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John Byrne

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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 5:41am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Granted, I appreciate all of the work [the Okudas have] done as STAR TREK archivists and scholars, but some of the other stuff doesn't sit so well with me, like certain choices made for the CHRONOLOGY and Remastered episodes.

To me they are the Wikipedia of STAR TREK.

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John Byrne

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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 5:44am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I believe I've read that Ron Moore was very dissatisfied by his time on VOYAGER, because he really wanted to dig into the inherent meat of the premise. Instead, he was stuck with the producers wanting the ship kept immaculate, and the other logical elements of a "lost in space" scenario downplayed.

An accurate portrayal of Voyger's ordeal would have made for a very grim show indeed. But that said, it needed to be more than what we saw.

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 8:35am | IP Logged | 3 post reply


For me, VOYAGER has the dubious distinction of almost instantly killing my interest in TREK for years afterwards... up until its debut in 1995, I'd had a steady diet of all things STAR TREK for almost 10 years straight... reruns of TOS, rewatching the films, TAS every so often, all 7 seasons of TNG (first-run, re-runs and revisits on VHS tape!), and grudgingly trudging through the first two seasons of DEEP SPACE NINE...

Try as I might, by the time VOYAGER was into its 4th or 5th episode, I literally woke up one morning and thought to myself, "I am sick of STAR TREK!!!"

Never bothered to even attempt to give the series a second chance... so this thread will be interesting reading for me!



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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 8:58am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Granted, I appreciate all of the work [the Okudas have] done as STAR TREK archivists and scholars, but some of the other stuff doesn't sit so well with me, like certain choices made for the CHRONOLOGY and Remastered episodes.

To me they are the Wikipedia of STAR TREK.

++++++++


Y'know, in hindsight, both THE OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE and the STAR TREK ENCYCLOPEDIA seem like precursors to Wikipedia.



Edited by Greg Kirkman on 14 March 2017 at 10:49am
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 9:14am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

An accurate portrayal of Voyger's ordeal would have made for a very grim show indeed. But that said, it needed to be more than what we saw.
+++++++

Exactly. Not too grim, but definitely more of a challenge for the crew than what we saw. 

I mean, Voyager had a crew of 150, right? Has someone done the math, in regards to how many were lost/killed over the course of the show? You'd think the producers would have wanted to at least hint at the effect such a long journey would have had on a small ship with such a small crew, but, no. By the finale, the ship was still immaculate, despite the fact that it should more likely have looked like the "Year of Hell" version--battered and scarred.

It flies in the face of logic--and good, dramatic storytelling--that such a small ship and crew could be so completely self-sustaining for such a long journey.

As Brian Hague has often made note of, the fact that a good chunk of the crew was composed of terrorists should have had some bearing on the ongoing story. Heck, Starfleet or not, it could be argued that even the non-Maquis crew might eventually consider mutiny, especially given Janeway's self-imposed mandate to explore while on the way home. 

Also, doesn't Janeway describe Voyager as the only ship "assigned" to the Delta Quadrant, at the end of the pilot?

I could totally see, say, young Ensign Ricky snapping after the first few years, and saying, "B****, we weren't 'assigned' to this Godforskaken wasteland. We were kidnapped, and now you want to waste the rest of our lives stopping to study plants, and meet potentially-hostile species without the rest of Starfleet to back us up, in case of trouble?!?!"
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John Byrne

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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 10:30am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

There is also the oft mentioned instance of Q offering to zap the ship and crew home instantaneously if Janeway would sleep with him. That she refused shows very poor judgement on her part, putting her needs ahead of those of her crew.

One cannot help but imagine Kirk would have done it!

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John Byrne

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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 10:39am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Y'know, in hindsight, both THE OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE and the STAR TREK ENCYCLOPEDIA both seem like precursors to Wilipedia.

The HANDBOOK was especially infuriating in this respect. Infected from Day One with an RPG mentality, it also suffered greatly from Mark Gruenwald's need to fill every gap, answer every question -- even the one's only he was asking!

And when answers were not already available, he made them up, WITHOUT consulting with the editorial offices to which the various characters belonged.

The TREK ENCYCLOPEDIA felt very much like that. Roddenberry made wise decisions to leave certain aspects vague or undefined. Now came the fanboys to fix that!

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Brian Hague
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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 10:40am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

It would have been interesting to have an episode where Janeway herself questions her motives for her decision. What if her relationship back home wasn't going anywhere? What if her career had similarly stalled out? What if she knew, deep down, she was never going to be given the deep space, exploratory assignment she'd always craved? What if it was going to be short-term, police action assignments like the one she was given at the start of the pilot and she knew she was never going to be happy with that? And then suddenly... An entire unexplored quadrant is laid before her, with a ship and a crew at her disposal... Who is she really out there for?

