Let’s see what’s out there
September 22, 2017 9:39 AM   Subscribe

With Star Trek: Discovery, CBS Discovers That TV Ain't Easy Anymore - CBS All Access is about to have it's most important day ever this Sunday. As for the show itself, a review embargo has raised fears of a stinker, but reportedly early reactions are good.
posted by Artw (179 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've stated before that my main concern with this show is that it will be more of an extension of the Abrams films that of TV trek. I do hope I'm wrong, but I do not have terribly high hopes given the troubled status and the network pinning it's hopes on this saving their streaming model.
posted by Ferreous at 9:46 AM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Whatever it ends up being it's explicitly not an extension of movie-Trek or the movie-Trek timeline.
posted by Artw at 9:51 AM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Oh I understand that, I meant more in terms of tone than in actual timeline.
posted by Ferreous at 9:52 AM on September 22, 2017


Yeah, difficult to get a read on that. So far everything is as much Mass Effect as it is Abrams though.
posted by Artw at 9:54 AM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


My main concern with this show is how the frig am I going to watch it without subscribing to yet another goddamned streaming service?
posted by tobascodagama at 9:56 AM on September 22, 2017 [54 favorites]


I'd be interested to see if perhaps the streaming model fails for cbs then trek could either die, or get bumped over to the broadcast arm as a less "premium" style show.
posted by Ferreous at 9:59 AM on September 22, 2017


I want to be optimistic about this show. I am excited that Trek is going to be living up more closely to the ideas of diversity and inclusion.

However, there are some major points of concern for me. First, putting the show on CBS's own streaming service seems like a great way to make sure that few people see it. If you don't care about CBS's other shows, the incentive to sign up and continue to use the service is not high.

Second, why did the creative staff decide to do another prequel series of a show that has a fanbase notoriously immersed in the minutia of cannon? As the article--and staff--have noted, the outcome is a foregone conclusion, in a sense: The Federation survives into the 24th century. Why not do a story set after Voyager and explore the implications of the damage done to the Borg or Species 8472? Why not explore how relations with the Dominion, Cardassia, and Bajor have turned out? I think there's so much that modern shows opened up that would be great to look into, rather than again revisiting pre-TOS Trek.

Finally, the issue of the production schedule and apparent turnover in the creative staff. That's concerning because a lack of continuity there could lead to problems with the structure of the narrative and/or unevenness in the production.

I want to watch Discovery, but I'm definitely weary, even though I'm excited about how they chose to cast the show. I hope the creative staff will prove that they were up to the challenge they took on.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 10:00 AM on September 22, 2017 [20 favorites]


I'm with tobascodagama, I don't need another service. I really don't know what made CBS think that launching another service was a good idea. They should have just inked a deal with Amazon or Netflix instead. But no, some suits thought the cash cow would be in streaming. I got news for you. CBS ain't Disney and even The Mouse, with all its content, is going to have a really hard time making a go of it in this market and this economy. It's like they want to encourage piracy.

I wish this show was taking place after Voyager in terms of timeline/canon. This prequel shit is just chicken shit. C'mon, let's go boldly forward.

[Edit - I see the good Cardinal is covering my concerns.]
posted by Ber at 10:01 AM on September 22, 2017 [14 favorites]


Concur with Ber and Excommunicated Cardinal: the show should be set in the future of the timeline, rather than the past. I don't want to be locked into what we already know is the basic shape of Federation history.
posted by suelac at 10:06 AM on September 22, 2017 [6 favorites]


I think the decision to go with streaming makes perfect sense, just keeping in mind their goal isn't to launch a successful trek series, but to launch a successful streaming service. It seems like a long-shot, but if it's a long-shot to help lay the foundation for the next Netflix, CBS is gonna take that risk any day of the week. I have no idea if it's gonna work, but unless I start hearing from all over the place how this Trek is fucking awesome, I'm not gonna see it. I mean, I didn't subscribe to Hulu and they had what was widely acclaimed as the best show of the year (Handmaiden's Tale).
posted by skewed at 10:08 AM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


I suspect I'll end up just buying it on Amazon if it looks good, since I have that already. That said Amazon Cideo is all about directing you away from buying/renting videos and on to subscribing to "channels" these days.
posted by Artw at 10:11 AM on September 22, 2017


Seems like every network and studio is working on their own subscription service. If anything, CBS is ahead of the curve here, using a new Star Trek series as bait.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:12 AM on September 22, 2017


CBS ain't Disney and even The Mouse, with all its content, is going to have a really hard time making a go of it in this market and this economy.

Yeah, I am very interested in a new Star Trek series, but there is not the slightest, tiniest chance that I will subscribe to a CBS service to watch it. Hell, I have a three-year-old, and am elbows-deep planning a trip to Disney World for next year, the price of which could have bought most of a new K-car in 1988, and I don't think I could be enticed to subscribe to Mouseflix, either.

Service fragmentation is a problem that's only getting bigger, and the solution will probably be, surprise, bundling, which looks an awful lot like cable. For the content providers who survive, anyway.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:12 AM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


It turns out the glorious a la carte channel alternative to cable we've been dreaming of for years is in fact shitty
posted by Ferreous at 10:13 AM on September 22, 2017 [48 favorites]


Well, if the main problem there was paying money for a thing you want amongst a bunch of stuff you don't want a streaming service for CBS shows is not really the solution.
posted by Artw at 10:16 AM on September 22, 2017 [10 favorites]


Disney on the hand, have a lot of stuff everyone wants. I suspect they could actually pull this off. Hell, they will probably be tempted to subfragment.
posted by Artw at 10:17 AM on September 22, 2017


Second, why did the creative staff decide to do another prequel series

This was 100% Bryan Fuller's call. Originally he wanted to do an anthology Trek, with each season taking place in a different era, but CBS (rightly, in my opinion) nixed that idea as too risky for a franchise that, charitably speaking, hasn't been on firm creative ground in almost 2 decades.

So, once they did, Fuller decided to set it pre-TOS because he wanted to explore something mentioned but never seen. What is that? Well, we're about to find out.
posted by Automocar at 10:20 AM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


Disney actually does pretty good cable-attached streaming right now. Honestly the number of networks with decent streaming apps is one thing that’s kept me on cable (live baseball is the other).

If Disney drops their support for cable-tied apps it’ll be interesting to see how cable providers respond.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:22 AM on September 22, 2017


It turns out the glorious a la carte channel alternative to cable we've been dreaming of for years is in fact shitty

CON!
posted by hal9k at 10:22 AM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


For those vaguely technically minded with Netflix, it'll be on UK Netflix on the 25th. So if you have a VPN, or can find a free one, this may be an option.
posted by macapes at 10:23 AM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Well I am really looking forward to this. Happily i only have to wait till Monday for it to make it to netflix.
posted by biffa at 10:25 AM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


TBH I'm not sure going later in setting gets you all that much - implausibly shiny tech becomes even more implausibly shiny tech! Does that change anything in terms of the stories you can tell?

I mean, I guess arguably it makes any story with a federation-ending threat more dramatic because you don't "know" how it'll end up, but Enterprise managed to do it's whole Zindi plot just fine.
posted by Artw at 10:25 AM on September 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


It'll be easy enough to watch if you don't mind not paying CBS or contributing to the continuation of the show. Sadly, a failure in bringing in new All Access subs will be seen as the show's failure, no matter how it turns out. At the price they are asking, they aren't going to get the numbers they want. If it was half the price it might work out, but as is they're both fucked, at least in the US.
posted by wierdo at 10:25 AM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


> I mean, I guess arguably it makes any story with a federation-ending threat more dramatic because you don't "know" how it'll end up, but Enterprise managed to do it's whole Zindi plot just fine.


Fine is a debatable term for trek goes 24 all over america's ass.
posted by Ferreous at 10:27 AM on September 22, 2017 [7 favorites]


I wasn't that excited about a new Star Trek but when I saw this interview Stephen Colbert did with Sonequa Martin-Green, she was so charismatic I might sign up for a streaming service! I guess you would already know about her if you know the Walking Dead, which I don't. So my plan is to watch all of Star Trek and The Good Wife sequel over a couple of months and cancel the service again.

Then I'll have something to do between Brooklyn 99 episodes.

The free CBS streaming service was so bad I am a bit apprehensive about All Access. $5.99 to watch with ads is pretty annoying.
posted by Emmy Rae at 10:27 AM on September 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


tobascodagama, Ber:

If you live in the United States, in a reasonably populous area, you're probably within the coverage area of a CBS affiliate, who will be streaming the show in digital format somewhere in the UHF band, free for anyone to receive, like some bunch of godless communists.

