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Why Star Trek : TOS will always be the best

KelisThePoet

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Report this Jul. 10 2011, 11:24 pm

Quote: rocketscientist @ Jul. 09 2011, 7:20 am

>Now, I can understand criticism due to the re-use of the music.   Thanks to its significantly lower budget (and I'm accounting for inflation as well when I say this), something like only 15 or episodes of the original ST was scored.  You can get all the music on 4 CDs.  That's it.


Whatever the budget reasons for the re-used music, the recurrence of the themes actually adds to my enjoyment of the original series' scores.  Because certain themes recur, they become almost like recognizable characters, the musical equivalents of a familiar cast or crew.  A funny fight or slapstick sequence is invigorated by the funny fight music, a more serious fight by the standard fight music, a scene about Spock's alienness by those recurring lower notes on a stringed instrument (sorry for the vagueness of those terms--I'm by no means a student of music), etc.  In addition to the simple pleasure of recognition in repetition, the recurring musical motifs provide a thematic continuity and development to the stories of the series that I personally find more interesting than plot continuity and development driven by a soap operatic string of "to-be-continueds."


It's odd how practical and monetary constraints sometimes serendipitously prompt better work.  I think the practical limitations of the original series prompted better special effects, as well as better music.  Certain kinds of visuals simply weren't possible for that series, so the creators found ways to tell their stories around those limitations, and those stories still work today, for the most part.  By contrast, the best CGI available to The Next Generation and the early seasons of Voyager already looks dated to me.


Falor was a prosperous merchant who went on a journey to gain greater awareness: Through storms he crossed the Voroth Sea/ To reach the clouded shores of Raal/ Where old T’Para offered truth./ He traveled through the windswept hills/ And crossed the barren Fire Plains/ To find the silent monks of Kir./ Still unfulfilled, he journeyed home/ Told stories of the lessons learned/ And gained true wisdom by the giving. – Falor’s Journey, “Innocence”

Ghostmojo

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Report this Jul. 11 2011, 12:37 pm

You truly are a poet Kelis - your words always full of meaning and sense ...


I might add that I think the reason why shadows and light worked well with TOS but not so well with VOY and ENT was down to one thing - colour!!!


The sets of the later series were so muted and neutered when it came to colouring, that shadows weren't going to help at all ...


Whereas because the original series made such bold use of colour - the layering of light and shade added tremendously to the perceived depth of the sets (and perhaps helped make up for the low budget settings). In a similar way the use of clever camera angles helps frame emotional moments in quite a strong way. Quite often you will see a key character in the foreground (often Kirk) with supporting characters over his shoulder - all expressing a shared reaction which for me really reinforces the idea.


There is a simple little scene right at the end of Balance Of Terror where Kirk goes to the chapel to console the 'widowed' female weapons officer. He appears in the background framed by the doorway with the grieving woman in the foreground - very moody lighting and a very effective scene.


to boldy go where no man has gone before

konarciq

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Report this Jul. 13 2011, 2:59 am

Quote: rocketscientist @ Jul. 08 2011, 6:35 am

Quote: konarciq @ Jul. 08 2011, 3:01 am

Quote: /view_profile/ @

>

>

>

>The reason there was little continuity in the earlier episodes of TOS (...)

>

Um... have I failed to see the continuity present in the latter episodes then? I´ve seen the entire series, and my favourite eps more than once of course, but as far as I can tell, you can mix them up in any order without having to know what happened the ep before.

What you say is mostly true, but there are a few references to previous episodes.  For example, previous episodes are referenced in the final episode "Turnabout Intruder," "By Any Other Name," (Spock's planting a suggestion in Kelinda's mind), "I, Mudd," and probably a couple of others.  Generally, though, you're right, TOS wasn't serialized.  Mostly, I think, the development occurred in the relationships between the characters, especially Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.  That, to me, was far more important than if they referenced episode so and so. 

 


 


Maybe I´m still missing something then, because it´s exactly the characters and their development in which I find TOS somewhat lacking. Compared to TNG then always. (And no, you won´t hear me say TNG was perfect in that matter either.)


But I see you had another reply on that, so I´ll continue there.


If there is nothing wrong with me, then maybe there´s something wrong with the universe? -Dr. Crusher

konarciq

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Report this Jul. 13 2011, 3:59 am

My comments in bold text!


