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Quinto and Burk Talk Future Of Trek Film Franchise September 23, 2008

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: ST09 Cast,Star Trek (2009 film),Trek Franchise , trackback

The upcoming issue of the UK’s SFX has a Star Trek cover story and the fine folks at the magazine have shared with TrekMovie some exclusive excerpts from interviews with Zachary Quinto (the new Spock) and executive producer Bryan Burk, and one item of particular interest is both speaking about the future of the franchise after the new Star Trek movie.

Quinto finds a new ‘re’ word
Many ‘re’ words have been bandied about in relation to the new Star Trek: restart, reboot, remake, re-imagination, reinterpretation, re-introduction, and re-invigoration. Leave it to the always articulate Zach Quinto to find a new one when talking about where we go after the new movie

SFX: Is the ultimate objective here to reinvigorate Star Trek and start a whole new franchise?

Quinto: I think it is. I think it’s to reframe a franchise whose genesis had incredible foresight – it was a very prescient series, ahead of its time, and it had so much social relevance when it first came on the air. It’s about taking the integrity of that and reframing it for today’s world, which is obviously vastly different from the world of 40 years ago. But we turned up to work every day to make the best movie we could make, and to invest ourselves in it creatively and be a part of it as best we could, with all of ourselves and all of our integrity. That’s all we can do. Once it’s released into the Zeitgeist, then it’s not up to us! I hope people respond in a way that gives these characters and this story some more life but that’s something that will only reveal itself once the movie is released.

Burk: Ready for the Sequel
SFX also interviewed Star Trek exec producer Bryan Burk, and he ended up also talking about what is next as well:

SFX: Is a sequel a strong possibility?

Burk: God, we hope so! It’s funny because when we broke this story at the same time we said, ‘And here’s what the sequel is!’ If enough people go and see the movie, hopefully the franchise will continue. That’s the plan and that’s the hope. Having seen the movie, everyone here says this feels like a big summer movie.

First look at cover of SFX Star Trek issue

Much more from Quinto and Burk as well as other features on the new movie in SFX issue 175, which goes on sale in the UK on Wednesday September 24th, and should soon be available in the US at Borders, Barnes & Noble and Virgin Megastores. More info at SFX.co.uk.




1. Captain Presley - September 23, 2008

I’m picking this up today!

2. Richard Daystrom - September 23, 2008

All well and good. How about a picture of the big “E”.

3. Bennie - September 23, 2008

does anyone know if this is available outside de US?

4. Bennie - September 23, 2008

Sorry, my mistake. It is available in Europe.

5. Sean - September 23, 2008

50 things you need to know about the 2009 movie? Must get!

6. karanadon - September 23, 2008

Wow, if only I could marry Quinto’s brain…*sighs*…

7. fakesteve - September 23, 2008

reframing the zeitgeist, well said Zach…

8. CmdrR - September 23, 2008

Will there be a sequel? That depends on another re- word… box office re-ceipts.

9. CanuckLou - September 23, 2008

@8 yep and on movie audience re-actions and movie re-views etc, etc,

….and the adventure continues…

10. Smike van Dyke - September 23, 2008

Here is another magic re-word: re-enfranchisement!
That’s exactly what has to happen after so many people became disenfranchised by B&B-Trek over the years…

11. Lousy Canadian - September 23, 2008

Zachary Quinto= Huge man crush! :D

12. The sweet and sour sauce package from mcdonalds - September 23, 2008

God I hope this movie succeeds, but with all the problems in the fandom why do I feel like we have a Speed Racer on my hands. Plus its never a good sign to push a movie back from its orginal date. Next thing you know the movie isnt screened for critics, and then its five dollars in the wal mart dvd bin *sigh*

13. The Underpants Monster - September 23, 2008

In the preview show for the premiere of “Heroes,” they did a segment on all the Star Trek connections; it was pretty cool. I hadn’t realized Mama Petrelli was Gi’lar from “Birthright!”

14. JL - September 23, 2008

What makes you think it will be another Speed Racer…? Because the film got its release date pushed?

I don’t think this is going to be another Speed Racer, I would be shocked if that were the case. Not after all of the love and care these people have put into it.

Other than the film being great of course, the one thing I’m I’m hoping for is that they don’t change the “…where no man has gone before” line… God, that “…where no ONE has gone before” always bugged the hell outta me. So PC it’s sickening.

15. diabolik - September 23, 2008

#12… it might be helpful to get some medication for that depression… cause all that the news I’m hearing about the movie is making me excited and happy!

16. Holger - September 23, 2008

Quinto: “Once it’s released into the Zeitgeist, then it’s not up to us! I hope people respond in a way that gives these characters and this story some more life but that’s something that will only reveal itself once the movie is released.”

I like Quinto’s honesty and sense of reality. That’s a refreshing contrast against the usual “our movie is so amazing and we are so great” Hollywood talk.

What I positively like the most about the new movie so far is its convincing Reinspockment.

17. fakesteve - September 23, 2008

I bet QuintoKurtzmanOrciAbrams will pull it off and we all will be

18. JL - September 23, 2008

As long as they’re not just regurgitating it.

19. mike - September 23, 2008

What’s wrong with Speed Racer?

20. Jordan - September 23, 2008

I’m a strong advocate of Abrams & crew doing whatever they have to so this movie will succeed. I don’t care about strict adherence to canon nor do they need to stick closely with Enterprise. If they’re updating Trek for the modern era, it simply will be a little less hopeful, because that’s the way society is today. TNG seems so corny at times with all the preaching about a perfect world, because it barely seems possible anymore. I think Gene Roddenberry would understand, at least I hope so.

21. ByGeorge - September 23, 2008


“but with all the problems in the fandom why do I feel like we have a Speed Racer on my hands.”

The fandom are not the ones who will determine if this movie will be another Speed Racer or not — it will be the general main stream audience. The fandom has been having less and less influence over the years as reflected in Trek’s declining BO numbers and TV ratings. The pouting fan-boys ranting that they will boycott the movie because of ___________ need to realize they aren’t that important anymore.

22. Brett Campbell - September 23, 2008

#2 – Will this picture of the big E do?


23. Brett Campbell - September 23, 2008

#2 – You can color it to kill some time until May 2009. Hope you can wipe crayon off your computer monitor. That will kill even more time.

24. CmdrR - September 23, 2008

May The Big Bird of the Galaxy Smile on You.

25. Bummed - September 23, 2008

How freaking hard is it, really, for him to do the Vulcan salute with his right hand? Seriously, how hard is that?

26. hubertis bigend - September 23, 2008

i wanna see the trailer!
not the star trek trailer though, i can wait for that. i wanna see the trailer for “college sluts go wild part VIII”.

but maybe that’s off topic a little.

27. Brett Campbell - September 23, 2008

26 – “… maybe that’s off topic a little.”

Not to mention puerile.

28. Randy - September 23, 2008

Volite li vi jebat žene velikih guzica? Ja da.

29. Gary - September 23, 2008

Lets call it what it is….a re-vision.

30. South African Dude - September 23, 2008

Does anyone have any theories on where a sequel might take us?
Let’s assume they use the original series crew, will they make a trilogy until we connect with “where no man has gone before”? I’m almost (forgive me) sad that we such a canon behind it. In my mind I cannot picture where they can go from there?

But with regards to the new movie, I am so very excited. The writers are brilliant, the director is excellent and the new crew is wonderful. I have gone out of my way to see every possible thing that I could that they worked on and was really impressed.

The ship looks to be a faithful representation. Even Cawley complimented on the bridge, even if he did not agree entirely with the direction, but he is a purist. The uniforms appear faithful, the crew definitely fit the profiles of the original cast.

I have to say I have seen nothing negative about this movie at all.
It was compared to the Dark Knight recently in an interview with Kevin Smith for crying out load.

I read a Dark Knight review in which one critic said that the Dark Knight is “the first comic book adaptation to qualify as a superior artistic achievement in its own right” and another “It’s not just a stunning super hero movie; it’s a stunning film, period”. I mean imagine that, if this film take whatever came before it and Re-Exciterize it, makes us love it again. I lost interest in Batman after the 1997 movie, because I felt ashamed to be a fan of something that had become so ridiculous.

Enterprise was like that for me and I was unhappy but not surprised when it was cancelled. This movie is high profile and I love that. Trek deserves that attention. How many millions did the US economy lose on opening date of SW Episode 3?
Trek deserves 100 x that, and I hope this movie puts the franchise back in its proper place, nr. 1.

