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(Entertainment Weekly)   Reporter begs Alex Kurtzman to quit worrying about adhering to 'Star Trek' canon on 'Discovery' as it's already a mess and limits creativity: "Bending a story over backward to stay consistent to something said in episode 54 of 'Voyager' is nuts"   (ew.com) divider line
    More: Spiffy, Star Trek, Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: Enterprise, Spock, Star Trek: The Original Series, James T. Kirk, USS Enterprise, new showrunner Alex Kurtzman  
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1159 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 11 Jan 2019 at 1:35 PM (22 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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TWX
2019-01-11 11:13:52 AM  
If they don't like how difficult it is writing to maintain continuity in a media property with a fifty year history, then perhaps they need to write for a different media property. I hear that Andromeda is available.
 
2019-01-11 11:19:11 AM  
The Orvilleis more Trek than ST:D
 
2019-01-11 11:30:16 AM  
Friggin' set it in a different time period.  Or timeline.  Or, you know, series.
 
2019-01-11 11:30:28 AM  

wooden_badger: The Orvilleis more Trek than ST:D


That.
 
2019-01-11 11:41:32 AM  
They really should just take the Doctor Who approach and ignore it when inconvenient to the plot and embrace it when convenient to the plot (or more accurately only really refer to concepts/events that are "fixed" and ignore the minutiae unless it's plot-critical). Hell, time travel has been used as a plot device enough times in Trek history that it wouldn't be unwarranted.

Of course, you could also argue that Enterprise often ignored established canon unless it was plot-critical too, and that show didn't really pick up until the third season.
 
2019-01-11 11:45:08 AM  

Myrdinn: Friggin' set it in a different time period.  Or timeline.  Or, you know, series.


I feel like they wasted an opportunity to specifically not decide what timeline Discovery is set in (Original Recipe-verse, Lens Flare-verse, or other) to avoid possible clashes with canon. I sort of hope they do that with the new Picard series.
 
2019-01-11 11:52:24 AM  
Still, a Tribble in the Captain's office?

The Mirror Universe? Before the Mirror Universe was actually introduced?

Mutiny on a starship? When Spock made it clear that it's never happened?

These are three extremely lazy things they could have avoided.
 
2019-01-11 12:09:24 PM  
Want to avoid continuity errors?  Don't make a farking prequel.
 
2019-01-11 12:17:51 PM  
i.kym-cdn.comView Full Size
 
2019-01-11 12:24:29 PM  

Shostie: [i.kym-cdn.com image 600x700]


Repeat to yourself

The rest of the world gets to see this on Netflix.
Why do I have to pay for another service to see it?
 
2019-01-11 12:26:34 PM  

wooden_badger: Shostie: [i.kym-cdn.com image 600x700]

Repeat to yourself

The rest of the world gets to see this on Netflix.
Why do I have to pay for another service to see it?


My understanding is that the Netflix deal essentially pays for the whole cost of the show.

So you're just getting reamed.
 
2019-01-11 12:50:05 PM  
pbs.twimg.comView Full Size
 
2019-01-11 01:05:51 PM  
Kurtzman could be out of a job before the end of the year. Shari Redstone is pushing for a CBS-Viacom merger to undo the 2005 split. With the reunion would be a return to the Prime timeline** (Shari is not a fan of the Kelvin timeline). Kurtzman could be out because he's a disciple of JJ Abrams.

CBS has obtained tax breaks from the state of California for a new (singular) Star Trek show to be shot in LA (Discovery is/was shot in Canada) and that new show is rumored to be the new Picard show, currently in early production phase. If Kurtzman is launched, it is thought that the Picard show would go back to into pre-production and retooled. There is speculation if the animated series Below Decks would continue if Kurtzman is let go.

One thing holding things up was an agreement that there would be no merger talks for 2 years after Leslie Moonves exiting CBS (Sept. 2018) but word is that they've already found a work around this and a merger could happen before the end of 2019

**With the cancellation of Star Trek IV, there's a good chance that Bad Robot's licensing contract will expire (they would need to have a Star Trek movie in production by the end of July 2019 or the licensing expires)
 
2019-01-11 01:37:42 PM  
The Mudd short episode was a lot of fun.
 
