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New Star Trek Series in 2017


Guest El Chalupacabra

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Guest El Chalupacabra

This was mentioned in the Star Trek Beyond thread, but deserves it's own thread. I know this thread is a little late to the party, but there is a new Star Trek Series in the works, and will be coming out in early 2017. This show will appear on CBS All Access, after the Pilot airs on regular CBS TV.

 

Here is the teaser, which doesn't tell us much:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaVWIVOdUSQ

 

 

Here are some links with the lowdown

 

Memory Alpha, the Star Trek wiki

http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Untitled_Star_Trek_series

 

 

Apparently, headed up by Alex Kurtzman (part of the JJ crew), and Bryan Fuller (Good news! Writer/producer from the likes of Hannibal, Star Trek DS9, and Voyager), and the best news, Nicolas Meyer (Even better News! Star Trek 2,4,6) is on as a writer.

http://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/star-trek-everything-we-know-about-the-new-tv-series.html/?a=viewall

 

This one seems to think this may be an anthology series, set in the prime universe, sometime between Star Trek 6 and The Next Generation

http://www.slashfilm.com/new-star-trek-tv-series-details/

 

This one states Kirsten Beyer will be on the writing staff. I never got into the Pocket Books/Relaunch books, but this is yet another example of connecting to another aspect of Star Trek fandom, one that really has been ignored in the movies and on TV:

http://trekcore.com/blog/2016/05/voyager-novelist-kirsten-beyer-joins-trek-2017-team/

 

 

So, basically we seem to have a team that is headed up by Kurtzman, Fuller, and is including Meyer, and Beyer, as well as Rod Roddenberry is getting a production credit (probably to "legitimize" it all as Star Trek). They literally have a connection to every era of Star Trek: TOS, the Movie era, TNG-ENT era, JJ era, and even the novelverse. Pretty cool. We also know it will be an online series, which may mean a 13 episode season, with better production quality, and less filler episodes. It is also stated there are all new characters in this series, as well.

 

Now, the timeline. Nothing is confirmed. However, as stated earlier, one rumor suggests it will be the Prime universe, set between Star Trek 6 and TNG. Initially, my reaction was "didn't they learn from Enterprise?" Why land lock yourself into a specific era like that? That was one of the good things that JJ Abrams did: while they returned to the original crew, it was a different universe, so they were free to do what they wanted without trampling on continuity. I had much preferred if the series took place post-Nemesis. This way it was not limited by timeline constraints, plus we had the chance of having some former cast members making a cameo.

 

Then I started to think about it further. First, there's Nicolas Meyer. They actually have a writer who knows that era. Second, there is the chance it is an anthology series, something I personally have long wanted. And they do have almost 70 years to play with there. At first, I was excited because I thought maybe we would be seeing a series based on Picard's early career, but the fact it is clearly stated it will have all new characters kind of puts an end to that. OR at least probably does.

 

I also like the idea of it being an anthology series. There are all sorts of things that can be done, which can depict multiple events set decades apart, and one story I would especially like to see is the Tomed Incident: the TNG incident that explained why the Romulans had disappeared for 70 years off screen, in between Star Trek 6 and TNG.

 

There is also a rumor going on that Nathan Fillion may be leaving Castle, and there is (to be sure, completely FANBOY) speculation he may even be doing so for the upcoming Star Trek series. If that were so, it really would be badass. I also saw another page speculating David Tennant as a possible captain. That would be kind of cool, too.

 

Another, and final thought, is I hope that this is set on a ship, not a space station. If this is going to be set after Star Trek 6, and is indeed an anthology series, I think it would be great to see it based on a newly launched ship just after Star Trek 6, with each season taking place a number of years apart, with the series concluding just before TNG. Maybe each season 5-10 years apart, allowing for cast rotations, or retaining cast members, but still having the ship as the common theme throughout the show, with each season being its own arc, not unlike 24.

 

Anyway, thoughts?

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I'm not too stoked about the idea of them going back to before TNG.

 

We already have Retro-Trek on the big screen. Star Trek was always about pushing boundaries and new technologies for me. I'd like to see them go forward instead of backward,

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Guest El Chalupacabra

I'm not too stoked about the idea of them going back to before TNG.

