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Author Topic: Star Trek: New Generation  (Read 12332 times)

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Offline Pete D. Gaskell

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Star Trek: New Generation
« on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:29 »

Click the poster to read, or right click to download script link.

Based on 'Star Trek' created by
GENE RODDENBERRY

Developed for VS and Written by
PETE D. GASKELL

The 24th century. The USS Enterprise-D, under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, are drawn into a highly dangerous situation deep in the heart of the Klingon Empire, one which will bring a crew together and threaten to tear the United Federation of Planets apart...

(AIRDATE: Tuesday September 3rd, 2013)
« Last Edit: Wed Nov 5 2014, 18:55 by Vaughn »



Offline Pete D. Gaskell

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #1 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:30 »


Jean-Luc Picard is the model 24th Century Starfleet Captain. A skilled diplomat, tenacious fighter, careful decision-maker, and passionate explorer, Picard was the obvious choice to command the Federation flagship. That being said, he also has a reputation as a stickler, and is regarded as being distant and aloof from his crew.



Commander William T. Riker is the latest hotshot to be burning up through the Starfleet ranks. Impulsive, rash, but often brilliant, Riker is a throwback to the early days of Starfleet captains. Unlike Picard, he makes friends easily, and has an eye for the ladies. But is there more to Riker than meets the eye?



Ensign Geordi LaForge is the youngest member of the bridge crew, but also one of the most talented. A helmsman by trade, he is exuberant, fast-talking, inherently likeable, and has momentary flashes of stone-cold genius. His true talents, however, lie in the field of Engineering...



Data is truly one of a kind. A synthetic life-form, or android, Data was designed and built by Dr. Noonien Soong to be a perfect replica of humanity. Whilst that's still up for debate, Data is easily the fastest, strongest and most invaluable member of the crew. But what he wants more than anything is to be considered more human...



Worf is another unique property - the only Klingon to serve in Starfleet. Posted as part of a diplomatic envoy to his homeworld of Qo'noS shortly after graduating from Starfleet Academy, Worf has carved out a career for himself as Chancellor-elect Gowron's confidante. His past, however, is mysterious to all - just what is his ancestry, and why is it such a secret?



Dr. Katherine Pulaski considers herself a bit of a warhorse, but woe betide you say that to her face. An old-time crew member of Picard's from back in the day, she is a brilliant diagnostician, but her bedside manner is not as comforting as you might expect. She calls things like she sees them, but, annoyingly, she's almost always absolutely spot on.



Lieutenant Tasha Yar is widely known as the best Security officer in the 'Fleet. Don't be fooled by her beauty - she's as tough as nails, and more than a little trigger-happy. She dragged herself up through adolescence on one of the toughest colony worlds there is, and retains that stubborn survivalist attitude - only now she applies it to the whole crew as well.

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #2 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:31 »
Encounter at Qo'noS

What I know about Star Trek can be summed up by the two new movies, any and all references to Trek in other movies/TV and my memories of it being on channel two when I was growing up. So really going into this I need the script to not rely at all on past knowledge or even the recent films because it needs to stand alone.

Luckily enough Pete does just that. There are enough explanations about how important alien characters look, as well as the ships and details about the weaponry. Things are kept concise and simplified but I didn’t find myself at all lost within the story.

Right from the off Pete shows the Enterprise and its crew doing exactly what Picard says it does. I think it’s safe to say that most see Star Trek as a story through space and seeing what gets found along the way. That’s where the story needed to start and Pete does it well by bringing in an enemy that some will have a great knowledge of. The whole thing concentrates on showing what a day in the life of the ship could entail while telling a grandiose story that clearly sets things up for the future.

As with the most feature-length scripts you tend to find a multitude of characters being introduced. I’d much prefer a smaller number to help ease into the new world of Star Trek but Pete does well to space them out over the script, giving the readers time to adjust and the characters time to make an impression of some kind. Picard shows exactly why he’s the Captain while Data is not only described as an Android but also shown as one. Right away we get a look at his inability to grasp humour and it does enough to make him stand out as a character. The tension between Doctor and Data also sets up future conversations that can be delved into down the line. One thing I found very strange was K’Ehleyr’s speech patterns which came across as your usual sarcastic, snappy fare but something I was not expecting of a Klingon.

So it’s a good script but really, did we need the over-dramatic dropping to the knees by Worf as he screamed to the sky… you’re better than that Pete :laugh: Joking aside, it told an interesting story that connected a few of the characters to what was going on (and what could go on further down the line) while getting a lot of people right in on the action. I’d have been happier with a smaller cast to give people room to breathe. I actually found Picard lacking when compared to the likes of Riker, Data, Forge and even Yar. It’s a pity because it feels like he should be the lead but there are strong characters around him pulling focus. The Klingons are a popular bunch so it’s a blessing and a curse to use them as fans want to see them used but they need it done right. That’s not something for me to comment on as I don’t know the history but they come across as a strong race with plenty of scope.

What I do see though is a strong script with some very likeable characters and a very wide scope (insert space joke here).

Offline Pete D. Gaskell

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #3 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:31 »
FIRST REVIEW and it's from the Trixster!

Quote
So really going into this I need the script to not rely at all on past knowledge or even the recent films because it needs to stand alone.

That was very much my mindset going into this - I didn't want it to be inaccessible for new readers - so I deliberately took the time to explain key terminology as fast as possible to bring people up to speed. I didn't want anyone drowning in technobabble from the off!

Quote
I’d much prefer a smaller number to help ease into the new world of Star Trek

Generally speaking, I prefer working with a smaller cast myself - but I wanted to stretch my wings and have a bash at writing an ensemble, seeing if I could introduce several characters quickly and efficiently. I hope I managed to do that successfully!

Quote
Data is not only described as an Android but also shown as one.

A crucial point for me - he needs to be seen as an android in order for the reader to successfully buy him as one, rather than just a rather odd officer. So I deliberately showcased as much as I could of his abilities to sell him as such - his strength, his speed, his resilience, his inability to react correctly to emotional situations - even down to the small stuff like his inability to use contractions in speech. (Which actually helped enormously towards establishing his voice - try writing without contractions - it's bloody hard.)

Quote
The tension between Doctor and Data also sets up future conversations that can be delved into down the line.

Another big point for me was to introduce antagonism between members of the crew. It only makes sense - there's over 1,000 people on the ship - they surely all can't get along! In the original series, Pulaski had a dislike of Data, but it pretty much boiled down to strings of insults and not much more than that - I wanted to deepen it if I could.

Quote
One thing I found very strange was K’Ehleyr’s speech patterns which came across as your usual sarcastic, snappy fare but something I was not expecting of a Klingon.

Oh, I'm glad you noticed! That was intentional, believe me. Now I'm setting you the task of trying to work out why... ;)

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did we need the over-dramatic dropping to the knees by Worf as he screamed to the sky…

He's a Klingon - he has different definitions of HAMMY.  :D

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I actually found Picard lacking

Fair point - I worked hard to try and give him a few "big win" moments - but with an ensemble cast, it's sometimes a difficult balancing act. Rest assured that when the series rolls around, I'll be attempting to redress that right from the start...