2019-01-11 01:44:14 PM  
First if you didn't want to have to be restricted by canon then you shouldn't have set the show in the past. Advance the timeline allows you to change the universe however you want to create your story instead of limiting you to a predetermined ending.

Second who cares what you do with canon now you already took a giant shiat on it with your changes to the Klingons again so every Star Trek nerd I know is writing your show off as another alternate timeline already regardless of what you say.
 
2019-01-11 01:44:16 PM  
The idea that continuity is an issue seems hilarious to me.
Have you ever seen the original series?  Continuity is bananas.

WMD's of cosmic scale are found and forgotten about, the politics develop and regress at random, and the universe seems to be populated overwhelmingly by aliens that look exactly like humans and have sets  that look exactly like a redressed back lot for a movie that just wrapped.

It is almost like the show was really more of an anthology series with a recurring set of characters so as to explore a variety of topics and premises while not having to waste time reintroducing everyone each week like the Outer Limits and Twilight Zone were saddled with.
 
2019-01-11 01:44:19 PM  

NeoCortex42: Want to avoid continuity errors?  Don't make a farking prequel.


See the way I see it is, stop seeing it as a prequel to TOS and instead see it as how a prequel would be if TOS had been done today.
 
2019-01-11 01:44:47 PM  
Do the producers intend to primarily target an audience of viewers of the previous series or movie franchise? If not, continuity isn't paramount.

Pun intended.
 
2019-01-11 01:45:28 PM  

wooden_badger: The Orvilleis more Trek than ST:D


Yes, and that's why ST:D is the best Star Trek series ever made, and The Orville is a cheesy, giant pile of suck.
 
2019-01-11 01:53:11 PM  

TWX: If they don't like how difficult it is writing to maintain continuity in a media property with a fifty year history, then perhaps they need to write for a different media property. I hear that Andromeda is available.


There isn't a magical enforcement of continuity in any property.  If they own it, they can break it, reform it, ignore parts they don't want to deal with at any point, and pick them back up later if and when they feel like it.  Comic universes have been doing this for most of a century, and no one blinks.  It's just these little sacred cows that people harrumph and shiat their pants over.

Scrape off whatever you don't want, and move forward.  There's no need slave yourself to every random elements put forth in ~600 hours of television, let alone 50 novels and various "official" guides, schematics, personnel histories, and maps.  Fark it.  There's no reason to attempt to maintain coherency at that level.  Tell your story, and make the STORY make sense.
 
2019-01-11 01:54:48 PM  

Shostie: [i.kym-cdn.com image 600x700]


... And no one is forcing you to watch it.

/ so I'm not.
 
2019-01-11 01:57:28 PM  
We all knew this would happen when they jammed Discovery just a few years before TOS. All of Kirk's discoveries and first encounters are off the table now. Romulans had never been seen in person before. All of the original Federation building was done by Enterprise. It severely shrunk what they were able to do. And don't get me started on how the Klingons were reinvented (the first interaction was defiling a Klingon cemetery which triggered a war when everyone already knows that the Klingons don't give to shiats about their dead because they are empty husks.
They really should have jumped 30 years past Nemesis.
 
2019-01-11 01:58:18 PM  

Myrdinn: Friggin' set it in a different time period.


They could have set it sometime after Generations and before STNG's Yesterday's Enterprise episode. That whole period has never really been discussed much in the newer shows. They still could have had Spock and Sarek, Enterprise B & C, weird Klingons etc, and pretty much have done what they wanted.

no1curr: I sort of hope they do that with the new Picard series.


I saw an article earlier this week that the show takes place in the aftermath of Spock being unable to save Romulus and how that affects Picard.
 
2019-01-11 01:58:27 PM  
I'm sure the hardcore dweebs are irritated by canon inconsistencies but I think most fans would be happy if the show was actually Star Trek.
 
2019-01-11 02:06:02 PM  

Khellendros: TWX: If they don't like how difficult it is writing to maintain continuity in a media property with a fifty year history, then perhaps they need to write for a different media property. I hear that Andromeda is available.

