The end of the week brought two more interviews with executive producer Alex Kurtzman, and yesterday we posted highlights of what he had to say about season two of Star Trek: Discovery. The man in charge of expanding Star Trek on TV also talked about the Picard series, keeping the various Trek shows unique and gave some insights into why he feels more Star Trek is essential.
Picard show will be different, but respect the character
On Variety’s TV Take podcast, Alex Kurtzman discussed how the team has approached meeting Patrick Stewart’s challenge to create a different show that honors the past:
What we had done is shown [Patrick Stewart] in the writing that we at least wanted to try for something that was different and that he was coming to the table with people that not only loved him, but loved the character. From there we started building it very much together. Then began the process of saying, “What do we want to do and how is this different? How are we honoring Picard? How are we honoring the fans? How are we honoring The Next Generation?” And this kind of amazing thing has emerged and it will feel really different than Discovery, but that is to me a great thing and necessary thing.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kurtzman gave a little detail on how the Picard series will differ from Star Trek: Discovery:
It’s an extremely different rhythm than Discovery. Discovery is a bullet. Picard is a very contemplative show. It will find a balance between the speed of Discovery and the nature of what Next Gen was, but I believe it will have its own rhythm. Without revealing too much about it, people have so many questions about Picard and what happened to him, and the idea we get to take time to answer those questions in the wake of the many, many things he’s had to deal with in Next Gen is really exciting. ‘More grounded’ is not the right way to put it, because season 2 of Discovery is also grounded. It will feel more… real-world? If that’s the right way to put it.
On the Variety podcast, Kurtzman discussed his perspective on approaching the fan expectations for the Picard show:
People will come into [the Picard] show with expectations and we will meet some of them and we will fail in other ways. Because there is no way for everybody to love everything. Part of the beauty of Star Trek is people debate it and have different points of view about it. Very rarely does every Trekkie or Trekker agree on everything and that is sort of the point. It asks its fans to engage in a debate and conversation. Because something is so meaningful to people and has endured for over 50 years, we couldn’t possibly please everybody and that’s okay. But where you really fall short and people get really angry, is if they feel you are somehow disrespecting the franchise or throwing a kind of darkness into a character that they did not feel that way about. If you are mutating the character into something that doesn’t feel like what they love, that’s hard. We are always debating where that line is.
Finally, Kurtzman gave EW an update on the status from the writers’ room:
The writers’ room has broken about eight episodes and we’re moving quickly and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
Learning lessons from Voyager and Deep Space Nine for expanding Trek universe
As has been reported, there are multiple Star Trek series in development at CBS. Kurtzman says he wants to avoid some of the issues that arose the last time the franchise went down this road of multiple series in the 90s:
I want to make sure that each show is a different and unique proposition. I think Deep Space Nine and Voyager got into a tricky spot where people were starting to feel they can’t tell the difference between the shows, even though they were very different, but “I can’t tell the difference so why would I pick one over the other?” Our job is to make sure that it feels like a very different prospect from any other Trek show that exists. In the same way in the world of Marvel or in the world of Pixar, you have multiple stories coexisting although each one feels different while there is an assumption and an understanding of what the brand identity of what that thing is.
Every time you got to a Marvel movie you kind of know what you are going to get, but one could be Ragnarok, one could be Black Panther and one could be Iron Man and all of those have a very different feel, but there is always a premium on the storytelling…And even though all their films are different, the one thing you can always expect when you go to a Pixar movie is that the story is going to be great. I want us all to elevate Trek to that place. So, when you go to watch a show, the expectation is we are going to have great storytelling. The kinds of stories are going to be different and the way they are told is going to be different, but I want to build Trek to where people assume that about it.
Star Trek without limits
As for what kinds of stories can be told in the world of Star Trek, Kurtzman told Variety he has yet to find the limit:
One of the things that is really beautiful about Star Trek is there are interesting offshoots and there are interesting areas in the world of Star Trek and points of view in the world of Star Trek that allow for tremendous variety in kinds of stories you can tell. I think it is because Trek has such a long history and tradition of honoring every character. So, being able to shift points of view radically, even when the show is about one main character, to be able to jump into another character’s point of view…It is constantly challenging me to find different ways to tell stories and not only that, but to also to come up with structural paradigms that are different…I haven’t yet found a limitation on that with Trek. I don’t thing there is a “you can’t do it this way” rule on Trek.
Star Trek as his new mission
Kurtzman also spoke at length with Variety about his experience with Star Trek from the first two Kelvin movies and then returning for Discovery. He got frank, saying that working on Discovery after have an unsatisfying experience with The Mummy changed his perspective on the franchise and the kind of projects he wants to do.
I had a really wonderful and very healing experience, because I found myself connecting to it more and more at a time when I saw the world changing. And for the first time – despite the experience I had on the films – I began to feel Star Trek was more necessary than ever. Where Star Wars is about a galaxy far, far away, Star Trek is about the best of what we can become. And right now, we need to know that. Now, more than ever, need to know as the Vulcans say, live in a world of infinite diversity and infinite combinations, and that our best selves will emerge and there is hope for a crew like Discovery and a future that hold the people on that ship to exist. And suddenly it became a mission, where I was like I don’t want to do anything that isn’t meaningful anymore. I don’t want to do anything that isn’t about putting a message into the world that is necessary and positive. And I fell love with Trek in a different way. I already loved it, but it suddenly became the only thing I wanted to do and the only story I wanted to tell. I have come to a place in my life where if it doesn’t have nutritional value, meaning if it doesn’t have something important to say and something meaningful about the state of the world and people, I don’t care. I am not going to spend my time on that anymore.
Later in the podcast, Kurtzman again picked up on this theme, saying:
It has become a mission to me. [Working on the movies] was a wonderful job that I was lucky to get with a lot of people who were so talented, and frankly knew more than I did, much more. But now, it is different. Now I feel finally I can authentically call myself – I dunno Trekkie, Trekker? – I guess you have to pick your definition of that. But now that I have so fallen in love with the world, and kind of claimed my place in it in a different way, I think it has opened up to me in a way that is different than it used to be.
Stay up to date on all the Picard show news here at TrekMovie.com.
I have the distinct impression that success in all things Trek will lead Kurtzman to a full TOS reboot. We’ll see young Kirk, young McCoy, Scotty, etc. Kind of inevitable to at least see them all come together on Discovery.
It’s right there in front of everyone, yet some still think this links up with 1960’s TOS.
This and then a reboot of Star Trek: The Next Generation, written by the current crew, reflection current values and having a really diverse cast? This would be the best thing ever!
I have a feeling if this show makes it to a season 4 we will have seen most of the TOS characters on it by then. I suspect the same if the Picard show makes it to season 3 with the TNG cast.
I have no doubt that Scotty and Kirk are destined to show up on Discovery if it goes 4 seasons.
It’s in continuity with TOS. We may see a series that explores Kirk first taking command, and maybe an earlier 5 year mission, but it won’t erase the original series.
Yes at this point the ONLY way another TOS will ever happen will be through a hard reboot and no one seems to want to do that for some reason. The Kelvin films managed it with a soft one and, IMO anyway, it worked fine that way but they can’t do that again. If they ever redo TOS it will have to start from scratch and not be a continuity to these current shows.
Eventually these shows are going to catch up to TOS in the timeline and even surpass it. At that point we will likely have had the majority, if not all of the principle characters recast and an audience that by then would be used to the new actors. I would therefore argue that a soft reboot of TOS would definitely possible but that a continuation rather than a remake would be the most plausible way of doing this i.e. Star Trek Phase 2. We know that Kirk got another 5 year mission between TMP and TWOK so why not show this?
They can still exist in the same timeline as TOS, just not BE TOS to stay in canon. But you make a good point, I guess they could focus on Kirk’s second five year mission and just skip over what the show did. That would probably be a good compromise. And we can see Kirk rocking the black hair! ;)
I would LOVE it if they showed the TMP-TWOK time period. I always enjoyed the novels set in those “lost years.” It is such an iconic cast though. But I ultimately accepted the Kelvin cast with a few exceptions, so it’s possible.
I’d like to say No to that. We only had a full soft reboot with a recasted TOS in 2007, over ten years ago, the last movie with that cast just three years ago on screen. Maybe if we are talking ten years down the line from now then it could happen, although I personally would rather it didn’t.
I can’t say I like the idea of bringing in TOS characters into Discovery because I feel that Star Trek is actually being made smaller and is more restrictive by going back to characters which a generation had already got to know very well over 25 yrs on screen. I’d rather the writers concentrated on establishing their own characters on Dsicovery before we start bringing in characters from elsewhere on the franchise. But I’m not exactly bothered anymore to a great extent. TOS characters are popular and so it is.
Nobody is proposing that, and nobody is even saying such a thing is in the works. A commenter cynically predicted it is all.
I think, if anything, we may see a Pike-led series on the Enterprise.
I’ve been predicting that for a while. It seems only logical [you should pardon the expression] based on the careful casting of Anson Mount, Ethan Peck and Rebecca Romjin and the slight “update” to the starship Enterprise.
As to a “soft reboot” for TOS, who knows. If “Pike’s Enterprise” goes for seven years, even, you’re still a couple of years from Kirk taking command.
I disagree. That Star Trek endures is important to CBS, its legacy and longevity are assets and we can see this through the projects that have been greenlit and the path they continue to tread through season 2 of Discovery. Kurtzman will mine TOS for all it’s worth but I don’t think he will seek to replace it. We’ll doubtless see all of the TOS characters recast so yes, in principle they could potentially put all these actors into one show and remake TOS but what would be the point? I think it’s far more likely that we will see these characters in prequel spin off shows and if they do decide to throw them all together then you have to ask: why show the first 5 year mission? At this point the audience will have presumably accepted the new actors in the roles, this is a logical assumption to make as there’s no way they’d consider a TOS show if they don’t resonate but why cover old ground? The fact that these shows are set in the prime timeline shows that they want to be able to link this back to the very beginning but by recasting iconic roles they’re showing that they want to be able to tell new stories about these classic characters. I think a far less divisive and exciting approach would be to set up a future show about Kirks second 5 year mission…
I’m having a hard time believing anything that comes out of the mouths of any of the show runners/producers of modern Trek. They’ve promised us the moon about “respecting canon” and all that but have consistently failed to deliver on any and all of it. Kurtzman claims that he will be respecting Picard, yet he’s bastardizing Spock to no end. Personally, I think he’s on his way out the door and he knows it. With Bad Robot’s license about to expire as the clock is ticking to release a Star Trek movie by July of this year, Kurtzman (co-spearhead of Bad Robot along with JJ), Kurtzman’s days are numbered… and so are modern Trek’s…
Indeed. Amazing, how people insist on seeing what they want to see.
You couldn’t be more wrong.
Barf. So negative. So rude. So ungrateful. (also, so uninformed. Bad Robot doesn’t have a “license” for Star Trek. There is no “clock ticking” to release a film by July. Kurtzman does not work at Bad Robot. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.) Your comment is the “Pizzagate” of Trek.
What happens when you watch “Midnight’s Edge” to excess.
LOL I have interacted with an “affiliate” of “Midnight’s Edge” on Twitter. What a bitter, bitter person.
Which is why i NEVER watch Midnight’s Edge.
Just because they deliver a lot of truth…
You, and a very vocal minority, are in for a looooong wait mate lol
1. They respect canon, they’re just not filming a show that looks like it would have looked in 1960 because… seriously.
2. Bad Robot/Kurtzman have created the most succesful Trek since TNG. More people have seen “Beyond” than any other Star Trek movie. Discovery is so succesful that they’re talking about half a dozen potential spin-offs because the market is there.
3. The “license” nonsense only exists on alt-right reddit and “but the SJWs have ruled my white male power fantasy, I’m being repressed” YT videos that are only there to swindle gullible people out of their money. But, hey, get “redpilled” if it makes you feel better about your trollery.
More people have seen BEYOND than any other trek movie? Where did you get that? It sure wasn’t in theaters, and it didn’t break any homevid records either. Just because some of us see it was a massive improvement on the other two Abrams entries doesn’t mean you get to change history or facts about it.
If you only look at the American market, sure. But it’s the most succesful Star Trek movie in the Chinese market ever and that is a lot of eyes. The problem with Beyond was not a lack of audience, it was that it cost too much to easily make its money back. In terms of people watching it, it was still a success.
Thats apples and oranges though. Beyond had an exclusive deal in China and got more distribution and a longer stay in theaters because of the deal Paramount had with the Chinese company Huahua media and guaranteed a bigger push in China in return for a bigger ROI for Huahua. A deal that was scrapped a year later btw. And it only made about $5 million more than STID did there. They were expecting a LOT more with the deal.
In fact Beyond had the biggest international distribution for a Trek film EVER! And it still made less in the foreign market than STID did just three years prior. People want to know why the fourth movie may be cancelled, that’s why.
If they did even adequate publicity outside of NY and LA for ST4, it would succeed pretty well, I think. Beyond had even worse marketing than STID. And that marketing was really bad.
It is seems Kurtzman and you don’t understand what canon means. For example in the new Game of Thrones prequel show, if muskets are used, it just wouldn’t make sense. Respecting canon means genuinely working to maintain consistency with the story world. If that isn’t a value, claiming that canon is being respected, is simply nonsensical.
It would be quite easy to create a show that respects TOS without making it look like it was made in the 1960s, and at the same time make it look like it predates TOS. Look at “Enterprise” for example. In the Abram’s movies you can imagine the original crew wearing those uniforms. And at least, he never claimed that his movies were canon which is what is constantly proclaimed by the Discovery show runners. This fallacious all-or-nothing claim, namely, it either must either look exactly like the 1960s or completely different, is a straw man.
Added to this, the show runners add to the confusion with unnecessary additions and drastic redesigns such as the Discovery Klingons; no one was asking for orc-klingon. Their form is so drastically different than the TNG that Worf can not be counted among them. Making Burman’s Spock’s adopted sister was also unnecessary. The addition of the convoluted spore drive was also unnecessary. All of these unnecessary, non-canon, and conflated additions have to be explained by some convoluted explanation.