To receive this stream, if you have a TV with an antenna in jack, you'll need some sort of antenna, like this one or the one that might have come with the unit and is sitting still in the box. If you don't have a TV like that, you can buy a USB dongle that'll plug into any pc and which you can use for all kinds of fun stuff when you're not watching Star Trek on it.

I stg, when did people forget that broadcast television is still a thing?
posted by 7segment at 10:29 AM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Is it correct to assume that its on Netflix everywhere except North America?
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:29 AM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


when did people forget that broadcast television is still a thing?

They're putting one episode of it out on broadcast then hiding it away on All Access after that.
posted by Artw at 10:30 AM on September 22, 2017 [10 favorites]


Is it correct to assume that it's on Netflix everywhere except North America?

Correct. Space in Canada.
posted by Automocar at 10:31 AM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


It turns out the glorious a la carte channel alternative to cable we've been dreaming of for years is in fact shitty

Not quite? Amazon Video lets you buy a show, or a season pass, for that specific show. CBS' streaming model is bundling a bunch of shows you don't want to watch with the one show you do. Unlike HBO and Starz, or even now Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu, who are all generating exclusive content, CBS has one show exclusive to their service as well as a broadcast channel. How are they going to keep both going?

when did people forget that broadcast television is still a thing?

Younger people have, but regardless, ST:D (did anyone not realize this would be the shorthand for this show?!) is on a streaming channel CBS is launching. Hence, the dilemma I present above: this is basically competition for their broadcast shows -- I struggle to figure out the business model reasoning that would make this a win for CBS.
posted by linux at 10:32 AM on September 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


Fucking assholes. Thanks Artw.
posted by 7segment at 10:32 AM on September 22, 2017


Full details:

Here are all the details on how to watch the premiere of "Star Trek: Discovery." After Sunday, Sept. 24, all episodes will air exclusively on CBS All Access each Sunday.

* Date: Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017
* Time: 8:30 p.m. ET/PT, 7:30 p.m. CT (time approximate following NFL Football and 60 Minutes)
* On TV: Watch the premiere on CBS, check your local listings
* Online: Watch the premiere and the second episode on CBS All Access

posted by Artw at 10:35 AM on September 22, 2017


Honestly, even as someone who's "notoriously immersed in the minutiae of canon", what I really want at the end of the day is a show that's fun to watch and throws in a little food for thought while it's at it. Breaking Bad would still have been an excellent show even if it had been set ten years or so earlier and you knew that the United States would still exist at the end of it--oh, wait, they actually did (and are doing) that show, it's called Better Call Saul and it's excellent and I don't mind paying for the individual show itself and waiting ten months or so between seasons. (Well, I do mind the last part a bit, but I'm willing to stay with it regardless.) With this, if the premiere hooks me, I'll probably sign up for CBSAA... at least long enough for the season to run. Not sure what would keep me signed up all year, though.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:38 AM on September 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


CBS is buying Australian broadcaster Channel Ten.

I haven't watched it in years, but Ten just does sport and excruciatingly bad reality TV. I watched it's evening news once and I swear, 50% of it was about sport and reality TV. They use the news to promote their shitty programming! Just awful very bad stuff.

Why would you want to buy a TV station in 2017? At the same time as taking on Amazon and Netflix? And sacrifice your solid gold IP with the guaranteed fanbase on that altar? Someone at CBS has rocks in their head.
posted by adept256 at 10:39 AM on September 22, 2017


Time: 8:30 p.m. ET/PT, 7:30 p.m. CT (time approximate following NFL Football and 60 Minutes)

This here is a killer. CBS never cuts 60 Minutes short; instead, they just delay it by some arbitrary number of minutes. This wreaks havoc with timed recordings.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:41 AM on September 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


time approximate

God, this show has no chance
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:43 AM on September 22, 2017 [13 favorites]


For a show that is supposedly all all important they sure do like to fuck around with it.
posted by Artw at 10:45 AM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


Honestly, I think the streaming-only thing is half to placate some braindead suit who has a major hardon for this doomed-to-fail streaming service and half because some reactionary dipshit in the chain of command didn't have enough power to cancel a show that was pitched as "Star Trek with even more diverse casting than usual" but does have enough power to shuffle it around so he can pretend that it failed on its own merits and what we really need now is to Make Television White Again, guys.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:46 AM on September 22, 2017 [14 favorites]


Ray Walston, Luck Dragon: "time approximate

God, this show has no chance
"

Every sunday show in the fall has been "time approximate" since forever.
posted by octothorpe at 10:56 AM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


The thing most compelling me to be optimistic about it is that they've said they're basing Klingon society on "The Final Reflection" by John M. Ford. If someone in charge has (a) read that book and (b) understood what makes it amazing, there is hope.
posted by kyrademon at 10:56 AM on September 22, 2017 [12 favorites]


TBH I'm not sure going later in setting gets you all that much - implausibly shiny tech becomes even more implausibly shiny tech! Does that change anything in terms of the stories you can tell?

Good Trek stories aren't really about the tech, though, as your comment rightly implies. No matter the era, you're still off in the realm of science fantasy--replicators, FTL, telepathy, etc. Technobabble, as a plot driving/resolution device, is a weakness that crops up in all the shows from time to time, some more than others.

I think writing for Trek is probably pretty difficult, whatever era you pick--c.f. discussions around whether DS9 held with the spirit of Gene's vision. I think, though, that setting it in the past opens up the nitpicking about canon to a greater degree, as well as debates about whether the show is 'really' Trek.

I think another advantage of the future would be incorporating elements of our technological lives that have become common place in the 30 years since TNG began its run. The past of the show is set such that it could be difficult to retcon our present knowledge into the show.

Some other interesting ideas for a future show might be--what happens if there's an Omega particle explosion that messes with warp travel? Or similarly, the deleterious effects of warp travel explored in TNG's Forces of Nature gets out of control? What would happen in the Federation if the existence of Section 31 got out and citizens started learning about their actions during the Dominion War--how would that change the Federation? How does the Federation effectively cope with Starfleet members traumatized after the Dominion War? There's just so so much fertile ground for post-Voyager Trek that I get really excited thinking up ideas.

This is all my opinion, and there are so many ways to feel about Trek! I love talking about those differences, so nothing I say should be construed as an attack on the validity of anyone's opinion about the franchise.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 10:59 AM on September 22, 2017 [14 favorites]


ZeusHumms: "This wreaks havoc with timed recordings."

Only because the TV folks never implemented broadcast flags (because then we'd be able to skip commercials fully automatically instead of semi-auto [ = programming the Tivo remote to jump forward 30 seconds when I hit the button {I'm assuming you other Tivo owners all did that too?}])

RE: setting: the issue with setting Trek shows before TOS is making the tech look convincingly futuristic, while simultaneously making it look more primitive than that used on TOS decades ago. Not an easy line to toe.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:05 AM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


The thing these companies don't understand is that the reason Netflix got rich is because they were offering one finite small price to watch everything, not just because we could stream. I won't get multiple streaming services, because by forcing me to get multiple streaming services, it isn't giving me what I want, which is one streaming service where everything is.

I'll pay about $10-$20 a month for that, but no more. So once I reach that limit, I'm done. If everyone goes to having their own separate streaming services, I just won't have a service at all. Which means I probably won't be watching this new Trek, despite it being basically made for me.
posted by corb at 11:05 AM on September 22, 2017 [10 favorites]


I'm not sure I understand the arguments about streaming services. Competition is better than monopoly, CBS is kind of valid to want to enter a new market, so assuming people ideologically believe in IP of which Star Trek is an instance of then there's really no problem in that regard. The question to be answered in these instances is how are customer/consumers/commons being exploited or alternatively how microeconomic welfare/surplus is not being allocated fairly. A company entering a market and seeing barriers to entry is not the real cause of that.
posted by polymodus at 11:07 AM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


There's so much TV to watch right now that I'm fine with waiting until I can buy the whole season for $20 on Amazon or Google Play rather than pay $8 to CBS every month for one show.
posted by octothorpe at 11:10 AM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


or similarly, the deleterious effects of warp travel explored in TNG's Forces of Nature gets out of control?

Heh. Pretty sure they are never revisiting that one.
posted by Artw at 11:19 AM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure I understand the arguments about streaming services.

