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The terrifying, never-ending (old) Star Trek thread - new movies and Discovery talk in the other, dedicated threads

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Oh, what's everybody's favourite multi-parter? In TNG it has to be Time's Arrow, and I reckon Graham_S would like it too. Gambit is another favourite.

DS9 has those wonderful 3 parters.

I think Trek is at its best when it has the time to spin these kinds of stories out properly.

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Oh, what's everybody's favourite multi-parter? In TNG it has to be Time's Arrow, and I reckon Graham_S would like it too. Gambit is another favourite.

Well, it's surely Best Of Both World's isn't it? That and All Good Things, though that's more of a feature-length finale. TNG doesn't actually have that many great two-parters, I realised when I scanned down the episode list. Time's Arrow and Gambit are decent enough, but DS9 does much better on this front.

I think Chain of Command is probably my next favourite after the two I mentioned. I don't remember much about Redemption (Klingon Civil War) or Unification (Spock) at all.

Descent is fun, but has since been tarnished by Internet critics complaining incessantly that it 'ruined the Borg'. My 14 year old self didn't give a shit about that, and just enjoyed all the shooting. I like a lot of season 7, despite the consensus being that it took a nosedive.

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Both Redemption and Unification are well trekky. Redemption is really where Moore started to get his teeth into Warf and flesh out the Klingon species as something more than primal beasts with a curious knack for building spaceships and it's agonisingly slow and complex and political IIRC. Unification may be my most watched Trek (I seem to recall having a handful of Trek TNG .avis as my only entertainment on an ancient laptop for about 2 months for reasons that elude me now) and I love it because it's Spock at his purest. Quixotic and sincere and incredibly brave. And so convincing as a much older and wiser Spock to the one we followed in ToS.

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I liked the one where David Warner kidnapped Captain Picard so they made Dick Jones the new captain of the Enterprise. The crew spend most of the episode throwing a strop when he actually acts like a military officer and doesn't want to hold a committee in the meeting room and discuss their feelings every time the dilithium crystals have a phase variance, or whatever, and Troi sulks when he tells her she can't turn up for work on the bridge in her pyjamas anymore.

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'Hollow Pursuits' is one of my favourite episodes of TNG. According to Wikipedia it's satire of a certain kind of Trek fan but it's very sympathetically done - Reg Barcley's probably the most human charactor on the Enterprise.

One to watch if you love to hate Wes Crusher too - take a shot every time you want to punch him in the face.

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The Ferengi were never great Villians in the first place, it was a total disaster on that front. Armin Shimmerman was there at the very beginning and he was a large reason why the Feringi went from being crap enemies to comedy gold.

I think the Klingons are more up for debate.

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I never finished DS9, but the Dominion seemed to retain a lot of menace. This is despite the fact that the Jem Hadar - the Dominion's genetically engineered, crack-addicted super soliders - were momentarily nerfed in their first ever episode when Dr Bashir managed to beat one up.

I always liked the Romulans the best. The fact that they were so rarely wheeled out (on TNG at least) meant that they retained a lot of their menace. The Cardassians were good, too.

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Figured I should come back and post my, er, findings.

Firstly, I've stopped reading the thread, so apologies if I've missed any posts directed at me - I'm not ignoring it because of length, but because I started learning things about episodes before I'd seen them and I'd rather go in fresh! Anyway:

I've watched the first twelve episodes of TOS - up to and including The Menagerie (in broadcast order rather than production order, I'm afraid). The Menagerie was interesting, if spoiled a little by the fact I knew the plot (somehow - must have read about it in the past and forgotten about it). Anyway, the short version is that I've really enjoyed what I've watched! TOS is a lot cleverer, and wittier, than I realised. The quality of episodes fluctuates quite a bit, certainly, but all have been enjoyable. The Naked Time, The Enemy Within, Dagger of the Mind and The Corbomite Maneuver were all brilliant pieces of TV (I loved the twist regarding the awful alien special effect in the latter in particular).

In an attempt to lure my better half over I've also watched The Trouble With Tribbles (cute furry things and general silliness seemed a good starting point) - and strike me down if it wasn't surprisingly fun! I'd always assumed it would just be a naff episode, but it's actually really good fun! Also amused by the simple design of the pre-TNG Klingons, but that's just me.

In summary: I'm glad I started with TOS. I'm really enjoying it so far, and hope it can keep up the quality through its three seasons :)

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Trek has a long history of ruining its villains, starting with the Klingons. One of the great sci-fi plot devices is having something so alien it's unknowable, Rendezvous With Rama, Excession etc. Trek took Klingons, Ferengi, Borg and more and they turned out all to be Just Like Us Really When You Get Down To It, You Racist.

I suppose they are literally just like us... many of the alien species in Star Trek can mate with humans. You can have half-human Klingons, Romulans, Vulcans, Cardassians, Bajorans, Betazoids, and so on. Humans must be genetically closer to these alien species than we are to apes on our own planet. Think about that. You can't shag a gorilla and expect it to give birth to a half-human-half-gorilla... but you can shag a Cardassian (but can you shag a Kardashian? That's the question...)

Someone will remind me of the episode where they discover that all of these species began in the same place and were sent to different planets. But I still think it's a bit effed up.

Since this post is kind of stupid, I'll end with an interesting non-sequiter. From wikipedia: "Initially, Sirtis/Troi was planned as the eye-candy of the show. Gene Roddenberry intended her to have four breasts, before his wife told him this was a poor idea."

