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Old 09-21-2006, 12:31 PM
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Default Fortieth Anniversary Event

If someone else has already brought this up, I'm sorry for the repetition.

So are we going to have a party of some sort for the big event? I realize that the fortieth isn't quite as happy as anniversaries in the past. I mean, twenty was NextGen, twenty-five was STVI, thirty was STVIII and Voyager, thirty-five was... um, Enterprise?

I know that we can't expect a slew of new fivers or anything, but maybe we could use this thread to relate some of our most meaningful Trek memories, share the lamest Trek jokes we know (for some real groaners go over to Nitcentral), or whatever.

I'll start off with a Jim Wright quote from Delta Blues regarding a classic Janeway line. This may not be accurate word-for-word, but you get the gist:

Janeway: It's not exactly Shakespeare, but it gets the point across.
Jim Wright: I don't know about you, but this sent me into a ten-minute guffaw. This could be the Unofficial Star Trek Mission Statement.
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:44 PM
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Okay, who else read the title and thought "How can the site be 40 years old already?"

Seriously, I'm glad you reminded me of this, because now I have a great idea for a TJI about it. The thread is a good idea too.

(Btw, Voyager had been on for a while by the 30th anniversary. Both Trek shows had celebratory episodes -- VOY did "Flashback" and DS9 "Trials and Tribble-ations." Similarly, TNG celebrated the 25th anniversary with "Unification." 35th was indeed ENT.)
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
Okay, who else read the title and thought "How can the site be 40 years old already?"
Heh. I never quite formed that question, but saw the thread title on the main page and had a "Wha--... oh, right" moment.
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:58 PM
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I was just going with round numbers to mark off the five-year increments. It's not like I'm ambitious enough to go over to startrek.com for research or anything.

Re: Flashback. Any thoughts on whether a Star Trek: Excelsior show would've really worked? I don't think it would've worked as a 2290s-era show, the actors really had aged almost ten years, remember. However, if we put Sulu in 2310 or something, had cameos by Demora and remarks on the Klingon and Romulan situations, maybe younger versions of Garrett and Castille, etc. I'm still dying to know more about that incident with the Romulans (second battle of Tomed?) that led to forty years of closed borders.

Re: Trials and Tribbleations. Truly a classic DS9 episode. Seriously, you can't have too many tribbles, and finally getting an answer on how tribbles can leak out of an access door after the deluge is over is always a good thing.

Now another Trek memory. When I was a kid I actually kind of hated any TOS episode other than Trouble with Tribbles because they seemed a little lame. You know, the way any kid would looking at the cheesy special effects and KIRK ... style ... over-ACTING. In later years I've matured a bit (but not much, look at what I do for a hobby, but then again, as the wise man said "maturity is overrated") and now I can appreciate the genius of the original Roddenberry and see the characters behind the absurd accents and speech patterns. Think about it, Trek has endured because of what's underneath, the vision if you will. It's lasted because it's not another Flash Gordon or (in later years) Star Wars knockoff. Trek isn't about tech, it's not about meaningless action and violence, it's about people. I've often heard that one reason for the popularity of McCoy is that he's just an "old-fashioned country boy from Georgia." There are many more examples of that sort of thing: different people look at the same situation and see different things. We can see how Seven would think that Janeway is trying to impose her will on the former drone, and yet we can also see how Janeway has a wider viewpoint and firmly believes in what she'd doing. Shades of grey have always been a major tenant of the Trek philosophy. Trek bad guys are always understandable. We don't condone Cardassian or Romulan philosophies, but we can see how such a society survived. The same with Ferengi, Kazon, on and on.

I suppose that's a reason for the popularity of Stargate in more recent years. The characters are also three-dimensional (with the exception of the snake-heads of course, but that's part of the fun), their relationships evolve, the issues that they confront are compelling, and so on.
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:03 PM
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Oh, and that "um, Enterprise?" thing was an ever-so-subtle joke. For the purposes (and acceptable rounding errors) of the exercise, it fit. I was sort of taking a friendly swing at the concept of Enterprise as a landmark. Trying to subconsciously introduce a joke into the minds of the readers along the lines of "oh yeah, that show was a disaster! What a landmark! Ha ha ha!"
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:41 PM
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I happend to like Enterprise :|
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:59 PM
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I did take your meaning, Nate. (I don't need to tell you what I think of it...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinite Improbability View Post
It's not like I'm ambitious enough to go over to startrek.com for research or anything.
Oh, me neither, I just knew offhand.

Quote:
Re: Flashback. Any thoughts on whether a Star Trek: Excelsior show would've really worked?
Not to overstate my case or anything, but not in a million billion years. I've never understood why anyone but Takei was into the Excelsior campaign. Sulu was by far the dullest character in TOS; no matter how cool a ship you give him, he's not interesting enough to base a show on. And if you're doing a prequel at all, you may as well do what ENT did and set it in an era we haven't explored much. Between the movie series and TNG, we know a great deal about Sulu's time.