Mainly because companies want to squeeze every last drop out of everyone. It is getting ridiculous. It has nothing to do with "competition", who the heck are they competing against? You aren't going to choose CBS streaming over anything else. They want you to buy their thing on top of everything else. If there was actual competition, there would be other netflix-like streaming services with netflix-like choice, more like competing cable companies and satellite service providers who all have pretty well the same damn thing.

I'm with everyone else who thinks this is bunkum. I already pay for internet, satellite teevee, and netflix. I am not going to start adding additional streaming services on top of that.

Mind you, I live in Canada so I'm going to just watch STD on Space.

(Oh man, I just noticed that acronym. STD. Did they actually bother to think it through at all when they named this show? )
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:21 AM on September 22, 2017 [5 favorites]


well it seems like video streaming services are becoming less "let us get the rights for most everything and you pay us to see what you want" which is what Netflixx started as and is what lets Netflix get away with a $9 price point and more "cable channel you can buy individually and access online" which is largely what Netflix's competitors are managing to accomplish. Which people aren't as willing to pay nearly so much for. I'd pay, say, $3 a month for a channel that had a show on it I liked easy, but $8 starts to get a bit iffy.

Netflix on the other hand is kind of getting forced to become more a content producer of its own, because IP holders think they can get a bigger share of the pie by making their own streaming service, like Disney does. This does not immediately seem to be benefiting consumers as it seems like it's mostly IP rights holders trying to figure out the best way to nickel and dime people to get their maximum income.
posted by Zalzidrax at 11:22 AM on September 22, 2017 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure I understand the arguments about streaming services. Competition is better than monopoly...The question to be answered in these instances is how are customer/consumers/commons being exploited or alternatively how microeconomic welfare/surplus is not being allocated fairly. A company entering a market and seeing barriers to entry is not the real cause of that.

I'd take issue with your underlying framing: CBS has a monopoly on new Star Trek shows. Disney has a monopoly on new Star Wars media. These entertainment companies are leveraging those IP monopolies to split apart streaming services and drive up costs to consumers.

Right now, I can pay for Netlfix and get old Star Trek episodes. If CBS pulls Star Trek out of Netflix and goes all-in on their new service, I have to pay for two services. That costs more money than one service, or I have to give up one service and have fewer viewing options.

That's exactly what's already happening with Disney and Netflix: consumers are being forced to pick between paying more per month or losing access to media that they previously had. Disney has a monopoly on Disney movies; no one is allowed to compete with them and offer a better streaming for Disney movie unless Disney okays that first.

If we had unbundled streaming that allowed different streaming services to compete on quality of life issues -- how good are their recommendation algorithms? do they have easy-to-use UIs? can they find obscure stuff and bring it to light? -- and allowed those services to, say, all offer old Star Treks without needing to license them (but with their needing to pay for them in some fashion), I think that it would be more reasonable to call this true competition. Right now, it isn't: the biggest barrier to entry isn't being good at providing a streaming service -- it's obtaining the rights to provide things to consumers on that service. And those rights are monopolistic.
posted by cjelli at 11:22 AM on September 22, 2017 [14 favorites]


Second, why did the creative staff decide to do another prequel series of a show that has a fanbase notoriously immersed in the minutia of cannon?

I've heard a lot of people grumbling about this, and I have to say, it never even occurred to me that this ought to bother me. Is it just because Enterprise was so shitty? Before Enterprise aired, were people salty about it being a prequel?

I'm not saying I don't care what happens after the eras we've seen, but on the list of things I care about in Trek shows, "what happens next, galactically speaking" has never been particularly high. Probably that's because I grew up watching TNG and DS9 and VOY (like, literally grew up watching - TNG first aired two months before I was born), and only went back to watch TOS and rewatch DS9 as an adult.

So for me, 90s Trek was never "what the galaxy went on to look like after TOS." It was just Star Trek, and TOS was an interesting comparison to those shows, while DS9-as-an-adult was a fun revelation - wow, there's even more to like here than I remember! (I also remember being excited about the idea of Enterprise and then watching maybe one episode and ditching it, but the time it took place in wasn't among my issues with it.)

What I want out of a Trek show is:

1) for it to feel like a Trek show
2) for it to do something at least slightly interestingly new with the premise
2) for it to mostly not suck

Beyond that, I'm not too fussed.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:26 AM on September 22, 2017 [12 favorites]


I still feel like a show set 10-20 years post-Voyager would (and still could, in the future) be brilliant. The collapse of the Borg as a major power and the resulting Delta-quadrant power vacuum... add to that the possibility of the Federation seizing upon Borg transwarp hub technology (and maybe also the Hirogen astrometric arrays) to utterly transform FTL travel, and all of a sudden you have a million different stories you can tell, bringing previously-encountered alien races into contact with one another to tell fresh stories, like Deep Space Nine but everywhere, all at once.
posted by duffell at 11:32 AM on September 22, 2017 [22 favorites]


I swear that made sense in my brain.
posted by duffell at 11:34 AM on September 22, 2017 [8 favorites]


Every sunday show in the fall has been "time approximate" since forever.

Yeah, but this show is only going to be on network once, and it's the hook to get people to follow the show to a proprietary streaming service.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:45 AM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure I understand the arguments about streaming services. Competition is better than monopoly, CBS is kind of valid to want to enter a new market

Well, nobody is saying it should be forbidden or anything. But two things.

First, it understandably frustrates consumers, who generally prefer simplicity. I mean, it would be fine (or even kinda cool) if CBS announced that they were going to show the pilot and then the rest of the season would be available for "purchase" on amazon, itunes, and disc starting 1 October, because then we're just going to the same marketplaces we go to all the time to satisfy our electronic media desires. Likewise, it would be fine if they just sold it to netflix or amazon or hulu in the US too, since we're already using those. This middle ground of "Here's another thing you have to get and install and deal with" is just another frustration to deal with. It would be frustrating even if it were just another marketplace, like Steam vs Origin, because we often consume these media in ways such that we'd like the full menu of choice to be available at once.

Second, it's just sort of stupid in that short-sighted way that Hollywood keeps fucking itself over (by offering worse products for more money) in the longer term because it wants to make another buck in the nearest term. Here's the honest way I look at this: just downloading from the internet and throwing it onto my Kodi box is probably going to be easier than setting up their stupid service. AYUND, I won't have to worry about just how zealously CBS guards my financial information.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:46 AM on September 22, 2017 [7 favorites]


I still feel like a show set 10-20 years post-Voyager would (and still could, in the future) be brilliant. The collapse of the Borg as a major power and the resulting Delta-quadrant power vacuum... add to that the possibility of the Federation seizing upon Borg transwarp hub technology (and maybe also the Hirogen astrometric arrays) to utterly transform FTL travel, and all of a sudden you have a million different stories you can tell, bringing previously-encountered alien races into contact with one another to tell fresh stories, like Deep Space Nine but everywhere, all at once.

You could also do big new stuff, like, what would happen if a plague decimated Klingon and forced significant culture changes as a result? What if a coup in Romulus produced a rapprochement with the Federation, but the Vulcans were fundamentally opposed due to historical reasons, teachings of Surak, etc? What if there's a competing Federation that has coherent, but very different ideals about inter-species autonomy, or is highly interventionist in young civilizations? What if the trans-warp drive creates instability in subspace, stranding parts of the galaxy so that travel above light speed becomes impossible?
posted by leotrotsky at 11:49 AM on September 22, 2017 [10 favorites]


Talk more nerdy to me duffell 👌
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:54 AM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


$6 a month to stream a show about a post-scarcity future? The cognitive dissonance might kill me.
posted by peeedro at 11:55 AM on September 22, 2017 [13 favorites]


Man, I hope we get Jeffrey Combs again. Shran! Brunt! Weyoun! All in one handsome package!
posted by duffell at 11:56 AM on September 22, 2017 [5 favorites]


I think the only hope Trek has is to do the evil universe with the original characters (different actors, of course). This would pit Spock vs Kirk with Spock working to undermine the empire from within.
posted by Beholder at 11:57 AM on September 22, 2017


I've heard a lot of people grumbling about this, and I have to say, it never even occurred to me that this ought to bother me. Is it just because Enterprise was so shitty? Before Enterprise aired, were people salty about it being a prequel?

