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Rick Berman Doesn't Know Why Nemesis Tanked 1210

Posted by Hemos
from the well-'cuz-it-sucked-for-one dept.
Steve Krutzler writes "Star Trek producer Rick Berman broke his silence today on the debacle that was the North American box office for STAR TREK NEMESIS. The film grossed $18.5 million in its opening weekend in mid-December, the lowest of any TREK bow, and its current domestic total stands below even that of the much-lambasted STAR TREK V. Read more at TrekWeb. Berman says he doesn't know why the movie failed and the future of more TREK movies is uncertain."
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Rick Berman Doesn't Know Why Nemesis Tanked

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  • by GMFTatsujin (239569) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:04PM (#5224837) Homepage
    NO MORE.

    Thank goodness. Give the franchise a nice tombstone and lay it to rest already.
  • by Guru1 (521726) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:05PM (#5224842)
    The Star Trek previews sucked. It had no 'new' plot, it seemed like an extension of any normal weekday movie. You weren't going back to earth, you weren't doing anything original. Didn't seem to be an exciting movie, so I skipped it. Get a better plot and people will watch Star Trek again.
  • It failed... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Nightpaw (18207) <{ude.ogacihcu} {ta} {essej}> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:05PM (#5224844) Homepage
    Because it sucked. Try making a good movie, and see how well it does.

    Or at least give us more Wil!
  • I didn't see it. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:08PM (#5224893)
    I don't go to see very many movies at all. Only films that are really really interesting to me. Maybe, 6 movies a year, tops? I'm guessing that puts me as part of the crowd that you have to draw in for the big numbers. (The swing viewers?!)

    The previews were kind of interesting. I've seen every Trek movie in the theater. Just the plot didn't quite capture me. Something about Romulans and an evil bad guy. Looks like lots of action, but nothing that really piqued my interest.

    In the end, I think the large part of my decision not to go to theaters was the DVD. Since I didn't have an immediate need to see it, I'm more than happy to watch it in the comfort of my own home. Plus the bonus material on the DVD. Not that I have a great home theater, but the "movie experience" isn't a draw for me.
  • by FortKnox (169099) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:08PM (#5224894) Homepage Journal
    Not to mention releasing it between the new James Bond, and the Two Towers was just plain stupid.
  • by gtaluvit (218726) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:08PM (#5224895)
    saying something along the lines of "we don't know why the kids aren't buying more albums. This last boy band album was just like the others we've released, and they made millions."

    Perhaps they'll eventually learn that a good script with an original story line even off a commonly used theme (see Big Fat Greek Wedding) will make more money than a rehashed overdone clone.
  • by Drakker (89038) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:08PM (#5224897) Homepage Journal
    Simple: It was released at the worst possible time. There was too much competition during christmass, Lord of the Rings alone must have hurt Nemesis seeings a LOT... Which reminds me, I havent seen Nemesis yet... what a bad Trek fan I make. Is it still in theaters?
  • Re:It failed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonvmous Coward (589068) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:10PM (#5224922)
    "Because it sucked. Try making a good movie, and see how well it does."

    Nemsis was an alright movie, it certainly didn't 'suck'. There was plenty for fans to enjoy. Whether or not it survives long term is a seperate debate.

    The problem is it went up against too many other hyped movies. The truth of the matter is that the average person can only see so many movies in a month. (budgetary and time concerns)

    There were movies I didn't get to see in December. Nemesis was a priority for me, but I doubt it was a priority for a lot of other people out there with LoTR and Harry Potter out.
  • It's a rental (Score:2, Insightful)

    by markcappel (610263) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:10PM (#5224929)
    It tanked because movie goers are conditioned to expect that Star Trek movies are "rentals" and not movies that require the full, wide-screen cinema experience. Make an excellent movie and the word-of-mouth will draw in crowds. Yes, I saw it in a theatre, and the 10 or so other people I heard murmuring after the show said words to the affect of, "I could have waited" (for it to appear on video).
  • by Mothra the III (631161) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:11PM (#5224937)
    That series became pretty interesting in the last couple years and left some unfinished story lines. I would rather see movies based on that series coming up with weak plots like the one for Nemesis.
  • Because... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MoxCamel (20484) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:11PM (#5224943)
    Star Trek has been squeezed for everything it's worth. Berman and Paramount have milked the franchise to the point that people are sick of it.

