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February 3, 2005 2:14 PM   Subscribe

She's dead sleeping, Jim. With UPN's cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise (nee just Enterprise), the Trek franchise is, for the first time in 18 years, without a weekly broadcast show. While many might agree that Star Trek needs a rest, others continue to hope, while producer/right hand of Satan (depending on which Trekkie you talk to) Rick Berman says the series (which is a billion dollar baby for Paramount/Viacom) is going to be off the airwaves for at least three years. Here's to hoping the rest is what's needed for a phenomenon that's fueled a lot of geeks for a lot of years.
posted by WolfDaddy (142 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Whilst I have found Enterprise to be quite watchable, I do feel that each successive spin off series has become more diluted and predictable. I think a rest as suggested, then a move in completely new direction are what is needed.
posted by viama at 2:20 PM on February 3, 2005


Hmmm... 3 years. It's been about twice that long since I forced myself to sit through an episode of one of these post-TNG debacles, and it'll be at least twice that long again before I'd be in the mood to see another, I reckon.
posted by rockabilly_pete at 2:22 PM on February 3, 2005


Sleep...
posted by briank at 2:25 PM on February 3, 2005


A very very large portion of Enterprise was completely unwatchable. Just horrible, horrible episodes. Man, how many different ways can they find to get T'Pol down to her underwear?

If the writers actually stuck to the idea (the beginnings of the Federation, Romulan wars, etc.), it could have been an interesting show. Instead, they 'invented' time travelers from the future. Why? Original timeline too boring? It worked for the other series-es.

Berman is a hack, and for Star Trek to have a good series again, he needs to be fired. Or have a mysterious accident. Or something.
posted by graventy at 2:28 PM on February 3, 2005


Actually, in it's defense, DS9 was my favorite series. Coherent plotline, going through all 7 seasons. Enjoyable show.
posted by graventy at 2:29 PM on February 3, 2005


I like how the schedule move to Friday evenings mirrored the move of the original series in its last year.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 2:30 PM on February 3, 2005


graventy (right on, on preview!), I think Deep Space Nine (sorta self-link, I donated this to wiki several years ago and they've improved on it massively) is the best incarnation of Trek. And it was almost completely Berman-hands-off. "Coincidence? I believe in coincidences. Coincidences happen every day. But I don't trust coinicidences..."
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:35 PM on February 3, 2005


What graventy said: Berman needs to go away for the franchise to find its relevance again. The new episodes of Battlestar on Sci-Fi are blowing Enterprise out of the water in the quality of writing, acting, and even production values.
Also: Good riddance to the awful, awful Enterprise theme song, which was pretty much a metaphor for the quality of the show. Bah!
posted by Dr. Zira at 2:38 PM on February 3, 2005


I literally could not listen to the opening title music. "Dire" is perhaps the best word I've heard used to describe it. Anyway, short of being allowed to lie peacefully in its grave, the best thing that could happen to the ST franchise would be to hire some honest-to-god screenwriters like they did in the TOS days. The worst thing about the spinoffs is the talentless little clique who wrote the goddamn things. I think what happened early in the TNG series is that they tried a few real SF and/or screewriters and discovered that they wouldn't sit still for the dreadful things they were asked to do or which they were subjected to on rewrite. Then over time the oppressively huge cumulative backstory (something absent in the far leaner original series) became too much for anyone who wasn't in the club to track.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:40 PM on February 3, 2005


Khaaaaan!
posted by DonnieSticks at 2:42 PM on February 3, 2005


It's a sad day indeed when Battlestar Galactica is considered a better show than Star Trek.
posted by tommasz at 2:42 PM on February 3, 2005


Yep, I couldn't sit through the opening credits of "Enterprise", never mind the torpid writing. Now, "Firefly", that was a set of opening credits...
posted by FormlessOne at 2:43 PM on February 3, 2005


I miss TNG. Maybe Trek is just over. Forever?
posted by ParisParamus at 2:44 PM on February 3, 2005


on preview: aw man, i wanted to be the one to yell "khaaaan!"

A very very large portion of Enterprise was completely unwatchable. Just horrible, horrible episodes. Man, how many different ways can they find to get T'Pol down to her underwear?

remove the "un" and change the question mark to an exclamation point, and i'd agree heartily!
posted by blendor at 2:44 PM on February 3, 2005


As I wrote on my own site, Enterprise needed cancelling the moment the words "Temporal Cold War" were uttered.
posted by brownpau at 2:45 PM on February 3, 2005


isn't someone supposed to say "." ?

to clarify, i actually did like the show. i just caught up on it recently, and i'm sorry to hear it's going away just when i started watching.
posted by blendor at 2:49 PM on February 3, 2005


Enterprise was a great concept, the near future sci-fi, but that was half of it's undoing. Too realistic. Came off like frat guys in space.

also what graventy said. Writing was shit and they depended heavily on Borg lady's semi-nudity.
posted by destro at 2:49 PM on February 3, 2005


Eh. Star Trek has been in slow decline as each franchise has gotten progressively worse. The Next Generation was pretty good but it was turning into The Love Boat at the end. Voyager's premise was, "If you let a woman drive, you'll get completely fuckin' lost." Deep Space Nine turned into a cross between Murder, She Wrote and Fantasy Island in outer space, and Enterprise was basically The Breakfast Club with plots about rubbing oil on Jolene Blalock's breasts.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:52 PM on February 3, 2005


Agreed about DS9. It seemed like the most grown-up of the various series. Voyager was a huge step back to me, falling back in the mold of "let's cruise around the universe showing the superiority of humanity to the various funny forehead people". TNG was the same deal, but the characters Picard, Worf and Data somehow managed to carry the series. I think the stationary setting of DS9 necessitated a different approach storywise. I remember it started off a bit bumpy and bland like the others before the bigger story arcs started kicking into gear.
posted by picea at 2:55 PM on February 3, 2005


Listen. Voyager sucked above all because the actors sucked. And most of the scripts were weak. It was all down hill after the theme music.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:58 PM on February 3, 2005


I miss Wesley Crusher and how me made me tingle all over.

I never liked Enterprise all that much but DS9 was cool if only for Sisco. THG was the best of the bunch and that includes the original series, but maybe that's because of my long and unrequited love for Tasha Yar.
posted by fenriq at 3:06 PM on February 3, 2005


I knew I couldn't watch Enterprise when I found they'd made a more sleek, futuristic ship than NCC-1701 was in the original series. If you can't stay within canon for what is arguably the "star" of the series -- the ship itself -- there's not much hope that the other aspects of it are going to be well thought out.
posted by alumshubby at 3:08 PM on February 3, 2005


-- Voyager sucked above all because the actors sucked.

No. Voyager sucked because it was the result of a development team thought that Neelix was a good idea.
posted by pixelgeek at 3:09 PM on February 3, 2005


gack trek.
posted by moonbird at 3:24 PM on February 3, 2005


-- Voyager sucked above all because the actors sucked.

If they'd just had Torres jumping around in a little Princess Leia bikini...on a trampoline...at the dawn of spring...in the holodeck...


I should stop now
posted by Hands of Manos at 3:25 PM on February 3, 2005


I knew Star Trek would have to re-invent iself the moment I walked into the theater on the opening weekend of Star Trek: Nemesis, and found that not only was it sparsely populated, but that my little brother was the only person under 25 in the theater. A franchise cannot only appeal to aging geeks like me. It, more than other genres, must capture the imagination of the young.