I don't think people are opposed to prequels on principle, so much as frustrated that the last three incarnations of the franchise have been: prequel series, movie reboots, and now yet another prequel series.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:05 PM on September 22, 2017 [6 favorites]


I still feel like a show set 10-20 years post-Voyager would (and still could, in the future) be brilliant. The collapse of the Borg as a major power and the resulting Delta-quadrant power vacuum... add to that the possibility of the Federation seizing upon Borg transwarp hub technology (and maybe also the Hirogen astrometric arrays) to utterly transform FTL travel, and all of a sudden you have a million different stories you can tell, bringing previously-encountered alien races into contact with one another to tell fresh stories, like Deep Space Nine but everywhere, all at once.

Can tell you exactly how I'd want this to go:
1. Federation absorbs all that Borg tech and ratchats up a level on the galactic tech tree, especially in propulsion and AI
2. A still-hanging-around Data teams up with the Voyager holographic doctor to campaign for AI citizenship and rights
3. Starfleet quietly starts building ginormous ships piloted by superpowerful AIs made possible by all the Borg tech assimilation; the ship AIs delight in giving themselves ironic names
4. Most of federation society spends its time on hedonism and self-fulfillment, but a small core of people (and sentient machines) are still interested in exploration and diplomacy; a smaller subsection of those people get involved in usually-under-the-radar intervention in contacted societies

Seems like there's a good story or two in there somewhere
posted by the phlegmatic king at 12:14 PM on September 22, 2017 [41 favorites]


I'm opposed to prequels on principal. I can't think of any that I've ever enjoyed.

Prequels represent creative bankruptcy. Instead of finding new stories to tell, they retell the same stories. Instead of making new characters and settings while expanding a fictional universe, they dive into minutia, backstory, and fan service about existing characters and settings.
posted by Laura Palmer's Cold Dead Kiss at 12:17 PM on September 22, 2017 [7 favorites]


TBH I'm not sure going later in setting gets you all that much - implausibly shiny tech becomes even more implausibly shiny tech! Does that change anything in terms of the stories you can tell?

Sentient holocrew, droids with internal replicators, holodecks. How about, there's absolutely no reason to send orgsnic crew out on starships? And if they did for some reason have a minimal human crew on starships, then there only needs to be one deck, made of a holodeck. Crew will not need to man the bridge or other stations, hell even need to see each other at all unless they go on planet.

NextGen started with a major probem in that they had to ignore 80% of the implications of their technology; after Voyager the setting should more resemble the Culture than Trek, with similar problems in making believable challenges.
posted by happyroach at 12:19 PM on September 22, 2017 [6 favorites]


They'll never do it but I'll keep on mentioning it in the hopes that some producer or writer will read it and make it happen.

I'd love to see Star Trek from a completely Klingon, Vulcan or Cardassian point of view. The entire show from their perspective. Set it a couple thousand years in the future. We're now in a post-human universe. Humans still exist, but we're marginal. The federation doesn't exist. It collapsed and we now live in their universe.

The makeup/wardrobe budget would be off the rails but I'd pay so much money to watch something like this. There's so much you could do with this story.
posted by Fizz at 12:24 PM on September 22, 2017 [10 favorites]


I also don't favor the prequelishness. It seems kind of timid, like they don't have confidence if they don't have established canon to aim toward. But I'm cautiously hopeful it will have the best parts of Trek DNA plus a substantial budget for spaceship shots.

Wasn't Supergirl supposed to be CBS All Access streambait when it premiered? Then they immediately put it on broadcast, then shipped it off to CW. Now they're trying again with STD, but people are so worried that it will suck because of all the problems it's had that it seems like it's going to have a hard time getting people to invest in the streaming service.

My plan is to watch the broadcast premiere, then when maybe halfway through the season sign up for a month and binge all the episodes so far, then cancel (unless there's something else really awesome on there, but I'm not really into the Good Wife/Good Fight universe, and apart from that I'm not sure what else it offers besides old episodes of all the CBS shows). I haven't looked into the terms, but I suppose their pricing structure might be designed to discourage people from doing what I'm planning.

In my non-expert opinion, they need to properly launch it with a diverse range of high-quality exclusive programming so it feels like a worthy content source. As it is it feels more like a mini-storage unit with a couple new items inside.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 12:27 PM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Also, too, the people who want a post-Voyager Trek should know that that's the premise of Star Trek Online, which is now F2P. Granted, that's not the same as a dramatic series, but it does have some former franchise actors doing VA for it.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:32 PM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


TBH I'm not sure going later in setting gets you all that much - implausibly shiny tech becomes even more implausibly shiny tech!

That's an interesting point from a stylistic/production design point of view. It seems like audiences want grimier tech with exposed bolt heads and more surface detail and texture than the Apple Store aesthetic the Federation seems to have been moving toward. It would be difficult to move the timeline forward but the aesthetic of the tech backward.

I'd prefer it not to be a prequel though. I'm neither a fan nor a hater of the nuTrek design style (although I don't care for the set designs generally, I mean the Enterprise engine room was bullshirt) but the design of the original Enterprise still takes my breath away.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 12:35 PM on September 22, 2017


I'd take issue with your underlying framing: CBS has a monopoly on new Star Trek shows. Disney has a monopoly on new Star Wars media.

Personally, I am not invested enough in any franchise for that type of monopoly to hit me too hard - I'm more interested in a streaming service that has cool shows that aren't all just white guys triumphing. (If I were a parent I could see the Disney thing being a struggle.) The more effort they put into supporting diverse content, the more interested I am in subscribing. Netflix has a lot of good stuff in that regard but I hate paying money to an organization that pays Adam Sandler to make movies. For that reason alone I'd like it to have a major competitor.

I have no relationship with broadcast TV since I don't have a TV. I know that's a cliche, but I am not saying I don't watch TV - I just don't have one. Everything is on that little MacBook screen.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:39 PM on September 22, 2017


I dunno. The time period it is taking place in doesn't bother me. I guess I don't think of it as a prequel so much as a show situated in a specific time period in the Star Trek universe timeline. No-one gets worked up about fiction taking place in historical time periods, even though we know how it will all work out. If they manage to tell good stories situated in a specific (imaginary) time period, then they are still good stories. No matter when you situate a Star Trek show you are going to be burdened by all the previous Star Treks.
posted by fimbulvetr at 12:41 PM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


(Oh man, I just noticed that acronym. STD. Did they actually bother to think it through at all when they named this show? )

Originally it was going to be Star Trek: Voyage of Discovery, then they changed it to Universal Trek Initiative, then Star Trek: Intrepid before finally landing on Star Trek: Discovery.

(none of this is true)
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 12:50 PM on September 22, 2017 [16 favorites]


Premise: Data is transported back to late-1800s Earth, for good this time. He takes up the pseudonym Sherlock Holmes and moves to London, where he sets up shop as a consulting detective.

SHOW ME THE FLAW

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle actually started writing Holmes books around then, so wouldn't that mess upSHHHHHHHHH
Brent Spiner is hella old, so how would heSHHHHHHHHHH
Isn't this all basically recycling existing story ideasSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHUT IT. SHUT UP.
posted by duffell at 12:56 PM on September 22, 2017 [15 favorites]


So many grouches, I don't care where it goes or how off cannon, as long as after the requisite five years the very last five minutes of the bridge dissolves to a holodeck and a much older Admiral Wesley Crusher looks up and says as he's leaving the room, "that was cathartic, hey next week I want to play Seven of Nine".
posted by sammyo at 12:58 PM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


@duffell Just find a person the right age who looks at all like Data*, paint them yellow, and put them in the role. We'll all understand.

*edited to add: like Brett Spiner, I should say
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:58 PM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I guess Sammyo is the one who liked the end of Enterprise.
posted by Artw at 1:02 PM on September 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


LeVar Burton is only 60. I want to see Geordi come back but now he is a senior diplomat traveling around breaking up alien arguments and explaining the Prime Directive. Because of his friendship with Data he is a promoter of android rights.

There was a great interview with LeVar Burton on the Another Round podcast - I highly recommend it.
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:07 PM on September 22, 2017 [10 favorites]


The eternal optimist in me says "Wow, a CBS Sunday evening show that will actually start at it's scheduled time".
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:09 PM on September 22, 2017


There was a great interview with LeVar Burton on the Another Round podcast - I highly recommend it.
posted by Emmy Rae


Any highlights, in paraphrased form?
posted by the phlegmatic king at 1:15 PM on September 22, 2017


Time: 8:30 p.m. ET/PT, 7:30 p.m. CT (time approximate following NFL Football and 60 Minutes)

Oh they're going to delay the streaming show as well to not interfere with the NFL advertising? Fuck these guys.