 

We already have Retro-Trek on the big screen. Star Trek was always about pushing boundaries and new technologies for me. I'd like to see them go forward instead of backward,

 

 

That would have been my preference, too, actually. I would have liked to see them take a leap forward by maybe 70 years after Nemesis, to the mid or late 25th century. I think that is partly what helped TNG become a success...it was still the same universe, but far enough to strike out on its own. But not too different to seem like a different franchise. I think the same strategy could have worked here, too.

 

But that said, I want to remain optimistic. On paper, at least, it looks like they are really trying to both create something new, but also give the long time fans something they want to see...something the Abrams movies succeeded in the former, but are lacking in the latter.

That all said, I can also understand being cautiously optimistic.

 

 

Yeah I agree. To me TNG was and is the only crew I really care about and that era of the mythology is far more interesting to me. So I'd much rather see that rebooted on tv.

 

 

As a kid, I watched TOS reruns, and I was really into the movie. But it is TNG that I felt they really got characterization right in Star Trek, and made me actually care about the characters. They seemed more real. And in many ways, TNG really helped usher in the great TV we see today.

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Not really no.

 

Alpha is largely explored as is Beta. Delta has only had a visit from Voyager. Gamma was only explored via the wormhole and due to the hostile political situation, only sparingly.

 

Voyager neede 70 years at maximum warp to return to the known alpha quadrant from where they landed in delta. That puts the size of the galaxy and "exploration" into perspective.

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Delta has only had a visit from Voyager.

 

Q sent the Enterprise-D there once to meet the Borg and slap some humility into Picard. Plus there was that supposedly stable wormhole a shuttle went through that turned out to have a moving exit point (stranding some Ferengi over there).

 

My understanding is that the Federation has only explored a relatively small fraction of the galaxy so far. Individual quadrants are vast enough to take an entire lifetime to simply pass through. But Federation space is compact enough that ships can traverse between Cardassian and Klingon space (which are pretty much on opposite sides of the Federation) in a short enough period of time that the two can go to war with one another.

 

So the Federation only takes up a tiny fraction of the galaxy straddling the border between the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. And even within that relatively small area of space within the Federation's borders, several systems have obviously gone unvisited as the Enterprise was constantly exploring new worlds within Federation space.

 

They've undoubtedly sent probes to a larger number of systems and have had information exchanges with other species regarding plenty more, but as far as humans exploring the galaxy, I doubt humans have visited more than 5% of the systems in the galaxy as of the end of Voyager, and probably far fewer than that.

 

Anyway, that was my take as long as the old continuity was still king. Abrams and his five minute trips from Earth to Vulcan and Qo'noS (not to mention being within transporter range) has shrunk the galaxy considerably.

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Yeah between that and fact that Han and Finn could look up in the sky and see the Hosian system going up individually from an entirely different system tells me JJ doesn't exactly get how effing big space is.

The old Trek continuity did their best to keep the science as real as they could.

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Anyway-- my take on this... People have been wanting a Trek anthology show as far back as DS9. I remember Starlog doing a total Buzzfeed style article-- TOP TEN IDEAS FOR THE NEXT STAR TREK SERIES!

 

Outside of a Klingon show, anthology always came up. But the idea of having new sets every week never fit the budget. This current trend of anthologies with stories that last a season is perfect. I'd love for them to jump around in time and give us different types of Trek tales.

 

A season on a starship, a Klingon season, a Section 31 mission... They could even revisit DS9 to follow up since they were never going to get a movie.

 

Hell, give George Takei and Michael Dorn their Excelsior and Captain Worf series they've been pitching for years. I'd even take a few episodes of Riker and Trois on the Titan (though they are getting old).

 

There might even be a place to get Shatner back for a proper Kirk send off.

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Hell, give George Takei and Michael Dorn their Excelsior and Captain Worf series they've been pitching for years. I'd even take a few episodes of Riker and Trois on the Titan (though they are getting old).

 

Didn't Worf shred any chance he ever had at a promotion to captain when he saved Jadzia instead of completing his mission in that one episode?

 

I would like to see some sort of cap on DS9. It was a rather odd choice they made to leave things open ended like that.

 

Heck, any chance of getting back to the old Trek I grew up with would be enough to get me excited. I really don't understand why they keep on going into the past when fans of the old series when it was first out and becoming a hit in syndication are now collecting social security.

