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8026  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Star Trek XI teaser trailer on: January 23, 2008, 01:21:30 PM
Firefly can be though of as a space western in the vein of those stories focusing on the after effects of the US Civil War in the western territories as they really happened. Star Trek is a space western looking at the romanticized adventure story version of the Old West some ten years after the Civil War.

8027  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Star Trek XI teaser trailer on: January 23, 2008, 01:11:08 PM
Mostly it's about the horribly underused conceit that the Enterprise was an independent command. Before radio, to a degree, and satellite a naval vessel was on it's own the minute it was over the horizon from a naval station. The show should have played to that more. That Archer had to make decisions about diplomacy and science and priorities and even Starfleet and Terran policies because he was the ship's master after God and there was no to ask what to do.

I couldn't agree more. That plays directly into my take on what the show should have been. Grand scale and incredible fallout from everything, but it all rested on one man's shoulders. Unlike Mal, Archer should have been the Right Guy for the Job (tm). I mean, come on, you've got Kirk as a template. It's not like they were breaking new ground. I just don't think the producers ever got that aspect of the show. They never understood why anyone would like Star Trek beyond the tired and extremely mishandled sociopolitical allegory. They completely forgot that once, long, long ago, in the beforetime, it was about fun. Hopefully that lesson isn't lost on Abrams and Co.
8028  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Star Trek XI teaser trailer on: January 23, 2008, 01:07:33 PM

"cowboys at the frontier of space" motif we would have had televised gold on our hands.

Didn't we have that as "Firefly"... and look how well the network received that one.

Honestly? Not even remotely the same thing from my perspective. Firefly had the trappings of a cowboy story but avoided the mark in many ways. It wasn't about the frontier. In fact, the frontier was a distinctly dead concept in Firefly; man went to the stars out of necessity and then promptly stopped, mired in a protracted civil war and the resulting decline. The show wasn't about exploration or discovery, it was about survival. The flavor wasn't bold by any stretch, it was stark shot through and leveled out with Whedon's signature dramedy style. Firefly was intimate, where Enterprise should have been expansive, Firefly was character-driven where Enterprise should have been plot-driven (as it was, the first three seasons were concept-driven, which is a very different, incomplete, and rather stagnant practice - not a strong option for anything outside procedurals).

I'm talking about making Enterprise what Roddenberry originally envisioned for TOS - "Wagon Train to the Stars" or "Bonanza in Space." It should have been all about the adventure, all about the rough and tumble glory of the Old West translated, not adapted, to the genre. I wanted Archer out there duking it out - with fists, not phasers - in ramshackle border towns at the edge of the known universe, shacking up with green-skinned hotties, and taking all of creation by the balls and shaking some sense into it before swaggering off with the well-satisfied glow of a job well tumbled. That show needed to be dirty and gritty but not grim. It shouldn't have been about celebrating Starfleet and living vicariously through its larger-than-life heroes. We should have been cheering them every step of the way, which is something you couldn't really do with Mal and his crew. You were too busy praying for them, or laughing with them, or crying. Totally different style of space adventure. Just as good, but totally different.

I'll agree that DS9 was the best... It was Ronald Moore's baby (the showrunner and lead writer for the new BSG series)... Moore knows how to put a show together and appease the networks at the same time.

Well aware. Moore's involvement in DS9 was one of the primary reasons I was so supportive of BSG from the get-go, even when there was nothing but rumors to go on and it looked like things might be going off the rails (this is very early on, when the news of changing genders and all just started up).

8029  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Star Trek XI teaser trailer on: January 23, 2008, 12:23:42 PM

Personally I think of all the shows Enterprise had the most potential.

I might call it a tie with Deep Space Nine, but I largely agree. That pilot was amazing and if the whole show had embraced that same "cowboys at the frontier of space" motif we would have had televised gold on our hands. Sadly, it fell victim to the same formulaic mismanagement that destroyed every other series but DS9, and managed to do severe damage to that one as well. It was soooo obvious from Season 4 that Star Trek could be awesome if allowed to embrace the adventure of its own device, but despite Manny Coto's heroic efforts the show was already doomed by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga's horrendous legacy. May they never touch the franchise again!

Then, instead of making it a mixture of naval and political thriller and drama they went and made it just like every other series after the original series.

I'd argue that they made it like every other series period. Contrary to popular opinion, I don't think TNG was exempt from the cancerous pattern that tried so very hard to kill the franchise; indeed, I think the show was responsible for it. But on this I'm splitting hairs, so let's move on... Smiley

It would have been so cool to pull inspiration from Forester and O'Brian and the logs of 18th and 19th century naval ships. To make the show about exploration and first contact and diplomacy. The politics on Earth and Vulcan and the founding of Federation. Not in the half hearted glossy way they did it, but in something that shows some grit and makes less obvious allusions and reflections of the current world. To leave it obvious we can trust Archer and the crew to do the right thing since the show would need heroes, but leave everyone else - the Vulcans, Starfleet, the Klingons, the Romulans, everyone - hard to classify and categorize, with good and bad people on both sides.


I find it interesting that where I saw "cowboys at the frontier of space" you saw "naval and political thriller and drama." Clearly there was even more potential in that show that either of us realized.

Your take is cool, BTW. I would have gladly watched that show.
8030  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Heath Ledger dead at 28 on: January 23, 2008, 12:13:33 PM
In early December, I lost one of my dearest friends in the world and in fact one of my two best friends through all of high school. We were the same age to the day and he died of largely natural causes. We were both 35.

I've been thinking about life a lot lately - how I'm probably at the apex chronologically and staring down at the latter half from here on in. I've been doing a lot of soul-searching about what I need to do to make the rest of my life truly worth living. For the bulk of my life to date, I've operated like a kid in college. I've acted like I'm indestructible, with all the time in the world to make the most of it all. Now I'm reassessing. I'm realizing that there's a big, big world out there I'm missing, and I'm considering new ways to interact with the parts that resonate to me. It's time, I've decided, to change the scale of my life.

