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Diversity in the 23rd century - Trek Wars


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#1 Strudel the Dancing Pastry

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 10:41 AM

I am not enthused by the latest news about Star Trek: Discovery. A more diverse cast is great, don't get me wrong, but setting it in the Prime universe and before TOS sounds like a terrible idea, and I struggle to see how they're going to set it on a Federation ship, pre-Kirk, and explain why they have such a diverse crew. It also massively limits what they can do if they plan to keep continuity; why didn't they just set it in the reboot universe? Plus, they seem to be making a thing about the main character* being a woman who isn't the captain. And there being a gay character. I don't hugely care about the sexual orientations of the characters; I'm not watching Star Trek because of who they end up fucking.

*Because Star Trek has always been about following one character, right?

Bah.
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#2 Innokenti

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 11:06 AM

I mean, without particularly having a horse in the race (apart from Fuller) I think it's all fine if you make adjustments for hyperbole you're naturally going to get with TVland.

All the Star Treks have had a lead character even if it was an ensemble cast. This was in part because the lead was also the captain, but... still. On the other points - TV is better at diversity now, but it's still not great, so it's ok that they're making a big deal of it. I'm glad it's in the Prime universe and setting it before TOS is not necessarily problematic - in theory the Federation was already more diverse and tolerant than often displayed in the actual series. I guess it matches closer with the idealised fiction, but I'd say that's ok? Consistent with the spirit of Star Trek.

I think it should be ok... I'd certainly not mark it down from that stuff until we've seen the series.

(Also, Star Trek has always been about a lot of implicit fucking I'd say)
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#3 Strudel the Dancing Pastry

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 11:14 AM

TV is better at diversity, sure, and I'm very happy for the show to have a greater diversity on all fronts... but then why set it at a time in Trek when it wasn't very diverse? Why set it at an early point in the Federation when it was very heavily skewed towards humans (for obvious reasons). Deciding to centre the show around someone who isn't the captain (I'm sure it will be quite an ensemble cast, but just say that then) seems like another hindrance that they didn't need to give themselves.

It might be just the way they've spoken about it, and the show will end up being fine, but they seem to be trying hard to limit where they can go with it.

I do think setting it in Prime, Pre-TOS is problematic though. Enterprise was a complete bucket of turds in part because they were stymied by where they could go with some of it. Again, it seems they've made a conscious decision to limit what they can do with the story. Post-reboot, with a ship going off and doing some of the actual exploring that JJPrise isn't doing would have been interesting.
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#4 Strudel the Dancing Pastry

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 11:16 AM

And on the sex front; I really really hope that the fact they have "a gay character" is just some more marketing bollocks, because the last thing any show needs is a character defined by their sexuality.
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#5 Innokenti

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 11:30 AM

View PostStrudel the Dancing Pastry, on 11 August 2016 - 11:16 AM, said:

And on the sex front; I really really hope that the fact they have "a gay character" is just some more marketing bollocks, because the last thing any show needs is a character defined by their sexuality.
Indeed.

View PostStrudel the Dancing Pastry, on 11 August 2016 - 11:14 AM, said:

TV is better at diversity, sure, and I'm very happy for the show to have a greater diversity on all fronts... but then why set it at a time in Trek when it wasn't very diverse? Why set it at an early point in the Federation when it was very heavily skewed towards humans (for obvious reasons). Deciding to centre the show around someone who isn't the captain (I'm sure it will be quite an ensemble cast, but just say that then) seems like another hindrance that they didn't need to give themselves.

It might be just the way they've spoken about it, and the show will end up being fine, but they seem to be trying hard to limit where they can go with it.

I do think setting it in Prime, Pre-TOS is problematic though. Enterprise was a complete bucket of turds in part because they were stymied by where they could go with some of it. Again, it seems they've made a conscious decision to limit what they can do with the story. Post-reboot, with a ship going off and doing some of the actual exploring that JJPrise isn't doing would have been interesting.

Eh, I'm not too worried. I do suspect it could be less ensemble than most typical ensemble shows, on the other hand I am fairly interested in seeing what you'd do with a focus on someone who is not the captain. Given the size of the season (13 eps and focus on storyline) I suspect it will be very much less episodic than our previous Trek iterations. New and different and... well, maybe we don't need another tight storyline show given that almost everything is, but I'm also curious to see what the Star Trek treatment for it is.

