Jump to content

Star Trek: Picard (CBS All-Access)


UN Spacy
 Share

Recommended Posts

13 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

No... Below Decks is a complete and utter dumpster fire.

Have you actually watched it?  It's much better than Discovery, and... like, twice as good as Picard, and... I'm damning with faint praise again, aren't I?  <_<

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, tekering said:

Have you actually watched it?  It's much better than Discovery, and... like, twice as good as Picard, and... I'm damning with faint praise again, aren't I?  <_<

So when its first season ends it'll have lost only 49% of the audience it started the season with?

I have to admit, I didn't expect Picard to do well from the outset, but I never expected it'd be the franchise's all-time worst performer in terms of viewer retention by almost a factor of 3.  It lost 30% of its audience in the space of just the first five episodes, and 50% by its season finale.  I'm floored.  That puts Picard's first season roughly on par with the Voyager or Enterprise's losses over their entire seven or four season runs if you discount the series openers.

Wow. Just... wow.

I think there's an excellent argument for Patrick Stewart's reluctance to return for season two of his series being motivated by the audience's hatred of the show.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the 'gritty'ness of the Star Trek universe seen in STP, outside of Starfleet (and thus off of Earth or Vulcan etc), was always going to be lacking in the wholesome, advanced attitude we've seen in near all Star Trek shows. Whether it's seen through the lens of DS9, or Data with the Collector, Harry Mudd and others, that advanced attitude has always been a thin veneer. A luxury allowed when one has the means, such as serving in Starfleet or being a citizen of one of the primary worlds of the Federation. One of the elite.

So stepping away from Starfleet and heading out into the greater civilian universe, we were always going to be leaving that behind. At least partly. That meant that the 'advanced culture' was then going to be seen through one person rather than a whole crew serving on the same ship, with that being Picard. He is the lens though which we see that greater attitude that Star Trek has always shown.

Personally, I'm alright with Starfleet and the Federation 'losing it's way.' In past movies and series, they've been hit hard and repeatedly, and esp with the mass attack on Mars, pretty close to home. It would be unreal for any civilization to not trudge through the lows every now and then, before starting to find their way back, such as Riker and the fleet showing up at the end to start doing what was right.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Thom said:

I think the 'gritty'ness of the Star Trek universe seen in STP, outside of Starfleet (and thus off of Earth or Vulcan etc), was always going to be lacking in the wholesome, advanced attitude we've seen in near all Star Trek shows. Whether it's seen through the lens of DS9, or Data with the Collector, Harry Mudd and others, that advanced attitude has always been a thin veneer.

Not really, no...

By in large, when we've seen the antics of various disreputable or outright criminal individuals like Harcourt Fenton Mudd, Cyrano Jones, Kivas Fajo, "Ardra", etc. they're either operating outside of Federation space or on the very fringes of it.  The reason they're out there on the periphery of Federation territory to begin with is that they're wanted by other, less humane governments (like the Klingons) and the Federation Starfleet's highly principled officers don't shoot to kill even if you shoot first, and the justice system there is vastly more forgiving and humane than what many of the Federation's neighbors have to offer.  

That wholesome, advanced attitude is what we see out on the frontier, where all the real (meaning pre-Kurtzman) Star Trek shows are set... where all the problems aren't solved yet.  We've never really gotten a good look at the Federation's core worlds, except to hear them described as "paradise".  

Even the Maquis, Federation settlers living a hard life on undeveloped worlds in the demilitarized zone separating Cardassian and Federation space, are shown to be generally principled people who just want to be left alone to live their lives in peace.  Their style of terrorism is pretty toothless until Eddington loses the plot and even he goes to great lengths to ensure there's little to no loss of life even as he's deploying chemical weapons on a planetary scale.  That's how stupidly advanced and high-minded the Federation is... even when its citizens turn to honest-to-goodness terrorism they refuse to actually hurt anyone if it can be avoided.

Bajor's basically the Federation frontier planet we see the most of, and while it starts out troubled it goes from a recently occupied world used to violent oppression and equally violent resistance to a basically utopian society in the space of just a couple of years with the Federation's help.  