31. Brett Campbell - September 23, 2008

28 – At-whay e-thay uck-fay are-yay ou-yay aying-say? ;)

32. Johnny Ice - September 23, 2008

i hope this movie will be success so we we can have several sequels despite i dont like some plots elements in XI f.e. time travel & Nimoy

..Once it’s released into the Zeitgeist, then it’s not up to us! ..
i would have use different word then Zeitgeist because that word remind me of bullshit Zeitgeist movie too much.

33. Alex Rosenzweig - September 23, 2008

#30 – “Does anyone have any theories on where a sequel might take us?
Let’s assume they use the original series crew, will they make a trilogy until we connect with “where no man has gone before”? I’m almost (forgive me) sad that we such a canon behind it. In my mind I cannot picture where they can go from there?”

Totally easy. :) This film is the origin story and brings the crew together. The next one takes place somewhere in the midst of the 5-year mission, and might not have to connect directly to any of the other episodes of TOS. And the third film in the trilogy could be the end of the 5-year mission and the circumstances that lead up to the Enterprise coming home. That could be a nice encapsulation of TOS, with a defined beginning, middle, and end, and doesn’t disrupt what we’ve already been shown at all.

And after *that*, if all has gone well, there could be further stories of the Enterprise crew in the post-TMP era, spinoffs following other ships and crews that might be introduced during the trilogy, or perhaps something going back to one of the other parts of the Trekverse.

I think figuring out where it’s possible to go is easy. Telling a specific, suitably-rewarding story…that’s harder. :)

34. Joe Schmoe - September 23, 2008


That’s mirror universe Spock doing the Vulcan salute.

35. bill hiro - September 23, 2008

“If they’re updating Trek for the modern era, it simply will be a little less hopeful, because that’s the way society is today.”

The world wasn’t exactly sunshine, lollipops and rainbows everywhere in 1966 either, what with the cold war, the potential for nuclear annihilation, the Vietnam war, deep divisions over racial justice, the generational conflict with the counterculture. The original Star Trek came out of very hard times. The ’60s weren’t some kind of paisley painted funfest.

36. King Anthony - September 23, 2008

14-What makes you think it will be another Speed Racer…? Because the film got its release date pushed?

More like WarpSpeed Racer.

Pretty much. That’s never a good sign, getting a release date pushed up. The fewer competitors that movie has, the better, and summer is anything but non-competitive

Quinto’s the only one who’ll come out of this a star, and rightly so.

37. SPB - September 23, 2008











38. Closettrekker - September 23, 2008

#20—Star Trek is, IMO, as simple as a message:

Humanity does not destroy itself in the future. Instead, it unites to conquer the social ills which torment our species today, and to explore the final frontier.

I don’t think that message has become outdated in the more than four decades since TOS first aired.

“TNG seems so corny at times with all the preaching about a perfect world, because it barely seems possible anymore.”

I agree that TNG’s “utopian” message does not stand the test of time quite as well. That message was the direct result of Roddenberry’s ‘revisionism’ in reintroducing the Star Trek universe in 1987.

The message in TOS was “this is what we could be”, whereas the message in TNG was “this is what we should be”.

I think the former is the more durable and palatable message today…

39. SPB - September 23, 2008

#38 –

Excellent post! Wholeheartedly agree.

40. Chris Pike - September 23, 2008

What I really want to see after this film, is sticking rigidly to the look and feel, the cast, the timeframe and so forth. So that we don’t end up with yet more versions coming out with different uniforms, ships, cast, characters and timeframes. There’s every indication that this is heading for great success, lets not diffuse that and start going in all different directions, which, in the end, is what killed Bermatrek.

41. SPB - September 23, 2008

To add:

I’d rather take Kirk’s stance of “We choose not to kill… today!” over Picard’s “We’ve learned to conquer every conceivable human malady forever!” (ironic paraphrasing)

42. TrekMadeMeWonder - September 23, 2008

I thought this movie was going to be released in ’09?
So, what is the Box Office take so far this year?

What?… They’re not charging anyone?

The wOMEN!!!

43. King Anthony - September 23, 2008


Wait until ST XI’s released…

44. Xai - September 23, 2008

43. King Anthony – September 23, 2008

Preconcieved notions based on nothing… again.
The filmed was pushed BACK because of the writers strike according to TPTB. Unless you can point to something more factual…?

45. Anthony Thompson - September 23, 2008


It’s not Star Trek XI. It’s Star Trek Zero. Oh, and BTW, there is only one “King Anthony” on this site. And that would be Anthony Pascale.

46. BND - September 23, 2008

I sure hope tha’ sequel goes even further back…

I wanna know what “in utero” Kirkie and Spockie were like… and how tha’ blueprints fur tha’ Enterprize saved tha’ galaxy…

In fact, just toss all that! Let’s make us a film aboot Gene Roddenberry’s cop days. Wait… they did that already? Well then… onward I suppose!

I canna wait unti 2012 then fur Starry Trek 2: Tha’ Swath o’ Constellation Class… Kirk and crew go kobiashi- maru all o’er tha’ place…
and more robot woman then…


47. Closettrekker - September 23, 2008

#36—-“Pretty much. That’s never a good sign, getting a release date pushed up. The fewer competitors that movie has, the better…”

If it were such a bad thing to release movies in the Summer, why would anyone do it at all. And name one movie scheduled to be released near May 8th that will cut into Star Trek’s potential base…Do you think that next May, people will only pay to see Hannah Montana?

“… and summer is anything but non-competitive.”

And Paramount believes that Bad Robot’s take on Star Trek will be competitive…Again, what is its competition? Star Trek will rule the box-office for at least its opening weekend. That’s all which is expected of a Summer blockbuster.
While it’s true that there are always alot of Summer movies, there is also so much more money spent on going to the movies in that time.

Your conclusions are baseless.

It is a vote of confidence to give Star Trek the coveted May release.

48. The Underpants Monster - September 23, 2008

#25 – I’m super-right-handed. I can DO the salute with my left hand, but it just doesn’t feel right. If Quinto’s as much of a leftie as I am a rightie, I can see where it would be difficult to consistently do it right-handed.

49. Matias 47 - September 23, 2008

Re: “Plus its never a good sign to push a movie back from its original date.”

That is often true — Midnight Meat Train being a prime example — i.e. ads were already on television and trailers in the theaters when everything was pulled. Though PART of MMT’s theatrical demise was due to a change in studio leadership, I worked on it and can tell you that the script was unimpressive (OK, some parts were quite fun).

In Star Trek’s case there is more to consider. A) Changing from a Thanksgiving/Christmas release to the much more prestigious Summer release is not something studio heads would approve if they thought the movie was a dog. The reverse, however, would be a bad sign. (Star Trek VI was a Christmas release because STV was a turkey and momentum-stopper) B) The main reason for the change is exactly the same reason the next Harry Potter made the same move — the writer’s strike and the slow down created by the non-negotiations with the actors has created a lack of product for next summer so the studios are moving what they perceive to be their strongest titles in the hopes that they can regain some of their recent losses. Finally, Paramount sorely needs ST to be a hit as the present financial mess has eaten their production capital and killed at least 5 movies which were in pre-production. Indiana Jones helped, but not enough. Rumor has it that some of the money that was earmarked for other films will be going into ST’s marketing campaign.

There you have it, kids and kidders, I hope they don’t blow it.

50. SirMartman - September 23, 2008

The future of the franchise will be very very bright


51. M_E - September 23, 2008

“The future of the franchise will be very very bright”

If it’s bright as a supernova going off, that’s not necessarily a good thing…



52. Will H. - September 23, 2008

My hope is that if this movie does well in the box office that maybe they’d consider making a new Trek for TV either instead of or along with a movie sequel to this. Obviously JJ is at least as talented when it comes to TV, and making original shows, and Id love to see what kind of Trek ideas he could come up with outside of the original crew. Also I think Star Trek is something that has always done better on TV, it gives the audience much longer to get to know the crew and that sense of family.

53. Spock with a Crowbar - September 23, 2008


Keep in mind that the graphic design people at those mags are very liberal when it comes to flipping photos to fit a layout.

54. Closettrekker - September 23, 2008

It’s hard to talk about the direction in which a sequel might take the franchise without knowing where the story in STXI (or ST Zero) will leave us.

With that said, here are some thoughts.