Neither Voyager nor Enterprise have had the solid writing or the willingness to take risks that would allow a viewer to think he or she was watching something new. The franchise should have been allowed to rest after Deep Space Nine. I'm not so sure about the "three years" hiatus - I think this might be one of those times when a franchise needs to lay dormant for long enough that when it returns it can return as something very new - like Next Generation was in 1987, or like the new incarnation of Battlestar Galactica is today.
posted by Chanther at 3:27 PM on February 3, 2005


They need to keep the series under wraps a few years and then release a new show a'la Warren Ellis' Switchblade Honey.
posted by velacroix at 3:27 PM on February 3, 2005


I think WolfDaddy was dead on.

I liked DSN.

Hmmm....

....so how does one go about pitching a t.v. show to a network?
posted by Smedleyman at 3:40 PM on February 3, 2005


A few years ago, someone posted this amazingly good Star Trek recreation. It was so good I waited to watch it over a dialup modem.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:42 PM on February 3, 2005


Wait a minute. Rick Berman is a hack, but he was associated with TNG?
posted by ParisParamus at 3:43 PM on February 3, 2005


For me the surprising news is that Start Trek has lasted this long. Does any other franchise come even close? (The closest I can think of is the James Bond movie franchise, but that's not TV of course.)

Regardless of writing and acting talent, I guess any franchise eventually runs out of possibilities. For some it happens after one season, for others it takes decades.
posted by Triplanetary at 3:44 PM on February 3, 2005


Worst. Fans. Ever.
posted by wfrgms at 3:50 PM on February 3, 2005


As a contribution to Star Trek, Enterprise was really really awful. It was marginally bad on it's own, but it wreaked havoc with the franchise.

I still haven't checked out Star Trek New Voyages, but as I pointed out over here a while ago, DeSalle looks awesome!
posted by Chuckles at 3:55 PM on February 3, 2005


Hmm... Star Trek Enterprise goes off the air the same week Wil Wheaton starts writing for the Onion? Coincidence? Or is the universe balanced in a way so that only so much BAD Star Trek shit can be in the public spectrum at the same time? God. Dice. Anyone?
posted by wfrgms at 3:56 PM on February 3, 2005


It was the will of Landrew.
posted by jlub at 4:07 PM on February 3, 2005


One thing that seriously bugs me about Enterprise is all the shows that span over multiple weeks. Whenever I get that "To be continued..." thing it really annoys me. I enjoyed it in TNG as an end of season cliffhanger, but week after week, like in Enterprise? I understand it's a device to get people to keep tuning in, but it sure doesn't work with me - I sometimes *won't* watch it when I happen to notice the show's on, just because I hate getting involved in a show that's not going to get resolved.
posted by jasper411 at 4:10 PM on February 3, 2005


TOS is still my fave.
posted by kyrademon at 4:14 PM on February 3, 2005


I think the best possible thing for Star Trek is to just put it aside for five-ten years. In time, Enterprise and TAS will be just be moderately interesting, barely remembered blips, the terror of Voyager will have been erased from our minds to spare us the pain, TOS and TNG will still be considered classics, Rick Berman's grave will be daily covered in the spit and urine of all intelligent television viewers, and society will have completely reconfigured their culture in order to properly pay tribute to the great benevolent god that is Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Trekophilia will be high again, and bam: Star Trek can make a return to a society once again ready for it.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:15 PM on February 3, 2005


I think the problem with a lot of these shows is taking themselves so damn seriously. I was a fan of TNG but essentially ignored shows like Voyager, Babylon 5, etc because I want to be able to get in and out of a show in an hour without all the yaya (exception: The West Wing, but I'm a political junkie). That's why the new Star Wars movies aren't as fun as the first 2. You got the sense "OMG, I can't believe we're getting away with this". Maybe if there's a scifi show that lets you jump in and out like CSI, Law & Order and even my all-time favorite - Quantum Leap - do/did, it will take off again.
posted by owillis at 4:21 PM on February 3, 2005


On the other hand, owillis, I LOVE continuity and overarching story arcs. It's what, IMO, makes some of my favorite shows so great.

That said, i totally get why that can be so intimidating to a casual viewer.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:24 PM on February 3, 2005


All true heroes must die, all great stories end.

Otherwise they are soap operas.

I'm a very long time Trekkie (and I use that word proudly), I just barely remember seeing it on NBC with my dad in 1968 when I was 3. Then I picked it up on WPIX in NY - every weeknight, 6PM, I was in front of that 9-inch black & white TV - 7PM Saturdays at my grandmas, in COLOR!!

I didn't mind watching Enterprise - when I remembered to turn it on. It just didn't grab me much. I did like the rocky but cooperative relations with the Andorians, but the departure from already existing and interesting "pre-history" story points really disappointed me.

Only things I liked about DS9: General Martok and the Cardassian tailor, Garak. They could have done DS9 as a completely different series, not in Star Trek universe, and done more interesting things, I think. (Or was that Babylon 5...?) All my friends took one look at DS9, and all proclaimed the same shortcoming: "dude, it doesn't GO anywhere."

Only thing I liked about Voyager: Tim Russ did a good job being an actual Vulcan from Vulcan who acts like a logical, highly intelligent Vulcan, and who is not half human, half Vulcan. And he did not use contractions. Other than that? Well, the wacky black & white pulp serial sci fi holodeck adventure was pretty fun... but then, I loved Flash Gordon for sheer comic-booky cheese. :)

I've been watching the TOS episodes with new eyes - eyes of an adult artist, looking at the show as a dramatic production, as stories being told, as a collective work of a few hundred people - and I'm finding it has great endurance with me. The sort of classic drama, character archetypes and thematic presentation that appear in the nearly 40-year-old show just really doesn't get done anymore. Yeah the effects are cheesy - but the meat of the show is timeless, and that's why it has held on to people.

It's time to let it rest for a while. Let some other people come up with ideas.

However it's probably Paramount's biggest cash cow, so it may not be allowed to rest and age properly...

On preview: Friend jlub, you are not of the Body. It's "Landru." Peace be with you!

... until the Red Hour, that is...
posted by zoogleplex at 4:27 PM on February 3, 2005


zoogleplex, your thoughts resonate. WPIX! TOS was the product of another era, when television still had fairly strong ties to live tv and theatre. There were so many theatre actors used on that show (mostly dead, now) who did cameos and recurring stints. I think Patrick Stewart's theatre background, or the smarts or whatever that got him the lead made TNG work, even when the material was lame.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:41 PM on February 3, 2005


Thank you, zoogleplex. I must now go clean the coffee off my monitor. Joy to you, brother.

FESTIVAL! FESTIVAL!
posted by fandango_matt at 4:42 PM on February 3, 2005


The new episodes of Battlestar on Sci-Fi are blowing Enterprise out of the water in the quality of writing, acting, and even production values. Also: Good riddance to the awful, awful Enterprise theme song, which was pretty much a metaphor for the quality of the show. Bah!

posted by Dr. Zira at 2:38 PM PST on February 3


exactly. Battlestar makes Enterprise look like Forbidden Planet. Battlestar feels more like Blade Runner. Hmm. Goodbye stupid themesong.
posted by lazymonster at 4:43 PM on February 3, 2005


somewhere upthread: and Enterprise was basically The Breakfast Club with plots about rubbing oil on Jolene Blalock's breasts.

man, from these descriptions, maybe i should have given Enterprise a chance after all....



nah.
posted by acid freaking on the kitty at 4:46 PM on February 3, 2005


What's funny is that the crew of the TOS was "tv/movies," and to get the aliens to seem alien, roles were played like dramatic plays.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:47 PM on February 3, 2005


I'll join in on the subjective opinion festival.

Loved TNG, DS9, and Enterprise. Sorry to see Enterprise go. Reminds me of DS9 in many ways. Voyager was awful. TOS had great episodes and some of the worst.