I thought CBSAA was a lifeboat for when OTA broadcast finally dies, but it should probably just go away for good like the NFL.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:24 PM on September 22, 2017


Any highlights, in paraphrased form?

Let's see... the hosts asked if he has any hidden talents. He laughed so hard he couldn't speak and then finally in some circumspect way said he is good at oral sex.

Talked about how the writers didn't give Geordi a sexual side. He said today he would speak to them and explain why it was important that he also have that type of experience as a black male character.

When he was working on Roots, he killed a bug in front of Maya Angelou, who told him it was a fellow living thing and he had no right to kill it.

He left Reading Rainbow because he was working for something he could never own or control, and launched his own thing (LeVar Burton Reads, I think) instead. Seemed like a good explanation to me.
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:27 PM on September 22, 2017 [8 favorites]


 I'm more interested in a streaming service that has cool shows that aren't all just white guys triumphing... Everything is on that little MacBook screen.

The fictional story about someone triumphing is less important than someone actually triumphing in our world. The issue here with CBS All Access is that it's another walled garden for consumers (like the Apple ecosphere).
posted by koavf at 1:33 PM on September 22, 2017


I still feel like a show set 10-20 years post-Voyager would (and still could, in the future) be brilliant. The collapse of the Borg as a major power and the resulting Delta-quadrant power vacuum...

Having watched a bunch of the last season episodes of Voyager recently it'd be hard for me not to see the Federation collapsing under its own weight. Especially in light of the revelations about the Federation using Photonic beings as slave labour. It would still be pretty interesting but it'd have to be less "Federation is awesome" and more a reflection of our current struggles.
posted by Ashwagandha at 1:39 PM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


The issue here with CBS All Access is that it's another walled garden for consumers (like the Apple ecosphere).

Yeah, but you have to pay for content somehow. I'm saying I'll pay for the service that provides good content that's not the same old people.
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:39 PM on September 22, 2017


Am I going to be the first old-timer to point out that Star Trek: Voyager was the flagship for the then-new UPN 20 years ago?
posted by Hatashran at 1:39 PM on September 22, 2017 [9 favorites]


If Star Trek: Discovery is as good at being Star Trek as The Orville's first three episodes, I'll be thrilled!
posted by fairmettle at 1:46 PM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


On the one hand prequels limit what kinds of world-changing storylines can happen.On the other hand I'll take that in exchange for no holodeck episodes and no Q episodes.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:47 PM on September 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


The three things I am very specifically not interested to see in the ST franchise:

1. Any kind of prequel. Where is my series that shows a less confident Federation stumbling away from the war with the Founders, uncertain if their ranks are free of changelings, weakened by the Borg, concerned about fresh conflicts stirred up due to recent hostilities?

2. Internet only. Sorry, but I already have HBO and Netflix.

3. A continued commitment to Gene Roddenberry's Rules for a Utopia. That very specifically includes a future with no money/meaningful economy with the Ferengi (who are coded as Jewish with prominent ears instead of prominent noses) bringing gold-pressed latinum through the backdoor. I'm sick of writers getting around Roddenberry's vision with bullshit handwaving and a dallop of racism. JUST ADD MONEY FFS. THE ECONOMICS OF THE FUTURE MAKE NO SENSE IN THIS WORLD BECAUSE WHO THE HELL DREAMS OF BEING THE ENTERPRISE'S LOADMASTER.
posted by xyzzy at 1:54 PM on September 22, 2017 [5 favorites]


World changing storylines are just flat out unlikely because they imply a change from Trek to not-Trek, and everyone came for the Trek.
posted by Artw at 2:06 PM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Am I going to be the first old-timer to point out that Star Trek: Voyager was the flagship for the then-new UPN 20 years ago?

Per the article TNG led dramas going straight to syndication, and of course old school Trek was in part built around showcasing colour TV.
posted by Artw at 2:08 PM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


JUST ADD MONEY FFS. THE ECONOMICS OF THE FUTURE MAKE NO SENSE IN THIS WORLD BECAUSE WHO THE HELL DREAMS OF BEING THE ENTERPRISE'S LOADMASTER.

If we ever did achieve this kind of post-scarcity, the answer to all these kinds of issues would be robots. The lack of money / need for a job means the "replacing jobs" issue becomes more of a positive than a negative.

(Star Wars is closer to right on this than Trek, although I don't necessarily believe we'll give the robots sassy personalities to go with this)

The lack of robots (not Data, but like janitor robots, hauling robots, exploring/scout robots, etc) in Trek seems more weird every year. They've had a few (ExoComps!) but they should be everywhere.

(They acknowledge the difficult of replicating Data's brain structure, but if they can get even close to that they should be way way beyond where we are today)
posted by thefoxgod at 2:22 PM on September 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


There's plenty of room for rough tech in a series that takes Voyager's premise more seriously than Voyager did.
posted by Jpfed at 2:23 PM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'd say just do a Culture series, as is traditional, but let's face it the jokers at CBS aren't the ones to do that.
posted by Artw at 2:24 PM on September 22, 2017 [9 favorites]


What made the original Trek so different back then, and it remains different today, was that it was our story, the story of the human race, after all the squabbling and bickering and death, climbing out of our atmosphere and building something, the Federation, which was what we always hoped we would be. The first Star Trek movie very much captured that idealism, even if you hate it. The Wrath of Khan is just a good movie, and it captured some of the dark possibilities of an overly enthusiastic, but not pragmatic, Federation. In turn you can debate the rest of the movies.

However, increasingly it all went to shit in the movie franchises, and now those seem to be driving a desire to do this series - let's hope not. Those movies became action flicks - often bad action flicks. They ceased having much to do with Star Trek as a premise. The reboot movies is maybe a series of better made action flicks - but action flicks (with lens flair).

The only thing that may save this new series is budget, and I'm not talking high budget. I'm talking low budget. Action takes money. If you can't do action, maybe you can hire some writers and fill time. If they care about Star Trek, maybe they'll write stories that fit with the original themes. If all of that comes together, plus good acting for once, then maybe, maybe this will be ok.

But if they try to make a crappy action flick on a weekly basis, this is going to suck harder than the Salt Vampire on Memory Alpha.
posted by Muddler at 2:24 PM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


Hatashran: "Am I going to be the first old-timer to point out that Star Trek: Voyager was the flagship for the then-new UPN 20 years ago?"

Heck, ST:TMP was originally going to be the pilot for Star Trek: Phase II that would have played on the Paramount Television Network that never happened.
posted by octothorpe at 2:27 PM on September 22, 2017 [5 favorites]


The reason we're stuck with all these prequels is that a lot of the latter TNG/DS9/VOY stuff was crap.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:31 PM on September 22, 2017


Ehhh.... those all had rough starts and got better TBH. Though probably of the bunch DS9 is the only one that left before getting a little stale.
posted by Artw at 2:34 PM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


I should clarify: TNG the show was great, but the movies were awful; Voyager was, with a few exceptions, uniformly bad, and Deep Space 9 was just a Babylon 5 rip-off (although a really good one).
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:35 PM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


THE ECONOMICS OF THE FUTURE MAKE NO SENSE IN THIS WORLD BECAUSE WHO THE HELL DREAMS OF BEING THE ENTERPRISE'S LOADMASTER.

My theory is that, while food, clothing and shelter are all free in the Federation thanks to being replicable, space travel isn't, because starships depend on non-replicable materials, and anything above a shuttle is too big to create even with an industrial replicator. So, if you want to explore strange new worlds, you either have to be a colonist or in Starfleet. The loadmaster gets to go the same places that Picard does, even if the view is better from the bridge.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:52 PM on September 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


The reason we're stuck with all these prequels is that a lot of the latter TNG/DS9/VOY stuff was crap.

DS9 is the only post TOS series that I could really stomach and even that was burdened with a lot of filler.
posted by octothorpe at 3:12 PM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


The lack of robots (not Data, but like janitor robots, hauling robots, exploring/scout robots, etc) in Trek seems more weird every year. They've had a few (ExoComps!) but they should be everywhere.

Well, that'll likely be covered in ST:D as it's set before TOS in the early years of the Butlerian Jihad.

what
posted by leotrotsky at 3:16 PM on September 22, 2017 [8 favorites]


Before Enterprise aired, were people salty about it being a prequel?

Well, Enterprise was a sequel to First Contact, which was the least shitty TNG movie. So, no, probably not. I seem to remember it seeming like a neat way to go. And it was gonna have Quantum Leap!