The Federation's principles and high standard of living are no simple veneer, that was the reality of daily life in the Federation until Kurtzman decided it wasn't gritty enough for his tastes.  That's the essence of the whole speech Sisko gives in "The Maquis" that has him lay out the fact that life in the Federation is paradise because the problems of society are solved already... it's only out on the frontier where people are living rough and still getting society set up that there are still unsolved problems, which is the whole reason the Federation fails to really relate to the Maquis and understand their grievances, because the problems the Maquis were dealing with were alien concepts to the vast majority of the Federation populace.

 

1 hour ago, Thom said:

So stepping away from Starfleet and heading out into the greater civilian universe, we were always going to be leaving that behind. At least partly. That meant that the 'advanced culture' was then going to be seen through one person rather than a whole crew serving on the same ship, with that being Picard. He is the lens though which we see that greater attitude that Star Trek has always shown.

Kurtzman's cack-handed attempt to turn Star Trek into Star Wars aside, what we're seeing in Picard is non-Federation civilian life... all but the first few episodes take place outside of Federation space.  These interstellar sh*tholes like Freecloud or the Romulan refugee planets are outside the Federation's borders and governed by someone else... which makes the show's whole argument against the Federation particularly incongruous.

 

1 hour ago, Thom said:

Personally, I'm alright with Starfleet and the Federation 'losing it's way.' In past movies and series, they've been hit hard and repeatedly, and esp with the mass attack on Mars, pretty close to home. It would be unreal for any civilization to not trudge through the lows every now and then, before starting to find their way back, such as Riker and the fleet showing up at the end to start doing what was right.

The problem with that ending is it comes out of nowhere with no build-up... the Federation just decides, offscreen, that it really ought to do the thing it's supposed to be all about, seemingly independently of anything Picard has said or done in the entirety of the season.  It's very much a deus ex machina ending, albeit different from the rather more literal one that Sutra tried to bring about seemingly for shiggles and because every Soong-type android is obliged by law to have an evil twin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, tekering said:

Have you actually watched it?  It's much better than Discovery, and... like, twice as good as Picard, and... I'm damning with faint praise again, aren't I?  <_<

Yes, and I nearly gouged my eyes and ears out, TYVM.

I mean, saying "it's twice as good as Picard" is like saying "this turd in the toilet bowl is solid, as opposed to the rest of the liquid diarrhea!"

Edited by pengbuzz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Seto Kaiba said:

The problem with that ending is it comes out of nowhere with no build-up... the Federation just decides, offscreen, that it really ought to do the thing it's supposed to be all about, seemingly independently of anything Picard has said or done in the entirety of the season.  It's very much a deus ex machina ending,

Kinda like Raiders of the Lost Arc.  Take Indy out of the whole attempt to get the Ark and nothing actually changes.  On the negative side Hitler might have been there when it was opened if Indy had not gotten in the way.  Any nobody says Raiders is bad because of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, Dynaman said:

Kinda like Raiders of the Lost Arc.  Take Indy out of the whole attempt to get the Ark and nothing actually changes.  On the negative side Hitler might have been there when it was opened if Indy had not gotten in the way.  Any nobody says Raiders is bad because of it.

So... if you actually did take Indy out of it, I can't say nothing changes, because you turn a fun adventure flick into a humorless Nazi twist on National Treasure, except the surprise ending is that everyone dies.  Yes, the plot plays out roughly the same, but who would actually want to watch that?

Which... is kind of the same problem I think Trek seems to be dealing with now?  They've twisted the characters and universe around so much that I don't think I even care what happens to them anymore.  I've got no investment.

As an aside, I think Raiders gets a free deus ex machina pass for playing the trope straight to its historical roots, and literally having God save the day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, Dynaman said:

Kinda like Raiders of the Lost Arc.  Take Indy out of the whole attempt to get the Ark and nothing actually changes.  On the negative side Hitler might have been there when it was opened if Indy had not gotten in the way.  Any nobody says Raiders is bad because of it.

Granted, that's probably true... it doesn't actually change the result, but it would materially change every other aspect of the story because the characters were likable enough for the audience to get invested in them and their adventure.  Even if the ending is a literal deus ex machina where the power of god kills the Nazis because they're too damn stupid to know what they're doing, it wouldn't be as meaningful if Indy weren't there to make it feel like a win for the good guys and the climax to a fun, high-stakes adventure.