 

To fans who are still somewhat young and who lived through the show's peak years such as myself, the TNG/DS9/Voyager era did more to define the franchise. I respect the Kirk crew, but to my teenage mind, that show was old by the time I got there and I never connected to it the way that I did the Picard crew and flavor of those series.

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Hell, give George Takei and Michael Dorn their Excelsior and Captain Worf series they've been pitching for years. I'd even take a few episodes of Riker and Trois on the Titan (though they are getting old).

 

Didn't Worf shred any chance he ever had at a promotion to captain when he saved Jadzia instead of completing his mission in that one episode?

 

Tell that to Michael "crowd-sourcing a Captain Worf series" Dorn!

 

But yes-- I totally agree with you on this one.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

Anyway-- my take on this... People have been wanting a Trek anthology show as far back as DS9. I remember Starlog doing a total Buzzfeed style article-- TOP TEN IDEAS FOR THE NEXT STAR TREK SERIES!

Outside of a Klingon show, anthology always came up. But the idea of having new sets every week never fit the budget. This current trend of anthologies with stories that last a season is perfect. I'd love for them to jump around in time and give us different types of Trek tales.

A season on a starship, a Klingon season, a Section 31 mission... They could even revisit DS9 to follow up since they were never going to get a movie.

Hell, give George Takei and Michael Dorn their Excelsior and Captain Worf series they've been pitching for years. I'd even take a few episodes of Riker and Trois on the Titan (though they are getting old).

There might even be a place to get Shatner back for a proper Kirk send off.

Which is exacly why I think if said anthology was set on the same ship, it could work. It could explore the entire life of the ship; covering its commissioing, with each season 5-10 years apart with rotating cast/crew members, with the series ending with its decomissioning. Think how Galactica started with its decomissioning, but in reverse.
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They're hoping for LGBT representation in the new series. I have no problem with this, but I hope it doesn't take over the show.

 

I don't think ST is about sexuality or gender but more about open-mindedness. I know Kirk was a bit of a dog in his day. I don't want relationships rammed down my throat though of any description. Sometimes it sits well with the narrative and I can dig it like Torres and Paris in Voyager. But I wouldn't like it to dominate my viewing.

 

I think it's like George Takei not really taking to Sulu being Gay. They missed the point of him playing a straight character all of those years. It's a kind of tribute to Takei but at the same time changes his character. I think he was right when he said they should have left Sulu alone and made a completely new character if they wanted to represent LGBT. Might have been harder to integrate in to the cast though.

 

How do you feel about it?

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I think that Oegg made a valid point, re: Sulu. Making Sulu gay potentially helps give the character depth that Takei never got. Plus creating a character solely for the purpose of having a gay character doesn't really make sense.

 

As for relationships in general, if they're good, they're good. If they aren't good, they'll ruin a show. Gay, straight or other.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

They're hoping for LGBT representation in the new series. I have no problem with this, but I hope it doesn't take over the show.

 

I don't think ST is about sexuality or gender but more about open-mindedness. I know Kirk was a bit of a dog in his day. I don't want relationships rammed down my throat though of any description. Sometimes it sits well with the narrative and I can dig it like Torres and Paris in Voyager. But I wouldn't like it to dominate my viewing.

 

I think it's like George Takei not really taking to Sulu being Gay. They missed the point of him playing a straight character all of those years. It's a kind of tribute to Takei but at the same time changes his character. I think he was right when he said they should have left Sulu alone and made a completely new character if they wanted to represent LGBT. Might have been harder to integrate in to the cast though.

 

How do you feel about it?

It remains to be seen how they portray Sulu in the upcoming film, but there is a LGBT segment of Star Trek fans who have wanted a LGBT main character for years. So it makes sense to me that the producers would choose to introduce an openly gay main character in Star Trek. The way I see it, George Takai, and Zachary Quinto are openly gay, just to name two Star Trek actors as examples. Ira Steven Behr and Bryan Fuller, are examples of two Star Trek writers who are gay. When you have high profile people involved with the franchise who are gay in real life, have a certain percentage of your fans who are LGBT who want an LGBT character(s), then the Star Trek franchise has to do something. Every other major sci fi franchise has had some kind of presence of LGBT characters, and except for one episode on Deep Space Nine, Star Trek as a franchise has pretty much ignored the issue. Being a 50 year old franchise, I think it is probably overdue for Star Trek to have a LGBT character.