There isn't a magical enforcement of continuity in any property.  If they own it, they can break it, reform it, ignore parts they don't want to deal with at any point, and pick them back up later if and when they feel like it.  Comic universes have been doing this for most of a century, and no one blinks.  It's just these little sacred cows that people harrumph and shiat their pants over.

Scrape off whatever you don't want, and move forward.  There's no need slave yourself to every random elements put forth in ~600 hours of television, let alone 50 novels and various "official" guides, schematics, personnel histories, and maps.  Fark it.  There's no reason to attempt to maintain coherency at that level.  Tell your story, and make the STORY make sense.


This time around they're forcing people to pay for their service to see the show.  Who pays for CBS All Access?  Trek fans.  Who are you risking when you say screw it and retcon anything and everything?  Trek fans.  There's no compelling reason to have CBS All Access unless you want to watch Discovery, so they truly can hurt both their service and the show by going too far afield.  The point of a prequel is to expand a story backwards coherently.
 
2019-01-11 02:07:45 PM  

Erma Gerdd: [pbs.twimg.com image 460x310]


Came for this, leaving to get a life.
 
TWX
2019-01-11 02:08:52 PM  

Khellendros: TWX: If they don't like how difficult it is writing to maintain continuity in a media property with a fifty year history, then perhaps they need to write for a different media property. I hear that Andromeda is available.

There isn't a magical enforcement of continuity in any property.  If they own it, they can break it, reform it, ignore parts they don't want to deal with at any point, and pick them back up later if and when they feel like it.  Comic universes have been doing this for most of a century, and no one blinks.  It's just these little sacred cows that people harrumph and shiat their pants over.

Scrape off whatever you don't want, and move forward.  There's no need slave yourself to every random elements put forth in ~600 hours of television, let alone 50 novels and various "official" guides, schematics, personnel histories, and maps.  Fark it.  There's no reason to attempt to maintain coherency at that level.  Tell your story, and make the STORY make sense.


Then tell some good stories that make breaking continuity worthwhile. Star Trek: The Next Generation was friggin' awesome, and not only was it the most popular with fans, it was the most popular with people that just casually liked to watch Star Trek. Break continuity with that series in particular at your peril, because if you don't manage to appeal a new audience all that you're going to do is alienate large parts of your existing audience, leading to a net reduction in followers and a net reduction in money.

I've seen this sort of thing time and again in media properties. No one is satisfied with just having their core base. They make changes to try to appeal outside of their core base, but those changes are ill-thought, don't bring in a new audience, and cause the core base to evaporate. Sometimes it works, like some of your comic book examples and the MCU films in particular that enjoy a huge following from people that have never cracked a comic book, but that is the outlier, not the norm.
 
2019-01-11 02:15:38 PM  
Quite right it's not like its The Holy Bible now is it, because that never contradicts itself!
 
TWX
2019-01-11 02:17:08 PM  

bhcompy: Khellendros: TWX: If they don't like how difficult it is writing to maintain continuity in a media property with a fifty year history, then perhaps they need to write for a different media property. I hear that Andromeda is available.

There isn't a magical enforcement of continuity in any property.  If they own it, they can break it, reform it, ignore parts they don't want to deal with at any point, and pick them back up later if and when they feel like it.  Comic universes have been doing this for most of a century, and no one blinks.  It's just these little sacred cows that people harrumph and shiat their pants over.

Scrape off whatever you don't want, and move forward.  There's no need slave yourself to every random elements put forth in ~600 hours of television, let alone 50 novels and various "official" guides, schematics, personnel histories, and maps.  Fark it.  There's no reason to attempt to maintain coherency at that level.  Tell your story, and make the STORY make sense.

This time around they're forcing people to pay for their service to see the show.  Who pays for CBS All Access?  Trek fans.  Who are you risking when you say screw it and retcon anything and everything?  Trek fans.  There's no compelling reason to have CBS All Access unless you want to watch Discovery, so they truly can hurt both their service and the show by going too far afield.  The point of a prequel is to expand a story backwards coherently.


