Thursday, January 03, 2008

Do Over! Trekkie Edition

Well, it's a new year, which means you'll be filling out checks incorrectly. Also an excuse for people to start stuff over. But in this case, you'll be starting over something from decades ago: You're Gene Roddenberry, the pilot's been approved, and you've got a bigger budget than you originally expected: How'd you do Star Trek differently?

I've got a few ideas:

The Original Series:

1. Nerf the transporters. In this contrived setup, I've eliminated the original reason they existed: Budget. If Star Trek had more money, they would have done shuttle landings. Here's how I'd have the nerfed transporters work, if at all: It's primarily an emergency system. Repeated use on living things eventually leads to transporter psychosis like Barclay was worried about during bouts of hypochondria.

2. Rubber foreheads for the Klingons. The retcon just didn't sit well with me. Oh, and sort things out with the Trills ahead of time while we're at it.

3. Make a map in advance: Keep distances consistent, so you don't have the Enterprise jumping from one side of the galaxy to another in a manner that later embarrasses a certain Skipper, I mean female captain.

4. Episodes to kill: Spock's Brain and And the Children Shall Lead. Never happened. Really.

5. Episode to keep absolutely unaltered: The City at the Edge of Forever.

6. Fewer super-powered godlike aliens. Yeah, Kirk can talk his way past them. I don't watch Star Trek to see the crew flail helplessly for most of the episode.

7. Make Phase Two.

The Next Generation:

1. Keep the Borg insectine: The body snatching critters from that one episode that went gory were originally intended to be related to the Borg. Cyborg bugs would be cool.

2. Make the Ferengi proceed directly to comedic adversaries. They just didn't work out as real villains.

3. Take down the idealistic preachery down a few notches.

Deep Space Nine:

1. On the last episode, stick in the following scenes: Morn talks, Captain Boday makes an appearance, and Chief O'Brien discovers what a self-sealing stem bolt does.

I'll think of more, later.


Anonymous said...

No stupid time-travel episodes, ever. And especially not to mid-20th-century Earth. Sorry, I just can't freakin' stand 'em.

As for specific episodes, can we please, please get rid of the hideously mawkish piece of crap that was "The Omega Glory"?

Bronze Dog said...

I think some time travel episodes can remain, but the category could use a LOT of trimming. Time travel should be difficult and rare, not a weekly event.

I had to look up The Omega Glory at Memory Alpha. Yes. Definitely kill it.

Dikkii said...

Don't stop at Star Trek. How about Doctor Who as well?

I'll start:

1. Retcon everything prior to Ecclestone and Tennant on the basis that the lower budget stuff was unconvincing and embarrassing.

2. Re-shoot that episode where they're shooting a chase scene in a quarry and they run into the cast and crew of Blake's 7, only this time, let the Doctor tag Avon and co in. Violence and hilarity ensue.

Dikkii said...

While we're at it, can something be done about Ted McGinley? Preferably with extreme prejudice?

Anonymous said...

I disagree about the Borg. Stargate SG-1 did insectile robots vastly better than I think Trek could have. On the other hand, the infiltrating worms should definitely have been expanded upon.

Bronze Dog said...

Only Stargate I watched was the movie, so I'll take your word for it for now.

Tom Foss said...

The Bajorans should have been wrong.

Following from the atheistic themes that Roddenberry introduced (the computer-tyrant Vaal, the creepy child-gods, Q), the Prophets should have been explicitly revealed as something other than magical spirits...I know they were living in the wormhole and all, but they were still a bit too mysterious.

Also, in addition to making a map in advance, we make a future history book, one that doesn't place a major war during a time when the show's still in re-runs, and doesn't allow the Warp Drive's creator to record video messages after disappearing to Alpha Centauri for several centuries.

Nix the 'uniform cultures' problem. Maybe not all, but significant portions of the alien worlds we encounter should have the same diversity of language, culture, and conflict as Earth.

No more "it blew up two cowboy planets and a gangster world" silliness. Planets should not be modeled directly on Earth cultures, unless there's a really good reason for it.

Choose an economic system and stick with it. No money? Okay, how does it work, and where? Gold-pressed latinum? Fine, but that's still money.

Keep the social commentary. Part of what made people watch the original series was that the themes were clear. They got muddied a bit in TNG, and eventually dropped altogether, but part of the point of futuristic sci-fi is to comment on the current time.

Anonymous said...

The funny thing about those worm hole aliens is I just kept wondering when Q was going to openly mock them. They just seemed so weak limited and out of the know in comparison.

I disagree about the borg. Assimilation was just the coolest thing ever, and far more terrifying to me than mere body snatching. That said, get rid of the "queen". They were scarriest when the idea of a truly collective conciousness was alien and hard to relate to with NO leader. Adding a "queen" just ruined it. Further, the queen actually THREATENED a few borg in some voyager episodes. That's just insane. She IS them, isn't she? That's like threatening your hand to write properly. At the most, the queen should have merely been an amalgamated representative of the borg's will, not an autonamous body literally leading them.

Anonymous said...

The Borg Queen was the worst damned idea ever. What's that? Horrifying enemies with no leader and no single point of failure? Heavens to Betsy--we'd better find and destroy their single point of failure! So. Goddamned. Nerfed.

I'd also point you towards Justin B. Rye's Star Trek Mega-Rant. Epic in scope, it's a pretty good laundry list of where Trek messed up. (Footnotes point it out when Babylon 5 got it right.) He hits many of the same points that you do; the biggest problem seems to be that tech was thought up by people with tiny, tiny imaginations, and so requires everyone on the show to carry an idiot ball when in the presence of the wonder machine that could solve all their problems if they weren't all brain-dead.