Quote
What I do see though is a strong script with some very likeable characters and a very wide scope

Thanks very much, Trix - I was cautious about your response to this, as I know you don't beat about the bush - but for you as someone fairly new to Trek to come out of this with mainly positive words to say pleases me immensely.

I hope to see you aboard for the series next year!

Trix

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #4 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:31 »
FIRST REVIEW and it's from the Trixster!

:tiphat: That's what I'm here for!

Quote
Generally speaking, I prefer working with a smaller cast myself - but I wanted to stretch my wings and have a bash at writing an ensemble, seeing if I could introduce several characters quickly and efficiently. I hope I managed to do that successfully!

You have to branch out every now and again or you're never going to improve as a writer so good for you! As I said you spaced it out pretty well which gave characters a chance to settle in the mind. It also helped that they each got a moment to shine, even if I feel some were more successful than others.

Quote
A crucial point for me - he needs to be seen as an android in order for the reader to successfully buy him as one, rather than just a rather odd officer. So I deliberately showcased as much as I could of his abilities to sell him as such - his strength, his speed, his resilience, his inability to react correctly to emotional situations - even down to the small stuff like his inability to use contractions in speech. (Which actually helped enormously towards establishing his voice - try writing without contractions - it's bloody hard.)

He definitely shone brightly in this script, more so than anyone else really. I love the idea of no contractions as it's something you take note of without sometimes realising what it is that's missing.

Quote
Another big point for me was to introduce antagonism between members of the crew. It only makes sense - there's over 1,000 people on the ship - they surely all can't get along! In the original series, Pulaski had a dislike of Data, but it pretty much boiled down to strings of insults and not much more than that - I wanted to deepen it if I could.

Well it's nice to see that there are things from the original series that you are bringing back but putting your own spin on. There will be plenty that goes over my head but I'm sure other readers out there will have some fun seeing what they recognise!

Quote
Oh, I'm glad you noticed! That was intentional, believe me. Now I'm setting you the task of trying to work out why... ;)

Hmmm... Well I'm glad to know that it was intentional as it did throw me a bit when I first read it.

Quote
Fair point - I worked hard to try and give him a few "big win" moments - but with an ensemble cast, it's sometimes a difficult balancing act. Rest assured that when the series rolls around, I'll be attempting to redress that right from the start...

He did have a few moments and I think if I went back and read it again I'd come out noticing them more. I think they were just more understated than what other characters had but you definitely got to see why he was Captain so in that regard you did well.

Quote
Thanks very much, Trix - I was cautious about your response to this, as I know you don't beat about the bush - but for you as someone fairly new to Trek to come out of this with mainly positive words to say pleases me immensely.

I hope to see you aboard for the series next year!

I was cautious too to be honest with you. I know you are a very competent writer but given the material I wasn't sure if your writing style and my lack of knowledge would mix at all well. Glad to see my worries were for naught :D

Offline Ian_Austin

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #5 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:32 »
Has to have 'shut up, Wesley' as a running gag in every season finale!

(click to show/hide)

Back of the f'n net!

Okay, so review time. I have to start by saying this doesn't quite hit the heights of Alice or Batman, but scored on its own merits it is a pretty damn good script and a great read. It borrows heavily from the Abrams method of 'pare everything down to the base elements, and rebuild' school of thought; focused on creating high-impact stakes rather than being a dull 'lets spend an hour just panning the ship' idea of science-fiction. Which is more my cup of tea sci-fi wise; I very rarely care for 'deep' science-fiction films, as they tend to be - in my experience - staggeringly dull. Unless it's visually brilliant, which isn't something a script can convey.

I'm not a huge TNG buff, so I get the sense this material is aimed at people like me the same way the current films aren't aimed at traditional Trekkies. Everything I remember about the show is here, just amped up and given more of a 'boom boom' sheen. It's funny, action-packed, and does a good job of giving characters easily identifiable traits while ensuring they have an arc beyond 'me go smash.' It's not just action for action sake, even if we leave Picard for a LOOONG time so Riker can play chicken with the Klingons.

That's the thing stopping it from an A+; essentially the script is split evenly between Riker and Picard, the problem being that they both get extended moments instead of cross-cutting. Which is Pete's choice, obviously, there were just moments where - despite enjoying it - I wondered what Picard was up to, and vice versa. It feels like their relationship gets short-shifted a bit, as they don't spend that much time together. I mean you hit the right beats, you're just doing it in a conceptually split way instead of having everything criss-cross.

With that said, I thought you did a good job (mostly) of balancing the crew. Everyone gets something to do, no-one is left out, and in Data you manage to paint someone as not-quite human, but not quite emotionally closed off. That's hard to do well, which the series showed infrequently, so kudos. I do think the Klingon threat was resolved a little too neatly, and it seems weird that in a 90 minute script the bad guy isn't defeated so much as pulls a Cartman and goes 'screw you guys, I'm going home' but, like Alice, this is clearly leading to more stuff... so that's a complaint you'll rationalise in time.

The long and short is that this is definitely a B+ script. It ticks all the boxes, but doesn't quite hit epic brilliance stage. Course, considering this is (to my knowledge) your first genre story of this magnitude, I think you've done a Hell of a job. Especially given my feedback on your last script. You've come a long way, dude.

B+


Offline J.B. Gibson

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #6 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:32 »
And JB is back...  Beware...  Or is it be aware?

I've been gone far too long and miss all you folks.  So I thought I'd get my feet wet by jumping into something tried and true in Pete and Star Trek.  For the record, I absolutely loved HHGTTG and have re-read it on my Kindle since, so I knew my beloved Star Trek should be in good hands.

Was it?

After finishing the episode/movie/pilot/epic/dream/reboot whichever, I had to get my thoughts together.  I've never been one to sugarcoat things, and I won't this time.  I had to look at this in several different ways when thinking about it and it came down to this: Potential and execution.

So the Good:

The potential of this is HUGE.  There is so much here and it completely twists everything about the cerebral TNG on its ear.  Which isn't a bad thing.  Familiar characters are given new characteristics, or existing ones are expanded.  Picard showing more of a sense of humor.  Data being more robotic, than even in the series.  Riker feeling much more brash, more aggressive.  Worf being a Klingon with human characteristics, more than the other way around.  Very well done.  Everything was great as far that goes.  The story was engaging, compelling, and I read it in about an hour total.  So good job.  I'd give it an A+ on that note.

The Bad:

I felt the execution lacking.  I always love being dropped into the middle of a situation and then having to figure out where I am from there.  It's a great story telling device that I think can work wonders.  We've seen it do great, ST 09.  However, here, it felt lacking to me.  I was lost and confused.  I felt like too much was happening too quickly and it was too neat.  Granted, certain parts of this I get the feeling will be explained as the series progresses, but it felt rushed and somewhat contrived here.  And what makes it worse, is that to me, it seems like it's only in the beginning.  Like Pete knew where it would all start, but had to figure out how to get there.  Like he started everything at page 40 or so then needed to figure a way to get there.  And it's not that he didn't succeed, it just feels off to me.  And I can't offer a better solution.