I like the suggestion Alex made in post #33, and at a glance, that seems to be the most likely course, assuming the outcomes of the events we know in TOS are left intact within the timeline. :)

However, let’s think about what TOS gave us—79 story-worthy adventures in (at the most) a 60-month period, assuming that the 3 seasons of TOS would represent the whole of the 5 year mission (and that asumes that TAS is not canon—something which is debatable in itself). That’s basically an “adventure” every 3 weeks that the crew is aboard (accounting for stories which might take place over more than a single day). That isn’t much downtime, and certainly limits the leftover time in which to tell stories.

For fans who consider TAS to be canon, then we’re looking at 91 such adventures in a 60-month period. It’s easy to see how (canonically) that might be stretching it a bit.

The dialogue in TMP suggests that the V’Ger incident takes place 2.5 years after the 5 year mission. Dialogue in TWOK suggests that Khan is discovered on Ceti Alpha V 15 years after the events in “Space Seed”. That means that there is roughly 7.5 years of time between TMP and TWOK.

I suggest that there is another 5 year mission in there prior to the Enterprise being assigned to training duty (otherwise, why spend 18 mos. refitting her just to crew her with cadets?). The question would then become, how would “Admiral” Kirk maintain command of the Enterprise after V’Ger? It would be easier if there would have been room for another 5 year mission prior to TMP, and therefore prior to Kirk’s promotion. However, since this film will endeavor to adhere to canon, that cannot be the case. An additional 5 year mission prior to TWOK would necessitate the explanation of an Admiral in the command chair…perhaps not such a big deal.

In the longer term future, that still leaves room for a television series depicting events in the 5 years between TFF (aka The Great Trek Turd Of ’89) and TUC, after Kirk has been “demoted” to Captain’s rank.

Either way, I like the idea of sticking within the classic 23rd Century period, and with the wonderful iconic TOS-era characters.

55. Closettrekker - September 23, 2008

#52—“Id love to see what kind of Trek ideas he could come up with outside of the original crew.”

Why outside the original crew? Shouldn’t Star Trek bring its A-Team?

Just set the series in between two of the films…in the 7.5 years in between TMP and TWOK, for instance.

There is still room to introduce new characters. Ilia is dead, and Chekov is promoted and assigned to USS Reliant at some point. Keep the “big Three” and Scotty together as long as possible, and infuse the bridge with a little “youth” and a fresh face or two.

56. Martin Pollard - September 23, 2008

#52 – Please, God, no. Trek has become oversaturated on TV. Going to the well too many times too quickly is a sure-fire way to kill a franchise (which is what I fear “Stargate Universe” is going to do to the Stargate franchise, but I digress).

Live-action Trek benefited greatly from its 10-year hiatus from the small screen; its reintroduction as a series of movies created the atmosphere for its TV revival as “The Next Generation,” which became (and still may be) the most successful first-run syndicated series on TV. The fatigue that has set in after “Deep Space Nine,” “Voyager,” and “Enterprise” (not to mention several lousy movies) needs time to heal; a good Trek movie will go a long way towards achieving that goal.

Put a few good Trek movies under its belt, and the franchise will be ready to return to the small screen. Until then, TV Trek needs a break.

57. Holger - September 23, 2008

20: It is exactly at times when things don’t look so bright that a positive vision is desirable, maybe even needed.

I totally agree with Closettrekkers #38 assessment of TOS. I don’t agree with his assessment of TNG, as usual :-)

58. Closettrekker - September 23, 2008

#56—“Put a few good Trek movies under its belt, and the franchise will be ready to return to the small screen. Until then, TV Trek needs a break.”

I agree. I just hope that when it does return, it’s not to the TNG-era or beyond. There is something to be said for the truly romantic “frontier” quality of the TOS-era, as opposed to the sterile state of the UFP in the 24th Century.

If I see another tv episode set in a holodeck….I’ll shoot the ship’s counselor, kick the children off the ship, deactivate any android pinnochios, make it illegal for captains to sing or sip Earl Grey tea, and start a war with the Klingons…just for nostalgia’s sake.

59. Closettrekker - September 23, 2008

#57—lol :)

60. Closettrekker - September 23, 2008

Holger, our disagreement over the curent value of the TNG vision notwithstanding, you make an excellent point in #57.

We can always use a reminder that things do not have to end badly for the human race. Star Trek’s original ‘vision’ will never be irrelevant.

61. The Underpants Monster - September 23, 2008

“(Star Trek VI was a Christmas release because STV was a turkey and momentum-stopper)”

Well, you’ve GOT to have turkey at Christmas!

62. Jordan - September 23, 2008

38: I agree with you Closettrekker. Society in TOS still had it’s fair share of problems (which humanity will always have in it’s nature) and to me, that’s more believable that the TNG era preaching.

63. Gustavo - September 23, 2008

I……Want……..A….Trailer mr. JJ!!!!!!!

64. Nowhere Man - September 23, 2008

If they do a sequel in a trilogy format, I would like to see it end where Kirk takes command of the Enterprise. The first movie introduces the characters and what bought them together. The second movie can be like a bridge (no pun intended) to get to the third movide. The focus of the second movie should be about Kirk as Lieutenant on the USS Faragaut where some of the crew was killed by blood sucking cloud (TOS Obsession) and where the other crew members are assigned to other ships prior coming on board the Enterprise.

65. Bart - September 23, 2008

64- Have I missed something? I thought Kirk would be in command of the Enterprise by the end of this movie. I don’t mind waiting half-way through, but I want to see that boy in that chair before the movie ends.

66. trekee - September 23, 2008

“…exclusive excerpts from interviews with Zachary Quinto (the new Spock)”

Oh THAT’S who he is!!! I was wondering if Sylar had eaten T’Pau’s brains….

(Sorry, but it just made me laugh when I read it… )

67. Richard Daystrom - September 23, 2008

Brett Campbell

Touche’ I must admit that one made laugh after a bad day at work. My hat is off to you. Now pass me a crayon!

68. Jordan - September 23, 2008

Definitely an artists’ interpretation as to why they “revived” the Trek franchise. Suits at Paramount have a much less lofty, less socially-conscious motive: to profit! But, hey, profit is part of the game, and art and commerce can co-exist without the money tainting the art. Clear? Sorry, I ‘aint no Zach Quinto.

69. Closettrekker - September 23, 2008

#65—According to Harry Knowles’ sneak preview report, you are correct. His “assumption” was that the scene in which he saw Kirk in command was at the end, but he was admittedly a bit unclear about it. What JJ showed him was apparently very brief.

70. trekkiefan16 - September 23, 2008

I watched Heroes last night and all I kept thinking was how much he looked like Spock. I can’t get the image of him with pointy ears out of my head. Hard to think of Sylar as scary when all I could see was a Vulcan.

I hope the movie does well so there is a sequel. I would love to have the franchise revitalized and expose an entire new generation to something we all love.

71. Jeffries Tuber - September 23, 2008

Assuming Nero and his crew are burnt toast at the end of ST0, it’s virtually impossible to guess where they’d go in ST.2

Given that they’re avoiding too much comedy in this picture, the sequel would presumably capitalize on the popularity of the first with more character-based humor… then lead us in to a serious tragedy that can only be fixed in ST3.

Time travel, Romulans, the planet Vulcan, Earth, all out.

I would bet on Klingons, Carol Marcus, and some kind of Imperial conflict over an “innocent” planet. Remember, Orci likes PRIME DIRECTIVE and Kirk’s cowboy approach to the PD is his most significant career arc.

72. Jeffries Tuber - September 23, 2008

Then again, Nero himself could be a Prime Directive refugee/victim. So we know nothing.

But I think Klingons are the logical choice. They’ve probably teed up something with the Klingons in ST0 that true believers will spot a mile away as pretext for a sequel.

73. Bobby - September 23, 2008


Other people are multi-lingual.

Shame shame

74. Closettrekker - September 23, 2008

#72—But like you said, it’s difficult to speculate when we do not know how ST Zero ends.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Klingons play a prominent role in the sequel, though. It would be nice to see them as smart and cunning badguys again, like Kor or Kang, instead of the dumbed-down “cavemen in space” who are overly obsessed with “honor” (as they were portrayed in the TNG-era).

75. Newman - September 23, 2008

I wonder if we will see Andorians in the new movie…

76. Adam Cohen - September 23, 2008

One of my biggest hopes is that this isn’t a cliffhanger, as is so much of this team’s work in television. This needs to be its own story. Sure, there are things they can pick up for the next movie but I don’t think it would be wise to throw out some “oooh, ahhh!” mystery at the film’s end.