Of course, Janeway was damned near perfect and self-reflection ala' Pike and Kirk doesn't suit paragons. As I recall, she occasionally admitted to having a headache. She was so vulnerable in those moments. So easy to relate to... Okay, no, not really.

Another disappointing aspect of the show for me was finally seeing where the Borg came from and finding out... they'd assimilated about yay-much of it. Itty-bitty slice. I thought they were this out-of-control rampant predatory thing that gobbled up everything and never lost. They should be everywhere. There shouldn't be any Kazon or Vidians or Neelix people or Kes people. There should just be Borg. Actually, though, as it turns out, not so much so...

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John Byrne

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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 10:43am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

TREK pretty much forgot what the Borg was all about in a very short time. I recall Frank Miller expressing his ire over Hugh, "the cute Borg".
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 11:00am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

"I, Borg" really marked the beginning of the end for the Borg. An interesting episode unto itself, but a "cute" Borg greatly diminished their threat for everything to come after.

And, really, if the Borg consists of assimilated victims, then what is the root of their evil-ness? If their entire collective consciousness is composed of victims, why would they A) Choose to remain victims?; B) Continue to enslave others?. How did the Collective begin, and who was calling the shots? 
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John Byrne

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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 11:16am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Human history teaches us that the "bad" often overwhelms the "good". Create layer upon layer of this thru "assimilation", and it's not so very unlikely that we will end up with a race that values conquest more than cathedrals.

(My cockles were suitably warmed by the aforementioned review noting that "Resistance" did a little something to undilute the Borg.)

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Brian Hague
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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 11:38am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

The Borg Collective began when Voyager 6 collided with a machine planet that took it's directive to "learn all that was learnable" and built a gigantic technological consciousness around the spacecraft that eventually assimilated a human being, experienced fear of mortality for the first time, propelled itself backwards in time to forestall its own demise, and began to assimilate other living beings into itself so as to further its programming. As a result of that first assimilation, the Borg consciousness "sees itself" as a bald woman with a propensity for overtly sexual behavior. 

Or so the theory goes... :-)


Edited by Brian Hague on 14 March 2017 at 11:41am
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John Byrne

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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 12:20pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Since the Borg have been around for "hundreds of thousands of years" the "theory" is seriously flawed.
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Aleksandar Petrovic
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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 1:42pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

One thing I always wanted to see - the Borg spin-off series, telling their origin story in a remote corner of the Galaxy eons ago.  
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Aleksandar Petrovic
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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 3:21pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Some additional thoughts on the above:

The Borg are essentially the zombies of the Star Trek universe (the horror component), but if their origin story was told in a way that makes humans of Earth responsible it would end up being just another hubris/nemesis thing about technology (here, nanotechnology). That would make it yet another take on the familiar theme already explored countless times with the Battlestar Galactica, Terminator and Matrix franchises (...to name just a few...). 

I certainly hope the origin story would be far more imaginative than that.     
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 3:50pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Voyager had sooo many problems for me. The Borg and Naomi Wildman being the top two.

There was a period of time that I every time a random episode would crop up on our TV I would ask if Seven of Nine had said Naomi Wildman in that very annoying manner yet. It seemed like every episode I saw had that occur at some point.

So annoying
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Marten van Wier
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Posted: 14 March 2017 at 10:00pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

The Borg Collective began when Voyager 6 collided with a machine planet that took it's directive to "learn all that was learnable" and built a gigantic technological consciousness around the spacecraft that eventually assimilated a human being, experienced fear of mortality for the first time, propelled itself backwards in time to forestall its own demise, and began to assimilate other living beings into itself so as to further its programming. As a result of that first assimilation, the Borg consciousness "sees itself" as a bald woman with a propensity for overtly sexual behavior. 

Or so the theory goes... :-)

**

Since the Borg have been around for "hundreds of thousands of years" the "theory" is seriously flawed.

**

I hate that theory! And I think it comes from one of the Shatnerverse books.
It was almost repeated again in Star Trek Legacy but got dropped when none of the cutscenes made it to that game.

First of all, it smells to much of "Small Galaxy/Everything needs to be connected" pablum the Star Trek universe in general suffers from.

Second, it doesn't make sense for V'Ger to create the Borg Collective, I think someone got the idea because the Borg like V'Ger seek information.

