Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
Star Trek
Byrne Robotics > Star Trek << Prev Page of 3 Next >>
Topic: Was the Star Trek reboot necessary? Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
James Woodcock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4155
Posted: 04 September 2017 at 1:35am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The thing I never got with the Kobyashi Maru scenes and the subsequent 'You never had to face death' speeches was that it was all ridiculous premise.

Of course Kirk had faced death. He'd faced the test twice before his cheat, he'd lost his brother, he'd lost a lot of crewmen. So where did this 'You've never had to face death before' come from? He'd cheated it and patted himself on the back but he had lost crewmen left right and centre.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Andrew Saxon
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 June 2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 165
Posted: 04 September 2017 at 2:15am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Even though this particular reboot didn't get it right, I'd hate to think that Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest of the Enterprise crew will die with the actors who first portrayed them on television. It would be like saying no one should ever have played Hamlet other than Richard Burbage. I hope that Star Trek will still be being made long after I've departed for the final frontier myself. Some productions, like the most recent effort, will be awful, I know, but perhaps some will come close to capturing the magic of the original.

PS If they are making Star Trek in the 22nd/23rd century, then might I suggest a '200 Year Rule' like the '7 Year Rule' for comics being discussed elsewhere on this forum. Star Trek should always be set 200 years from whatever 'now' it is being made in.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108732
Posted: 04 September 2017 at 6:49am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Even though this particular reboot didn't get it right, I'd hate to think that Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest of the Enterprise crew will die with the actors who first portrayed them on television. It would be like saying no one should ever have played Hamlet other than Richard Burbage. I hope that Star Trek will still be being made long after I've departed for the final frontier myself. Some productions, like the most recent effort, will be awful, I know, but perhaps some will come close to capturing the magic of the original.

False equivalency. HAMLET was written with the assumption that it would outlive its author and be presented in many different venues, portrayed by many different actors. TV series, like STAR TREK, were created on a much more finite model. The original actors would play the characters for, ideally, as long as the series lasted.

We are amused and entertained by new stage productions of various works. Some may be considered definitive, but that does not put a block on subsequent versions. TV is a different animal. There are constraints inherent in the form that mean many actors present variations on themselves as the characters. TV is pretty much built on that premise.

Which means, in the case of STAR TREK, William Shatner IS James Kirk. Leonard Nimoy IS Mr. Spock, and so on. (The preposterous casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan underscores the close association of actor and role.)

Chris Pine did not play James Kirk. He played a jumble of misconceptions, both about the character and Shatner's performance. Likewise the others, caricatures not characters.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Michael Penn
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 April 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 9818
Posted: 04 September 2017 at 7:22am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted over
In states unborn and accents yet unknown!

JB is correct. Stage plays are a whole other thing than television.

Ricky Ricardo was made for Desi Arnaz. Rob Petrie was made for Dick Van Dyke. Andy Taylor was made for Andy Griffith. Conversely, it's often the TV actors who "make" the roles!

Either way, there's zero difference regarding the "Star Trek" characters. They can only exist in that show, of that time, featuring those actors. Just because we love them and feel that they tap into something profoundly mythical and hence enduring doesn't mean that they can exist in perpetuity via virtually endless succeeding generations.

Every other "Hamlet" is a valid interpretation (good or bad), but any other Kirk than Shatner's is ersatz.


Back to Top profile | search
 
Eric Sofer
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 31 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 1578
Posted: 04 September 2017 at 8:00am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Star Trek is just fine evolving with different characters and actors in a way that Sherlock Holmes or Hamlet can't possibly be. Holmes or Hamlet can (and likely SHOULD) be played by a variety of characters, and while Holmes can have different adventures, they are both focused on a single character, and they are set in their genres and eras. We should never see Holmes as an intelligence agent in World War II, or Hamlet on a satellite.

But Star Trek seems more about the idea than the characters... and so, when it's time, the characters are replaced... but not the actors. An occasional callback is fine, but no one else should ever play Worf or Chakotay except for extreme circumstances. And if something happens to the actors, the show might be best served by replacing the character rather than recasting. The current Star Trek faces that same dilemma with Chekov. I fell that, unfortunately, they are obligated to continue with a Mr. Chekov, despite the loss of Anton Yelchin. But in the Star Trek universe, it's not safe, with quick and easy missions; it's a militaristic mission for a militaristic group. Hell, we KNOW that the Enterprise lost crew... realistically, they were replaced by Starfleet. But they were not the same characters... and while I understand that these are performers that we never saw, being true to the show indicates that it's not the same Ensign Alvarez... it's now Ensign Hammersmith.