    Berman: Give Star Trek a 5 year hiatus, and come back with something fresh.
  • by Night Goat (18437) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:12PM (#5224950) Homepage Journal
    Nemesis tanked for the same reason that UHF did in 1989... too many other good movies for the fanbase to watch. The Two Towers was still in the theaters, the James Bond flick was playing, and so was Harry Potter. All of these movies have a good "sci-fi geek" following, so people just didn't have enough money or time to see Nemesis. That's how it was for me, I would have rather seen Two Towers multiple times than see Nemesis once.

    UHF was going up against Batman and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in the summer of '89. Plus, it's a weird movie. But it deserves more credit than it gets!
  • by josepha48 (13953) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:13PM (#5224960) Journal
    It stopped showing in my area to soon. There were 3 movies on my list to see over xmas holidays. Harry Potter, LOTR, and Star Trek. I saw the first two as they came out first. By the time I was able to see ST it was gone. It was in the theaters for 2 weeks and then gone. No wonder it bombed! My friends and I were PISSED! I could not belive that it left that quick. The nearest theater showing it was 1-1/2 hours away. Guess I'll have to wait for it to be on DVD in 6 months now, where it will probably do real well.
  • I finally saw Nemesis, and actually thought it was a pretty good flick.

    But I didn't see it opening weekend or soon thereafter, because Berman & Co. have been churning out so much crap lately (Voyager, Enterprise) that I did not have high expectations for the movie.

    And even though I enjoyed this one, I have no particular burning desire to see another. You can't miss something if it refuses to go away -- give the franchise a rest for a while, and then people might care about seeing a new feature file.

  • by Grenade of Antioch (635095) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:14PM (#5224976)
    In the old days, real science fiction writers wrote episodes of Star Trek. Excellent wrting made for a compelling show.

    Unfortunately, since Next Generation, it seems the writing has suffered and "special effects" and a preachy political correctness has been more a focus for the producers.

    Star Trek was charming because it told good stories. It hasn't in a while. No quantity of Vulcan or Borg hotties in decon showers can fix the fact that the writing has been lame for years.
  • by bpfinn (557273) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:15PM (#5224981)
    Personally, I find myself enjoying the TV series more, because they have more time to develop the characters and storylines. A character can evolve over the course of a series, and threads of stories can continue to emerge over the length of the show. Movies, on the other hand, need to tell one compelling story in a short amount of time. That's also why short stories tend to translate well to movies, but novels don't.
  • Sucked = Tanked (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:15PM (#5224984)
    Too often poor movies are not punished at the box office. But the internet age, word of mouth is replaced by word of net, and the word of net was that it clearly sucked. Trek Fans are certainly overrepresented on the net. Q.E.D.

    It certainly wasn't the competition. I was strongly tempted to see it, but I heard how weak it was and didn't. My friends also; most didn't bother.

    Rick Berman is an idiot, and the article makes this clearer than ever. If someone with some talent can't step in, then let the franchise die.

  • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mr.nicholas (219881) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:15PM (#5224988)
    Berman says he doesn't know why the movie failed...

    Ummm... because it sucked?

    Seriously though, it's not that hard to figure out why this movie didn't do well

    1. Low Directorial (?) quality
    2. Stale main characters
    3. Impossible physics (two starships colliding in space and NOT being ripped to shreds??)
    4. A very old looking ageless android
    5. Predictable
    6. A never-seen-before enemy that we could care less about
    7. Complete and utter lack of tension
    8. Out-of-character dialog
    9. The feeling that flashiness was supplanting quality

    Granted most of those points exist for ANY Star Trek production you can name, but we expect more in movies. Or should.

  • why it sucked (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordYUK (552359) <jeffwright821 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:17PM (#5225017)
    When the bad guy was cold and evil and had it in for the captain specifically I felt like I was watching The Wrath of Khan. When the Enterprise was damaged beyond belief I felt like I was watching The Wrath of Kahn. When Data downloaded his mind, I felt like I was watching The Wrath of Kahn. When Data died to save the Enterprise, I felt like I was watching the Wrath of Kahn.