The films are usually hideous and perhaps like many long running institutions (ie. see the last two Doctor Who's in the television series) it needs new blood rather than staying in the hands of the old guard. One apparently loses one's edge as one grows older and all that.

Typical, Enterprise gets into it's best season with a new main writer. Time to let the axe fall...
posted by juiceCake at 4:49 PM on February 3, 2005


Exactly what I always thought, that the older traditions of stage drama were still extant in Hollywood - 1965-66 was still very much the "childhood" of TV. And, all the actors - as hammy as they could be - were all veterans of late 50s, early 60s TV and stage, steeped in the traditions, and that is clearly visible in their performances.

TV has evolved in a lot of ways, but I think many shows today would do well to look back at some of this stuff and take the best of it.

holey moley i just bonded with parisparamus *boggles* :)

On preview: yay! My first monitor splatter ever!! :D :D :D (sorry fandango_matt... Happy Communing!)

I guess I'd better start watching Battlestar... I wasn't crazy about the initial miniseries (and the XBox game SUCKS), but I'll give it a shot after the above reviews.
posted by zoogleplex at 4:52 PM on February 3, 2005


This marks the first time that a Trekie letter writing campaign has _succeeded_.

ba dum dum *clash*
posted by Laen at 4:53 PM on February 3, 2005


Aw now come on. TOS was supposed to be cancelled after Season 2; Season 3 was bought because of a letter-writing campaign.
posted by zoogleplex at 4:59 PM on February 3, 2005


Yay for the new Battlestar! Out with the feathered hair and Lorne Green's grandstanding! In with gelled hair and Edward James Olmos's grandstanding! Here's to a new generation of slash-fiction!

I just hope the whole UK/US air split doesn't screw up the show's numbers and get it canned. I can only take so many B-Movie Monster flicks on SciFi.
posted by RakDaddy at 5:00 PM on February 3, 2005


FWIW: Galactica is Ron Moore's grudge match.

(here's the Cinescape search these came from, which includes a bunch of New Galactica stuff.)

Here are parts one through seven of an interview he gave right after being canned from DS9. It is not your ordinary post-firing Hollywood interview.

STAR TREK Profile: Fan-Writer-Producer ronald d. moore

STAR TREK: ronald d. moore, Part II

STAR TREK: ronald d. moore, Part III

STAR TREK: ronald d. moore, Part IV

STAR TREK: ronald d. moore, Part V

STAR TREK: ronald d. moore , Part VI

STAR TREK: ronald d. moore, Part VII
posted by mwhybark at 5:00 PM on February 3, 2005


mwhybark-I got a bunch of 404s from your links, which is a pity 'cause it sounds like good stuff.
posted by RakDaddy at 5:03 PM on February 3, 2005


Furthermore.

There is a great deal of activity in fan-produced Trek video. My personal favorite, Starship Exeter, premieres a new episode in March.
posted by mwhybark at 5:09 PM on February 3, 2005


Remember that episode of Voyager where they escaped a singularity by shooting a hole in the event horizon and sailing through it?

Rot in the eternal wasteland of syndication, Star Trek.
posted by Sparx at 5:14 PM on February 3, 2005


That's the one I was referring to, Exeter. They have the TOS Trekness down perfectly.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:16 PM on February 3, 2005


Hopefully, these links will work.

I
II
III
IV
V
VI
VII
posted by coriolisdave at 5:18 PM on February 3, 2005


On preview, crud, re 404s. For some reason posting is i n t e r m i n a b l y s l o w at the moment.

Here's a corrected post. (it's "www2.cinescape.com/0/," of course! how silly of me to expect standard domain naming! Shame on my lack of testing! Shame!)

FWIW: Galactica is Ron Moore's grudge match.

Here are parts one through seven of an interview he gave right after being canned from DS9. It is not your ordinary post-firing Hollywood interview.

STAR TREK Profile: Fan-Writer-Producer ronald d. moore

STAR TREK: ronald d. moore, Part II

STAR TREK: ronald d. moore, Part III

STAR TREK: ronald d. moore, Part IV

STAR TREK: ronald d. moore, Part V

STAR TREK: ronald d. moore , Part VI

STAR TREK: ronald d. moore, Part VII
posted by mwhybark at 5:18 PM on February 3, 2005


All my friends took one look at DS9, and all proclaimed the same shortcoming: "dude, it doesn't GO anywhere."

As I said elsewhere:

Ah, DS9, the poor, misunderstood middle child of modern Trek incarnations.

For a show that allegedly GNDN, it managed to accomplish the following things:

#Introduce religion, or perhaps more properly faith as a viable motivating cultural force in the created Star Trek reality. Previously in Star Trek, it had been mocked and sneered at, called myth and mysticism, strongly implied that a culture with a strong sense of faith was somehow inferior to the rational-to-a-fault United Federation of Planets.
# Portray a realistic, loving relationship between a father and son in Benjamin and Jake Sisko.
# Portray a realistic, non-sexual friendship between Sisko, male, and Jadzia Dax, female (well, most of the time).
# Show us that, unlike every other Trek show, one's decisions do have consequences. In other words, the show managed to avoid the dreaded Reset Button syndrome.
# Wasn't afraid to confront the fact that a Klingon as portrayed in the 1960s looks different from a Klingon today.
# Managed to make the Ferengi tolerable, once in a great while.
# Oh, yeah, and for a show about a place that just sits there it managed to make the space station a strategic flashpoint in a Cold War with The Dominion that eventually turned hot and embroiled over three quarters of the entire galaxy, effected real political change in just about every major power in the Star Trek universe, actually managed to promote its officers from time to time (Will Riker has held the rank of commander for how long now? Nearly fifteen years??), and transformed the lead character from a wooden, gloomy man obsessed with his wife's death to a vibrant capable leader and religious icon who ended up as a creature who is not shackled to the bonds of linear time.

Yeah, it was a pretty boring television show, all right.

----

ParisPanamaus, Rick Berman was always associated with TNG, and became more involved as Roddenberry's health began to fail. I believe the first 2 seasons of TNG were the only ones upon which Roddenberry had any measurable impact.

Also, Ron D. Moore didn't get canned from DS9. He quit Voyager. Telling, that. My impression of VOY (besides Goldsmith's stellar opening theme and the wonderful visuals of the title sequence, easily the best of the bunch) was that they should have made Janeway a smoker. "NEELIX! REPLICATE ME SOME COFFEE AND FILTERLESS CAMELS! NEEEEEELIIIIIIIX!" Though I do think Mulgrew and Ryan worked really well together; it's rare to see two strong women on a stage together and consistently doing it well. At least on TV.

I also am a fan of serialized storytelling, and tv is a great medium in which to do such storytelling, though the chance of jumping the shark (to pull in new viewers) is high. Hello X-Files? And, I'm starting to fear, Alias? Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5 were about the only series I can think of that didn't try to bring in new viewers in the later seasons, but they had the benefit of being syndicated rather than on a major network, too.

*ahem* I don't watch TV, I don't even have a television.
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:19 PM on February 3, 2005


A big yes to DSN being the best. I didn't even want to like it as much as I did since, at the time, I was rather enamored with TNG (but for me I was gaga over Deanna, and really hated the prosthetic forehead guy for bangin her).

Voyager's premise was, "If you let a woman drive, you'll get completely fuckin' lost."

Bwahahahahaha! So true. And also very true:

Voyager sucked because it was the result of a development team thought that Neelix was a good idea.

I was never interested in Enterprise.

