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Justin Snead

Discovery as a Return to Form?

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How much should--or will--DSC be like the Oirginal Series? 

Here's my take, just on the aspect of being relevant in a different--hostile?--pop-culure environment: DSC as a Return to Form

In short, Fuller has to work hard like Roddenberry did to make his science-fiction series fit with the current TV landscape in a way that no Trek producer has had to do since 1966, including Roddenberry himself in in1987.

Seems like DSC will feel very familiar--serialized, dramatic, character-driven--just like TOS felt familiar with it's WWII/Western tropes back in the day. But TOS had several very unfamiliar elements--the Roddenberry vision, Spock--that I wonder if Fuller has it in him to be both familiar and radical.    

 

 

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How much should--or will--DSC be like the Oirginal Series? 

Here's my take, just on the aspect of being relevant in a different--hostile?--pop-culure environment: DSC as a Return to Form

In short, Fuller has to work hard like Roddenberry did to make his science-fiction series fit with the current TV landscape in a way that no Trek producer has had to do since 1966, including Roddenberry himself in in1987.

Seems like DSC will feel very familiar--serialized, dramatic, character-driven--just like TOS felt familiar with it's WWII/Western tropes back in the day. But TOS had several very unfamiliar elements--the Roddenberry vision, Spock--that I wonder if Fuller has it in him to be both familiar and radical.    

^

Fuller is a wonderfully eccentric show-runner; "Dead Like Me" and "Pushing Up Daisies" were both very unconventional series for their respective times.  I'm not saying he'll make DSC a odd, grim-reaper black comedy but I've no doubt that perspective will definitely color his approach to Star Trek.  

And we've also got Nicholas Meyer in there too!  He shook the hell out of Star Trek back in 1982; combining his skill set with Fuller's?  I really don't think this will be Star Trek-as-usual...

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I wouldn't say there was nothing to worry about for TNG in the late 80s - the show might not have faced a lot of competition in TV terms, maybe, but let's not forget that NO one believed in it, including its lead actor, and that a lot of fans were furious about it at first and wanted it GONE. It DID have to walk on the thin edge between not being a copy of TOS and having to yet carry over its core themes of having messages in episodes and making social commentary into a new setting, both in terms of the new political landscape in the 80s AND in-universe with the 24th century, the future for TOS. It wasn't all easy and without worries. It struggled at first, as evidenced by its eccentric first season. Also evidenced by the fact that, until this day, the change between TOS and TNG is so great that fans STILL debate the age old "Kirk vs. Picard" thing. No one talks about "Sisko vs. Janeway" or "Kirk vs. Archer" or whatever. No, it's always "Kirk vs. Picard" (and it gets more tiresome with each passing year, from both sides of the coin). The change from TOS was so big and the leadership style so vastly different that this got stuck in people's minds until today. They still put the two captains against each other because they represent such different eras.

So, in a way, I would say Fuller's show will probably be as much of a course change for Trek as TNG was. (It has certainly already managed to ruffle as many TOS purist feathers as TNG did back then, always a good indicator.) Times have changed, and Trek has to acknowledge that, it always had to. Times had changed in the late 80s as well compared to the 60s, and TNG, while indeed using some TOS plots at first, yes, ultimately acknowledged this and found its own pace and setting. And Discovery will have to do the same while having the show itself set ten years before TOS, the show from the 60s. That creates another obstacle that a show set in the far FUTURE of Trek would not have faced like this. (I'm simply concerned - ENT tried to pull a similar stunt and fell flat on its face, after all.)

Also, Fuller himself keeps on banging about how his show will be different and unique and how it will offer new perspectives and re-imagined aliens and whatnot, so I would say it's indeed a fair bet that this will be different from the Trek form that fans are currently used to. Who knows, fans might even get another "eccentric" first season. It's been a while. Would be nice for TNG to have some company in that regard. ;) 

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I wouldn't say there was nothing to worry about for TNG in the late 80s - the show might not have faced a lot of competition in TV terms, maybe, but let's not forget that NO one believed in it, including its lead actor, and that a lot of fans were furious about it at first and wanted it GONE. It DID have to walk on the thin edge between not being a copy of TOS and having to yet carry over its core themes of having messages in episodes and making social commentary into a new setting, both in terms of the new political landscape in the 80s AND in-universe with the 24th century, the future for TOS. It wasn't all easy and without worries. It struggled at first, as evidenced by its eccentric first season. Also evidenced by the fact that, until this day, the change between TOS and TNG is so great that fans STILL debate the age old "Kirk vs. Picard" thing. No one talks about "Sisko vs. Janeway" or "Kirk vs. Archer" or whatever. No, it's always "Kirk vs. Picard" (and it gets more tiresome with each passing year, from both sides of the coin). The change from TOS was so big and the leadership style so vastly different that this got stuck in people's minds until today. They still put the two captains against each other because they represent such different eras.