    So the next time I wanted to see Nemesis, I dusted off my VHS copy of The Wrath of Kahn and watched it instead. At least Spock comes back.

    How dare they allude to this being the last episode of the next gen crew and have Data die.

    For shame.
  • Re:Killing Data (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:18PM (#5225038)
    Helllooo?

    Did you think that some of us perhaps did not see the movie, and did not know that Data dies?

    WTF well now there is really no point in seeing it, as that plot detail is probably featured prominently in the movie...
  • by CommieLib (468883) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:19PM (#5225039) Homepage
    Ever since Star Trek VI, each movie has had less character advancement, plot, etc. than a typical episode of TNG, and any episode of DS9.

    I think what may be going on is "going for the big score" as opposed to "targeting the geeks". When you're doing a weekly series, you can target a higher IQ / continuity awareness / suspension of disbelief because you know your base. When you produce a major film, you necessarily (because of a greater budget) try to bring in a larger audience, so you are inclined to lower the bar for the audience.

    This doesn't explain Enterprise, which is dismal, nor does it explain Star Trek II, which is both the greatest movie success (whether it pulled the biggest box office or not) and HEAVILY dependent on continuity, IQ, suspension of disbelief.

    I liked Nemesis, it's just that we've done 4 movies on Picard and Data now, and that vein is dry. Unlike TOS, TNG was SUPPOSED to be much more balanced with respect to the entire cast. Are you telling me that a movie with Worf as the central character wouldn't work? I think it's worth a try.
  • by stratjakt (596332) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:19PM (#5225044) Journal
    Apes is good sci-fi with bad special effects.

    ST is bad sci-fi with good special effects.
  • by JeffL (5070) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:21PM (#5225067) Homepage
    Disclaimer, I have not seen the movie.

    I think Rick Berman not knowing why the movie tanked is pretty much the reason it tanked. If the producer of a movie is so out of touch with an established fan base that he can't see why they didn't flock to see the movie, then perhaps it is time for somebody who does understand the fans and the story to take the lead.

    I like Star Trek, and now that it has found its feet a bit I am enjoying Enterprise (though I still don't know all of the characters' names), and I was planning on seeing Nemesis. But, after friends who are big Trek fans came back and told me not to bother, or catch it on DVD, I really lost all interest.

  • by cryptochrome (303529) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:22PM (#5225071) Journal
    ... and I had no compulsion to see this movie. It was a TV show wrapped in the typical hollywood "Blockbuster" action-plot-effects formula. Bad combo. Star Trek II didn't have effects all that spectacular, but goddamnit, it had character development and dialogue and suspense and tragedy. You know, things that make a good story regardless of medium.

    Know what the next ST Movie I'd like to see is? An epic-length, well-written, character-driven drama (with some action) in the DS9 branch of the Star Trek universe, with special attention paid to the complex (and Hard SF) relationship between species, cultures, and individuals that defined that show. Maybe even make it dangerous to be R-rated. THAT would be different, and interesting.
  • NEW. (or lack of) (Score:4, Insightful)

    by flogger (524072) <non@nonegiven> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:22PM (#5225078) Journal
    This is why Nemisis wasn't a nemisis of a movie. It may have been new back when Kirk met his Anti-Matter self. It may have been new when things exploded when Dr. Who met himself. But 40 + years later. This isn't new. We all know what Ezra Pound preached right?
    Make it new.
    There needs to be some life breathed into the franchize. Right now, it seems to be on artificial respiration. Who, or what, can breath life into Star Trek? I have no answer.

    Also, the reason, I didn't go see the movie, is that I thought the previews looked like an action movie, not a trek movie. And I'm not going to take my kids to see it when it shows sexual action in the previews.
  • Bring back Wesley (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ruger (237212) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:23PM (#5225095) Homepage
    Is there any other character from TNG (other than maybe Data) that had the potential for a more interesting future than that of Wesley!?!? He apparently had the ability to become a "Traveler," which opens up a ton of possibilities. Wil Wheaton is a decent actor and there's no reason to think a 20 something Wesley would be anything like a teen Wesley. I think Berman has screwed the pooch by not exploting the Wesley character in the TNG movies.

