mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
  • 12:00 Is Londo's line "pecked to death by cats" or "nibbled to death by cats"? There's been some debate about this. #
  • 13:05 Google isn't sure, but Twitter and Facebook say "nibbled." Kind of a shame, I think "pecked to death by cats" is funnier. #
  • 13:32 Converting my elfie mail access from POP to IMAP, since these days I read my mail from different clients at different times. Thanks John! #
  • 14:22 @SJGames Every time I speak up and say, "Well, I'll admit that I really really like *this* Microsoft product," they cancel it. #
  • 14:57 Dear universe: thank you for turning up these items for which I've been searching all these months. Would still prefer the item I need NOW. #
  • 17:35 @fuzzface00 You're executing Plan L: "I no longer know what the L I'm doing." #
Sent subspace radio by LoudTwitter
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (gaming)
Local weather is trying to be obliging. "You don't have a light jacket right now? Okay, we'll just drop the morning temp to 45 degrees so you can wear your winter coat, does that help?"

Had a very weird dream the other night where I climbed down a narrow drainage pipe to find myself in a secret underground studio where they were filming the return of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" to the cable channels. I was privileged to sit in on one of the sessions where they watch the movie and write the jokes; I started ad-libbing along, and they hired me on the spot, causing me to draw the wrath of one of the other writers for some reason. Any dream interpreters wanna take a shot at that one?

In the ongoing Stuff Reduction Plan, I did some heavy game materials archaeology yesterday. I found my copy of Amber Diceless, a fascinating take on RPG mechanics that uses no random chance at all; Star Warriors, a fast-paced, careening tactical game of Star Wars fightercraft; and Ogre, light infantry and vehicles against a robot tank the size of a small city block. I'm keeping those. (Actually, I fear the Ogre set may belong to [livejournal.com profile] rattrap.)

Going away is the stack of official Star Trek fan magazines, which will be probably be trashed; and [livejournal.com profile] raininva has dibs on the bigger stack of West End Star Wars RPG and Indiana Jones RPG books. Battletech 3025 scenario and source- books are going; Battletech 'Mech listing books are staying. I'm not sure whether I'm keeping Castle Falkenstein, or the hardcover first-edition copy of White Wolf Mage. (Starr, a onetime Vampire LARPer, may give me permission to keep that.) However, I will divest myself of the two Last Unicorn Star Trek RPG hardcovers, and the Traveller: A New Era core book. I have a lot of gaming stuff.

Last treasure unearthed: my Wireframe Babylon Project books and GM screen. The savvy fan will find the names of [livejournal.com profile] jsciv, [livejournal.com profile] yubbie, and [livejournal.com profile] impink within; and down in the playtesting credits, a listing for some doof that goes by [livejournal.com profile] mikailborg online. Yeah, I'm keeping that one.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (orbiting)
It's pretty easy now to find copies of the J. Michael Straczynski and Bryce Zabel proposal for re-booting Classic Trek. This series would not have had to deal with 40 years worth of continuity unless it wanted to from time to time, and would have had technology more believable to the 21st century viewer; as well, it could have been interesting to see new actors and scriptwriters putting their spin on Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. (The authors even throw out the idea of a female Scotty or Sulu, just to cut down on the sexism a bit.)

But would it have been Star Trek?

I don't actually have a problem with a single revision they suggest - lots of it would have been quite interesting, and I think their season arcs had much more potential than Enterprise's. No; what I'm worried about is the current angst-ridden quality of Sci-Fi right now, and the idea that this show would bring that to Star Trek. That simply doesn't work right.

Star Trek's main message was: "If we ever get a grip on ourselves, the future's gonna be great."

TNG: "In fact, with a little more time, it'll be even shinier and comfier. Though we will talk a lot."

DS9: "And once in a while, we'll have to make nasty decisions and put ourselves on the line to keep what we've worked for. Worth it, though."

(Then things came apart a bit)

VOY: "Of course, this future society will produce a few spoiled brats who, in a crisis situation, will manage to be smug and whiny simultaneously. Hell, let's look at boobs and funky alien tech for a while."

ENT: "And for a while there, we were just whiny, and everyone in the universe hated us and had cooler toys. Wow, we sucked."

-----

While the main message of B5 and the current BSG seems to boil down to, "Humans (and the aliens who are like us) suck. We'll muddle through somehow, but we suck now and forever. Deal with it." Perhaps, a more realistic message, but I'd prefer to fight for the great shiny future, myself. Would this Star Trek be a gritty, realistic, angst-ridden examination of the flaws of humanity? If so, I don't think I'd want any part of it.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (mecha)
While thinking of sf/fantasy movies & TV today, it occurred to me that they're all more 'fun' if the fate of humanity hinges on the outcome. That's hard to do in episodic TV, of course, but Babylon 5 managed it, Deep Space Nine managed it, and Enterprise picked that up by its third season.

It's in all the fan favorites; The Original Series and The Next Generation didn't do it often, but when they did ("City On The Edge Of Forever", "Yesterday's Enterprise", "Best of Both Worlds') It was memorable. The best Trek movies did this: Khan had to be prevented from getting the Genesis Device; the Whale Probe had to be silenced; the Borg had to be prevented from disrupting First Contact).

Of course, the original Star Wars trilogy let us know practically from the opening crawl that 'humanity' (i.e., the Rebellion and a pair of leftover Jedi) was gambling everything on Anakin's twins; and in The Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship knew that if they screwed this up, Middle-Earth was lost. Indeed, in SDF-Macross, the heroes almost blew it, and vast populations of human beings didn't live to see the end of the series.

This may have been part of the problem with the new Star Wars trilogy, and the first two seasons of Enterprise. There was just no urgency in what the characters did, since we knew, in broad strokes at least, what the eventual outcome was going to be. You can make up for that with compelling character drama, but we didn't get that either. (I know that Enterprise had a "Temporal Cold War" going on, but it was dull as dirt. We didn't care until the Xindi zapped Earth.) Voyager eventually became character-driven and somewhat interesting, but might have had far better legs in the beginning if it had tried the Space Battleship Yamato / B5: Crusade formula and had to deal with an urgent need to get home ASAP - whether or not their technology was initially up to it.

Perhaps that's something the writers of Trek Series 6 should think about. (I don't doubt there will be a Series 6, next year or 10 years from now.) Make us worried, maybe not from the first episode but before too long. Make us feel like the leads are fighting not just for themselves, but for us or our kids. Give us an investment.

I bet we fans will eat it up.

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mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
mikailborg

May 2009

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