77. The Underpants Monster - September 23, 2008

Society still had its fair share of problems in TNG – they were just different problems, and society took different approaches to solving them.

78. Closettrekker - September 23, 2008

#76—Given that they are not even guaranteed it will do well enough to justify greenlighting the other two films they are signed for, it’s not likely that there will be a “cliffhanger”…As a matter of fact, I seem to remember Orci telling us that it will be a standalone story…though I’m not absolutely certain of that.

#77—The lack of problems and conflict commonly pointed out in TNG versus the original series lie within the writing and relationships involving the primary characters.

It is only fair to point out though, that after the passing of GR, TNG became a bit more realistic in its depiction of humanity. The introduction of the “Maquis”, for example, at least showed that there was still some dissention among Federation citizens.

“The Drumhead” was another example in which human weakness was better addressed as something still present, even in Starfleet.

As a whole though, I see the TNG era as one of “oppressive utopia” (an exaggeration, I know)–a world in which there was far too little dissention and conflict among human beings and their allies, and how dare anyone contradict the values that EVERYONE seemed to share. Whenever there was conflict among the main characters, it was more often due to some outside influence, such as an affliction or exposure to some other catalyst beyond our own human nature. Ronald Moore refers to this constrictive style of storytelling as the “Roddenberry Box”.

It’s difficult to identify with characters who are depicted as too perfect, IMO.

But obviously, I don’t speak for the majority in any way here. TNG enjoyed massive success to be sure, so there must have been something attractive about it…at least back then. It just wasn’t “my” Star Trek. Many people actually prefer it, and that’s okay too.

79. King Anthony - September 23, 2008


I guess that makes you Court Jester.

80. King Anthony - September 23, 2008



We’ll see, won’t we?

81. Closettrekker - September 23, 2008

#79—That would be the job of “Sir Harry Ballz”, Mongo (although we don’t see him around much anymore), and “BND”…

And, IMO, they do a fine job and seem

82. Closettrekker - September 23, 2008


83. Brett Campbell - September 23, 2008

67- Glad you got a chuckle. That’s all I intended. Hope your night has gone better than your day. :)

63 – Call FEMA about a trailer. There’s plenty of them that never made it to New Orleans in ’05. :) Or should that be :( ?

84. Xai - September 23, 2008

#79 King Anthony

I guess it’s acceptable to give an insult when no answer is forthcoming?

There’s nothing here to point toward failure or mediocrity in this film. There’s a lot to look forward to. Ultimately we’ll see in May, but the dire predictions don’t have much support in substance.

85. Captain Robert April - September 23, 2008


86. Jabob Slatter - September 23, 2008

JJ – Don’t show us anything until Christmas! Keep it all under wraps!

87. Xai - September 23, 2008

… or I will curse and stomp my feet, and hold my breath..

88. Closettrekker - September 23, 2008

I’ll post in all caps on Anthony’s website until you relent!!!

89. The Last Maquis - September 23, 2008

Give it to ’em Captain April !!

What happened to BND?

90. King Anthony - September 23, 2008


That was my answer.

Reality. Wish all you want, that won’t change anything. Trek carries a stigma that general audiences won’t risk, as does SF in general, except in rare cases like SW or Dark Knight.

Big budgets, JJ aside, that’s not going to change anything, except marginally. I’m not here to bash or predict its demise, just acknowledging reality after 40 years of Trekking.

Pretty much.

91. Jeffries Tuber - September 23, 2008

77/78: Closettrekker’s idea about the ‘oppressive Utopia’ is interesting.

TNG was born while an obviously senile Reagan was in office and hit its stride late in the first Bush administration. We were so far away from the Kennedy Era in those years that TNG was in fact a meaningful dream of progress.

That said, while TNG wasn’t as dramatic and the music was weak, it was better science fiction.

What almost nobody ever mentions and GR lost sight of is the TOS discrimination against Spock and Vulcans. For all of the progress TOS represented, these characters were challenged by the presence of someone superior. We didn’t have all of the ENT-based details, just a general disdain for their coldness and gut-level fear when their relationship to the Romulans was revealed.

This provided an arc for the relationship between Spock and McCoy–two individuals who would not have chosen one another as friends, but through Kirk come to share the deepest bond imaginable.

One of the main social problems in TNGDS9VOY is that the aliens were all humanoid and everyone looked like they had the same tailor. That’s what I call dysfunctional.

Perhaps more than any other single factor, this movie’s ability to show non-humanoid crew and characters will make it a leap forward or more of the same.

92. Jeffries Tuber - September 23, 2008

Too bad Denise Crosby decided to shit the bed with GR and quit for PET CEMETARY. She was the best opportunity for conflict in the TNG cast and should have been recast rather than killed off in a soundstage episode.

93. Thomas - September 23, 2008

I know this is off-topic, but does anyone have any idea what’s going on with the Star Trek XI Sweded project? I just went to their website and it has absolutely no content. Or rather, there are links to content which isn’t even there.

94. The Enterprise - September 24, 2008

Spock and Spock for Pres – bringing Logic back to the Presidency!

95. ByGeorge - September 24, 2008

TNG era Trek was like the “good Kirk” in the TOS episode “The Enemy Within”. Nobody had any evil in them. No desires, no temptations, no wants, no struggling with inner evils and weaknesses to be overcome.

TOS Trek was a source of inspiration because it showed people who daily struggled with their inner “bad Kirk” side yet chose to not act upon it. I could relate to that. Though still tempted at times, weak at other times, they chose to do good instead of giving in to their evil motivations.

In TNG Trek they didn’t even have temptations. They were disgusted by real human motivations and couldn’t even relate to evil motivations like greed, anger, envy, lust, pride etc. “Better Ourselves” was never defined well enough for me and sounded like BS. Like the “good Kirk”, without his “bad Kirk” their source for taking action, making decisions was vague and undefined. I found little inspiration in TNG because goodness was not obtained by fighting evil, rather evil didn’t exist.

96. The Underpants Monster - September 24, 2008

No temptations? That’s an interesting interpretation, but I can’t get behind it. The main difference was, they saw the temptations as possible to overcome.

Kirk did as much, if not more, preaching than Pocard ever dreamed of; he just did it more loudly and down the barrel of a gun.

97. Holger - September 24, 2008

In TOS it was the Enterprise crew who represented humanity’s and the Federation’s best. And this “happy family” was confronted with conflict coming from outside, often from individuals or societies who featured some of the bad attitudes humanity had overcome. The TOS writer’s guide stated that conflict should not arise from within the crew in the stories, it should arise from a confrontation of our fictional heroes with outside menaces.
(Of course there were also exceptions, as in Balance of Terror.)

In TNG, it seems, it was not only the Enterprise crew but the entire Federation from which conflict does not arise. (Again with occasional exceptions.) But the principle is still the same, only on a broader scale. Conflict and threat is brought to the people we identify with from the outside, from others.

So I don’t think of TNG as depicting some utopian idyllic future. Conflict is still there (you wouldn’t have stories to tell otherwise), and it’s still coming from outside, just as it was in TOS.
I agree, though, that it’s much more plausible that a starship crew manages to live and work together in a civilized and reasonable fashion (and of course with naval discipline holding the bunch together), than a union of many dozens of different species.
I guess in TNG there was also a certain discrepancy between the tolerance and cultural relativism which was espoused on the one hand, and the underlying concept that all these different species in the Federation would agree on apparently universal ideas of democracy, freedom and peacefulness.

98. Brett Campbell - September 24, 2008

96 – That is the most myopic, superficial and flat-out wrong interpretation of Kirk that I have EVER read.

99. Brett Campbell - September 24, 2008

91 – TNG was better science fiction than TOS???!!! Thank you for starting off my day with the best laugh I’ve had in awhile!

TNG and the spin-offs are coat-tail rides on a work of genius.

100. ByGeorge - September 24, 2008


Kirk inspired, Picard preached. Again that duality appeared in TOS that TNG missed. Kirk fought his own evilness, aggressions, temptations, and doubts by channeling them into what he believed was “truth justice and the American way”. Picard self-righteously preached never questioning, doubting, regretting, or exploring.

The conflicts in TOS came outside the Federation , within the Federation, between eachother and within themselves. The conflict created tension and emotional empathy for the viewers because we could relate to their internal struggles. In TNG it was like everyone was on Prosac. No emotional highs and lows, no self doubts, no guilt trips, no questioning of what good verses evil was. Simplistic, one sided views which never make sense.

101. Brett Campbell - September 24, 2008

#100 – I think those is excellent and accurate analyses.