One of the main problems with all of the new Star Trek produced under Kurtzman's leadership is that the characters are awful and unlikable people who hate each other with a passion.  Picard is, in a way, even worse than Discovery in that there's really no reason for these characters to be as sh*tty as they are.  Especially Raffi, who is a drug-abusing waster who somehow contrives to blame Jean-Luc Picard for her being kicked out of Starfleet... even though his presence was apparently all that was keeping her from an involuntary discharge as it was.  It's so stupidly hypocritical of her.  How dare the famous Jean-Luc Picard let the consequences of her sh*tty life choices catch up with her!  :p 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Especially Raffi, who is a drug-abusing waster who somehow contrives to blame Jean-Luc Picard for her being kicked out of Starfleet... even though his presence was apparently all that was keeping her from an involuntary discharge as it was.  It's so stupidly hypocritical of her.  How dare the famous Jean-Luc Picard let the consequences of her sh*tty life choices catch up with her!  :p 

Because it’s Picard’s fault, he set standards in Starfleet so high that it made life difficult for the less capable.  Picard need to be woke enough to realize that his pursuit of excellence is causing dramatic harm to many who might be less ambitious or less capable.   
 

Especially since he had so many advantages obviously denied to Raffi like a stable family, a good upbringing, work ethics ingrained by his parents.  It’s all Picard’s fault, and he needs to admit that, and give Raffi command of a starship in recognition of the fact that he (Picard) has led a life of privilege and his success was rooted in those privileges that are denied to others who are less fortunate.

After all, what kind of communist paradise is possible if there are always those who want to overachieve and get there through privileges like knowing how to work hard and getting lucky with things like the Picard maneuver.

:clapping:

Edited by kalvasflam
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Not really, no...

By in large, when we've seen the antics of various disreputable or outright criminal individuals like Harcourt Fenton Mudd, Cyrano Jones, Kivas Fajo, "Ardra", etc. they're either operating outside of Federation space or on the very fringes of it.  The reason they're out there on the periphery of Federation territory to begin with is that they're wanted by other, less humane governments (like the Klingons) and the Federation Starfleet's highly principled officers don't shoot to kill even if you shoot first, and the justice system there is vastly more forgiving and humane than what many of the Federation's neighbors have to offer.  

That wholesome, advanced attitude is what we see out on the frontier, where all the real (meaning pre-Kurtzman) Star Trek shows are set... where all the problems aren't solved yet.  We've never really gotten a good look at the Federation's core worlds, except to hear them described as "paradise".  

Even the Maquis, Federation settlers living a hard life on undeveloped worlds in the demilitarized zone separating Cardassian and Federation space, are shown to be generally principled people who just want to be left alone to live their lives in peace.  Their style of terrorism is pretty toothless until Eddington loses the plot and even he goes to great lengths to ensure there's little to no loss of life even as he's deploying chemical weapons on a planetary scale.  That's how stupidly advanced and high-minded the Federation is... even when its citizens turn to honest-to-goodness terrorism they refuse to actually hurt anyone if it can be avoided.

Bajor's basically the Federation frontier planet we see the most of, and while it starts out troubled it goes from a recently occupied world used to violent oppression and equally violent resistance to a basically utopian society in the space of just a couple of years with the Federation's help.  

The Federation's principles and high standard of living are no simple veneer, that was the reality of daily life in the Federation until Kurtzman decided it wasn't gritty enough for his tastes.  That's the essence of the whole speech Sisko gives in "The Maquis" that has him lay out the fact that life in the Federation is paradise because the problems of society are solved already... it's only out on the frontier where people are living rough and still getting society set up that there are still unsolved problems, which is the whole reason the Federation fails to really relate to the Maquis and understand their grievances, because the problems the Maquis were dealing with were alien concepts to the vast majority of the Federation populace.

 

Kurtzman's cack-handed attempt to turn Star Trek into Star Wars aside, what we're seeing in Picard is non-Federation civilian life... all but the first few episodes take place outside of Federation space.  These interstellar sh*tholes like Freecloud or the Romulan refugee planets are outside the Federation's borders and governed by someone else... which makes the show's whole argument against the Federation particularly incongruous.

 

The problem with that ending is it comes out of nowhere with no build-up... the Federation just decides, offscreen, that it really ought to do the thing it's supposed to be all about, seemingly independently of anything Picard has said or done in the entirety of the season.  It's very much a deus ex machina ending, albeit different from the rather more literal one that Sutra tried to bring about seemingly for shiggles and because every Soong-type android is obliged by law to have an evil twin.