I obviously didn't know Heath Ledger personally. I can't claim that he's been in anything that "changed" or even particularly touched me. I haven't even seen all his movies. But like any person in stuff I tend to like, his career was artificial gauge for me, a way of pacing and framing things. I keep up with the news but I don't have a mind for it. Whether it's because I'm shallow, shortsighted, or just disinterested, I find most current events dreadfully hollow. They all tend to blur together day to day for me, but I track things in Hollywood. It's a weird fascination, a bizarre, intimate relationship that keeps me connected to the world outside my head.

So when I hear that an actor whose work I enjoy has died of - as I write this - reasons as yet undetermined at age 28, with my life in the place it's at right now, it gives me pause. Part of what I'm feeling certainly has nothing to do with him. Like I said, I didn't know him and I didn't revere his movies (what I've so far seen of Dark Knight notwithstanding), but his death connects with me personally. For him and my friend, for my own fleeting life, I grieve.

I don't BTW think that I'm unique in this. I think most people, subconsciously, connect with celebrities in much the same way, as highlights to their own lives, which are all just as important no matter the scale at which they choose to experience the world.
8031  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Star Trek XI teaser trailer on: January 23, 2008, 11:18:14 AM
Good for them, says I! Make it clear right up front that this isn't the old continuity (which, BTW, is the number one thing to do with the franchise - killkillkill the current history, all of it, DEAD). Start fresh. Do something new. Boldly go.
8032  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Heath Ledger dead at 28 on: January 22, 2008, 06:36:44 PM
It depends on how much they have finished. I keep thinking of Plan Nine From Outer Space, where they'd only filmed like 3 scenes before Lugosi died, or the pink panther movie filmed long after Peter Sellers had died, that was basically old clips. Arguably two of the worst enterprises ever.
I'd actually hope that they'd find somenoe else, rather than release a half finished movie with chopped up scenes.

Principle filming on Dark Knight wrapped a while back and word is that Ledger's finished most if not all his post-production work, so there's hope.
8033  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Heath Ledger dead at 28 on: January 22, 2008, 06:15:24 PM
It looks like he was in the middle of filming a Terry Gilliam flick, too - and all the flicks we'll never see him make. So very tragic.

And the bit at the very end of that link. Oh man, that just blows.
8034  Community / Customer Service / Re: Big Score Question on: January 22, 2008, 05:45:47 PM
Well I'd like the approximate release date for The Big Score.

Please go here.

8035  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Heath Ledger dead at 28 on: January 22, 2008, 05:12:00 PM
Looks like we both posted this at the same time. I'll go delete my post.
8036  Products / Spycraft 2.0 / Re: An unexpected return to gaming on: January 22, 2008, 11:26:49 AM
Don't want to do that?  How about an office memo praising a group of more experienced agents for the sort of conduct you want your agents doing?  The idea that promotions are linked to 'reinterpreting' orders can spur your characters to action.  Letting the players know that Control KNOWS they aren't on the ground and the PCs are ENCOURAGED to act on their own initiative may be all they need.

That really is a lovely suggestion. Passive reinforcement is almost always most effective with gamers, who are typically too stubborn to just take suggestions at face value. (No offense meant to anyone here, of course.)
8037  Community / Customer Service / Re: C:S? on: January 21, 2008, 02:56:54 PM
I'm going to go on a limb here and guess the secret project is "Crafty Game presents My Little Pony RPG".  They just picked two random letters to be a sorta viral marketing like Cloverfield.

DAMN! Alex! New concept! What? No! It's no good without the surprise! The whole damn thing is blown!
8038  Products / Spycraft 2.0 / Re: Edge and what does it mean? on: January 21, 2008, 02:07:31 PM
How do they view the "edge"

However I don't think he knew the edge isn't something perceived by others. It's just a concept we "players" know about. But once it happens in the game world people will go like

"it's a miracle!!"
"that lucky fuck!"
"That's impossible"
"welcome to the matrix"

for only 2 seconds you'll believe you're seeing something supernatural but it's long enough for anyone forget about it and keep going with their mediocre lives.

8039  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Spycraft, good D20 book for an idea of mine? on: January 21, 2008, 01:38:27 PM
No worries, Grump. We're all good with folks expressing their likes and dislikes about systems, ours and others. We have to ask that it halt shy of criticizing the players of games, though; that's where the evil starts.

It's also generally a good idea to keep it level. You can rant, just try not to let it get caustic, baiting, or combative. To date, we've only ever had that happen once, and it's resolved now.
8040  Products / Spycraft 2.0 / Re: Let the Pillaging Commence! on: January 19, 2008, 07:49:30 PM
I guess what confuses me most is the text in the Eternals' section that makes it sound like they think of Paradox as one individual.  At the very least, singular pronouns are used when they refer to "him".  I can understand Century making that mistake, since the informant he met always had a disguised appearance and voice and he never really had cause to think otherwise.  But Beowulf has killed him, what, half a dozen times?  You'd think after the first re-appearance or two that a professional would start making absolutely sure that his quarry was dead.  Any more sightings after that and your first thought should be that there are more than one of them and that perhaps those aren't disguises after all.  After all, even Eternals die when they take a bullet to the brainpan.

Think of it this way: the Eternals have access to resources that any normal person would view as magic, so they're pre-disposed to believe in things that can't be. There are a couple other reasons we'll get to in the Flags, but leave it to say that the Society is pretty darn capable at concealing its true nature. If they weren't, the Eternals would have wiped them off the face of the earth a looong time ago.
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