 

Sulu being gay in the Abramsverse makes sense to me. It does not contradict the TOS era because it is both a different timeline, and also it was never explicitly stated Sulu was straight. We never saw an onscreen example of him having a wife or girlfriend. At all. It is established he has a daughter, but this upcoming film probably addresses that. I am kind of surprised that Takai is not more supportive, however. I mean the guy had to hide the fact he was gay, at least to the general public, for decades. I would think that he would actually appreciate Nu-Sulu being openly gay.

 

As to the upcoming Star Trek Series, with NuSulu being gay, it only makes sense that they would have a LGBT character on that show. In fact, if they do not, it would be a bit of a step back. With Bryan Fuller at the helm of the show, it would be surprising if there isn't a LGBT character. It is more a question of which crew member it is, and how prominently featured the character is. I think it will be a first officer, or a doctor: a character we see frequently, but I would be surprised if they make the captain LGBT (although it is possible they might).

 

Finally, my personal opinion is Star Trek should have an LGBT character. Star Trek has been about social commentary, as well as being a show that depicts a positive view of the future. Since TOS they have tackled controversial topics in the form of allegory, as well as showed us that in the future people of all races and nationalities get along. I think to continue that tradition, they need to also depict that for LGBT people. In the case of NuSulu, I think him being gay will be portrayed about like the Spock\Uhura relationship had been in Star Trek 2009: it's there and made clear, but is not a main topic of the movie. As to the TV series, it remains to be seen how it will be handled obviously, but I wonder if it will be handled sort of like how Fuller handled it in Hannibal, which I was fine with. While I am all for an LGBT character or LGBT issues being featured occasionally, I also hope we don't seen Star Trek the series become a weekly dose of LGBT issues. Since it is supposed to be the future, being LGBT shouldn't be constantly brought up. Just acknowledged by having a LGBT character, depict someone as being LGBT and it being no big deal where everyone (in the Federation...I am sure there will be alien races who are not) accepts and is tolerant, and the occasional episode that may bring LGBT issues to the forefront.

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We're a bit beyond the point where gay is this new frontier that would make much of a difference. If anything, it's almost a checkbox for Star Trek at this point that they'd include one. Though Jadzia Dax pretty much broke the glass on bisexual characters awhile back even if they didn't explore it much. Jadzia was pretty much down for anything.

 

It could go one of two ways. They did a good job with Ben Sisko of balancing it all out. Aside from the Benny episode where he was a sci-fi writer in the 50s, there were only a handful of episodes that overtly mentioned his color. Still, little pieces of characterization such as his collection of African art, carrying on the Creole cuisine he learned from his father, and distaste for the revisionist history of Vic's Vegas program let you know that we was proud of his heritage and it wasn't just a black actor playing a generic Starfleet captain. But in no way did it define his character.

 

My worry is that it will be more like Enterprise trying to shoehorn in that AIDS episode. Remember how awful that was? A large chunk of the reason it was so bad was that it came so late to the party.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

 

 

We're a bit beyond the point where gay is this new frontier that would make much of a difference. If anything, it's almost a checkbox for Star Trek at this point that they'd include one.

Probably a fair statement. But I think it's at the point that if Star trek doesn't have an LGBT character, that in of itself becomes a glaring omission, that could alienate a segment of their fans. Star Trek hasn't been the best at protraying LGBT issues. Riker with his asexual girlfriend, Jadzia's bi-ness, to the Enterprise AIDS allegory with T'Pol you mention. They all came off as clumsy, if not well-intentioned. But clumsy nonetheless. That said, not many other shows at the time were taking on LGBT issues either. So to be fair, Star Trek, at the time, was ahead of its time and trying to do something with the topic few others had.

 

Also, I think a lot of this had to do with the era they were produced, and the fact they were on syndicated TV. The upcoming series has three things going for it when it comes to being able to handle LGBT issues better: 1. It's online and will likely be written more like a cable show or movie, 2. it has a different team of writers, 3. it's 2016, and there has been other shows since Enterprise out there that have gone where Star Trek hasn't gone before, and the pressure is off of Star Trek to a certain amount.

 

But like I said above, I think the more they treat LGBT people and issues as a "non-issue" (realistically it should be, since it is the future), and just depict LGBT people going about their life like everyone else, the better.

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They're hoping for LGBT representation in the new series. I have no problem with this, but I hope it doesn't take over the show.