In terms of limits to the story - yeah, they'll have to be creative and seems a bit of a hindrance but I'd guess they've done it for a reason. So hope it's a good one!
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#6 Janek

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 01:05 PM

I'm actually glad it's in the Prime universe, I don't much like the Kelvin one.

Pre-TOS is an odd one to be sure, although I reckon "Enterprise done right" is a perfectly valid concept - scope for actual exploration, formative diplomatic efforts, etc. Does limit you a little bit in geopolitical terms - and I'd love to see what things look like in the aftermath of the Dominion war - but I can live with that.

In terms of the lead, could get some interesting situations out of it. For instance, perhaps it'll leave us with a captain with major flaws - in character, or morally. How would the crew react? Etc. Hard to tell, but would seem to remove the usual captain's constraint of heroism. (Yes mostly I just want Mads Mikkelson as Captain H. Lecter)

Suspect the sexuality thing is mostly marketing - probably wouldn't even mention it were it not for the Sulu controversy.
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#7 Jen

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 01:30 PM

The sexuality thing is a big deal because Bryan Fuller has a box of hatemail he kept from the days he was working on DS9 & Voyager which is entirely people reacting incredibly badly to the (false) rumour that 7 of 9 was going to be gay. He says he kept the box to remind him what he would do if he ever got to run Star Trek himself. There's also a huuuuuuge chunk of Star Trek fandom that's always been mystified why a show noted for pushing boundaries over its lifetime never had an openly queer character - believe me, they are welcoming this announcement. I'm glad that Fuller isn't being coy about it - that his perception of diversity is inclusivity along gender, sexuality and racial lines.

Having watched a bunch of Fuller shows over the years, and considering Fuller is gay himself, I can pretty much guarantee that the character is going to be fully rounded and it won't just be about who they touch sexy bits with.

Basically I see the pre-TOS setting as a way of Fuller honouring Roddenberry's idealised future by making the show as diverse as he originally wanted it to be. Lest we forget his original choice for second-in-command was a woman in the pilot, for example.

I remain excited.
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#8 Strudel the Dancing Pastry

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 01:40 PM

This does all remind me that I bought the remastered TNG boxset recently. I might have to start on that this evening.
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#9 Innokenti

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 01:45 PM

Worth bearing in mind that Fuller is not sole creator and creative input here. Also a fair dollop of Alex Kurtzman (one of the writers for Into Darkness/1st new Trek) involved, so it's not necessarily all going to be Fuller's stuff. And CBS is presumably more backed-off because it's not being developed for the main network stuff but... well... you know. US TV.
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#10 Fat Zombie

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 01:50 PM

View PostStrudel the Dancing Pastry, on 11 August 2016 - 01:40 PM, said:

This does all remind me that I bought the remastered TNG boxset recently. I might have to start on that this evening.
Do it, I'm midway through Season 2 at the moment since they came back on Netflix.

#11 Strudel the Dancing Pastry

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 02:00 PM

I would like to watch TOS remastered first, but I can't seem to find it as one whole box set anywhere - only individual seasons. WHY!?
Spins and turns, angles and curves. The shape of dreams, half remembered. Slip the surly bonds of earth and touch the face of perfection - a perfect face, perfect lace.
Jentastic: THAT'S RIGHT, I like double entry
<@Strudel> How big's your dongle Kramer?
only about 2 inches :(

#12 Strudel the Dancing Pastry

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 02:03 PM

Turns out for some reason it hasn't been released yet - next month!
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#13 Elihu

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 02:09 PM

I watched a bunch of TNG and a lot of DS9 recently and oh wow Worf.

* There's one episode in DS9 where he subjects Dax to what essentially constitutes domestic abuse, before joining a fundamentalist militant group and committing a terrorist act which disables a planet's weather grid, costing the planet trillions of dollars worth of damage and lost revenue and (I would assume) costing hundreds of lives.

* He faces near-extradition on war-crimes charges. While his defence counsel proves that the case against him is trumped-up, it's clear at the end of the episode that he would actually have been prepared to commit a war crime.

* His son goes nuts because of his lack of parenting.

* His brother Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Minds himself because of the decisions Worf makes.

#14 Hentzau

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 02:10 PM

View PostStrudel the Dancing Pastry, on 11 August 2016 - 01:40 PM, said:

This does all remind me that I bought the remastered TNG boxset recently. I might have to start on that this evening.
I've been watching this on and off for the last week. The remaster is really goddamn good, to the point where watching standard DS9 is painful by comparison (the reverse used to be true).

