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starcanuck64
2013-Aug-15, 01:23 AM
I'm giving another Star Trek series a look and I'm finding it a little disappointing. The basic story is kind of cool, lost on the other side of the galaxy with a mixed crew of Federation Star Fleet personnel and a crew of Maquis, but the science is making my head hurt.

The second episode had the Voyager flying into a singularity then flying around inside it trying to figure out what was causing some weird phenomena until they finally realized they were inside a singularity. The black hole itself was huge, at one point they needed to fly a shuttle craft near the event horizon to widen a rift with a dekyon beam(I'm laughing as I type this btw) and it was 50 million km from where the ship was near the center of the black hole. Now I like my science fiction, but there needs to be some coherence or it makes me uncomfortable.

Is this a series worth spending any time on?

Nowhere Man
2013-Aug-15, 01:52 AM
I wouldn't, and didn't. During its first run, I don't remember how far along I got -- I think I got to the point where the space blonde was replaced with the cyborg babe -- and gave up after the nth episode with a space-time anomaly. They were using the plot device way too much. Second season, maybe?

Of course, you could make a drinking game out of it. Take a slug every time science is assaulted, physics is bent, or technobabble is uttered. Make sure you have a replacement liver lined up.

Star Trek Enterprise didn't last even that long. Three, maybe four episodes.

Fred

Gillianren
2013-Aug-15, 04:55 AM
I used to watch it in college. This was with the same friend with whom I'm going to Rifftrax tomorrow night, with whom my regular greeting is an MST3K quote.

Tog
2013-Aug-15, 08:03 AM
I made it to about the 4th episode, I think. I don't remember much of anything about them beyond that they were really bad.

I also remember that even though I didn't watch it, i took the addition of Jeri Ryan to the cast as an insult. They brought in a curvy blonde and dressed her in a spandex onesie that was a size or two too small* in a bid to attract more of the young male viewer demographic. That was apparently a better fix than not writing lousy scripts.

From what I've read since then, the character of 7 of 9 turned out to be one of the better developed characters on the show (in all uses of the word). She's still on the lists as a good example of a solid female character in a SF world. I guess they also had an alien race that was what most alien races should have been. Non-humanoid, with no discernible human goals beyond expansion and survival.

On the other hand, there was an episode where the crew experienced an "advanced rate of evolution" where the characters continued to evolve at a rate of millions of generations in their own lifetimes, and ended up being some slimy lizard-like thing. An interview with Brandon Braga about it quoted him as saying something like "Yeah, I didn't really get how evolution worked when I wrote that."

I wouldn't wait for the science to get any better.

*Jeri Ryan passed out a time or two from her silver Borg-Suit. I've heard three explanations of this, one was from her, one might have been (I don't recall for sure where I read it).

One news story said it was so tight she couldn't breathe well.

The one I don't remember was that the collar was so tight, it pressed on her neck and was effectively a weak sleeper hold. In later episodes, the high collar was gone.

The one I read from her was: "Initially, I would stay in the costume much longer than I ended up staying in it, because it takes about twenty minutes to get into. Someone has to dress me and undress me. It's a production break if I have to get out of the costume to use the rest room or something. It grinds to a halt unless they can shoot something without me, which typically they can't, if it's a scene that I'm in. So, in the interest of being a team player, the first season, I would not take rest room breaks, I just didn't drink anything on set, which is not the healthiest thing to do."

NEOWatcher
2013-Aug-15, 12:54 PM
You do have to suspend your scientific knowledge quite a bit with VOY.
But; if you can get past that, there were some really good episodes. Unfortunately, some bad ones as well.


On the other hand, there was an episode where the crew experienced an "advanced rate of evolution" where the characters continued to evolve at a rate of millions of generations in their own lifetimes, and ended up being some slimy lizard-like thing. An interview with Brandon Braga about it quoted him as saying something like "Yeah, I didn't really get how evolution worked when I wrote that."
There was another where they projected the "most likely" evolution of a dinosaur and decided it looked like the alien race they encountered.