102. Brett Campbell - September 24, 2008

I know. Should be “those are.” I changed the noun and pronoun to plural and forget to change the verb in agreement. Still, “me talk pretty someday.” ;)

103. OM - September 24, 2008

…Is that “SFX” or “SEX”?

104. Closettrekker - September 24, 2008

#90—“Trek carries a stigma that general audiences won’t risk, as does SF in general, except in rare cases like SW or Dark Knight.”

And what allowed SW to overcome those stigmas among average moviegoers?

The same kind of promise of thrilling action sequences, drama, and special effects the likes of which have never been seen.

#100—“In TNG it was like everyone was on Prosac. ”


I love it. That’s a perfect description, IMO.

105. DaveO - September 24, 2008


Me hear ya.

106. trekMadeMeWonder - September 24, 2008

“In TNG it was like everyone was on Prosac.”


107. Jeffries Tuber - September 24, 2008

99 Bret: What were the major scientific ideas presented in TOS?

The huge cellular organism in space?
Apollo as god-like alien?
Trelaine as god-like alien?
Kirk & Co. as god-like aliens?
Flying pancakes?
The fact that all superior species [Organians, Talosians, and so on] appear as Caucasians?
Visits to the Old West, 30s Gangster planet, Nazi Germany and with Abe Lincoln?


I would only classify ‘DEVIL’ and ‘PARADISE’ as science fiction… the remainder of this list and other great episodes are military thrillers, dramedies and ‘What if?”s. Other great episodes are psychology-based: MIRROR, MIRROR, THE NAKED TIME, ULTIMATE COMPUTER.

CITY ON THE EDGE was great SciFi, I’ll grant that.

TOS is my favorite by far, but its success was not primarily or secondarily based on its Science Fiction cred–social science, yes, but SciFi, no.

Fortunately, I have a job. So I’ll leave it someone else to point out the SciFi highpoints of TNG.

108. JL - September 24, 2008

“TNG and the spin-offs are coat-tail rides on a work of genius.”

NOW you’ve got my attention!

I could not agree more with that statement. I have been saying this for YEARS! Moreover, TNG (especially) attempted to Xerox the same formula TOS invented. And for the part of the “logical” guy, they used an android instead of a Vulcan.

Also if I’m not mistaken, several TNG episodes were blatant knock-offs of TOS classics.

Add cold, sterile “music”, a cold, lifeless color palette. Then take out the drama and spend most of each episode on the ship instead of exploring other worlds, and you get TNG. Simple as that. IMO

109. JL - September 24, 2008

”In TNG it was like everyone was on Prosac. ”


110. trekMadeMeWonder - September 24, 2008

108. JL – September 24, 2008

That’s everything I hate about Next Gen.

111. The sweet and sour sauce package from mcdonalds - September 24, 2008

I watched next gen on sci fi last night, was the one where wesley crusher was the “captain”

112. Xai - September 24, 2008

When did the thread devolve into a TNG bash… “my Trek’s better than your Trek..”?

113. star trackie - September 24, 2008

“TNG and the spin-offs are coat-tail rides on a work of genius.”

Amen to that. It was NOTHING like Star Trek. Had TNG been put on one of the big three networks and called somethign different, like The Jean Luc Diaries…it wouldn’t have lasted 6 weeks. It got attention and landed an hour long series only because of those two words. Too bad it was absolutely nothing like it’s namesake in concept or execution.

114. Jeffries Tuber - September 24, 2008

Because TREK is on life support, Xai. It’s scheduled for a $200M resurrection next Summer, and we’re focusing the conversation on how to never let it die again.

VOYAGER: Never again.
Crinkly forehead humanoids: Never again.
Bakula: Never again.
Earth tones: Never again.

More fist fights, sex, extreme close-ups and impassioned pleas for humanity!

115. JL - September 24, 2008

“When did the thread devolve into a TNG bash”

In order to adress the future, one must look at the past. I think we’re all just spouting off about what has worked and what hasn’t with regard to Trek.

116. King Anthony - September 24, 2008

Just wait…

117. Holger - September 24, 2008

100: “In TNG it was like everyone was on Prosac. No emotional highs and lows, no self doubts, no guilt trips, no questioning of what good verses evil was. Simplistic, one sided views which never make sense.”

There is no accounting for taste, of course, and I respect your opinion. But I’m sorry, I’m really wondering if you have watched the same show as I did, and if yes, how many episodes.

118. Closettrekker - September 24, 2008

What set TOS apart from the spinoffs, more than anything else, was the focus on the characters.

The quality of the characters in TOS was never matched.

The entertaining relationships among the Big Three, in particular, were never again equaled.

What has always given the TOS-era more “crossover potential” is the fact that the sci-fi aspect in TOS was almost window dressing compared to the character based drama. People were able to watch these fictional characters and appreciate them whether they were science fiction fans or not. The characters were just entertaining, and complimented each other well.

You did not have to be a geek to appreciate them. Neither will this generation, as long as the quality of the drama and character depth is maintained. The future of the franchise (in film or television) can be bright, so long as the characters remain so universally entertaining.

Keep the technobabble, the imaginary “utopian” element, and the daily injections of prozac (I still think that’s hilarious) out of the picture. Forget about holodecks, inverted tacion beams, and ship’s counselors.

Give me fistfights, adventures, monsters, sexuality, neck pinches, hard-drinking and good humored engineers performing “miracles”, ship’s doctors telling the first officer what to go do with himself (and letting the captain know when he’s being an ass), women in mini-skirts that fail to hide much of anything, phasers set to overload, phasers on stun, a half breed Vulcan/human hybrid who isn’t sure exactly who he is supposed to be, and an alpha male captain who is just as likely to solve problems with his…well, you know… as he is with his brain or brute force.

That’s entertaining. Keep it that way, adding fantastic action sequences and worthy special effects…and we’ll have no problem infusing new blood into the fanbase.

Bring it on, JJ…

119. SPB - September 24, 2008

#118 –

Thanks for listing everything that keeps TOS entertaining and timeless to this day!

120. DaveO - September 24, 2008

114. Jeffries Tuber – September 24, 2008
“Because TREK is on life support…”

So, let’s say a younger brother of your best friend was in hospital, on life support, hanging on for dear life, you’d go in (during visiting hours, of course) and berate him for not being as good as his older brother?


121. JL - September 24, 2008

Closettrekker, I think we may have been seperated at birth.

You just called out every special ingredient that makes TOS the great thing it is. How true.

122. Matthew_Briggsuk - September 24, 2008

TNGS VGR and maybe ENT seem all about the technobabble to me. DS9 was good a trying to avoid this. I hope when they recast the TNG that they keep away from Technobabble : )

123. Energize - September 24, 2008

TNG was nothing like Star Trek? Uh yeah, hey, Gene Roddenberry created it. I guess he would know.

124. The sweet and sour sauce package from mcdonalds - September 24, 2008

I think we need a new shat headline

125. AJ - September 24, 2008

I always agree with Closettrekker about TOS, but the one thing we’ve overlooked is that these shows reflected their times. I think the divisions between liberals and Reagan conservatives in the ’80s led to GR’s ‘conflict-free’ universe. DS9 ‘introduced’ conflict by giving Kira and Odo bad moods. VOY did it by using the Maquis crewmembers for a few eps before falling back into Prozac-mode. ENT introduced the forced “bad-Vulcan” element which Coto classily ended in season 4.

I loved TNG. But TOS did indeed reflect great characters as “real” people, which was sorely missed in later incarnations.

Oh, and Closettrekker, you forgot the annoying Starfleet bureaucrat who annoys the acting Commander while Kirk is down on the planet.

126. Energize - September 24, 2008

If we need to bash a Trek show, bash DS9, that series sucked.

127. Trek Nerd Central - September 24, 2008

#125 I’ve seen a few references to DS9 as the first Trek to go cranky, and it was a bad-tempered piece of work — that’s why I liked it.

But goodness, what about the original series? Bones was the crank to end all cranks. And Kirk could be a schmuck sometimes. That was one aspect that I felt was lost on TNG. DS9 just picked up where TOS left off, in that regard.

Also (re: # 25) I vote we don’t go into a canon spaz over Quinto’s left-hand salute.

128. SPB - September 24, 2008


…TNG lacked a Dr. McCoy, i.e., someone who spoke like/for us. (And no, Pulaski doesn’t cut it.)