So, in a way, I would say Fuller's show will probably be as much of a course change for Trek as TNG was. (It has certainly already managed to ruffle as many TOS purist feathers as TNG did back then, always a good indicator.) Times have changed, and Trek has to acknowledge that, it always had to. Times had changed in the late 80s as well compared to the 60s, and TNG, while indeed using some TOS plots at first, yes, ultimately acknowledged this and found its own pace and setting. And Discovery will have to do the same while having the show itself set ten years before TOS, the show from the 60s. That creates another obstacle that a show set in the far FUTURE of Trek would not have faced like this. (I'm simply concerned - ENT tried to pull a similar stunt and fell flat on its face, after all.)

Also, Fuller himself keeps on banging about how his show will be different and unique and how it will offer new perspectives and re-imagined aliens and whatnot, so I would say it's indeed a fair bet that this will be different from the Trek form that fans are currently used to. Who knows, fans might even get another "eccentric" first season. It's been a while. Would be nice for TNG to have some company in that regard. ;) 

^
If Star Trek came back and DIDN'T ruffle a few 
feathers, I'd say someone at the top isn't doing their job... ;)

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I wouldn't say there was nothing to worry about for TNG in the late 80s - the show might not have faced a lot of competition in TV terms, maybe, but let's not forget that NO one believed in it, including its lead actor, and that a lot of fans were furious about it at first and wanted it GONE. It DID have to walk on the thin edge between not being a copy of TOS and having to yet carry over its core themes of having messages in episodes and making social commentary into a new setting, both in terms of the new political landscape in the 80s AND in-universe with the 24th century, the future for TOS. It wasn't all easy and without worries. It struggled at first, as evidenced by its eccentric first season. Also evidenced by the fact that, until this day, the change between TOS and TNG is so great that fans STILL debate the age old "Kirk vs. Picard" thing. No one talks about "Sisko vs. Janeway" or "Kirk vs. Archer" or whatever. No, it's always "Kirk vs. Picard" (and it gets more tiresome with each passing year, from both sides of the coin). The change from TOS was so big and the leadership style so vastly different that this got stuck in people's minds until today. They still put the two captains against each other because they represent such different eras.

So, in a way, I would say Fuller's show will probably be as much of a course change for Trek as TNG was. (It has certainly already managed to ruffle as many TOS purist feathers as TNG did back then, always a good indicator.) Times have changed, and Trek has to acknowledge that, it always had to. Times had changed in the late 80s as well compared to the 60s, and TNG, while indeed using some TOS plots at first, yes, ultimately acknowledged this and found its own pace and setting. And Discovery will have to do the same while having the show itself set ten years before TOS, the show from the 60s. That creates another obstacle that a show set in the far FUTURE of Trek would not have faced like this. (I'm simply concerned - ENT tried to pull a similar stunt and fell flat on its face, after all.)

Also, Fuller himself keeps on banging about how his show will be different and unique and how it will offer new perspectives and re-imagined aliens and whatnot, so I would say it's indeed a fair bet that this will be different from the Trek form that fans are currently used to. Who knows, fans might even get another "eccentric" first season. It's been a while. Would be nice for TNG to have some company in that regard. ;) 

^
If Star Trek came back and DIDN'T ruffle a few 
feathers, I'd say someone at the top isn't doing their job... ;)

Indeed. Every announcement of a new series has ruffled feathers so far. We just tend to think ENT created the worst outcry but that's actually mostly because the internet was around in a somewhat massive force already back then and people could make their rage heard much easier, unlike it was with the other shows when you basically had to send angry letters to fanzines. But when you compare old fanzine rage letters with ENT hate and, more recently, Nu!Trek hate... you'll find that they sound exactly the same. "This isn't Star Trek", "this is not what Star Trek is supposed to be", yadda yadda yadda. So yeah. Trek ruffles feathers every time. And this time Fuller isn't even trying to hide that he intends to do just that with his words about "re-imagining aliens" and all.

I just think that, this time, there will be an even BIGGER contrast to previous Trek because this time it looks like as if it's REALLY something completely different than what he have seen before. I mean no series so far had the first officer as the focus, for example. Stuff like that. It REALLY seems to be a completely new take and a new perspective.

