny. Into Darkness was another story. I felt bad for Beyond, mostly because it felt like everyone had finally nailed the formula for success, but no one cared anymore.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/07/01 06:43:09


   
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 gorgon wrote:
It has nothing to do with creators, and a lot to do with the audiences. I doubt there's enough pent-up audience demand for next chapters in stories that ended two decades ago.


The problem with that last sentence is that Star Trek followed DS9/Voyager up with freaking Enterprise instead of another forward moving series. Nemesis was the last movie or film set in the in-universe future until Picard came out. For 18~ years everything was a prequel/alternate universe prequel. None of which received the same level of critical praise or fan acclaim as previous iterations of Star Trek be it film or show. How did that happen?

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Regular Dakkanaut



South Africa

I think the Pickard series was bad on many levels but most importantly the assassination of Pickard's character. If he isn't badass in the next series it'll be a no. I don't need him to be Errol Flynn levels of badass but more like Horatio Nelson "I see no signal" type of guy. If his character arc isn't him rediscovering who he was then solid pass thanks, that isn't Pickard.

Edit this is specific to JJ Trek not Pickard : If I wanted to watch an action flick I'll watch the MCU or such, not MCU-in-Trekverse. While I really liked some the action set pieces as action scenes the draw of Trek has never been flashy, blowy-uppy action. Now I'll admit the Kirk series amd movies were a little campy and the TNG was much better, neither were action movies. Look at something like Fargo and the series. Action can have its place in a more talky-thinky movie but not manic levels. Dont is a even call it Trek then.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2020/07/01 17:51:19


KBK 
   
Made in us
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Fort Worth, TX

 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:

But.....why are they playing in the past, when the future is unwritten?


I feel that if they're going to move forward with Star Trek, they have to do the same thing TNG did: move the timeline forward enough so that there can be very little direct connection with the past shows by having most of those characters be dead so they can't be trotted out for endless guest appearances. As much as I adore the Scotty episode of TNG, we don't need whatever new show comes along to have an episode featuring every TNG/DS9/VOY character whose actor is still alive to play them. Certainly, reference things that have come before, but a helluva lot can happen in 75-100 years, so the events of the Dominion War and destruction of Romulus can be overshadowed by other galactic events.

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