Quote:
and finally getting an answer on how tribbles can leak out of an access door after the deluge is over is always a good thing.
Uh... can't they move a little?

Quote:
Think about it, Trek has endured because of what's underneath, the vision if you will.
This I can get behind. It's become a cliché to say it, but it's true.
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Old 09-21-2006, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Infinite Improbability View Post
Re: Flashback. Any thoughts on whether a Star Trek: Excelsior show would've really worked?
I sincerely doubt it.

Quote:
Re: Trials and Tribbleations. Truly a classic DS9 episode. Seriously, you can't have too many tribbles, and finally getting an answer on how tribbles can leak out of an access door after the deluge is over is always a good thing.
Sand dunes, avalanches and land-slips all provide models of how. That said, I quite liked DS9's explanation.

Quote:
Now another Trek memory. When I was a kid I actually kind of hated any TOS episode other than Trouble with Tribbles because they seemed a little lame. You know, the way any kid would looking at the cheesy special effects and KIRK ... style ... over-ACTING.
When I was a kid, Star Trek (TOS) was all there was, and the effects were state-of-the-art. It all depends upon where you were standing, I guess.
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Old 09-22-2006, 01:44 AM
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I still don't understand all this Sulu bashing. If people don't like his work, maybe that's because we didn't see enough of him. The whole ensemble-cast-of-seven thing really wasn't around yet. People have to remember that not only were Shatner and Nimoy paid exactly the same, they had the pie split between them very early on. It took a command from on high to get DeForest Kelly into the opening credits. TOS was the Kirk and Spock Show for the most part. That doesn't mean that Sulu is boring, uninteresting, or that he couldn't support his own show.

We know a great deal about Sulu's time? If I'm not mistaken, the major events of the gap between the E-B launch and the E-D launch have yet to be really touched on. Come on, how did the Klingon Empire rebuild themselves so fast? Why did the Romulans lock themselves away? When did we meet the Cardassians exactly? How long was the E-B in service and when was the E-C built? How did Picard beat Kirk's earliest command record? Did Boothby guide Demora at the Academy as well? What did Guinan do during all that time? How come Picard was in command of the Stargazer for like twenty years without being transferred to a bigger ship? Which Sulu inspired Chakotay to join Starfleet? These are not small questions that are easily answered by looking at old episodes. A lot of them haven't been answered at all outside of the noncanon novels.
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:25 AM
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Just shows that there are still many stories left to be told. Perhaps the Trek franchise should just concentrate on novels for a while - it certainly did Doctor Who no harm.
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Old 09-22-2006, 03:12 PM
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That brings up something that I've been wondering about. As I recall, not all Star Wars novels are canon, but even George Lucas has said that a few of them are. I know that a lot of Voyager fans consider Mosaic and Pathways to be canon, because of Jeri Taylor's involvement. This brings up the question: what novels could or should be considered canon? Granted, a lot of the early TOS and TNG novels are blatantly inaccurate now, although they did follow the canon as it existed twenty years ago. Most notably is Federation, a novel that I really enjoy even though stuff like First Contact and Enterprise has completely blown it out of the water. Simularily, the Shatnerverse would take a moderate amount of tweaking to get it to fit. Q-Squared doesn't work anymore thanks to the creation of Suzie Q and other recent revelations about the continuum. Here's a partial list of the most recent novels that I think are very good and don't directly contradict canon (too much )

A Stitch in Time
Immortal Coil
Imzadi I and II
The Many Lives of Dax

Comments?
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Old 09-22-2006, 05:33 PM
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From what I've heard, A Stitch in Time would be reasonable as canon. I think Mosaic is on record as canonical (in fact, "Coda" drew on it); Pathways isn't, but I think parts of it might be. For the love of God, let's not canonize anything by Peter David. His books are fun to read, but most of them make lousy Star Trek, and the obsession with sex is just embarrassing.
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Old 09-22-2006, 07:37 PM
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Is there such a thing as "lousy Star Trek?" There are lousy episodes, lousy books, lousy scripts, lousy acting, etc, but if it's worthy of being called Trek, then by it's very nature it ain't lousy.

I love Peter David's work without question. That doesn't mean I think that the books can all be occuring in the standard Trek universe, that doesn't mean that I can't disparage certain concepts from it, etc.