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I wouldn't say there was nothing to worry about for TNG in the late 80s - the show might not have faced a lot of competition in TV terms, maybe, but let's not forget that NO one believed in it, including its lead actor, and that a lot of fans were furious about it at first and wanted it GONE. It DID have to walk on the thin edge between not being a copy of TOS and having to yet carry over its core themes of having messages in episodes and making social commentary into a new setting, both in terms of the new political landscape in the 80s AND in-universe with the 24th century, the future for TOS. It wasn't all easy and without worries. It struggled at first, as evidenced by its eccentric first season. Also evidenced by the fact that, until this day, the change between TOS and TNG is so great that fans STILL debate the age old "Kirk vs. Picard" thing. No one talks about "Sisko vs. Janeway" or "Kirk vs. Archer" or whatever. No, it's always "Kirk vs. Picard" (and it gets more tiresome with each passing year, from both sides of the coin). The change from TOS was so big and the leadership style so vastly different that this got stuck in people's minds until today. They still put the two captains against each other because they represent such different eras.

So, in a way, I would say Fuller's show will probably be as much of a course change for Trek as TNG was. (It has certainly already managed to ruffle as many TOS purist feathers as TNG did back then, always a good indicator.) Times have changed, and Trek has to acknowledge that, it always had to. Times had changed in the late 80s as well compared to the 60s, and TNG, while indeed using some TOS plots at first, yes, ultimately acknowledged this and found its own pace and setting. And Discovery will have to do the same while having the show itself set ten years before TOS, the show from the 60s. That creates another obstacle that a show set in the far FUTURE of Trek would not have faced like this. (I'm simply concerned - ENT tried to pull a similar stunt and fell flat on its face, after all.)

Also, Fuller himself keeps on banging about how his show will be different and unique and how it will offer new perspectives and re-imagined aliens and whatnot, so I would say it's indeed a fair bet that this will be different from the Trek form that fans are currently used to. Who knows, fans might even get another "eccentric" first season. It's been a while. Would be nice for TNG to have some company in that regard. ;) 

^
If Star Trek came back and DIDN'T ruffle a few 
feathers, I'd say someone at the top isn't doing their job... ;)

Indeed. Every announcement of a new series has ruffled feathers so far. We just tend to think ENT created the worst outcry but that's actually mostly because the internet was around in a somewhat massive force already back then and people could make their rage heard much easier, unlike it was with the other shows when you basically had to send angry letters to fanzines. But when you compare old fanzine rage letters with ENT hate and, more recently, Nu!Trek hate... you'll find that they sound exactly the same. "This isn't Star Trek", "this is not what Star Trek is supposed to be", yadda yadda yadda. So yeah. Trek ruffles feathers every time. And this time Fuller isn't even trying to hide that he intends to do just that with his words about "re-imagining aliens" and all.

I just think that, this time, there will be an even BIGGER contrast to previous Trek because this time it looks like as if it's REALLY something completely different than what he have seen before. I mean no series so far had the first officer as the focus, for example. Stuff like that. It REALLY seems to be a completely new take and a new perspective.

^
It's also ironic that so many lambasted TNG, DS9, etc. when they came out and the cries were almost all the same, "This isn't true Star Trek."   As if there is only one true Star Trek (!).  You have episodes of TOS that vary wildly from one to the next.    Then you have the Animated Series, then TNG, then DS9.   ST is no longer a single series' idea; it's become a storytelling format.   It's grown and evolved over the last 50 years.   It'll mean different things to different generations.  

I love that the new show WON'T be focusing on the captain, for example.  
Something as simple as a change of focus might be precisely what a new Star Trek needs.   How many decades have fan writers (via fanfic) imagined themselves as Crewman So-and-so, or Lt. Commander What's-her-name?   I think almost every ST fan has dreamed that he or she could be on one of these tremendous ships, and not necessarily as the captain; but someone important enough to still warrant being there.   It seems to me that this new show, simply by changing perspective away from the captain, might turn out to be a true fan surrogate-series.  

I wouldn't be surprised if this idea really catches fire, too. 

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I wouldn't say there was nothing to worry about for TNG in the late 80s - the show might not have faced a lot of competition in TV terms, maybe, but let's not forget that NO one believed in it, including its lead actor, and that a lot of fans were furious about it at first and wanted it GONE. It DID have to walk on the thin edge between not being a copy of TOS and having to yet carry over its core themes of having messages in episodes and making social commentary into a new setting, both in terms of the new political landscape in the 80s AND in-universe with the 24th century, the future for TOS. It wasn't all easy and without worries. It struggled at first, as evidenced by its eccentric first season. Also evidenced by the fact that, until this day, the change between TOS and TNG is so great that fans STILL debate the age old "Kirk vs. Picard" thing. No one talks about "Sisko vs. Janeway" or "Kirk vs. Archer" or whatever. No, it's always "Kirk vs. Picard" (and it gets more tiresome with each passing year, from both sides of the coin). The change from TOS was so big and the leadership style so vastly different that this got stuck in people's minds until today. They still put the two captains against each other because they represent such different eras.