Also, various parts felt forced, and difficult, especially in dialogue.  Almost like they weren't naturally speaking, though I expect each character to really gather their own voice as it goes on and certain characteristics shown here to be reeled in or polished.  I'd give this part a C+.  Everything is there, it just didn't quite hit it, like it got stuck in third gear.

If I combined the two, I'd say we have a good B/B+ story and script.  I think my biggest qualm isn't what I would expect it to be.  It's not the slaughter of the beloved and holy Trek, or anything like that.  I love the risks and chances, and I believe that this can really be great.  I'm disappointed in the execution, and in turn, Pete, because I know he can execute better.  I know that may seem a little harsh, and I know we all can't get it perfect 100% of the time, but I just expected more from Pete on this one.

So again, a solid B, maybe B+ in my opinion.  But I am definitely on for the ride.

Offline Matt Latham

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #7 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:32 »
Right. Third time trying to write. Will make this quick as I'll be damned if I accidentally close a tab for the third time!

So for the third time I'll state: Lucy Green. And I'll come back to that.

I really liked it. Every script I read from always shows signs of your writing improving and this was no exception. I liked some of the twists on characters, and thank God you got rid of Troi. The inverting of the Klingon/Human aspects of Worf was great, as well as the potential of Pulaski as well. The tone was great and I'm looking forward to more!

With the script itself, it gets a little muddled in the middle. It took me a while to fully click what was going on in places; and there was a section in the middle that switches attention to Riker and forgets about Picard. This is my main concern.

What you have, is you've pretty much turned Riker into an almost reckless Abrams-like Kirk. Which on the one hand I can see working well against Picard, on the other - it felt as if he ended up taking over the reigns of the story. This led to Picard not feeling like he was really driving the plot any more, and that the story loses its way. Now the Lucy Green reference kicks in here: as it seems as if you've got a main character that's threatening to get swamped and be reactive amongst a supporting cast of frankly more interesting characters. There's great character moments from all, but you lose Picard for a touch and he just manages to claw back into things by the end. From experience that can hurt your main character. Particularly with all the other stuff that was happening to the other characters - the bald 'un felt a little short-changed.

And some of the dialogue seemed a little off -- and Worf's wife's dialogue was....questionable. She seemed to come across more of a quippy, bitchy housewife than a Klingon.

That's most of the thoughts in a nutshell - I did like it and I'm sticking for more next year.

Offline Pete D. Gaskell

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #8 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:33 »
Wow! I go away for a couple of days, and come back to MULTI-REVIEWS! Really pleased to see people taking an interest!

First up, Ian!

Quote
Back of the f'n net!

COULD. NOT. RESIST.

Quote
It borrows heavily from the Abrams method of 'pare everything down to the base elements, and rebuild' school of thought; focused on creating high-impact stakes rather than being a dull 'lets spend an hour just panning the ship' idea of science-fiction.

Very much the mindset, yes - ground-up was the only way to go with this. And I'm of the belief that slow, ponderous sci-fi doesn't really have a place in script form - they only sometimes come alive due to the director's ability, which is something we obviously can't replicate - and in my case, wouldn't want to!

Quote
I'm not a huge TNG buff, so I get the sense this material is aimed at people like me the same way the current films aren't aimed at traditional Trekkies. Everything I remember about the show is here, just amped up and given more of a 'boom boom' sheen.

Again, exactly what I intended - strip everything back to basics and start from there. There's plenty of people out there with lingering memories of TNG from half-caught repeats on BBC Two or whatever, much like the original series, that gives people a sort-of frame of reference, which is then fun to play with. That's not to say that this won't appeal to diehards, but I'm aiming for a wider audience here!

Quote
the script is split evenly between Riker and Picard, the problem being that they both get extended moments instead of cross-cutting.

Yeah, I approached this with the mindset of wanting to cross-cut between the two plots all the way through, but when I reached a certain point, I felt that having two big-impact moments back-to-back might subtract from each other, so I wanted to close off the Riker plotline in its own time, then jump over to Picard's to allow the fallout from Riker's to percolate. Whether it worked entirely satisfactorily is up for debate, but that was my reasoning!

Quote
in Data you manage to paint someone as not-quite human, but not quite emotionally closed off. That's hard to do well

VERY hard, believe me! The way I've approached it is by looking at the little things and using them as handholds with the character - his inability to use contractions in speech, his lack of understanding of emotions and their established responses, that sort of thing. I'm glad you feel it worked!

Quote
I do think the Klingon threat was resolved a little too neatly, and it seems weird that in a 90 minute script the bad guy isn't defeated so much as pulls a Cartman

Fair point, but as you so accurately predicted, this will be picked up at a later stage. I'm aiming for arc-based plots over the course of the season, so not everything will be tied up in a neat bow at the end of every episode.

Quote
The long and short is that this is definitely a B+ script. It ticks all the boxes, but doesn't quite hit epic brilliance stage. Course, considering this is (to my knowledge) your first genre story of this magnitude, I think you've done a Hell of a job. Especially given my feedback on your last script. You've come a long way, dude.

I'm very happy with that assessment - and I'm glad to see you think I'm improving! Hope I've done enough to ensure you stick around come 2014!

Offline Pete D. Gaskell

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #9 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:33 »
And now JB - long time no see, but definitely glad to see you making a return, and flattered that you've done so with my show!

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For the record, I absolutely loved HHGTTG

And a little off-topic blush to begin - it feels like decades since I wrote that, so it's great that you still remember and enjoy it - 'twas great fun to write!

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The potential of this is HUGE.  There is so much here and it completely twists everything about the cerebral TNG on its ear.  Which isn't a bad thing.  Familiar characters are given new characteristics, or existing ones are expanded.

That's what I wanted to showcase more than anything with this. It's a tough job with a pilot which has so much to establish so quickly, and as you note later, there are some elements that may have fallen down, but getting the potential across was absolutely paramount. And if you feel I tantalised enough with this, then that goes down as a major plus for me!

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I read it in about an hour total.

Considering it was a 90+ page script, I take it that means the pace was as rollicking as I'd hoped it would be!

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I felt like too much was happening too quickly

Ah. Or maybe TOO rollicking, then... :D

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And what makes it worse, is that to me, it seems like it's only in the beginning.  Like Pete knew where it would all start, but had to figure out how to get there.  Like he started everything at page 40 or so then needed to figure a way to get there.

The opening of the script was definitely what caused me the most trouble. I must have gone through half a dozen drafts of the opening 20 pages to try and find what I wanted, and in the end, it was a good conversation with Adam Scott that allowed me to find what I felt was the best approach. It may not have clicked perfectly with you, JB, but as long as it was "good enough", then I'm happy. "It does what it needs to" is probably the phrase I'm looking for.

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I know he can execute better.

Ooh, you have awoken the beast now, sir! CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

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But I am definitely on for the ride.

That's what I wanted to hear - even though you may have reservations with the pilot and its execution, if it's enticed you enough to make you want to read on, then I've done my job!

Thanks very much, and see you in 2014 for the continuation!

