nepr

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About nepr

  • Rank
    Andorian Kumari-Class
  • Birthday 10/28/1951

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Sac Valley CA
  • Marital Status
    Single
  • Favorite Trek Movie
    The Motion Picture
  • Favorite Trek Captain
    Jean-Luc Picard
  • Favorite Trek Series
    The Original Series
  • Interests
    Science, Information Tech, economics, history, horses and riding.

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  1. Just to be clear, I'm right there with SV regarding support for the ST:DSC project unless when I see it I find it too extremely, embarrassingly awful. I'm also unaware of any study that correlates production planning quality with the commercial and/or artistic success of entertainment content, though there are plenty of anecdotes that support or refute such a correlation. I've always considered the ST:DSC project, coupled with the CBSAA project, as low-risk, potentially high-reward ventures for CBS. The risk, such as it is, comes from making something so horrible that it severely damages the, already kind of shaky, Star Trek brand; a brand which nevertheless has at least in the past shown itself to be pretty resilient. In such a situation, I think production delays border on being trivial concerns for them; basically accounting and contractual nuisances. I don't think the folks at CBS are happy about the prospect of a ST:DSC premiere in the middle of summer '17, but I doubt they see it as a major problem; though if they get good buzz-generating trailer-fodder from filming I wouldn't be surprised at, and would in fact, free-of-charge, recommend a fall premiere.
  2. This post and recent ST:DSC developments sent me back to the Wikipedia TNG article which has some great links which I hope it's OK to share here, without hijacking this thread. First, for context, a quote from the Wikipedia article, itself: I'm always impressed by the muscle that TOS had; chopped-up bad prints 20 year-old special effects and all. Still, then as now, per the NY Times, the big broadcast networks were timid and wary... But, according to the times, the local independent stations and affiliates were made of sterner stuff... also notable to those who feel sci-fi can't compete on broadcast TV... Gene Roddenberry whose skill as a nuts-and-bolts producer of content is not always recognized, seemed to have no trouble designing, casting or shooting his new creation. Everything seemed in-place 7 months or so after the series was announced. The first episode was on-schedule and (judging by the silence on the subject) on-budget. I personally wasn't all that pleased with the initial results, but many, (kind of hard to read this micro-film) many, (end of season 1) many people apparently were, in contrast to the way early TNG is often depicted in more recent critiques and reviews. Of course, an LA Times flash-forward to season 6 kind of distorts the view... and... (note that the ratings cited are just for about 12.5 million households, not total viewers) I like to re-visit this time and this show when the notion that there's something inherently limiting about Star Trek is thick in the air. This all happened when the brand was 20 years old and the folks at Paramount had no idea how far it might go and for how long. There were no apologies or self-imposed restrictions on what Star Trek could be or what it could accomplish.
  3. Easy to forget? The actors were under contract for three films and Into Darkness made more money than any other Star Trek film. I find any doubt there would be a third film hard to believe quite honestly. I was just trying to point out that at that time they didn't have a script or a director, so I used the phrase "able to get out".
  4. I like the idea of the lead transferring into the Discovery in the first episode. If they want to start the show with a bang, have her on the Star Ship Titanic. After a 5 minute fight the ship is destroyed with only 5 survivors. She gets medals for bravery and a promotion. She ends up transferred to to the Discovery. She has survivors guilt, etc. Having the lead character as a new crew member Is an old move. She can ask the questions that the audience would ask because she's new. Maybe have her watch one of those boring corporate intro video's (Welcome to the ship Discovery, our mission is...) part as a joke and part as an opportunity to post the whole thing online as an extra that hard core Trek people can watch. Get a chance to say a lot of boring back story that Trek people love. Maybe she's 2nd shift bridge crew so she's with the first mate more than the captain. Or even better, she's an alternate and only gets on the bridge when someone else leaves. And she can unintentionally blurt out: "My goodness, this ship is ugly!" and get chastised by an existing crew member who tells her that she hasn't yet earned the right to point out that obvious fact!
  5. This strikes me as a pretty reasonable analysis. A bit too optimistic, though. I do suspect that the folks inside Paramount/BR are well aware of their production and marketing mistakes. And it's not as if they have a bunch of other franchises in their pipeline. So their expectations of international performance might be somewhat lower than is typical. It's easy to forget that as late as December '14 there was still some doubt about whether they'd be able to get out a third movie at all.
  6. One thing about having a non-captain main character: easier for us to see her assigned for various reasons to more than one ship; hence the mention of "crews" (plural). She could end up on Discovery after previous assignments.
