Sans Starship

Alex M. Parker

Alex Parker is a policy writer in Washington, D.C. with 15 years of journalism experience.

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22 Responses

  1. George Turner says:

    Very good write up!

    My hope is that whoever is primarily responsible for Star Trek: Discovery be kept at least ten miles away from Star Trek: Picard at all times. Fortunately I think Patrick Stewart has so much weight and gravitas that they’d have trouble getting him to sign on to a bad story or inane plot.

    My question is what role Will Wheaton will play in the new series. I’m hoping they make him an fleet admiral just to make people scream. ^_^Report

  2. North says:

    I quite like your write up and I think I agree. I feel that Star Trek has, simply put, outgrown its star ships. This isn’t to say the ships themselves are irrelevant but I have a feeling that they simply have mined out that narrative theme. You fly to some new place, deal with some new complexity and how it impacts your ship et all then move on. Voyager wrung every drop they could out of that pattens and still had to milk every Trek instutition to gasping exhaustion to push itself over the finish line. The abhorrent Enterprise simply sucked- my friends generally refer to it as Trek but inconvenient and with too much time travel and tech too advanced for its era.

    The world; however; is vast and it seems like there are great possibilities; as you put it; in new venues. A strategic planning room in San Fran; a commercial freights; a colony; maybe the Federation Council. The danger and difficulty is that it’d be strange and new. It’d also require exploring parts of the world that are simply not well defined yet. Picard appears to be pointing away from the command deck of a star ship; at least so far. I’d say that is to its credit.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    We need to explain how Starfleet subtly commits war crimes in the guise of exploration. There are families (with children!) on those ships and every time one of the ships gets hit, people scream about how whomever is doing it is targeting women and children when, really, Starfleet is using those people as human shields.

    It’s time for Star Trek to abandon its cold war sensibilities and step into 2019.Report

    • atomickristin in reply to Jaybird says:

      Totally. The addition of children on TNG added nothing and made no sense whatsoever given how often they were attacked. No one in their right minds would have kept their kids on that ship unless they’d been brainwashed by Starfleet.Report

  4. Mike Dwyer says:

    “This raises a question, though–is it believable that a 79-year-old could command the deck of a starship, hurtling through uncharted space at speeds several times what Albert Einstein thought was possible?

    My answer: absolutely.

    But he shouldn’t.”

    This is not a political post…This is not a political post…This is not a political post…

    Okay. All better. Yes, agreed. That job is probably a bit too much for himReport

  5. Fans’ relation to change: DS9 is both the least typical incarnation, and widely acclaimed (including by me) as the best. It was different in many ways, but kept the Star Trek sensibility intact. This is the problem with the various new Treks. The JJ Abrams version strips away everything but the shoot-em-up spectacle. That was always a part of Trek, but it was all the other stuff that set it apart. There are, after all, lots of shoot-em-up spectacles, for those who enjoy them. As for ST Discovery, it seems to be the product of a show runner who actively dislikes Roddenbery’s Trek. I agree that putting Picard back on the bridge is not likely to be a good route, and I hope they come up with something more interesting. But it is far more important that the show runner be someone who both understands and likes Roddenberry’s Trek.Report

  6. DavidTC says:

    So, is there any word if they’re going with the EU? Because, in the expanded universe, the Borg invaded in 2381 and killed billions. (Thanks, Janeway!) And fundamentally realigned everything. And then the Borg got…uh…ascended back into the god-like species they sorta accidentally started from, the Caeliar.

    And we see a _destroyed_ Borg cube, so I’m wondering…is that going to be made canon?

    Arguments for that point:
    Having Picard’s mortal enemy cause that much harm, and then just literally vanish one day is interesting historic character development. I can see how it would affect him. And, just like in the EU, it opens up all sorts of possibilities of having to deal with stuff the Borg were sitting on or blocking access to.

    It also explains what the heck Seven of Nine is doing there, because she had some…very mixed feelings about being left behind when the Borg ascended, considering Caeliar were basically the perfection that the Borg were always unknowingly aiming at. Her and Picard have some interesting interactions in the EU, with how they feel about the Borg, and it would be fun to see them in canon. Honestly, Jeri Ryan is such a good actress, and the character is so interesting and will only have gotten more interesting as time passed, I’m halfway hoping this is actually the Picard and Seven show.

    It also allows a rejiggering of the social stuff, because post-Borg, the Star Trek universe sorta slide into a more Cold War setup, with basically everyone aligning themselves with one side or another (Except for the Romulans, which split in half for a bit.) The Khitomer Accords expand to include the Cardassians and the Ferengi, and a lot of the other governments aligned themselves under the ‘Typhon Pact’.