Exactly. I know some Trek fans that are the equivalent of the fat bastards in line waiting for the Golden Corral to open, they'll consume any Trek with a smile on their faces no matter how awful it is, but by and large there are lots of fans, as in fanatic, fans, that actually care about the characters and the stories, buy the merchandise, go to conventions, buy the costumes, etc, that do take exception when it goes off the rails. I myself didn't really watch Enterprise though I heard it did finally get good by the time they killed it, and after seeing the first Abrams movie decided that his lens-flared vision of Star Trek wasn't for me. If Discovery were to right the ship for the original continuity pre-Abrams I might be interested, but if they're just going to diverge from the universe that I enjoy, then I may as well not bother so that I continue to enjoy that which I've come to like watching. If that means no new Trek for me, then I have oh, 550 hours worth of various Star Trek TV shows and movies to go back and watch that do roughly maintain continuity, don't so flagrantly violate it as to turn me off.
 
2019-01-11 02:18:42 PM  

bhcompy: The point of a prequel is to expand a story backwards coherently.


Actually, it's not.  Like many geek/sci-fi fans, you're taking the analytical view of the universe they own.  The purpose isn't to expand a story backward coherently, from either an artistic or a monetary view.  It's to tell a compelling story (artistically), and draw attention to make money (monetarily/property).  Regardless of whether it fills in holes or expands the universe in a coherent way.

Tying things together and remaining rigidly consistent is a completely pointless endeavor.  They don't care.  Not the writers, not the producers, not the property owners.  And though you may not realize it - the bulk of consumers don't care about it either.  They really don't.  The uberfans want to see things go that way, but they're a very small portion of the consuming base of these show.

Trek suffered a huge setback in the early 2000s under the weight of its own history and constrained narrative.  It has to change, heavily, in order to remain connected and relevant to viewers today.  And that is going to require a LOT of trimming, retcons, and outright ignoring significant parts of the history.  After 50 years, it's not going to be a linear, coherent creature.  And they'll happily shed the minority that demands that for people who don't have those historical lead weights in their trousers.  It boxes them in, and prevents useful evolution and survival of the property.
 
2019-01-11 02:20:36 PM  
*OR* Kurtz didn't even say that subby.

Yay for inaccurate headlines!
 
2019-01-11 02:21:03 PM  
Brain and brain, what is brain if you do.  Brain and brain, what is brain if you don't.
 
2019-01-11 02:21:18 PM  
Stupid reporter has not realized that all of tv entertainment has embraced the serialized format in an enormous way and he's basically advocating for a return to the style of episodic tv that has been soundly rejected for a while now.

Summary: This reporter is a dumbass and his ideas are dumb.
 
2019-01-11 02:21:30 PM  

whidbey: Still, a Tribble in the Captain's office?

The Mirror Universe? Before the Mirror Universe was actually introduced?

Mutiny on a starship? When Spock made it clear that it's never happened?

These are three extremely lazy things they could have avoided.


But some of it can be waived away under the suggestion that it was an act that was cleaned up and was wiped off the record.

And the pretext is already there if they'd take it and run with it. Remember Section 31 and Luther Sloan?

Of course that's still never going to fix the Klingons go full on Picard head wise whwb at times of war, but baby steps.
 
2019-01-11 02:23:21 PM  

wooden_badger: The Orvilleis more Trek than ST:D


And it's not even that great of a Star Trek show.  It's got your typical ham-fisted Seth McFarlane social commentary and pee-pee jokes (the only thing McFarlane is missing is awful musical numbers), but at least there's some classic Trek themes going on here (exploration, diplomacy, etc).

Star Trek : Grimdark had a few decent episodes.  The mirror universe arc was entertaining, the one where Saru goes batshiat crazy because he finally knows what it's like to not be afraid, and the Mudd episode was fun.

The rest was pretty hard to get through.
 
2019-01-11 02:23:50 PM  

TWX: Sometimes it works, like some of your comic book examples and the MCU films in particular that enjoy a huge following from people that have never cracked a comic book, but that is the outlier, not the norm.