  7. Sorry, guys. For someone who does some tech-writing as part of his job, I have no end of trouble communicating clearly on internet forums. I pity the poor sods who have to decipher my programmer's guides! In my post, I asked three questions. You all ignored the second and third, which suggests that their topics are only of interest to me, which is no uncommon occurrence. The first question I embellished with Red-matter non-sense, which wasn't a good idea, since it served mostly as a distraction. Let me try the first one again. I really am curious as to whether or not we can definitively say that George Kirk was killed in Star Trek '09; that is if we are justified in saying any more than that he was on the bridge of the Kelvin as the Kelvin was destroyed? For example, we didn't see his dead body nor did we see it buried as we did with Prime James Kirk. I'm not saying I like this, or that I hope the writers are going to exploit it. I'm just wondering if it is an option we should be prepared for, and going on record as having thought of it! Again, sorry for the confusion and I hope this doesn't just add to it.
  8. Hmmm... Isn't it the case that we don't know that George Kirk is dead; just that he was on the bridge of the Kelvin just before the ship exploded? He should be dead but... After all, the Narada survived the collision almost intact and the explosion wasn't big enough to have vaporized the escaping crew. Also, we shouldn't forget that there was Plot-Matter, sorry, Red-Matter aboard that ship. I see many possible ways to exploit that. For example, do creatures live inside it? Can it slow-down energy propagation, like a shield? Etc... Also, am I correct that Christopher Hemsworth will be the first movie star with top-billing in other movies to actually return to a Trek movie? This strikes me as something of a milestone. Most big stars seem to avoid Trek. Here, it seems that Hemsworth is willing to appear again, in a major role that he created, even though it's unlikely he'll get top-billing and could in fact "just" be a "special guest star" below the regulars. Not only that, won't this be the first Trek movie that's about a character, George Kirk, who was, essentially, created in another Trek movie, not on TV? If so, I see it as another milestone; Paramount/BR showing faith in their new brand. I'm one of those who sees the intro to Trek '09 as one of the best scenes, if not the best scene, in any Star Trek movie (the only, slightly embarrassing, contender in my mind being the Enterprise beauty shot in TMP, which I can't even think about without getting goose-bumps). So, here I see a nefarious attempt by Paramount/BR to refute my theory that they don't have any faith in the Trek brand and have no idea what to do with it. This move, which seems to me to have come out of nowhere, seems to contradict both notions.
  9. OK, since you asked... In his treatment of this episode, sci-fi legend James Blish wasn't too impressed by the DM, which even with the benefit of surprise was destroyed by only two starships, one of which was crippled. It was a pretty dumb device and didn't really show much in the way of tactical, let alone strategic capabilities. It's main advantages were its size, its hot but inflexible beam weapon and, especially, its in-penetrable hull. Blish has Kirk remarking that a nuke disguised as an asteroid would do the job that the Constellation did. The problem Blish's Kirk and Spock saw, which is echoed as a closing tag in the ep, was that this type of machine only had value as a Doomsday Device if there were a whole lot of them, perhaps millions of them; too many to destroy from close range, one-at-a-time. This, implies to me (Blish didn't elaborate) a truly gargantuan manufacturing process, probably a specialized DM that ate planets and spit out more DMs. This ability to re-produce, as it were, chimes in with Decker's calling it both a machine and an organism, assuming he had worked all this out before he lost his grip. It also helps explain the stupidity of this specialized type of device; simple to construct, requiring only very primitive decision circuits, which could be hidden and inaccessible; hard to take over, since it doesn't have, or need much in the way of sensors or communications. In other words, it's a simple device, wrapped in a very hard shell made from a material which was probably too dense and massive to be of much use other than for its very specialized function; so not, to my mind very interesting in-and-of itself. Mainly, I'd want to know exactly where it came from and how many siblings it had and where they could be found, though I doubt that an individual device had any notion of where any others might be, since its mission could be carried out just fine in total isolation. I'd also be very curious about how it was manufactured or possibly, maybe even more likely, grown. Unfortunately, the Constellation probably destroyed most of this information when it slagged the interior of the machine, which could be just what its designers had in mind.
  10. One thing I think that Gravity, Interstellar, The Martian and, for that matter 2001: A Space Odyssey, have in common is that they are the product of producers/directors who had some clout in Hollywood making a film that told a story they really wanted to tell. I'm a story first fan. I don't really care if the story is cerebral, funny, tragic, farcical or what-have-you if the creators know what they are up to, what they are trying to show us, and have the skill to pull it off. Mr. Abrams has recently owned up to not having much of an idea regarding what STID was actually about. This is clear enough to me, looking at the end result of his labors. Unfortunately for me, I think I'll have a long wait until some high-clout, skilled creator has a Star Trek story he or she feels compelled to get on film.