#15 Hentzau

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 02:12 PM

Speaking of Worf

#16 Masked Dave

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 03:04 PM

View PostStrudel the Dancing Pastry, on 11 August 2016 - 10:41 AM, said:

I am not enthused by the latest news about Star Trek: Discovery.
Yeah I was a bit let down by it. I was expecting something in the future of TNG/DS9 telling stories in that timeline.

Honestly, I don't see what the point is of saying it's in the "prime" timeline if it's before Kirk - the timelines haven't diverged yet!

I don't mind the idea of doing a different style of Trek show though, following more regular crew than the senior bridge team, that seems quite cool.
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#17 Masked Dave

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 03:09 PM

View PostStrudel the Dancing Pastry, on 11 August 2016 - 11:14 AM, said:

TV is better at diversity, sure, and I'm very happy for the show to have a greater diversity on all fronts... but then why set it at a time in Trek when it wasn't very diverse?
To be fair, I don't think they are making a show about diversity. So it wouldn't have affecting their choice of setting, etc. But that after deciding that stuff they'll make sure to have a diverse cast of characters.

I didn't understand it as an announcement really. Are they quotes from an interview? Maybe he was being asked about the whole Sulu thing.
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#18 Innokenti

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 03:09 PM

View PostMasked Dave, on 11 August 2016 - 03:04 PM, said:

Honestly, I don't see what the point is of saying it's in the "prime" timeline if it's before Kirk - the timelines haven't diverged yet!

Hmm, well, I guess... given how the alternate timelines work in Trek I think they are slightly more permanent fixtures (e.g. the EVIL TWIN TIMELINE). So the two timelines already existed, it's just that one of them will be altered by the actions of Nero, whereas the other one will continue and have been as it is. So there may be some nuanced relevantce there.
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#19 Masked Dave

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 03:20 PM

Yes, but in terms of storytelling it's the same. Literally the only difference is if someone made reference to the Kelvin being destroyed as a throw away line somewhere. Nothing else of note happens until Vulcan is destroyed.

And the geeky response to that is the Evil Universe is an alternate universe while the Kelvin Timeline is a splintered timeline. It was Nero coming back in time from later on in that Universe that caused the differences, rather than just having a base difference to start with.

Recently watched the Enterprise episode where they show the evolution of the Evil Universe and how it basically starts that at the end of First Contact, they shotgun the Vulcans who land in the face an steal their spaceship - amazing episode!

For people who are interested, Empire recently did a '50 best Star Trek episodes' article http://www.empireonl...-trek-episodes/ which I'm using as a viewing guide now they are all up on Netflix (not got the time or patience or a full re-watch).
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#20 Innokenti

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 03:48 PM

View PostMasked Dave, on 11 August 2016 - 03:20 PM, said:

And the geeky response to that is the Evil Universe is an alternate universe while the Kelvin Timeline is a splintered timeline. It was Nero coming back in time from later on in that Universe that caused the differences, rather than just having a base difference to start with.

Recently watched the Enterprise episode where they show the evolution of the Evil Universe and how it basically starts that at the end of First Contact, they shotgun the Vulcans who land in the face an steal their spaceship - amazing episode!

Yeah it was splitting hairs - as you say it's not significant but the way alternate timelines etc are handled is mildly interesting.
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#21 Fat Zombie

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 04:12 PM

I thought the destruction of the Kelvin in that timeline put the Federation on a bit more of a war footing, hence the different version of the Connie and the creation of the USS Vengeance.

#22 Elihu

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 04:43 PM

I like to think they made a second version of that ship and called it the USS Vengeance for Vengeance or USS Vengeance 2: Vengeance harder.

#23 Fat Zombie

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 05:17 PM

The USS Revengeance

#24 Masked Dave

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 06:27 PM

View PostFat Zombie, on 11 August 2016 - 04:12 PM, said:

I thought the destruction of the Kelvin in that timeline put the Federation on a bit more of a war footing, hence the different version of the Connie and the creation of the USS Vengeance.
I kind of figured that  Vengeance stuff was more a response to Vulcan getting destroyed. One ship being destroyed would be unfortunate but not something unheard of.
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#25 Elihu

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 06:53 PM

View PostFat Zombie, on 11 August 2016 - 05:17 PM, said:

The USS Revengeance

Nailed it.