So, in a way, I would say Fuller's show will probably be as much of a course change for Trek as TNG was. (It has certainly already managed to ruffle as many TOS purist feathers as TNG did back then, always a good indicator.) Times have changed, and Trek has to acknowledge that, it always had to. Times had changed in the late 80s as well compared to the 60s, and TNG, while indeed using some TOS plots at first, yes, ultimately acknowledged this and found its own pace and setting. And Discovery will have to do the same while having the show itself set ten years before TOS, the show from the 60s. That creates another obstacle that a show set in the far FUTURE of Trek would not have faced like this. (I'm simply concerned - ENT tried to pull a similar stunt and fell flat on its face, after all.)

Also, Fuller himself keeps on banging about how his show will be different and unique and how it will offer new perspectives and re-imagined aliens and whatnot, so I would say it's indeed a fair bet that this will be different from the Trek form that fans are currently used to. Who knows, fans might even get another "eccentric" first season. It's been a while. Would be nice for TNG to have some company in that regard. ;) 

^
If Star Trek came back and DIDN'T ruffle a few 
feathers, I'd say someone at the top isn't doing their job... ;)

Indeed. Every announcement of a new series has ruffled feathers so far. We just tend to think ENT created the worst outcry but that's actually mostly because the internet was around in a somewhat massive force already back then and people could make their rage heard much easier, unlike it was with the other shows when you basically had to send angry letters to fanzines. But when you compare old fanzine rage letters with ENT hate and, more recently, Nu!Trek hate... you'll find that they sound exactly the same. "This isn't Star Trek", "this is not what Star Trek is supposed to be", yadda yadda yadda. So yeah. Trek ruffles feathers every time. And this time Fuller isn't even trying to hide that he intends to do just that with his words about "re-imagining aliens" and all.

I just think that, this time, there will be an even BIGGER contrast to previous Trek because this time it looks like as if it's REALLY something completely different than what he have seen before. I mean no series so far had the first officer as the focus, for example. Stuff like that. It REALLY seems to be a completely new take and a new perspective.

^
It's also ironic that so many lambasted TNG, DS9, etc. when they came out and the cries were almost all the same, "This isn't true Star Trek."   As if there is only one true Star Trek (!).  You have episodes of TOS that vary wildly from one to the next.    Then you have the Animated Series, then TNG, then DS9.   ST is no longer a single series' idea; it's become a storytelling format.   It's grown and evolved over the last 50 years.   It'll mean different things to different generations.  

I love that the new show WON'T be focusing on the captain, for example.  
Something as simple as a change of focus might be precisely what a new Star Trek needs.   How many decades have fan writers (via fanfic) imagined themselves as Crewman So-and-so, or Lt. Commander What's-her-name?   I think almost every ST fan has dreamed that he or she could be on one of these tremendous ships, and not necessarily as the captain; but someone important enough to still warrant being there.   It seems to me that this new show, simply by changing perspective away from the captain, might turn out to be a true fan surrogate-series.  

I wouldn't be surprised if this idea really catches fire, too. 

Can I have a bartender series then, yes? Please? ;)  Oh wait I'm writing it myself at the moment never mind

Nah, seriously, the whole first officer thing is something I myself am completely okay with. I mean TOS in particular often focused more on Spock than Kirk, I don't see how this is terrible or how it goes "against Star Trek" or anything. Or ENT. It also often focused more on T'Pol than Archer. These things happen if you have a "strong" and/or popular first officer character and the new series will simply make it the norm (besides, who is to say that it won't have episodes that focus on the captain sometimes?). But then, if it wasn't this, the purists would find something else to scream about. They'd always find something that "isn't Star Trek" and that they need to complain about. It has been like this ever since TNG was announced.

I just think that Discovery might be the first series since TNG that will REALLY ruffle the feathers again because it really seems to be "radically different". And today's times with people being at each other's throats on social media and all... well, it will probably get rough.

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Agree all around. I mean, if you really want to pick nits over it, the XO functionally runs the ship anyway, so there's no reason not to focus on her as opposed to the Captain.

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I think the point I wrote in my blog post was misinterpreted. In 1965, Roddenberry had an idea for a TV show that was utterly different, and he had to mold that idea to fit within the confines of 1) what was popular at the time and 2) what was filmable on a TV budget. As creativity thrives against limits, that generated awesome creative energies from all involved.

In 1987, Roddenberry did not have to convince studio executives that Star Trek could work. It was a known quantity, widely popular for 20 years. He did not need to pitch TNG as "The Love Boat to the Stars" or link it to whatever was a hit in 1986. He just needed to catch lightning in a bottle one more time--a phrase that was often used at the time to describe TNG. So Im not talking about the fan blowback--I'm talking about the interests of Hollywood and the TV industry.