This would all be forgivable if the show runners were honest, or to be kind, knew what canon meant, and stated that the show is a reboot or revisioning, and if would be forgivable if the writing was great. Just in case, the defence of “there were a lot of bad Star Trek episodes” is a bad defence. That doesn’t excuse the bad writing of Discovery. One day it will be cancelled, and hopefully a better version of Star Trek will be made. One in which all fans can get behind.
As far as history goes, Disco fits just fine into canon.
And as for all the things you list as “unnecessary”, how about explaining why they are so instead of just asserting it?
As it really looks nothing like a TOS prequel, Enterprise sure wasn’t the example you should have chosen to prove your case about visual canon.
Historical canon is far more important than visual canon, and I clearly said that’s what I was referring to.
I notice you didn’t take up my question on why you think the things you listed as “unnecessary” are actually unnecessary……
You do realize you’re talking about the history of a fictional universe, right?
Wrong. Enterprise was a PERFECT example. It was set 150 years before TOS and while it was modern enough for TV in the 2000’s it also looked very much like it would eventually evolve into what we saw on TOS. It was well designed. The same cannot be said of the designs on Discovery.
As far as I see it, your comment is “I don’t like it” and “the producers shouldn’t lie about how they’re sticking to canon cos they’re NOT.”
Producers lie all the time; they are selling a product. These producers are walking a fine line trying to please the canon people and those who don’t care that much. Personally I think they should give up trying to please the canon folk because canon folk are never satisfied. If you do not like a product you do not buy it.
Your comparison with GoT prequels using muskets is just silly. I think the comparison is more like, “well Jon Snow used this type of longsword with this type of carving and they didn’t make a sword that looked enough like an ancestor of that so I hate the show.” Or “the gears in the opening sequence are turning the wrong way.” Or “the writers don’t respect that everyone in the North wears animal furs.”
Personally I would be just fine with Kurtzman saying they are doing a soft reboot right this minute, because then, the canon adherents might give up … NAHHH.
Signed, a 51-year fan
No, I think giving the GoT prequel the use of muskets is a very appropriate comparison. We aren’t talking about minutia here.
@Marja — spot on as usual!
Okay so TMA-1, as a Discovery fan and defender, I do have to acknowledge you have a point. I don’t agree with your conclusion, though.
You’re right, they could have made it hem more closely to the established continuity. The technology is incongruous with what we’ve seen of the 23rd Century. However it’s clear from interviews that they’re thinking very closely about canon, and imagining their show to take place within it.
The issue is more that, rather than staying well within the bounds of canon, their mindset seems to be to find the line and poke at it. That’s a valid criticism; but I think there’s valid reasons for them to be doing that. There’s something to be said for expanding the boundaries of what you knew about the Star Trek universe, for showing new sides of it.
As for the Klingons, well, as I’m sure you know, there’s a rich history of Star Trek reinventing the look of the Klingons without explanation. You could accuse the TOS films of failing to respect canon for that reason. And you’d be right.
I just personally think it’s really cool that that same Star Trek story has continued in some form for all these years. True, the TOS movies ret-conned the Klingons, but they continued the story. True, TNG changed the warp scale; true, DS9 changed the appearance of the Trill from TNG; true, Enterprise used viewscreen communication in apparent contradiction of Spock’s statement that the Romulan war was before the era of viewscreen communication. But despite all that, these stories have all been attached to each other – a tapestry that new artists keep adding onto, even if their additions don’t always match the rest of the tapestry perfectly. (Heck, even the JJ films are a part of that story in a peripheral way!)
The fact is, they keep choosing to add to it rather than start over, and I think that’s really cool.
Of course that’s just my taste.
I’m sure they could come up with some explanation if they wanted to. Maybe another war or some other event which strains Starfleet resources to the point where the technology is downgraded. Or something like the Battlestar Galactica reboot where they have to rely on obsolete technology because of a computer virus. Personally I don’t see a need for an explanation, just like there was no need for one with the differences in the look of the Klingons.
@David Ryan — exactly. There’s ample evidence that dinosaurs had feathers, but it’s not yet conclusive. Should JURASSIC PARK films eventually ignore the feathers just because it doesn’t fit with their internal visual canon? Since Trek is fictional, why should the Klingons look remain static as their origins are redefined by what we now know about genetics and biology? Especially now that we have the budget to make them look truly alien; whereas before, the best they could do was an intergalactic metal band with 3D Kiss makeup.
First, I want to make it known that while I am not happy with the Klingon redesign, that really is among the LEAST of Discovery’s problems.
I just want to add, Xaq, that there is no “rich history” of completely changing the Klingon look. It was essentially done ONCE. If they did it for every movie and every new TV show then you would have a case. And you cannot count minor tweaking. Klingons still pretty much looked like Klingons since TMP. Until STD.
I was going to respond to some of your points, and then I read this last line of your post:
“…a better version of Star Trek will be made. One in which all fans can get behind.”
I about choked from laughing. You’re a very funny fellow.
We must not forget Bob Orci in the original Bad Robot credits. He AND Kurtzman did the soft reboot.
I guess he’s on to other projects now … I would be too after what happened with Star Trek 3 [I didn’t like the idea that I heard he came up with, but it seemed they treated him rather shabbily.]
Kurtzman is going to be running Star Trek TV until at least 2023. If CBS land the movie rights back, he’ll be put in charge of that too. They seem happy enough to throw hundreds of millions of dollars at him.
OK, it should be easy then for you to mention specific canon violations concerning Spock. Let’s hear it. It sounds like you have the list ready over there. Just share it. ;-)
About to expire? They just gave him a five year contract and have green lit a bunch of new shows. Curious, are you a climate change denyer too?
I’m having a hard time believing that by randomly pounding on your keyboard that this comment appeared. Discovery is a stand alone product, and has been respectful of canon. Further, few expect or want anyone in the creative department to be a slave to it, it’s a well established fact that Trek, throughout its history, has bastardized canon pretty much at a whim. CBS has just announced a raft of new Trek content, how you concluded Kurtzman and Trek are on life support is a head scratcher….
RE: the movie. Hate to break it to you, sparky, but there’s no Trek heading to the big screen this year, or next. It’s been well reported that, besides from a couple of writers hired to flesh out a couple of story concepts, there hasn’t been any activity to make another movie. None at all. Sorry to deflate your rant, but the future for Trek is squarely in the hands of All Access and Kurtzman. That is all.
Adhering to some canonical elements while ignoring others does not mean one was respectful of canon.
I consider this comment the perfect parody of a negative Trekker’s web comment. Well done Tokyo for showing us all not how to do it!
This is why I don’t see the point of a Picard series. Why bother if it’s written as bad as Discovery?
Who couldn’t tell the difference between DS9 and Voyager?
Non-Star Trek fans, which was kinda his point. There’s people who will ask “is that the one with the black captain or the woman captain.” To some in the general audience, they all just get lumped together.
Yes but for non Trek fans, if they see a space ship and Klingons they will lump it all together anyway. I get what he means but Star Trek is usually about Stafleet officers exploring the galaxy. You’re just going to have basic tropes no matter what you do.
But sure, if you get away from that and do a show about Cardassians, then another about a colony, another about the Eugenics war and so on, OK, I agree. But the thing is most people want to see people exploring space in space ships. I mean that was made obvious when we heard the rumored shows and everyone graviated to the Picard show in a heart beat. The other shows, Starfleet Academy, Section 31 and Khan(ugh) have all gotten mixed to negative responses. And also why I’m not surprised only the Picard show has been green lighted so far. I think (or hope) Khan is completely dead because it may BE different, but its not something most care to see as we already seen it! And not original AT ALL!
And trust me, if that show just ends up with Picard on the Enterprise F with a new crew, everyone is going to see it the same as Discovery anyway UNLESS they actually watch the show.
But I have said this before, if he wants to really change it up and have different shows that take place in different eras, one show based on a colony, etc, then go for it. But ANY show that has people in pajamas on sleek starships wearing delta badges using phasers and transporters are all going to be clumped together by non fans. That’s a given because that’s all most know about the franchise anyway.
VOYAGER should have been about a ship on a journey where you could tell just how far along they were in the run by how messed up the ship and crew looked, instead of being the USS SELF-CLEANING OVEN. Casual viewers would be able to tell it at a glance because the situation would be a deteriorating one, not a steady-state one like DS9 was (even in the war years it looked the same.)
And casual VOY viewers might have checked in more often, to see what shape those folks were in, while more serious viewers might have stuck around instead of bailing on the show completely, like I did by mid-run.
Well, that was certainly Ron Moore’s take on what VOY should have become. Pity that in the pissing contest between him and Brannon Braga, the guy with the good ideas lost.
Voyager’s loss was Battlestar Galactica’s gain.
BSG’s gain was CARNIVALE’s loss; Moore left between s1 and s2 to do BSG. As much as I like most of BSG (and some of it I absolutely adore), I friggin’ love CARNIVALE (both seasons), DEADWOOD- or THE WIRE-level love, and wish Moore had stayed.
Definitely with you there, particularly wrt Deadwood, which I suspect may be the f-king greatest TV show ever made. Sure hope Milch’s forthcoming wrap-up movie is worthy of it.
I’m nearly as excited about new DEADWOOD as I was by new TWIN PEAKS.
I did think it was interesting that the CARNIVALE creator was offered the chance of making a movie-sized wrapup for the series, but turned HBO down, saying he couldn’t do it justice in that short of a span. As it stands, I think that show works with just two seasons, ending at a point that permits a lot of speculation about how things proceed. The fact the show talks about all this ‘magic’ and good vs evil stuff playing out before the atomic era kind of ties in with the recent TWIN PEAKS, which seems to imply that a new evil arrived in force as a result of nuclear testing.
I think the next time I rewatch TP I am going to plow through CARNIVALE first, just to see if I can find some additional unintentional resonances. Not really big usually on having everything tie-in in some soap opera/comicbook way, but in this instance, it feels like a creative mind-expanding exercise.
Though I’m definitely in the minority on this, I happen to think that the last episode of Deadwood also works just fine as a series finale, downbeat and premature as it is. Given the town’s (and it is a real town by this point) capitulation to Hearst, and the show’s status as the ultimate Postmodern Western (as The Sopranos was the ultimate postmodern mafia tale), Swearingen’s final whispered observation that “He wants me to tell him a pretty story,” as he scrubs the blood from the floorboards was, in my mind, letter-perfect.
Yikes. You’re right. It also proved that he could tackle pretty much any genre.
And that remake of Battlestar Galactica was atrocious.
“Atrocious” compared to what?
Compared to most reboots and that’s saying something.
To be fair Braga was on Voyager for most of its run and was the show runner. Moore didn’t even show up until 6th season and by that point the show was in its groove. I think if they switched places Voyager would be a very different show and a MUCH better show but then we would’ve lost a lot of great stories on DS9 as well.
I absolutely loved the first season of Carvivale, and while the second was by no means without value I definitely perceived a drop-off in the quality of the storytelling which I always attributed to RDM’s departure. Still, I’d give a week’s pay to know what the creator had in mind for where he intended the show and its characters to go had HBO not canceled it. It was a brilliant concept.
I will try to find a link, but there was once a fairly extensive interview with the guy that broke down the remaining planned-for three or four seasons, which I think took us up to the Trinity atomic test. I know it was bookmarked on my old computer, but will try to see if it is still around (maybe somebody who knows how to use the waybackmachine site can turn it up? would love to reread it.)
I think this is it: https://tv.avclub.com/daniel-knauf-tells-us-his-plan-for-the-end-of-carnivale-1798236491
Cool, thanks. I read an interview with RDM many years ago where he claimed to have talked the creator of the show out of having the two brothers meet by the end of the first season, which seemed pretty obvious to me — in the mythology of the show that would be a huge event, and their backstories needed a lot of development for it to properly pay off. Which was another reason that BSG’s gain was a real loss for Carnivale.
I disagree, I think it was the opposite. It seemed to me Ron Moore never got the “point” of Star Trek Voyager. The thing that was supposed to set it apart from the other Star Trek shows was the unique setting. It was SUPPOSED to be the “X-Files” of the franchise– the Delta Quadrent being COMPLETELY different than what we had seen in the past and being home to the weirdest, most unusual things that a Star Trek crew had ever encountered. The show unfortunately never lived up to that premise. Bringing Ron Moore aboard didn’t help one bit — his contributions were another tired “Borg” episode and another “Klingon honor” story, pretty much the exact opposite of what Voyager needed to do to breathe some new life into the franchise. Moore can come up with some excellent stuff, but he was a poor fit for Voyager, and it showed. He came aboard five years into the series and tried to inject traditional TNG-DS9 elements into the series that didn’t work, and people who had worked on Voyager since the beginning probably called him out for it. I think Braga was on the right side of the Moore-Braga conflict. Listen to their commentary track on Star Trek: Generations and you’ll see what I mean. Braga looks back on it in hindsight and gets the mistakes they made on that movie. Moore seems to think the script was well done and just needed more T&A.
I actually just rewatched that Borg episode a week ago. I actually really liked it. I never liked his Klingon episode on that show but I was never a huge fan of Klingons like so many others seem to be here and why I wasn’t excited about DIS first season.
I agree with you about Moore and Voyager though. I already said it but Moore came on waaaay too late to make the type of wholesale changes he wanted. If he was there from the outset or at least by season 3 I think his ideas would’ve been great if he was even allowed to do them which I seriously doubt anyway. But by the time he showed up that was the show and they had a, sorry, end game they knew where they wanted to finish it. Yes Voyager didn’t live up to its full potential and Braga definitely made mistakes with it but he was doing something that was more appealing to the network and as much as people like to pretend networks have zero impact on these shows, thats clearly not true. They wanted TNG in the Delta quadrant basically and that’s what they got.
Moore wanted a show no one wanted to make on that network.
