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Steve De Young
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Posted: 18 January 2017 at 3:02pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

So, apparently Sarek is in this.  And they've cast James Frain.


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Tim Cousar
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Posted: 18 January 2017 at 4:37pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Delayed again.
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Marten van Wier
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Posted: 18 January 2017 at 5:36pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I really have more and more my doubts about this series, and if it can really revitalize the Star Trek brand for people like me who do not like the new movies.

Recently I discovered that when I watched some episodes of TNG and Voyager again that I could not longer watch these or their series for that matter.
I just know how the series are going to turn out and whatever made me interested and hooked to them has faded, perhaps temporary or perhaps permanent.

If Discovery fails which I think it could very well do the only Star Trek I will still be following from time to time will be the comics. (I recently tried another Pocket Books Star Trek novel again but they just don't satisfy what used to draw me to Trek. They seem to needlessly drag on)
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 19 January 2017 at 9:27am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

The linked story says that Discovery is going to be set ten years prior to the events in TOS, prior to Kirk and Spock "joining forces aboard the Enterprise." True enough, but Spock will already have been serving under Pike on the Enterprise for three years at that point. Positioning Sarek on another Federation starship seems slightly awkward in that same timeframe since ambassadorial responsibilities and space exploration don't always coincide, and Sarek's distaste for Starfleet would be high at this time. I imagine there will be some talk of how such emotions do not affect him.

With the further delay in production, is it too much to hope they're spending some of this time redesigning the bad McQuarrie-based ship?

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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 14 February 2017 at 1:14am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Apparently these are the "Klingons" from the new series. Any interest I've had in this project just keeps getting killed by every new bit of information.

http://www.avclub.com/article/leaked-set-photo-shows-some-st ar-trek-discoverys-a-250215
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Marten van Wier
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Posted: 14 February 2017 at 4:57am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

So basically this is a prequel to the new Star Trek movies now.

I could have accepted TNG/DSN style bumpy headed Klingons to be used for the new series for the sake of tying Discovery into those shows as well as the Original Series instead of just making up the actors like the Original Series Klingons (which may feel a but racist to some people), but this is making more and more difficult for me to make it feel that it is part of the "Prime" timeline.

To be honest I am a bit conflicted, I know that as movie technology and related skills advances such as make up television and movie companies want to improve the appearances of any fictional beings and creatures that appear on their productions to make these feel more genuinely "different", and there is also this whole movement at the moment of updating old shows and movies to reflect modern production values more.

But take Star Trek for example, it is necessary to keep "improving" the looks of the aliens? I can understand that television makers wanted to give the Klingons and Romulans a better appearance, and I think the change of the TNG Borg to the ones that appear on First Contact, Voyager, and Enterprise "Regeneration" is a good design decision, but at what point does it go to far?

The Klingons in the Kelvin verse barely resemble their original counterpart to the point that you have to ask yourself how much Nero's journey in time altered both history and apparently physical appearances, and now this with Discovery.

I think if I asked the producers about why they changed the Klingons' appearance that they would say it has to do with improved production values but is this really a good excuse?
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Marten van Wier
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Posted: 14 February 2017 at 5:28am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Oh and speaking of spoiler images, check these concept art pieces out;

https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/22d56efdfbacff16b67232b 01ebe080adbb97ed5c503c8087018718ae1583ca4.jpg

https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e20144f92ccc9c32fd2eb56 fedc9888a04ef6c47bd196094395207c08b5e32f7.jpg

Anyone else here who thinks the last image looks like something from Warhammer 40K? (the whole elaborate Gothic Cathedral design)

And I don't know what to think about the first concept picture I posted but it sure ain't screaming "Klingon" (I hope this doesn't pass for a Bird-of-Prey now)

Dammit CBS, you are making Star Trek Enterprise look good.


Edited by Marten van Wier on 14 February 2017 at 5:28am
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 14 February 2017 at 4:17pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

The captain and first officer are both women.

In "Turnabout Intruder", the female villain took over Kirk's body because Starfleet wouldn't allow women to command ships. 

So are they going to ignore that, or is this series going to explain why? 

I've no interest in the show. I want a post-TNG\DS9\Voyager series, not another pre-TOS one.




Edited by Brian Floyd on 14 February 2017 at 4:18pm
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 14 February 2017 at 6:54pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

"Turnabout Intruder" was the episode to get its facts about women in command wrong. The pilot showed a female second-in-command who commanded the Enterprise quite capably and with no dissent. She was also "the ship's most experienced officer." Had Pike not been rescued, No. 1 would likely have remained in command. 

