Monday, April 30, 2012

This & That: Calgary Comic Expo 2012

Thanks to social media outlets Facebook and Twitter I was able to document my recent trip to the Calgary Comic And Entertainment Expo 2012. It was quite the quest filled with misadventure, good times and a few bad. Among my many activities that weekend it included the fact I got drunk with 'The Honky Tonk Man', 

I got to meet Stan Lee

 and most of the cast of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation', and I had a talk with comic book writing icon/Trek Novelist Peter David. 

Check out my 'Captains Log' blog posts about my Calgary experience over at the Random Nerdness Blog.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Blog #17: More Star Trek 'What If?' Scenarios, Part II

- Season 2 Dr Crusher was replaced by Dr Pulaski in an attempt to create another 'Dr McCoy' type of character. She left after 1 season but what would it have been like had she stayed on the series??
I actually like the character of Pulaski, maybe even more than that of Doctor Crusher. At first they made her just a little too ignorant and the Writers attempt to have her be the Doctor McCoy of this series just didn't work. But as season 2 ofTNG went on the character of Pulaski became better and I liked what she added to the series. In my mind she almost became the 'mother' figure of the show. I think the show would have been fine with her, but from what I understand she was not happy with the role so if she had stayed for another season she may have eventually wanted to leave the series anyway.
- What would Trek have been like if Majel Barrets character 'Number One' had remained the First Officer and not Spock?
It just wouldn't have been the same. I like Majel Barret and she was a fine actress but Spock was able to get away with that type of character because he was an alien from a logical society. But to have a female human acting like that just didn't work in the original pilot. Had they changed the character and had her be more human like it could have worked. Although apparently the female viewers in the test audience for 'The Cage' pilot didn't like that character. But having a woman in that authority position would have been a bold statement in the 60's. I think it would have been alright to have the 'Number One' character in the Shatner series, as long as Spock was there too. Without Spock being there to help create the Kirk-Spock-McCoy dynamic I don't think the 'Number One' character would have been a part of said dynamic, and that is something that gives Trek it's heart and it would have not been.

- James Doohan was know for his accent ability and it is said it was he and Roddenberry who decided on the Scottish accent. What if Scotty had been English or Australian?
Doohan was quoted as saying he chose the Scottish accent because historically Scotts are renowned Engineers. But he was a master of accents having used his skills previously up here in Canada on the CBC. If he had been a different nationality I think they would have had to change his characters name too. Well maybe not his whole name but they couldn't really give him the nick name 'Scotty', well I guess they could have. Well he wouldn't be able to drink 'Scotch' on the show... well i guess he would be able to do that too. I guess the conclusion is that nothing really would have been different, he just would have sounded different. I know he wouldn't have been able to play the bagpipes at Spocksfuneral in Star Trek he could have done that too. Guess this was a pointless scenario...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blog #16: More Star Trek 'What If?' Scenarios

- In the original draft idea for Trek Spock was to have been red and from Mars... how would that have affected the franchise??
This would have drastically altered everything for Spock and viewers. Being red and from Mars may seem silly by today's standards but you have to remember that back in the 60's not much was known about Mars. There were no photos, no probes, just what could be seen by telescope and educated guesses. But Roddenberry was known for consulting with scientists about science stuff for Trek and he was probably advised to not have Spockbe from mars because the odds are against there being humanoid life on Mars. but by today's standards had they gone with that notion of being red and from Mars there is no doubt that Star Trek would be mocked and probably would never have been taken seriously, especially after NASA all but proved there not to be life on Mars.
 - Originally Marina Sirtis auditioned for the role of Tasha and Denise Crosby for Troi... what would the series have been like had those two actresses been in each others roles??
I really couldn't imagine Sirtis playing the tough as nails Tasha Yar, and I couldn't imagine Crosby not being a tough as nails character. But that being said from what I understand Denise Crosby left TNG because she wantedout of her contract to pursue a feature film career. Had she still done so in the role of Troi that character would have died, and she would have no reason to come back in the 3rd season TNG episode 'Yesterdays Enterprise', or to be the spin-off character 'Sela'. Also if Crosby left the role of Troi someone would have to come in to take that position as Picards Adviser, where as before Worf just stepped up and took Tasha's job.

If Marina Sirtis had been 'Tasha' we would not have seen her in lovely outfits like this one. Because only ship Counsellors can wear revealing outfits on a starship. 

- If O'Brien had not come to DS9 from TNG what character from TNG or TOS should have come to DS9 in his place?
I think it would have been cool if Scotty had came to DS9 to lend his Engineering knowledge to help make this old Cardassian space station working to Starfleet standards. He was last seen flying off the Enterprise in his own borrowed shuttle, I'm surprised he never made a guest appearance on the show. Granted actor James Doohan was in his senior years and maybe couldn't or wouldn't commit to a long term contract, but it would have been cool to see Scotty on DS9 for a season or two even if it wasn't every episode. They could have possibly also had Lt Barclay, played by actor Dwight Schultz from 'The A-Team' fame. I would think he would have been willing to commit to a Trek series as he was said to be a fan and that is why the role of Barclay was created for him specifically.  

Scotty on DS9? 

