Monday, November 03, 2008

How to flush 150 million dollars down the drain

People have been hearing about this film for over a year. The pictures are out, and a huge number of people are extremely disappointed with the results so far. It doesn't matter if they put a lot of effort into this film or not, it just doesn't impress. The most unfortunate thing is that the production crew appears to be trying to pull in a demographic that will avoid anything that's called "STAR TREK" like the plague, while alienating a pretty sizable portion of the established fan base. That's a recipe for disaster.

Unless they went back and re-shot scenes or changed them before the film started shooting, most of it was "locked" since they were filming through the Writers strike - which kept them from making *any* changes to the script as they shot. That's just not the way a film should be made.

I hate to put my geek-hat on here, but I just don't see how they are going to be fitting this into the established history of even just the TOS series. It's clear they're ignoring these sort of things.

Apparently they find that the non-fans will be confused if they include characters that existed before they never watched the series.

If most of this film takes place after Where No Man Has Gone Before (meaning that McCoy is on the ship) this film should include Yeoman Janice Rand, Nurse Christine Chapel, and Lt. Kevin Riley. If it's before, Gary Mitchell should be on the ship, as well as Mark Piper as the doctor with Sulu in the astrosciences department. They could have kept Chekov in either case (even if that makes him 20 I suppose if it was before WNMHGB), but have him in a different position for this film, security, since it appears that is what he took up primarily in the films down the road.

The established Star Trek Universe (as opposed to the JJ Abrams-universe) has these established (or distilled from episodes and sources):

Kirk was born in 2233.
Spock was born in 2232.
McCoy was born in 2227.
Scotty was born in 2222.
Sulu was born in 2237.
Chekov was born in 2245.
Uhura was born in 2239.

If they somehow all entered at the same time (ignoring the 11 years that Spock served with Pike), it means that Kirk is either a certified genus or the rest of them are extremely mediocre officers -ignoring Sulu, who seems to be the only one to make it to actual command outside of Kirk and to a lesser extent Spock, who appears to have been "Captain" of the Enterprise when at Starfleet Academy.

The excuse being used is that the continuity has never been good. Generally discrepancies are/were due to bad fact-checking - simply mistakes in the script not blatant re-imagining of the entire universe's history.

This is nothing more than an attempt at "updating" this for a modern auidence that, frankly, doesn't exist. Some will point to Doctor Who's new incarnation as an example at "updating" the heart-and-soul of the series for a modern auidence. However, the soon to be former producer, Russell T. Davies turned an intelligent series with - for the most part - decent storytelling which at times had spats of genius, into a garbage fest which made even the most horrid stories from the late 80s look good. I've read fan fiction that was better than the fanwank stories that guy wrote for his characters. But the more serious problem is that Doctor Who takes place further down the history of the same character, which is completely different than this new "Star Trek" which seems to be replacing the established storyline.

I just think they dropped the ball with this film, and instead of just setting it entirely sometime within the series, they've gone down a path of re-imagining - starting with scraping established history.

Okay, geek rant over.

Let's see how the trailer in front of Quantum of Solace plays out.


IAmATVJunkie said...

Dude, the revived Who is one of the most successful television programs currently being produced on this planet.

Maybe one of the top five.

I'm not saying that you have to like it, but you have to admire the ferver it has created among old fans and the interest that it has attracted among the new ones, myself included.

And RTD is generally considered on of the three best writers working in TV right now.

So, maybe it's just not your taste.

Chris said...

RTD is frequently derided by Doctor Who fans as the worst writer of nuWho - seemingly unaware of how to assemble a plot coherently for a science fiction series. The stories he's penned are little better than some of the trite fan's attempt at amateur writing. I see "Journey's End" as nothing but a big Fu*k you to everyone who bothered to watch "Doomsday."

The series as it stands is more flash than substance - something that will crash and burn if something isn't done to correct it soon. It's an empty shell of it's former self. Remember, just because it's "successful" doesn't make it good.

I'd rather see Star Trek dead then selling it's soul to become "popular."