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Obviously cross-species hybrids are merely a story telling device, and they've tried to explain it as a result of all bi-peds in the galaxy being 'seeded' with the same DNA by a superior alien race, but I also recall an episode of Enterprise where it was suggested that inter-species breeding did require a medical intervention for it to work

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This thread reminded me someone on here sent me a copy of Michael Piller's unreleased book about the writing of Star Trek: Insurrection (different ideas, different drafts, what went wrong, etc) and stories from writing other Trek too (he started as a staff writer on S3 of TNG, progressed to head writer and left during Voyager). So far it's pretty interesting.

RODDENBERRY’S BOX

When I surf the net or read letters to the editor in some genre magazine, I often come across complaints from fans who say that Star Trek really needs to get “some new writing blood in there”.

They’re absolutely right.

In fact, recruiting new talent was one of my priorities when I was producing the television shows. I scheduled pitches from free-lance writers every day and required my staff writers to do the same. Hearing new voices and fresh ideas, in my opinion, kept the franchise vital. The Star Trek series were the only television shows in town that encouraged amateur submissions of speculative teleplays (if they were accompanied by legal releases that protected the studio from lawsuits). Thousands were submitted. Everyone was read. I looked at every synopsis and analysis myself. Ninety-nine out a hundred were not what we were looking for. But that last one made the search worthwhile. We discovered several writers through the process.

A writing assignment for a Star Trek movie would certainly attract all sorts of good writers with credentials in feature films. Why then wouldn’t the studio and Rick Berman seek out “new blood” to write the next Star Trek movie instead of giving it to another old television warhorse like me?

The answer can be found in Roddenberry’s Box.

I happen to like the box. A lot of writers don’t. In fact, I think it’s fair to say, most writers who have worked on Star Trek over the years would like to throw the box away. It may surprise you to learn that when I took over as head writer, the entire writing staff of Star Trek: The Next Generation was so frustrated and angry with Gene Roddenberry they were counting the days before their contracts expired (and indeed every one of them left at season’s end.) He wouldn’t let them out of the box and they were suffocating.

My first time in Roddenberry’s Box was during the very first episode I worked on as head writer. We were already in production of season three, four shows were finished, twenty-two still to do. There were no scripts and no stories to shoot the following week. Desperate, I bought a spec script that had been sent in from an amateur writer named Ron Moore who was about to enlist in the U.S. Navy. It was a rough teleplay called “The Bonding” and would require a lot of reworking but I liked the idea. A female Starfleet officer is killed in an accident and her child, overcome with grief, bonds with a holographic recreation of his mother rather than accept her death.

I sent a short description of the story to Rick and Gene. Minutes later, I was called to an urgent meeting in Gene’s office. “This doesn’t work” he said. “In the Twenty-Fourth Century, no one grieves. Death is accepted as part of life.”

As I shared the dilemma with the other staff writers, they took a bit of pleasure from my loss of virginity, all of them having already been badly bruised by rejections from Gene. Roddenberry was adamant that Twenty-Fourth Century man would evolve past the petty emotional turmoil that gets in the way of our happiness today. Well, as any writer will tell you, "emotional turmoil‟, petty and otherwise, is at the core of any good drama. It creates conflict between characters. But Gene didn’t want conflict between our characters. “All the problems of mankind have been solved,” he said. “Earth is a paradise.”

Now, go write drama.

He then goes on to explain how they changed the concept so it worked with that vision of the 24th century.

Uploaded here if anyone else fancies reading it: http://www.mediafire.com/?anvhmjvt4xsr7hs

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Best of Both Worlds Part 1.

Poor!

I'd heard good things from you guys about this one, but boy was I disappointed. It's astonishing how dated it all is, with some of it being only borderline competent. TV has improved so much in the meantime. This is only 1990, for goodness sake. Goodfellas came out that year! A lot of the acting is just bad. The new woman who is battling with Riker is unwatchable. You rarely see a terrible actor in a decent US TV series these days.

I don't find the Borg scary or interesting. Which is a shame, as I have good memories of First Contact, and the S&M relationship between the hot ladyborg and Picard. They remind my wife of the Terrahawks.

The big cliffhanger wasn't so exciting, although I bet Picard and his new shoulder laser made a good action figure.

The only bright spot was the shots of the Enterprise orbiting a planet. It's such a lovely ship design, and I can't get enough of those exterior shots. The Borg cube looks less convincing nowadays. The space shots kind of show up some of the rest of the production design. So many interiors are dull and look fake.

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Oh dear! Interesting that you felt the quality was so different to Yesterday's Enterprise. Are you going to press on with part 2? I feel as though we'e losing you.

I watched an episode recommended earlier called 'A Matter of Perspective'. It was a court case type thing using the holodeck to recreate various different accounts of the same events, with Riker attempting to prove that he didn't murder this scientist dude and attempt to rape his wife (it's lighter than it sounds). I didn't remember a single thing about it. Really enjoyed it though! The plot was surprisingly good and it had Don Salamanca from Breaking Bad in.

I love those TNG guys.

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I didn't remember a single thing about it. Really enjoyed it though!

I can usually remember the bulk of the episode but I regularly watch random episodes and completely forget how they get out of the problem in the end. That's what makes them so rewatchable for me.

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Exactly. It was like you turned on Star Trek, but instead of Geordie having relationship problems with a hologram or something there was an unstoppable alien cube flying around blowing up half of Starfleet and generally fucking shit up. We hadn't seen any of the later Borg stuff where they went soft yet.

That woman was awful, though.

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