That’s something that Ira Steven Behr has talked about a lot in interviews promoting the DS9 documentary. For a lot of it they were locked in a battle with the network over what they wanted to do. Even rewatching some of the early DS9 episodes it was a risky departure from what had been done on TNG. Having Voyager on at the same time probably gave DS9 more freedom because the network were more interested in interfering with Voyager
And I remember reading some variation from him like that before. He said Paramount was originally against them doing serialization of the show as well but once Voyager came on and that became the bigger focus being on a network they oddly were given more freedoms. But he has said in the past DS9 was able to get away with a lot of things Voyager couldn’t because they didn’t have to worry about network standards or trying to please certain advertisers. I imagine two women kissing would’ve never made it on Voyager during that time like it did on DS9. Or saying the N word which was used on Far Beyond the Stars.
Again why DS9 was so great, it was doing stuff no other Star Trek ever defied to do at that time. But also because they simply could get away with it.
That is a legitimate argument to make about Voyager. But I would counter with the fact that they were only i the Delta Quadrant for less than 7 years. Had they been there for decades, then it could be a compelling argument.
He is stating a general audience is not discerning, which is insulting to general audiences and disheartening to Star Trek fans.
Particularly from a casual fan’s persective, both shows had a very similar look and feel, even if the designs were slightly different, even if DS9 was a little darker.
Everything from the production design, cinematography, acting, directing, and presentation was largely the same. Even as a diehard fan, I can see how similar they are no matter how hard they tried to differentiate them.
More than all of that though, I think he’s referring to TONE. If you tuned in to either show, they felt like the same thing tonally. That was intentional, no doubt, because they wanted audiences to have comfort in the familiar.
And I think the implication here is that Picard won’t FEEL like Discovery.
It probably won’t feel like we’re watching Picard, either or a follow up to the Next Generation.
True but Kurtzman likes to use Marvel as each movie being different and to us fans they may be but to my wife who is not a fan, she will tell that all superhero movies are all the same just different costume.
Which is funny because depends on who you ask some fans think the Marvel movies are all very different from each other while others feel the movies basically look and feel the same. I remember getting into this discussion with a long time poster here who feels the latter while I (mostly) feel the former. But to him they look very similar and why he’s bored of them. Even my ex-girlfriend also didn’t like them because they felt the same to her but she’s never seen but a handful of them but it was enough lol.
It really does tell you people can watch the same stuff and have completely different take aways and why this board seems to be so divided on Kutzman’s comment.
Well from an outsider point everything in american pop culture looks the same to me. Lol
Just kidding. don’t grill me.
Ragnarok and Black Panther stood out from the pack for me in the last couple of movies, with the new Spiderman a nice “small” Marvel movie; DC’s Wonder Woman stood out as well. All the others have become pretty much the same to me. Tone- and storyline-wise, I mean.
To me Wonder Woman (DC, not Marvel) stood out. But Aquaman (another DC) felt like if fell right out of Marvel. I’ll give you Ragnorok as being different. But the the others lately, Guardians 2, Black Panther, Infinity War, Ant-Man 2…. All were lacking and uninteresting. Even Spider-Man was a dud.
In the Marvel world, that is becoming more and more true. Even Aquaman felt like a Marvel clone.
I think that was intentional with Aquaman. They even tried it with Justice League. Unlike that movie though it clearly worked with Aquaman. That movie has now passed a billion dollars. And I was pretty sure that movie was going to flop lol.
I heard nothing but good news about Aquaman for the last year. Maybe because of that I had higher expectations. What I got was a Black Panther clone. Which was a clone of nearly all the other Marvel stand alones. Kinda fun but nothing really original and all the hero movie boxes were checked.
Justice League had a different problem altogether. First, Warner wasn’t fully behind it. In fact, they gave Snyder an edict that the movie be no more than 2 hours, not including credits. This was obviously in response to his unnecessarily long BvS. Justice League could have used an extra 15 or twenty minutes, IMHO. Also, it didn’t help that he left half way through filming due to a family tragedy. Having Joss Wheden come in to finish up was a tremendous change in style. While I prefer Whedon’s style to Zach’s any day of the week, the finished product was disjointed and felt rushed.
Um, no. More likely you would hear, “The one with the space station or the “Lost in Space” one.”
But non fans confuse Star Trek and Star Wars, too.
Thank you for saying that!
I was wondering the same thing
I have to admit that I didn’t watch DS9 when it was running simply because after a few episodes, I didn’t take the time or make the effort to separate the two series. Quite honestly, you can only watch so much TV, so I didn’t actually watch and enjoy DS9 until years after it was made. The danger with so many productions of Star Trek being planned, there is no possible way one can watch everything while still having a life outside of TV. For me, I hope Kurtzman and CBS decide to air Discovery, Picard and Lower Decks all at different times throughout the year.
Oh I’m sure they will run Discovery, the Picard show and Lower Decks at different times throughout the year. They want Trek fans to keep their CBS All Access subscription the whole year. Right now, some people (no idea if it’s the majority or only a minority) only subscribe when Discovery is coming up and cancel as soon as the season is over.
Kurtzman would be one of those people.
Fun Fact: None of all the girl frieds I had over the years could tell the difference.
So he has a point.
Maybe you were dating the wrong girls? ; )
Kurtzman, apparently. All one needs to do is watch ONE episode of each to get the difference.
Casual viewers, the target demographic for Discovery.
Voyager and DS9 weren’t really at all similar. They had different settings, themes, tones, aesthetics, and pretty much everything. The only thing that they really had in common were that they aired at about the same time, and they were both set at about the same time.
I can’t agree that they had different themes, tones and aesthetics. On all three counts, they were both very TNG and VERY Berman Trek. Same with ENT.
DS9 was of course a much better series in my opinion, in that it expanded upon TNG (and challenged it) rather than mostly copying it like I believe VOY did. But it still had numerous episodes that might as easily have been TNG episodes. And the overall aesthetic was TNG.
You could be in the next room, barely within earshot, and still immediately recognize Berman-era ST from its signature elevator music and barely audible technobabble dialogue. Of course if you got closer you’d quickly figure out which show it was. However it actually MATTERS that all four series essentially looked and sounded the same from a distance. It signified a failure to keep each new show fresh and interesting.
I’m essentially reading Kurtzman’s comments above and nodding to myself “YEP!” through that whole paragraph. And yet somehow not very surprised to find half the commenters so far rejecting his words out of hand. Even though Ron Moore and John Billingsley have both made very similar observations about Trek of that time.
You’re right actually. Initially I disagreed with what Kurtzman was saying because in my mind DS9 and VOY were utterly different. But to the general audience, the aesthetic, the look and sound, particularly that droning wallpaper music that started midway through TNG’s run (Jay Chattaway was the worst culprit), Trek was this peculiar beast and sadly back then, based on my recollection, then it only really seemed to appeal to existing fans (and even then not – half the fandom hated DS9 and the other half, or more, hated VOY).
Muse I have to agree with you on the incidental music by Jay Chattaway. I’m a big VOY fan but his music ruins it. It sounds really cheap and cheesy and it’s very repetitive. In parts it sounds almost like it was produced on a cheap midi synthesizer. The incidental music found in the early seasons of TNG was much better – it had a mystical, ethereal quality to it which really bolstered the feeling of space exploration and the unknown.
Chattaway was just obeying the rules to stay employed. The most exciting and TOS- and Goldsmith-like music in TNG’s whole run was done by Chattaway for his first ep, TIN MAN, and if they could have afforded to, Berman and Lauritson would have tossed it. I have more respect for Ron Jones and how he kept trying in spite of the pressure to produce pap, but if you figure somebody had to score these shows, and it was always going to sound pretty much the same to please the employers, then you can’t deride Chattaway any more than you would the other guys who milked the ride, like McCarthy, who also didnm’t have (m)any decent scores.
I agree completely. Same with Dennis McCarthy and Paul Baillargeon BTW.
That said, McCarthy did have a very decent score in the pre-Berman years (Heart of Glory, Season 1). And I think his score for Generations is one of the highlights of that movie.
McCarthy did a helluva job on Generations. I love this score to death.
Probably the best thing about that film, and which enables at least some of it to work.
Actually, Ron Jones did HEART OF GLORY, I have a TREK Compilation CD with cues from all the series, and that is definitely Jones, who riffs on Goldsmith’s Klingon theme.
You’re right, HofG was Jones. From memory, I thought it was McCarthy, but I’ve just double-checked and it was Jones. It’s one of the best scores of all of TNG, IMHO.
This is true about Dennis McCarthy. I thought that was just the style of music he did. But then I listened to his earlier work and I forgot it was much more diverse. And I actually his score in Generations. It felt a bit like his work on TNG but he was able to go a bit wider with it.
I think Dennis McCarthy slipped in some great work, like the score for The Visitor as a prime example. He could do emotional quite well, and also actions scenes like Way of the Warrior. I forgot about Paul Baillargeon. His scores were just terrible, they didn’t even seem melodic, just jarring noise. I’m glad they only used him on average twice a season. Meh.
They way Ron Jones was treated during his work for TNG really highlights the creative restrictions and factory-line approach that Berman was pushing for (and later solidified).
Very early on, Berman passed Jones while walking out of a closed meeting and just bluntly asked “Is emotional your only range?” Jones has only just scored ‘The Naked Now’ by that point, and for him it was a completely out-of-the-blue confrontation, the kind of “I’m just going to disarm you and put you on the stammering defensive right now because I don’t even have time to get what I need from you any other way” move.
To be completely fair, we now know the creative hierarchy of TNG was a total mess during its first two seasons. And Jones had his own trouble adapting to their workflow, such as not being able to provide a complete score for ‘The Battle’ because he felt the quality of his work would be affected if he rushed it (possibly damaging his relationship with the Berman team very early on).
But the way music was handled definitely exemplifies how creativity in general on ST became stifled as Berman’s influence solidified, ultimately leading to the toxic atmosphere Moore described after briefly joining the VOY writer’s team.
Season 5 is often hailed as the season in which TNG became “the well-oiled machine that we know.” The problem is, this should not be a compliment people. Ron Jones had already been fired by that point. And most of TNG’s very best episodes had already been made and were now long past.
For the TNG era, Jones was undoubtedly the best. Too bad he was endlessly compelled to keep fighting City Hall.
Unless there are other specific incidents you refer to, I think his inability to give City Hall them the kind of wallpaper music they wanted is what made him the best.
You don’t think his score for Generations to be any good. To each their own i guess, even if the film itself was garbage.
McCarthy’s music in GEN sounds like graduation day music to me, which is a criticism I throw at a lot of John Williams stuff too, so I’m not picking on the guy. But I do like when Kirk goes down to Engineering on the E-B, plus the lush orchestrating on the horse jump scene.
I didn’t like the Generations score either. To me the decision to go with McCarthy for a feature film just exemplified the thought processes of adapting Berman Trek to the big screen. Even Jerry Goldsmith’s music composition suffered working for these people.
Glad to hear somebody else note that JG’s stuff suffered a bit in those later films. I practically worship Goldsmith as a composer, and have done so since first really discovering filmscoring as a teen watching Bronson movies in the mid70s, but felt a lot of his later work (and all of his post-TFF Trek work) felt filtered or blunted or off in some way. Except for AIR FORCE ONE, I don’t think I own a single score of his from after the start of the 90s.
The First Contact soundtrack is one of my favorites. That music is so beautiful, that you don’t have to associate it with Star Trek and its still very enjoyable. And I love the Voyager theme song, probably still the best out of all of them. I don’t think the Nemesis music is very good or memorable though but you can say that about the entire film lol.
I would rank the Voyager opening theme as the best theme of any Trek show. And it’s not even close.
Agreed. The Voyager opening is still hands down the best theme song ever done! Twenty years later and I watch an episode I usually listen to it in full.
NASA even used the theme song when it was retiring the Space Shuttle Atlantis. I always get emotional when I see this clip and starts about 30 seconds in:
It always make me appreciate Star Trek more.
I hadn’t noticed about his later scores in general. Since he was scoring ST, I just assumed (perhaps unfairly) that Rick Berman had tried to reel him in.
I just now noticed he scored both of Stuart Baird’s other movies. Not that this makes me any more inclined to check them out.
The interesting thing is: I was really critical of Kurtzman, but the more I read from him, the more I realize that he gets it. Like: He really gets it. Unlike the vocal minority of fans who want Star Trek to be trapped in amber as the failing franchise it was in the mid-2000s, because at least there are no “outsiders” coming into that burning house.
For some people Kurtzman will always be the guy who thought having a white Khan, magic blood and redoing TWOK in STID were good ideas. I don’t think its just about wanting the same Star Trek because many people seemed pretty excited about the Kelvin movies. But from STID on that’s when it really soured I think. And I personally felt they were too derivative. For god sakes both the 09 movie and STID ended with an attack on San Francisco. How do you have a franchise about exploring the GALAXY and yet both movies end with an attack on not just the same planet, but the same freakin city??? C’mon! Beyond at least gave us a cool new space station for them to attack.
And while I think DIS is OK, it hasn’t really done anything that new either. Yes it looks modern and slick and they changed the design but nothing about the actual stories themselves felt all that different from what we got before. The main two story lines were the Klingon war and the mirror universe. Both has been done multiple times now. I like the spore drive idea a lot actually (and I’m one of the few lol) but all it did was take us to the MU. And the only ‘new’ aliens we got all season with any depth was Saru.
That’s the thing I’m CRAVING for really new ideas. While it looks like its in a new package, the content had changed very little in DIS first season. I’m hoping season 2 actually give us of its own mythology like the other shows did. In other words something a concept or story arc that PURELY originated from Discovery. All the other shows had new ideas in their first season. DIS zilch!
Regarding new ideas, and to say something positive, I do like this “seven red signals / red angel” thing. With its religious connotations, it sounds like something lifted straight from an anime plot, and that’s not a bad thing necessarily (as long as the matter is investigated scientifically…) It is a pity we are getting no less than three new flavors of animated series (including the next short treks) and none of it is a Star Trek anime crossover! I mean I do prefer live action any day, but if they must go the animated route, that would be something never done before and exciting!
Yes I DO too VS!
