Could TNG even be the same show today?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Steve W Steve W 2 years ago.

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    The other night, I watched and episode of TNG and an episode of post-2005 Doctor Who in the same night. Talk about getting whiplash from the gear change! The editing and pacing of the show, and even the way the scripts were written, are vastly different, even though it technically only takes the same amount of time to watch either one.

    Doctor Who’s pacing and editing style owe a lot to Buffy, so it’s not as if this is a uniquely British phenomenon.

    So here’s the question: could TNG or any other flavor of Star Trek even be the same show if someone set out to make it today? Could you get away with doing something cerebral like “Cause & Effect” where you keep blowing up the ship for forty minutes until arriving at the three-minute fix for the problem? Or would all of that ponderous thinking and mystery solving have to give way to more crowd-pleasing run-and-gun action a la the JJ Abrams movie?

    vs.

    #3852
    Steve W
    Steve W
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    I think that some of the ideas from TNG were pretty good and would still hold up if made today, but some of the reoccurring tropes of the show would have to be jettisoned for the sake of better storytelling. One interesting thing about Doctor Who is that it’s currently getting better writing now than it’s ever had in its history. If a Star Trek series came back to the air nowadays, maybe Paramount could stop cheapening out and pay to get some of science fiction’s better authors to contribute scripts. And get someone decent to be the showrunner, and throw in some morality plays like in the original series. I wouldn’t mind if the new series had cinematography as good as the J. J. Abrams movie. It doesn’t need all the special effects or lens flare, but at least make it look like somebody put out an effort. The Next Generation’s look for its sets were pretty bland and muted, which also extended to their costuming a lot of the time. Unfortunately that look also carried on into DS9 and Voyager to some degree. I mean, look at your little scene photographs from the movie and TNG – the movie looks glitzy and shiny and dynamic, whereas TNG doesn’t have a single reflective surface in that shot, dull lighting, and the cast look like they’re about to fall asleep. If a Star Trek show returned to the air in the next few years, they could really do a good job if Paramount put some work into it. And no more of this 7 years crap. If your show’s pulling in high ratings and you’re raking in money, just renew everybody’s contracts and keep it on the air. Heaven forbid that they pay their actors slightly more when their contracts have to be renewed.

    #3853

    They could always do animation. 😆

    #3854
    ZLoth
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    The whole reason why TNG succeeded was that it was a syndicated series, and did not have the network interference. Plus, it was a completely different television environment, and the television shows have to be “edgier” and “grittier” now. Plus, it had a large ensemble cast, something that is cost prohibitive at this time.

    #3855
    Steve W
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    It was cost prohibitive back then, too. That’s why, in the recent documentary, Denise Crosby talks about having to sneak across the stage lot to the Cheers set and steal food from their show because The Next Generation couldn’t afford Craft Services for the cast and crew. And how the trailers for the actors were a bunch of ancient old things because that’s probably all the money they’d spend for trailers. You hear about how it was the most expensive show on television at that time, and then it’s shocking to hear about how cheap they were behind the scenes.

    Honestly TNG could be made today, and a lot better. Look at some of the amazing TV series we have today, they’re better written than most movies from back then and TV production is more professional looking than in 1987. If they decided to reboot TNG but into J.J.’s universe (meaning the entire cast could potentially be different from the original timeline), they could really do some amazing “Game of Thrones” quality if they’d put out the effort. I’d like to see season long story arcs that are well-written and followed through with in a natural progression rather than the “syndication demands that every story stands alone” bull crap. And it’d be really fascinating to see how far the Abram-verse’s timeline deviates from the original. Could be that Picard’s family was blown up in a Klingon attack long before Jean-Luc was born. Who would take his place on the bridge? Maybe the Romulans become more chummy with the Federation after one of their time-traveling ships destroys their species homeworld, Vulcan. Instead of Worf being an officer on Enterprise-D, it’s a Romulan. Riker could be replaced by an Andorian. Everybody was in the right place at the right time to be on the Enterprise-D, but in this new show that doesn’t mean anything since their timeline was drastically altered a century before. Who knows how TNG’s utopian ideology could be different on a new show.

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