Most of the testimony about women not being able to command starships in "Turnabout Intruder" comes from a crazy multiple murderer. It's not that Lester-in-Kirk's-body would be removed from command for being a woman. It's that she's unqualified, nuts, and killed everyone on her survey team except for her spineless collaborator. She's likely the one fixated upon her gender, "her irrational hatred of her own womanhood," being the reason for her failure to succeed in Starfleet. Starfleet probably doesn't care. Just the same, "Turnabout Intruder" is a stomach-churning exercise in 60's-era sexism and quite difficult to watch with modern eyes.

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Steve De Young
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Posted: 14 February 2017 at 8:32pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Its not entirely clear that the aliens in that leaked photo are Klingons.  The extra who leaked the photo said he thought they were, but it is an unconfirmed leak.  The popular theory out there is that they are ancient Klingons, and that is an ancient Klingon ship, i.e. that there's time t4avel involved.

Btw, I'm not a big fan of the Kelvin Klingons, but they were pretty close to the ones in TMP.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 February 2017 at 11:04pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Okay, so, this show is said to be set in the proper, "Prime" TREK timeline, and about a decade prior to TOS (which would mean that it takes place not too long after "The Cage").

Now, the look of the show thus far is not very TOS-ish. Indeed, it seems more along the lines of the Abrams films--inspired by TOS, but in no way beholden to it.

All of the previous flashbacks and references to TOS in the spin-offs (specifically, 1992's "Relics", 1996's "Trials & Tribble-ations", and 2005's "In a Mirror, Darkly") were ridiculously faithful to the era they were recreating. Costumes, sets, and props were indistinguishable from their TOS counterparts. The original sound effects were used. The Enterprise and the Defiant were not redesigned. The reasons for this, of course, were maintaining proper visual and aural continuity, and because the people working on these recreations loved TOS and wanted to homage it and do it justice. STAR TREK is one of the most visually iconic fictional properties of all time, and it's iconography is instantly recognizable.

The last of these recreation efforts was in 2005. What has changed so much in 12 years? 


Well, I think think comes down to several factors:


* The "need" for a new iteration of STAR TREK to be New and Different, and to have its own visual identity. 

* The generation gap. A heck of a lot of today's fans and creators just seems to have no interest in playing with the established toys. Everything has to be remixed and remade to put the new creators' stamp on the material. The love and nostalgia factor is significantly lessened, the further away we get from TOS' glory days.

* In that same vein (and as the Abrams movies proved), there seems to be a desire by creators to be less-than-beholdened to continuity, and to instead play fast and loose with it, while retaining only certain key touchstones. 

* The perception that the look of TOS is hopelessly outdated and stuck in the 1960s.


Personally, I think that it would not at all be hard to bring the TOS designs into modern day. You could change virtually nothing about the sets or uniforms, and yet make it work with modern construction materials, lighting techniques, cinematography, etc. 


But that's clearly something the creators of DISCOVERY have no interest in. This already looks to me like another AbramsTREK in the making--set it in a familiar era, and throw in certain touchtone characters and references, then do whatever the **** you want with everything else. Brand-recognition points can hide a multitude of sins, apparently.


Would anyone really care about or be invested in Abrams' Generic Space Adventure films if they were not called STAR TREK, and didn't feature characters named Kirk and Spock? Probably not. And that seems to be what we're starting to see, here, with the teases about characters like Sarsk being cast. Toss in just enough established characters, concepts, tropes, and Easter Eggs, and see if the fans bite.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 February 2017 at 11:21pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Most of the testimony about women not being able to command starships in "Turnabout Intruder" comes from a crazy multiple murderer. It's not that Lester-in-Kirk's-body would be removed from command for being a woman. It's that she's unqualified, nuts, and killed everyone on her survey team except for her spineless collaborator. She's likely the one fixated upon her gender, "her irrational hatred of her own womanhood," being the reason for her failure to succeed in Starfleet. Starfleet probably doesn't care. Just the same, "Turnabout Intruder" is a stomach-churning exercise in 60's-era sexism and quite difficult to watch with modern eyes.
++++++++++

Roddenberry did admit to the blatant sexism, after the fact. And, while a lot of people have tried to side-step the notion that Starfleet didn't have female Captains, the episode itself seems to point pretty clearly in that direction. Kirk basically affirms Lester's reason for being bitter:

LESTER: Your world of starship Captains doesn't admit women. It isn't fair.

KIRK: No, it isn't. And you tortured and punished me because if it.