TNG, in retrospect, needed someone cantankerous like McCoy; bawdy like Scotty, and/or charismatic like Kirk. They focused too much on splitting Spock into THREE different characters: The alien (Worf); the intellect (Data); and the empath (Troi). The only one I could ever seem to relate to was Geordi, and even he was given many a thankless role/episode.

129. Energize - September 24, 2008

DS9 wasn’t even a Trek show., It destroyed Trek. It said that everyone in the galaxy hated each other. Every season ender, the Captain left the station. It was depressing, and it killed Trek on TV. At least Picard never left the Enterprise during a war.

130. Closettrekker - September 24, 2008

Of all the 24th Century Trek spinoffs, DS9 was actually the most bearable to me (as long as it wasn’t a Ferengi story or they were not in the holodeck).

At least everything wasn’t quite so neat and sterile all of the time, and the characters were a little bit more interesting. IMO, it recaptured “some” of the elements of the orignal series that TNG was missing.

While there were little things which annoyed me early into ENT, it actually turned into my favorite of the spinoffs and I think it is the most underrated. I think it is more appreciated now, a few years later though. I personally did not even see it until it was available on dvd. It still lacked the wonderfully written characters I think of when I hear ‘Star Trek’, but I was entertained nonetheless. Who knows where it could have gone in another season or two under the thumb of the talented Manny Coto?

In any case, TOS is, IMO, still the gold standard. It’s where the “icons” live and breathe more than four decades later. I would stack the 25 best TOS episodes against anything in 25 seasons of ‘spinoff ‘Trek.

131. Energize - September 24, 2008

DS9 had some of the worst Trek characters. Only Quark and O’Brien were appealing. Bashir was all right. Dax had zero personality. Kira had one personality, and Sisko had multuple personalities.

132. Jeffries Tuber - September 24, 2008

120 DaveO:

On behalf of your high school English teacher, who undoubtedly tried to impart some wisdom about analogies, I am slowly removing my gloves and will now slap you in the face with them three times.

If my best friend was not paying attention while he was driving and put both he and his older brother in the hospital on life support, but was trying blame it partially on his older brother, yes, I would berate him.

133. Energize - September 24, 2008

Who knew that the dull Winn/Dukat storyline appealed to so many people?

134. Jeffries Tuber - September 24, 2008

A case study in TOS vs. TNG: The Romulans.

In TOS, the Romulans were sleek, militaristic and stylish. Their helmets are still the coolest single costume in all of ST. They were so bad ass, they painted birds of prey on the bottoms of their ships. They had female Commanders and basically never did anything stupid. They had a cloaking device that made them seem mysterious and scary.

In TNG, the Romulans have two captains, crinkly foreheads, QUILTED SHOULDER PADS… and the biggest, coolest most bad ass ship in the Milky Way that can’t seem to defeat anything. They’re so pathetic they let a Tasha Yar clone become their great hope… and then fail big time. They have no character development and no depth to parallel their supercool cousins the Vulcans. And the Remans, what a f**cking joke!

135. Energize - September 24, 2008

So Tomalak didn’t have characterization? He was one of the best villians.

136. Jeffries Tuber - September 24, 2008

Case Study in TOS vs TNG:
“A Private Little War” and
“The Inner Light”

APLW rarely shows up on ‘best of’ lists and TIL always shows up on ‘best of’ lists, so it’s a deliberately unfair comparison to give TNG the best opportunity to distinguish itself. But both episodes feature the Captains spending considerable time on a planet, integrating with the local population.

In APLW, Kirk beds downs with an extremely hot woman in bear rugs, upends a social system, defeats the Klingons, all while violating the Prime Directive and just generally kicks serious ass.

While in TIL, a truly great hour of SciFi, Picard fails to save anyone from anything… and learns the flute.

137. The Enterprise - September 24, 2008

The TOS episode with the female Romulan commander was hammy, Spock has sex with her, and Kirk sneaks aboard a Romulan ship, and steals the device. The device also miraculously fits in the Enterprise Engine room and works perfectly.

The TNG episode Pegasus did this much better.

138. Jeffries Tuber - September 24, 2008


So it’s just this episode that’s “hammy?” I don’t think this is a criticism specific to the episode. Beside, to quote BABE, “Pork is a nice sweet meat.”

The female commander [never named] was a credible female military commander–something we wouldn’t see among the Federation or the Klingons for decades.

Spock, hardly known for playing 3D chess in the bedroom, turns out to be an incredibly nimble Mata Hari. His betrayal of her, and the emotional toll it takes on both of them, is palpable.

The Kirk as Romulan thing was a stretch, but it was incredibly daring and the reward could hardly be overstated.

And regarding the cloaking device fitting, well, dude, OF COURSE Scott made it work.

139. The Enterprise - September 24, 2008

It was out of character for Spock to have sex with the Romulan. Spock wouldn’t do that. Spock is smart enough to outwit anyone without resorting to having sex. It cheapened the character.

140. ByGeorge - September 24, 2008


I have watched over the years about half the TNG episodes. It was never gripping for me so I watched it if there was nothing else to do.

We get emotional ups and downs from TV shows because we can relate to what the characters are experiencing. We feel their pain, joys, shame, fear, frustrations, or anger and could imagine ourselves feeling and reacting the same as them in the given situation.

In TNG the characters were by their very design not people we could relate to. They were holier than us and superior to our backward ways. Everything anybody wanted could be replicated so they had no desires, insecurities or unmet needs. They never faced rejection, bigotry, competition, manipulation or dishonesty from each other or superiors.

When they tried to add these qualities to the show it felt unreal and contrived because they were trying to put real human feelings and motivations into unreal characters.

141. Brett Campbell - September 24, 2008

#107 – The entire ORIGINAL premise of TOS: a starship exploring the galaxy is pure, unadulterated science-fiction. And it did not hide a bunch of half-baked hocus-pocus quasi-maigical bullshit, like making matter out of nothing, under a bunch of jargonistic technobabble like tachyon emissions and positronic brains. Another key element of the inferior spinoffs.

The spinoffs suffered from two much closeted, in-house writing. Where were the science fiction literati writing for the spin-offs? No Ellisons, Sturgeons, Blochs or Mathesons — although the spinoffs should have been able to cut them a much heftier check. Again, it is the difference between a pioneering trailblazer and tired derivatives. You’ll never convince me otherwise — no matter how much technobabble you conjure up. And conjure is a deliberate word choice.

142. Closettrekker - September 24, 2008

#131—“DS9 had some of the worst Trek characters. Only Quark and O’Brien were appealing. ”

Quark was appealing????

Compared to the boring TNG characters (although Patrick Stewart is a fine actor), DS9’s characters were much more interesting. At least Sisko was passionate and fiery (and didn’t listen to opera and sip Earl Grey). Dax’s history was fascinating and gave her unique perspective, Bashir’s story took some unique turns with his genetically engineered background, and Kira was complex. Odo gave a decent outside perspective of humanity as well.

It still did not have anywhere near the lovable character depth of TOS, but it was far less bland than TNG, IMO. The TOS characters were the only ones I could ever invest in. Even “Yesterday’s Enterprise” (one of the better written Star Trek episodes) would have worked much better with Kirk/Spock/McCoy aboard the NCC-1701.

But that’s just my opinion.

#136—“In APLW, Kirk beds downs with an extremely hot woman in bear rugs, upends a social system, defeats the Klingons, all while violating the Prime Directive and just generally kicks serious ass.

While in TIL, a truly great hour of SciFi, Picard fails to save anyone from anything… and learns the flute.”


143. ByGeorge - September 24, 2008


But look what Spock did in The Menagerie!! Too much duality makes him unpredictable.

144. The Enterprise - September 24, 2008

Sisko was passionate? Go watch every season ender episode – he leaves the station. Wow, what a inspirational Captain!

145. Closettrekker - September 24, 2008

#144—And one with more wieght on his shoulders on a Tuesday than Picard had in 7 years!

I’m not touting DS9 as something worthy of an Emmy for Most Outstanding Drama…I just think that they did a better job making the characters interesting than was done on TNG….As there are billions of other people on the planet, it doesn’t surprise me that someone out there has a differing opinion…

Neither show’s characters ever reached the iconic status of Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Scotty…so I won’t waste time in a pointless debate over what show’s characters get a consolation prize.

We are fortunate that the creative team (who are self-described TNG fans above all else) behind this project recognizes that the best future for Star Trek lies within its origins.

146. Energize - September 24, 2008

Picard had to protect over 1,000 people on his ship,. What was the compliment of DS9, like 100?