STP, being set outside the Federation was not going to show all that wholesome goodness, and Picard would (by being Picard) be the focus of that idealism in the gritty, greater universe. And it is a thin veneer that someone can hold on to, as long as they are living in that paradise. It affords them (the citizens of the Federation) the comfort of living towards those higher ideals, whereas those who do not are focused more on the immediate concern of living and surviving day to day. Being set outside the Federation, that idealism was going to be left behind, again except for Picard as the standard bearer for it. And so again, the show was going to absent of that wholesomeness and thus grittier because of it.

And yes, Riker and the entire (apparently) Starfleet showing up just in time, and at odd with the words of the head of the entire fleet, was a blatant and forced happy ending.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Thom said:

STP, being set outside the Federation was not going to show all that wholesome goodness, and Picard would (by being Picard) be the focus of that idealism in the gritty, greater universe.

Star Trek: Picard, being set principally outside Federation territory, absolutely did not need to sh*t all over the Federation and Starfleet the way it did.

It was completely unnecessary to the story, and it didn't make a lick of sense when examined in any kind of depth or context.

Of course, a lot of what went into Star Trek: Picard's story was absurd, hopelessly out of character, or completely pointless attempts at cheap drama... which is probably why the series lost more than half of its audience in the space of a single season.  The writing was just that bad and the audience knew it.

 

8 minutes ago, Thom said:

And it is a thin veneer that someone can hold on to, as long as they are living in that paradise. It affords them (the citizens of the Federation) the comfort of living towards those higher ideals, whereas those who do not are focused more on the immediate concern of living and surviving day to day.

As noted in my previous post, that assertion doesn't tally with the fact that we've seen on many occasions that Federation citizens living out on its frontiers or beyond its borders still hold the same high-minded ideals even without the comforts of the Federation's developed worlds.

(Taken to some pretty extreme places in TAS with people like Carter Winston, a wildly successful trader who kept giving away his fortune to help Federation colonies in need.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

As noted in my previous post, that assertion doesn't tally with the fact that we've seen on many occasions that Federation citizens living out on its frontiers or beyond its borders still hold the same high-minded ideals even without the comforts of the Federation's developed worlds.

If I had to listen to Tasha Yar blather on one more time about the "rap" gangs on her just across the border of the Federation world I think I would have screamed.  The Marquis in were no great shakes either.  And who would WANT to live on the Horta homeworld if money was not involved in some way?  Trek has never had consistant internal logic from the very start in regards to being the utopia it was pronounced to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

As noted in my previous post, that assertion doesn't tally with the fact that we've seen on many occasions that Federation citizens living out on its frontiers or beyond its borders still hold the same high-minded ideals even without the comforts of the Federation's developed worlds.

(Taken to some pretty extreme places in TAS with people like Carter Winston, a wildly successful trader who kept giving away his fortune to help Federation colonies in need.)

And yet it is present. Something easily pointed to, even at a distance. To use an old quote, 'a shining city on a hill.' They have the luxury of it being there and so can afford the effort to spread that high ideal. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Dynaman said:

If I had to listen to Tasha Yar blather on one more time about the "rap" gangs on her just across the border of the Federation world I think I would have screamed.

Yeah, letting Gene off the leash in the development and first season production of Star Trek: the Next Generation was definitely a mistake.

Natasha Yar's character basically came about because Gene wouldn't stop perving on Jenette Goldstein's character Vasquez in Aliens.  He was so taken with the idea of a macho latina marine that that's basically all the original version of Yar's character - named Macha Hernandez - was.  Her only other character trait was hero-worshiping Picard and Riker.  She didn't really get any better fleshed-out in development, except in that her hero worship of Picard and Riker was generalized into a PSA about how awesome the Federation is and once they cast Denise Crosby she got rewritten into a Ukrainian to better fit her looks.  Adding Worf basically made her post as security chief redundant anyway.

That's why the writers didn't know what to do with her, and why they were planning to write her out of the series even before Denise Crosby announced she was going to quit.

 

12 hours ago, Dynaman said:

The Marquis in were no great shakes either. 