 

I don't think ST is about sexuality or gender but more about open-mindedness.

 

How do you feel about it?

I'm going to pick on you. Sorry. I don't think you're a bad person at all-- but this sort of position and statement is part of the problem.

 

When people talk abut wanting representation that doesn't mean they want the story to be about their thing. It just means they want to see people onscreen, treated normally.

 

In our country/history/media white straight male is the norm, and anything beyond that is abnormal.

 

Your statement, slightly skewed, can be ridiculous when applied to other Star Trek shows:

 

There's going to be a black captain on DS9. I have no problem with this, but I hope it doesn't take over the show to be about black stuff.

 

There's going to be a woman Captain on Voyager. I have no problem with this, but I hope it doesn't take over the show to be about boobs and menstruation.

 

What if they came out and said in the new show that the Captain and First Officer were married? Would you say that you were cool with it, so long as the show wasn't about their marriage struggled between the bridge and their quarters? That might actually be cool-- but if they were gay would that suddenly be taking over the show?

 

The point of representation isn't to own something, it's to be part of the mix and presented as normal as everything else.

 

And honestly, Star Trek is the perfect platform for it. Half of Star Trek's relevance was about presenting our social/societal problems in scifi allegory.

 

Such as--

 

My worry is that it will be more like Enterprise trying to shoehorn in that AIDS episode. Remember how awful that was? A large chunk of the reason it was so bad was that it came so late to the party.

I think Trek, in all its versions, hits way more than it misses. That Jadzia episode was about the forbidden Trill rules, but it was an allegory for gay rights. It goes all the way back to TOS-- Trek has always been a social liberal utopist paradise for Starfleet.

 

The AIDS episode was terrible-- but not because it was about AIDS. Just because it was one of those terrible early TNG stories.

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The AIDS episode was terrible-- but not because it was about AIDS. Just because it was one of those terrible early TNG stories.

 

Are we thinking of the same thing? I was referring to the Enterprise episode where T'Pol has brain damage (AIDS) from a mind meld (homosexuality) and the Vulcan doctors are refusing to help her because of social taboos against of mind melds.

 

Which early-TNG episode was about HIV/AIDS? I don't recall it.

 

 

 

When people talk abut wanting representation that doesn't mean they want the story to be about their thing. It just means they want to see people onscreen, treated normally.

 

You say that, but that doesn't mean there isn't a balancing act for the "first" of any of these things. They introduce a gay character and they don't explore it enough, then that character is considered a token. But if they explore it too much, the character becomes one-dimensional.

 

In the end, though, like I said, we're a bit beyond gays being on a television series would be some big leap forward. If Trek were going to pick up that mantle, it would have been during the creation of Voyager when it would have been a step forward in television history. By the time even Enterprise was being created, there were already multiple gay characters on television.

 

Today, introducing a gay character almost feels obligatory like making the captain after DS9 a woman back in the 90s. They almost had to do it. Really, we're just discussing what conditions will make it good or bad.

 

Funny thing about the Star Trek captains. Sisko got press for being the first black captain, Janeway the first woman. It always amused me that through it all, Picard remains the only non-American captain and few ever considered that this might have been the greatest departure of all.

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They're hoping for LGBT representation in the new series. I have no problem with this, but I hope it doesn't take over the show.

 

I don't think ST is about sexuality or gender but more about open-mindedness.

 

How do you feel about it?

I'm going to pick on you. Sorry. I don't think you're a bad person at all-- but this sort of position and statement is part of the problem.

 

When people talk abut wanting representation that doesn't mean they want the story to be about their thing. It just means they want to see people onscreen, treated normally.

 

In our country/history/media white straight male is the norm, and anything beyond that is abnormal.

 

Your statement, slightly skewed, can be ridiculous when applied to other Star Trek shows:

 

There's going to be a black captain on DS9. I have no problem with this, but I hope it doesn't take over the show to be about black stuff.

 

There's going to be a woman Captain on Voyager. I have no problem with this, but I hope it doesn't take over the show to be about boobs and menstruation.

 

What if they came out and said in the new show that the Captain and First Officer were married? Would you say that you were cool with it, so long as the show wasn't about their marriage struggled between the bridge and their quarters? That might actually be cool-- but if they were gay would that suddenly be taking over the show?

 

The point of representation isn't to own something, it's to be part of the mix and presented as normal as everything else.