147. Jeffries Tuber - September 24, 2008

141 Brett,

I think your read of Spock in “The Enterprise Incident” is poorly thought out. He did the logical thing–identified her weakness, exploited it, and accomplished the mission. He thought he could be Vulcan about the betrayal, but instead he revealed his Humanity.

In “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” Spock argues that Kirk should kill his best friend Gary Mitchell before they end up like the Valiant. That’s the essence of being Vulcan–controlling emotion and being somewhat ruthless. In this case, Kirk does the human thing and gives his friend a chance for redemption… and nearly dies.

Back to TEI, does the Vulcan thing, betrays a woman with whom he feels a real emotional connection, and a little part of Spock dies. It’s one of Nimoy’s best performances. It doesn’t cheapen Spock’s character–it pins it down for examination.

148. Xai - September 24, 2008

114. Jeffries Tuber –
If you call it that.


King Anthony

Sorry, I won’t wait.
You made a prediction of mediocrity (at best) for this film and have backed it up with nothing. I can point at a creative director and writers who care about the subject matter. Actors that are vested in the characters. A sense of passion to “do it right” resides in the cast and crew.
And no negative press.
All seems well. Can it fail? It could.. but the trends so far say no.

149. Brett Campbell - September 24, 2008

147 – I think you have the wrong writer-poster-whatever. I have not written a thing about “The Enterprise Incident” in this entire thread.

150. Brett Campbell - September 24, 2008

122 – I’m betting that no one is going to bother to “recast” TNG or any of the spin-offs. They turned Trek into boring touchy-feely space soap operas, and no one is going to care that much about “re-imagining” them — not the ticket-purchasing public, and certainly not studio heads and network executives.

151. Closettrekker - September 24, 2008

#146—-That’s a rather narrow-minded interpretation of what I said.

I was speaking as his role as “The Emmisary”. I think there were many more than 1,000 people inhabiting the planet of Bajor. Am I mistaken?

I just find Sisko more entertaining than Picard, and isn’t that the whole point?

With that said, neither of them are anywhere near as entertaining as the Big Three in TOS.

152. Holger - September 25, 2008

I have learned something new from our TOS vs TNG debates here. I hadn’t realized that there is STILL a deep divide among Trek fans about this. I admit that I was very skeptical when I heard back in the late 80s that a new Trek without Spock and Kirk and Bones was coming. But after watching only a few episodes of TNG I became a huge fan of it. That never impaired my fondness of TOS in any way. Because TNG was so wildly successful during the 90s, it never occurred to me that it could be anything else than a small minority of hardliners who rejected TNG. Well, what do you know?

The next big divide among Trekkers will be brought about by the movie. I expect I will not accept the movie if it’s off canon too much. So this time, it seems, I’m on the hardliner side. Well, I’m over 20 years older and maybe I’ve become too inflexible to embrace the new, as I did back then when TNG came out. (But on the other hand, it’s not really the new which is ahead, but the old re-invigoribootintroduced.)

On DS9: My feelings about that show are mixed. For one, I really loved the crew. All of them played by very talented, intense actors; great interaction among them. It was really the people who made the show worthwhile to me. But the story arcs which developed in the second half of the show – ugh! First of all, they tried to imitate the elaborate and complex story arcs of Babylon 5. But what did they come up with? A space war. How imaginative! Enemy battle cruisers detected, captain! Arm phasers, ready photon torpedoes! Booooring! The attempt to elaborate Ferengi culture degraded into the Ferengi becoming comic relief sidekicks. But worst of all, in my opinion, was this occultism/fantasy stuff about Prophets and Pagh Wraiths – terrible. I guess I should be happy they didn’t bring in Vampires. All those wonderful TNG episodes crusading against superstition… blown in the wind!

153. Closettrekker - September 25, 2008

#152—-” I admit that I was very skeptical when I heard back in the late 80s that a new Trek without Spock and Kirk and Bones was coming.”

I had a very different look at the prospect. It had been so long since there had been any new Trek on television that I was elated when I heard about the show. I was very excited, and anticipated its debut with great interest.

It just never lived up to my expectations. It is extremely successful in its own right, but it failed to hold my attention very long after “Encounter At Farpoint”.

It just wasn’t sexy.

Some years later, I came back to it in syndication. I watched the daily reruns, and was no more impressed. I did thoroughly enjoy “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, and went out of my way to watch “Unification” when it first aired.

TNG doesn’t need my approval. It ran for 7 years and became the dominant force at conventions and at fan attractions. It has an enormous fanbase. Unfortunately, I think Trek lost what crossover appeal it had developed in the 80’s that showed in the box-office figures of the original movies. With the TNG-era films, it seemed to me that only the geeks were out in force.

I eventually faded away from Trek a bit, until I picked up on the last couple of seasons of DS9. I bought the ENT dvd set and actually enjoyed it. What has brought me around completely again is the news of the return to the TOS-era, and the revisitation to the characters I loved as a kid and into adulthood.

I want to ‘love’ Star Trek again, beyond seeing the same 79 episodes and 5 films (yes, I threw out Shatner’s Great Trek Turd Of ’89) again and again.

154. AJ - September 25, 2008

TNG may not have been “sexy,” but it certainly had one character who insisted that the crew stop being so boring and smug: Q was a great foil for Picard, especially when he showed him his youth, and the consequences of risk-avoidance. He was also great fun to watch, especially with Picard.

DeLancie was a great screen-chewer, and having him book-end the series was terrific. He fell flat, however, in his DS9 appearance, because Picard was not there to be annoyed and challenged by him.

155. Jeffries Tuber - September 25, 2008

Roddenberry was somewhat sexually obsessed and he would have made TNG sexier, but remember: the show was greenlit under Reagan and came of age during George Bush’s “Family Values” campaign. It was the Stepford Years.

Brett Campbell-oops, sorry. Meant to address 139.Enterprise in 147 above.

156. Trek Nerd Central - September 25, 2008

#153. Closettrekker, you speak the truth. “It just wasn’t sexy” — much as I liked TNG, I couldn’t get past the feeling that they were all a bunch of stiffs. Smart and honorable stiffs — sometimes exciting and intriguging stiffs, especially in the Borg arcs — but stiffs nonetheless.

By comparison, everyone was recognizably human and flawed on the bridge of the original Enterprise. On TNG I could barely recognize their humanity, homo sapiens had cleaned up so much. They were just too PERFECT. Keep in mind I watched the show faithfully for several years.

#154. Ah, but Q is just an update of TOS’ Trelane, yes? Wasn’t “The Squire of Gothos” the original inspiration?

157. ByGeorge - September 25, 2008

“But worst of all, in my opinion, was this occultism/fantasy stuff about Prophets and Pagh Wraiths – terrible. I guess I should be happy they didn’t bring in Vampires.”

LOL – one of my complaints about later Trek was that it started to get too fantasy oriented instead of science fiction. Many of the novels also have too fantastic of ideas – pure imagination based upon nothing remotely scientific. I hope this new movie stays in the realm of science fiction.

158. ByGeorge - September 25, 2008


Stepford wives ARE supposed to be sexy. Many would accuse TOS women as being more Stepford-like. Sexy, but, subservients like nurses, secretaries and telephone operators. I think the “update” given to women in TNG was to make them less Stepford-like. But it didn’t work.

159. DaveO - September 25, 2008

132. Jeffries Tuber – September 24, 2008
120 DaveO:
“On behalf of your high school English teacher, who undoubtedly tried to impart some wisdom about analogies, I am slowly removing my gloves and will now slap you in the face with them three times.”

Funny, I could’ve sworn you were trying to provoke a defensive reaction with that last clause.

“If my best friend was not paying attention while he was driving and put both he and his older brother in the hospital on life support, but was trying blame it partially on his older brother, yes, I would berate him.”

Anyone capable of an honest direct answer wouldn’t have had to rewrite my analogy to suit their response.

I started out a TOS fan, and it’s easily my favorite, but all of the series have their strengths.

For instance, my least favorite is DS9, but I’ll be the first to praise them for some truly fine production design, powerful and lean writing, and a powerhouse cast. To me, Star Trek is an exploration show, not a stationary one.

I can’t understand, nor can I see the advantage of put downs of what one doesn’t like. It’s just throwing out insults.

It’s like panning for gold: you can either curse all that gravel, or redeem the gold nuggets!

160. AJ - September 25, 2008


Trelane was an annoying imp. Perhaps, as has been suggested for years, he is a Q. Perhaps a baby one. Q was a lot more fun.