TNG was not a departure from TOS in the eyes of the studio--it was an updated version of the same. To some fans it was a departure (including me at first, who did not like the idea of an old bald guy as captain), but Im not talking about fans. Im talking about how the demands of the industry shape creative decisions of the show runner. Industry likes and dislikes shape a franchise far more than the likes and dislikes of the fan base. The studio was content to let Roddenberry be Roddenberry for those first two years, and the result was two seasons that mimicked TOS but were very uneven. (By the way, it may seem quaint and cute now, but TV shows today cannot afford a few years to grow. Such shows get canceled.)

After TNG, every series (except DS9) was a near carbon copy of TNG's winning formula. This was not simply due to Berman and Braga. It was because the industry those guys worked for prioritizes sticking with what works. It's the reason Roddenberry had to coin the phrase "Wagontrain to the stars." 

Which makes me wonder about Fuller and Discovery. For the first time in 50 years Star Trek is not a proven commodity. The last version of it was on air 15 years ago and it was canceled after 4 seasons. Fuller has to sweat making a show that will survive amid a complex media landscape, where the TV shows that do well and get buzz are known for complex, sophisticated characters and drama, and/or over the top graphic bonanzas of sex and violence. No matter the type of show: nothing succeds without being fresh, unique and authentic. It's a challenge that no Trek show runner has faced so starkly since Trek was invented. Roddenberry had to beg and plead (and get very lucky) in 65. Roddenberry in 87, Piller, Berman and Braga were given blank checks (not saying there was no studio interference, but nothing like full resistance). Fuller would not be where he is now if he had not proven to CBS that he could make a show according to the new industry rules (and don't forget that CBS isn't even putting it on actual television; it's an experiment that, if it fails, will only set their digital platform back half a year.)

Pull out of the civil wars of Trek fandom for a moment and consider the wider world of the whole TV audience. It is in that world that our next Trek is being created, debated and produced.               

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Which makes me wonder about Fuller and Discovery. For the first time in 50 years Star Trek is not a proven commodity.

^
I'm not sure if I buy it as 'unproven'; it still has a huge cinematic track record.   And the various series are rerun all the time.   Not to mention that ENT's cancellation was 11 years ago; a considerably shorter gap than when TNG first aired (an 18 year gap between TNG and the cancellation of TOS). 

Fuller has to sweat making a show that will survive amid a complex media landscape, where the TV shows that do well and get buzz are known for complex, sophisticated characters and drama, and/or over the top graphic bonanzas of sex and violence. 

^
I think you're forgetting that the new series will NOT air on television; it's kind of a version of pay-per-view.   It won't really compete; it's more of an a la carte specialty.   A totally different landscape than either network television or even syndicated first-run television.   This is NEW territory for Star Trek; 'boldly going' where Hulu, Netflix and Amazon have gone before.    Personally I think 'Trek-for-order' is the perfect delivery system; no ratings, no competition.   You want it?  You order it, via CBSAA.   Easy-peasy. 

The only real criteria for ST is the same as it's always been; it just has to be good entertainment.   It won't have to really amp up the sex or violence too much; it's not airing on HBO.   

No matter the type of show: nothing succeds without being fresh, unique and authentic.

^
I agree with this; though it doesn't really explain much of VGR... :laugh:

Pull out of the civil wars of Trek fandom for a moment and consider the wider world of the whole TV audience. It is in that world that our next Trek is being created, debated and produced. 

^
Yeah, but not really.  

This is being pitched more as something to order; a specialty item.    I think the faithful can be more or less counted on to order it; hopefully their good word of mouth will get others to shell out $7-$10 a month for CBSAA and see it for themselves.   But streaming distribution is truly NEW territory for Star Trek, and personally I think its odds of survival in that environment (whatever its relative quality) are somewhat better than it'd have on network or even cable TV channels. 

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Trek's never been "viable" in that it's never been a "sure thing" exactly, each time a new show started out. We know how TOS fared over three years on a network, while TNG mapped out new territory in syndication of course, and was a massive success that allowed for DS9 to follow. Arguably it was Voyager and Enterprise that attempted to stick to a formula of sorts, and had to adhere to the rules of the networks they aired on. Both those shows had to cope with a different set of pressures than either TNG or DS9 had to. So an experimental new broadcasting system seems to me to be where Trek's faired best. I have high hopes that the fact we're paying upfront for this new Trek will mean it will be allowed to be the kind of experimental SF that drew me to it in the first place. Hey, it's been 50 years. And so many of those episodes endure. It's actually in a great position now - its parent organization actually wants it to succeed. 