- What if Odo and Kira had not hooked up??
It would have made for a better series. Seriously the biggest mistake they made on that show was having those two hook up. As much as I like Odo I just didn't believe that a woman like Kira would have hooked up with him. Their just 2 very different people. Also they had a great friend chemistry that was ruined when they got together. Much like the TV series 'The X-Files' the mistake was made to have the two friend characters hook up and things were just never the same.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Blog #15: Why 'Voyager' Failed, Part III

Relying on 'Holodeck' episodes is a sure sign of the lack of creativity:
Having the series take place in the Delta Quadrant was to create new adventures for this crew, yet it seemed like every second episode was a holodeck episode. Most other TV series would do a 'dream sequence' episode, which is a lame attempt at creativity in my opinion, like on 'The Sopranos'. But because this is Trek they can have these dreams be a reality on the holodeck. Holodeck adventures at times are OK, but seriously these Writers and Producers over exploited them because they lacked creativity.

Janeway was a poor Captain. Why did they not go with TNG's Riker as Captain, as was rumoured?:
When Star Trek: The Next Generation was in it's 6th season there was a rumour that the next Trek series would feature Riker as Captain. This made sense to me as it was about time he got a command of his own. He was ready to take that next step and had been offered several commands before so it would be right for him to decide to move on and offered to command this new Intrepid class starship. Actor Jonathan Frakes has been quoted as saying that he would have loved to have taken on the role of Captain in his own series. Riker had a 'Kirk' like quality to him and could have carried a series, but sadly it was not meant to be. Part of the reason could have been that they wanted Riker to stay with the TNG cast for the movies. But there is a simple solution: in the TNG 6th season episode 'Second Chances' a second duplicate Riker was introduced, Thomas Riker, who carried the rank of Lieutenant and went on to serve aboard the starship 'Indie'. That Riker could have been transferred to Voyager, perhaps achieving the rank of Lt Commander at that point and perhaps serves as second officer, like Data on TNG. It wouldn't be too far fetched to have most of the senior officers including the Captain killed off making room for Thomas Riker to step up ajnd take command himself. They did after all kill off the First Officer, Chief Engineer, Doctor and several other crew members in the pilot episode when the Caretaker brought Voyager to the Delta Quadrant. Thomas Riker could have been next in line to take command. And because this character is in a younger mindset than Commander William Riker actor jonathan Frakes would have had some creative freedom to play this 'other' Riker. Using Thomas Riker would have kept Commander Riker in the TNG movies as well. But sadly it was not meant to be and we were stuck with Janeway.
Anywho that ends Part III of the discussion on Why Voyager Failed. I could go on with why I don't like this series but I'm done for now. As they say whats done is done. My only hope is that whoever is developing this rumoured new Trek series isn't a fan of Voyager and doesn't use that series as a reference for the new one. See you next time!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Blog #14: Why 'Voyager' Failed, Part II

All In The Name:
It began with Deep Space Nine, naming the series after the vessel that the characters inhabit. 'Star Trek: Voyager' is a terrible title for a series, and Executive Producer/Creator Berman with his lack of creativity continued with this with 'Enterprise'. Why not call this series something else? I mentioned in my previous blog the Peter David book series 'Star Trek: New Frontier', New Frontier is the perfect title to describe a series like Voyager. That or something like that should have been the title of Voyager. 'Voyager' is just bland, boring and dull. And while I mentioned 'Enterprise', that is a series that should have had a different name too. I think 'Star Trek: First Voyages' would have been a much better series title than 'Enterprise'.
Too many forgettable characters and forgettable actors playing them:
The only characters I liked were The Doctor, Chakotay and Tom Paris. They were played by some great actors who I think may have been tied down due to the poor writing and didn't really get a chance to flourish in their roles. The rest of cast just sucked as far as I'm concerned. I think it was a combination of bad acting and bad writing. Kate Mulgrew is the worst Captain of all the Trek Captains. It's not that I have anything against female Captains, I just didn't like her character. But the rest of them should have been recast and other more interesting characters brought in to replace them. Oh that's right they couldn't do that because they were stranded 80 years away from Earth. This was just a boring cast of characters that i wasn't interested in watching.

If the creative team wanted this series to take place in a distant corner of the galaxy to create new alien races for them to encounter, why did we so many familiar races? Especially the Borg!:
New races, new aliens, new adventures is what we were promised going into this series. But every major race somehow and in someway made their mark on this show. Klingons, Romulans, Vulcans, Cardassians, Bajorans, even the dominion made an appearance in a holodeck sequence. And don't forget the Borg. The Borg were first introduced on TNG and were a frightening menace that was seldom seen, but when they were it was memorable. Then Voyager came along and their Writers decided to exploit and over-exploit this once interesting race of villains to the point that they are no longer interesting. In the beginning being in the DeltaQuadrant Voyager was to meet all new aliens and threats, yet they took this race from TNG and exploited them because they couldn't come up with something interesting on their own.  
Why did it make sense to have 'Seven Of 9' prance around in a silver form fitting 'uniform'?:
Don't get me wrong I think Jeri Ryan is a very attractive woman and her body is most excellent, but really did she need to be prancing around in a form fitting uniform? Again it was a lame attempt by the Writers and Producers to bring in horny male viewers. When Captain Picard was rescued by the TNG crew and brought back from being a Borg I don't remember him wearing anything like that. I remember there being some lame explanation by the Doctor for her choice of wardrobe. A very pathetic attempt to draw in viewers.

Anywho that ends Part II of the discussion on Why Voyager Failed. See you next time!