161. Phoenix - September 25, 2008

yes, # 156, and TMP was the original inspiration for the borg

162. SAB - September 25, 2008

Let’s all hope the Character interactions are shown as in TOS with facial and body language which is the key to any good film acting! Looking forward to XI as I know you all are.

“Live long and prosper”

163. Jeffries Tuber - September 25, 2008

DaveO, The glove thing is called ‘Spy slapping.’ It was a joke. Walk it off.

I’m teasing you because this is a fun conversation… unless your comparing DS9 to your dying friend was meant seriously. So don’t take a comment on your strained analogy personally. We’re comparing television shows for goodness’ sake.

The later shows and movies clearly put the franchise on life support. Figuring out why, beyond the issues of budgets and marketing, in a way that provokes and informs the Supreme Court is worthwhile.

The problems with DS9 and VOY were very much the problems of enforced multuculturalism–as if there any inherent drama in a black captain, a Native American commander or an endless run of crinkly forehead aliens…. like the insufferably banal Torres.

The creators of these shows were ticking off checklists rather than creating dynamic characters and introducing new science fiction.

The problem with ENTERPRISE was Scott Bakula and Diane Warren. SB was too corny, too self-aware, not an ounce of character or edge.

Diane Warren’s song was a crime against science fiction–pathetic, loathsome, cloying and totally not something I’ll ever get used to.

164. Jeffries Tuber - September 25, 2008

Think about it, some 50 year old executive thought it would be a good idea to hire the woman who wrote “My Heart Will Go On” for TITANIC to write a country song for STAR TREK. It skeezes me out this day.

165. krikzil - September 25, 2008

“TNG doesn’t need my approval. It ran for 7 years and became the dominant force at conventions and at fan attractions. It has an enormous fanbase. Unfortunately, I think Trek lost what crossover appeal it had developed in the 80’s that showed in the box-office figures of the original movies. With the TNG-era films, it seemed to me that only the geeks were out in force. ”

Those TNG-era years were so weird for me as a con-goer and TOS fan. I was thrilled to see the Trek franchise invigorated and able to support so many cons during the 90s but I did feel odd person out because TOS was completely dismissed for the most part by TNG fans. They weren’t being mean or anything, it’s just they were young and couldn’t get past the production values of 60s Trek. (Much like how many folks today can’t watch B&W movies and miss so many great classics!)

As for the TNG movies, the first 2 were actually very successful. First Contact made more $ than any Trek film. The last 2 though were the first to lose money in the franchise. (Even STV broke even and may have made a tiny profit, as bad as it was.)

166. Closettrekker - September 25, 2008

#165—“First Contact made more $ than any Trek film.”

I could be mistaken, but I’m not sure that would be true after accounting for inflation (about 10 years worth, I think). I’m fairly sure that when all is adjusted for fair comparison, TVH is the most profitable Star Trek feature film.

Someone actually posted a link not long ago to a site which does that very thing.

In any case, of the original films, only TFF (Shatner’s Great Trek Turd Of ’89) did poorly. Even TMP did well, just not well enough in the studio’s eyes to justify any more “big-budget” Star Trek films (until now, at least).

TWOK and TVH both showed that ST movies featuring TOS-era icons can have crossover appeal.

Even my most “mainstream” friends know “KHAAAAAAN!” and “the one with the whales”. I don’t know anyone who isn’t at least a closet geek :) who knows anything about a TNG-era film. Of course, the World does not revolve around who and what I know, but that has been my experience.

167. krikzil - September 25, 2008

“In any case, of the original films, only TFF (Shatner’s Great Trek Turd Of ‘89) did poorly. Even TMP did well, just not well enough in the studio’s eyes to justify any more “big-budget” Star Trek films (until now, at least).”

STTMPactually made a lot of money and leads if you adjust for inflation. STV made $70M which surprised me to be honest since it’s usually written off as a total failure. (I didn’t like it either — I refer to it as STV:POS) First Contact made $150M. What amazes me with these numbers is the budgets back in the 80s!!! It costs a fortune to make even small films today.

ST:TMP — $139,000,000 Gross; $35,000,000 budget
ST:TWOK — $96,800,000 Gross: $12,000,000 budget
ST: TSFS — $87,000,000 Gross; $18,000,000 budget
ST: TVH — $133,000,000 Gross; $24,000,000 budget
ST: TFF — $70,200,000 Gross; $30,000,000 budget
ST: TUC — $96,900,000 Gross; $27,000,000 budget
ST:G — $120,000,000 Gross; $38,000,000 budget
ST: FC — $150,000,000 Gross; $46,000,000 budget
ST: I — $117,800,000 Gross; $70,000,000 budget
ST: N — $67,313,000 Gross; $60,000,000 budget
TOTALS — $1,078,012,826; $360,000,000


Adjusted for inflation, STTMP is #144 on the all time list of films with $225,473,376; STTVH is #197 with $200,758,634.


168. The Vulcanista - September 25, 2008

#16: “Reinspockment.”

Great word!

169. Closettrekker - September 26, 2008

#167—-The point being, after adjusting for inflation, FC is behind the first 4 original films in gross. It should also be noted that this site reflects only domestic intake when inflation-adjusted (I’ve always heard that even TUC did better Worldwide than FC after inflation).

What hurts TMP (which I love— it’s actually #2 on my ST list of personal favorites) is its enormous budget in today’s dollars ($35 million 30 years ago was a huge sum of money). As any businessman/woman will tell you, it is not the “gross” which ultimately matters…but the “net” profit. TMP still made money, but after failing to do as well as the studio hoped, the Star Trek film franchise was relegated to lower budget projects which had much lower expectations (until now, of course).

170. krikzil - September 26, 2008

“TMP still made money, but after failing to do as well as the studio hoped, the Star Trek film franchise was relegated to lower budget projects which had much lower expectations (until now, of course).”

Well it grossed over $100M on a $35 M budget which is pretty amazing for the time. However, Paramount was looking for Star Wars grosses — the only reason they greenlight the film to start with — and that was incredibly unrealistic on their part in my opinion. As much as I love Trek, it just is never going to have the crossover appeal that SW had. That movie was unique in 1977. Additionally, a lot went wrong in STTMP that I think made Paramount gunshy – the whole drama with the special effects problems cost them time and $$. Paramount was smart in reigning in the following films’ budgets and bringing in Harve, etc.

171. K.M.Kirby - September 26, 2008

With their low-budget mindset in play, I wonder if the studio will consider other Star Trek projects. I still think an Altmanesque Deep Space Nine film would turn out to be a classic.

172. Closettrekker - September 26, 2008

#170—I think you hit the nail on the head with Paramount’s reasoning with TMP. There were definitely SW-esque numbers dancing in their heads. The only thing I would add to that is that poor reviews didn’t help the cause of future Trek films and the budgets that would be available to them. I think their mindset was one of “we’ll never get away with that again, so we should downgrade Trek to mediocre budget films”.

With TMP, you had a strong Hollywood name (Robert Wise) in the director’s chair and state of the art special effects. Sound famiiar? Hmmm.

I know that Abrams is not as accomplished as a director as Wise, but add to the TMP formula an excitingly modern story-telling style and fantastic action sequences, and the potential for the current project is eerily similar (I would argue that Abrams has more draw amidst the target audience than Wise did at that point in his career). TMP dominated for three weeks at the box office. I don’t expect that from this film, but the terrain is much different now than it was 30 years ago. One dominating performance the week of its debut, along with a strong showing in the following two weeks, and STXI is home free, IMO.

‘Wolverine’ takes the first week in May, STXI takes the second, and ‘Angels And Demons’ swoops in in the third week. If STXI can hold at second place in that third week in May (its second week at the BO), and remain in the top 3 the following week, it will be fine. Abrams will have succeeded, IMO, and Star Trek will be in good shape for the forseeable future. The key is a strong performance opening weekend.

Even if only every established fan (Worldwide) shows up and brings a friend that weekend—that’s probably $30 million right there, before a single average moviegoer even makes a decision on his/her own to buy a ticket!

I think that those of us who stayed home for the last few movies will show up for Kirk/Spock/McCoy…and I think the likes of popular names like JJ Abrams and even Zachary Quinto will be enough to convince a friend to go with us. I already have a crew of 8 (including myself) for May 8th—4 Trek fans, 2 kids (of mine) who like action movies, and 2 spouses (who love “Lost” and “Heroes”, but have never gotten Trek).

It’s going to be okay.

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