 

And honestly, Star Trek is the perfect platform for it. Half of Star Trek's relevance was about presenting our social/societal problems in scifi allegory.

I think you kind of mis-understood what I said T.

 

It wasn't a statement as you've put it. More of an exploration of how they would do it. I only said I have no problem with it because I'm a straight white male and if you don't say it people assume the opposite. I'll re-iterate that ST was always about tolerance for me. Not just sexuality but in society, beliefs, religion, species etc. The sexuality part has been under-represented so far and I think it's about time that got addressed.

 

However, and I think you'll agree... there's a bad way to go about it. I'm thinking about the camp bridge officer manning the science station, full of innuendo who might as well be holding an "I Am Gay" sign. I'm thinking about one of the bridge crew turning up and the female variant of the uniform only to have an entire episode dedicated to the doctor changing his sex with a hypospray. I'm being a bit blatant with my allegory but you could see this would go down like a lead balloon.

 

These issues are genuinely sensitive. Especially to people who have lived it for real. It's a real minefield for the producers to explore if you ask me and they could mess it up big time. The last thing I'd like to see is a constant reminder of someone's sexuality or gender preference. It would be hard for me to watch from an entertainment point of view but I also think it would be a difficult watch for those who are looking for genuine heroes on screen. Creating a same-sex romance would be so hard to get right as well. But could be so rewarding at the same time.

 

If I could sum up my feelings at this point in the discussion (Note: Discussion, not anti-LGBT rant), I'm of the opinion that people are made up of many different parts. Only one of which is their sexuality/gender preference. I'd hate to see a character written so shallow and unidentifiable from their personal life.

 

One of my favourite on-screen romances had to be between Tig and Venus in Sons of Anarchy. Not because it fits the discussion, but the acting was so good and Walton Goggins really genuinely made me feel and care about Venus. She entered the series as a bit of a caricature but by the time she left, she was such a complex and compelling character and I really wanted their relationship to work and wished for a happy ending/

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Guest El Chalupacabra

Stevil does make a good point.

 

For example, Voyager kind of made the very mistake he describes in the character of Chakotay. Basically, the writers wanted to create a Native American main character, which, honestly, TV and movies need more of. Native Americans have long been either misrepresented, or just plain ignored in Hollywood. Here was an ample opportunity to portray a positive Native American character, who was a first officer, no less.

 

But what did they do? Instead of making Chakotay part of a specific tribe, like maybe Lakota, Navajo, or Hopi as examples, they make him the Pan-Native American with an imaginary tribe, chock full of every single stereotype about Native Americans there are. He just basically was a token. They totally missed the boat on exploring the rich and unique culture any of those or any other Native American tribes could have offered. Then, to add insult to injury, it is later revealed Chakotay's tribal beliefs were based on space aliens, that were worshiped as sky spirits. In the end, Chakotay was a waste of a character, which is probably why Robert Beltran pretty much phoned it in from Season 3 on.

 

That all said, the team assembled for this new upcoming series is completely different, with a few Star Trek alum at the helm (Fuller from the DS9\VOY era, Nicholas Meyer from the Movie Era, Kurtzman from the Abramsverse), so maybe they will in fact learn from the past. I think if Fuller has the control he needs for the series, and assuming he handles it similarly to Hannibal, and assuming there is a LGBT character on the new series, I don't think we will have the same problem with that character being a token LGBT character, as Voyager had with Chakotay. If there is one positive thing that can be said about the Abramsverse is that I don't think they treat their cast members like tokens or check boxes, but let them be who they are. Maybe that type of handling will follow over to the new series.

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Are we thinking of the same thing? I was referring to the Enterprise episode where T'Pol has brain damage (AIDS) from a mind meld (homosexuality) and the Vulcan doctors are refusing to help her because of social taboos against of mind melds.

 

Which early-TNG episode was about HIV/AIDS? I don't recall it.

My bad! I was thinking of Symbiosis. Which also had Trek alum Merrit Butrick (David Marcus) as an alien in. Merrit died of complications related to AIDS not long after the episode aired I think. He also had the misfortune of being gay and having the last name Butrick.

 

 

 

When people talk abut wanting representation that doesn't mean they want the story to be about their thing. It just means they want to see people onscreen, treated normally.

You say that, but that doesn't mean there isn't a balancing act for the "first" of any of these things. They introduce a gay character and they don't explore it enough, then that character is considered a token. But if they explore it too much, the character becomes one-dimensional.