I'm more than happy with some of the proposed alternate readings of this exchange--that Lester is actually referring to Kirk's isolated emotional life as a Captain, or Lester's unfitness for command preventing her from attaining a Captaincy, etc.--, but the sad truth of it is that the episode's driving engine comes down to Lester going mad because Starfleet doesn't allow women to become Captains.

It's a very unpleasant bit of business that is best left ignored. I have no issue with modern creators doing stories set in the TOS era which feature female starship commanders, despite the inconsistency (much as JB did with Commodore One, which provided a number of excellent stories involving the Yorktown). Heck, there's no reason not to reveal that, say, the Excalibur's Captain Harris was a woman.

Besides, as you note, Brian, Number One was clearly next in line during "The Cage", and I would prefer to put a lot more stock in a great first season episode than a terrible third season episode, in terms of what should be considered canonical.

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Brian Hague
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Posted: 15 February 2017 at 2:30am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

"...But the sad truth of it is that the episode's driving engine comes down to Lester going mad because Starfleet doesn't allow women to become Captains."

I disagree. Lester is said to have had issues throughout her one year relationship with Kirk, and did not go suddenly, murderously mad simply because she hit the glass ceiling. She was damaged goods all along. Your interpretation doesn't allow for what Kirk-in-Lester's-body describes as her innate hatred of her own sex. That doesn't come from missing out on a job opportunity.* It explains why her plan is to replace Kirk in command of the Enterprise, but it doesn't explain why she's crazy.

There are only twelve seats at the table of starship captains. Merrick didn't make it either. I can easily see the twelve current places all being taken up by men without overtly sexist regulations being in place to ensure it.

Also, Trek did give us a female warship commander on the other side. Although that episode isn't going to win any prizes for feminism either, even the third season is essentially in opposition to the poorly-scripted and badly thought out "Turnabout Intruder." **

"Turnabout Intruder" is directly in conflict "The Cage" as far as women in command goes, and Roddenberry and his best writers were nowhere nearby when "T.I." was made. I agree with you as far as which one gets my vote as canon.

* By the way, Sandra Smith's portrayal of the Captain is one of the few bright spots in that tragic train crash of an episode. Am I right that she was the only other actor to officially play Kirk besides stuntmen until Abrams' film came along?

** One of the things that kills me about this episode is the title is based upon Thorne Smith's excellent comedic novel, "Turnabout," and the film made of it. While Smith's "racy" book about gender-switching is definitely of its era, it's surprisingly nuanced and at times edgy, such as when Sally Meadows in her husband Tim's body threatens him with rape. Smith's legacy deserves better than association with one of Trek's worst episodes.


Edited by Brian Hague on 15 February 2017 at 2:37am
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 15 February 2017 at 2:48am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Just to bring this all back around to the upcoming* Star Trek: Discovery, I'd be happy to see the show fly in the face of "Turnabout Intruder" with not just one character but two. Voyager was there first, as was Star Trek IV and TNG's "Yesterday's Enterprise," but the setting of this series puts it as the chronologically "first" appearance of a full-time female captain. Let's hope the characters are good ones. 

With Fuller off the project, my wish that Caroline Dhavernas would be one of them seems off the table.

* Or is it? How many delays can one project enjoy/endure?

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 15 February 2017 at 9:48am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

disagree. Lester is said to have had issues throughout her one year relationship with Kirk, and did not go suddenly, murderously mad simply because she hit the glass ceiling. She was damaged goods all along. Your interpretation doesn't allow for what Kirk-in-Lester's-body describes as her innate hatred of her own sex. That doesn't come from missing out on a job opportunity.* It explains why her plan is to replace Kirk in command of the Enterprise, but it doesn't explain why she's crazy.
+++++++

Fair enough. It's been awhile since I watched the episode, but my impression was that Lester hated her own womanhood because it was preventing her from achieving a Captaincy, rather than being an innate problem for her. Because the episode is just that blatantly sexist.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 15 February 2017 at 9:52am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

"Turnabout Intruder" is directly in conflict "The Cage" as far as women in command goes, and Roddenberry and his best writers were nowhere nearby when "T.I." was made. I agree with you as far as which one gets my vote as canon.
++++++++

Except that the story is credited to Roddenberry!

+++++++++++
* By the way, Sandra Smith's portrayal of the Captain is one of the few bright spots in that tragic train crash of an episode. Am I right that she was the only other actor to officially play Kirk besides stuntmen until Abrams' film came along?
+++++++++

Agreed. 