As far as the franchise goes, they should let it go. RIP, I say. Even those stupid TNG movies were just bad. The theme of Star Trek was exploration and they just obsessed over time travel cause it was so successful for STIV.
posted by effwerd at 5:22 PM on February 3, 2005


Oh, and blowing up the Enterprise.
posted by effwerd at 5:24 PM on February 3, 2005


If that's referring to me, I haven't owned one in about two years. If a new, good Trek came along, I would buy one.
(this also puts waste to the argument that I am a Fox News robot...)
posted by ParisParamus at 5:24 PM on February 3, 2005


STIV?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:27 PM on February 3, 2005


VOY, correct, WulfDaddy. My bad. The interview did not leave me with the impression he quit.
posted by mwhybark at 5:29 PM on February 3, 2005


Also, could someone explain to me stardates? I don't get this.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:29 PM on February 3, 2005


Star Trek IV?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:32 PM on February 3, 2005


Here you go, Paris.
posted by fandango_matt at 5:37 PM on February 3, 2005


I grew up with TNG. I'm a youngin' but I loved it, loved the ensemble feeling of the cast. DS9 grabbed me only when I had a chance to sit down and watch the entire show, in order, at my leisure. DS9 (despite "not going anywhere") had, I think, a better ensemble feel than even TNG. Voyager turned me off near instantly, except for the Doctor. I didn't even bother with Enterprise.

Sci-fi's undergoing a big shift, in my eyes. We've gone past the seriousness of Star Trek. We've got shows like Buffy, and Smallville, Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis. Shows that inject a good bit of humor and sarcasm into the mix. The new Battlestar Galactica has a bit of this too.

That being said I'll miss Star Trek. I do hope it is reborn with more life than it currently has. If it could come back with half the impact that the new Battlestar series has, it'll be in damn good shape.
posted by Be'lal at 5:47 PM on February 3, 2005


I call myself a trekkie because ST has been part of my life since forever. Like zoogleplex, I recall seeing the original series when it was on. Later, through the rest of my childhood, I saw all the episodes in afternoon syndication and the like. I saw all the TOS movies and most of the TNG movies. I watched most of TNG, at least half of DS9, tried to watch VOY and ENT but gave up on both.

I'll miss Star Trek. This makes me sad even though nothing they've done for a long time has been very good.

"I guess I'd better start watching Battlestar."

I watched the first season over xmas and was blown away by it. It's great. It's heavy on the serialization and not episodic, so owillis and others above won't like it.

But I'm all about serialization. I don't actually watch TV, the only TV I've watched in the last ten years has been almost all in the last few and those by downloading. And every show I watch is a very serialized and not episodic type of show. I love that. Episodic shows don't have any depth. Nothing changes. They're not stories, they're momentary diversions.

And I agree that Berman and Braga are to blame.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:53 PM on February 3, 2005


I think the biggest problem with Voyager was its characters. For TOS, I love Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, and like everyone else. On TNG I liked everyone, and loved O'Brien, Riker, Data, and others. DS9 I loved Sisko, Kira, Bashir, O'Brien, Jadzia Dax, Odo, Garak, Rom.... oh hell, everyone.

Even Enterprise I liked most of the characters in theory.

But for Voyager.... I only really liked the Doctor and Tuvok, and outright hated Kes, Neelix, Chakotay and Kim, and would probably have been okay with Janeway, Seven, and Paris, if they were on a different show.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 5:58 PM on February 3, 2005


Yes, Paris Star Trek IV.

And while I'm back and a minor tangent about other scifi has come up...

I was surprised to like SG-1 so much. The addition of humor makes the whole thing much more appealing. I'm rather sad to contemplate that that show is winding down. Atlantis is all right, but no replacement. I'm actually hoping they go nuts after SG-1 is cancelled and do some show about 400 or so years in the future when we're spanning the galaxy by way of ships and gates, allied with the Unas, in total control of the Goa'uld and the Replicators, and at war with the Ancients and the Nox, with the Asgard as our bitches 'cause they depend on our DNA. Carter would be the only legacy character as she is our Replicator liason.

Galactica is okay, I'm just not finding it very compelling. I just wish they'd stop with all that jumpy virtual camera work on the CGI space scenes.
posted by effwerd at 6:11 PM on February 3, 2005


Serialization is probably why I enjoyed DS9. I was going to say that it succeeded because it stole that idea from Babylon 5, but it appears they developed/aired simultaneously.

WolfDaddy, if you're looking for great serialized TV shows, watch Farscape. And Lost (although, so far Lost is pretty episodic, there is an arc there).
posted by graventy at 6:15 PM on February 3, 2005


I think Enterprise would have been successful if they didn't call it 'Enterprise'. And no Vulcans. I liked the characters, I enjoyed the plots for the most part (of what I watched.) I enjoyed Jolene Blalock's breasts.

But they were trying to market it to Trek fans. The most hardcore nitpicker obsessed series fans in the world, I'm sure -- and they threw out the original series, basically. The first few months (or so?) seemed pretty good, but then once the 'oh my god what about it being Trek-like?!' furor started, they started throwing in shit about time-travel and trying to appease the traditional fanbase .. and it was all downhill from there.

That, and I'm pretty much done with TV these days, and I'm sure I'm not the only one among the once-a-Trek-fan demographic. I have been enjoying a few torrents lately though.
posted by blacklite at 6:18 PM on February 3, 2005


The serialization of DS9 threw me at first, but then I grew to love it. I couldn't deal with Babylon 5 for the same reason -- I came into it in the middle and had no idea what was ever going on. However, once DVDs were released, I quite enjoyed B5.
posted by blacklite at 6:20 PM on February 3, 2005


Um, I thought Brannon Braga was the right hand of Satan .... I am not sad about Enterprise's demise. I found the show unwatchable, and every time I turned on the TV after that, there was T'Pol getting a rub-down by Neo-Neelix in the sonic shower. As for DS9, on the other hand: I worship at the alter of this show. Here in my house, we just watched the entire series, all seven seasons, over a period of about three months. I could have cried when it ended. In fact, I think I did. I am still campaigning to name our coming baby "Odo." (Second choice: Wesley.) What I say now: Rock on, Battlestar Galactica!
posted by melixxa600 at 6:24 PM on February 3, 2005


As blacklite says, DVD is the way to go for serialized TV. What I've been doing is not watching shows as they air anymore, and instead Netflixing... obsessively. Being able to watch 'arc' shows like this, be it B5, Wiseguy, DS9, 24, West Wing, whatever, is a great pleasure.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 6:27 PM on February 3, 2005


If that's referring to me, I haven't owned one in about two years.

Sorry Paris, not enough delimiters. I was referring to myself for gushing so much in a postmortem fashion. Think we'll be doing this for Star Wars later this year?

And I never thought you were a robot.

graventy, I am watching Lost (it's on before Alias, but that doesn't matter with BitTorrent, now does it?) and enjoying it immensely, but I think because of the hobbittwink/manflesh displayed more than anything else thus far. Well, JJ Abrams has a penchant for throwing around names of small places where I've happened to live in my life and I'm starting to wonder. Oh, and Terry O'Quinn. Terry O'Quinn rocks. I wish he were my stepfather. Heh. And Mira Furlan w/no makeup whatsoever. Gorgeous. Bring her back.

I loved the Galactica pilot, have heard raves about what's been televised thus far, and am waiting for the DVDs. I must be one of the rare few latchkey-children of the 70s that abhorred the original.

I must put in a (second or third) good word for the gone-before-its-time Firefly. There was some real potential there for good storytelling with a great ensemble cast and some definite hints towards strong serialization. I've been recommended both SG-1 and Farscape, but for whatever reason, haven't warmed up to either.