    Ruger
  • by macdaddy357 (582412) <macdaddy357@hotmail.com> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:24PM (#5225099)
    Not only is Star Trek your daddy's sci-fi, but Berman also released it way too close to Harry Potter and The Two Towers. Most of all, Rick Berman is no Gene Roddenberry.
  • Re:Obvious? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by foistboinder (99286) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:24PM (#5225102) Homepage Journal
    Insurrection wasn't good at all.

    I think the problem with Insurrection was that if felt like a two hour episode of the series (and a fairly mediocre epsisode, too).

  • by lc_overlord (563906) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:25PM (#5225109) Homepage
    Nemesis is a good movie, it got too much bad press though. Especialy from respected news sites such as cnn. Imagine my suprise when i could read in big fat letters "NEMESIS SUX!!!" on cnn.com.(and this was well before the premiere) It's like they allready decided to bring it to the ground well before it was ever made. It won't even have a premiere here i sweden untill atleast this summer, if ever. And they have the nerve calling harry potter a good movie.
  • by nanojath (265940) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:25PM (#5225111) Homepage Journal
    I think I'm probably a good example of why it tanked, whether it was good or not. Before this article popped up I had honestly forgotten that it existed. Now, I liked a lot of TNG fine, I've certainly seen most of the episodes at least a couple of times, and I saw the previous TNG movies, although I wasn't thrilled by either. It came out, I thought, oh, new Star Trek movie, I'd see that. But there was a lot of other stuff out that came higher on the list, I had no sense from the very light media coverage of what the movie was about, and the next thing it had disappeared and I forgot all about it. Maybe they got the idea that TNG fans are a captive audience and all they have to do is release the thing and sit back, maybe they were worried about it tanking and did the usual self-fulfilling low promotion thing. Its presence simply failed to make a sufficient impression on me, so it's probably destined to become a non-new-release rental some time in the future.
  • Re:Killing Data (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bc90021 (43730) <<ten.12009cb> <ta> <12009cb>> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:26PM (#5225121) Homepage
    SPOILERS BELOW
    (in case you haven't seen it yet)

    It didn't fail because they killed Data. It failed because they killed Data, and five seconds later, replaced him with stupid Data (aka B4).

    In ST II, when Spock was killed off, we were given a grieving period, and treated to a respectful funeral. Kirk told us that Spock was the most human person he'd ever known, etc. In this movie, Data is gone, we get not even ten seconds of crying, and Picard is talking to stupid Data, and it's like Data was never gone.

    They cheapened his death so much that it wasn't even funny.

    Not to mention that they pretty much threw out every tenet of Star Trek TNG (no beaming through shields, etc.), and it just didn't work. Also, absolutely no attempt was made to pay attention to physics! When two ships crash into each other in space, they would each move back... they don't go through each other like that!! There would have to be something behind the ships to force them into each other, or they would both have to have their engines going.
  • by farrellj (563) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:31PM (#5225180) Homepage Journal
    Too many screenwriters only know SF as film & TV...you need a good SF writer to create a story, and help on the script.Too may cycles of recycling has made the ST universe boring...

    ttyl
    Farrell
  • by quag7 (462196) <deepspace@dataswamp.net> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:35PM (#5225227) Homepage
    There seems to be this consistent need to preserve everything from film to film; plots get wrapped up too neatly at the end. At least at the end of Star Trek 2, it looked like Spock bought it.

    Babylon 5 understood this. You never could be sure at the beginning of each episode and season whether the characters were going to pull through, as it seems they almost always do in the Star Trek films. You know they're going to win. That's why I'm sick of it.

    They blew an incredible opportunity with Voyager. Wouldn't it have been interesting if Voyager returned home only to find the earth completely assimilated by The Borg and the entire Federation being decimated? Or maybe just have the Borg follow them home, to add a bitter note to their return?

    What about a Star Trek film which details the birth/genesis of The Borg - how they came to be? Star Trek films also have got to start killing characters and *losing* sometimes.