 

In the end, though, like I said, we're a bit beyond gays being on a television series would be some big leap forward. If Trek were going to pick up that mantle, it would have been during the creation of Voyager when it would have been a step forward in television history. By the time even Enterprise was being created, there were already multiple gay characters on television.

 

Today, introducing a gay character almost feels obligatory like making the captain after DS9 a woman back in the 90s. They almost had to do it. Really, we're just discussing what conditions will make it good or bad.

 

No one is ever going to be happy. Somebody will hide their homophobia by saying UGH THEY ARE PUSHING IT TOO MUCH IT'S RUINING EVERYTHING no matter how subtle it is, and somebody in the LGBT community with think it's too subtle and tokenism.

 

I would expect them to do what Trek has always done-- treat it as normal and no big deal, and yet give us an episode or three where an alien culture is struggling with the issues we are in real time.

 

Like I said, I think Trek hits more than it misses with doing this.

 

However, and I think you'll agree... there's a bad way to go about it. I'm thinking about the camp bridge officer manning the science station, full of innuendo who might as well be holding an "I Am Gay" sign. I'm thinking about one of the bridge crew turning up and the female variant of the uniform only to have an entire episode dedicated to the doctor changing his sex with a hypospray. I'm being a bit blatant with my allegory but you could see this would go down like a lead balloon.

 

These issues are genuinely sensitive. Especially to people who have lived it for real. It's a real minefield for the producers to explore if you ask me and they could mess it up big time. The last thing I'd like to see is a constant reminder of someone's sexuality or gender preference. It would be hard for me to watch from an entertainment point of view but I also think it would be a difficult watch for those who are looking for genuine heroes on screen. Creating a same-sex romance would be so hard to get right as well. But could be so rewarding at the same time.

We were reminded of Kirk's sexuality pretty frequently. Riker too, as we mentioned above. Would a gay horndog character given the same amount of screen time for his dalliances as they got be distracting?

 

If I could sum up my feelings at this point in the discussion (Note: Discussion, not anti-LGBT rant), I'm of the opinion that people are made up of many different parts. Only one of which is their sexuality/gender preference. I'd hate to see a character written so shallow and unidentifiable from their personal life.

But why is it only something you point out if it is LGBT? Trek has a long history of lots of characters, some very well realized, others not. I just don't get why this is a worry for you? YOU'RE the one that brought up the LGBT aspect. You didn't post about how you hope the male captain banging alien chicks doesn't ruin the show. My point was, no one brings up the issue of sexuality and how it effects the narrative until it deviates from what they consider the norm.

 

One of my favourite on-screen romances had to be between Tig and Venus in Sons of Anarchy. Not because it fits the discussion, but the acting was so good and Walton Goggins really genuinely made me feel and care about Venus. She entered the series as a bit of a caricature but by the time she left, she was such a complex and compelling character and I really wanted their relationship to work and wished for a happy ending

Agreed-- that romance was unexpected and great.

 

 

Stevil does make a good point.

BARELY!

 

 

For example, Voyager kind of made the very mistake he describes in the character of Chakotay. Basically, the writers wanted to create a Native American main character, which, honestly, TV and movies need more of. Native Americans have long been either misrepresented, or just plain ignored in Hollywood. Here was an ample opportunity to portray a positive Native American character, who was a first officer, no less.

 

But what did they do? Instead of making Chakotay part of a specific tribe, like maybe Lakota, Navajo, or Hopi as examples, they make him the Pan-Native American with an imaginary tribe, chock full of every single stereotype about Native Americans there are. He just basically was a token. They totally missed the boat on exploring the rich and unique culture any of those or any other Native American tribes could have offered. Then, to add insult to injury, it is later revealed Chakotay's tribal beliefs were based on space aliens, that were worshiped as sky spirits. In the end, Chakotay was a waste of a character, which is probably why Robert Beltran pretty much phoned it in from Season 3 on.

Valid point, actually. This treatment was weak and tired and its why Trek started to spin out with Voyager. But, as you said, the writing tem on the new show instills a lot of confidence. They know they are entering into the fray knowing that since Trek was last on the small screen that TV narratives have evolved to a crazy level. They aren't going to follow the old model in a post BSG and BrBa world. At least, not if they are smart.

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