Star Trek has a basic premise, and it can (and perhaps should) adhere to that, regardless of the crew. But a new Kirk, Spock, etc.. seems like trying to have your cake and eat it too.

And going back to my own experience... I abominate being told, "Do this character just the way he was in this movie / that production". That isn't why you want me as an actor. That means you want an imitator, and while I can do a little of that.... I'd rather perform the role my way (understandably with modifications by my director.) But it's an entirely different type of performing altogether.


Edited by Eric Sofer on 04 September 2017 at 8:03am
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108732
Posted: 04 September 2017 at 8:32am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

It's a popular misconception that TOS was "about the ideas". It was, but only in the sense that those ideas served as backdrops for those particular characters. And it was those actors who shaped those characters.

Consider, "The Cage" could have been made as scripted with Shatner as Pike and Kelly as Boyce. But those characters would have been subtly -- and not so subtly -- different. They would have been infused with what those actors brought to the table.

NuTrek is working from a laundry list of character names, but WHO those characters ARE is not important. It's the In Name Only kind of "brand loyalty" that we have been seeing across a broad spectrum of entertainment product.

Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108732
Posted: 04 September 2017 at 8:50am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

(I should note, as I have before, that I see NuTrek as my punishment for having enjoyed NuGalactica.)
Back to Top profile | search
 
Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 14262
Posted: 04 September 2017 at 8:57am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

NuTrek is working from a laundry list of character names, but WHO those characters ARE is not important. It's the In Name Only kind of "brand loyalty" that we have been seeing across a broad spectrum of entertainment product.
++++++++

This. 

A disturbing amount of people have stated that NuTREK "captured the spirit of the original". It seems that today's culture isn't interested in nuances of characterization and performance when it comes to an adaptation of existing material.

I mean, thinking that a wildly off-model version of Spock is perfectly fine because all of the schtick is still there (the ears, the hair, the nerve-pinch, mind-melding, the word "logical" etc.) does a tremendous disservice to everything that Leonard Nimoy brought to that character. What's the point of every trying to build a character, if the audience only sees the surface elements as being important? It would seem that anyone can play Spock as long as the ears and catchphrases are correct. Which is extremely depressing.

If Spock and Uhura had been portrayed as a couple in STAR TREK- THE MOTION PICTURE, you can be sure that the reaction would not have been positive. "You sold out Spock's integrity as a character to make more money, Roddenberry!" would surely have been the cry from fandom.

Flash-forward 30 years, throw in an "alternate timeline" excuse, and it's praised as "faithful".

Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Michael Penn
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 April 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 9818
Posted: 04 September 2017 at 9:03am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Certain kinds of art are designed to be singularly definitive. The "Pieta" is one and done, but not "Don Giovanni." Sometimes you can't know the dancer from the dance. 

"Star Trek" was a character-driven show. There's nothing to do beyond it than mimicry or even parody. A Beatles-Tribute Band, eh?

But a show like "The Twilight Zone" was idea-driven. As long as even a brand new series kept faithful to that original idea, it could return.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Steve De Young
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 April 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 2737
Posted: 04 September 2017 at 9:54am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Actually, the Pieta was a common artistic theme, and was a theme in statuary both before and after Michelangelo.  So probably not the best example.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Rob Ocelot
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 07 December 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 793
Posted: 04 September 2017 at 10:23am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I wish they'd just leave TOS alone.   It was a product of it's time in it's acting, production values, and aesthetics.  It's a vision of the future from a 1960's perspective, and no less valid a viewpoint of the future than the 1980's perspective seen in BLADE RUNNER and TOTAL RECALL, or a 1930's view seen in FLASH GORDON.  

Trying to update the look and feel of these properties to satisfy the sensibilities of viewers in 2017 completely misses the point of why science fiction is written in the first place.  Unfortunately, movie makers and the movie going public think sticking space ships, explosions and laser guns on top of a soap opera is what Sci-fi is all about.

NEW VISIONS I can handle because it respects TOS for what it is, for all it's (sometimes hokey) trappings.  Instead, I feel that many fans are embarrassed by TOS when there's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.  Without TOS, you'd have nothing, and some people don't seem to realize that basic fact.


Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Michael Penn
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 April 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 9818
Posted: 04 September 2017 at 10:25am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Steve, the figure of Don Juan was also in use before and after Mozart's opera as well. My point is sometimes a work of art is what it is and there can be no other than the thing itself. The Pieta by Michelangelo was not designed to be artistically riffed upon by anyone thereafter. It is what it is. Picasso's Guernica is what it is. Gene Kelly was a great tap dancer, but Fred Astaire already did his dance sequences in TOP HAT. Tap went on, but do a new dance.

The ideas and themes and genre of "Star Trek" were not unprecedented, nor have they not been used elsewhere since. The characters are what can't go on, in the same way that any composer after Mozart would have been foolish to mimic the music "Don Giovanni."


Edited by Michael Penn on 04 September 2017 at 10:40am
Back to Top profile | search
 
Marten van Wier
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 07 August 2015
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 427
Posted: 04 September 2017 at 1:47pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Slightly off topic

* * * *

(I should note, as I have before, that I see NuTrek as my punishment for having enjoyed NuGalactica.)

* * * *

A bit divided on this, I did not like NuGalactica because of the sometimes ridiculous drama and the religious angle.
Seeing how little it had in common with the original series I think it should have been its own thing instead of playing on nostalgia.

But when I then look back at the original series I now start to realize how flawed it is and why it would never achieve a status like the original Star Trek which has many episodes that are still watchable today without the watcher have to "squint" (to much) to led badly, absurd and dated elements pass.

What I really still like the most are the designs and the models such as the Cylon Centurions, and the ships and starfighters. But the rest is pretty much ignorable.

What I hate the most about NuGalactica or its fans to be precise is that they claim that this is science fiction.
What science fiction? It was drama in space that involved spaceships and robots/androids.
I admit that it did some interesting ideas how a war against rebellious AI would fare such as the hacking of enemy spaceships, or as technology advances it would take on a more organic nature, become somewhat biomechanical and being "grown" instead of being manufactured. But neither of these ideas are really original.

And in the end it turned to the fantastic as "God did it!" to explain plot holes.

Rant over though I guess some of my complaints and frustrations about NuGalactica are the same as I have with NuTrek.


Edited by Marten van Wier on 04 September 2017 at 1:49pm
Back to Top profile | search
 
Andrew Saxon
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 June 2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 165
Posted: 05 September 2017 at 3:51am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

What science fiction? It was drama in space that involved spaceships and robots/androids.

Like it or not that is science fiction.

But I do agree that the Battlestar Galactica remake was so very different from the original that it should have been its own thing, though I don't suppose it would have been made at all if it had a different title and the words 'inspired by Battlestar Galactica' hidden in the end credits. One instance of cashing-in on a name that was successful.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108732
Posted: 05 September 2017 at 6:33am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

And in the end [NuGalactica] turned to the fantastic as "God did it!" to explain plot holes.

I "end" the series with the humans having founded a new (if inhospitable) colony world, only the have the Cylons take over. Starbuck's last words are a fine coda to the show: "We fight, until we can't fight any more."

This also avoids the ridiculous "Oh, look! They're all Cylons!" nonsense.

Talk about crashing within sight of the finish line!!

Back to Top profile | search
 
Marten van Wier
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 07 August 2015
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 427
Posted: 05 September 2017 at 9:13am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Like it or not that is science fiction.

* * * *

It is not character storylines in a science fiction plot I have problems with as I have read science fiction books that are big on ideas but in which the characters are two dimensional and the most boring aspect of the story.

But NuBSG was about primarily about the drama and it just happened to have spaceships, robots/androids, and a journey through space.
But that was mostly background fluff or to be used to include space battles.
At no point there was anything of scientific interest or showing how unique and strange space is and everything in it. The BSG crew never ran into something non Cylon related that involved a major scientific solution to resolve it.

And I get that that is not part of the show as that would break with what it is really about.
But then I only find it appropriate to say that NuBSG is not a science fiction show. It is a drama/thriller that happens to take place in a futuristic space setting.


Mr Byrne, one of the things that infuriated me so much is the whole "Angel" stuff.
I did not like the religion stuff in NuBSG, but if the show wanted to play with it is one thing, but at some point suggesting it is true/the truth. And I do know about the beings of light in the original series but I always thought them to be really advanced aliens and not angels/messengers of god.

It was simply better to deal with the subject on a discussion base without showing miracles.


Edited by Marten van Wier on 05 September 2017 at 9:14am
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108732
Posted: 05 September 2017 at 9:27am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Mr Byrne, one of the things that infuriated me so much is the whole "Angel" stuff.