I honestly have no idea what Enterprise is like. I tuned in to the first episode, but ran screaming from the godawful theme song and never looked back.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:17 PM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


All Voyager had to do was to not hit the reset button after Year of Hell...
posted by danhon at 3:18 PM on September 22, 2017 [6 favorites]


The lack of robots (not Data, but like janitor robots, hauling robots, exploring/scout robots, etc) in Trek seems more weird every year.

Why would you need robots when you can just move things by stirring a glass full of glitter, and make things by speaking haltingly into the wall?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:19 PM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


I had real hopes for Stargate Universe as a Voyager without all the reset buttons...
posted by Artw at 3:23 PM on September 22, 2017


The phlegmatic king: 4. Most of federation society spends its time on hedonism and self-fulfillment, but a small core of people (and sentient machines) are still interested in exploration and diplomacy; a smaller subsection of those people get involved in usually-under-the-radar intervention in contacted societies

Look if we're going to get a Culture TV mini-series then let's just be honest about it and not fuck it up by pretending it's set in the Star Trek universe.
posted by danhon at 3:26 PM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Discovery already stole the Consider Phlebas spaceship-inside-a-spacestation chase.
posted by Artw at 3:29 PM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Based on how this new Star Trek tv series may pan out, I'm thinking that rather than invest in a CBS streaming platform, we'd all be better off investing in an HTC-Vive so we can play some Star Trek: Bridge Crew.
posted by Fizz at 3:37 PM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


Discovery already stole the Consider Phlebas spaceship-inside-a-spacestation chase.

By which I mean "Beyond". Gah.
posted by Artw at 3:41 PM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm not that interested in postquels, myself. My first exposure to TOS was as a child, getting out of bed past bedtime to see my parents watching a show with diverse people in bright uniforms fighting space monsters. I was entranced with the diverse crew; with that vision of the future. It was a wondrous and optimistic show if you were too young to question the science or the really stupid plots. My young eyes thought the female crew's uniforms were futuristic and zippy; I was too young to see the sexism. So anyway, since we aren't anywhere near that vision, I'd like to see the early days where we are still working on our technology and out of our prejudices. There's a chance in a prequel to add some of the things that weren't on the table in the 60s: gender and identity issues, maybe plausible science.

One of the great subtopics of human history is the evolution of our understanding of what constitutes Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. TOS skipped a lot of how we got so enlightened and good, and boy, oh boy, I'd love someone to outline how we got from here to the Federation of Planets.
posted by acrasis at 3:50 PM on September 22, 2017 [6 favorites]


I don't care that it's a prequel, and I don't care whether it adheres slavishly to canon (in fact, I think a franchise as sprawling as Trek could stand to shake off some dross). I want two things: I want to recognize the humanist spririt of pre-Abrams Trek in it, and I want it to build on that foundation in a way that's informed by our vastly improved standards of televisual storytelling. Basically, I want Trek with the writing and acting of modern prestige television.

I'm probably hoping for too much. But I'm looking forward to the pilot, and withholding judgment until I see it.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 3:59 PM on September 22, 2017 [8 favorites]


CBS has one show exclusive to their service as well as a broadcast channel. How are they going to keep both going?

NBC, Fox, ABC, and Turner own Hulu with Disney/ABC starting an additional service. So it's definitely doable. What makes me think that they can't is their own track record. They were the last of the major networks to acquire the digital rights to their shows. Then they turned down a partnership in Hulu. CBS is run by their target audience - old people who have no idea how the internet works.
posted by dances with hamsters at 4:00 PM on September 22, 2017 [5 favorites]


It's been a long road, getting from there to here.

I gave up on Enterprise pretty early, then happened to tune in to an episode and the crappy theme song was gone! There was a dark, militaristic theme instead. I thought wow, kinda dark and militaristic, but also propulsive, dramatic and not cringe-inducingly awful! It turned out to be a mirror-universe episode, where the Federation was dark and militaristic. I gave up again when I realized the theme music change was only temporary.

I know an actor who was a regular on that show. That person said it was hell, mostly due to network meddling. They looped all the dialog, and got micromanaged with direction during looping that was substantially different than they had gotten during shooting. The actor said trying to reconcile the differences was absurd.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 4:01 PM on September 22, 2017 [5 favorites]


It's been a long road, getting from there to here.

First reaction: throw a brick at under_petticoat
Second reaction: shit, that should have been the post title.
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM on September 22, 2017 [6 favorites]


The other issue with both Voyager and Enterprise was the insistence that every episode be self contained so as to facilitate syndication.
posted by dances with hamsters at 4:03 PM on September 22, 2017


(Also those Mirror Universe episodes were fucking great)
posted by Artw at 4:04 PM on September 22, 2017 [6 favorites]


No-one gets worked up about fiction taking place in historical time periods, even though we know how it will all work out

I recall this one time when Tarantino did a WWII movie...
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:09 PM on September 22, 2017


The thing most compelling me to be optimistic about it is that they've said they're basing Klingon society on "The Final Reflection" by John M. Ford. If someone in charge has (a) read that book and (b) understood what makes it amazing, there is hope.

I have heard nothing about this, but if this is indeed true, my chances of seeking out the series has just gone up by about 270%. I stopped reading ST novels cold turkey about twenty years ago because of a moment of clarity as to how awful they were. The Final Reflection is the only one I actually really want to reread.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:13 PM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Basically, I want Trek with the writing and acting of modern prestige television.

So, dragons and lots and lots of violence and brutality, but in space?
posted by Thorzdad at 4:14 PM on September 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


oh, Bridge Crew. oh myyy.

I have and was able to boot Bridge Commander, with fiddly bits to get it to run 1080p on my living-room media Mac, but the bolt-on voice rec bits never really worked, shockingly enough. The space-sim party-game wotsits have proved amusing, on the rare occasions I have been able to gather four og nerds with access to hardware and time.

This, nonetheless, is a hard sell. VR Is DOA, always has been. Realtime MP and MMP bridge sims in TOS-superscript-n? Fucking well sign me up! I'll skip the hardware tether, thanks.
posted by mwhybark at 4:27 PM on September 22, 2017


I wanted a retro Trek with a contemporary view of the styles from TOS (NOT the shiny J. J. Abrams shit) and modern TV drama/writing. "Mad Men in Space" with Captain Chris Pike and his female Number One and that hot redhead yeoman with the big tits and no grimdark or hotel conference center just a real fucking spaceship. THAT I would pay six bucks a month to watch.
posted by briank at 4:30 PM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


briank, have I got a mixed bag of news for you:

Star Trek Continues
posted by mwhybark at 4:34 PM on September 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


(redheads are of course doctors, and you may wish to reconsider your use of mammary adjectives)
posted by mwhybark at 4:36 PM on September 22, 2017 [6 favorites]


While I don't want to pay $10/mo for CBS's garbage service, a star trek podcast I'm little bit embarrassed to listen to has a ST:D spinoff, so that's money I'll never see again.
posted by The Gaffer at 4:52 PM on September 22, 2017


That is to say, it's a strict sense of morality and not laziness that keeps me from using VPN on Linode or Digital Ocean to watch it through Netflix like a normal person.
posted by The Gaffer at 4:54 PM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I know an actor who was a regular on [Enterprise]. That person said it was hell, mostly due to network meddling. They looped all the dialog, and got micromanaged with direction during looping that was substantially different than they had gotten during shooting. The actor said trying to reconcile the differences was absurd.

I'm dying to know who that is, but I understand why you wouldn't say. That does confirm one of my suspicions of Trek during the UPN era, that it was partially ruined by network interference.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:45 PM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


So, is this show fated to be cancelled after it fails to save their unappealing streaming platform?

It'd be nice if it was given a chance to succeed on its own merits.
posted by yonega at 5:50 PM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


CBS All Access Isn’t A Real Business, It’s Negotiating Leverage.

This comment has nothing to do with CBS as a producer, but here's a breakdown of the sums of money at stake with serial television syndication and retransmission.

As the rest of the world develops, shows are starting to make more sense financially as international spectacles first and North American spectacles as an afterthought. Hannibal was pre-sold around the world to commercial nets, which allowed Gaumont to accept an almost token fee for NBC retransmission. Star Trek may be a property that can take advantage of that, which would allow CBS to treat the American market as pure profit. That would be nice for an American multinational, considering that the squeeze American media consumers are under limits the domestic market's profit potential.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:50 PM on September 22, 2017 [5 favorites]


Star Trek Continues

This... this is bad, isn't it?