  11. Still don't get what CBS/P are so afraid of that they would take this risk, which is not only a risk for them, but to all the other copyright/IP holders who have long avoided taking these "textual poaching" issues to court, where outcomes are unpredictable, especially when juries are involved. Not to mention the probably small but still real chance that the core fandom will get spontaneously, that is without any boycotting campaigns, fed up with the problematic stewardship of the property by both of these companies, and permanently turn away from future, if not existing, product. The idea that not one but two multi-billion-dollar global corporations somehow got so ticked off by the antics of a small group of fans, or so outdone by the notion of someone other than them making a really trivial profit from their property that they would take these risks, strikes me as absurd. I've read some ideas about "thin edge of the wedge" justifications, but I can't make the mental leap between Alec Peters and 20th Century Fox or Disney, or whoever it is that's supposed to jump in and risk their companies to start making unauthorized Trek.And now the producer and director of Paramount's latest, and let's face it, very troubled effort have been made to look like fools or liars or both. One thing I get a sense of is that CBS/P executives seem very much aware of the danger that they could lose control of this brand, because their ideas, such as they may be, of what to do with it are problematic and uncertain. But, even this doesn't, in my mind, justify going down this risky sidetrack. And now the producer and director of Paramount's latest, and let's face it, very troubled effort have been made to look like fools or liars or both, weeks before it opens. I read a lot of assertions that CBS/P are in control and that they would with certainly prevail in any legal battle. But, as far as I know, this is unsettled law because IP holders in general have wanted to avoid issues like showing actual harm, showing why Fan Fic isn't fair use or transformational, etc. The friend-of-the-court brief regarding the Klingon language is to me a good example of how CBS/P could get stung. Again the hard-to-quantify risk of losing isn't offset by any real potential benefit, so why prod the hornets nest? If I were a 90+ years-old stockholder in CBS or Viacom , I'd definitely be reassessing the competence of my management team. Assuming I wasn't already doing that.
  12. CBS All Access is commercial-free. Just FYI.... Not sure I get what you mean. Here's a quote from, CBS head, Les Moonves from a March 1, TrekCore: [emphasis mine] Did CBS actually commit to making this happen, rather than just "exploring" it? I'm very much inclined to doubt that CBS is eager to grow their streaming footprint at the expense of way-laying viewers from their real (scheduled-programming-ad-purchasing) customers. If they've decided to make CBS AA ad-free I'll have to modify my view! So you can watch it with commercials for a cheaper price... just as you would on basic cable. Again; no different than watching "Walking Dead" or "Better Call Saul." I pay a basic cable fee for watching those too. And OK; I was wrong. So for $4 more I have the option of watching them commercial free (which I'll probably do; as this is an option I don't have when I watch my favorite shows on basic... until I fast-forward through them). This is new Star Trek... something I now pay $10-13 to watch a single, two hour movie of in theatres with other people and distractions (noisy people, coughing, cellphones, etc). I call $10 a month for several episodes a relative bargain. Count me as one who is baffled that Trek fans would even consider not subscribing to CBS AA for Trek '17. I'd do it just to support Trek! I really am interested in whether or not CBS will actually offer ad-free CBS AA (AFAIK it's still just talk) because my theory (if that's not too grand a term) is that CBS proper, as opposed to CBS AA insiders, views ST '17 and CBS AA as financially low risk sideshows. I don't see CBS as being all that interested in turbo-charging their streaming product via Trek. I think it's just a case of someone in CBS AA selling a low risk, "why not?" project to the main company. If CBS were to change the business model of CBS AA so that it was ad-free, it could, and probably should, be viewed as a competitive affront and danger to CBS's real, ad-purchasing, customers, who don't like Video-On-Demand, let alone VOD coupled with ad-free programming. So, if CBS does, in fact, end up offering ad-free streaming content, my "theory" will require adjustment. I like what we are seeing of Mr. Moonves. He seems really clear about what he's up to and seems to have very "un-Paramount-like" confidence in the Trek brand. I don't, however, as some others do, think he's bent on exploiting Trek to make CBS AA join the Netflix/Amazon Prime club. In my view, getting CBS to move in a big way into streaming will require a Tractor Beam of considerable power!
  13. CBS All Access is commercial-free. Just FYI.... Not sure I get what you mean. Here's a quote from, CBS head, Les Moonves from a March 1, TrekCore: [emphasis mine] Did CBS actually commit to making this happen, rather than just "exploring" it? I'm very much inclined to doubt that CBS is eager to grow their streaming footprint at the expense of way-laying viewers from their real (scheduled-programming-ad-purchasing) customers. If they've decided to make CBS AA ad-free I'll have to modify my view!
  14. From the start, I've felt that the focus of this project will be costs (keeping them down) and distribution, not quality or innovation, in contrast to something like Amazon's, "Transparent", in which the creative talent was wooed by the possibilities of the timely subject matter and the "binge-friendly" format. Not surprised then that CBS doesn't want to contribute to the flowering of this new storytelling format which, whatever else it might be, is not a good way to sell ads.
  15. If The Big Bang Theory doesn't dedicate an episode, that is an entire episode, to the 50th, then well, life has no meaning and is just chaos with pretty lights! And there must be more crossovers. On CBS, in particular. I'd count on Family Guy and The Simpsons to answer the call. Dr. Who could do it.