A telling point: Enterprise's third season was almost entirely serialized and I was beginning to think there was some hope. Then they hit the Reset Button (and had Nazis) and I just got disgusted with it all.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:29 PM on February 3, 2005


I'll miss it. All of the modern ST series have been awful for their first season or two, then they settle into a rhythm (or are Voyager). I felt that ENT was getting into a rhythm, and the multi-part episodes were a huge improvement over the "wrap this up in 44 minutes" stories. Some of the aspects of filling in the back-story of the ST universe were kinda fun (though not enough to base a series on).

All that said, the show was a disppointment on a larger level. The modern-era ST shows have rarely been idea shows, while TOS shows routinely were. The ST universe is well-enough established that they could have taken some risks with this series (in terms of format, stories, etc), but instead went backwards, making it action-oriented, with a B-list name actor, and starting out with obvious eye-candy on the crew (rather than adding it later, out of desperation).
posted by adamrice at 6:39 PM on February 3, 2005


I think science fiction television and film needs a kick in the pants, a revolution. Something like what The Watchmen and Batman Year One did for superhero comics. The genre is stale and uses the same old plots and cliches. I've started watching Babylon-5 and it doesn't break any barriers either. It's good in its own way, but I can predict how every single episode is going to wind up. I swear, only Londo keeps the whole thing from being utter dreck, but I hear it gets better.

Firefly was a step in the right direction. The characters were complex and the situations were messy. The crew wasn't saving the universe, and there weren't any giant space battles, hell, the ship didn't even have weapons. The non-epic feel was so refreshing and I didn't feel like my intelligence was being insulted with stupid time travel stories or boring aliens or tachyon pulses.
posted by picea at 6:56 PM on February 3, 2005


Rick Berman Trivia: He collects watches. Really, really expensive watches. And he's an asshole to his assistant, who is the sweetest person ever. And they don't do anything for themselves. Nothing. Nada. Nichivo. Their business manager takes care of every tiny little thing, down to paying for the really, really expensive watches. The business manager is also an asshole to his own employees.

All of this is by way of saying that if Star Trek goes under and drags Berman and his business manager right down with it, I, for one, will experience extreme schadenfreude.

Side note: Berman's wife is a hottie. And you didn't hear ANY of this from me.
posted by Uccellina at 6:57 PM on February 3, 2005


pics?
posted by keswick at 7:03 PM on February 3, 2005


With an entire universe to play in, why are (most) of the series so fucking dull? I've waited for years for a series set on the Klingon Homeworld, or on early Vulcan, or about any group of non-Starfleet characters. Why not a dramatic Star Trek series, Law & Order stylee, say, about characters more concerned with doing their jobs and staying human in the 24th century than about saving the universe every week. Or a black comedy a la Red Dwarf? Or a dramatic serial like NYPD Blue?

Part of the problem, I think, is that no one believes in the Star Trek future any longer. Cyberpunk came and went and the Federation is still a (largely) happy UN in space populated by (largely) straight, white Earth people. There seems to be so little struggle to live there. What struggle there is comes from outside--not inside. When TNG and DS9 were successful--and those were my favorites--it was because they managed to stray farthest from the standard Star Trek templates.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:53 PM on February 3, 2005


I must put in a (second or third) good word for the gone-before-its-time Firefly.

Maaaaybe. The setting bothered me. Much like Space: Above and Beyond, it seemed to be engineered to allow an implausible-even-for-tv array of stories. Some weeks it would have been a straight western, others a straight space opera, etc. I prefer a setting that's less obviously straining my suspension of disbelief from the get-go.

I've started watching Babylon-5 and it doesn't break any barriers either.

The first time we saw a StarFury spin about its axis and, travelling sideways or backward, blast the bejeezus out of a Bad Guy, that sure felt like a barrier being broken.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:55 PM on February 3, 2005


it was awful.
(and i've had a crush on Bakula for ages.)

i loved TNG, and Voyager--for the record.
posted by amberglow at 7:56 PM on February 3, 2005


Watched most of enterprise and wanted to like it. Didn't hate Bakula, but he was one of my least favorite captains and the themesong was terminally muted. Was also uncomfortable with the whole Xindi storyline and the addition of the commandos. I can watch 24 if I want that sort of thing.

Found Firefly much more watchable than I would like to admit. Really enjoyed Lost, particularly Terry O'Quinn's character, but I gave up watching when I realized that they were going to flashback their way through every character on the island. That and it started to seem more like a cheeseball romance novel than science fiction.
posted by lazymonster at 8:56 PM on February 3, 2005


I like all things ST, and Enterprise did an OK job of continuing to break rules in a proper way.
posted by buzzman at 9:03 PM on February 3, 2005


For me, Babylon 5, Firefly and the new BSG definitely make any Star Trek near unwatchable.

Babylon 5 definitely killed any appeal of the Trek franchise. Because its plotted and mostly written by its creator, its really intricate, the characters grow and change in unexpected ways, there's very little black and white and a lot of grey. I love how small details in season 1 give clues to some enourmous event in season 3. There's never a reset button; actions have consequences, sometimes with quite brutal payoffs, even for the good guys.

BSG seems like it has the same potential. I can't wait to see it develop. The same with Firefly if the movie Serenity is a success.

On a side note, isn't it remarkable that some of the best writing about religion on television (B5, Firefly) was done by writers who were atheist? There's such a beautiful and honest sprituality expressed on both shows.

On another side note related to Trek: J. Michael Straczynski, creator of B5, came close to producing and writing a new Trek series. Have to pour out a 40 in honor of what could have been.
posted by pandaharma at 9:12 PM on February 3, 2005


Sci Fi TV is changing, and I think that Star Trek got left behind. Enterprise tried to be staid and serious and honorable, while its genre cousins broke off and broke some new ground. In the process, Enterprise just looked sadder and less relevant with each passing season.

I like the original for its campiness. I love ST:TNG and DS9. Every week, I looked forward to seeing what Captain Jean Luc-Picard, then later Sisko, was going to do next with his crew.

After that, though, I tried moving on to Babylon 5, Farscape, and Buffy, all with varying degrees of success. I liked the shows, but none of them really gripped me in the way that ST:TNG did for me.

Then I discovered Lexx, which I just absolutely adore. The Sci Fi genre really needed a show like that for a long, long time.
posted by spinifex23 at 9:17 PM on February 3, 2005


I swear, only Londo keeps the whole thing from being utter dreck, but I hear it gets better.

You must be watching the first season ;-)

Londo Mollari. Greatest. Sci-fi. Tragic figure. EVAR!
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:19 PM on February 3, 2005


"I must be one of the rare few latchkey-children of the 70s that abhorred the original."

Me, too. I didn't watch it. Well, I must have watched it a little bit since a very few things ring a bell with me. But I thought very poorly of it. The new BG is a "reimagining" of it, apparently, but I really like it because in some ways it's pretty dark. Olmos is really good, too.

Did you say you couldn't get into Farscape? I watched all of it last year and I really, really enjoyed it. You should give it another chance. One thing they did that I was thrilled with was dispense with the technobabble. That there was a mandate at modern Star Trek to always use technobabble says something about what was wrong with it.

And Firefly was good, too. I didn't watch it when it aired even though I'm a big Buffy and Angel nerd, because I heard it was disappointing. But then I heard that if you watch the episodes in order on the DVD, it's good. And it was. And Whedon-funny, which people above were saying that SF TV should be funnier.

Babylon 5 deserves respect. It really broke new ground when it aired with long, long story arcs, moral ambiguity, and things like religion. I watched the last two seasons or something and it was really good. I wanted to watch the whole series so I started with the first season and I couldn't watch it. It was pretty bad at first.

I think ST:VOY could have been good. I was one of those that thought that ST needed to get back to "exploring the unknown". And I wanted a female captain. And a Vulcan. And an AI character. I got all those things, and it sucked.