I don't agree at all with TOS having a "magical reset button for the characters."  Just because TOS didn't have as much serialized story-telling as TNG didn't mean its characters were flat.  In point of fact, they very obviously weren't, as Servalfan pointed out.  I think you're confusing serialized storytelling with the difference between flat and round characterization. 


If there is a misunderstanding, I´m fairly sure it isn´t that one! No, I certainly do not  consider the TOS characters flat. Well, not Kirk, Spock and McCoy at least. They are well-rounded characters, no doubt about that.


I do have my doubts however about the rest of the TOS crew. TOS was very much focussed on big hero Kirk and his two faithful sidekicks (pardon the expression). The others however didn´t get much either for character or adventures/events that helped define their character.


If I may make a comparison with TNG here: TNG´s main cast was not just Picard and Riker (and Data), but comprised the entire senior crew: Worf, Troi, Dr. Crusher, Wesley and Geordi. All these people developed a well-rounded character, and they all got several episodes per season in which adventures and circumstances helped define and grow that character. And it stuck. A character development in one ep was often still evident in the following. It´s more obvious for some (Wesley, Data, Worf) than for others (Geordi, Dr. Crusher), and for others it´s more long term development that comes to mind (Riker, Troi, Picard).  But it´s definitely there. The mature Riker from the latter seasons is not exchangeable with the brash young man from the first seasons. Data acquires a lot of human traits and understanding over the years - even though even in season 7 he still doesn´t quite get it. Worf grows from an always battleready young Klingon to a dedicated, albeit somewhat uncertain father.


If you´re watching the early seasons of TNG, and suddenly you switch to season 7, there is a lot that will alienate you because you have missed out on the events that helped define the main characters.


If you´re watching season 1 of TOS, and suddenly you switch to Turnabout Intruder - no problem. You may not get all the references to episodes, but the characters are still pretty much the same as you knew them from season 1. That doesn´t mean they are flat - it just means that these well-rounded characters didn´t get any real development over the years. Even though they went through enough to last them a lifetime.


For example: The City on the Edge of Forever. The end of the ep shows Kirk positively shattered about having seen a girl he truly (as opposed to his many flings) loved get killed in front of his eyes, and him not allowed to take action to prevent it in order not to mess up the future.


The next ep: business as usual. I agree that perhaps Kirk isn´t one to enjoy discussing his innermost emotions even with his friends (e.g. McCoy in this case, I presume), but never, ever is a trauma or event from one episode carried onto the next. Not even a hint! And that´s what I meant with the magical reset button.


TNG does use it, too. No doubt about that. But I see far more consistent character development from events there than I see in TOS. But that doesn´t mean I consider the main characters of either show as flat.    


Also, as Servalfan pointed out, I think the relationships between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy were much more interesting than, say, for example, Picard, Riker, and Data. 


Personal opinion... The fact that you, or even both you and Servalanfan, think their relationship more interesting doesn´t mean everyone does!


Again: you have little to choose when it comes to relationships on TOS. Kirk-McCoy-Spock is all you have, maybe plus Scotty - from the others you know very, very little.


On TNG, there are more relationships to choose from simply because the story focusses on more people. Picard-Riker may not be the most interesting for everyone, but there is (to name a few of the generally mentioned as interesting) Riker-Troi, Data-Geordi, Picard-Wesley, Picard-Crusher, Worf-everyone, Picard-Guinan, Tasha-Data. Even Picard-Q! All developing over more than twice the screentime TOS had, I don´t think many of these relationships were any less interesting than Kirk-Spock-McCoy. It´s just one´s opinion to which you are drawn most. For you, that seems to be the TOS trio. No problem. For me, I certainly think their relationship interesting, but I do very much enjoy watching several of the TNG relationships mentioned above develop over time as well.  


TNG was governed largely by "Gene's edict" that there would be little to no personal conflict between the characters (Worf being the exception, as pointed out by Michael Pillar at a seminar I attended).  I think that largely held their relationships pretty fixed and made them flatter characters.  It's the reason why, as he said in his interview, Ira Steven Behr left TNG.  Ron Moore and other writers really disliked that rule too.


Would you believe that one of the things I enjoy so much in TNG is that the main characters get along so well? I find it refreshing to - for a change - see a group of people working together well, without jealousy, petty fights and striving for status and prestige. It may have kept their intra-crew relationships fairly fixed, but there was enough stimulation from outside to have their characters develop. Personally, I do not believe in the need for fights in order to develop a good relationship with someone.