And its one of the MANY reasons why I’m more excited for season 2 because its like the producers read my mind (and many others) and nearly every complaint I had about season 1 seems to be getting addressed in season 2 in some fashion.
And when it comes to the red burst/angel thing it covers three issues I felt were lacking a lot in season 1: Science, mystery and exploration. How well it will cover those we will have to see but this is intriguing, something you got from the other stuff like TNG or VOY BUT its actually its own unique thing as well. I just wish we had something like this is in first season but that boat has sailed.
And I’m still weary on the animation stuff but I’m glad they are doing it. And I imagine CBS wants it because it’s naturally cheaper and you can just get it on faster. I was a little disappointed to hear Short Treks will only be animated next season though. I really loved it as small live action stories.
Because San Francisco is the home of Starfleet. So, yeah, unless you relocate that, it’s going to be quite a few attacks on San Francisco. Also, people did not complain when the Borg and the Dominion decided to attack Earth although there were millions of planets out there.
DSC has broken a lot of new ground: Putting the fact that it’s the first time you’ve got really diverse casting (not just “this time the captain is a woman” or “this time the captain is black”) in terms of gender and ethnicity to the side, it still dared to have a captain who is morally complex and a first officer who had a real character arc, finding her own and dealing with the complexities of war, loyalty and avoiding the easy way.
It presentend the Federation not as a happy-go-lucky club but as an organization prone to corruption from within, but reminding us that values – as represented by Burnham – are what made it great. Visually it gave us lots of new aliens, just look at who is on Discovery’s bridge. Also the space whale, the spider aliens in the pilot, the crystal structure aliens, etc.
It gave us a swathe of complex secondary characters. Tilly, who is one of the first Trek characters to feel like an *actual* human being, not just a fascinating character in a show. Stamets, who has to become more humble, but who also has to deal with the loss of his true love. T’kuvma, who is one of the most fascinating Klingons in Trek history, because she is not just a “viking in space”. Voq is a Klingon suffering from PTSD, for crying out loud. PTSD. As a Klingon. On a Trek show. That’s groundbreaking.
They turned Harry Mudd from a one-note comedic joke into a multifaceted, deep and morally truly ambiguous character. And the way they replaced Giorgiou with her mirror version leaves space for such an incredibly deep character arc, it’s wonderful.
And, yeah, the Mirror Universe has been done before. But never in this depth and believability. It used to be a jokey concept (look at DS9). Here they turned it into a place that feels so real, I hope they write a new show about it (maybe the story of how Emperor Spock’s rule ended).
Seriously, this is all just in season 1. How is this not among the greatest things Star Trek has ever achieved?
Yes but did you need to attack twice though and two movies in a row??? I have no issues with aliens attacking Earth I’m just saying we didn’t need to see it in literally two stories straight! Think outside the box a little bit please.
Every Trek show has been diverse, that’s been happening since 1966. Yeah I’m happy DIS is too but that’s not ‘new’. Its nice to have its first full gay character though. And having the first black and woman Captain was a pretty big deal at the time. This was over 20 years ago, not 2017 lol.
“It presented the Federation not as a happy-go-lucky club but as an organization prone to corruption from within, but reminding us that values – as represented by Burnham – are what made it great.”
So in other words it gave us Deep Space Nine again? The Maquis, Home Front/Paradise Lost, In the Pale Moonlight, Inquisition and Extreme Measures? OK.
“It gave us a swathe of complex secondary characters.”
Yes because Star Trek has never given complex secondary characters before? Garak, Sarek, Gul Dukat, Ro Laren, Seska, Gowron, Shran, Damar, Sloan and obviously Morn are not complex secondary characters? Really? What is your definition of complex character then? And I liked T’Kumva for the little time he had, but he was far from the only complex character and we barely got to explore it because they killed him off so soon.
And McCoy, Riker, Yar, Trip, Hoshi, Scotty, O’Brien, Uhura, Paris, Sulu, Kim, Barclay, etc didn’t feel like an ‘actual human’? I don’t understand what makes Tilly different?
“Voq is a Klingon suffering from PTSD, for crying out loud. PTSD. As a Klingon. On a Trek show. That’s groundbreaking.”
Only he’s not suffering from PTSD, the real Tyler was, he simply remembered his memories…and I won’t get into that nonsense.
“They turned Harry Mudd from a one-note comedic joke into a multifaceted, deep and morally truly ambiguous character.”
It’s a little thick but I will give you that one. I hated the original Mudd. LOVE this one!
“And the way they replaced Giorgiou with her mirror version leaves space for such an incredibly deep character arc, it’s wonderful.”
And you lost me again lol. ‘Incredibly deep character arc?” She showed up to detonate a bomb on QoNos and joined Section 31. So she get to continue being ruthless, just for Starfleet. Deep.
“And, yeah, the Mirror Universe has been done before. But never in this depth and believability.”
Seriously? They turned Lorca into a mustache twirling villain and Georgiou comes off like a ridiculous cartoon who eats her slaves. I don’t know what makes it more ‘believable’? It’s the same over the top ridiculousness they have all done. But I did like it!
“Seriously, this is all just in season 1. How is this not among the greatest things Star Trek has ever achieved?”
Because Star Trek has done all of this multiple times already. See above. My only guess is you never watched much Star Trek if you consider this list the ‘greatest thing’ lol.
“Every Trek show has been diverse, that’s been happening since 1966.”
For their time and even that is questionable. Yes, we had a woman as captain and a black man as a captain, but those were entrenched in shows that otherwise were safely “white” and “male”. They were tokens, lipservice to diversity while not daring to be really progressive. For the time they were okay, but looking back those shows upheld patriarchy and white ethnocentricsm rather than truly subverting it.
“Yes because Star Trek has never given complex secondary characters before?”
Not to the degree and authenticity that DSC gave us. Granted, those shows were written before “Sopranos” and other shows proved what depth of character was possible. But are you not seeing that DSC is closer to an HBO-drama (say “The Wire”) than to basic TV that the other Trek shows were?
“And McCoy, Riker, Yar, Trip, Hoshi, Scotty, O’Brien, Uhura, Paris, Sulu, Kim, Barclay, etc didn’t feel like an ‘actual human’? I don’t understand what makes Tilly different?”
Listen to her dialogue. To her problems. She talks like an actual human being. She’s giddy and bubbly, she’s excited and “real”. She swears. She likes popular things. She is not a set of character traits bound up by the formality, stiffness and ‘everybody has to quote Shakespeare all the time’ red tape that all previous iterations of Star Trek characters were.
“And you lost me again lol. ‘Incredibly deep character arc?” She showed up to detonate a bomb on QoNos and joined Section 31. So she get to continue being ruthless, just for Starfleet. Deep.”
No. The arc that is coming will be deep. You have a character raised in a universe that rewards you for being evil. And now she is in another universe where she’ll try to continue doing so, realizing that things work differently around here and, helped by Burnham’s love and respect for her, becoming more and more the positive individual her prime counterpart was. This journey of (ha) discovery is the incredibly deep arc. This may be year’s in the making, but it will be worth it.
“Seriously? They turned Lorca into a mustache twirling villain and Georgiou comes off like a ridiculous cartoon who eats her slaves. I don’t know what makes it more ‘believable’? It’s the same over the top ridiculousness they have all done. But I did like it!”
They did not. Georgiou is much deeper than you give her credit for and those subtle notes that Yeoh incorporates are pitch perfect for such a troubled character. They fleshed out the Mirror Universe, they looked at other races, at logistics and dynamics of that place. They made it feel like a real, lived-in world rather than a plot device. No other Trek show has managed that.
“Because Star Trek has done all of this multiple times already. See above. My only guess is you never watched much Star Trek if you consider this list the ‘greatest thing’ lol.”
No, I did. And most of it was fine for the time it was produced. But it’s 2019 and it’s time to accept that the “great” shows those mouthbreeders in other comments cling to (you know, the Orville-is-truer-brigades) aren’t that great if you look back on them. TNG was an acceptable show when it started in 1986. DSC has started as a great show in 2017 and it will only get better from here.
That’s what I mean.
No need for name-calling. We’re both excited about DSC – Season 2. It’s just that I may be a bit more positive overall than you are. Peace.
Are you seriously going to nit pick your way through this? Looks like it lol. “For their time and even that is questionable. Yes, we had a woman as captain and a black man as a captain, but those were entrenched in shows that otherwise were safely “white” and “male”. They were tokens, lipservice to diversity while not daring to be really progressive. For the time they were okay, but looking back those shows upheld patriarchy and white ethnocentricsm rather than truly subverting it.” What are you talking about? So Sisko and Janeway were ‘token’s now? And you are comparing shows from decades past to now. That’s the entire point you’re missing. People like Michael are ‘stars’ today because there were people like Uhura, Sulu, Guinan and Janeway paving the way. You are literally missing the entire point. Discovery isn’t doing anything NEW, OK? The only thing that is new is the first gay character for Star Trek and even that is 20 years too late in terms of TV as a whole. “Not to the degree and authenticity that DSC gave us. Granted, those shows were written before “Sopranos” and other shows proved what depth of character was possible. But are you not seeing that DSC is closer to an HBO-drama (say “The Wire”) than to basic TV that the other Trek shows were?” OK, you clearly work the show lol. Discovery doesn’t have anything close to a complex or interesting character as Garak. The only one they ALMOST had was Lorca before we found out he was mustache twirling villain all along and killed anything subtle about him. The rest are fine but BARE compared to the majority of past characters, ESPECIALLY on DS9. This is a joke. “Listen to her dialogue. To her problems. She talks like an actual human being. She’s giddy and bubbly, she’s excited and “real”. She swears. She likes popular things. She is not a set of character traits bound up by the formality, stiffness and ‘everybody has to quote Shakespeare all the time’ red tape that all previous iterations of Star Trek characters were.” Seriously? Her problems?? She’s a cadet who wants to be a Captain one day. Yes, major character conflict for Trek. That’s literally all the character is known for so far and literally nothing else. She’s giddy and bubbly? Yes, so was Neelix, and that got old…fast! She likes popular things? Riker didn’t like playing music? Paris didn’t like 20th century culture and cheesy sci fi movies? Sisko didn’t like baseball? Bashir didn’t like spy stories or playing tennis? Archer didn’t like sports? I can go on and on. And yes she swears because Archer and Trip sounded like choir boys every episode. That crew certainly didn’t get the memo they had to sound formal and speak Shakesperian. She’s the first to drop an F bomb though (which I liked lol). But again a character swearing isn’t a FIRST. Far from it. Nor just being a human who likes human stuff. “No. The arc that is coming will be deep.” FIne, we’ll have to wait and see on that. I just find it funny you act like she’s the first character with a big arc, that we literally haven’t even seen yet lol. “They did not. Georgiou is much deeper than you give her credit for and those subtle notes that Yeoh incorporates are pitch perfect for such a troubled character. They fleshed out the Mirror Universe, they looked at other races, at logistics and dynamics of that place. They made it feel like a real, lived-in world rather than a plot device. No other Trek show has managed that.” I like Yeoh as PU Georgiou. I could’ve watched her every week easily. MU Georgiou is a one dimensional character who likes to be evil. And every MU has done the exact same thing, especially on DS9. This is NOT NEW! It’s just another variation on something they ALREADY done literally decades ago. “No, I did. And most of it was fine for the time it was produced. But it’s 2019 and it’s time to accept that the “great” shows those mouthbreeders in other comments cling to (you know, the Orville-is-truer-brigades) aren’t that great if you look back on them. TNG was an acceptable show when it started in 1986. DSC has started as a great show in 2017 and it will only get better from here. That’s what I mean.” If you just said this, I would’ve said fine. But you pretending the show broke major new ground is where you completely lost me. Yes it looks more modern and its a sleeker show for its time. That doesn’t make it ground breaking TV and to be honest its not doing anything differently every other show does today.… Read more »
I think you’re giving Voyager the short shrift. You had, besides a female captain, a Native American first officer, a Korean Ops officer, a black Vulcan Security officer, a half-Klingon, half-Hispanic Engineering officer, and a hologram for a doctor. The only “safe white male” was Tom Paris.
I’ll accept that, although the Doctor – Hologram or not – is a white man. But, okay, it’s more than tokenism in that show. I’ll retract that criticism.
Three words: “Photons Be Free”
Voyager is probably the most diverse out of all the shows bar none.
And I forgot to add one other thing Discovery did that was completely new and original. It gave us our first Klingon nipples. Definitely never saw that on TNG. ;D
I think ‘attack sanfran’ is a TrekTrope now, like ‘let’s find another deathstar’ with STAR WARS. It’s kneejerk, like ‘let’s put earth in peril’ is an easy thing to hook folks for TMP and again for TVH and FC (and less successfully for NEM.) It kind of plays for me like the AUSTIN POWERS bit where after considering options, Dr. Evil just goes for the self-sdmittedly easy fallback of, ‘let’s steal some nuclear bombs.’ Not as funny or inventive as, ‘let’s go get sushi and not pay,’ but hey, make the most of what you got.
“Voq is a Klingon suffering from PTSD, for crying out loud. PTSD. As a Klingon. On a Trek show. That’s groundbreaking.”
DS9’s Martok was shown as suffering from PTSD for a while after he was rescued from a Dominion prison. There was an entire episode about it.
Have you cashed your check from CBS yet? Yes, I’m joking.
I’m glad you liked the show and I am not going to counter every point you made. (I can, but I won’t.) But I do want to say in response to your comment about a “morally complex” captian… Did you see the show after the break? That was when it was revealed that he really wasn’t. He was just a mustache twirling black hat wearing bad guy.
Give me a great season of DSC, a wonderful reintroduction to Jean-Luc Picard, and I’ll forgive him for everything, even a whitewashed Khan, magic blood, and Trek 2009.
I thought Khan being white was Orci’s idea, including Khan in the first place was Lindelof’s.
“Jay Chattaway was the worst culprit.”
Nope, he wasn’t! That award goes to David Bell. Bell had ONE, just one really great theme, but he reprised it to death on DS9, VOY and ENT. It was effectively used in some VOY Borg episodes and ghost stories at first but it was just incredible how much he used it ad nauseum.