And, yeah, I do believe that she was the only other notable Kirk actor, prior to Chris Pine.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 15 February 2017 at 2:21pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Ah, well. That Roddenberry... He'll getcha every time. :-)

That is something about that episode that I never realized. Very disappointing. 

There is an episode of Roddenberry's "The Lieutenant" which is rather shaded and nuanced in comparison to "T.I." In it, Gary Lockwood's character, a peace-time marine training troops at Camp Pendleton, is assigned along with others to train a group of French recruits who are on their way to Vietnam. In among the troops are a small number of female recruits. The official policy of the camp is to train them as you would any other foreign soldier whose government has requested such training. Unofficially, we, as Americans, know better, of course. 

Still, it's left up to each Lieutenant how he wants to handle the situation. The others wash out their female trainees immediately so as not to poison the apple barrel. Gary Lockwood's trainee however displays substantial fortitude and ability and gains his respect. He decides not to eliminate her just on the basis of her sex. Unfortunately, in training she later shows that she cannot kill an opponent in up-close, face-to-face combat. She swears that she could in a real situation. She attempts to seduce the Lieutenant to be allowed to continue, a tactic she showed cold contempt for earlier in the episode. Ultimately, he helps her decide that she cannot compromise herself in this way and that the military isn't going to be the path through which she fights the enemies who had killed her family in Vietnam.

The soldier was played by Pilar Seurat who would go on to a more thankless role as Sybo, Prefect Jaris's wife in Trek's "The Wolf In the Fold." 

Your pointing out Roddenberry as the source of the story for "T.I." has me wondering if he didn't have something a bit more complex in mind than what we got when he came up with the story.


Edited by Brian Hague on 15 February 2017 at 2:31pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 15 February 2017 at 11:32pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I really do need to check out THE LIEUTENANT.


Anyway, I took a glance at Marc Cushman's THESE ARE THE VOYAGES. Roddenberry contributed the initial story outline (with several revisions), and Arthur Singer wrote the various screenplay drafts, although the core story seems to have remained unchanged from draft to draft.

There's also a Roddenberry quote, where he specifically says that Lester was not unqualified to command a starship because of her gender, and that it was her emotional instability and delusions of persecution which led to her criminal behavior. So, okay, then. Either Roddenberry was trying to cover himself, or a heck of a lot of people (myself included!) were reading the episode as presenting a glass ceiling in Starfleet. 
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 17 February 2017 at 10:19pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

As written, that glass ceiling is fairly definitively stated in the episode itself. It's just contradicted elsewhere in Trek and a bad idea to begin with. Trek would have been better off without it. Another instance of women in command takes place in the Animated Series when we see female commanders in among the ruling council in "Time Trap." Also, the Animated Series episode "The Lorelei Signal" gave us the scene of Uhura assuming the conn and saying to Chapel, "Well, better late than never..."

I still need to pick up volumes two and three of Cushman's series. I never get tired of backstage info on Trek.

I really do recommend "The Lieutenant," Greg. In many ways, it's like watching a young Kirk coming up through the ranks.

Meanwhile... Back aboard the Starship Discovery... 


Edited by Brian Hague on 17 February 2017 at 10:27pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 17 February 2017 at 11:09pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I still need to pick up volumes two and three of Cushman's series. I never get tired of backstage info on Trek.
+++++++++++

You're gonna need this: 


As I've noted, Cushman's books are full of great raw data (memo and script excepts, shooting schedule breakdowns, etc.). However, there's also a lot of BS, mythmaking, and agendas to wade through. 

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 27 February 2017 at 11:14pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

DISCOVERY is now set to premiere in the fall. For those keeping track, that's nearly a year after it was originally set to premiere.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 28 February 2017 at 8:28am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

We'll see...

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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 03 March 2017 at 7:29am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Well obviously the longer the roses take to grow the better they will smell!

I predict this Star Trek iteration will start out 'edgy' and then fall back into familiar Trek tropes and formulas when they don't get their audience numbers.   Trust me, we'll be eventually seeing plots and scripts that would have been rejected in the TNG days -- if the show even gets that far.   

It seems no one has learned from the mistakes made with Enterprise.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 03 March 2017 at 8:49am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Greg, thank you that link! That's been making for some fascinating reading.

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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 03 March 2017 at 10:35am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

At this point the first episode had better blow me away. I've lost so much interest in Discovery. Unless I'm blown away right away I'm not going to pay the fee to watch the show online. I think it stinks that with the exception of the US and Canada. Discovery will be on Netflix for the rest of the Countries that carry Netflix.
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