Offline Pete D. Gaskell

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #10 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:33 »
And finally, Matt - and may I say I'm flabbergasted that you've started to review again by choosing my pilot! Really surprised and very pleased to see this.

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Lucy Green. And I'll come back to that.

A reference only a select handful will get, but I'm glad to say I'm one of them! I know exactly where you're coming from, and as an ensemble pilot, it's a tricky job as everyone needs to be introduced to some degree, but I am very aware of where I stand with Picard, and am taking steps to rectify that immediately in Episode One of the series!

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Every script I read from always shows signs of your writing improving and this was no exception.

That's very heartening to read - you've seen perhaps more of my writing development than anyone over the years, and for you to be able to chart my improvement across that proves that I'm on track!

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you got rid of Troi.

Oh.  ;)

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you've got a main character that's threatening to get swamped and be reactive amongst a supporting cast of frankly more interesting characters.

As I said earlier - I'm attempting to rectify this as soon as possible. Within this pilot, it was a constant struggle to get Picard to drive the plot, as through necessity, Riker was the one who had the most to prove coming into it - so there was plenty of lip service I needed to provide to that. I hoped I'd done enough with Picard at times to make him stand out, but yes, there will be much more from him and quickly too.

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Worf's wife's dialogue was....questionable. She seemed to come across more of a quippy, bitchy housewife than a Klingon.

As I said to Trix, that was very much intentional. And well done for spotting it, and calling me out on it, as that's what I wanted. The question is - why is this the case? A plate of gagh for you if you can give me the correct answer...

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I did like it and I'm sticking for more next year.

Really pleased to see you say this, Matt - I'm looking forward to seeing your thoughts across the season as it unfolds next year!

Offline Ian_Austin

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #11 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:33 »
Quote
As I said to Trix, that was very much intentional. And well done for spotting it, and calling me out on it, as that's what I wanted. The question is - why is this the case? A plate of gagh for you if you can give me the correct answer...

ROBOT

Offline Matt Latham

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #12 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:34 »
Quote
you got rid of Troi.

Oh.  ;)

Oh.  :(

Offline Pete D. Gaskell

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #13 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:34 »
It worries me, Latham, that you never enjoyed Marina Sirtis strutting around in a miniskirt.

Offline Matt Latham

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #14 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:34 »
I was enjoying Sarah Michelle Gellar kicking-ass.

Offline Nerf

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #15 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:35 »
I'll start off by saying thank god this changed from the preview we got last month. Those pages really had me worried. Although I'm trying to decide if it was intentional to never have most of that first 12 pages be part of the script's current form, to make us think you were going in the same direction as the original show and then turn the tables on us. Whatever the case, I'm glad of the outcome.

As you know from my first reaction to the idea of a TNG reboot, I was skeptical coming into this. While I do have issues with the script itself, which I will get to, I will tell you that the fact we won't be getting anymore scripts until next year is causing me some pain. I want more. Barring my death, you will have me as a reader.

But let's get to the review. Judging from the reviews so far, most people coming into this are casual Star Trek fans. That is not the case with me. Especially with TNG. I've seen every episode (most of them multiple times). I know the universe and its characters pretty much top to bottom. As you've said, and others have noted, you are targeting a wider audience with this to allow for new readers not to be lost. It's a precarious ledge to walk to not confuse new readers, but also to not alienate us die-hards by paring down the expansive universe so much that it doesn't even feel like Star Trek. You admitted before that you're not one of us hard core fans, so the fact that you walked that ledge with ease was surprising and heartening. I feel like I got more joy out of this than others because of my knowledge. The Klingon language and customs, Duras, Rura Penthe (wonder if Kirk was a prisoner there in this reality), Tribbles, ERIK PRESSMAN (I'll get back to him). How deftly you weaved things from the original show into the script without simply glossing over them, or stumbling by trying to over-explain them. You obviously have done your research, which I applaud and it gives me a sense of trust in your, shall we say, piloting of this ship. :)

On the downside of my familiarity was with the hearing and envisioning of the characters within my mind. This is something that is not your fault. You are using different actors to portray these characters, which is completely understandable. Problem is, I don't know most of those actors, so I was unable to hear their voice in my head. The only one I really know is Ralph Fiennes, but only as Lord Voldemort and Hades; two decidedly un-Picard characters. Sometimes I made up new voices, yet sometimes I fell back to the original actors. Problem with that was these characters are different and so many things they said just didn't "sound" quite right when hearing the voices of the original actors. Again, this is not your fault at all, but just something that made it hard for me to read without being taken out of the story as I continuously tried to rework the voices and faces in my head.

Speaking of the characters, I think you did quite a good job balancing the ensemble cast in terms of giving us enough of their personality for us to have something to grasp onto and also giving each of them something to do within the story. However...

As said by others, so I'll try to keep my comments to a minimum, Picard was really the only one that I wasn't able to get a grasp on who he is. He frequently fell into the background, not only in terms of dialogue, but action as well. With most of the other characters I can see, at least in basic form, what parts of them from the original show you are keeping and what new directions you are leading them in. Picard, however, is a mystery. Unfortunately, not a good mystery. You've acknowledged the struggle you had to keep Picard as a driving point in this script and mentioned trying to give him several powerful moments to make up for it. The problem is, that's just what it looks like. We see the struggle and we see the attempts as just what they are... attempts. His moments are so random that any strength of character that is meant to be conveyed is lost and he just comes off as very uneven and over the top in his scenes with Admiral Pressman. You talked about Riker being the one that had to prove himself, so you spent more time on him. True, Riker has to prove himself to the other characters. But Picard has to prove himself to us, the audience. And so far I'm wondering how the hell he became Captain of the Federation flagship. It's not just giving him big story moments, but it's also his mannerisms. You have him shrugging a lot, like he doesn't know, or doesn't care. He doesn't seem to know his crew and basically just waits for everyone else to decide what to do before he gives his "whatever" shrug of approval. He doesn't bring any power into a scene, or act as someone who should be respected, and when he tries he fails. On TNG, when Picard, for lack of a better phrase, talked back to an Admiral it made for simultaneous chills and smiles. Because he was one of the only Captains that could do that. He was a powerful and well-respected man within the Federation and when he spoke, no matter if you had a higher rank, you listened. So when the Picard of this script spoke with such attitude towards and Admiral and took on such an insubordinate demeanor... It makes me shocked that he thinks he can get away with it. It doesn't matter the type of man I know Erik Pressman to be. This uneven Picard hasn't earned the right to act that way, in my eyes. Turns out I wasn't able to be brief on this subject. And I know others have already mentioned this and you acknowledge the problem and have said you will remedy it, but I just need to hammer it home because this is the most important part of this series. The Captain is the star of the show, the representation of it. It doesn't matter how good the other characters are because he is the most important part. On TNG Picard was a very strong Captain. I believe him to be the best Captain of all the Star Trek series. This may be a reboot, but that strength of character is not something you can afford to lose.