The Maquis were a pretty interesting addition to the setting, IMO... though a rebellion made up of folks who mainly adhered to Federation standards was never going to be much of a success against a brutal regime like the Cardassian Union.  (That they borrowed the name of the dubiously effective French resistance was intentional.)

 

12 hours ago, Dynaman said:

And who would WANT to live on the Horta homeworld if money was not involved in some way?  Trek has never had consistant internal logic from the very start in regards to being the utopia it was pronounced to be.

Well, description of the Federation economy has been necessarily vague since throwaway remarks by various writers don't often line up... but from the outset they were consistent on the note that the Federation's utopian civilization had effectively eliminated contemporary human failings like hunger, disease, war, homelessness, etc. and created a society where all people were able to contribute and lead rich, full lives.  

Putting some of the pieces together, the post-scarcity New World Economy that's described appears to have had what amounts to universal basic income and housing, provided for by the ubiquitous matter synthesizers and the replicators that replaced them.  Even an unemployed person could still have a roof over their head, fresh and healthy food to eat, free access to medical care and education, etc., while those who wanted more out of life had to work.  Since most material possessions became essentially worthless when synthesizer or replicator tech could duplicate almost anything with ease, it would've been fairly easy to refocus humanity's competitive energy into how much you can contribute to society.  They make a lot of noise about that aspect of it in TNG, DS9, and VOY, that the focus is on self-improvement and betterment of society.

Living on a place like Janus VI as a miner would be pretty hefty bragging rights in that regard, given how the planet's resources are said to be able to provide for the energy needs of dozens of other worlds.

 

 

2 hours ago, Thom said:

And yet it is present. Something easily pointed to, even at a distance. To use an old quote, 'a shining city on a hill.' They have the luxury of it being there and so can afford the effort to spread that high ideal. 

Now you're contradicting yourself... it's not a "thin veneer" if it's a concrete reality that those people were raised in, accustomed to, and want to perpetuate, and point to as a beacon of hope for the greater galaxy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, this is depressing.  I haven't watched STD or Picard yet because the trailers just aren't sparking joy. 

I want to turn off my brain and be happily entertained.  I just flipped on a random episode of TNG last night and wished they made stuff like that again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, peter said:

Man, this is depressing.  I haven't watched STD or Picard yet because the trailers just aren't sparking joy. 

I want to turn off my brain and be happily entertained.  I just flipped on a random episode of TNG last night and wished they made stuff like that again.

Well, there is a nonzero probability that you may be in luck then...

ViacomCBS and Secret Hideout are currently trying very hard to distract shareholders and viewers alike from the disastrously bad viewership numbers Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard are getting, as well as from the distinctly frosty reception Lower Decks is currently getting, with news of their latest Star Trek: Discovery side story proposal: Strange New Worlds.

It's a way for them to reuse the art assets, sets, etc. made for Discovery for another show, but they're talking it up as a return to classic form with a more episodic format and the classic optimism of real Star Trek.  It's supposedly set to feature Anson Mount returning as Captain Christopher Pike on the USS Enterprise.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

 Strange New Worlds.

It's a way for them to reuse the art assets, sets, etc. made for Discovery for another show, but they're talking it up as a return to classic form with a more episodic format and the classic optimism of real Star Trek.  It's supposedly set to feature Anson Mount returning as Captain Christopher Pike on the USS Enterprise.

So there are basically going back to basics with a prequel to TOS, written like TOS.

Image the money they would have saved/made if they STARTED WITH THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Focslain said:

So there are basically going back to basics with a prequel to TOS, written like TOS.

Image the money they would have saved/made if they STARTED WITH THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

I'm not entirely sure it would have been received all that well though, at least not right off the bat of Enterprise getting cancelled.  Even before Discovery started, it got a fair amount of criticism just on the setting and aesthetics, for being set pre-TOS.

At this point though, a box of saltines is a feast for someone who's been eating dirt for three years. :p 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Now you're contradicting yourself... it's not a "thin veneer" if it's a concrete reality that those people were raised in, accustomed to, and want to perpetuate, and point to as a beacon of hope for the greater galaxy.

Actually, I'm not. All society is a thin veneer that sits on a shaky foundation that we blithely ignore, and even put absolute faith into. I highly doubt a future civilization would be any different, the Federation included. It is good while it is there though, and yes something to point to and strive for, even as we forget how fragile it is. What we are seeing is the cracks that have been forming for while, most likely do to stress because of the constant strain the Federation has been under, culminating with the attack on Mars.