*Jeri Ryan passed out a time or two from her silver Borg-Suit. I've heard three explanations of this, one was from her, one might have been (I don't recall for sure where I read it).
That might have helped her develop her rigid character early on. ;)

Glom
2013-Aug-15, 02:15 PM
I'm giving another Star Trek series a look and I'm finding it a little disappointing. The basic story is kind of cool, lost on the other side of the galaxy with a mixed crew of Federation Star Fleet personnel and a crew of Maquis, but the science is making my head hurt.

The second episode had the Voyager flying into a singularity then flying around inside it trying to figure out what was causing some weird phenomena until they finally realized they were inside a singularity. The black hole itself was huge, at one point they needed to fly a shuttle craft near the event horizon to widen a rift with a dekyon beam(I'm laughing as I type this btw) and it was 50 million km from where the ship was near the center of the black hole. Now I like my science fiction, but there needs to be some coherence or it makes me uncomfortable.

Is this a series worth spending any time on?

And the crack in the event horizon. Hilariously painful.

This is the key thing that annoys me about Braga. He doesn't know anything about anything. Yet, he smugly writes science fictiony stories that are just complete nonsense. It's the shamelessness of the man that grates with me.

NEOWatcher
2013-Aug-15, 02:45 PM
And the crack in the event horizon. Hilariously painful.
Doesn't everything in Star Trek have definite borders?
- Nebulea
- Solar systems
- Cracks in spacetime
- Edges of the galaxy

This week there was one where "Don't get too close, we'll get torn apart", then the solution to the predicament was to go through it.

Nick Theodorakis
2013-Aug-15, 03:09 PM
You do have to suspend your scientific knowledge quite a bit with VOY.
But; if you can get past that, there were some really good episodes. Unfortunately, some bad ones as well.
...


Yeah, just make sure you skip this one (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Threshold_%28episode%29).

Nick

Gillianren
2013-Aug-15, 03:23 PM
There was another where they projected the "most likely" evolution of a dinosaur and decided it looked like the alien race they encountered.

As opposed to birds, which was the most likely evolution of dinosaurs on Earth?

NEOWatcher
2013-Aug-15, 03:23 PM
Yeah, just make sure you skip this one (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Threshold_%28episode%29).
Nick
Yep, that's the one mentioned before.

It started out OK, but fell apart very quickly.

Another one at the bottom of my list is "11:59". It's a story about the past with virtually no relevence to anything. Maybe you can say it's character building for Janeway through ancestry, but to me, it's just a sappy love story.

Cookie
2013-Aug-15, 04:25 PM
There's a number of good episodes that focus on the Doctor and/or Seven.

Swift
2013-Aug-15, 04:51 PM
The basic story is kind of cool, lost on the other side of the galaxy with a mixed crew of Federation Star Fleet personnel and a crew of Maquis, but the science is making my head hurt.
Yes, and yes.


Is this a series worth spending any time on?
No. It is by far my least favorite of the Star Trek series.

NEOWatcher
2013-Aug-15, 04:54 PM
There's a number of good episodes that focus on the Doctor and/or Seven.
I agree.
I also like some of the silliness of Neelix and Tom, especially with their interplay with Tuvok.

NEOWatcher
2013-Aug-15, 04:57 PM
Is this a series worth spending any time on?
No. It is by far my least favorite of the Star Trek series.
My least favorite too (although I've never watched TAS), but I still spend time on it. It's better than a lot of TV nowadays.

Solfe
2013-Aug-15, 07:20 PM
I like the early shows where Tom and Harry are becoming friends and later when Tom gets married and starts a family. Unfortunately, there is boat load of really horrific sci-fi wrapped around those stories. That does not include the mock 1930's sci-fi based holodeck adventures. Those holodeck plot lines were very sophisticated compared to some of the real plots lines introduced.

The Doctor is almost always fun to watch. Many of his stories only have science as an after thought which is strange for a computer character.

ToSeek
2013-Aug-15, 07:28 PM
The basic story is kind of cool, lost on the other side of the galaxy with a mixed crew of Federation Star Fleet personnel and a crew of Maquis

My main problem with the series is that they pretty much abandoned the implications of the premise from the get-go: the whole conflict between the crews was dropped, and there never seemed to be any issues about running out of supplies or dealing with repairs despite the nearest starbase being halfway across the galaxy. Halfway into the first season the ship should have been held together with baling wire and duct tape while people yelled at each other over whose fault that was.