Moving on. Riker was virtually the same, but as with all of the characters he has a bit more of an edge to him. Everything about this reboot seems to bring a darker edge to the familiar. Riker certainly proved himself, as there was no doubt he would. Although I did say out loud "He's crazy" when he went to ram the ship. The best thing about him, though, is what lies beneath. Bringing in Erik Pressman is a fantastic idea. Regrettably, the show brought him in so late that the strain he could bring to the relationship between Riker and Picard was a bit hard to believe. By bringing him in right at the beginning, where Riker is undoubtedly more loyal to him than to Picard, is a brilliant move that has lots of potential. I can't wait to see where this goes. One small issue with Riker, though, is that you had him speaking several british phrases. Unless you've changed something, he's not a british character. I believe you are from the U.K. (as many members of MZP, and now BZN, are) as british.english phrases also were sprinkled around in several description lines, so I don't fault you too much for it seeping into the dialogue. I feel like I'm coming off as an ass here, but I'm just trying to say that Riker probably wouldn't be saying stuff like "What are you playing at?" etc. as someone who grew up in Alaska.

Geordi also seems pretty much the same, although he comes off as younger. I'm glad you made him Chief Engineer by the end of the script, but also showed us that he earned it. I didn't want to see him toiling around as a helmsman as in S1 of TNG, but the show never gave us much a reason for him suddenly switching positions. His genius as an engineer didn't come until after he got the job. I also like that you still gave him the VISOR, but had him get it after an accident and not having been that way from birth. It allows for more character exploration as he becomes used to seeing the world in several different lights.

Tasha Yar certainly has more to her character here than she ever did on the show, but still comes off as a bit two dimensional. Hope to see that change. There are hints she is interested in Data, so I would like to see that grow. The show had her and Data be quite close, so that when she died the greatest loss was to him (even though he couldn't feel it). I'd like to see that develop more here. Truth be told, one of the most interesting things to see is if you kill her or not. She wasn't a very important character alive, but her death led to many important facets on the show, especially for Worf. His character wasn't really allowed to grow until after her death. I wonder, if you keep her alive, how that will go juggling both of them on the same security team. Riker seems to think they'll get along. I don't see that happening.

Dr. Pulaski. A bold move to include her, instead of Beverly Crusher. While I'm a big fan of Dr. Crusher and am very glad she returned to the show in S3, I also quite like Dr. Pulaski and wish we had seen more from her. She's one of the few here who didn't need any added edge, as she always had it. She was never afraid to speak her mind, even to the Captain, and her sickbay was her domain. Her interactions in this script with Data threw me for a moment, though. Not her near racist remarks (can one be racist towards an android? She doesn't think so), as that had been part of the original show. But her use of the word "hate" seemed so sudden. She doesn't even know Data. But I see that's the point. On the original show she didn't know Data and was more baffled by him and curious about him. Here she thinks she knows all about him and the threat he, and others like him, could bring. She's not far off the mark, at least when it comes to what Gowron is planning. I look forward to seeing this develop. My one big complaint with her is her inclusion in the warp-core breach scene. Geordi stated that he knew the people in engineering and what they could do (the fact of them just following his lead was telling), but the problem is he didn't use any of them. It's as if they weren't there. Why have someone not trained in engineering, someone who you have to explain everything to, do the work when you have a whole crew of engineers there? It just seemed like a way to get her included in the action and it didn't come off well for me. Perhaps if the engineering team had already evacuated that area and Geordi had rushed in to save the ship with the Doctor running after him, leaving them both with no choice but for her to do the job.

I'm skipping over Data for the most part because you did well with him and there's not much else to say on that. Except for the fact that you had him shrug off a barrage of disruptor blasts. Even for Data, that's unrealistic. I get that you were trying to show how powerful he is for Gowron to want to make his own android army, but you had already shown that and this was just over the top. Otherwise, your writing of Data is a success. Especially with the speech patterns. If Data ever used a contraction on the show, we knew it wasn't him. I am curious to see how, or if, you will change Data at all. It's hard to change a character's personality when they are void of all emotion. I'm not sure what you could do differently with him, so I'm excited to see what you come up with.

The character that is missing is Troi. The show never knew what to do with her and she became underused window dressing. I think she was a great character when she was allowed to be and has so much more potential. Hope to see you bring her in.

I left Worf for last because he is such an integral part to the main plot of this script. I can't tell you how excited I am that you have kept his father, Mogh, alive. But you completely flipped the idea on its head, going from the dead father that Worf tries so desperately to live up to, to one that is alive, but Worf is ashamed to be his son. Not only that, but having Mogh be a traitor of the Empire (something he was posthumously accused of on the show) is an excellent move. Yet the question remains, is he a traitorous mad man, living only for war no matter who it may be with, or is he a true Klingon. It's hard to say who is the true villain here, as Mogh and Gowron have very good reasons for their actions. At least in their own eyes. Gowron fears losing the Empire and the power it/he wields. Mogh fears losing what it means to be Klingon, not caring where the Empire falls into that. And when it comes to what each believes to be the true honor of a Klingon, each of them will fight to the death for that honor, no matter who gets in the way. Worf being in the middle of this will certainly make for an exciting story. Especially with his wife siding with Mogh. K'Ehleyr was a favorite of mine on the show and I wish she had been in more than two episodes. Her chemistry with Worf was palpable and the actress did a wonderful job playing her. She came off a little two dimensional here, but I'm sure we'll delve much more into her character, especially with
(click to show/hide)

This review is quite long by now (and to think I wasn't sure what to say at first), so I think I'll wrap it up. Hopefully you're like me and you enjoy reading long reviews. This was a fairly good script. It succeeded best in the areas of foreshadowing/setting up events to come. I don't think it would stand very well on its own without those, though as a pilot it's really not meant to. Even so, a script should be more than the sum of its parts. The big story points came off well, but the bits in-between came off quite weak. We seemed to jump from one location to the next with not much interstellar travel time in-between, which then forced character moments to be stuffed into action scenes that slowed down the pacing. It seemed like the script didn't have much room to breathe, which led to quite a stop and go pace and not one that was gradual. I also agree with the others that the pace was also affected by once we got to the climax of action, it wasn't divvied up very well between Riker and Picard. I get what you're saying about wanting to give each big moment its due, but the stretch was too long. Maybe if Riker had decided to ram the Klingon ship, then we get the start of action with the rebel headquarters and possibly cutting back to Riker right after Picard saves Gowron. That would keep the intensity up and still allow for each scene to shine.

Anyway, my last quibble is with the end of the script. It seemed very random. The shit has basically hit the fan with the Klingons, Riker is a possible spy on Picard's bridge, Worf has lost his wife to his father's insane cause, the Enterprise just got out of a huge battle... and Picard fancies an adventure? You said above that you don't want to end each episode with everything tied up in a nice bow, but you may as well put this under a Christmas tree because that ending is one big (out of place) bow. I get the whole boldly going adventure idea, but it doesn't work with the rest of the script.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed this. I read half of the script before bed last night and the rest right after I got up. If I didn't like enough of it, I probably wouldn't have finished it. There are definitely things you need to work on, but for it being what I believe is your first Star Trek script, it is very good. There is A LOT of good stuff here that makes me excited to see what you have in store for us. You can be sure I'll be reading.