Though, however heavy-handed it is, the arrival of Starfleet at the end shows that there is still a chance for a resurgence of the Federation we remember well from TOS and TNG.

Edited by Thom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Focslain said:

So there are basically going back to basics with a prequel to TOS, written like TOS.

Image the money they would have saved/made if they STARTED WITH THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Yeah, that's how they've been hyping it... whether it'll actually turn out that way is another matter entirely.  Remember, they made a similar pitch with Star Trek: Discovery season two and that turned into an even bigger dumpster fire than season one.

 

19 minutes ago, Chronocidal said:

I'm not entirely sure it would have been received all that well though, at least not right off the bat of Enterprise getting cancelled.  Even before Discovery started, it got a fair amount of criticism just on the setting and aesthetics, for being set pre-TOS.

I'm inclined to suspect it would have been well-received.  Remember, between the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Discovery we had the three terrible action-ized Star Trek movies by Jar-Jar Abrams that were already making people nostalgic for real Star Trek.

Discovery was always going to fail.  Partly because it's following in the aesthetic and thematic footsteps of those terrible soft reboot movies, and partly because it was so preoccupied with trying to be Game of Space Thrones that it became unwatchable for a lot of the same reasons Game of Thrones did.

 

6 minutes ago, Thom said:

Actually, I'm not. All society is a thin veneer that sits on a shaky foundation that we blithely ignore, and even put absolute faith into. I highly doubt a future civilization would be any different, the Federation included. It is good while it is there though, and yes something to point to and strive for, even as we forget how fragile it is. What we are seeing is the cracks that have been forming for while, most likely do to stress because of the constant strain the Federation has been under, culminating with the attack on Mars.

That, I would point out, is thematically incompatible with Star Trek as a whole.  The entire premise there is that humanity is fundamentally Better Than That.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Focslain said:

So there are basically going back to basics with a prequel to TOS, written like TOS.

Image the money they would have saved/made if they STARTED WITH THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

But making Star Trek shows that are like Star Trek shows won't attract the hip, edgy Game of Thrones fans that are the exclusive viewers of television!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, JB0 said:

But making Star Trek shows that are like Star Trek shows won't attract the hip, edgy Game of Thrones fans that are the exclusive viewers of television!

Does anyone still watch Game of Thrones?  It seems like that fandom vanished off the face of the f*cking Earth after its final season.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

That, I would point out, is thematically incompatible with Star Trek as a whole.  The entire premise there is that humanity is fundamentally Better Than That.

I forget who said it but it is true.  Utopia is boring.  Trek found that out in the first couple seasons of TNG when they were REALLY pushing that Federation is Utopia bit.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Dynaman said:

I forget who said it but it is true.  Utopia is boring. 

That's why Star Trek stories are set out on the frontier... because the premise of Star Trek is that the future will be a better, brighter place where we will solve all of humanity's societal problems.  Star Trek is an examination of our modern societal issues, which are projected onto various alien species or lost human colonies that Starfleet encounters to allow the audience to examine them from an outside perspective unhampered by the blind spots and biases we develop by living with those societal flaws all our lives.  That the Federation is a utopia is the whole point of Star Trek.  It's an aspiration for the future, and a way to point out where we're falling short right now.

 

2 hours ago, Dynaman said:

Trek found that out in the first couple seasons of TNG when they were REALLY pushing that Federation is Utopia bit.  

That wasn't the actual issue... the issue that had the writers livid with Roddenberry was that you need conflict to develop characters and Gene was adamant that the crew of this new starship Enterprise were simply too advanced and too professional to disagree on the best course of action or points of morality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

That wasn't the actual issue... the issue that had the writers livid with Roddenberry was that you need conflict to develop characters and Gene was adamant that the crew of this new starship Enterprise were simply too advanced and too professional to disagree on the best course of action or points of morality.

And I can see why they would be upset: "advanced and professional" doesn't mean that people will automatically see everything "eye to eye". Professionals disagree on stuff everyday, due to varying experiences, as well as individual personas and whatnot: "your mileage may vary" really comes into play here. People aren't robots (well, Data is but we won't go there! :D), and even in utopia, unless everyone is brainwashed you have folks with minds of their own and differing backgrounds.