Wow, I feel just the opposite.  I love the music for TOS.  It is so good it stand on its own as concert music.  It supports the show's great drama and humor.  TNG's music, due to Rick Berman's orders, was relegated to just background muzak for the most part.  Frankly, I found it so boring that I sold back my CD of "Encounter at Farpoint."  Ron Moore didn't like it either.  He lamented not having Jerry Goldsmith scoring Generations, instead using TNG's Dennis McCarthy. 


A matter of taste, I suppose. No use arguing about which taste is better, is it?


Anyway, what all these other people thought of it is their business. It would be nice for them if they could love what they did. If they don´t - well, bad luck for them, but it doesn´t affect my opinion on their work.


 


If there is nothing wrong with me, then maybe there´s something wrong with the universe? -Dr. Crusher

Ghostmojo

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Report this Jul. 13 2011, 1:00 pm

Servers makes good points about TNG.


The supporting cast were likeable and certainly far more than the later 2D figures of say Harry Kim or Chakakhan - but they didn't have an awful lot more meat.


There were only two key characters in TNG - Picard and Data.


The other characters had potential - but with most of them it was a bit like reading a CV (resume) of somebody - just the pointers. It made you want to know more - but we never really got to know too much more. Things certainly happened to them - but they didn't seem to develop because of them.


Oh except ... Geordie lost his eyepiece (does that count?)

konarciq

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Report this Jul. 14 2011, 8:13 am

 


Either I didn't express myself too well, or you read too quickly :-)


And just to make sure there is no misunderstanding on that front: I am only referring to the respective series, since I haven't seen any of the movies.


 


First of all, I never once indicated that I consider one show to be superior to the other. I have merely expressed my personal preference, and explained in some detail why I – personal opinion! - prefer TNG over TOS in some aspects.


Personal preference for a show however does not necessarily coincide with its objective quality. (Compare for example the many fans shows like Big Brother and Idols have.)


 


As for the characters: I doubt anyone will dispute that we have seen far less of Sulu, Uhura, Chekov and Chapel than we have of any of the main cast of TNG. Even if – as you say – Picard and Data are the only key characters on TNG, all of those featuring in the opening credits have at least one ep per season in which they are the sole main character. That way, we got to know a lot more about them than we ever got to know about those four from TOS.


Does that make TNG superior? I never said that. I just said I prefer this greater variety of reasonably rounded characters.


 


Regarding the developing of characters: Servalanfan, you're putting things in my mouth that I never said :-) I did indicate that Geordi and Dr. Crusher are those in whom I see only little development indeed, so I agree with you there. But contrary to those four supporting characters from TOS, we do get to see several aspects of their character – even if they do not mature much over time.


As for Riker: I never said he made a 180 degrees turnaround LOL But the brash, impulsive officer on the fast track to the captain's chair of the first season is a bit of a change with the more calm and cautious officer dedicated to serving his Captain from the latter seasons. His despicable attitude towards women (and Deanna in particular) is a totally different story!


Besides, I did acknowledge that TNG uses the magical reset button as well. But from what I see, TNG uses it only sometimes, and other times the character development from one ep is indeed carried onto the following.


Does that make TNG superior? No, it's just different. A difference that is probably due to the era in which the shows were made. All I said was that I like the one approach better than the other. By no means does that imply that it is better on any objective scale (if such exists). 




Regarding the relationships: actually, I wasn't talking about the way those relationships developed/changed. I just mentioned them to illustrate that on TNG, there is a variety of relationships to observe, as opposed to TOS where everything is focussed on this one trio. Again: that doesn´t necessarily make TNG superior. I just said that I – personally – prefer this greater variety. But as with any personal preference, you are all free to differ!


 


So please do not confuse my expressing my personal preference with pronouncing a quality judgement!


 


One thing did baffle me though. In the first message of this thread, Ghostmojo outlines in detail his reasons for considering TOS being the best of Trek (the title seems to suggest that he considers this an undisputable fact), and that is totally accepted.


Yet when I in turn explain in some detail why I prefer TNG over TOS, I'm suddenly bragging??


I do hope you will allow people to have their own opinion...