    And they really have to get a grip on their incessant need for cute humor. Humor once in a great while is fine, but they seem to really want to pack that into movies, and I'm just not interested in that. When I watch Star Trek, I want *epic* struggles. I want multilayered plots with twists and turns and powerful moral challenges (Picard trying to get his reign on his hatred of The Borg is the kind of thing I'm talking about.)

    The characters are too perfect, and they are too at the center of the Star Trek universe. The emotion chip for Data was one of the stupidest ideas ever; they completely ruined his character.

    I'm speaking generally of all of the Star Trek movies of course. Trek needs less action, and more cerebral plots. The shiny, bright Federation needs fascist factions and political problems within. More espionage, and most importantly - the *death* of some of the main characters. I want to

    It's always disappointing watching Star Trek because I know going in everything's going to end up fine. It didn't at the end of Star Trek 2, and Kirk lost his shit and let the hatred boil, adding a rough, imperfect edge to his character. No wonder that movie is most peoples' favorites.

    I'm just tired of the perfectly lit, wall-to-wall carpeted, Dudley Do-Right shit that makes up Star Trek films. I would hope the future would be partly that, but that should stand in contrast and struggle against darkness, greed, hatred, and fascism.

    I want to see The Borg infilitrate the federation and eventually earth. I want to see a Star Trek movie end with a helpless crew watching as Earth or Vulcan is assimilated.

    I want to see starships blowing up, and captains of them being pushed to the edge and sometimes losing it and acting immorrally.

    I want to see guerilla rebels resisting the Federation like the Maquis. And I want to be on their side.

    I want to see characters die. I want to see an end to all time travel plots, and want to see more plots that - as on Enterprise - require the characters to use cunning rather than tech to get out of scrapes.

    I want to see no more hippie political crap like in Star Trek IV. I wouldn't mind them dealing with political issues we have not yet faced, but this whole Trek-as-metaphor-for-present-social problems stuff is played out; it was played out after the first series where they dealt with all of the 60s problems like race, space hippies, etc. Star Trek 4 was a travesty.

    I want to see more darkness and less humor. All of this will make the victories of the main characters that much more interesting to watch, rather than just assuming that they'll triumph. Movies need to be treated as serials; plots need to continue from movie to movie and they have to leave us hanging. I don't want to see it all wrapped up at the end of the movie. That just ruins is and wrecks the tension. "Oh who cares that they're hanging off of a precipice, we know that can't be the end; there's still 17 minutes left to the movie."

    Most or all of this applies to the television series as well.

    Watching Star Trek in any form is an infuriating thing; if you're a hardcore fan, you grit your teeth and get through it for some reason; but my teeth have been ground down to powder. Berman needs to sit down and watch Babylon 5, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Space: Above and Beyond, and get some ideas.
  • Re:Killing Data (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:35PM (#5225230)
    I think you need to review your physics. Two objects colliding in an inelastic collision will do what the movie showed. The hulls buckled under the inertia of the two masses colliding.

    The hulls of the ships aren't like pool balls, but like planes. When two planes collide, they don't bounce off each other.
  • Re:Easy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Textbook Error (590676) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:38PM (#5225257)
    That doesn't explain a bad opening weekend.

    Sure it does - it stunk so badly, people on the east coast were diving out of theatres and calling ahead to pre-warn people in line out west. Not to mention Sat/Sun (assuming "weekend" includes Friday night) being down due to people reading reactions online from the previous night's viewings.

    The truth of the matter is that it didn't have a lot of people rushing to theaters to go see it. It kind of fell off the radar with all the other movies out.

    Nice theory, but then you'd expect it to pick up over time as people get round to viewing it. Which they patently haven't done.
  • by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:38PM (#5225261) Homepage
    Plus, the whole nosfaratu thing with the Remans just seemed far too cheesy. There's just not enough separation between the two sub-races for physical differences to get that extreme. The differences between Romulans and Vulcans are bad enough.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:38PM (#5225262)
    You can't honestly be comparing UHF to Trek, can you?

    UHF was a low-budget, quirky, original movie done by Wierd Al (who at that point, was just some nutter doing music parodies).