Offline Matt Latham

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #16 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:35 »
I think Nerf pretty much explained in detail the same issues I had with Picard. In fact - I think he's pretty much 100% on that issue. You've done well with the others - but your main selling point of any Star Trek series is the strength of the captain - and he's the weakest character here.

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Her interactions in this script with Data threw me for a moment, though. Not her near racist remarks (can one be racist towards an android? She doesn't think so), as that had been part of the original show. But her use of the word "hate" seemed so sudden. She doesn't even know Data. But I see that's the point. On the original show she didn't know Data and was more baffled by him and curious about him. Here she thinks she knows all about him and the threat he, and others like him, could bring.

Agreed on the "hate" comment - but I think there's definitely an interesting relationship that can be brought between the two of them. Particularly since Pulaski is pretty much basing her whole life around the living and keeping things alive.

Would it be more that she doesn't know much about engineering or technology in general? There's probably doctors that have trouble turning a PC on nowadays; or like me when you ask me to open a car bonnet and point to the engine and I point to the dipstick. There's a nice counterpoint to Data's lack of understanding of humanity (and Pulaski's lack of empathy, it seems).

And this came on my MP3 player as I was writing this:


Offline Ian_Austin

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #17 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:35 »
The Data thing is further exacerbated by...

(click to show/hide)

Which I thought was a great secondary hook for the series.

Offline Matt Latham

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #18 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:36 »
Star Trek vs Mecha-Gowron.

MAKE IT SO.

Offline Tony Black

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #19 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:36 »
Wonderful wonderful review Nerf. Please do one like that for every episode - great reading.

Pete, was the...

(click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:36 by Vaughn »

Offline Pete D. Gaskell

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #20 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:36 »
Tony - I'll leave that for you to decide...

But anyway, it's now time to dig into Nerf's epic review!

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Although I'm trying to decide if it was intentional to never have most of that first 12 pages be part of the script's current form, to make us think you were going in the same direction as the original show and then turn the tables on us.

That's what I'm going to say was the case from now on.  ;) The actual reason was that I was struggling like heck to come up with the opening to the script I wanted, and unleashed those 12 pages in a bid to see what the general consensus was. After a lukewarm non-response, I decided to alter it, and then alter it again, before eventually settling on what I came up with here, thanks in no small part to a good conversation with Adam Scott. Whether this new opening works or not is for you to decide, but it's the one I'm happiest with!

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the fact we won't be getting anymore scripts until next year is causing me some pain. I want more. Barring my death, you will have me as a reader.

That's exactly the response I was hoping for - well, maybe not exactly, as I'm a little concerned for your health  :-P - but the fact that I managed to sway you over to becoming a fan has pleased me immensely, considering just how much of a TNG fan you are!

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I feel like I got more joy out of this than others because of my knowledge. The Klingon language and customs, Duras, Rura Penthe (wonder if Kirk was a prisoner there in this reality), Tribbles, ERIK PRESSMAN (I'll get back to him). How deftly you weaved things from the original show into the script without simply glossing over them, or stumbling by trying to over-explain them. You obviously have done your research

That's the result of many weeks of immersing myself in the 24th century, really - gathering together anything and everything I could so that I had a strong frame of reference to build from. Tough work, but hopefully I'm reaping the rewards now by being able to play the correct card at the right time from the history of Trek - as well as throw in a few timely cheeky references to cheer the fans!

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I think you did quite a good job balancing the ensemble cast in terms of giving us enough of their personality for us to have something to grasp onto and also giving each of them something to do within the story.

That's a big victory for me coming out of this - I have to introduce so many characters quickly and make them memorable, that I was worried a few would get lost in the squash. I may not have been entirely successful, as we'll get onto later, but I hope I gave everyone a few moments in which their character came to the fore. Last thing I wanted was anyone there as window dressing.

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And I know others have already mentioned this and you acknowledge the problem and have said you will remedy it, but I just need to hammer it home because this is the most important part of this series. The Captain is the star of the show, the representation of it. It doesn't matter how good the other characters are because he is the most important part. On TNG Picard was a very strong Captain. I believe him to be the best Captain of all the Star Trek series. This may be a reboot, but that strength of character is not something you can afford to lose.

The BIG complaint - and one I'm preparing to meet head-on in the future. Other people have commented on this already, albeit none as articulately as yourself, so my answer might be relatively brief to avoid repetition here.

The long and the short of it is that all I can do is hold my hands up and say "must try harder" for the future - there's no point me getting bogged down in exactly what happened with Picard here - what I need do now is make sure it doesn't happen again. Rest assured that I'm taking immediate steps to rectify this in the season premiere and beyond - there's plenty of Picard to be had. The last thing I want is my lead to become the dullest character on the show - but I have plenty of ideas of how to avoid that grisly fate.

I know it sounds a little like I'm promising the moon on a stick - but what I'm trying to say is - let's see what happens in the future. I'd love at some point for you to say "you took on board what I said and made it work" - let's hope that's the case!

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Everything about this reboot seems to bring a darker edge to the familiar. Riker certainly proved himself, as there was no doubt he would. Although I did say out loud "He's crazy" when he went to ram the ship. The best thing about him, though, is what lies beneath. Bringing in Erik Pressman is a fantastic idea. Regrettably, the show brought him in so late that the strain he could bring to the relationship between Riker and Picard was a bit hard to believe. By bringing him in right at the beginning, where Riker is undoubtedly more loyal to him than to Picard, is a brilliant move that has lots of potential. I can't wait to see where this goes.

On the other hand, I'm very pleased to see the work I did with Riker paying off. Last thing I wanted was for people to brand him as "the 24th Century Jim Kirk" - so I took steps to move him away from that. I loved The Pegasus storyline and the idea behind it took a hold in my mind, so yes, bringing it to the forefront was a big character step for me.

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One small issue with Riker, though, is that you had him speaking several british phrases. Unless you've changed something, he's not a british character. I believe you are from the U.K. (as many members of MZP, and now BZN, are) as british.english phrases also were sprinkled around in several description lines, so I don't fault you too much for it seeping into the dialogue.

Now I could say here that the actor who I have playing Riker, Richard Madden, is British, so he's speaking with a British...nah, I can't even finish that!  :D Truth is, it was me not being diligent enough with the dialogue, but I'll pay more attention to it in future!

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I'm glad you made him Chief Engineer by the end of the script, but also showed us that he earned it. I didn't want to see him toiling around as a helmsman as in S1 of TNG, but the show never gave us much a reason for him suddenly switching positions. His genius as an engineer didn't come until after he got the job.

I have to admit, I was puzzled when I saw Geordi in S1 being a helmsman - it was a waste of his character, but I wanted to keep that little bit of continuity for some reason, and it seemed fitting that he'd showcase his engineering skills in the heat of the moment, which led to his eventual promotion. Now means I have to find a new helmsman to sit on the bridge, but I'm already closing in on the one I want...

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Truth be told, one of the most interesting things to see is if you kill her or not. She wasn't a very important character alive, but her death led to many important facets on the show, especially for Worf. His character wasn't really allowed to grow until after her death. I wonder, if you keep her alive, how that will go juggling both of them on the same security team.