*watches a few minutes*

Yee gawd this is terrible

*pops some popcorn*
posted by duffell at 6:01 PM on September 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


Modify expectations for "fan film".
posted by Artw at 6:15 PM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


CBS All Access Isn’t A Real Business, It’s Negotiating Leverage.

That... makes it all make a lot more sense, TBH. No idea where it leaves Star Trek.
posted by Artw at 6:31 PM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Star Trek Continues

This... this is bad, isn't it?


No, my mefite, it is the best ST since TNG. Episode 2, "Lolani", and Episode 6, "Come Not Between the Dragons" are imho the best of the episodes I have screened. "Lolani" deals with the uncomfortable canon-point that slavery is a feature exists of the TOS universe, and guest-stars Lou Ferrigno in a rile for which we must presume he was typecast due to extensive experience with green skin makeup.

"Come Not Between the Dragons" comes closest to the series' presumable objective, a reasonable replication of the original TOS technicolor-noir look-and-feel with a story and design that take both the heritage of Trek and of fandom in the 21st century into account.

There are some true clunkers, mind. Episode 5, "Divided We Stand," leaps to mind.
posted by mwhybark at 7:00 PM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Well, Enterprise was a sequel to First Contact, which was the least shitty TNG movie.

For me, it was the most shitty. I remember QUITE WELL the timeline where Cochrane was from Alpha Centauri, and the retconning him to be an earthling always causes me chronotron particle headaches.
posted by mikelieman at 10:10 PM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


I honestly have no idea what Enterprise is like. I tuned in to the first episode, but ran screaming from the godawful theme song and never looked back.

Oh, they changed the tempo and orchestration of the song like S03. IIRC it's a very 90's sitcom feel to it. This is no way an improvement.
posted by mikelieman at 10:13 PM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


It is the most horrible song in history. Except maybe the Firefly one.
posted by Artw at 11:16 PM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


You can't take my Artw from meeee
posted by Carillon at 11:48 PM on September 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


You can't take my spacey-wacey confederate flag from meeeeee
posted by duffell at 3:29 AM on September 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


Do streamers wait around for these time delays? Do they matter?
posted by filtergik at 4:05 AM on September 23, 2017


Star Trek Continues

I've heard about this since they started. I think one of the Cranky Old Star Trek groups I'm on circulated it, and I liked them so I see their stuff. But have never had the inclination to check it out.

Yee gawd this is terrible

*pops some popcorn*


So I checked out Episode 1. And....

OMG. This is SO retro-ACCURATE, despite almost every cast member changing in some subtle way. Even the computer is different, but still familiar ( and yes, I watched the credits so I figured it out!)

THIS IS THE BEST UNIVERSE Star Trek UNIVERSE EVER.
posted by mikelieman at 5:03 AM on September 23, 2017 [4 favorites]


Is that like how Galaxy Quest is the best Star Trek movie?

In related news, an all-Stargate streaming service just launched for a one-time cost of $20, to which... YES!

On the topic of stories in a Star Trek prequel universe, one of my favorite pair of episodes is DS9: Past Tense (&
II), where they deal with the Bell Riots, a formative step along the way to the United Federation of Planets. (We see the Federation was never formed in a timeline that did not have those riots.)

If they had more of those kinds of prequel stories, I'm in.

Can I just take a second to harp about the worst of Enterprise - time-travel space alien Nazis. Maybe this time around punching Nazi's will pull in some ratings?
posted by fragmede at 9:22 AM on September 23, 2017 [4 favorites]


The reason we're stuck with all these prequels is that a lot of the latter TNG/DS9/VOY stuff was crap.

I very much doubt the decision to do another prequel (in addition to Enterprise in the "Prime" universe) was based on the thought that latter TNG, DS9, and Voyager was "crap". Cite? Is this the reason give by the creators of the show?

In terms of fandom I'd be surprised to learn most found the later years of these series crap. Lots of people love each of those series and I myself would desribe DS9 as the very best Trek, particularly in the latter seasons. ST fans, from what I've seen, are more than happy to identify stinkers, of which there are plenty. Which of the series has the most is difficult to say but the TOS is up there.

TNG had an increasingly inconsistent season 7 (in contrast to the level of inconsitency in seasons 3 through 6) but there were some gems. Voyager, contrary to my recollection of the series at the time, I feel did improve somewhat but the quality was again very inconsitent and it largely became the Borg show and the lack of character consistency is frustrating. Of course as noted, Voyager and Enterprise had even more burdensome interference from the executives due to both being "flaghship" shows for the newtork at the time. This meddling caused a great deal of problems and I fear that STD will have the same problem with CBS's decision to use it to sell yet another streaming service when most people already have Netflix.

If you want to see some chaos in terms of what goes on behind the scenes of a series what Chaos on the Bridge (on some nation's Netlfix) which chronicles the first 3 seasons of TNG. Clusterfuck doesn't have describe it.

I know an actor who was a regular on that show. That person said it was hell, mostly due to network meddling. They looped all the dialog, and got micromanaged with direction during looping that was substantially different than they had gotten during shooting. The actor said trying to reconcile the differences was absurd.

Indeed. Enterprise is currently my second favourite of the Prime Trek series, after DS9, despite it's problems but the problems of more fucking action and juvenille treatment of relationships are very grating. Love the characters though. My favourite Vulcan and favourite chief engineer are T'Pol and Trip. But such things are of course subjective. I skip the intro song but I do that for almost all television series, Narcos excepted.

The other issue with both Voyager and Enterprise was the insistence that every episode be self contained so as to facilitate syndication.

This is not true regard to Enterprise for at least half of it's run. The majority of season 3 was not even close to self contained, with the Xindi arc. Season 4 featured at least 3 units of 3 episodes each that were mini-arcs which were also interlinked about the early days of interspecies relations that served as the basis for the Federation later.
posted by juiceCake at 9:35 AM on September 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


This is SO retro-ACCURATE, despite almost every cast member changing in some subtle way.

I'm delighted by Uncanny Valley James Kirk. This is wonderful.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:40 AM on September 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


as noted by mikelieman above, a careful review of the credits brings pleasant surprises.

Haberkorn (Spock) and Mignona (Kirk) are established v/o pros with long credits in animé and video game work.

I was at first a little taken aback by Mignona's creative decision to essentially impersonate Shatner's Kirk, but I have to say, he grows into the role, and the fact that his voice has a higher register than Shat's stops being something you think about pretty quickly.

FWIW, I have a firm admiration of and appreciation for ST fan film, and have long maintained that in the long run, the future of the franchise, as far as finding the things I want out of it, is most likely to be found here. Unfortunately, the studio's recent decision to place restrictive limits around the length and complexity of fan film projects has changed the equation somewhat. I was surprised to see that STC had posted such a number of completed projects in the wake of the restrictions. Not having viewed them I do not know if they represent the shorter-form projects the limitations require or if STC somehow got permission to complete their initial projects as intended with the episodes at an hour each.

Oh, and one more thing, crewman - speaking of checking the credits, don't forget to review the IMDB for Fiona Vroom, who plays "Lolani" in the eponymous STC episode. You'll find that green-skin typecasting can open some surprising doors.
posted by mwhybark at 10:40 AM on September 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'd love someone to outline how we got from here to the Federation of Planets.

The secret is we don't -- this is the mirror universe. We get the Terran Empire.

On the plus side, we didn't have the Eugenics Wars back in the 1990s.
posted by fings at 6:03 PM on September 23, 2017 [5 favorites]


Look if we're going to get a Culture TV mini-series then let's just be honest about it and not fuck it up by pretending it's set in the Star Trek universe.

The problem with a Culture series, is it would really be a remake of this series. It was kind of a pity that Ian M Banks didn't realize that's what he was writing.
posted by happyroach at 12:09 AM on September 24, 2017


I've been watching Trek since I was a kid, and TNG was on the air. I started watching in Season 3, and still remember my disbelief when my dad said I'd have to wait till fall to find out what happened after “Mr. Worf...fire.”

I've got my reservations about Discovery being another prequel—after all, didn’t we do this already (with somewhat lackluster results) with Enterprise? At least this series has a somewhat original name; I remember rolling my eyes when I found out “Enterprise” was the name back when it premiered.

I’ve specifically avoided any spoilers, even the trailers, so I'm going in fresh. We'll indeed see what's out there.

Yeah, not thrilled about Discovery being CBS All Access-only, but keep in mind that this is only for the US—outside the US, it’s on Netflix, which is what I wish is what happened here too. I don’t think this will ruin the show, though.