 

 

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I'm going to give it a shot because it is Star Trek, but it's pretty hard for me to hide my disappointment regarding setting it around the TOS time period. This wasn't the Star Trek I grew up with, TNG DS9 and Voyager were. That's the Trek that I miss, not TOS. If it wasn't on cable here in Canada, I'd probably skip it.

This is a franchise that needs to look forward, but now they are just chasing their tail in the movies and now on TV. In 20 years, will they need to reboot the reboot? How about moving forward and telling new stories in the future rather than relying on lore, familiar characters and going back to a familiar time, again and again? 

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I'm going to give it a shot because it is Star Trek, but it's pretty hard for me to hide my disappointment regarding setting it around the TOS time period. This wasn't the Star Trek I grew up with, TNG DS9 and Voyager were. That's the Trek that I miss, not TOS. If it wasn't on cable here in Canada, I'd probably skip it.

This is a franchise that needs to look forward, but now they are just chasing their tail in the movies and now on TV. In 20 years, will they need to reboot the reboot? How about moving forward and telling new stories in the future rather than relying on lore, familiar characters and going back to a familiar time, again and again? 

^
I do agree that I was vaguely disappointed to hear it was another prequel, but I want to give it the benefit of the doubt.   The people behind it (Fuller, Meyer, Joe Menosky, etc) lead me to believe that this still could still be a mould-breaker. 

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I'm going to give it a shot because it is Star Trek, but it's pretty hard for me to hide my disappointment regarding setting it around the TOS time period. This wasn't the Star Trek I grew up with, TNG DS9 and Voyager were. That's the Trek that I miss, not TOS. If it wasn't on cable here in Canada, I'd probably skip it.

This is a franchise that needs to look forward, but now they are just chasing their tail in the movies and now on TV. In 20 years, will they need to reboot the reboot? How about moving forward and telling new stories in the future rather than relying on lore, familiar characters and going back to a familiar time, again and again? 

^
I do agree that I was vaguely disappointed to hear it was another prequel, but I want to give it the benefit of the doubt.   The people behind it (Fuller, Meyer, Joe Menosky, etc) lead me to believe that this still could still be a mould-breaker. 

It's essentially a Trek dream team, so, yeah, I'll trust them.

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I'm going to give it a shot because it is Star Trek, but it's pretty hard for me to hide my disappointment regarding setting it around the TOS time period. This wasn't the Star Trek I grew up with, TNG DS9 and Voyager were. That's the Trek that I miss, not TOS. If it wasn't on cable here in Canada, I'd probably skip it.

This is a franchise that needs to look forward, but now they are just chasing their tail in the movies and now on TV. In 20 years, will they need to reboot the reboot? How about moving forward and telling new stories in the future rather than relying on lore, familiar characters and going back to a familiar time, again and again? 

^
I do agree that I was vaguely disappointed to hear it was another prequel, but I want to give it the benefit of the doubt.   The people behind it (Fuller, Meyer, Joe Menosky, etc) lead me to believe that this still could still be a mould-breaker. 

It's essentially a Trek dream team, so, yeah, I'll trust them.

I had the same reaction when I found out about the time period. But as noted by Vie and Prome, it's a dream production team, so gotta give it a chance. We may be totally surprised.

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I'm going to give it a shot because it is Star Trek, but it's pretty hard for me to hide my disappointment regarding setting it around the TOS time period. This wasn't the Star Trek I grew up with, TNG DS9 and Voyager were. That's the Trek that I miss, not TOS. If it wasn't on cable here in Canada, I'd probably skip it.

This is a franchise that needs to look forward, but now they are just chasing their tail in the movies and now on TV. In 20 years, will they need to reboot the reboot? How about moving forward and telling new stories in the future rather than relying on lore, familiar characters and going back to a familiar time, again and again? 

^
I do agree that I was vaguely disappointed to hear it was another prequel, but I want to give it the benefit of the doubt.   The people behind it (Fuller, Meyer, Joe Menosky, etc) lead me to believe that this still could still be a mould-breaker. 

It's essentially a Trek dream team, so, yeah, I'll trust them.

I had the same reaction when I found out about the time period. But as noted by Vie and Prome, it's a dream production team, so gotta give it a chance. We may be totally surprised.

^
I think that will be the case. 

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Hold on, Sehlat... are you suggesting that DSC does not need to compete with other TV shows because it is streaming? I do not understand your distinction about CBS Access being some kind of specialty order operation--wherein the product can be less mainstream and more particular to the fans because we are paying for it, like we are a patron commissioning a painting? CBS Access is no different than any stream service, be it HBO Now, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime. Furthermore, not being on TV is a meaningless distinction now that many people, and probably a majority of the 18-35 demo, watch ALL of their TV shows through streaming.  