If there is nothing wrong with me, then maybe there´s something wrong with the universe? -Dr. Crusher

rocketscientist

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Report this Jul. 15 2011, 8:05 am

Y'know, I love both ST and TNG.  They're both great shows, and, y'know, at this point, I think they're both classics.  I've enjoyed watching both of them (being an original TNG fan).  I also thought Konarciq's opinions were presented in a thoughtful and eloquent fashion.  He's right, there are definitely some major differences between the two shows.  That's one of the things that I think worked in TNG's favor.  It was significantly different from ST, which is what GR wanted.  He was trying not to compete with his original show and he also wanted to advance his ideas of a utopian future culture of humanity.  Add in to that the decision to have more of an ensemble cast, the more contemporary production design, and the better and larger number of sfx shots (something ST had a much harder time with) and TNG ultimately had its own style and voice and some fans, like Konarciq (and Mila Kunis' apparently), prefer that style and, y'know, that's fine.  I can definitely get behind that, because I too think that TNG was a great show. 


But I still love ST a bit more!


KHAAAAAAANNNNNN!!!!!

I

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Report this Jul. 15 2011, 8:23 am

I think that TNG is a better show. But after I got TOS season 1 for my birthday, it's growing on me!


rocketscientist

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Report this Jul. 15 2011, 10:30 am

Quote: I<3StarTrek @ Jul. 15 2011, 8:23 am

>

>I think that TNG is a better show. But after I got TOS season 1 for my birthday, it's growing on me!

>


Oh, season 1 is great.  I watched "The Conscience of a King," this week and, man, what a great, dramatic episode that was, so well written and performed.  That is Ron Moore's favorite "Star Trek" episode. 


 


KHAAAAAAANNNNNN!!!!!

konarciq

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Report this Jul. 16 2011, 8:05 am

Quote: /view_profile/ @

>

>When I said 'You TNG fans' I meant you in general not you in particular Konarciq.

>You have the perfect right to prefer your guys over my guys (and a lot of people do). And I also thought there'd be more protest over this thread by the fans of other series.

>Ghostmojo sums up my feelings for TOS more eloquently than I ever could. But I agree that TOS just doesn't do it for some people. Its all a matter of taste, background and I don't think anyone can prove one series is 'better' than another although I'm certain that there is a mathematical formula out there that proves Kirk is a better Captain than Picard .

>


Glad we got that sorted out then. Thanks!


As for Kirk and Picard - heh heh! Actually, when writing this other post, I was playing with the thought of devising some sort of scale to measure TOS against TNG in all its aspects. But even only in thought it became way too complicated to be functional.


I´d be interested to see such a scale if indeed it does exist for captains! Though on a personal level, I´d probably stick to liking Kirk better, but feeling a whole lot safer with Picard in the captain´s chair... I think it all depends on the circumstances which would be best in that particular situation. 


If there is nothing wrong with me, then maybe there´s something wrong with the universe? -Dr. Crusher

KelisThePoet

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Report this Jul. 16 2011, 1:15 pm

Quote: konarciq @ Jul. 13 2011, 3:59 am

>Would you believe that one of the things I enjoy so much in TNG is that the main characters get along so well?  I find it refreshing to - for a change - see a group of people working together well, without jealousy, petty fights and striving for status and prestige. It may have kept their intra-crew relationships fairly fixed, but there was enough stimulation from outside to have their characters develop. Personally, I do not believe in the need for fights in order to develop a good relationship with someone.
I agree, and I tire of sophmoric writing that uses overt, overblown character conflict to generate drama and interest . . . But, I don't think the characters of the original Star Trek were jealous, petty or focused on status and prestige.  Characters don't need to be literally at each others throats in order to define themselves as individuals and engage in interesting disagreements, but in my opinion, The Next Generation had far too few unique individuals and far too few interesting disagreements.  The original series' characters simply had different tastes, personalities and preferences.


Look at the way they did their jobs.  Scotty was meant to be an engineer.  Chekhov was always involved with science and Spock's job.  The Next Generation characters may get more stage time, but they get shuffled around from job to job as if they're interchangeable parts.  What is Worf doing before he's a tactical officer?  How does Geordi end up chief engineer?  When Picard thinks Data died, why does he want to promote Worf to XO?