It's also a completely different media.  Different stories for different media.  Douglas Adams had a different Hitchhikers continuity for the books, radio, TV, and film, because each media tells stories a bit differently.  As far as comics, they frequently create new universes/continuities for reboots/resets.  Sometimes those intermingle, but they set that up.  And it's not like comic books haven't had their share of problems with the fanbase and sales from doing so, it's just that these things have happened over spans of decades and prior to comic book stories hitting the mainstream as hard as they have since the comic book film explosion in this century.
 
2019-01-11 02:25:40 PM  

bhcompy: Khellendros: TWX: If they don't like how difficult it is writing to maintain continuity in a media property with a fifty year history, then perhaps they need to write for a different media property. I hear that Andromeda is available.

There isn't a magical enforcement of continuity in any property.  If they own it, they can break it, reform it, ignore parts they don't want to deal with at any point, and pick them back up later if and when they feel like it.  Comic universes have been doing this for most of a century, and no one blinks.  It's just these little sacred cows that people harrumph and shiat their pants over.

Scrape off whatever you don't want, and move forward.  There's no need slave yourself to every random elements put forth in ~600 hours of television, let alone 50 novels and various "official" guides, schematics, personnel histories, and maps.  Fark it.  There's no reason to attempt to maintain coherency at that level.  Tell your story, and make the STORY make sense.

This time around they're forcing people to pay for their service to see the show.  Who pays for CBS All Access?  Trek fans.  Who are you risking when you say screw it and retcon anything and everything?  Trek fans.  There's no compelling reason to have CBS All Access unless you want to watch Discovery, so they truly can hurt both their service and the show by going too far afield.  The point of a prequel is to expand a story backwards coherently.


There is a difference between Trek fans and Trek nerds. The first group is way bigger than the second group. I'm a trek fan, watch and liked all series, but I am not going to learn Klingon or care about marginal continuity errors.

I'll just enjoy a new Trek show  that adapted itself to new times in terms of pace, storytelling, and technology. while still linking sufficiently to the Trek universe that I've come to like.
 
2019-01-11 02:25:57 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2019-01-11 02:27:36 PM  

PartTimeBuddha: The Mudd short episode was a lot of fun.


Rainn Wilson as Mudd is farking awesome. I'll give them that. They batted a thousand with that one. :)
 
2019-01-11 02:28:12 PM  
Can we stick to Star Trek Canon for all except Voyager?
 
2019-01-11 02:28:57 PM  

Rennisa: whidbey: Still, a Tribble in the Captain's office?

The Mirror Universe? Before the Mirror Universe was actually introduced?

Mutiny on a starship? When Spock made it clear that it's never happened?

These are three extremely lazy things they could have avoided.

But some of it can be waived away under the suggestion that it was an act that was cleaned up and was wiped off the record.

And the pretext is already there if they'd take it and run with it. Remember Section 31 and Luther Sloan?

Of course that's still never going to fix the Klingons go full on Picard head wise whwb at times of war, but baby steps.


Yeah something tells me Section 31 will be making a comeback in Season 2.
 
2019-01-11 02:29:36 PM  

TWX: Star Trek: The Next Generation was friggin' awesome, and not only was it the most popular with fans, it was the most popular with people that just casually liked to watch Star Trek. Break continuity with that series in particular at your peril, because if you don't manage to appeal a new audience all that you're going to do is alienate large parts of your existing audience, leading to a net reduction in followers and a net reduction in money.


That show ended 25 years ago.  Most people looking at new Star Trek material today never ever watched it when it aired, and maybe caught it on reruns or saw a few pieces here and there.  It's not part of some inviolate bible for them.

TWX: I've seen this sort of thing time and again in media properties. No one is satisfied with just having their core base. They make changes to try to appeal outside of their core base, but those changes are ill-thought, don't bring in a new audience, and cause the core base to evaporate. Sometimes it works, like some of your comic book examples and the MCU films in particular that enjoy a huge following from people that have never cracked a comic book, but that is the outlier, not the norm.


And you neglect the other properties - the ones that don't try to change - DIE.  Slowly and painfully.  Is James Bond consistent?  Dr. Who?  Not even a little bit.  They're hilariously discontinuous.  Batman?  Superman?  Ever read "Action Comics"?  That shiat is unrecognizable compared to where we are now.  Nothing in the geek-realm can make it 5 decades without sweeping changes.  And when they do try to maintain it, it falls apart because no one cares.