I'm proceeding with cautious optimism. Isn’t that what Trek is about anyway?
posted by dcipjr at 9:57 AM on September 24, 2017


I just realized this afternoon that Discovery is airing just four days short of the 30th anniversary of Next Generation's debut. MIND BLOWN. Where do the Stardates go?
posted by octobersurprise at 10:28 AM on September 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


They've a pretty stunning ability not to land on any anniversary.
posted by Artw at 10:46 AM on September 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


I kind of feel like this is going to be the same thing as The Good Fight. I probably would have watched it were it on CBS normally, but I just don't care enough to pay extra money JUST to watch it (especially after the end of The Good Wife anyway). I know there's a lotta nerds out there they want to get the money from, but I dunno if this strategy is going to work even if it's Star Trek. Also, nerds can probably figure out some way to watch it without paying.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:43 AM on September 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


The title sequence with music but no credits. Looks very HBOish.
posted by octothorpe at 11:58 AM on September 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Westworld specifically.
posted by Artw at 12:28 PM on September 24, 2017


For Canadian viewers - episode one will be on CTV and Space this evening; Space will then air episode 2. If you are a cable cutter like me, this is a chance to see if ep 1 is any good.
posted by nubs at 4:23 PM on September 24, 2017


Calibrating expectations to light optimism.
posted by nubs at 4:27 PM on September 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Space: $19.99
posted by thelonius at 4:31 PM on September 24, 2017 [9 favorites]


I totally wasn't excited until I woke up today and realised it's NEW STAR TREK DAY. This is something very exciting to me because I didn't get into Star Trek until after all the shows had aired. This is the first time I watching Star Trek when it's brand new! I'm part of this moment! Maybe 20 years from now I'll remember today (A boring Monday where I have to count down the hours until I get home and can watch it but still...). HAPPY NEW TREK DAY!
posted by liquorice at 4:31 PM on September 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


I believe the football overran so if you are DVRing it's worth doing the show after too.
posted by Artw at 4:48 PM on September 24, 2017


octobersurprise: "I just realized this afternoon that Discovery is airing just four days short of the 30th anniversary of Next Generation's debut. MIND BLOWN. Where do the Stardates go?"

My generation's Phantom Menace! My roommates and I had the best TV of our friends (26 big inches!) so we had beer and a bunch of people over to watch Trek! New Trek! It was almost unbelievable that twenty years later there'd be a new Trek and then we watched Encounter at Farpoint and it was so bad. I know the series got better and lots of people still love TNG but we were so bummed out that night.
posted by octothorpe at 5:05 PM on September 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


Season 4 of Enterprise was good tv sci-fi, plain and simple.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:14 PM on September 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Did they show the whole awful two parts or did you have to tune in for the disappointing finale?
posted by Artw at 5:14 PM on September 24, 2017


It was a two hour special with both halves.
posted by octothorpe at 5:25 PM on September 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know when the first and second episodes will be available on CBS All Access? I signed up for a free trial account so I could watch tonight, but it's 8:36 ET and I still don't see any actual episodes.

Should I be watching the CBS livestream instead? Because it says "Star Trek: Discovery – The Vulcan Hello" below the livestream, but it's just showing newstainment.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:38 PM on September 24, 2017


Never mind – looks like it's about to begin on the livestream. Woo hoo!
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:46 PM on September 24, 2017


It was a two hour special with both halves.

I guess that gets it out of the way all at once. After all, next episode will be be...tt...e...

Oh. Never mind.
posted by Artw at 6:09 PM on September 24, 2017


Can’t believe Picard is a man-child living in Space Vegas with Naomi Watts
posted by infinitewindow at 6:11 PM on September 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


i too was traumatized at an Encounter at Farpoint air-date party.

we did get over it after about two seasons.

I'm still haunted by the cheesiness of Q's crane chair.
posted by mwhybark at 6:20 PM on September 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


Many got over it using... (sniffs from chest tube) DRUGS!?!
posted by Artw at 6:23 PM on September 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


Resisting the urge to live blog the episode but I'll say that the commercials for other CBS shows are scaring me. People watch that shit?
posted by octothorpe at 6:42 PM on September 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Ha. That was my Emmys experience. All Network TV looks like 30 Rock parodies now.
posted by Artw at 7:01 PM on September 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


mission report in transit to social and entertainment engineering team mefite

so far so good. time in transit 42:51. sitrep and debreif to follow, likely via MF#FF

over

may yinz live long and prosper, over
posted by mwhybark at 8:34 PM on September 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Just noticed there are 2 episodes available, lucky I made extra dhal last night, not sure how excited my SO will be.
posted by biffa at 4:08 AM on September 25, 2017


I'll say that the commercials for other CBS shows are scaring me. People watch that shit?

I had the same thought. A BBT spinoff? A Doogie Houser remake that manages to seem utterly unoriginal and offensive at the same time? (He's a teen doctor! With autism!) WTF? I'm stunned (tho I know I shouldn't be) that kind of caca ever makes it out of the lunchtime meetings.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:30 PM on September 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Doogie Spectrum MD just kind of sounded like another excuse to make House again, except this time with someone cheaper and younger. Also, the commercials made me gag so hard.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:13 PM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Prequels represent creative bankruptcy. Instead of finding new stories to tell, they retell the same stories. Instead of making new characters and settings while expanding a fictional universe, they dive into minutia, backstory, and fan service about existing characters and settings.

Sounds like a perfect description of TNG to me. 'This week, we steal another 60s sci-fi trope. That character you like does that thing you like! We learn far too much about an alien drink or noodle dish. It's blue! Technobabble saves the day.'
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:39 PM on September 25, 2017


When TNG was good, it was very very good. When it was bad....
posted by Chrysostom at 9:48 PM on September 25, 2017


My roommates and I had the best TV of our friends (26 big inches!)

Heh, I watched it with my parents on the 15" TV in their bedroom..because I was 6 and it came on at 10:35 Saturday nights. TNG was literally the reason I stopped having a bedtime on weekends. Came in very handy some years later when DS9 started up and aired at 11:35 after TNG.

When I was at my grandparents I'd get a week ahead and get to watch at a much more reasonable hour since they had a C band dish so we could watch the feed the affiliates taped. Our local station was a full week behind, hence jumping ahead from my perspective.
posted by wierdo at 10:11 PM on September 25, 2017


Also, since people have been mentioning their fantasy series, I want one about the Department of Temporal Investigations. An anthology series where they get as little as a quarter of the episodes would be acceptable were there other good stories to be told about the "present" or other one offs and such.

I've enjoyed many time travel to the past episodes, but I'd also like to see the canon move forward rather than have more prequel. Both is fine. This, not so much.
posted by wierdo at 10:23 PM on September 25, 2017


Maybe next time I'll finish before hitting post. Why is it not fine? Because Fox lets me watch The Orville for free. So far it's good enough to scratch the same itch that prequel Trek does. A Trek set later would be a different story, maybe even worth what they are asking.
posted by wierdo at 10:29 PM on September 25, 2017


Sounds like a perfect description of TNG to me. 'This week, we steal another 60s sci-fi trope. That character you like does that thing you like! We learn far too much about an alien drink or noodle dish. It's blue! Technobabble saves the day.'

While TNG did some poor shit in its day, this is a disservice. TNG took the idea of the Klingons as a species and developed them into a full-blown culture, enough so that many now react to a portrayal of the Klingons on Discovery as being different from what TNG established with the same skepticism that was directed towards Enterprise for giving us Vulcans who were different from the established canon.

TNG also gave us the Borg, arguably the best adversarial race in the ST Universe, even if they did later water them down. Q was a brilliant recurring adversary/trickster for TNG (he didn't work as well on DS9 or Voyager, because Q was designed to be a foil to Picard). It also allowed for characters to actually develop relationships that actually changed over the course of the show; there was an emerging sense that the show actually took place in a continuing universe because sometimes past events were actually referenced, as opposed to every episode being self-contained.

There are a lot of things I wish TNG had done that it didn't, but to say it was all recycled fanservice is a bit much.
posted by nubs at 10:15 AM on September 26, 2017 [11 favorites]


Hell yeah, nubs. TNG has episodes and tendencies that have aged horribly, but in context of a show airing in the late 80's early 90's in first-run syndication, it did make some pretty impressive contributions to the Star Trek universe.
posted by skewed at 11:04 AM on September 26, 2017




‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Pilot Becomes One of the Most Pirated TV Episodes in Less Than 24 Hours

Whaaaa

No
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:33 PM on September 26, 2017


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