NEOWatcher
2013-Aug-15, 07:32 PM
That does not include the mock 1930's sci-fi based holodeck adventures.
My favorite scene in one of those is Seven's first participation.
I am Borg... [pulls out some wires]... The robot has been neutralized... May I leave now.

starcanuck64
2013-Aug-15, 09:51 PM
And the crack in the event horizon. Hilariously painful.

This is the key thing that annoys me about Braga. He doesn't know anything about anything. Yet, he smugly writes science fictiony stories that are just complete nonsense. It's the shamelessness of the man that grates with me.

I'd run out of disbelief suspenders when they were trying to use the tractor beam to penetrate the event horizon, by the time they were trying to open the rift in it I think I was taking it pretty much as fantasy. It's too bad, STNG and Deep Space Nine pushed the limits of science, but I never got to the point of feeling like it took place in a completely different universe with different physical laws.

starcanuck64
2013-Aug-15, 09:57 PM
My main problem with the series is that they pretty much abandoned the implications of the premise from the get-go: the whole conflict between the crews was dropped, and there never seemed to be any issues about running out of supplies or dealing with repairs despite the nearest starbase being halfway across the galaxy. Halfway into the first season the ship should have been held together with baling wire and duct tape while people yelled at each other over whose fault that was.

That was something that BG did very well and was what I was looking forward to, a Robinson Crusoe kind of adventure.

novaderrik
2013-Aug-16, 01:39 AM
the part that always bugged me was the way they were supposedly 70+ years from home if they flew a straight line back to the alpha quadrant... but it had already been established in previous shows that it only takes something like a couple of weeks at high warp to get from one end of the alpha quadrant to the other... so it should have been a few months at most to get home if you allowed time for things needing to be repaired and the need to divert around that thing in the center of the galaxy where "God" (remember Bones' line "why the hell does God need a spaceship?")was imprisoned in ST V...

NEOWatcher
2013-Aug-16, 02:04 PM
the part that always bugged me was the way they were supposedly 70+ years from home if they flew a straight line back to the alpha quadrant... but it had already been established...
That's a problem imposed by FEPA (Federation Environmental Protection Agency) after TNG:Force of Nature.
In order to protect the fabric of space, they issued a slowdown of all warp drives, and redefined the Warp Scale accordingly.

See? Anything in Star Trek can be explained away. :D

But; yes, even communications (in all the series) don't have any delays from long distances unless the plot depends on the message delay in subspace.

NEOWatcher
2013-Aug-16, 02:16 PM
After saying all that, I decided to see what memory alpha has to say about it (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Warp_factor)... Not much.

But they do have a good chart of references of Warp, C, Time, distance.
Being that TOS is wildly all over the place, I doubt you can make too many determinations based on it.
The other series' (including VOY) seem to be fairly consistant between themselves.

Of course, that's when the speed is stated. I know in several episodes, they seemed to have magically appeared in an area in an abnormally short amount of time.
I seem to recall on occasion Ent-D or Defiant going back to Earth in an abnormally short amount of time from deep space.

starcanuck64
2013-Aug-16, 06:39 PM
Some of the story lines do seem pretty flexible around speed and distance. In ST V: Parallax(the one where they end up inside a black hole) they try to travel to a nearby star system for assistance when they think there's another ship caught in the event horizon. The ship turns out to Voyager which has been temporally shifted due to the effects of the black hole(I don't think the writers got that right either), but they were going to make a speedy run of three light years with impulse power, which is what, at 1/4 lightspeed or less.

They do that in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back also when the Falcon travels to a nearby system on sub lightspeed power. Joss Whedon also has some issues with velocity and distance in Firefly and Serenity so it's not just a Star Trek universe thing. In the Firefly pilot, Serenity passes a Reaver ship on a reciprocal course and they're barely moving relative to each other. It would take centuries or even millenia to travel interplanetary distances if you were just doing 30 knots or so.:)

NEOWatcher
2013-Aug-16, 08:11 PM
... In ST V: Parallax...
Ouch, please be careful with those abbreviations. If I didn't catch the episode name, I would have thought you were talking about that horribly Shatner directed movie.



but they were going to make a speedy run of three light years with impulse power, which is what, at 1/4 lightspeed or less.
By the time of Voyager, they got 66% to 80% (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Impulse_drive).
But; that's beside the point. It's still takes more than 3 years in sublight.