I bailed at the first whiff of that, so I cannot comment.

Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108732
Posted: 05 September 2017 at 9:39am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

...I feel that many fans are embarrassed by TOS when there's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Without TOS, you'd have nothing, and some people don't seem to realize that basic fact.

A "generation" passed between the last episode of TOS (which declined severely in the third season) and the first episode of TNG. In that time, we had the sometimes-to-"meta" movies, in which the characters began to morph into caricatures -- not only of themselves, but of the actors playing them.

Thru this time, Trekkies were basically "given permission" to mock TOS, and even moreso the TNG came out of the gate doing the same. ("Kirk who?")

Eventually, we get NuTrek, which I have described as being as if someone saw a few episodes decades ago, and then described them from memory to Abrams. But what's really being remembered is the negative mythology that's grown up around the show.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 8427
Posted: 05 September 2017 at 2:25pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Eventually, we get NuTrek, which I have described as being as if someone saw a few episodes decades ago, and then described them from memory to Abrams. 

***

I feel that way about reunion movies of 80s shows. The reunion movies for the likes of KNIGHT RIDER, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN and so many others had little in common with themes/tropes from the originals (even worse was that there wasn't a huge gap between them, i.e. KNIGHT RIDER ended in 1986, the reunion movie was 1991). 

With NuTrek, it's even worse - it is exactly what you describe.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Warren Scott
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 09 July 2016
Posts: 160
Posted: 05 September 2017 at 3:02pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

One thing I want to clear up: I'm not sure the reputation of Shatner/Kirk being hammy in the films is earned or at least that it's any less dramatic (some might way over the top) than performances in similar movies (Think "Star Wars," which I also love.). But I think Pine tended to underplay the character in a way that Shatner did in the original series (comedic episodes, aside).
Back to Top profile | search
 
Luke Styer
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 20 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1511
Posted: 11 September 2017 at 3:30pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

 John Byrne wrote:
This was not "creative thinking". This was some smart-ass writer showing contempt for the system. And in any kind of real world scenario, Kirk would not have been commended, he would have been drummed out of the service.
You're not wrong, but Wrath of Khan didn't show Kirk's cheating, so I was (and, honestly am) able to accept this nonsense. Star Trek 2009 goes so much farther that I can't really stay on board.

For one thing, I can't imagine that the real Kirk, even if he did reprogram the simulator, was so flippant about the whole thing. The real Kirk did always find victory even when it seemed impossible, so I can somehow accept that this is what he did in the Kobayashi Maru. Nu Kirk just sat preening like a jackass.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Paul Newland
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 23 May 2015
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 126
Posted: 19 September 2017 at 2:59pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

NuBSG was a simulation entirely set in V'Ger's imagination.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Steve De Young
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 April 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 2737
Posted: 19 September 2017 at 4:08pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

For one thing, I can't imagine that the real Kirk, even if he did reprogram the simulator, was so flippant about the whole thing.
----------------------------------
To me the key to the difference is found in the fact that in TWOK, Kirk is said to have reprogrammed the simulation and put in a loophole.  In NuTrek, Kirk gets somebody to do it for him.

So in TWOK, Kirk is showing his own ingenuity and skill to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat (setting up one of the major themes of the movie).  In NuTrek, he's a snotty punk with a fairly stupid plan (if he expected to get away with it) cheating on an exam.

So of course, real Kirk wasn't flippant.  He hid a loophole in the code and he probably fully expected that they would just think that he somehow had found a loophole in the scenario. 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Richard Stevens
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 04 May 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1155
Posted: 21 September 2017 at 10:53pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Why couldn't Spock have just shunted *forward* in time a couple hundred years rather than into an alternate universe?

If you want to do a weird pastiche of TOS, make it so his being there as living history inspires people and the 22nd century comes back into fashion in the 25th century- even if they don't always get it right.
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Eric Sofer
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 31 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 1578
Posted: 22 September 2017 at 4:07am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Richard S. - it seemed that Abrams and Paramount desperately wanted the TOS crew. Your idea is a good one to restart Star Trek based on Spock (a rather vague type of Legion of Super-Heroes origin.)

But it would have been just as easy a solution to base the new Star Trek on the adventures of the starship Excelsior, captained by Hikaru Sulu.

It seems they wanted their original cast to try to recapture lightning in a bottle. And then they used a broken bottle...
Back to Top profile | search
 

<< Prev Page of 3 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login