I guarantee Fuller is writing a show that he hopes will compete with shows from the big three TV channels to Netflix and HBO. A show has to stand out against the pack because Peak TV saturation means that we all get to choose between what to watch, and we can't watch everything. There are quite a few shows I'd like to watch but I don't make the time for because there are just too many of them. DSC will try to break through, generate a lot of buzz not just as a the first Star Trek show in a while, but a good and unique sci-fi that is on par with all the hit shows out there now.         

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Hold on, Sehlat... are you suggesting that DSC does not need to compete with other TV shows because it is streaming? I do not understand your distinction about CBS Access being some kind of specialty order operation--wherein the product can be less mainstream and more particular to the fans because we are paying for it, like we are a patron commissioning a painting? CBS Access is no different than any stream service, be it HBO Now, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime. Furthermore, not being on TV is a meaningless distinction now that many people, and probably a majority of the 18-35 demo, watch ALL of their TV shows through streaming.  

I guarantee Fuller is writing a show that he hopes will compete with shows from the big three TV channels to Netflix and HBO. A show has to stand out against the pack because Peak TV saturation means that we all get to choose between what to watch, and we can't watch everything. There are quite a few shows I'd like to watch but I don't make the time for because there are just too many of them. DSC will try to break through, generate a lot of buzz not just as a the first Star Trek show in a while, but a good and unique sci-fi that is on par with all the hit shows out there now.         

^
What I mean is that for the first time, ST is being offered a la carte; it's not on a 
network in the conventional sense.   You want it, you pay for it.   It IS a specialty order operation.   I'm not saying (and perhaps this is where I was misunderstood) that ST DSC will be 'custom order' for the fans.   I'm saying that DSC will not be reliant on some arbitrarily assigned night of scheduling, or in direct competition with some stupid long-running sitcom.   It will be steamed to the fans whenever it is convenient for THEM to watch it; it won't have competition in the traditional network television sense.  

It will compete against other shows ONLY in terms of pushing the entertainment envelope I'm sure; but not toe-to-toe in time-slot reliant overnight ratings (where ST would probably be killed; like so many other promising scifi shows on network TV). 

This is a potential freedom that not even syndicated Star Trek had ever enjoyed; this could be a whole new ballgame for Star Trek.   In that sense?  Yes, I DO believe it has the potential to be very exciting in that way.

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Hold on, Sehlat... are you suggesting that DSC does not need to compete with other TV shows because it is streaming? I do not understand your distinction about CBS Access being some kind of specialty order operation--wherein the product can be less mainstream and more particular to the fans because we are paying for it, like we are a patron commissioning a painting? CBS Access is no different than any stream service, be it HBO Now, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime. Furthermore, not being on TV is a meaningless distinction now that many people, and probably a majority of the 18-35 demo, watch ALL of their TV shows through streaming.  

I guarantee Fuller is writing a show that he hopes will compete with shows from the big three TV channels to Netflix and HBO. A show has to stand out against the pack because Peak TV saturation means that we all get to choose between what to watch, and we can't watch everything. There are quite a few shows I'd like to watch but I don't make the time for because there are just too many of them. DSC will try to break through, generate a lot of buzz not just as a the first Star Trek show in a while, but a good and unique sci-fi that is on par with all the hit shows out there now.         

^
What I mean is that for the first time, ST is being offered a la carte; it's not on a 
network in the conventional sense.   You want it, you pay for it.   It IS a specialty order operation.   I'm not saying (and perhaps this is where I was misunderstood) that ST DSC will be 'custom order' for the fans.   I'm saying that DSC will not be reliant on some arbitrarily assigned night of scheduling, or in direct competition with some stupid long-running sitcom.   It will be steamed to the fans whenever it is convenient for THEM to watch it; it won't have competition in the traditional network television sense.  

It will compete against other shows ONLY in terms of pushing the entertainment envelope I'm sure; but not toe-to-toe in time-slot reliant overnight ratings (where ST would probably be killed; like so many other promising scifi shows on network TV). 

This is a potential freedom that not even syndicated Star Trek had ever enjoyed; this could be a whole new ballgame for Star Trek.   In that sense?  Yes, I DO believe it has the potential to be very exciting in that way.

Network TV needs eyes on the screen. It doesn't matter if people love the show or if its the best choice of bad alternatives. 

Streaming networks need some shows that people love so that they will keep paying. The shows don't have to have 20 million viewers as long as the ones they get are willing to pay. 