**

Some additional thoughts on the above:

The Borg are essentially the zombies of the Star Trek universe (the horror component), but if their origin story was told in a way that makes humans of Earth responsible it would end up being just another hubris/nemesis thing about technology (here, nanotechnology). That would make it yet another take on the familiar theme already explored countless times with the Battlestar Galactica, Terminator and Matrix franchises (...to name just a few...). 

I certainly hope the origin story would be far more imaginative than that.   

**

For me the Borg is an example of post-humanism, showing what a possible next step in the development of a sentient species could be when they decide to create the next step themselves. In this case creating a society in which all functions including administration and major decision making are distributed and knowledge is shared by all.
A society in which no one stands above the other (well before we got the Borg Queen)
A society in which the individual no longer matters as every member is truly only a cell of the whole.

And yes they are a tale about caution of what direction technological development can take, and that the next possible step in human development towards becoming a more complex and knowledgeable species does not automatically have be something a lot of us really want.
We don't just go from corporeal beings to glowing balls of energy who suddenly have all the knowledge and wisdom of the universe.

Gary Mitchell is the exception, not the rule.

**

One thing I always wanted to see - the Borg spin-off series, telling their origin story in a remote corner of the Galaxy eons ago.  

**

At one side I would like to see the origins of the Borg Collective as well, but on the other side I am deadly afraid that writers, especially writers of today would ruin it with a terrible concepts and writing.

There is a good reason why I HATE the Destiny trilogy and won't hesitate to tell David Mack that if I ever run into him face to face.

The origins of the Borg Collective just like so many mysteries such as the origin of the alien pilot and the space bomber in Alien are perhaps best left that way, concepts that keep tickling our imagination and make us come up with our own takes on the concept.

**

(My cockles were suitably warmed by the aforementioned review noting that "Resistance" did a little something to undilute the Borg.)

**

Damn right it did. The Collective has take a serious dive in being a genuine threat and something our heroes might not be able to defeat in the last few appearances they made on the television screen, or in comics and books for that matter.

Recently in Star Trek Boldy Go the Borg made an appearance, but it just showed that Mike Johnson like in so many issues as before does not know how to write Star Trek concepts (I apologize Mr Byrne for dissing a fellow comic book writer, but I honestly think he is a very terrible Star Trek writer who should never have been given the job in the first place)

Plot points of annoyance;

- NuKirk orders the crew of the Endeavour to attack a Borg sphere that is currently cutting up a Federation outpost.
Rather than retaliating what the Borg normally do when someone attacks them, they transport over an assimilated captain Terrell who warns NuKirk and the Endeavour crew not to interfere in their business. The Borg then beam Terrell back, and then leave the planet without taking further notice of the Endeavour.

- While searching a Romulan Command room's archives for information on the Narada one of the drones says "I found it".
First of all, what one Borg drone knows all the Borg drones know, there is no need to verbally inform the others.
Second, there is no "I" in the Borg Collective, there are no individuals.

- The Borg have great difficulty with assimilating Spock because he is a "hybrid" (half human, half Vulcan). When did that happen? The only species the Borg ever had difficulty assimilating was Species 8472 because of their alien biology and natural aggressiveness of their immune system. And they are from another universe.
Edit: On top of that they start playing mind games with Spock, and in the end his assimilation has almost no influence on the story. No insights into the Collective that can help NuKirk to defeat them.

- When the Endeavour confronts the Borg sphere over the Romulan homeworld it is slaughtering the defense force.
Yet in order to defeat it NuKirk has the Endeavour's entire complement of photon torpedoes beamed over on a timer.
At no point the Romulans though "Hey, our weapons don't seem to do much damage to the exterior, perhaps we should transport explosives on to their ship, seeing as they have no shields or dampening fields that prevent us from using our transporters."


Of all the Star Trek expanded universe stories that feature the Borg (outside of video games) "Resistance" is the only one that got it right, and the Borg barely even feature in it.

The only other entry may be "Vendetta" but that book still has a number of flaws which I more blame on there not being that much information on the Borg at the time.

For the rest don't bother.


I know I have talked a lot about this subject many of times here on the forum, I hope people including Mr Byrne don't mind that I go on a rant again but this is still a subject very close to my heart.


Edited by Marten van Wier on 15 March 2017 at 7:44am
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John Byrne

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Posted: 15 March 2017 at 7:10am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

First of all, it smells to much of "Small Galaxy/Everything needs to be connected" pablum the Star Trek universe in general suffers from.