TOS recycled scores time and again, but imagine getting the Amok Time musical cues, and only those cues, in 60+ episodes…
Did you see the recent IKEA commercial that more or less recycled the AT theme? Weird.
Actually that ‘recent’ IKEA commercial is nearly 15 years old lol. It premiered in 2005. It’s always reposted on Reddit. IKEA just reruns it every year because I guess its really popular. First time I saw it was a few years ago.
Had no idea, having just recently seen it. Believe it or not, I don’t watch much television. :-)
Actually I’ve only seen it aired once where I live on TV. Its really online I keep seeing it pop up because of its association with Star Trek.
Great post, thanks — I wouldn’t have bothered posting mine if I’d read yours first. 🤗
DS9 and VOY were very much identical in terms of themes, tone, aesthetics… same uniforms (at the beginning), same sonic wallpaper scores, same alien designs, same writers and directors.
Yes, DS9 elaborated on some ideas VOY couldn’t (or didn’t want), gave us some story arcs (but also some VERY bad comedy episodes), but in the end, they FELT the same! This is why I never got this Niners vs Voyagers feud back then.
Both shows felt radically different from TOS and also from early (!) TNG, but from mid-series TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT, all those shows felt the same, even when trying to embrace new directions and ideas.
This wasn’t bad per se, but it felt bland for mainstream audiences…
Viewers were tuning out, not enough new ones were tuning in, existing viewers were sort of jumping between the two.
DS9 initially felt like TNG but it became further removed with a significant tonal shift. Kurtzman has the advantage of two shows taking place in entirely different eras so, no, they won’t feel even remotely the same (much like Star Trek VI and TNG).
Chronology shouldn’t have anything to do with it. It’s whether you are willing and imaginative enough to allow your shows to be stylistically different from each other regardless of sharing the same setting.
The Undiscovered Country would never have happened under Team Berman. Nor would The Wrath of Khan or The Voyage Home for that matter. In evidence of the fact we have VOY’s take on TUC, which shows how those events “actually” appeared in the Bermanverse.
(To be clear, Berman Trek SHOULD offer its own interpretation of ST’s material, not unlike Classic Trek, Roddenberry Trek, Bennett/Meyer Trek, Kelvin Trek and now CBS Trek. But one hopes that CBS Trek will allow for a wide range of stylistic variety diversity/inconsistency even between its own installments, and Berman Trek definitely had the opposite attitude.)
It felt bland for a lot of fans too. And I do believe it was at least unhealthy thing.
Well, DS9 managed to make hay with its premise — after a few false starts — which VOY never managed to do on a consistent basis. That’s the main difference between them, which can certainly be chalked up to the talents involved. But it’s also undeniable that as Berman-era Trek the two shows, in many respects, certainly FEEL very similar, particularly if you’re not a fan.
People like to s**t on the guy, but we could do a lot worse than somebody that seems to actually want to go the extra mile for the franchise. Look forward to Discovery Season 2.
Kurtzman any day over a guy like Braga as lead show runner. I love the guy’s ambition and scope for Trek. I’m also relieved that there are people like Kirsten Beyer to keep him on a leash to rein him in when necessary.
Yeah, it still frustrates me that Braga (and Berman) took it upon themselves to write so much of the first season of Enterprise. They got story/screenplay credit on 18 of the 26 episodes.
I like how Kurtzman has been involved with Discovery but hasn’t taken over. It’s interesting to hear that, while he wrote on the pilot, he worked a lot on post production of the show.
Berman/Braga really messed up with “Enterprise”. But the fascinating thing is how the anti-DSC-trolls constantly claim that season 4 was “soooo great”. And it was only incidentally written by Manny Coto who is a MAGA-head and an Ayn Rand fan. Tells you a lot about what they expect Star Trek to be.
Yep, Coto is the guy that promotes Ann Coulter’s racist tweets when you see his twitter feed. The irony. Just goes to show how much of an anethema it must be for some to see guys like Wilson Cruz, Anthony Rapp and Sonequa be heroic characters for Trek, something that actually represents reality.
Yup. Haven’t seen a proper critique of DSC that did not quickly fall into open racism or at least unwittingly repeating alt-right ideas.
Utter hogwash. There are quite a number of critiques of Discovery’s poor storytelling, written by professionals and amateurs alike of a progressive outlook. The notion that a muddled season like Discovery’s first should be immune from criticism because of the identities of its cast members is simply bonkers. But I think you might be the username who also said Voyager upheld the patriarchy, so maybe yours is a parody account.
Yea there’s plenty of legit criticism of DSC around. I’m a big fan but like many I thought the season finale was an absolute turkey and nearly derailed the whole season. There’s also plenty of comments with agendas
That was a big problem for me too, that the season finale was just SO BAD!! It was an important end point to the entire season so to feel so rushed and nonsensical (I still think the bomb plot was just outright dumb) put a damper on the season as a whole. I don’t think the whole season was bad but it just made the Klingon war arc feel even worse than it was and it was already pretty bad to me. The only reason the finale didn’t get more scrutiny because everyone became focused of the last ten seconds seeing the new Enterprise. That’s really the only thing that saved it IMO.
Well, that’s disappointing. I had no idea.
None of that changes how much better Enterprise got under his watch. Believe it or not, I’ve seen some really good content made by writers and/or producers whose political agendas may not align with mine. I don’t hold that garbage against the produced content.
Seriously. Ugh. I meant this comment for @Amulius below.
There are TV shows where the creator also writes many (or even all) of the episodes, and there are shows written by a large writers room where the creator may not even be the showrunner, and anything inbetween. The problem many people had with ENT was that it promised something really new (after 3 shows set in the 24th century) but quickly seemed to fall back on using a lot of the same tropes that had been overused before.
What is wrong with a year off? Greed is what forces Enterprise to debut so soon, too soon.
I’m not sure how your post relates to what I said.
Good for you Mr Kurtzman. Ahahahaha! Only joking.
If he “doesn’t want to do anything that isn’t about putting a message into the world that is positive”, why was Discovery season 1 so god-damn dark and cynical, undermining the best of what characters like Georgiou or Lorca or Tyler/Voq could have been, for cheap thrills and twists? Once again actions speak louder than words, and only for the former he will be judged.
Did you even watch the whole of the series? The problem comes from judging DIS from initial episodes and either disregarding or being unaware of the conclusion? It was a long-form story of redemption, finding peace within yourself and a way to make a difference in the world. The characters had to go through hell to get to that place, but that’s drama…the payoff has to be earned.
Muse, That is sure NOT the series I ground my teeth through. The wrapups were absurd and demeaning to viewers and pretty much nothing in the whole run paid off the promise of the premise, with a lead who may go through life known as the person who started the war.
In the end Burnham’s “redemption” meant nothing (or very little), because it came so readily, and at so little cost other than the mouthing of some platitudes, which may have been acceptable in 1968 but was wholly inadequate to the dramatic standards of 2018. It would have been far better, and certainly more courageous, to leave her as a pariah throughout the series’ run.
It had less to do with the era and more to do with delays, firings and an initial vision which went out the window with the original showrunner. The whole season felt as if it came down the pipe during a writer’s strike.
The payoff was rushed and the season was a bit scattered in scope. It was a mess. This series won’t be entirely stable until season 3.
Yeah like most ended up being. But season 2 at least looks more promising then season 1 did.
Season 2 actually looks ENTERTAINING. I’ll probably still have things to gripe about (hey, I’m a Star Trek fan) but it actually looks like it will be a lot of fun this season.
Yes, that’s the word, entertaining. It just looks FUN! The issue with Discovery first season was it was exciting for being new but it just looked and felt heavy. There was really no ‘fun’ in it and it was more ‘look how dark and serious Star Trek can be’. It felt like it was trying to be dark the same way the DCEU was. And I guess why it’s not a surprise The Sanest Man ended up being my favorite episode because it was the only one that just had a fun standalone story with actual comedy and a cool sci fi plot.
If season 2 has more of those type of stories it will make for a much better season IMO.
Yes, they had their main character eating sentient being(s) and Starfleet recruiting a tyrannical murderess as a military adjunct. Not exactly positive, there. Not to mention a leading character CO direct from the inverse morality of the Mirror Universe.
Kurtzman now claims to have an in-depth understanding of all things Trek – there’s a sudden turn-around! Yet he says that 90’s Trek, in the form of DS9 and Voyager, were indistinguishable from each other! What hogwash. If he had watched each series in their entirety, he wouldn’t make such a stupid / ignorant claim. DS9 was uniquely different in design, storytelling and delivery to both the shipboard series of TNG & Voyager. The similarities that did exist were simply all shows were set in the 24th Century. The complaint made, in the late 1990’s, about the falling fortunes of all Trek was simply that there were too many series / movies airing at once – which led to ‘Trek exhaustion’ with audiences. (Interestingly,CBS seem to be heading down a similar path with all the new and many series Kurtzman is in charge of planning.) Further, a person who needs to declare multiple times that they a reborn (more correctly newborn?) Trekkie should possibly be of concern. His totally mistaken and confused statement that DS9 and Voyager were too similar is simply inane and beggars belief coming from THE person now in charge of all things Trek! I seriously don’t think he’s the man modern Trek needs to chart it’s course back to success.
You contradict yourself there. On the one hand, you claim that DS9 was completely different from TNG and VOY, on the other hand you say that too many series /
movies led to Trek exhaustion.
But here’s the thing: People watch more than 1 TV show. Most people watch several hours of TV each day. I don’t think there were ever more than 52 episodes of Trek in a single year so that’s certainly doable. The reason people got Trek exhaustion is because the shows weren’t different enough.
Sorry mate … you misread me. I wrote thar DS9 & Voyager were different. I then state that the commentary / consensus within the industry in the 1990’s was that there was too much Trek on both small & large screens which led to a diminution of the Trek brand and general falling interest in Trek. This was in no-way my view of Star Trek … in the 1990’s i was a pig in shit! Joyful with the amount of Trek on both small & big screen!
You may have been happy but the ratings were going down.
So now they are trying to make the new shows stand apart from each other more to target different audiences and avoid people going “oh, it’s just another of those shows”. Will it work? I don’t know.
Yes but I don’t see this as really that shocking. Star Trek went on for 18 STRAIGHT years and on top of that it was about 21 seasons worth of shows. People say this as if it was a surprise. I don’t care how popular something is, after 10+ years of it people will naturally become less interested in time. The Arrowverse is really popular on CW, but I don’t see it going for 18 years either.
And let’s be honest CBS clearly wants to duplicate what they did for Trek in the 90s but I don’t know if these new shows will run that long or stay anymore interesting than the others. So far we have literally just one show to go on with one season done and that season was highly mixed in terms of fan reactions. The problem I see is is CBS might be going TOO fast with all these shows. Sure its exciting for us but its hard to say how popular they will actually be when all said and done. They waited six seasons when TNG was a bonafide hit to put on a second show and they only did that because that show was going into films. I’m really excited for the Picard show and I do think having multiple Trek shows can work just fine, but they may be doing too much too fast, especially if some of them just suck.
People didn’t stop watching TV but they did grow tired of the same old Trek (not everybody, of course). That’s why CBS wants the new shows to be more different from each other than the Berman era shows were. Plus, they want to air them during different parts of the year (with the side effect of keeping people subscribed all year). So it’s not a duplicate of 90s Trek.
As for doing it too fast: While it’s true that they have announced a number of new shows those won’t all be coming out at the same time. There’s only a rough estimate for the Picard show (late 2019), and I can’t remember that they’ve mentioned a release date for Lower Decks, let alone any of the other announced shows. They may be years away.
@John Chilton — maybe DS9 and VOY started out differently, but by the time the Defiant came along, they were pretty much doing the same thing on a weekly basis. Add to that the main title themes. I always defended DS9’s slow theme, but when VOY came along and had the same sort of plodding, majesty for a series which should have had a lot more action and adventure, they pretty much merged in my mind. Similar ensemble of characters, zipping around the unknown galaxy on self-contained adventures, hitting the reset button at the end of each episode.
@Curious Cadet – we must’ve been watching different shows. DS9 did not have a reset button and was the first show (next to Bab 5 that is) to have ongoing serialised story telling – indeed, this is what made DS9 unique amongst all 90’s Trek.
And I don’t know how just having a (small) star ship made it Voyager? The ship was only sporadically used. They didn’t live on the ship like the other crews did. Defiant was basically used for short term combat missions (which the ship was literally built for) and wasn’t an exploration or science vessel like Voyager or the others. Its function in the show was very different then all the other shows which is why DS9 as a whole felt so different as a show and still the most unique show in the franchise.
@John Chilton — I’m referencing the individual stories within the episodes. One in particular about the Defiant crashing back in time and spawning a colony, that they ended up erasing in the end. Just like so many VOY time travel stories. The first couple of seasons were interesting, but once Defiant came along, it was clear they’d given up on that plan, and it became just another captain in a spaceship headed out into unknown space on missions.
Yes yes, his Mummy movie failed and he got $25 million dollars to do CBS tv work. I’d pay lip service to being a born again Trekker too for that kind of a life line.
And that cynicism is probably unbecoming of a Trek fan, so I’ll have to wait and see, but the man’s track record is spotty, and Discovery S1 was a beautiful-looking mess I truly hope got cleaned up. As for Picard, Patrick Stewart and Michael Chabon are whom my hopes are pinned on, I’m slightly wary of it not having any Trek veterans who wrote for TNG in the writer’s room.
In television and film you can fail upward.
In just about any line of work you can do that.
But so few earn millions p*ssing off so many.
I agree with all the posts above. Kurtzman speaks beautifully and has said all the right things. I couldn’t say it better than he does. But his work on the Kelvin Universe and Discovery has made Star Trek less, not more meaningful, and less positive. Discovery and the Kelvinverse movies are largely indistinguishable from other dystopian sci fi that is all the rage these days. I love what Kurtzman says. But there is an old saying on Earth: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I don’t know if he’s lying, or he really doesn’t understand there is a huge gap between what he says and he is doing with the franchise. But to me, that doesn’t matter, what matters is I want Star Trek brought back in tone to exactly the things that Kurtzman says he wants for the series. But I wish someone else was doing it, because I have been given no reason to believe anything he says anymore.