    So it allows some interesting stories, mixing things up. I mean, they could mix things up _anyway_, it’s been long enough, but even if they don’t want exactly _that_ situation, well, it’s been a while since that was true, so they could include the EU in their evolution of how they got to where they are.

    Arguments against that point:
    Seven of Nine technically shouldn’t still have her implants. They disappeared when the Borg did. I’m sure they can handwave that somehow, though…or maybe that was a misleading promo or something, and she doesn’t actually have them in the show.

    Picard married Doctor Crusher, and they have a son, Rene. But I think Rene would be old enough to be gone at this point, and perhaps something happened to Beverly in this time? Or maybe their deaths are part of what Picard is carrying around?Report

    • George Turner in reply to DavidTC says:

      Good lord. That means’ Wesley’s dad is Picard, and that means he’ll have to be a recurring character.Report

    • DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

      Having heard a few more things about this, I’ve heard some speculation that this is about some sort of vague Borg threat or new kind of Borg, possibly one made by the Romulans stealing stuff from that Borg cube. And looking at it, part of it do look more dismantled than destroyed. There’s chunks cleanly missing.

      Annoyingly none of the people speculating don’t seem to know what happened in the EU, because where my mind instantly goes to is the obvious idea of the Romulans attempting to recreate the Borg.

      Of course, this idea is amazingly moronic, especially in the EU where everyone (literally everyone) just had a war with the Borg that made the war with the Dominion look like a bar fight…but Romulans did have their planet destroyed, so…maybe a few of them are crazy.

      Another divergence in the EU from what seems to be happening in the preview: Data is already back. IIRC, he actually came back in B4, and then ended up in a body made that was for his father via events I can’t even remember. And also there’s a secret group of AIs that have been running around the Star Trek universe a really long time. Also, he figured out how to fix his daughter Lal. (Who some are speculating that young woman is. The one that Picard is like ‘If she is who I think she is’.)

      OTOH, that plot is basically just like three or four books, and is actually a secret in-universe (For no real reason that I can remember.) so has had no real impact on anything. So they could void that part of the EU while keeping the whole Borg war thing.

      On the third hand, it’s possible all this canon, and the clips we see of Picard talking about Data being dead are him playing along with the secret. Although it’s long past time for him to be suffering for that dementia he had in All Good Things, so maybe he can’t really remember he’s lying.

      The fact that I seem to be the only person who’s come to these possible conclusions is…weird. Like, I’ve heard literally no one mention the EU in regard to Picard at all. Maybe people think it automatically will be discarded, but I remind everyone Star Trek Nemesis canonized the Titan books, and the reboot canonized Uhura’s first name.

      And Discovery canonized the previous Section 31 books, including introducing Control, which was awesome. As Control is sorta the creepiest…villain? Hero? Anti-hero? …in Star Trek, it was nice to see it canonized.

      I honestly find it somewhat amazing they did that story, which had apparently all non-book readers thinking had something to do with the Borg, and I’m like ‘Uh, guys? Control is an existing AI that is around all the way in the ‘present’ of the EU. It’s regained control of Section 31 by then, if it ever truly lost it, and then discarded that after it wasn’t useful anymore. It’s not what makes the Borg. Also, we _know_ what makes the Borg!’Report

  7. Pinky says:

    I just watched a few episodes of TNG recently, and it’s making me re-appraise Patrick Stewart’s acting. You hit it right when you said that he’s a thespian, but in this case it’s not a compliment. Picard feels more like a thespian than a captain of a starship. I mean, everyone’s kind of stiff on that show, and Stewart stands out as an actor against the others, but the net effect is that of a slightly-stiff thespian, rather than a human being.

    It’s easy to forget how bad SF acting used to be. I think that Stewart (along with Dorn and Spiner) helped change that. Even so, they were pretty near the beginning of the process.Report

    • Kristin Devine in reply to Pinky says:

      …I actually don’t think he’s that enjoyable an actor in TNG for this very reason. He never fully inhabits the part.Report

      • George Turner in reply to Kristin Devine says:

        Well, I think TNG required the most fundamental choices they had to make after TOS, which was where to go with the new series. The could have doubled down on the familial closeness and emotional, more visceral side of TOS, which would’ve been more like Firefly with a crew surviving on their guts and their wits. But they instead chose to emphasize the more cerebral aspects of TOS, with a bigger, less-connected, less emotional, more clinically rational crew.

        Patrick Stewart could certainly pull off either one, but in taking on the more clinical role he was only giving us a small subset of his range.

        Of course, I can’t complain too much because I watched most of “Enterprise”.Report