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STAR TREK: Discovery


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I believe that this is the entire problem CBS has with Trek right now.    They are dishonest in both intent and how they deal with the existing fan base,, they repeatedly say one thing and do a comp

Why the original series worked:   1) Great cast of character actors and lesser-known, but highly talented regulars 2) Memorable, strong characters built around archetypes (the ethnic curmudgeon guy

It does when you realize that being PC is not the domain of a specific group.  In my day we didn't have the term.  You just had groups that tried to suppress anything not in line with their own belief

Not a hard prophecy to make if one show is behind an internet paywall and the other is on network TV.

 

Well yeah, and despite my own distaste for Seth MacFarlane, his work seems to be immensely popular with the general mass audience. So yeah, good luck competing with all that CBS. We'll see just how far that new Star Trek goes once it fades to obscurity.

 

As to Orville, I won't be joining the inevitable legion of fans this show is going to amass. The trailer screamed "I want to be cool like Galaxy Quest" while missing everything that made Galaxy Quest awesome. So, two science fiction shows that are wasted on me. That's kinda sad. Sometimes it sucks being so persnickety. :)

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Well yeah, and despite my own distaste for Seth MacFarlane, his work seems to be immensely popular with the general mass audience. So yeah, good luck competing with all that CBS. We'll see just how far that new Star Trek goes once it fades to obscurity.

 

I can't help but think Firefly.........

Deliberately shooting the middle finger at your fans in a cheap attempt at forcing a subscription doesn't help...

 

 

As to Orville, I won't be joining the inevitable legion of fans this show is going to amass. The trailer screamed "I want to be cool like Galaxy Quest" while missing everything that made Galaxy Quest awesome. So, two science fiction shows that are wasted on me. That's kinda sad. Sometimes it sucks being so persnickety. :)

 

Well generally I have noticed that TV show trailers have really sucked the last few years and usually fail miserably to actually let you know how they are going to be.  The initial trailers for The Expanse were horrible and it turned out to be one the best (IMO) hard scifi shows on TV in years.  

 

Hopefully Orville will turn out better than the commercial.  I just remember that I almost didn't go see Galaxy Quest when it came out because the trailers looked "stupid" not funny.  And print Deadpool does absolutely nothing for me, I never "got" the attraction.  But the movie was great.   

 

So here's hoping.

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This show will be squirreled away on a stream that doesn't have enough anything to justify a subscription.

And this isn't the first time Trek has done something like this. Back when DS9 was having success in syndication, the studio execs made Voyager available only on their new network, UPN.

 

They forgot how well that worked out, I guess.

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If it works, though -- and there's a chance it might -- it is something services like Hulu, and broadcast TV stations, have been fearing for decades -- the big networks cutting out the middlemen. If this service takes off, it may accelerate the inevitable end of broadcast TV as we once knew it (which has been in progress for at least a decade and a half).

 

Which probably explains why Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon have been so keen on creating their own content. They want to be a destination, as opposed to a middleman.

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And this isn't the first time Trek has done something like this. Back when DS9 was having success in syndication, the studio execs made Voyager available only on their new network, UPN.

 

They forgot how well that worked out, I guess.

 

That had more to do with CBS and Viacom.

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Interesting theory Michael. I just wonder what the market research CBS (hopefully) did that suggests people are willing to pay for yet another content provider. I know that I am not personally willing to pay for another subscription service. I might be in the minority though.

 

I think Hulu, Netflix and the like have to be content providers and they have known it for some time. I also think that other content creators/providers are going to do their level best to bring that content to the public in a way that maximizes profit. The only problem is that, unless the combined cost of all these different content providers is equal to or less than Hulu, Netflix or whatnot, we as the consumer are going to have more limited access to that content. Or we are going to have to spend more money. As people mentioned, there is nothing else behind this CBS paywall I want. Let me a'la carte the shows I watch, without some sort of punitive fee, and I am okay with this transition. If not, well I always have Skyrim, Fallout, etc.

 

Who knew entertainment could be so complex.

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And this isn't the first time Trek has done something like this. Back when DS9 was having success in syndication, the studio execs made Voyager available only on their new network, UPN.

 

They forgot how well that worked out, I guess.

 

Paramount's plans back in the 1970s was to launch a fourth network (Paramount Television Service, or PTVS) with Star Trek: Phase II. That network ultimately never came to fruition, and the work done for the series was (mostly) converted into Star Trek: The Motion Picture. As you mentioned, UPN ultimately launched with Voyager as its "flagship", and it was one of the more successful shows on the fledgling network.

 

It really doesn't surprise me that CBS would try to bolster their streaming subscription service by attempting to grab the assumed built-in audience of Star Trek fans again. The main problem is that Paramount and CBS haven't really taken good care of the franchise, and I doubt that many of my friends would want to subscribe to a streaming service for just one show, Trek or not. I can wait until the season is done, and it probably shows up on US Netflix.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Yeah, the Orville may get a lot of support just as a form of fan protest

 

Not from me it ain't. Then again, Discovery is pretty much a no-starter as well. Too bad really, because I really thought it was time for a new Trek to hit the small screen. Guess I'll watch it when the season is over on Netflix. 

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I don't want to pay a separate streaming service for the right to watch Star Trek. CBS has been a bunch of douchebags to fans of the Star Trek franchise for years, and for the first time in years, I'm tempted to "spite pirate" a show because of how badly the Axanar people were treated. The fans of that franchise are more respectful of the source material than pretty much any other group of fans out there, and CBS chose to rear naked choke them, throw them under the bus, and gloat about it. 