I stoped reading after:
“Deep Space Nine and Voyager got into a tricky spot where people were starting to feel they can’t tell the difference between the shows”
In whitch universe did Kurtzman grew up? Kelvin timeline?
He’s talking about casuals, at a glance. I can see what he means, the tng visual language was very engrained in those two shows.
I think you’re probably right, but that’s in spite of DS9 being drastically visually different to TNG And VOY – particularly in S1&2. The station was a (deliberate) radical departure from the Enterprise, whereas I think the Voyager was supposed to hark back to that typical “starship” kinda feel.
Then we get the Defiant in s3 which sorta looks like the VOY sets somewhat, but then s5 happens and the uniforms change making DS9 even more visually distinct and following the visual style of the most successful TNG film, First Contact – which iirc was rather popular with the muggles.
I hope Kurtzman is wrong in his assessment of earlier Trek perceptions. But if his interpretation of Kirk is anything to go by in the Kelvin timeline (and compare KT Kirk to the Kirk in “court martial” for the extent of “Kirk drift” that’s happened in the KT), then maybe my cautious optimism about the Picard show should swing further to caution… fingers crossed it’ll all be ok! :)
Sorry, but they’re really not THAT different. Sure the designs don’t look the same, but the productions all had the same feel, and when you looked at any alien tech or set, it all screamed “90s Trek.”
Yes because it’s the same universe and you need some consistancy to bind the shows tohether. Thats the probmem of Discovery, or do you get a TOS vibe from it?
No, and i’m very glad I don’t.
But why do you need all the shows to look and feel the same just because they’re in the same universe? That’s why Marvel has succeeded, and Star Wars hasn’t.
Iron Man movies don’t look and feel like Captain America movies, which don’t look and feel like Thor movies.
Why should every show in the Trek universe feel the same? Does every series set in our world feel the same?
Sharing a visual aesthetic is pretty much where it ends. DS9 presented stories which had been unimaginable just a few years earlier on TNG (“In the Pale Moonlight” stands out).
I totaly agree with you. You know what if they want to get the feal of TNG in the Picard show, they would be smart to bring Rick Berman on board as a consultant, he learned directly from Gene.
You’re insane. I mean, really, bring back Rick Berman?? Replicate TNG? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?
You and I rarely agree, but in this instance, I can only echo your wise ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? Why not get Nixon on the phone, dig him up, clone him and put him back in on Pennsylvania Ave?
(I know that since Berman’s forte was getting all the trains to run on time, the comparison would be more apt with Hitler, but folks always seem to evoke Hitler when talking about somebody they don’t like, so keeping it domestic with RMN felt more appropriate.)
I’d take Nixon back at this point, and with some gratitude. Sad!
(And just FYI, it was Il Douce who was credited with the punctual trains.)
(And just FYI, it was Il Douce who was credited with the punctual trains.)
I correct again and insist it was Eichmann. I’m pretty sure of that. Not a leader himself, but a rather unremarkable small man, who inspired Hannah Arendt to speak of the “Banality of Evil”. He somehow also inspired the episode “Duet” of DS9, I believe.
Oh God, are you right about that? This shames in a way that takes me back to joyriding with my Leigh High School classmates, racing past another high school and yelling “Camden High sucks!” … only to realize we were at Branham High School.
I went to Santa Cruz but I recognize all those SJ high schools!
Camden doesn’t exist anymore, BTW…
My best friend from jr high went to Camden instead of Leigh, because he was a block out of the ‘zone.’ I think Camden got turned into a strip mall. Moved away 20 years ago, but last week for first time spent an hour google earthing the area, felt very weird, like I was spying on my past or something.
I disagree with that because I expect the Picard show to look vastly different JUST like the TOS Kelvin films look vastly different from that show. The difference with the Picard show is that time has simply moved on. Some things may look a bit familiar but most won’t. It will probably end up how Discovery SHOULD’VE been and that is a mixture of old and new.
Hell no, Keep Berman and Braga as far from Trek as possible. Those two created the least inspired Trek series. Luckily for them DS9 and ENT got rescued by other show runners, but VOY (all their own) was horribly handled and it really shows.
@Dr C — once they started zipping around on the Defiant through the wormhole, it became VOY. Changing the look of the uniforms don’t distinguish them in any kind of substantive way. Both series were telling the same sorts of stories with similar casts. That’s the issue. Why watch both unless you have nothing but time? Pick the cast you like best and tune in every week. You won’t really be missing much by not watching the other.
I see where you’re coming from there but I respectfully disagree. There were plenty of stories that were rooted on the station after they got the Defiant, and to me, VOY didn’t have anything as interesting as the Bajoran political system and religious issues to deal with. Not to mention the kind of character development that happened on DS9 over its run. You couldn’t take the characters from s7 of DS9 and put them back into “emissary” like they did on TNG. And Admiral Janeway (et al) didn’t really change at all in all the years it took them to get home. A good example of what I mean here regarding DS9 would be “Rapture”. I don’t think the Defiant is even in that one (although I watched it recently so I’ll be embarrassed if I’m wrong there!).
Symbolically, changing the uniforms made a *big* difference – let’s not forget “rapture” was the one that really started the escalation of events leading up to the dominion war that led (in that episode) to Bajor’s non-aggression pact with the dominion. The change of the uniforms seemed to signify that darker, more militaristic times were coming (which, if I remember my FC lore, that’s why Frakes wanted different uniforms in that movie to begin with – to give it a more serious militaristic feel overall). VOY, however, due to its lack of serialised storytelling and series arcs (other than the overall arc of the whole show), didn’t have anything that really compared.
One of the best later episodes of VOY that even comes close to being thematically similar to DS9 was “extreme risk” (great episode), but the latter episode is set on a starship in orbit of a planet where they’re building a smaller ship that looks decidedly TNG-y. The former episode spent most of the time on the station, in the holosuite (which looks nothing like a TNG holodeck), and in a cave on Bajor.
Now I’m not knocking VOY – when it was done well it was done very well. But overall DS9 was a deeper show that focused on its characters much more rather than zipping around at the warp speed. Heck, people even commented on this at the time suggesting that DS9 was “boldly going nowhere” and all that jazz.
VOY was (supposed to be, as is my understanding) the reincarnation of TOS (in spirit – which may have been its intention, despite the execution).
So I continue to disagree with Mr Kurzman’s analysis of DS9 and VOY. And I would suggest that non-trekkers may even have been aware of that distinction at the time – DS9 was the one on the station where they “never went anywhere”. VOY was “the one with the Borg lady”.
Finally, VOY stayed away from the dominion (except in one or two cases where they were *very* briefly dealt with – as in “extreme risk” and a couple of other episodes) *because* the assumption was that more casual viewers weren’t necessarily watching both and all the dominion layers (man, DS9 was awesome!) would confuse casual VOY viewers who’d never heard of a Vorta before…! So I heartily disagree that the shows were that similar that even casual viewers could pick one to watch and not miss anything by not watching the other. DS9 was too complex to allow that to happen haha!
I think Mr Kurzman may be operating with the benefit of hindsight here. We’ll see what he comes up with for Picard – fingers crossed it’s all we hope it will be :)
What exactly is “TNG visual language”, though? Are we speaking about first two seasons, mid-show seasons, or last three seasons?
It is only natural that the second half of TNG looked similar to DS9 and VOY. For one, it was most likely intentional, because they are essentially sidequels. And for two, many mid-90s shows share similar aesthetics even if they aren’t related (consider SG-1, for example).
If I was to guess I’d say Okudagrams, grey or beige ship colour palettes, black + primary colour uniforms, and a silver delta pin.
But if your second point is correct (and I’d like to think that it is) then Kurzman might be off the mark with his interpretation of DS9 vs VOY
I bet the Picard show will be at leest 25% different then TNG. 😉
“It is only natural that the second half of TNG looked similar to DS9 and VOY.”
Actually, DS9 and VOY felt a lot closer to each other than to TNG, no matter what phase you look at. The set designs, uniforms and lighting on both later shows were a lot darker and martial than TNG’s colorful uniforms and brightly lit sets.
TNG is easily distiguishable from DS9, VOY and ENT, the other three shows however have a lot in common, visually and tonally, despite their different settings and stories.
And yet all three shows look similar. The truth is, all Trek shows of the 90s had a similar “visual language” as the other poster put it. 90s Trek had a certain look no matter which show, no matter which sets, no matter which alien race.
And the problem is, the point is, the visual language stayed the same for too long. Only in 2001 with enterprise was any effort made to make Trek a bit different, and that effort entailed going deep into the past. The actual production and writing, and feel of the show was almost identical to Voyager that preceded it, but in my opinion poorer in execution.
I would say even ENT looked and felt the same. The production was approached the same way. It’s funny, even episodes set in other time periods– “Far Beyond the Stars”, “Carbon Creek”, “11:59,” and “Time’s Arrow”– they all still had that 90s Trek production feel, the same 90s Trek tone.
And when ENT did occasionally try to change things up, like doing the SAVING PVT RYAN fast shutter no-blur thing, it seemed like they were doing it to be ‘in’ rather than because it was appropriate. I had stopped watching the show long before that, but somebody got me to tune in for an ep in s3 or early s4 that had the no-blur for action, and it just felt like watching a teenager ape the movie he just watched.
Yes 90’s trek is easely identifiable, but will we be abke to say the same for Kurtzman Trek? Or will be every show so different that it will be like a differen universe? My oppinion is, you need something that binds the shows together, they should not be radicaly different from one another. Or maybe they will be all over the timeline and can justify the differences. By the way was there eny talk in whitch year the lower decks or the academy shiw will be set?
Well considering the Picard Show is set more than 150 yrs in the future I would expect a far different show.
Which is why I’m so excited to see how they handle the tech and look of the show. Discovery already feels like a 25th century ship so I can only imagine how cooler the tech will be on the new show. Can’t wait!!!
Any star ship on the Picard show could look EXACTLY like Discovery and it would work perfectly well in that time frame. The fact that I wrote that with complete seriousness is pretty sad, however.
@Boze — tune into the ORVILLE, the “TNG visual language” is alive an well.
Alive … not sure about the ‘well’ part. Would be happier if they turned off half the lights on the set and created some contrast and snap to the imagery. If you want a TNG look for the current century, making it all look like YESTERDAY’S ENTERPRISE is the answer.
And that’s why I’ll never watch it.
To me, the music mattered more than the visuals. Take a score from DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. You can almost inter-change them without notice. All three shows sounded the same.
All three shows also had very similar writing. All three suffered from technobabble-itis.
Good point, FLB. I was waiting for someone to bring this up.
Which is to be expected since they existed in the same space, so to speak. I’m not sure if Kurtzman ever actually watched either show.
I think you’re correct as well. HOWEVER if that is what he meant then his comments are based in superficialty – he’s not displaying any knowledge or understanding of the actual shows themselves. .
When Harve Bennet stepped in for Star Trek II he made a point of watching the entire run of TOS. He was familiar with it but didn’t really *know* it. He pulled a team together that had never worked a day on Star Trek during its original run and when the film was released it was apparent that they actually understood what made it work.
On first glance, DS9 and VOY were nearly identical. Same uniforms, same sonic wallpaper scores, same directors, writers… of course, they had a different setting and storyline, but they FELT the same.
All Kurtzman wants to say is that PIC will look and feel drastically different from DSC, much more than DS9 and VOY had been apart visually and tonally.
Actually even TNG felt a lot different early on from what eventually became the “24th century” as we remember it today.
Yes, thank you.
I’ll copy paste because there are too many fans who can’t grasp the concept he’s conveying:
“Particularly from a casual fan’s persective, both shows had a very similar look and feel, even if the designs were slightly different, even if DS9 was a little darker.
Everything from the production design, cinematography, acting, directing, and presentation was largely the same. Even as a diehard fan, I can see how similar they are no matter how hard they tried to differentiate them.
More than all of that though, I think he’s referring to TONE. If you tuned in to either show, they felt like the same thing tonally. That was intentional, no doubt, because they wanted audiences to have comfort in the familiar.
And I think the implication here is that Picard won’t FEEL like Discovery.”
Given the success of DSC* why would Kurzman be so focused on making the Picard show different in tone to DSC?
What purpose does that serve except to attract fans of the original, reasonably consistent tone of the 90s-early 2000s era shows, whilst at the same time saying “but Picard will be a different Picard”? Unless he’s wanting to change the tone to bring in non-fans…? Which worked with Discovery, didn’t it?
So the tone will change from DSC and make the Picard series distinct from the TNG era so as to bring in new fans and attract old fans and everyone will love it.
Weren’t these similar aims for DSC? That’s why there was a visual reboot and a darker tone and a faster pace and serialised storytelling and a war story etc.?
*source: comicbook.com article from June 2018 stating “‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Is Most Popular Streaming Show in the US, UK”
“Given the success of DSC* why would Kurzman be so focused on making the Picard show different in tone to DSC?”
Because Picard was specifically greenlit to appeal to a different audience. The plan, clearly, is to have different Trek shows that appeal to different demographics.
Ah, ok :)
Well let’s hope that’s how it works out!
Exactly. I think no one would have a problem with Discovery if it wasn’t set 10 years before TOS.
And i’d have no problem with that stance if it made any sense.
I absolutely agree with that, Awesomesauce.
That is true. If Discovery was set post Nemesis none of the production issues would be a problem. Only the plotting and writing issues would be in question.
But this has been said over and over for a year now.
Yes i hope it will feal like DS9 and Voyager 😉😁. But in all seriousnes, i think Voyager and DS9 were tonaly quite differen from one another. The only think they had realy in common was the long story arc because if the setting was almost the same, both confined to one place,…
DS9 is a very different show and Voyager despite being TNG lite did have its own identity.