Tasha's a character I always felt was a little shortchanged in the show, so here's my opportunity to rectify that. She had one of the most detailed backstories of any of the characters, so it'll be interesting to see if I can dig into it a little - plus her relationship with Data, which is going to feature heavily across the season. As for her and Worf - well, Riker believes they'll get on. What does everyone else think? (Not saying he's wrong, of course)

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Her interactions in this script with Data threw me for a moment, though. Not her near racist remarks (can one be racist towards an android? She doesn't think so), as that had been part of the original show. But her use of the word "hate" seemed so sudden. She doesn't even know Data. But I see that's the point. On the original show she didn't know Data and was more baffled by him and curious about him. Here she thinks she knows all about him and the threat he, and others like him, could bring. She's not far off the mark, at least when it comes to what Gowron is planning. I look forward to seeing this develop.

I was always concerned with Pulaski on TNG that she was an expy of McCoy - even down to her sniping at Data being a take-off of McCoy and Spock's banter. I wanted to alter this here and give her more reason to be a bit of a bitch with Data - and after giving it some thought, the reasoning became a little more clear. Data is the exact antithesis of medical science. He doesn't need a doctor, and that concerns Pulaski greatly.

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My one big complaint with her is her inclusion in the warp-core breach scene. Geordi stated that he knew the people in engineering and what they could do (the fact of them just following his lead was telling), but the problem is he didn't use any of them. It's as if they weren't there. Why have someone not trained in engineering, someone who you have to explain everything to, do the work when you have a whole crew of engineers there? It just seemed like a way to get her included in the action

There's a few reasons why I went with Pulaski helping out in Engineering to this degree. Firstly, Geordi needed someone to get him down from Sickbay to Engineering, as this had to be pre-VISOR. Secondly, I needed it to be someone who wasn't part of Engineering so that the scene doesn't get drenched in technobabble. And lastly, I had to get Geordi to assign tasks to the Engineering staff - in my mind, the stuff he sent the others to do was more crucial and key to their skillset, whilst he could pretty much guide Pulaski with what he asked her to do. But I have to admit, I wanted to use her in the thick of the action, and it seemed to me that this was the best way to do it.

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Except for the fact that you had him shrug off a barrage of disruptor blasts. Even for Data, that's unrealistic.

For Prime-Universe Data, maybe. For this one...

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I am curious to see how, or if, you will change Data at all. It's hard to change a character's personality when they are void of all emotion. I'm not sure what you could do differently with him, so I'm excited to see what you come up with.

Oh, I have plans for this...

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I think she was a great character when she was allowed to be and has so much more potential. Hope to see you bring her in.

Your wish might soon be granted...

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I can't tell you how excited I am that you have kept his father, Mogh, alive. But you completely flipped the idea on its head, going from the dead father that Worf tries so desperately to live up to, to one that is alive, but Worf is ashamed to be his son. Not only that, but having Mogh be a traitor of the Empire (something he was posthumously accused of on the show) is an excellent move. Yet the question remains, is he a traitorous mad man, living only for war no matter who it may be with, or is he a true Klingon. It's hard to say who is the true villain here, as Mogh and Gowron have very good reasons for their actions. At least in their own eyes. Gowron fears losing the Empire and the power it/he wields. Mogh fears losing what it means to be Klingon, not caring where the Empire falls into that. And when it comes to what each believes to be the true honor of a Klingon, each of them will fight to the death for that honor, no matter who gets in the way. Worf being in the middle of this will certainly make for an exciting story.

Klingon politics has always fascinated me - and the key behind all this was introducing the shades of grey morality into it all. Gowron is our nominal hero of the two as his tactics are less...bloodthirsty...but can you actually say either side is completely in the right? Or completely in the wrong? And if we can't decide that, how the hell is Worf feeling? That's wonderful material for me to play with, and I'll be revisiting this heavily in the future.

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K'Ehleyr was a favorite of mine on the show and I wish she had been in more than two episodes. Her chemistry with Worf was palpable and the actress did a wonderful job playing her. She came off a little two dimensional here, but I'm sure we'll delve much more into her character

Really glad you're a fan of K'Ehleyr, as she was one of my favourite underappreciated characters from the canon - and I had to utilise her if I could. What I can say, though, is this - whatever you might think you know about her might not necessarily be the case here...

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my last quibble is with the end of the script. It seemed very random. The shit has basically hit the fan with the Klingons, Riker is a possible spy on Picard's bridge, Worf has lost his wife to his father's insane cause, the Enterprise just got out of a huge battle... and Picard fancies an adventure? You said above that you don't want to end each episode with everything tied up in a nice bow, but you may as well put this under a Christmas tree because that ending is one big (out of place) bow. I get the whole boldly going adventure idea, but it doesn't work with the rest of the script.

All I can say to this is - think of it this way. Picard has just given Pressman an absolute tongue-lashing, and then walked out onto the bridge, ignored orders, and basically sent the Enterprise off on a journey of his choosing, following a whim. From Picard's POV, he considers the bureaucracy and its underhanded nature to be beneath contempt, and chooses to ignore it.

Do you think Starfleet will take kindly to that when they catch up with him? Well, you'll find that out in the season premiere...

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There are definitely things you need to work on, but for it being what I believe is your first Star Trek script, it is very good. There is A LOT of good stuff here that makes me excited to see what you have in store for us. You can be sure I'll be reading.

That's music to my ears, it really is! I was under no illusions that this was perfect - my goal was to entice readers enough for them to keep reading, and for someone as passionate as yourself to be wanting to read on has made this entire enterprise (sorry) very much worthwhile!

I hope to hear more of your detailed thoughts when the series hits next year!


Online Andrew Corvero

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #21 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:37 »
Let's get this out of the way right now: I'm not a Trek. *boos, hisses, rotten tomatoes, a frozen chicken (not cool, Tony)* Wait, wait! Let me explain what I mean by this first!
 
Until four years ago I only knew that basics: Kirk is a womanizing daredevil and a bit of a dick, Spock has pointy ears and is a very logical alien... (And now Tony has taken my geek card. I'll never see it again). Now I've seen three Trek movies: Wrath of Khan (pure awesomeness), the 2009 reboot (Sylar! And Shaun...or is it Nicholas Angel?) and Into Darkness (Cuuumberbaaatch!). And I think I might have seen bits and pieces of New Generation and Voyager (Picard is Professor X, right? *dodges another frozen chicken from Tony*).

But aside from that I'm a complete Trek newbie. I just never got into it, I guess, Which is weird, because I usually love sci-fi. I guess it's the space opera element that put me off. I like a show that either follows a strict continuity or constantly changes and moves forward, and for some reasons the travels of a spaceship gave me the "strictly formulaic standalones" vibe that made me avoid procedural cop shows (except for the odd episode of CSI or NCIS when nothing better was on) and other sci-fi sacred cows such as Stargate.