An early warning sign of the intrusion of fanthink, wherever it occurs. And something to be avoided at all costs.

Sure, it's fine to throw in a few winks and nudges, here and there. But above all they must be subtle, and NOT something upon which a whole story turns.

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Steve De Young
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Posted: 15 March 2017 at 8:55am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Sure, it's fine to throw in a few winks and nudges, here and there. But above all they must be subtle, and NOT something upon which a whole story turns.
------------------------------------------------
I've been binging the early seasons of Voyager since the re-release, and there are several examples of getting this right, quick little references like Tuvok quoting Spock about something, or the Doctor referring to a procedure having been pioneered by Leonard McCoy.Nice little respectful tips of the hat to TOS.
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Aleksandar Petrovic
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Posted: 15 March 2017 at 11:31am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Marten, there are so many ways in which the Borg origin story could be told...

For example, in a couple of hours, and as a spin-off movie:

It all happens in a remote and previously unseen corner of the Galaxy, on an advance Earth-like planet with its local humanoid species. At the start of the movie, it is all completely normal stuff. 

A father, a medical doctor, is desperately trying to save his daughter - whose name is Borg - from some terrible terminal illness. In desperation, he turns to nanotechnology, hoping he can save his daughter that way. The technology is new, risky, unproven, unpredictable - but he goes for it anyways, and he injects his daughter Borg with nanites hoping the nanomachines would defeat the disease and repair the body. 

Of course the whole hell breaks loose. The daughter is the Borg Queen we encounter many centuries later.      

This would be the "road to hell is paved with good intentions" version. 
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Tim Cousar
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Posted: 15 March 2017 at 2:18pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Caprica

Or Borg began on Mondas.


Edited by Tim Cousar on 15 March 2017 at 2:19pm
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Aleksandar Petrovic
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Posted: 15 March 2017 at 2:34pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Tim, actually a twist on the non-canonical Japanese take on Star Trek, from 2006 (Caprica came out in 2010):

In the graphic novel Star Trek: The Manga, the Borg resulted from an experiment in medical nanotechnology gone wrong. An alien species under threat of extinction by an incurable disease created a repository satellite containing test subjects infused with body parts, organs, and DNA of multiple species along with cybernetic enhancements put in place by advanced medical technology. The satellite was maintained by nanomachines, which also maintained the medical equipment on board. The medical facility is parked in orbit by a black hole, and along with the anomalous states of time around the black hole, allows long-term research to continue at an accelerated time scale rather than in real-time speed. As the medical facility deteriorates, so does the programming of the nanomachines. The nanomachines began infusing themselves into the patients, interpreting them as part of the satellite in need of repair. Among the patients is the daughter of the head medical researcher of the satellite. The satellite eventually falls apart in an encounter with an away team from the Enterprise under the command of James T. Kirk. In the final moments of the satellite's destruction and the escape of the crew members of the Enterprise with the patients, the subjects display qualities inherently resembling the Borg: injection of nanomachines in a fashion like assimilation, rapid adaptation to weaponry, and a hive mind consciousness, as all the subjects begin following the whim of the daughter. As succumbing to the disease was inevitable, and the corrupt nanomachine programming infused itself into the bodies, the final image of the page of the manga Borg origin is left with the daughter turned Borg Queen, stating, "Resistance is futile."

 
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John Byrne

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Posted: 15 March 2017 at 6:13pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Since this thread is drifting pretty far, I decided not to wait until Sunday to view more...

Phage

A weak start (open flames and no smoke alarms?), and a too-tidy ending, but in between some strong elements. I'd call it the best so far, if that wasn't damning with faint praise.

Onward...

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John Byrne

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Posted: 15 March 2017 at 7:08pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

The Cloud

And so it begins...

One of my least favorite elements of later TREK iterations was the trips into the holodeck. They remind me of those fantasy episodes of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND.

Anyway, this one felt like a PC version of "The Immunity Syndrome", with the crew this time having to save the mysterious life form. A quest made a lot less interesting than TOS's big amoeba, since all the successes and failures were entirely at the whim of the writer(s).

Enjoying the Doctor. NOT enjoying the very un-TREK "spiritual" elements.

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Joe Boster
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Posted: 16 March 2017 at 12:59pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Made it to season 3 Episode 7.  Janeway goes on a spirit journey. 

I had not noticed how how much spiritual stuff was in the show. It really doesn't fit. Chakotay talking about sci-fi mumbo jumbo explaining how he communicates with this spirit animal, still does not fit.

Everyone is just trying to as inoffensive as possible. 
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