People are not that stupid to be confused by the shows
Its great we have new Trek but I worry with this guy as our new ‘Berman’
I already am not keen on. Burnham being responsible for Spock’s friendship with Kirk, by saying she prepares him.
I am excited of course, but I am very worried.
It won’t be my fav but I am open. Just worried.
“People are not that stupid to be confused by the shows…”
Nope, they didn’t confuse both shows, they just deemed them as being more of the same and gave up after 1 season or so. That’s why TNG’s record ratings declined from 10+ million to 3 million by the end of ENT. The 3 million die-hards kept watching, but the other 7 million just didn’t want “same old, same old”…
Which still eclipses Discovery’s viewership in the U.S. thanks to limited exposure on CBS All Access.
Discovery would probably kill to have ENT numbers in the final season.
No doubt. More people were watching Enterprise than are watching Discovery now.
So he says part of Star Trek is that debate? So you think dividing the fanbase (like The last Jedi did with Star wars fans) is a good thing?
I think we can all agree that Kurzmann is the worst that could happen to Star Trek. They will destroy the most iconic figure in my opinion star trek has. We don’t want the stupid plot of the 2009 movie to be continued and a story revolving around the destruction of Romulus. But hey, Kurzmann also wrote that shit…
Not to dismiss everything you are saying but you do yourself and injustice by claiming that “we can all agree that Kurtzman…” Obviously, this is not the case. You can have an opinion, but please don’t try to speak for others.
“I think we can all agree that Kurzmann [sic] is the worst that could happen to Star Trek”
No, we absolutely cannot all agree on that point. If you have specific criticisms of Discovery, Star Trek (2009), or anything else Kurtzman has been involved in, fine. We all do to some degree. But nothing that Kurtzman has done to date leads me to the inevitable conclusion that he will be the downfall of Star Trek as we know it. To the contrary, I’m as optimistic as I’ve been since the mid 1990s. And I’m sorry, but Romulus’ destruction is just as canon as Tom Paris’ and Kathryn Janeway’s lizard babies. Maybe you don’t agree with the creative decision, but it’s no less part of Star Trek now than anything else just because Kurtzman wrote it.
WHat I want to know is what happened to Bob Orci? (remember him? He’d been on this star trek every minute of its redesign) its like he’s disappeared Luke style. I wanted to see his Trek 3 with shatner returning in the intriguing sounding timeline plot, not whatever it was Pegg came up with while on TFA set. Beyond Insurrection/Beyond boring totally derailed the film franchise
If you go through the comment sections of the last few days (weeks) you will see that Bob Orci actually returned here a few times. Based on what he said he is no longer interested in writing another Trek. As for his Trek 3 script, nothing seems to have come out of that. Either he hasn’t made time for it, or no publisher has been interested in it, or Paramount doesn’t want it to get out (I don’t know if they could actually block it).
Paramount owns the script. Not up to me if it ever gets seen or published.
Does that mean they could publish it without you getting any share? Doesn’t sound fair.
Reminds me of Marvel they sure mistreated Kirby back in the days.
Studios aren’t in the habit of publishing un-produced scripts. Hypothetically, if they were to use all or parts of Bob’s script in a future project he would receive credit. There are lots of rules about how that works under the WGA (Writer’s Guild of America).
What Bob said was simply he doesn’t control if Paramount ever lets it see the light of day. Not that he wouldn’t be compensated for it.
Ah, Ok. Thanks for the clarification.
@boborci you had the right idea for ST3 in building on the timelines/alt uni stuff from ST09 (and ID) and bringing back Shatner for first time in over 20 years (so bit like Ford coming back to SW) which would’ve garnered press attention (as was already happening before it was cancelled) making it something of an event for the 50th and maybe more box office. Beyond didn’t do that at all.
Which is unfortunate. I was excited about that movie.
Excited about what Kurtzman is working on. Bored and depressed with the negative comments here. What a bunch of droning uninformed and rude people. To start, so many factual errors in the rants about how the entertainment industry works. You can have an opinion about content, but if you live in Ohio or something and have never worked in entertainment, you might want to check simple things in your rant that just make you look sad and silly. Again, your opinion is fine but don’t state things about how the industry works that are just not how things are structured.
i.e. the Roman mob plebeians. (Don’t acknowledge thoughtless attempts for validation.)
I totally agree with you, Luke, about negativity. Sheesh!
To take a different tack: It seems to me that Discovery reflects our own dark times when the values of respect for diversity and seeking unity amid difference are threatened by casual falsehoods and ad hominems. Lorca’s screed against aliens supposedly threatening the Terran way of life and his slogan to make the Empire glorious again are a case in point. Burnham comes to realize that the “Vulcan hello” was not consistent with the values that Georgiou died defending and so brought a desperate Starfleet back from the brink of committing genocide.
Seeing the other as deserving understanding and respect is what Trek has always been about (even if not always successfully). It would be nice to see that value more on display among its fans.
“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” ― Marcus Aurelius
I understand what he’s saying but I don’t really agree with it. DS9 and VOY were very different and much different in tone, styles and certainly narrative. I will say the one thing that felt the same was definitely the music and I agree with others it felt too wall paper sounding and repetitive at times. But when it came to the actual stories and characters its a big difference. I guess what he means is if you are new to Trek and you watch both shows you will know they are Star Trek? I mean sure, but once you start watching, really watching then its no mistake how different they are, especially DS9 being so different then all of them frankly and why I love it so much.
And while I don’t get on Kutzman case like others do here too much, this is the guy who has produced some of the most generic shows around. Most of his CBS shows are cop based procedural slick action pieces with hot looking people using practically the same look and style in all of them. Scorpion and Limitless felt like they took place in the same universe at times for the little I watched of them. I’m just saying glass houses and all of that.
I understand some of the criticism but personally I enjoyed the KU movies as re imagined Star Trek – some were great and others okay. As for his past work, the only other things I have seen from him is Fringe – and IMO that was also totally enjoyable.
Some of the attacks on Kurtzman (not yours) border on lunacy and all I can say is thank goodness that someone “in the business” has a passion for Star Trek and has decided to try and expand the Trek universe and continue the legacy of the franchise.
so. this is the guy that created Scorpion. heading the new trek.
admittedly, STD is not his fault as he came in late. we’ll just have to wait and see.
He can’t tell the difference between DS9 and VOY? I love DSC, but this guy needs to give it to someone who can tell the difference between the series, because they are different and “feel” different too, Kurtzman, I’m paying attention to you.
You can’t understand the point of what he’s saying?! We need commenters who understand the subtleties of human language, because words have more than one meaning!
One of the difficulties I had trying to watch Babylon 5 or DS9 was that I only had a TV and couldn’t program my VCR. So if Kurtzman couldn’t tell the difference between DS9 and Voyager — maybe that’s because individual episodes of both of them didn’t have the episodic impact of TOS. Now, we live in a completely different narrative ecosystem and we can enjoy and binge watch at will and that changes what visual impact means. It’s a bit hard to read all this negativity. Not living around Star Trek is the thing that has always made Star Trek better.
The episodic impact of TOS?
Like the episode where Kirk pretends to be a horse?
I’m amazed how many people rant at Kurtzman that “he couldn’t tell VOY and DS9 apart” when he for HIMSELF says “even though they were very different”. He just states (correctly) that due to them being set in the same era, with the same visuals (display graphics, alien makeups, ship models etc.), people started to feel they were too similar.
Yes. Not only are you correct, it’s also that he’s thinking about the audience — not himself:
“people were starting to feel they can’t tell the difference between the shows”
And he’s not wrong. Part of what killed the franchise was that it had become stale. Sure one show was on a space station, one was lost in space, one a pioneer ship, but it felt like the same stories week after week for almost 20 years, and for 6 of them two of the same stories every week!
Yes but its no guarantees the same won’t happen with all these new shows either. We literally just have one show on right now and a small track record. And it wasn’t just telling similar stories, NCIS has been doing that successfully for 15 seasons already with three similar shows on now. L&O over 20 now. Thats why procedural do so well on TV and in fact thats all MOST of TV was in its existence, making shows with similar themes and stories week after week for decades. The issue is Star Trek just went on waaaaay too long. I always said it should’ve just took a few years off after Voyager and Enterprise probably would’ve went 7 seasons like the others. I even gave up on it after first season and I watched all the other shows loyally every week.
Clearly CBS is hoping these shows also go on for another 20 year run. This is CBS, Survivor is literally going on its 35th season lol. And they need subscribers to AA badly and want to keep people on the hook all year so I can’t blame them but they may be going too head on and they can burn people off of Trek in half the time the previous run did if they simply make too many of them too fast. Hopefully it will work out but its nice we don’t have to worry about the lack of Star Trek…at least on the TV end. ;)
I’ve never seen NCIS or or L&O. Do they have cast turnover? That would be one way to kinda sorta keep the show from going 100% stale over the years… If that is the case, then TNG could have kept going on and on by simply rotating new crewmembers in and out from time to time.
I’ve seen very little of NCIS but yes what I have seen, mostly the original, has definitely had cast changes, but most have stayed. As far as L&O, that show is actually infamous for them lol. The original show there was always a big cast shake up every few years. One year they practically dumped half the cast in one swoop. By the time the original show ended, it was an entirely different cast then it started with but it was on for literally 19 years. That’s how most of the L&O shows work.
For some reason Star Trek is not very keen on big cast changes. They do seem very hard to keep the originals around which I don’t mind but its probably unrealistic when everyone from TOS is still together 25 years later. I think that is the one big change with Discovery is they are not afraid to kill off or exchange cast members like the other shows. It does keep it fresh.
And after this has been discussed so thoroughly, we will all measure Mr Kurtzman by his words once Picard comes out! Because the proof is really in the pudding. As others have elaborated alot of this “tone” or “feeling” is related to 1990s scifi style, and given that DSC is so NOT different in any way from 2010s scifi “premium tv” which somehow has to be very dark (both tonally and visually), have broken characters, dystopian vibe, endless serialization etc., I have very big doubts that he can live up to the promise that all the other new shows, and Picard in particular, will be all that different from DSC in particular and the 2010s vibe it so perfectly exemplifies in general. Because even TNG was continuously sliding into darkness (again both tonally and visually) with the later movies…
And beyond that, they had the same writers, directors, and creatives who pushed the same visual and tonal style on both shows.
It’s going to be delicious when the series premieres and it’s not what TNG fans wanted. But they need to remember, Patrick Stewart specifically stated he didn’t want the show to be Season 8 of TNG. He didnt want the same old, same old. He wanted something DIFFERENT.
As he said, if it’s just Picard, 25 years later, what’s the point?
Yes people who want TNG will probably be disappointed just like people who wanted TOS are disappointed in Discovery now. But most people really just want a show moving forward again and deal with that eras canon. I’m super excited just to know the show will deal with the destruction of Romulus. That means it can go dark if they want it too.
Looking forward to it. Almost makes me want to jump up and sing UNDER THE MANGO TREE from that mediocre Terence Young musical….
Am I the only one who recognizes this clever reference to a 1962 film that launched a still-thriving global franchise spearheaded by a name associated primarily with a cruciferous vegetable?
(now, ‘fetch my shoes.’)
Reference landed on multiple targets, but yours is the only one to be acknowledged. Like the couple in the Jimmy Buffett song BOOMERANG LOVE from a classic thriller film by that other presidential lady….
But then “if it goes dark” that will, once again, prove his reassurances hollow, that the Picard series is tonally SO different from Discovery, the queen of darkness ;-)
I think what he/they have been doing so far is placate the fans while feeling not the least bound by their words to implement actual, daring, bold changes to “premium streaming tv scifi” instead of safely swimming with the tide. As you have argued in vain to others, “diversity” in 2019 is not bold at all! Being Utopian is! But talk is cheap. Let’s see the meat, Mr. Kurtzman!
I should’ve said it can be dark at TIMES, not a dark show in general. I think they probably will keep the show uplifting but it will go dark when it needs to for more serious plots. BOBW and Chain of Command were not exactly happy go lucky television but it proved that TNG can be bleak when it has to be and still well liked by fans. And Picard suffering is as much part of the job as drinking his Earl Grey tea. ;)
I’m happy that they comment on current politics, but than I belive it should not turn to dark, keep it inspiring.
“I’m super excited just to know the show will deal with the destruction of Romulus. That means it can go dark if they want it too.”
Tiger2, it would be an interesting twist if it turns out, for example, that Romulus was destroyed via a Section 31/Starfleet Intelligence black ops mission, perhaps involving something like protomatter weaponry based on Genesis research. Remember Kirk’s son in TWOK warning about the military getting their hands on that stuff. The “supernova” would be a convenient cover story, and the attack has the benefit of taking out one of the Federation’s main geopolitical rivals.
If Picard has subsequently become President, he’d have to deal with the fallout — and wouldn’t be happy if he’s also discovered the truth. Doubly so if he also finds out the “Pale Moonlight” incident was a false flag.
LOL that would be crazy if we found out the Romulus destruction was a Section 31 plot. That revelation would turn the Federation on its head. I would actually be OK going that route but I’m not sure if they want to make Section 31 THAT evil, especially now its official we have a new show coming.
But I think it will be fun to see how Picard deals with it all. I’m just happy its not going to be a show of him sitting on his rocking chair recalling the days of him on the Stargazer as some people feared lol. It sounds like he’s going to be in thick of the action and it’s going to be a heavy show story wise. I can’t wait to see where this is all going.
The 24th century still sounds boring. The 23rd is more interesting.
I watched an entire season of the 23rd century on Discovery…and I was bored through half of it. I would’ve loved for the Klingon war to keep me invested like the Dominion war did and that went on for 5 seasons.
I don’t mind different. I just don’t want them screwing up the character. 10 or more episodes of a brooding, reflective Picard in his twilight years would be exhausting.
ds9 and voyager are obviously very different shows but to the outside observer aesthetically they are the same… they all had the same look and feel… that’s why by time enterprise came along it just seemed like all the same stuff… like one continuous show from 1987 to 2005… i like how discovery feels completely different while still (to me) is star trek… and picard is obviously gonna stand on it’s own and some fans are not gonna like that… trek fans always freak out when something is different but to last 50 years and beyond that’s what needs to happen… they’re no longer appealing to kids in the 60s… or 20 somethings in the 80s/90s… you know how hard it is to make 3 generations of fans happy while trying to lure in new ones all while trying to be good?