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Hold on, Sehlat... are you suggesting that DSC does not need to compete with other TV shows because it is streaming? I do not understand your distinction about CBS Access being some kind of specialty order operation--wherein the product can be less mainstream and more particular to the fans because we are paying for it, like we are a patron commissioning a painting? CBS Access is no different than any stream service, be it HBO Now, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime. Furthermore, not being on TV is a meaningless distinction now that many people, and probably a majority of the 18-35 demo, watch ALL of their TV shows through streaming.  

I guarantee Fuller is writing a show that he hopes will compete with shows from the big three TV channels to Netflix and HBO. A show has to stand out against the pack because Peak TV saturation means that we all get to choose between what to watch, and we can't watch everything. There are quite a few shows I'd like to watch but I don't make the time for because there are just too many of them. DSC will try to break through, generate a lot of buzz not just as a the first Star Trek show in a while, but a good and unique sci-fi that is on par with all the hit shows out there now.         

^
What I mean is that for the first time, ST is being offered a la carte; it's not on a 
network in the conventional sense.   You want it, you pay for it.   It IS a specialty order operation.   I'm not saying (and perhaps this is where I was misunderstood) that ST DSC will be 'custom order' for the fans.   I'm saying that DSC will not be reliant on some arbitrarily assigned night of scheduling, or in direct competition with some stupid long-running sitcom.   It will be steamed to the fans whenever it is convenient for THEM to watch it; it won't have competition in the traditional network television sense.  

It will compete against other shows ONLY in terms of pushing the entertainment envelope I'm sure; but not toe-to-toe in time-slot reliant overnight ratings (where ST would probably be killed; like so many other promising scifi shows on network TV). 

This is a potential freedom that not even syndicated Star Trek had ever enjoyed; this could be a whole new ballgame for Star Trek.   In that sense?  Yes, I DO believe it has the potential to be very exciting in that way.

Network TV needs eyes on the screen. It doesn't matter if people love the show or if its the best choice of bad alternatives. 

Streaming networks need some shows that people love so that they will keep paying. The shows don't have to have 20 million viewers as long as the ones they get are willing to pay. 

And the fact that ST DSC is already profitable without airing a single episode is proof of that. 
It hasn't competed with any other show or shows yet, and it's already considered a fiscal success. 

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It will compete against other shows ONLY in terms of pushing the entertainment envelope I'm sure; but not toe-to-toe in time-slot reliant overnight ratings (where ST would probably be killed; like so many other promising scifi shows on network TV). 

 

I think that this is probably true of every show these days. But my perspective may be off because we are cord cutters and have only watched TV through streaming for the past couple years. To us, it's all coming to our TV the same way, and none of it has to do with weekly time slots.  

There has been a few statements on this thread about the TV industry that I wonder if they are empirically supported by data. On the other hand that data may not exist. We're in the wild west. HBO is famous for not caring about how many people watch a show, but how much buzz a show generates, on the theory that this correlates with more subscriptions. But they have canceled a few buzz-worthy, media-darling shows over the years. Amazon claims they factor in fan likes and early reviews of its pilots, but have discarded that method in a few instances, like Transparent which did not generate any early hype but became one of their hits after it was green lit.

CBS is taking the next step into this brave new TV world. And it that sense, Star Trek: Discovery is their flagship show. It is arguably more important that it succeeds than not. It's like House of Cards was for Netflix. Before that series, Netflix was just a digital Blockbuster store. Not it is a TV studio. If House of Cards had bombed, Netflix would have eventually found another hit probably, just set them back a year. I'm guessing CBS is hoping DSC is their hit, the beginning of an expanded streaming platform. And I hope they are right, because with a Star Trek show leading the way for the three TV networks to join the streaming world, that can only mean we will get more Star Trek TV in the future.      

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In some ways I'd like a big hit. In other ways I'd prefer it be a solid show that gets good reviews but not a monster hit. If its too big a hit, the network might be tempted to push it ti be bigger, flashier and get away from what makes ST great. 

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It will compete against other shows ONLY in terms of pushing the entertainment envelope I'm sure; but not toe-to-toe in time-slot reliant overnight ratings (where ST would probably be killed; like so many other promising scifi shows on network TV). 

 

I think that this is probably true of every show these days. But my perspective may be off because we are cord cutters and have only watched TV through streaming for the past couple years. To us, it's all coming to our TV the same way, and none of it has to do with weekly time slots.    

^

So for you, what you've said upthread is applicable; but for most others, it's not.   Most TV shows still rely heavily on overnight returns on ratings for success (yes, even HBO).   Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and CBSAA are slowly breaking that cycle, but it's not broken just yet.   I agree that it will be in time, but it's not there yet.

I think DSC is smart to take advantage of this new trend for the future of television (I think sooner than later it will ALL be streaming or on-demand; that's my guess, anyway). 

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