I guess that television-wise I'm a child of the twenty-first century. My childhood was more about sci-fi and detective books (TONS of them) and the odd cartoon series (Batman, Gargoyles) anyway. I always get the feeling that Stat Trek or Stargate are shows that I could watch if I were a bit bored, but I wouldn't follow them religiously.

So why am I here reading a New Generation reboot? To be honest, it's Pete's fault.I loved his writing for Modesty Blaise, Operation Angry Badger and The Hitchhiker's Guide and he's a top chap (I've met him in real life! That odd thing that lurks behind my windows!) so I figured "why the hell not" and I joined the ride.

So if I come up with stupid questions such as "Who are the Klingons?" (*Tony facepalms*) you can always blame Pete. OK, I actually happen to know who the Klingons are (very angry aliens whose society is based on killing each other for power, more or less), but you get the idea.

Phew, this was easy. Time for the real review now.

I have to say that I was very afraid to be more than a bit lost. Luckily, Pete keeps the story simple enough for a newbie to understand and though there'squite a bit of talking and politics it's all packed with enough action to prevent it from becoming a snooze feast. I'm sure that a good 90% of the references to other Star Trek movies and series flew over my head (cackling maniacally at my ignorance) but Pete keeps them in the background, as splashes of colour that make the pilot much better for fans but not too dense for a newcomer.

The highlight of the script, however, are the characters. A huge ensemble cast in ever easy to manage (just look at Heroes...or not). Here we have no less thanseven main characters (Picard, Riker, Data, Worf, Yar, Pulaski and La Forge) and they all needed to be seen at the beginning of their arcs. Most of them are successes.

Riker is a likeable daredevil out of same cloth as Kirk, but has to work as a second in command and this visibly takes its toll (although his relationship with Picard is getting better and there's the "spy for Pressman!" stuff to deal with). Data is probably my favourite character in the script, a logical yet kind android that does his job better than anyone else but has to struggle against lingering prejudices (and yet, since it's not part of his programming, he doesn't care).

Worf probably has the most interesting character arc of them all, what with his dual nature of Federation officer and Klingon, not to mention a traitorous ex-wife, an ungrateful jerk for a president and having to deal with Klingon anti-human racism.  Yar is a badass Chief of Security who shows her depth in her relationships with Data, La Forge and Riker. Pulaski is basically a female, racist (seriously, what has poor Data done to her? I get her envy but she's quite a bitch) Doctor House who's nonetheless good at improvising as well. La Forge is benched for most of the pilot but then again he doesn't even need eyes to repair a spaceship. They're all awesome in their own way.

Weirdly enough it's Picard that I found a bit lacking. Riker took the reins of both the Enterprise and the main plot in the second part of the the pilot and this hurt the role of who should be the protagonist. And at times Picard came across as a bit bemused, not knowing exactly what to do (especially at the beginning). He's not bad character and he has his moments but he neeeds to be in more scenes and do more to push the plots forward, or I'll start thinking that Riker should take his chair!

Despite my reservation about Picard, I really enjoyed the movie. The pace is fast and never stops, the Klingons are interesting, complex "villains" and the Enterprise crew already seems to provide a good ensemble for new adventures. So overall, thumbs up from me. See you in a few months I guess.

Offline Nerf

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #22 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:37 »
Tony - It all depends on how much I have to say, but I shall try. :) And...
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Pete, I'm glad you appreciated the review.

Whether this new opening works or not is for you to decide, but it's the one I'm happiest with!

It works much better, launching us right into the action instead of having the oddity of Q first. And if he wasn't going to factor into the rest of the script, then he is completely unnecessary.


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That's the result of many weeks of immersing myself in the 24th century, really - gathering together anything and everything I could so that I had a strong frame of reference to build from. Tough work, but hopefully I'm reaping the rewards now by being able to play the correct card at the right time from the history of Trek - as well as throw in a few timely cheeky references to cheer the fans!

It came off as seemingly effortless, so nice work there.


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I'd love at some point for you to say "you took on board what I said and made it work" - let's hope that's the case!

I'm sure that it will be. I think the thing to remember is that Picard isn't made, or defined by his "big" moments. He is a strong character throughout in all the he does, especially in the way he carries himself. Then when the big moments come they come off so much better and are believable. Now, of course he is human and has his weaknesses. But those have to be the rare moments. With the others characters it's good to see flaws and insecurities, which makes them more real and relatable. However, with the Captain, it has to be the opposite with just rare moments of weakness/vulnerability. Moments well chosen, as well. On the show Picard was very selective about who he would show his vulnerable side to amongst his crew. For the most part, the only ones he would show that side to were Beverly and Deanna. And only behind closed doors as well, never in front of his crew. Now because we're the audience we get to see behind those closed doors from time to time. But for the most part we're like his crew. Because he's not just the Captain of his crew, he's our Captain as well. That may sound lame, but I think it's true. He is the one that everyone looks to for strength, hope, and leadership.

I don't mean to try to influence or change any characterization you have planned for him, but this is just what I believe to be his core as a character and as a Captain.


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Now means I have to find a new helmsman to sit on the bridge, but I'm already closing in on the one I want...


Hmm... Is it Ensign Ro, perhaps?


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As for her and Worf - well, Riker believes they'll get on. What does everyone else think?

I dunno. Two such strong characters, most likely with different ideas of how to do things... I foresee a fight.


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I was always concerned with Pulaski on TNG that she was an expy of McCoy - even down to her sniping at Data being a take-off of McCoy and Spock's banter. I wanted to alter this here and give her more reason to be a bit of a bitch with Data - and after giving it some thought, the reasoning became a little more clear. Data is the exact antithesis of medical science. He doesn't need a doctor, and that concerns Pulaski greatly.

Yes, I really like that. There's the idea that everyone needs a doctor at some point in their life, but he doesn't need her. To not be needed something pretty hard to deal with. And if androids become more of the norm, that's the feeling a lot of doctors will be having. It's an interesting direction you're taking and I like it. :)
 

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All I can say to this is - think of it this way. Picard has just given Pressman an absolute tongue-lashing, and then walked out onto the bridge, ignored orders, and basically sent the Enterprise off on a journey of his choosing, following a whim. From Picard's POV, he considers the bureaucracy and its underhanded nature to be beneath contempt, and chooses to ignore it.

Still, everyone just seems too happy at the end. I get the idea, I just don't think the tone fit with all that had just happened. *shrug*


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That's music to my ears, it really is! I was under no illusions that this was perfect - my goal was to entice readers enough for them to keep reading, and for someone as passionate as yourself to be wanting to read on has made this entire enterprise (sorry) very much worthwhile!

I hope to hear more of your detailed thoughts when the series hits next year!

You enticed, I'm in. :) Luckily I have hundreds of episodes and 12 movies of the franchise to keep me occupied while I wait for more.

Offline Tony Black

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #23 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:37 »
Tony - It all depends on how much I have to say, but I shall try. :) And...
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Offline Nerf

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Re: Star Trek: New Generation
« Reply #24 on: Wed Oct 22 2014, 15:38 »
Tony - It all depends on how much I have to say, but I shall try. :) And...
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His fascination with the word fascinating is fascinating. :) It's like Teal'c and "Indeed."

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