Please Mr. Kurtzman. Please. Don’t screw this up. I’m excited to see the Alpha quadrant post hobus event and I’m ecstatic for Picard (I hope he sits in the captain’s chair of the Enterprise E, which I loved, or more realistically the Enterprise F even if just to launch the ship like Kirk did in Generations). I’m excited to perhaps revisit DS9 and all the other characters from that era of Trek (even if they are just cameos). I understand it won’t be a revisit or rehash of that era and I don’t want it to be that but I hope it touches on what came before, deals with the present and moves us towards the future. I’m very excited for this and wish you great success. Please don’t let us down. Make it so. Just don’t make it like discovery or Kelvin verse!
Fans who plead with creators in this manner are truly sad.
He’s just hoping the show will be good, nothing wrong with that. And I think its fair to say the Picard show is the most anticipated star Trek project since Voyager ended. People are truly excited about it where they seem more mixed about everything else (see the new Section 31 announcement thread lol). So yes if this gets the same reaction as say TLJ, I have a feeling its going to be hard to motivate fans for their future shows and we know Discovery is already divisive (but could change if next season is better). This is the first one coming out of the gate and the first show Kurtzman has full control of from the start so there will be a LOT riding on it.
What I would like is a simple answer from Alex and/or the other producers about the visual look of the series. Is this a visual reboot of the TOS era to make it feel more like it fits in between the “Enterprise” and “TMP” + eras, and we are suppose to imagine that the TOS stories happened, but everything really looked like they do as in “Discovery,” or is the visual look part of an ongoing plot, and that in 10 years time, the Enterprise is going to look just like the ship we saw in TOS (as implied by John Eaves), admittedly with a few extra details like thruster ports, phaser turrets, and torpedo launchers….
If it is indeed a visual reboot that won’t morph into the look of classic TOS, how far forward does this visual reboot look apply, before it morphes into the still established look of the later Trek universe? I see no reason to have to reboot the look of TMP, TNG, DS9. And VOY, eras. They hold up just fine to the measure of visual believability as advanced tech….
If I had to make the call, I’d say Picard is incarcerated.
1. It may be in a mental health facility to deal with depression compounded by his Irumodic Syndrome and lingering PTSD and physical deterioration from his Borg conversation.
2. He may be imprisoned on New Romulus, his execution only being delayed by Federation negotiation or by factions in a Romulan civil war, with the winning faction to dispose of Picard at their own disfression. THIS would qualify as a radically altered life, to be sure.
One last thought: Perhaps Picard is a man without a country now: hunted by the Romulans, hated by the Klingons for the results of his decisions as arbiter in the ascendance of the now disgraced House of Gowron, and shunned on Federation worlds after serving out the sentence of court marshall proceedings against him.
In each case, we would have a Picard laid low, possibly in disgrace, and flayed open to the very narrow of his character. He may have given up on life…or he may be coaxed into one last chance at coming back from failure and injustice.
Welcome to the universe of:
STAR TREK: REDEMPTION.
And if you wanted to add a fantasy/SF component to that heady and exciting mix, he could be experiencing visions of a long-lost Starfleet Captain Sisko, which indicate that their shared reality is a fictional construct of a 20th century African-American writer named Benny …
(just kidding with that, your REDEMPTION notion is a really good one. It reminds me of one of the early Star Trek Fanfic domains, where Kirk deals with life outside Starfleet after getting the boot for screwing up and letting a planet get hit by a berserker, as well as the excellent PRIME DIRECTIVE novel. And the idea that Picard’s best intentions and noble-minded pursuit of ethical resolutions would have created a universe of hurt in its wake would echo and go well beyond an early idea for WRATH OF KHAN, with Kirk mired in a mid-life crisis over Starfleet’s abandonment of the ‘explore strange new world’ motto in favor of just holding onto its current territories. What has my life been used for? is a terrific premise, one that would probably get Stewart on board right away. Here’s hoping you’re right about at least one of these!)
If all Trek novels were as good as “Prime Directive” (or Diane Duane’s “The Wounded Sky”) I’d probably still be reading them. Only so many hours in the day, sad to say.
This premise seems a little dark given Kurtzman’s emphasis on the optimistic bent of the franchise and what it means to him these days, but who knows? No novelist I’m aware of is more adept at viewing even terrible events with a humanistic hope of better things to come than Michael Chabon, so anything’s possible.
Scroll up to the newer story about s 31 if you want to talk about going dark … (I love THE WOUNDED SKY too, have probably read it more often than any other trek tome.) Can Chabon remake the mirror emperor into a creditable character?
If I were Kurtzman, I’d say nothing.
The Star Trek property speaks for itself, and the fanbase will like it or hate it before imploding and leaving those of us who are just pleased to see Trek in it’s different iterations with nothing. Again.
Fandom, and engaging with fandom, is pointless and toxic.
Star Trek is going anywhere, for the time being. It’s the only thing propping up CBS’s SVOD service.
No, I think he is right to do promotion, but I agree that they should not hear to much to what we fans say but find their own voice and do their own thing. People are afraid they dumb ST down and I get that judging some of the first seasons scripts. But as long as they hire people like Michael Chabon and the guy who wrote for Rick and Morty and smart actors like Anson Mount, Mary Chieffo and Anthony Rapp I put a little trust in them.
It is interesting to look at the Trek Fan Universe. Those who show up at various conventions and are willing to spend money to celebrate their fandom seem to be generally pleased with Discovery. On boards like this and on social media, where people can often hide behind the veil of anonymity, you can get some constructive critiques along with extremely positive and supportive comments, but you also get some toxic and irrelevant attacks. Those in industries such as entertainment and even sports or commercial businesses such as restaurants and publicly traded companies, must learn to appreciate positive social media and listen to constructive and useful critiques while completely ignoring those toxic personal attacks not even worthy of reading or watching.
I guess his ex-partner Bob Orci can speak well on that lol. But I disagree, there is nothing wrong with engaging in fandom and the beauty of Star Trek is producers have been directly interacting with fans since the advent of Star Trek conventions. Now everyone does it from Comic Con to social media today but Star Trek and Roddenberry is what made that connection to fandom mainstream in the first place. Now you can’t avoid it in the social media age, especially when you literally have fans responding directly to you on Twitter.
I agree they don’t have to feel beholden to them (and yes fandom in general has gotten too toxic, partly because of the internet age) but its nothing wrong to hear feedback and make changes if its GOOD feedback and will get those same fans to keep watching. Season 2 of Discovery CLEARLY is a result of what fans hated about season 1 and made changes because of it. Hopefully for the better.
It was Roddenberry’s property though and he had a vested interest in refloating it. Kurtzman isn’t Roddenberry, and Star Trek isn’t dead like it was in the mid 1970s.
With Kurtzman had he a better record with Trek people wouldn’t feel the need to complain.
I’ve learned a lot reading the comments section today. I learned that Alex Kurtzman is entitled to fawning obeisance from Midwestern peasants, or something. Apparently the $25 million deal wasn’t enough compensation. And I learned that because Manny Coto is possibly a libertarian, therefore Enterprise is basically Fox News. Curioser and curioser.
Bah Kurtzman and JJ Trek is super mediocre bland sci-fi. Please get people with more vision.
I like his statemanet, but the Marvel comparesson is not a good choice.
The Marvel movies are a bit like the transformers franchise:
You get the same movie all the time, but with superb new explosions.
I can’t tell the difference.
Deadline is reporting that CBSAA has announced a Discovery spinoff starring Michelle Yeoh.
Look, I love Michelle Yeoh but this just feeds into my concerns that they’re going to lose focus by churning out way too much content related to this franchise. It’s more of a product now than ever.
Someone escort this guy to the door please…
So he can step into his limousine, drive to his office and start work on more Trek?
Variety and THR are reporting the Yeoh story as well.
…Trek is his “mission” because his mission to reboot Spider-Man and Universal’s classic monster franchises failed. CBS needed someone to try and turn things around and Kurtzman had some street cred with Trek 09. And he was available.
OK. For the first time this is not sounding positive. He got so very many things wrong that I am hoping that it only sounds that way because it was taken out of context. I mean, the last thing they should think about with the Picard show is “honoring” either Picard or the fans. The last time I heard something was done for the fans was “These are the Voyages..” And we all know that THAT turned out. Granted it wasn’t Kurtzman but it brings up terrible memories.
Discovery is a “bullet”? Only in that it was a bullet in the hopes of fans wanting to see some good new Star Trek.
He couldn’t tell the different between DS9 and VOY? REALLY? This does not bode well. He claims the Marvel movies are different at a time when they could not be more alike.
He speaks about now is the time for stories about our better selves and about hope. That is not unique to right now. They could be just as relevant a decade from now or a decade earlier. I know these tend to be buzz words but they are just tired.
To casual fans, DS9 and VOY wearing the same uniforms, with the exact same wallpaper music and directors and producers and cinematographers made them seem similar to the casual fan. We know the difference, but it’s like the difference between War Machine and Iron Man. If you don’t know super heroes, they look really similar, but the more you know about them, the more different they become.
They have to start thinking about the common viewer, not just the fans. There just simply aren’t enough of us to keep a show going on network TV, especially with our divided fanbase. That’s why I like that so many different shows are happening. Hopefully they wise up and put a show on CBS proper.
To me though a Section 31 show doesn’t sound like its going to be for the common viewer. S31 is a niche sub plot from the shows and STID and most people won’t ever heard of them unless they watched those shows in general. To me it seems like they would’ve went wider if they wanted new fans. Everyone is saying the Picard show is suppose to bring in new fans but I’m not convinced of that at all. I think its just going to bring in hardcore TNG fans or all the people who were disappointed Discovery. So far NONE of these shows sounds like they are going to be for common viewers but I could be wrong. It will probably depend on the marketing and execution I guess.
They are obviously not doing the show because Section 31 is such a mainstream popular concept. They will try to sell it as a spy/espionage show to an audience that wouldn’t necessarily be interested in a Trek show. And they are trying to cash in on Michelle Yeoh’s popularity. With the Picard show they want to lure back TNG era fans who may not like Discovery. Plus, they are clearly hoping that Patrick Stewart can bring in additional audiences. Otherwise, we might be getting a Riker series or a Worf series.
I would agree that the Section 31 show requires more from the viewers. ESPECIALLY with the back story regarding EVIL-Georgeau. Which to me, really muddies the waters. That will be a VERY tough sell to the casual subscriber.
They could introduce her background very shortly in a “Welcome to Section 31 scene”. Basically, her Section 31 superior introduces her as “So you’re the former leader of an evil empire from a parallel universe? We do the dirty work to keep the Federation save and we think we can use your talents”.
The only problem is that Georgiou will already be introduced as a Section 31 agent in Discovery’s 2nd season so this would have to be a flashback.
Yeah it just feels too niche to me. Fine if you already watch Star Trek but I don’t know if its going to make a big difference to catch new viewers? As you said her back story is directly tied into Discovery, which is actually a FIRST that a spin off show will be based on a known character from another show. I guess they will reintroduce her on the show but it seems like the entire point of seeing her on Discovery this season is to build her (already crazy) back story even more.
As I said before, I think they are going for people who like spy shows. Her arc in Discovery season 2 (however big or small it may be) is to introduce Trek fans to the idea and convince them to check out the show. But CBS will make sure that people will be able to get into the Section 31 show without having seen Discovery.
I see what you are saying but if that is what he is getting at I would say it is more like the difference between Black Panther and Aqua-Man. Different title characters and different situations but all the same boxes are checked of as the movie goes on.
“I think Deep Space Nine and Voyager got into a tricky spot where people were starting to feel they can’t tell the difference between the shows” Sure Alex to the casual viewer but then I guess that’s what you’re going for with Discovery isn’t it?
I will give anything related to Star Trek a chance and watch it all. I stopped watching Enterprise in the first season, but watched it all years later and realized it is actually a good show! So I will not do that again and give anything a chance. That said, everything Kurtzman says here gives me pause. Calling himself a Trekkie/Trekker sounds like he is trying too hard to be accepted by the fans. I wish that Nick Meyers was still involved.
To make a great star trek all you have to do is follow tng ds9 and voyager…..i don’t even watch discovery the 1st season sucked spore drive…cmon and since when did homosexuality become a thing in space no disrespect….but the star trek I grew up on and loved staying up with my dad to watch is over…….i really hope Picard and some of the original cast like riker Diana troy data commander sisqo……they was the best jordy……so many good episodes…i don’t know what this garbage shit is now….i did like the movie reboots tho doing way better then star wars
“I don’t think there is a “you can’t do it this way” rule on Trek.” Awww the post-Roddenberry years. While GR was alive “Starfleet personnel can have no conflict with each other” (drove away MANY extremely talented writers); and GR in the moment dictating “the future won’t have…” even if it contradicts his own canon from earlier (destroying many very interesting ideas for episodes & characters); TNG Season 2 premiere had an excellent, very cinematic lighting scheme but banned afterwards saying it was “too dark” for Trek; “Conspiracy” showed what happens when a phaser aims at a face: “too graphic” for Trek; about 1 or 2 episodes (out of 24) per year tried to do “different” story telling structure beyond the established style.
So, Kurtzman is very lucky to be able to do whatever he wants NOW instead of having to be bound by the very prevalent rules during the Prime Universe production era.
Personally, I enjoyed Discovery but still think it should’ve been set in late 24th century. The tech on USS Discovery & especially USS Shenzhou is past Sisko’s Defiant or Picard’s 1701-E; changes to Klingons were unnecessary – could’ve worked just as well with an entirely new species. Otherwise, a very very good show. (Yes I resisted watching until well after the bluray was out, but now do not regret for a second buying the bluray.. and looking forward to the 2nd season bluray)