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Mistah Datah
Sat, May 18, 2019, 10:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

“Can you give a single example from TNG that "stepped on TOS"?“

Just off the top of my head:

- The Warp system is completely rescaled and transwarp is forgotten.
- The years of the Eugenics Wars are changed.
- Data is supposed to be the first of his kind, but androids exist in TOS such as Mudd’s androids and the Sargon androids.
- Despite supposedly being offshoots of Vulcans, Romulans are given protruding foreheads in TNG.
- The first Enterprise is depicted as the movie version (“The Naked Now”).
- The Klingons measure in kilometers instead of kellicams like they do in other Treks.

The link above also gIves examples of Roddenberry disregarding TOS canon. You can see from the sources on that page that Roddenberry preferred a fluid canon that changed for a good story over following some strict rulebook. That Trek did as well as did canonically despite Roddenberry can likely be attributed to the studio keeping things in line. One advantage that TNG - ENT had were that the same rightsholders were in place and could keep things consistent (although there were still notable retcons like with the Trill and Borg).

“I also maintain that TNG and TOS are far closer in spirit than you're claiming. Sure, the style is somewhat different, but the themes are the same: Both shows are about a better future for humanity. Both shows are about exploring the unknown. Both shows have inspired many young people to become engineers or scientists.”

The latter half of your description is true with all the Treks, so I don’t want get into the weeds with you when we largely agree. My point was that TOS employed more of a conflict-style show than TNG. Famously, McCoy always had a bone to pick with Spock and called him racial epithets when they didn’t agree, which was often. The tone of the two shows is much different as well, with Kirk playing fast and loose with regulations and getting the Federation in hot water with other races (i.e The Klingons) whereas Picard paid close attention to Starfleet policies and formalities, preaching to others just how important it was not to break them.

“Comparing the TNG situation in 1987 to what's going on with Discovery today, doesn't make much sense.”

There’s enough similarities between the Trek reboots to make the discussion worthwhile. Like Discovery, TNG had the major backing of a studio that wanted Trek to do well in the long haul unlike the tenuous relationship TOS had with NBC. The span of time is similar albeit TNG took longer because Phase II got aborted. Also both the shows follow relative movie fame with TNG airing during the TOS movie peak and Discovery running after some modesty successful Trek movies.

I mentioned the TNG criticisms above, and today former cast members like Marina Sirtis criticize also Discovery. Although, it’s notable that Discovery actually has more support from the rank-and-file like Frakes than TNG did.

“Welcome to the forum and a great post. The hatred for TNG was not pedestrian and the anti-TNG discourse was led by prominent fan groups. Anti-DS9 discourse was even worse from what I remember (like I said, what the actors read - and they read numerous letters) was only half of the story.”

Yes, it’s easy to ignore these things nowadays because for a long Star Trek was “solved” with fans and writers more or less coming up with explanations that made all the retcons gel. I don’t mean to say Discovery doesn’t have serious continuity errors, because that’s disingenuous. I do think time will correct much of these errors, but In the meantime it’s great that fans point them out and keep the Disco team on their toes.
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Mistah Datah
Fri, May 17, 2019, 12:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

"And while I agree that the first season of TNG/DS9 weren't exactly masterpieces, I think they were terrible."

I liked TNG okay, especially EAF, "Datalore" and "Conspiracy". DS9 season one wasn't terrible, it's maybe the only Trek series post-TOS to have a good first season.

"At any rate, even those who think that the first season of TNG stunk, cannot deny that this show respected the source material from the start."

Maybe, although Roddenberry has gone on the record saying TOS is non-canon versus TNG. He was trying to do the show he wanted to do, and didn't mind stepping on TOS when it suited him. --

"It didn't start by trampling all over previous continuity. It didn't put up a huge sign that says in red letters "LOOK! We are doing everything differently just because we can!".
The TNG team also didn't spent nearly two years mocking their target audience and running a huge campaign to discredit anyone who values consistent worldbuilding and intelligent story-telling."

I'm confused, is this hyperbole? I've watched Discovery and don't feel mocked. Do you feel like something is mocking you if you don't like it?

Let me give you an example of Star Trek product I think is dumb: the new animated show set to air on Nickelodeon. Despite me thinking the show is geared towards a different audience than myself, I don't think it's mocking me. Maybe teenagers will like it and grow up to watch TNG along with me. So it doesn't appeal to me, but I'm not the end-all be-all of Star Trek fans.

For the sake of a balanced discussion, it's worth noting that product dilution is always possible, but just because dilution is possible doesn't mean studios should stop trying. Batman: The Animated Series was very experimental for its time; it hired a Japanese animation Studio and differed much from the films and live action Batman show. Yet, it succeeded on another level by showing young adults a Batman universe they could relate to. I think it's worth trying to make a product like that even if it's not for me.

"So really, comparing the Trekkie backlash to TNG with the Trekkie backlash to Discovery is nothing short of ridiculous."

I don't think you're addressing the discussion in honest terms. Have you not read about the fan and TOS cast backlash TNG received? From the TNG Wikipedia article alone:

"Several stars of The Original Series and the film franchise stated that they did not like the premise of a new series [TNG] set in the same universe that did not feature them. DeForest Kelley, who appeared in the pilot as Admiral Leonard McCoy, said that while he understood that the studio wanted to keep the franchise going beyond them, he felt that "there's only one Star Trek, and that's ours". James Doohan, who played Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, said that Star Trek was about the characters and with a new cast the studio was "trying to fool the public, and that's bad business." William Shatner, who portrayed James T. Kirk, was concerned with the overexposure of the franchise and how a new television series could affect future films.[9]"

So real criticism perhaps worse than Discovery's existed in the TNG era. Or, do you not agree that TOS and TNG were trying to do very different things? If your answer is they weren't then I think Roddenberry would be dissatisfied because he spent considerable effort trying to distance TNG from TOS. (If you haven't, read the link I posted above about TOS canon). After McCoy, no reference to TOS characters were allowed. Sarek was finally mentioned in season 3, and Spock made an appearance (after Roddenberry died) in Season 5 as part of a promotion for the final TOS movie. That sounds like deliberate effort to get away from TOS, not to try to keep TNG in check with it.

Otherwise, TNG was its own show. The closest shows to it are really the ones it spawned like DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise. But for Roddenberry, TNG's success meant giving up the TOS model and try a more diplomatic, conflict-free future.

To summarize, (TL:DR for those of you playing the mobile version of JammerReviews), the TOS vs TNG and TNG vs DISC comparison is not only a valid one, it's an interesting opportunity to see how vast the Star Trek fanbase is and how it's changed if you sit down and do the research.
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