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. Searched on, star trek park seattle, so you don't have to, and found, "Outdoor Trek". Looks like a Feminist conspiracy to emasculate theater! Then there's this completed 5 year mission. My understanding is that these weren't so much Trek fans as aspiring thespians hungry for fresh, challenging content. They made a pretty big splash in Portland, OR, before they were through. Meanwhile, literally thousands of U-Tube commenters contributed to pop-culture by letting us all know how much they hate lens-flares and how easy it is to judge the writing in a 15 episode series, that of course they've never seen, from snippets of dialog in a 2 minute trailer.
  2. I am not one of those people! But I did watch a lot of TOS in B & W in the sixties; at my sister's, on her tiny, tinny, TV; because, weed (and she's still fun to watch TV with). Sometimes it was a few years before I literally re-viewed an episode. I was not always pleased with the change. Something that had looked stark or dramatic might end up gaudy or cartoonish; not a unique phenomenon for a hater of colorization like me. I do suspect that significant attention was paid to B & W visuals since color TVs were far from universal then. Of course this just makes it more likely that Trek would have attained the same status as, Casablanca, or, The Maltese Falcon.
  3. Agree that it's too early to know how far the DSC troupe will take their shiny new toys; scenario's Warp 75 can't be ruled out. Trek has, in my mind, always struggled with Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (e.g., STEM) issues because the writers aren't prepared or disposed to deal with them. It's because of this, I think, that we get a starship, like the Enterprise D/E that's a deep space Holiday Inn, with replicators. The STEM is just a backdrop; except when it isn't and then we get the dreaded Treknobabble. Yes, I agree that TNG (let us leave the 'V' word out of the discussion and move on) suffers from this, and to a sci-fi groupie like me, it does so needlessly. Still I have friends who really like TNG I think because the environment is so tranquil and clean and doesn't try to take them harshly into tech-heavy outer-space to tell its stories.
  4. Might be a bit premature for this, since we still know practically nothing about DSC, but I'm thinking about this... Imagine the folks at DSC, without explanation, presented an episode which was a scene-by-scene re-shoot of, The Cage, only using the DSC sets, props, costumes, special effects, but different actors than either The Cage (of course) or DSC, itself. In other words, the reverse of making DSC with TOS trappings. Is there anything in that episode that wouldn't work anymore; that would have to be ignored or changed? Other than the odd phrase here-and there (laser, time warp factor) I can't off-hand think of a single thing. And how about this... If the TNG troupe had decided to re-do The Cage with the TNG setting and visuals, what would they have had to change, putting aside the problem of it having already happened? I think just about all of the scenes and a lot of the dialog could have been preserved, just changing the characters involved. Picard isn't that different a leader than Pike, though it's tough to imagine him whining to Troi about having to decide who lives and who dies, though I'm not sure how important the weary-of-command thread is to this (or for that matter Star Trek Beyond's) story. Maybe the martini would be a bit of a stretch. Either Riker or Data could stand-in for #1, until the Transporter scene where only "the women" (Troi and Crusher) get transported. I can see Picard (especially after Star Trek: First Contact) losing patience with the Talosians and wanting to boil their brains, while not even coming close to actually doing it. No problem with Troi and Crusher refusing to become breeding stock. And there you have it. Roll credits. Could they have pulled this off? Not to be coy, my point here is that, to me, the precise settings, environment, continuity, and even the specific characters of a dramatic presentation are much less important than the writing and especially the performing/directing. In my opinion it's rare indeed that effects, sets or props or context or even reality itself (i.e., good or bad science) can make or ruin a good tale for me.
  5. This is kind of a long post and I have a real talent for not expressing myself very well on this forum so I have to start by thanking you for your patience. With so much going on with DSC I can't resist unloading my thoughts. Here goes... My answer to, Why a prequel? I often wonder if we on the outside underestimate the impact of ST Nemesis on insiders at Paramount/CBS. That movie is often characterized as not just being bad but as having nearly destroyed the value of an Intellectual Property that not too long before had been viewed as a sturdy gold mine. In fact, the path taken by the TNG movie series, coming on the heels of such a robust and loved TV run, could have been a real shock to creatives and executives alike just because they seemed not to have had any notion that they were sliding off the tracks, or what to do when it finally became clear that they were. As a result, insiders at Paramount/CBS may have concluded, with typically shallow Hollywood logic, that announcing a movie or series, "Set X years after Star Trek: Nemesis", is something to be avoided at all cost. This, in any case, is what I think of when I try and explain the lure of TOS in spite of the baggage problem. Considering the re-boot issue, that is, why the IP holders can't bring themselves to do a clean and thorough re-start of Star Trek, in spite of all the complaining we get from creatives, and others, about the dead weight of 50 years of often sloppy continuity, I'm drawn to the big question: What is Star Trek? How do you re-boot something that doesn't have anything like a firm definition? It's clearly not defined by an individual character, or even a small set of characters, like Bond or Holmes. It doesn't really have a straight-forward scenario structure, like spies and guns and cars and babes, or a celibate eccentric who is obsessed with hard-to-solve mysteries and has an arch-rival. It doesn't take place in a real world, so even that is fodder for change. What to leave in? What to take out (if you dare!)? I doubt anyone with an interest in a career in TV/movies wants to risk that undertaking. Even the Kelvin movies, packed as they are with a known, and to some beloved, crew, with Transporters, Warp Cores, Phasers, Romulans, Vulcans, Klingons, etc., are accused by many of "not being Star Trek", and not always for the same reasons. It would, I think, take a colossal amount of courage, and a bold imagination, to risk one's career by really trying to outdo or undo the Star Trek vision, though few would assert that this vision is well defined and in a robust and tidy condition. And, finally, I want to give my opinion on Drama. To me one of the most important aspects, perhaps the most important aspect of Star Trek is that it is a Drama; which I will here subjectively define as a presentation of textual content by a set of players and their supporters, like producers, directors, cinematographers, artists, costumers, etc. I don't think that Drama has to tell a story, nor does it have to be accurate or consistent or anything but entertaining. So, we can have, Balance of Terror, and The Trouble with Tribbles, and City on the Edge of Forever; Requiem for Methuselah, and I Mudd, and The Taming of the Elan of Troyus, in the same series run, played by the same actors in what we are told is the same setting. Shakespeare's Muse of Fire comes to mind. We're asked not for suspension of disbelief, but for the fire of imagination. So, I could accept the Discovery troupe, channeling ENT: In a Mirror Darkly, and presenting me, without explanation, with an episode of Star Trek Discovery where everything, uniforms, Starships, Klingons, communicators, etc., looks exactly as in TOS, just to get me to think about how much, or how little, all the trappings surrounding the action in a TV show matter. The issue would be, not why they did it, or if it somehow makes sense, but did they pull it off? Did they get into my mind and light a fire there. If they did pull it off and then, next week, returned to their regular production values, again without explanation, I'd be glad to admit I'd been had by experts. It comes down to this, for me: You, the DSC troupe, have the stage; now light the fire!
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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".
  9. 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!
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.