One example that really comes to the fore here is Spock and McCoy. Even though they were TOS, if they behaved the way Roddenberry would insist for TNG , I think a great deal would have been lost. More on point, TNG episodes like "The Drumhead" (Adm. Satie on her witch hunt), "Chain of Command parts 1 and 2" (Jellico and Riker clashing ), "The Measure of a Man" (Picard has to defend Data's right to refuse being an experiment, and Riker has to work for the opposing team) are only a scant handful that I can think of at the moment. Imagine any of those being "too advanced and professional to disagree" (and I'm sure there are a lot more episodes that I'm neglecting to mention about now).

Professionalism tends to be about the methods of disagreement and working together despite those disagreements (although there are times that to go along with something is not professional);  Riker didn't deck Jellico when asked to pilot the shuttle, nor did Picard strangle Satie when she went loopy.

Now that I think of it, Riker probably wanted to launch Shelby out a photorp tube for being such a ambitious pain in The best of Both Worlds, Parts I and II...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

That wasn't the actual issue... the issue that had the writers livid with Roddenberry was that you need conflict to develop characters and Gene was adamant that the crew of this new starship Enterprise were simply too advanced and too professional to disagree on the best course of action or points of morality.

No that was the issue.  If our characters are having conflict then Utopia cannot exist since the instant the best and brightest, which Starfleet was supposed to be, could have conflicts Utopia has to go right out the window.  You can't have one with the other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, pengbuzz said:

And I can see why they would be upset: "advanced and professional" doesn't mean that people will automatically see everything "eye to eye". Professionals disagree on stuff everyday, due to varying experiences, as well as individual personas and whatnot: "your mileage may vary" really comes into play here. People aren't robots (well, Data is but we won't go there! :D), and even in utopia, unless everyone is brainwashed you have folks with minds of their own and differing backgrounds.

Yeah, Gene Roddenberry was a great idea man but not much of a writer.  Like George Lucas, he needed a support staff to filter his ideas and convert them into something the audience would actually want to watch.  Gene strongarmed his way into creative control using the few rights he retained to the property, and his weird restrictions on what the writers could and couldn't do drove a number of them to quit at the end of the first season.  Roddenberry's lawyer was such a tyrant about it he was eventually banned from Paramount's premises after being caught making unauthorized edits to scripts.

 

 

7 minutes ago, Dynaman said:

No that was the issue.  If our characters are having conflict then Utopia cannot exist since the instant the best and brightest, which Starfleet was supposed to be, could have conflicts Utopia has to go right out the window.  You can't have one with the other.

There's nothing about the definition of a utopia that requires an absence of all conflict... 

Edited by Seto Kaiba
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Dynaman said:

No that was the issue.  If our characters are having conflict then Utopia cannot exist since the instant the best and brightest, which Starfleet was supposed to be, could have conflicts Utopia has to go right out the window.  You can't have one with the other.

Utopia isn't an absence of conflict; in fact, conflict in of itself is not a bad thing. The matter is how those conflicts are expressed and handled that is part of a utopia. I and Seito, for example, can have a difference of opinions and have our views conflict without it becoming an all out war, or even a vehement argument. We instead can choose to exchange views and find common ground, working towards a common goal and trying to see the other side of the debate that doesn't get stalemated by relying solely on the expression of that difference.

The problem is: when we think of conflict, we think of combat.  And while conflict is defined as "a serious disagreement or argument", it does not have to devolve into combat, despite the original intent of the word before it's modern usage.

Edited by pengbuzz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Does anyone still watch Game of Thrones?  It seems like that fandom vanished off the face of the f*cking Earth after its final season.

Yeah, but that's because its final season sucked. The previous ones were groundbreaking, but the show runners abandoned it and rushed through the ending.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

Utopia isn't an absence of conflict; in fact, conflict in of itself is not a bad thing. The matter is how those conflicts are expressed and handled that is part of a utopia. I and Seito, for example, can have a difference of opinions and have our views conflict without it becoming an all out war, or even a vehement argument. We instead can choose to exchange views and find common ground, working towards a common goal and trying to see the other side of the debate that doesn't get stalemated by relying solely on the expression of that difference.