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I still remember the last time Paramount/Viacom tried to use Trek as the centerpiece to launch a network, this time in the waning days of broadcast. Promotional adverts said that Voyager would be powerful enough to launch a new network -- UPN -- and give the new net time to develop its own shows and identity. WB was starting out at about the same time, and Fox was still fairly new.

 

I think we remembered what happened. Voyager drew some ratings, but not nearly enough to justify the expense, and the network failed to develop a single other show that anyone wanted to watch (the closest they came was an adaptation of Dilbert that landed with an enormous thud.) Voyager lasted seven years but was on fumes almost from the beginning, and bringing the Borg into the show on retrospect was as much a desperation move as anything else. When it ended, Paramount followed it up with Enterprise, which was universally despised by the Trek faithful. Soon WB and UPN merged, to create a hopefully stronger network -- but by then the destruction of the broadcast network model was complete, replaced by dozens of specialty channels on cable and satellite. The idea of trying to be all things to everybody is beginning to approach oblivion, and the advertising model may soon be going with it. I suspect that a very large portion of TV now is watched on services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, with niche services occupying the areas the big players don't do well.

 

CBS is trying to lock the door to a barn that has burnt to the ground, with the smell of charred horsemeat and burning horse manure everywhere.

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After seeing various pics and videos plus reading on forums and comment sections, here is my take.

 

On the paywall. 

For me it just won’t happen.   CBS literally does not have enough of interest for me to be nickeled and dimed yet again.  Game of Thrones is one of my favorite shows in not just years, but decades and I do not subscribe to HBO. 

 

As a note.  Everything is affected by “Form follows function”, even rubber science.   Once you define something such as ship design, you need to follow those restrictions or you destroy the audience’s ability to suspend belief.

 

On the uniforms.

 

Enterprise was Starfleet in its infancy and straddled the formation of the Federation.  And yet their uniforms display the Departmental colors in the piping.  

TOS uses the same colors in its shirt colors.

TNG, DS9 and VOY all use the same colors with a minor color switch. 

I made a career in the Navy and the uniform progression and changes are all plausible and are believable. 

 

Now we have STD which is advertised as being in the same universe timeline as ENT/TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY, occurring after ENT and before TOS.   But where are the solidly established Departmental designation colors?   Military and Semi-Military organizations, especially naval analogs where Captains will operate in environments where the communication lag is measured in months if not years, depends on firm customs and traditions.  No organization is going to completely abandon a core organizational doctrine and then magically readopt it.   Just not plausible.  Just not believable.   Major crack in the ability to suspend belief.   If you are going to reboot the ST universe, just say so.

 

On the “new realistic gritty outlook”. 

 

The fact that Starfleet personnel acted as they did despite the dark gritty universe they lived it is what made the Star Trek Universe, Star Trek.    The shipboard Treks all showed this as the crews adhered to the principles.  DS9 was great because it showed the difficulty of remaining true to Starfleet principles when you lack the insulating distance of being shipboard.   Remove the Starfleet Ideals from Starfleet and you have what?

 

On the new ship.

 

Form follows function.

 

Enterprise = saucer plus two balance nacelles.

TOS/TNG/VOY = saucer plus engineering hull plus two balanced nacelles

DS9 = introduction of radical new ship design that integrates all these into a single tight hull that also encloses the warp nacelles.

 

All through the series it is noted that Starfleet technology and ships maintain an overall superiority over other designs that do thing like integrate nacelles into the hull and so on.   Such as Romulan and Klingon designs.  While they have advantages they also have drawbacks. 

 

And now here comes STD.  It looks like a stretched old Romulan warbird flattened and stretched to a point with a saucer slapped on it.  But that is not the major issue. 

 

Form follows function. Enterprise (ENT) to Discovery (STD) to Enterprise (TOS) to Enterprise (TNG) to Voyager (VOY) just doesn’t track as a natural progression of Starfleet technology. 

 

As for the really stupid arguments desperately trying to say people who do like what they see also want 1960’s sets on STD.  They are just...stupid.  What people want is something that could fit in the already depicted designs.   ENT did a fine job of a plausible setup that was ahead of the present technology, but less developed the TNG and on.   STD looks like they may be going down the same road, which if true is a plus.

 

On the Klingons

 

I don’t know why they need to make yet another change, which is going to be hard to fit into the professed timeline.   How do they explain the normal Klingons (ENT) morphing into these Klingons (STD) and morphing back to Klingons (TNG/DS9/VOY)?   I understand they are near the early movie designs.  But the TOS and early movie designs were liek that because of the technology.  ENT through VOY established what Klingon's had always looked like now that we have good makeup tech.

 

 

On the whole, I am fully onboard with changes prompted by better industry technology and methods.  I am fully onboard with pushing the boundaries of entertainment.  But from what little I have gathered, there are too many changes for the sake of making changes and little to no effort to add to the Star Trek concept as a whole.  If you want to make a new scifi show, do that.  But don’t slap a recognized name on something and then go off on a  tangent with a few shallow nods.   It amazes me seeing people who attack critics of the new ship interiors and ramble about 1960's TV Tech are also the people that seem to think regressing to 80's makeup for the Klingon's is somehow great? 

 

For Star Trek Discovery?  My contact will be via Disc or maybe Netflix some year down the line.   I predict it will struggle through the first year, be renewed for a second season out of shear stubbornness by CBS.  But without a radical restructuring and a miracle it will end there and fade into obscurity as a minor cult show that cannot actually pull a true fan following.  

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