Here's a good page with some other distance/speed anomolies in VOY (http://www.starfleetjedi.net/o7.html).

starcanuck64
2013-Aug-16, 08:20 PM
Ouch, please be careful with those abbreviations. If I didn't catch the episode name, I would have thought you were talking about that horribly Shatner directed movie.



By the time of Voyager, they got 66% to 80% (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Impulse_drive).
But; that's beside the point. It's still takes more than 3 years in sublight.

Here's a good page with some other distance/speed anomolies in VOY (http://www.starfleetjedi.net/o7.html).

Suddenly I feel in over my head.:)

Another thing that often bugs me about Star Trek in general is the low apparent yield of photon torpedoes, they're matter/antimatter conversion weapons aren't they? Shouldn't the resultant explosions be a bit more energetic, most ships just seem to shrug them off.

HenrikOlsen
2013-Aug-17, 12:36 AM
Ouch, please be careful with those abbreviations. If I didn't catch the episode name, I would have thought you were talking about that horribly Shatner directed movie.
How could you think such a thing when for some reason they skipped over the number 5 when they made the movies, as every one knows.

Solfe
2013-Aug-17, 06:59 AM
Suddenly I feel in over my head.:)

Another thing that often bugs me about Star Trek in general is the low apparent yield of photon torpedoes, they're matter/antimatter conversion weapons aren't they? Shouldn't the resultant explosions be a bit more energetic, most ships just seem to shrug them off.

There is a table top game (Star Fleet Battles* (http://www.starfleetgames.com/)) that sort of explains the low apparent yield. You can choose your ship speed, heading and power going to the weapons. You only have a few sources of power so sending power to the weapons slows the ship down. Photons are heavy weapons and have three modes of fire: standard shots, proximity (standard shots that detonate in an area, which is weaker than a direct hit) and overloaded. Overloads can be held if not used in a given turn, but that also drains power, so overloading commits you to going slow for a while.

If you manage to hit a ship with all of your overloaded photons at point blank range, it's dead. Game over. Everyone loves that ending. But most forget how random numbers work and fixate on how "easy" it is to roll 2-6 on a six sided die. They also forget that they roll once for each weapon and they have eight of them. So when the mix of numbers show up and they roll four 1's, they freak out. The enemy is not hurt that bad, they are also at point blank range and they have suspiciously similar weapons aimed at you.

The thing that drives Federation people nuts and reduces the effectiveness of photons is my favorite tactic. Since photon armed captains love to get within a range of one, you turn right into them, unload your standard weapons at range 2 and turn around and leave. Their only options are to shoot you in the back or hold those photons. You know what makes this worse? When the enemy does it again, except this time the target turns around at range three. When you successfully pull this stunt just twice, can actually see the meltdown in your opponents eyes:

"If only I had killed their rear shields on the last pass..."
"Why did I waste my shot on the rear shields? Now I have no weapons and they are coming at me head on. Again."
"I split the difference and hit both the front and rear shields. Although he looks like Swiss cheese, most of my front shields are gone. Flying backwards is undignified and ineffective because I have no idea what end of his ship is more dangerous now."

Photons require the right amount of power to get to the optimum location and then making the best of what happens. They SHOULD kill ships, but it isn't the easiest thing to do. In fact, I don't think I have ever seen a Federation ship kill another ship in this game, with photons alone. On TV, photons have the exact same problem - they completely destroy the target, aren't available or can't hit or do damage because they are fired too soon or late. They sometimes get a hit on a fleeing ship and since it escapes, we don't know how effective it was.

*That is a top level link, the site owner hates deep linking. Click Star Fleet Battles in the top row, scroll down to the cadet game and you can download the simplified rules for free. There are many solo options, two player and multiple player scenarios.

starcanuck64
2013-Aug-17, 08:51 PM
There is a table top game (Star Fleet Battles* (http://www.starfleetgames.com/)) that sort of explains the low apparent yield. You can choose your ship speed, heading and power going to the weapons. You only have a few sources of power so sending power to the weapons slows the ship down. Photons are heavy weapons and have three modes of fire: standard shots, proximity (standard shots that detonate in an area, which is weaker than a direct hit) and overloaded. Overloads can be held if not used in a given turn, but that also drains power, so overloading commits you to going slow for a while...