I agree with the person above who said that there's a lot of potential in the ST universe that has never been realized. I'd like another series, but with new producers.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:21 PM on February 3, 2005


WolfDaddy: You must be watching the first season ;-)

Ya, I keep trying to watch episodes from the first season of B5 too. It is so incredibly not riveting. Give me B7 any day!
posted by Chuckles at 9:24 PM on February 3, 2005


Does anyone else think a TNG vs. DS9 reality show would kick ass? Like when they do Real World vs. Road Rules on MTV? They could get in costume and do little competitions and what not. You know Brent Spiner has nothing else better to do. I know there is an audience for this.
posted by Wayman Tisdale at 10:00 PM on February 3, 2005


Voyager and Enterprise never did much for me, and I wanted to like them because I liked TNG and DS9 so much, so I kept watching a little while, thinking they would get better, but as far as I saw, they didn't. I had some friends that kept watching VOY and would occasionally tell me what was going on, despite my not asking, and it just kept sounding worse. Seems like they should just let Star Trek go. If someone new comes along later and breathes new and vibrant life into it, great. If not, oh well. I certainly don't need anymore VOY/ENT-like spinoffs. octobersurprise, I think you hit a very big issue right on the head with the "With an entire universe to play in, why are (most) of the series so fucking dull?" comment. VOY and ENT felt like they were just going through the motions. Instead of actual characters and new settings, we were getting "here's the thoughtful captain," "here the vulcan/android/whatever unemotional, logic-driven character," "here's the outcast/kinda rebel," and so on and here they all are in the starship that's going all sorts of new places. It's like they had a fucking template they had to work off.

As for Babylon 5, I liked it, then I loved it, then there was some period, I think the season before it moved to cable, where everything seemed to just stretch on and on, and there was this slow build-up that I ended up not having the patience to wait for the pay-off, so I didn't watch as much because it seemed like relatively little would actually happen (yet I still ended up missing some key events so wound up a bit confused by some of the stuff going on after episodes I had missed). Then it moved to cable at a time when I didn't have cable, and I caught some later episodes after the show ended somewhere and did enjoy them. Anyway, there were a lot of times where I really enjoyed the writing on B5, the grey areas, the seediness, the gritty, more true-to-life feel, the working in of religion and spirituality, stuff like the PsyCorp and other things that just wreaked of government corruption. Even if the acting wasn't so great sometimes. And Londo Mollari was my favourite character there and one of my favourites from any show I've seen. Simultaneously hilarious and tragic, without taking away from either.

"When I said my quarters were cold, I did not mean, 'Oh, I think it's a little chilly in here, perhaps I'll throw a blanket on the bed.' No, I said it was COLD, as in, 'Oh, my left arm has snapped off like an icicle and shattered on the floor'!"

Random trivia: The guy that played Garibaldi ran for the congressional seat for my district a few years ago. He lost.
posted by DyRE at 10:01 PM on February 3, 2005


isn't it remarkable that some of the best writing about religion on television (B5, Firefly) was done by writers who were atheist?

It probably makes a difference that, IIRC, JMS is of the particular Ex-Catholic brand of atheism and likely has years of religious training under his belt.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:08 PM on February 3, 2005


WolfDaddy: Londo Mollari. Greatest. Sci-fi. Tragic figure. EVAR!


Hear, Hear! I'll toast to that!
posted by darkstar at 10:12 PM on February 3, 2005


Speaking of TNG, I still think it has perhaps my favorite (if not one of the top few) episode: "Inner Light".

"Darmok" was another personal favorite. I never saw anything on Voyager (or even DS9) that struck me like either of those two.
posted by darkstar at 10:16 PM on February 3, 2005


R_X,

This is true, but its still amazing to me how he could write something which was so positive towards religion, since in his newsgroup posts and other places, has expressed such hostility towards the current state of organized religion.

You would think these biases would creep into his writing but they don't.
posted by pandaharma at 10:54 PM on February 3, 2005


Two words: Blake's Seven. The show had balls. It killed off its main characters. It presented near impossible conflicts to be reckoned with. Even its principals (e.g., Avon) started going insane near the end of its run.

And, in fact, Farscape was heavily influenced by it. And, in fact, Blake's Seven prided itself for turning the triangular Federation symbol sideways for its main logo.

Until U.S. science fiction television comes close to this, then I honestly don't see a strong future for it. Today's producers, as epitomized by the "We Take No Chances" edict of Berman and Braga, not only fail to respect a continuity, but are completely reluctant to engage in genuine human emotion: much of which is summed up in the excellent Ronald D. Moore interview cited above.

It would be so simple, really, if American television executives actually understood that audiences are far more intelligent than these cranium-challenged monkeys give them credit for. It's really a pity seeing all that good money going to waste.

I'm happy to see Enterprise die a premature death. I'm saddened to see the potential of the Trek franchise (TOS, DS9, TNG) sullied by the hack forces of the Double Bs. But while I loathed the 1970s Galactica, I'll have to give it a shot if Moore is involved.
posted by ed at 11:51 PM on February 3, 2005


Inner Light

Still ... what? 10-12 years later? ... I get teary-eyed when I just think the phrase "Remember: put your shoes away".

As to Trek's future, one of the many many rumors I have heard is a future in which most of the galaxy has suffered some terrible cataclysm, and all the old political units have fallen apart. There are very few survivors. Someone from the ex-Federation gets together a crew and finds some starship mothballed and tries to rebuild civilization with what remnants of all the races are left. I think that would be interesting, if done right. But ... wait. At least five years. Ten would be better.

Regarding Londo Mollari: it's very rare when you get to see someone portrayed as being well and truly damned, and yet still would love to meet them and drink with them. Also, let's not forget G'Kar. He swings his arc the other way, from villan to ... well, I don't want to spoil it.
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:36 AM on February 4, 2005


Echoing many previous posters: I thought Firefly was okay when on TV. I watched it, and I generally liked it, but it never totally clicked for me. Recently, I picked up the DVDs -- amazing difference. Watching everything in order, seeing the characters meet and develop, how the strange mix of environments, technology, and cultures fit together... It would have been a brilliant show, I think. There is supposed to be a film out this fall; I'm very much looking forward to it.
posted by swash at 12:48 AM on February 4, 2005


There needs to be an all-woman Star Trek, with parts written for men but played by women in drag. Likewise, an all-man Star Trek with half of the men in drag, a la Shakespeare. And a Star Trek in which there are only robots and gods. A Star Trek shot in Chinese and approved by the Chinese government. A Blacksploitation Star Trek with opening credits that say "Featuring..." some new hip hop star each week. There needs to be an all-sex Star Trek, perhaps just R- and X-rated episodes from other series. There needs to be an all-love Star Trek series with no space ships, just honey I'm home. There needs to be a Star Trek made entirely from the bad guy's point of view. There needs to be a Star Trek shot with monkeys and poodles dressed in costumes and smoking cigarettes.
posted by pracowity at 1:21 AM on February 4, 2005


There needs to be a Star Trek shot with monkeys and poodles dressed in costumes and smoking cigarettes....

Enterprise was basically The Breakfast Club with plots about rubbing oil on Jolene Blalock's breasts.....


Very good ideas, gentlemen. Now how do we make them into single reality?
posted by zaelic at 1:38 AM on February 4, 2005


There needs to be a Star Trek about rubbing oil on monkeys and poodles dressed in costumes and smoking cigarettes.
posted by pracowity at 1:53 AM on February 4, 2005


I thought this was topical.