The problem is: when we think of conflict, we think of combat.  And while conflict is defined as "a serious disagreement or argument", it does not have to devolve into combat, despite the original intent of the word before it's modern usage.

Utopia is impossible since eventually conflicts will get to the point where one person does not accept the result.  We also tend to forget that even in civilized societies - the threat of force is the way that the law is applied.  Someone always has to be the "has not" and that even applies with Star Trek's universe, as a very limited example Sisko's restaurant can not possibly seat everyone who wants to go and some kind of "currency" has to determine who that will be.  Currency in this case does not have to mean money, political connections is another example.  

 

EDIT - ST is also a reflection of the times.

TOS - USA USA USA!  (funny how Kirk TELLS every other race how to live properly).

TNG - Touchy feely time (Picard goes out of his way NOT to tell others how to live).  That goes for Voyager and DS9 too - but Sisko does get to piss on the Klingon's warrior ways.  At least DS9 made the Ferengi interesting.

Enterprise - Bounce back from the earlier shows.

The latest shows - Man, we screwed up in real life and the ending of the Cold War didn't make things turn out as we wish.  

Edited by Dynaman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

Utopia isn't an absence of conflict; in fact, conflict in of itself is not a bad thing.

If we're REALLY picking nits, there isn't even really an agreed-upon universal definition of "utopia" beyond "a perfect society"... there've been lots and lots of different takes on the idea over the years since the term was first coined in 1516.

Star Trek's utopia fits into a few of the broad categories that've been defined in literature since the term was coined.

First and foremost, the Federation is a Socialist Utopia, in a style similar to the ones described by Wells, Efremov, and Morris.

  • It's free of capitalism and consumerism, and in retrospect regards them as disruptive influences on society.
  • The egalitarian distribution of food and goods, as well as essential services like education and medical care, made money a societally-irrelevant concept and led to its abolition.
  • Citizens only do work they enjoy and which is for the common good, leaving them more time for the pursuit of the arts and sciences.

The Federation also has characteristics of a Scientific Utopia, similar in nature to the idea first toyed with by Francis Bacon.

  • Advanced medical technology has greatly extended the human lifespan and has generally freed humanity from things like disease, disability, and untimely death.
  • Advanced manufacturing technology (matter synthesizers, replicators) has displaced humans from menial manufacturing roles and other advanced technology had taken over the majority of other kinds of menial labor.
  • Education is ubiquitous, and everyone has unrestricted access to humanity's collective achievements in the arts and sciences.
  • The expansion of humanity's collective body of scientific knowledge is a primary cultural goal.

It's also an Egalitarian Utopia, as the Federation has true social and legal equality among all species, races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and what have you.

You could also say it's a Democratic Utopia, in that the government is set up in such a way that it truly represents the interests and collective will of the people.

 

 

3 minutes ago, Dynaman said:

Utopia is impossible since eventually conflicts will get to the point where one person does not accept the result.

Again, universal accord is not a prerequisite for a utopia... there have been many, MANY different takes on the underlying concept in its almost 2,400 year documented history.

 

3 minutes ago, Dynaman said:

Someone always has to be the "has not" and that even applies with Star Trek's universe, as a very limited example Sisko's restaurant can not possibly seat everyone who wants to go and some kind of "currency" has to determine who that will be.  Currency in this case does not have to mean money, political connections is another example.  

Y'see, that's not really a workable example of what you're trying to say.

Yes, Sisko's has limited seating... but everyone has equal access to Sisko's and nobody's going hungry either.

If Sisko's has no free tables, they can wait or go to one of the other restaurants in the area at which they are equally welcome.  If that doesn't suit, they can use a transporter and visit any restaurant anywhere on the planet (or orbiting space stations) that suits their fancy.  If their heart is set on a particular dish, they can get it just as easily from a replimat or out of their personal replicator.  It might not taste exactly the same as a dish prepared in a real kitchen (whether people can truly distinguish replicated food from real food is debatable, as food snobs are heavily involved in the "can" side) but it's just as nutritious if not moreso and it's available on demand at whatever temperature best suits it and/or your preferences.  (It wouldn't be surprising if Sisko's offered replication patterns for its dishes too, as a form of "takeout".)

A "has not" in this case is someone who isn't able to get a meal at all.  Not being able to get into Sisko's at a specific time is an inconvenience, not a lack of equal access.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...