Cool, thanks.

I've downloaded my cadet training manual.:)

Are the Kzinti in this universe the same as the Kzin from Niven space?

Nick Theodorakis
2013-Aug-17, 09:56 PM
...
Are the Kzinti in this universe the same as the Kzin from Niven space?

Can't answer about the game, but Niven wrote an episode of ST: The Animated Series based on one of his stories "The Soft Weapon," which had a kzin.

Nick

Concerned
2013-Aug-18, 12:11 AM
I'm a fan of ST Voyager, I have all all seasons on DVD and seen every show, except the one with dwayne Johnson 'the rock' and seven of nine, could not bring myself to watch it, but otherwise, I enjoy it, and would very much suggest it.

Solfe
2013-Aug-18, 04:39 AM
Cool, thanks.

I've downloaded my cadet training manual.:)

Are the Kzinti in this universe the same as the Kzin from Niven space?

Yes, but only after a fashion. The Kzin are only allowed to have the qualities depicted in the Animated series which is very sparse compared to the books.

The game you are looking at has a really goofy license with Paramount; it covers only the first warp flight to a couple of decades after TOS. Kirk and the gang are not the focus at all and therefore do not appear in major anyway.

There are some really tongue in cheek moments in the reading of the game. To prevent any serious confict of this game and ST canon, the information presented in the rules are purportedly translated from magnetic tapes from the future. Damage from time travel makes them hard to read. Sometimes they use this excuse to re-write whole sections of rules... and then author goes on to explain the real reason in detail. They don't like changing rules much and hate mistakes even more.

HenrikOlsen
2013-Aug-18, 09:46 AM
Are the Kzinti in this universe the same as the Kzin from Niven space?
Technically yes. They used Niven's Slaver Weapon as the base for a script for an animated episode, thus establishing both the Kzin and Slavers as part of the Trek universe.

It was an atrociously lazy rewrite, with the only changes being that the puppeteer was changed to human (I think) and a few names got adjusted to fit Enterprise crew members.

parallaxicality
2013-Aug-18, 10:10 AM
My main problem with the series is that they pretty much abandoned the implications of the premise from the get-go: the whole conflict between the crews was dropped, and there never seemed to be any issues about running out of supplies or dealing with repairs despite the nearest starbase being halfway across the galaxy. Halfway into the first season the ship should have been held together with baling wire and duct tape while people yelled at each other over whose fault that was.

The sad thing is, Stargate Universe tackled all of these issues head on, and yet everyone hated it.

In order to get through Voyager I made up the Meineke Continuum, an interdimensional realm composed entirely of spare parts, extra fuel, and trained Starfleet engineers, that the ship was teleported to between episodes. It made everything flow much better.

Nick Theodorakis
2013-Aug-18, 12:31 PM
Technically yes. They used Niven's Slaver Weapon as the base for a script for an animated episode, thus establishing both the Kzin and Slavers as part of the Trek universe.

It was an atrociously lazy rewrite, with the only changes being that the puppeteer was changed to human (I think) and a few names got adjusted to fit Enterprise crew members.

IIRC (but it's a been a long time) the puppeteer's role in the story was done by Spock in the ST:TAS episode.

Nick

starcanuck64
2013-Aug-20, 12:58 AM
There are some really tongue in cheek moments in the reading of the game. To prevent any serious confict of this game and ST canon, the information presented in the rules are purportedly translated from magnetic tapes from the future. Damage from time travel makes them hard to read. Sometimes they use this excuse to re-write whole sections of rules... and then author goes on to explain the real reason in detail. They don't like changing rules much and hate mistakes even more.

Somebody has a good sense of humor there.

I wish someone would make a good series or movie based on Niven space and the Man-Kzin wars, there's a lot of good material there.

ToSeek
2013-Aug-20, 03:43 PM
Can't answer about the game, but Niven wrote an episode of ST: The Animated Series based on one of his stories "The Soft Weapon," which had a kzin.

Nick

I saw the episode, then came across the story and was thinking, "Boy, this sounds familiar!"

ToSeek
2013-Aug-20, 03:45 PM
The sad thing is, Stargate Universe tackled all of these issues head on, and yet everyone hated it.