Falor was a prosperous merchant who went on a journey to gain greater awareness: Through storms he crossed the Voroth Sea/ To reach the clouded shores of Raal/ Where old T’Para offered truth./ He traveled through the windswept hills/ And crossed the barren Fire Plains/ To find the silent monks of Kir./ Still unfulfilled, he journeyed home/ Told stories of the lessons learned/ And gained true wisdom by the giving. – Falor’s Journey, “Innocence”

starworlds

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Report this Jul. 17 2011, 1:21 am

Star Trek TOS compared to the other ST series, cannot in my opinion be the best, because all other ST series is unique in its own way, etc! In short, TOS started this trip to space, as the opening to Star Trek quotes: "Space, the final frontiere..., these are the voyages of the Starship - Enterprise...,its 5 year mission, to explore strange new worlds, to seek-out new life and new civilizations...,to boldly go where no man has gone before.....!" This says it all, a trip to the stars and beyond, a wagon-train to the stars, visionary dream all started by the great bird-of-the-galaxy himself - Gene Roddenberry, of course!!! Because of the existence of TOS, which is the original series that has defined "Star Trek", we have these other ST series, and the STM 1-6, and others ST series in between, etc! In every ST sequel, and movies, etc, - the name: Gene Rodenberry has never been omitted, meaning because of the TOS existence, all and every Star Trek sequel or related films to ST exists, in memory, and to the appreciation to this great and gifted visionary man! In closing, Star Trek TOS clearly is the foundation that started-it-all, and all others ST that has been produced, up to now.....! ^+^ (End) 


 


 

Ghostmojo

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Report this Jul. 17 2011, 2:06 am

I'm surprised anybody really thinks Worf is a great character. I always found him rather predictable and boring. His only interest lay in that he was the token Klingon on board. Most of his responses to Picard's questions or hypotheses were invariably wrong - indicating to me that he had been promoted above and beyond his abilities and he certainly shouldn't have been a tactical officer:


Picard: "What is your view Mr. Worf?"


Worf: "Fire photon torpedoes immediately Captain!"


Picard: "I only asked which type of orbit we should take up" ...


And yet at the end of the whole thing we have Picard praising Worf for his fine contributions etc. Picard does this with quite a few of his bridge staff - including Riker - when one really has to wonder why? Most of them never really did very much of anything. Riker would have been a more interesting character if he was desparate for command and Picard was holding him back - rather than the other way around.


But having said that I did love TNG. To me it was an extension of TOS. A new crew, a new ship, a new century in fact - but still the same concept ... to seek out new life etc.


I could easily pick holes in TNG for pages and pages, but in general it was a very good show with likeable characters (Data/LaForge/Crusher etc.) and some very good stories. Its strengths also included the development of the Klingons who were little more than carboard cutout baddies in TOS; the introduction of the Borg (a brilliant concept); but above and beyond everything else we had Picard who was quite capable of carrying the whole thing himself. In that respect it was similar to TOS for whom much the same could be said of Kirk.


However, where TOS scores against TNG is that whilst both had great and memorable leads - only TOS had several great immediate support figures. TNG really only had Data as a foil for Picard. Yes, Riker served a useful soundboard on occasions as also did Troi, Worf and Crusher - but Data ironically was the only character who had any real charisma. TOS had Spock, McCoy and Scott.


But I was a big fan of TNG and remain so. After TOS/TOS films it is my favourite of the franchise. In fact I am very much of the opinion they should have stopped there.


But I am will always remain principly a fan of TOS. That WAS Trek and IS Trek in my opinion. Everything else is mere immitation. Some of the immitations have been better than others - but the point still remains. During the mid 70s when there were mutterings of a new Trek series being made I was enamoured of this possibility. They were going to bring Star Trek back! Hurray!!! And it was going to be the original crew - but of course ... nobody had even considered at that stage that there could be any other version. Because of this I am particularly interested in the one that got away - Star Trek : Phase II.


It was great that we got the big-screen adventures from 1979 onwards of course - but I still feel we lost something potentially very valuable there. Instead of half-a-dozen films we might have had a hundred or more episodes of a new series - which I really would have preferred. Had that happened there quite simply would not have been any TNG because ST-Phase 2 would have been the next generation in itself.


Or maybe we would have got three more full TOS/Phase 2 based seasons followed by a migration into the movies too? Who can say? But I do mourn the fact Star Trek : Phase II never happened ... especially when it came so close.


to boldy go where no man has gone before

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