Continuity only matters in single written generations of material.  You don't need to try to limit yourself based on a choice on convenience or narrative need four or five decades ago.  Holding ST to decisions made 25 - 50 years ago is patently absurd.
 
2019-01-11 02:34:46 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2019-01-11 02:35:35 PM  
Constraints drive creativity. We know this.  That's the basis for improv; its why we give people prompts instead of just saying "OK, be funny. Anddddddd go!"  Its one of the few benefits of network censorship.  If you have guidelines for things you can't do or say, it creates an incentive to find humor or drama in more creative ways.  One of the best examples of this is the old Ren & Stimpy show.  The Nickelodeon show is a generational classic.  The adults-oriented revival is best known for making people in their 30s say "Oh my god, is this some weird porn parody or something?  I don't remember the show being like this at all!"

Star Trek is supposed to be about humanity's infinite capacity to find creative solutions to problems both inconceivably new, and distressingly old.  It can't embody those virtues if its writers can't find creative solutions to the old problems of continuity.
 
2019-01-11 02:36:43 PM  
I see most of it has been covered. All they had to do was say it took place in the Mirror Universe, or a different universe, or somewhere between TOS and TNG or any time period that hadn't been covered yet and they wouldn't have to worry about continuity at all. The creators of the show brought that problem on themselves.
 
2019-01-11 02:38:26 PM  

Nuuu: Constraints drive creativity. We know this.  That's the basis for improv; its why we give people prompts instead of just saying "OK, be funny. Anddddddd go!"  Its one of the few benefits of network censorship.  If you have guidelines for things you can't do or say, it creates an incentive to find humor or drama in more creative ways.  One of the best examples of this is the old Ren & Stimpy show.  The Nickelodeon show is a generational classic.  The adults-oriented revival is best known for making people in their 30s say "Oh my god, is this some weird porn parody or something?  I don't remember the show being like this at all!"

Star Trek is supposed to be about humanity's infinite capacity to find creative solutions to problems both inconceivably new, and distressingly old.  It can't embody those virtues if its writers can't find creative solutions to the old problems of continuity.


Or if they're just spending their time doing nostalgic retreads.

Hell, the whole first season has jack shiat to do with exploration.
 
2019-01-11 02:38:42 PM  

Khellendros: Trek suffered a huge setback in the early 2000s under the weight of its own history and constrained narrative.


Trek suffered a huge setback because they went from syndicated first run television(which was not nearly as lucrative in the cable TV era) to network television, and that screwed with their funding, screwed with the narrative, screwed with the risks.

Khellendros: Actually, it's not. Like many geek/sci-fi fans, you're taking the analytical view of the universe they own. The purpose isn't to expand a story backward coherently, from either an artistic or a monetary view. It's to tell a compelling story (artistically), and draw attention to make money (monetarily/property). Regardless of whether it fills in holes or expands the universe in a coherent way.


If you don't attach to what makes the property the property, you're going to end up with financial losses and canceled content(how do you plan to artistically approach a new story if your show is canceled?), like SGU and BSG:Blood and Chrome.
 
2019-01-11 02:42:12 PM  

NeoCortex42: Want to avoid continuity errors?  Don't make a farking prequel.


This
 
2019-01-11 02:43:22 PM  

whidbey: Still, a Tribble in the Captain's office?

The Mirror Universe? Before the Mirror Universe was actually introduced?

Mutiny on a starship? When Spock made it clear that it's never happened?

These are three extremely lazy things they could have avoided.


Magic mushroom propulsion.  That entire concept is too irredeemably stupid for me to even give the show a chance.
 
2019-01-11 02:43:56 PM  

whidbey: Hell, the whole first season has jack shiat to do with exploration.


The two primary complaints critics and fans had about SGU are the same that I've seen about Discovery: it's too grim/gritty/dark and there's no sense of adventure(exploration).  DS9 was grim and serious, but it didn't shy away from the core Trek themes of exploration and growth.
 
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