Case in point: I never really got behind New Frontier. I own a few of the books, and I enjoy it, but it sort of falls into the same realm as TAS. When it's good, it's good, and when it's bad, it's bad, the same as anything else. I suppose my biggest quibble is the sudden appearance of these Thallonians (or whatever) as theoretically being a big enough galactic power to warrant a handful of ships and a starbase or whatever, but yet we've never heard of them. I suppose people will be quick to argue that that sort of thing is hardly new. Xindi, Remans, etc are all well and good, but I hate the implications. In TOS we were told outright: Federation, Klingons, Romulans are major players, Orions and Andorians less so. In TNG we suddenly have Ferengi and Cardassians as well: where'd they come from? DS9 is exempt because of the wormhole and so is VOY because ALL of the major players are of necessity new, but ENT brings up these Xindi. I suppose the implication is that the Xindi eventually joined the Federation, but where's the proof of that? Anyway, how big of a deal can these Thallonians really be if we're only sending two ships there? Isn't there other stuff we could be reading about? What about the Orion Syndicate? What about the real inner workings of the Ferengi Alliance? What's Spock up to? Will they ever just TELL us when Sulu, Chekov, and Uhura died?

PS: Any thoughts on Vulcan's Forge, Vulcan's Heart, Vulcan's Soul, etc?
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Old 09-23-2006, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinite Improbability View Post
Is there such a thing as "lousy Star Trek?" There are lousy episodes, lousy books, lousy scripts, lousy acting, etc, but if it's worthy of being called Trek, then by it's very nature it ain't lousy.
Putting aside "episodes I hate so much they should be stricken from canon," because that's not the argument, yes, you can have "lousy Trek." "Dear Doctor" and "Similitude" are the first two which spring to mind.

"Dear Doctor" was a good exploration of a difficult decision... until the decision was made. Archer and Phlox decided that because they were observing that, given the current state of Valakian medicine and the evolution of the Menk, left unchecked, the Valakians might die off and the Menk would succeed them. Therefore, this was the correct answer, and Phlox withheld the cure for their genetic plague. He and Archer doomed them to extinction. Trek has never been about that. Trek has celebrated that each race had something to contribute, and that we should preserve life whenever possible. who knows what they could have accomplished if Phlox and Archer hadn't allowed them to die?

But Phlox showed his amoral streak more than once, and Archer got sucked in by it more than once. In "Similitude," Phlox and Archer could not decide how to treat Trip's clone. Was he a photocopy of Trip? was he an individual? Was he a walking bag of parts? And because the two of them, Phlox especially, vacillated in their treatment of him, they bullied a man into volunteering for suicide. Again, Trek does not do this. Sim should have been reared, if he was to be awake at all, as Trip's twin brother who had the only means of saving him, and everyone would be proud of him for being the only way to help keep Trip alive. Sim would have been much easier about volunteering, even if it meant his death, because he would have been valued as a person first and throughout. And even if Phlox and Archer had both treated Sim consistently as a bag of parts, that too would have been a lesson, because the ep would have ended with Sim proving and proclaiming his individuality and personhood, and then nobly choosing to die for Trip's sake. What we had was a man being forced to die as parts. That is not good Trek.
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:22 PM
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I would qualify those as lousy episodes. I would assume that Phlox, while not obligated to take the Hippocratic Oath, would presumably have some sort of Denubulan analoge. Similitude was just junk. Here's a wacky notion, dudes and dudettes: grow the clone, but don't let him wake up! Grow the parts of the brain that you need, but not the others! Design him to be a nonconscious vegetable on life support!

If you mean that "lousy Trek" can exist because the heavy-handed message of the episode is incorrect, than it is correct. The first instance that comes to mind is Distant Origin. They could've had Gegen denounce his theory publicly, then let him "die" as far as the society is concerned and be exiled to join Voyager.

Another instance that comes to mind is the blatant hipocrasy of Who Watches the Watchers. Nice episode, but the whole "religion leads to paranoia" thing countered with "oh yeah, people need religion to guide their lives" burns me up. Either religion is bad, or it's good, or they should admit that it's never that black and white.

Okay, we're getting off topic. Let's lighten things up with some more Trek Memories. Among other things, I'm a Bond fan, so of course I'd enjoy Our Man Bashir. It's fluff, but its good fluff. When Garak says, "kiss the girl, get the key. They never taught me that in the Obsidian Order," that's a high point for me. It's always a good time when the creators throw our heroes into an unfamiliar situation whilst still staying consistent. Q throwing everyone into a Robin Hood world, Sisko dragging everyone into a baseball game ("Death to the opposition!"), Data spouting off to Rex about how he's from South America, the rice picker, finding out about self-sealing stem bolts and reverse ratcheting router planers, Odo petting a tribble, Sulu throwing the "don't call me Tiny" guard, Mister Adventure, and a million other moments that you can't find in any other fantasy universe.
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Old 10-02-2006, 04:59 PM
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If anyone is interested, BBC Radio 2 are airing a 40th anniversary special program on Tuesday at 08:30 GMT. You can of course listen to it on the web if you're not in the UK, and I imagine that it will be available on the Listen Again web player for the seven days following.
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