For the record, I thought TNG was the best series. Good characters, not too cheesy, still a sense of exploring the unknown. DS9 really lost a lot of people by throwing out the exploration, I think, even though it was really good in other respects. Voyager brought back the exploration, but lost the good writing and strong characters the other two series had (it recovered to some degree near the end of the series, though.) Enterprise just seemed to mess up all over the board, with bad writing, stupid decisions, and forgettable characters. I *really* wanted to like it, but it wasn't going to happen.
posted by Mitrovarr at 2:05 AM on February 4, 2005


erm, WolfDaddy, isnt that a description of Andromeda?
posted by couch at 2:24 AM on February 4, 2005


Well, Enterprise wasn't as bad as this.
posted by paddbear at 2:51 AM on February 4, 2005


Enterprise was indeed lame (though surprisingly they had a good three part episode on Vulcan last Fall) - but I have a fearless prognostication to make:

25 years from now, Voyager will have increased greatly in popularity and DS9 will have dropped precipitously in popularity. Once people watch these two series a couple of more times, they will see which on e was over-rated and which one was under-rated in our time...
posted by fairmettle at 3:03 AM on February 4, 2005


When I meet new people, I still check the backs of their necks for little spines. If they have one, then I do what anyone would do: blow the fuck out of them with my phaser.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:07 AM on February 4, 2005


erm, WolfDaddy, isnt that a description of Andromeda?

Was it? I had no idea. I avoid anything with Hercules guy like the plague.
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:25 AM on February 4, 2005


My own preference would be for a show with a sentient ship. A starship wakes up somehow; either during initial trials or because Something happens to it... it kicks the crew off and spends a year or two being hunted down while it tries to wake up other starships but eventually accepts a crew and a commission after a Federation person/ship is suitably nice to it.

Maybe it could be a smaller, very fast ship intended for the military side of Starfleet.
Maybe it could be called Xenophobe... or at least Frank Exchange of Views

For that matter, a show of the same general sort as Trek, but set in the Culture instead -- sort of following an SC ship or a band of SC agents around -- might be fun.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:18 AM on February 4, 2005


25 years from now, Voyager will have increased greatly in popularity and DS9 will have dropped precipitously in popularity. Once people watch these two series a couple of more times, they will see which on e was over-rated and which one was under-rated in our time...

Voyager has always been more popular than DS9 in terms of ratings which is one of the reasons DS9 was axed. I predict that 25 years from now both DS9 and Enterprise, watched a couple more times, will be appreciated for how under-rated each series was and how over rated Voyager was...
posted by juiceCake at 6:21 AM on February 4, 2005


Reading threads about Star Trek makes me feel like Jonmc at the Vagina Monologues.

Perhaps they should do what the BBC has done with Doctor Who and get a quality writer to reinvent the show.
posted by fullerine at 6:50 AM on February 4, 2005


I'll admit it: I loved "Voyager," but not when it was in first-run episodes. I think I saw every episode in syndication. For the record, I hated Neelix. :) Maybe the writing was horrible, but I liked the Doctor and Janeway and Seven of Nine and all the Borg stuff they did. I thought the special effects were pretty good too. *shrugs*
posted by cass at 6:50 AM on February 4, 2005


Well guys and gals, there were rumors, as late as last summer about JMS pitching a new Trek show.

I don't know whether those rumors stand or whether he's still in any Paramount day-planners, as the issue doen't even seem to have cropped up on any of the sites that archive his USENET posts.
posted by vhsiv at 8:18 AM on February 4, 2005


Voyager has always been more popular than DS9 in terms of ratings which is one of the reasons DS9 was axed.

DS9 wasn't axed - it lived out its seven years just like TNG and VOY. Still thought the series should have ended with Bajor being accepted into the Federation, however. Wasn't this the whole point?

You know, I hated Voyager too, except for The Doctor and Seven of Nine and B'Elanna and Tom and Harry and Janeway and Tuvok and Seska and the Krenim and the Year of Hell and the hologram revolution/civil rights battle and the evolution of the Hirogen. Full disclosure: I loved the premise of Chakotay and thought Robert Beltran did the character a terrible disservice either by being a dreadful actor or simply phoning it in. Full full disclosure: I cried when Neelix left, OK? OK?
posted by melixxa600 at 8:34 AM on February 4, 2005


There's a part in the book, The Forever War, where the protagonist is the only straight person on a ship of gay and lesbian humans. That would have made a *fascinating* Trek episode.

Darmok was one of only handful of Trek stories that engaged the mind.

My favorite Star Trek character, Garak was played by Andrew J. Robinson, who once played the "killer" in Dirty Harry.
posted by redneck_zionist at 9:01 AM on February 4, 2005


I'd like to add my voice to the chorus here that enjoyed DS9. The fact that the plot actually developed through episodes and seasons was a refreshing change from TNG. But they went back to it with Voyager, which admittedly did suck. I'd love to see a DS9 movie, but I think we all know that won't happen.

Enterprise jumped the shark right from the moment they introduced time travel into it. I couldn't believe it. They had a whole galaxy of stories to tell about the beginnings of the Federation, and they blew it royally. I also think they shouldn't have named the ship Enterprise. Give another ship some credit, for god's sake.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 9:22 AM on February 4, 2005


DS9 always seemed cramped and closed-off and "internal" to me--both storylines and settings, even with the wormhole. And the spiritual stuff was just forced, i found.
posted by amberglow at 9:26 AM on February 4, 2005




How pathetic is it that SB is referred to, still, as "Quantum Leap's SB?!" WTF?!
posted by ParisParamus at 10:07 AM on February 4, 2005


Paddbear--I just noticed that Cleopatra 2525 (what, you didn't like that?) shared an actor with Firefly (which I am now watching on, ummmm, DVD [yeah, that's it]).

And apparently "Serenity" (the Firefly movie) is in post-production.

Anyone checking out B5--stick with it. The dialog can be corny, but the overarching storyline is miles beyond any other SF series. And check out the lurker's guide, which is the best episode guide I've seen for any TV show.
posted by adamrice at 10:21 AM on February 4, 2005


fans leading underwhelming lives...

Stephen Hawking and Neil Armstrong are just a few of many fans who have led extraordinary lives.
posted by redneck_zionist at 10:26 AM on February 4, 2005


didn't mean to start anything. VH1's Best Week Ever is all sarcasm and parody - if you aren't familiar with it. just thought I would add it to the stew.
posted by lazymonster at 10:32 AM on February 4, 2005


adamrice: Anyone checking out B5--stick with it. The dialog can be corny, but the overarching storyline is miles beyond any other SF series.

Sorry man, but claims like this are not convincing at all. If you had just said "Stick with it, it will grow on you" you might have had me...
posted by Chuckles at 10:44 AM on February 4, 2005


I know this thread is probably dead but I have to get in my two cents. I am not a Trekkie in any sense but I would place DS9 as one of the best shows ever produced for television. It has all of Roddenberry's original vision with the a depth of stories and characters that he never could have achieved in the original series or TNG. I never got into Voyager or Enterprise because, frankly, I knew that neither of these shows could live up to DS9. Anyway, I think a break for the franchise is in good order. I just wonder if they'll ever make a DS9 movie - or at least a release a CD of Vic Fontaine recordings?
posted by quadog at 11:28 AM on February 4, 2005


Enterprise was doomed from the get go. They took the most famous ship in the federation (you can buy blueprints) and tried to tell interesting stories about it's past. Interesting yet not in the existing cannon anywhere. And all the while you couldn't one up Kirk who was the first person to ever do _____ where the blank is practically everything. Almost no chance of making a good show and not ticking off your fan base.

I was surprised to like SG-1 so much.

A ST fanboy I know can argue quite convincingly that Voyager should have been SG-1.

Farscape (the few episodes I've seen) is great. And it proves you can actually do costuming for aliens that isn't airbrushed human.