I watched a couple of episodes of Stargate Universe and found the characters pretty much without exception whiny and annoying. You'd think at least one or two would be happy to be on an adventure. I can't watch a show if I can't find someone to root for.

Solfe
2013-Aug-20, 04:25 PM
I watched a couple of episodes of Stargate Universe and found the characters pretty much without exception whiny and annoying. You'd think at least one or two would be happy to be on an adventure. I can't watch a show if I can't find someone to root for.

I thought the show was always hovering on the edge of potential. Obviously, it could have been better but somehow it never was. Personally I liked the idea "the whinny people got stuck adventuring", because either they would suck it up or get killed.

Glom
2013-Aug-20, 06:55 PM
I watched a couple of episodes of Stargate Universe and found the characters pretty much without exception whiny and annoying. You'd think at least one or two would be happy to be on an adventure. I can't watch a show if I can't find someone to root for.

With Stargate Universe, a staff used to make a generally more light hearted show chose to rip off BSG. BSG is something very very difficult to do. It's either brilliant or intolerable. The BSG staff generally got it right. The SGU staff didn't have the aptitude for it.

Solfe
2013-Aug-20, 07:22 PM
With Stargate Universe, a staff used to make a generally more light hearted show chose to rip off BSG. BSG is something very very difficult to do. It's either brilliant or intolerable. The BSG staff generally got it right. The SGU staff didn't have the aptitude for it.

It appears they failed on a couple of levels because it wasn't lighthearted either.

BSG was nice, but I think that several of these shows were meant to address other problems. Voyager, BSG and SG:U all exist in a resource limited environment so that traditional solutions to X universe problems are off the table from the get go. BSG rarely encountered the "limited resource" problem because absolutely every character was trying to avoid max'ing the system and that was the solution. Voyager dropped the whole idea except for causally mentioning how bad the food was. SG:U went nutty and reverted to "SG:OldSchool" for a couple of shows while blazing ahead into new ground that didn't match the background SG concept.

At no point did anyone say "Hey! Stop writing the those "we have one of those magical things just in time for the ending!" stories, thank you."

I enjoyed all three but magic endings kill science fiction. I am not even sure what happened at the end of BSG, I am not even sure I was supposed to understand. It worked out nicely, but that was weird stuff.

starcanuck64
2013-Aug-21, 09:00 PM
I thought the show was always hovering on the edge of potential. Obviously, it could have been better but somehow it never was. Personally I liked the idea "the whinny people got stuck adventuring", because either they would suck it up or get killed.

I only caught a few episodes, but I thought it had some potential too, they had some good cast members, but I'm not sure about the writers.

ToSeek
2013-Aug-22, 02:58 PM
It appears they failed on a couple of levels because it wasn't lighthearted either.

I think the point was not that they tried to make SG:U lighthearted but that they'd succeeded at making SG and SG:A lighthearted, then tried to do something different (for not very good reasons) and failed.

CJSF
2013-Aug-22, 03:40 PM
I have only watched a handful of complete Voyager episode from start to finish. I generally give pilot episodes a lot of slack and tolerance; however, the premise of the show and the poor way just about everything was handled during its pilot turned me off, so I didn't get into the series at all. I have seen parts of other episodes, too,usually when they were re-run and my brother would call me over and say, "Hey, I know you hate this show, but there's a funny/cool/awesome scene coming up." Sometimes he was right.

CJSF

starcanuck64
2013-Aug-23, 12:00 AM
I think the point was not that they tried to make SG:U lighthearted but that they'd succeeded at making SG and SG:A lighthearted, then tried to do something different (for not very good reasons) and failed.

Richard Dean Anderson was a big part of that in SG-1 I found, it can be hard to recreate that kind of chemistry.

I didn't watch much of SG:U, but the episodes I did watch seemed pretty bleak, that can become tedious over time.

NEOWatcher
2013-Aug-23, 04:54 PM
How about creating your own thread for SG:U?

novaderrik
2013-Aug-24, 06:59 AM
gotta go easy on Voyager: it was the flagship of a brand new tv network... they were trying to be as bland, boring, and unoffensive as possible and knew that most people that would be watching that network didn't care about silly things like "continuity" or "good storytelling"..