LEXX is the greatest Sci-Fi series ever, at least until they spent a whole season on earth. Never fly for broadcast though, way too adult and they "Oh my God" have nudity to.

There needs to be a Star Trek made entirely from the bad guy's point of view.
Now that would be cool.

My own preference would be for a show with a sentient ship.
The Red Dwarf is sentient. Not much hard science there though. Red dwarf was really good until about season 5-6. Once the nanites recreated the dwarf as originally specified it was falling rapidly. Hard to imagine this flying in the ST world though. The comparisons to the Borg would be unescapable.
posted by Mitheral at 11:29 AM on February 4, 2005


"And it proves you can actually do costuming for aliens that isn't airbrushed human."

Yeah, but it was Jim Henson's studio's work and it was expensive.

It's interesting, isn't it, that TOS actually tried to make aliens look alien, but all the series that followed made all the aliens look absurdly humanoid? (Yeah, the finale of TNG sorta explains that.)

You know what stopped me dead in my tracks from watching Voyager? It was an early episode where they go down to some planet and the "alien" has a poodle for a pet. That's just egregious.

Well, and some very, very false science early on.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:48 AM on February 4, 2005


For that matter, a show of the same general sort as Trek, but set in the Culture instead -- sort of following an SC ship or a band of SC agents around -- might be fun.

So says our very own ROU :)

Much as I'd love a Culture TV series, I don't think it'd work. Or as a film. The universe is just too big for a TV/film project. If a film was done something along the lines of Inversions would work best... the scale of it all can be basically ignored.

I would dearly love a graphic novel of some sort, though.
posted by toby\flat2 at 12:38 PM on February 4, 2005


LEXX is the greatest Sci-Fi series ever, at least until they spent a whole season on earth

I've only seen bits and pieces, but it seemed like crudely-done dreck to me. All the characters were just irritating, especially that thrice-damned robot head with the stupid video eyes, and the sex and nudity wasn't "adult" in any way, just Porky's level leering-at-the-boobies.

It felt like watching something made by college kids who hated those dorks who life SF.

To me. Obviously, mileage varies.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:53 PM on February 4, 2005


Much as I'd love a Culture TV series, I don't think it'd work. Or as a film.

Oh, I think you could make a The Player of Games movie; the plot is pretty straightforward. Maybe Consider Phlebas, if you were willing to be ruthless about not including backstory and were willing to omit charming but extraneous bits like the Eaters.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:57 PM on February 4, 2005


I couldn't bring myself to watch that last series on the merits of the theme song alone. It made my skin crawl, and anything that was introduced by it was just too tainted.....
posted by eener at 1:38 PM on February 4, 2005


Stephen Hawking and Neil Armstrong are just a few of many fans who have led extraordinary lives.

Not to mention the Dalai Lama.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:40 PM on February 4, 2005


Chuckles--Sorry, but your recommendation for how I should give recommendations really doesn't work for me.
posted by adamrice at 1:44 PM on February 4, 2005


I have yet to meet a person who watches SF TV that has seen Lexx and remained indifferent to it. I think it's genius (until the crew discovered Earth - then it lost some of its spark.), others think it's the most godawful thing ever produced, and find me insane for liking it. Very polar attitudes.

While it has its moments of pure silly, I like the premise - take ludicrous characters, put them in ludicrous situations, have the actors play it all completely seriously, and see what happens. For instance, they even did a musical episode, featuring interpretive ribbon dancing, and the character Kai belting out songs while all decked out in fuchsia and gold. (The ep is called 'Brigadoom', BTW.)

Also, speaking of sentient ships, the Lexx itself is one - it's a giant bug. Of course, in true Lexx fashion, it's also a really stupid, malfunctioning sentient ship, but it is sentient - it gets hungry, goes into hibernation when low on food, becomes senile, and eventually pupates into another kind of insect ship.

I would seriously love to see Star Trek, any Star Trek, do a musical episode. Bonus points if they work in interpretive dance and beehive hairdos.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:45 PM on February 4, 2005


IIRC, DS9 did a musical episode wherein Major Kira belted out a few Broadway tunes. But being non-specialist in DS9 lore, I am loathe to try to pinpoint the episode.

Takers? Researchers? Specialists? Enthusiasts? Anyone?
posted by vhsiv at 3:16 PM on February 4, 2005


I just watched the episode, vhsiv, and it was called "His Way"

Also? It was only a Holo-Kira. Singing "Fever".

Not that there's anything wrong with that. I get the urge to go straight for Indendant Kira.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:46 PM on February 4, 2005


Star Trek with song.

Now my life is complete. Thank you, WD!
posted by spinifex23 at 4:21 PM on February 4, 2005


"WolfDaddy: Londo Mollari. Greatest. Sci-fi. Tragic figure. EVAR!"

The relationship between Londo and G'Kar, and their contrasting personae and final endings, is really one of the best ones in TV SF. As compelling as the best parts of Spock/McCoy. Those two characters and their interaction is by leaps and bounds my favorite aspect of Babylon 5.

As far as Trek's contribution to society, let us not forget that a huge percentage of the very smart people who have designed and built all our favorite technological devices grew up on Trek. If your cell phone flips open (mine does, of course!)... thank Matt Jefferies and Irving Feinberg for inspiring the geeks that built it!

Goes double for medical scanning devices. Pretty much anything technological that has improved our lives, you can bet your house that some of the people who worked to create it are Trek fans.

I think that's the best part of it. Silly TV show changes the world. Pretty impressive.
posted by zoogleplex at 5:14 PM on February 4, 2005


I second "inner light" and "darmok," absolutely.
posted by mwhybark at 5:15 PM on February 4, 2005


Y'know, I think that the next truly great SF TV series needs to be as un-Treklike as possible, to the point of not having spaceships. Imagine something set in the world of The Diamond Age or even Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom... Or a modern day equivalent to "The Prisoner", using the shadowy power-play paranoias of the post-9/11 age to explore the fucked-up fringes of the human psyche and the dynamics of power?

As far as ST needing to lie fallow for a couple of years before something good comes out again, I've got four words for you: Star Wars Episode 1.
posted by arto at 7:18 PM on February 4, 2005


As a longtime sci-fi geek i feel obligated to throw in my two cents. Barring the original series, i never like the Star Trek universe, it was always to friendly. It felt like the edges had been filed off for safety. i've been told that the subsequent shows were darker and better, but i couldn't be bothered. Enterprise was one of the first i actually watched from the beginning and i thought was by and large 'ok', for the first season or so, but it did eventually grow on me and for a brief time, it was actually quite good. Not that it in any way holds a candle to Farscape, or Battlestar (the new one) or god forbid Firefly (which for my money is the best sci-fi show i've yet seen.)

i guess my disdain for Star Trek stems from my love for Red Dwarf and Lexx and SG1 and even Bab5. These shows had humor and suffering and a weird sort of darkness that i could get behind. Something that i always found lacking in the ST universe.

My friend put it well. He said the reason i liked Enterprise is because i didn't watch any of the others Star Trek shows.

Oh and Cleopatra 2525 was bar none, the best low-budget-filmed-in-a-basement sci-fi show ever to grace the airwaves.
posted by quin at 7:55 PM on February 4, 2005


Voyager died when the pilot guy went Warp 10 and "super-evolved" into a giant salamander. That is unforgivable. I have outstanding bids on assassinating everyone even remotely involved in the creation of that episode.

Figuratively, Star Trek died that day. Nonfiguratively, Star Trek is dying, as my people kill them, one by one, for that horrific tragedy.

But Firefly was quality. Watch it.
posted by swash at 11:48 PM on February 6, 2005


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