    Trek is a megafranchise with megabucks behind it, and a long history on both TV and the big screen. They are NOT the same thing. Trek had every reason to succeed, but they blew it because once again Berman & Braga can't write a good plot to save their lives. They have ruined the series, and as this article points out, they just can't understand why.

  • by mshiltonj (220311) <mshiltonj@gmaEIN ... minus physicist> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:39PM (#5225266) Homepage Journal
    Maybe they should get rid of Rick Berman...

    Shit yeah! God, Berman sucks!
  • by mcjulio (68237) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:42PM (#5225290)
    Only difference is: UHF was a good movie.
  • by Ian Wolf (171633) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:42PM (#5225295) Homepage
    I thought it had a strong start, but immediately started going down the crapper with the detection of the positronic signals systems away.

    The dune buggy sequence was mildly exciting, but entirely retarded. Brent Spiner and Stewart did good work throughout the film, but the rest of the cast was all over the place.

    The Remans were a mistake, and Shazam or Shimano or Shinzon, whatever you call him, was a pathetic character, even if the acting was OK. And why didn't the Romulans just kill the stupid little kid when they were through with him. You can't tell me they were hesitant to kill a cloned human out of ethical reasons.

    The animosity between Riker and the head Reman was poorly contrived, played up, and had about as much suspense as Discover Magazine's Letters to the Editor section. The movie had good effects, some strong acting, and some good action, but it failed BIG time in the realm of plot and character development.

    "Star Trek Nemesis" rightly should have been called "Star Trek: Attack of the Clones" or "Star Trek: The Not-Quite Wrath of Not-Quite Khan".

  • by Sethb (9355) <bokelman@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:42PM (#5225300) Homepage
    Amen, Brother.

    I saw all three of those movies, but it was suicide to release Nemesis that close to LOTR:TTT, the hard core fans will go see Nemesis, but the mildly-geeky will go see LOTR, and forget all about Nemesis.

    Timing, Timing, Timing.

    I did enjoy Nemesis, though I have a few nitpicks, mild SPOILER WARNING.

    -Assuming Picard's clone-guy is at least 25 or so, that means they had to start cloning Picard back when he was just some random captain of a random ship (Stargazer?) Why'd they pick him?

    -Not even one throw-away line about Lore? What happened to him? You have a whole plot about another model of Data, and you don't mention Lore? What the hell? Even a line like "Lore's body was destroyed when the Enterprise D crashed." would have been appreciated.

    -Having Wil seen in the movie, but not talked to was rather distracting, they should have left his scene in.

    All in all, I enjoyed it, and I'll get the DVD when it comes out. It wasn't crap on the grand scale of Star Trek V by any means, but releasing a "decent" Trek when Paramount did was nuts. They should have put it out a month sooner or in January, when there was a distinct lack of geek-friendly movies.
  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:43PM (#5225305) Homepage Journal
    Amen. Look at the best episodes of the original TV series.

    "Amok Time"? Written by Theodore Sturgeon.

    "Trouble with Tribbles"? David Gerrold.

    "City on the Edge of Forever?" Harlan Ellison.

    Further, the "franchise" needs to take more chances. You have to take risks before you can produce something as good as "Darmok" or "The Inner Light".
  • by Starky (236203) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:43PM (#5225308)
    Of course the movie tanked. I think someone concluded that the best way to maximize profits for the Star Trek franchise is to minimize costs (and quality) figuring that the devout fan base would come see whatever schlock they dish out.


    The reason they have a franchise in the first place is because there is a long history of positive, intelligent writing. The writing on the latest installment could as well have been for a TV special. Heck, they produce a script a week for the TV show. Did they spend a week or two working on the movie script?


    The producers need to do something better to pull movie audiences in. Solicit top-quality writers and spend the time and money to produce an original, engaging, and intelligent script that is not simply a formulaic, rehashed TV episode, then surround it with top-quality production values, and audiences will return.


    If they continue to try to extract profits by minimizing cost and effort in the short term, they will find their franchise dwindling and will end up sacrificing profits in the long term.

  • by jfengel (409917) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:43PM (#5225312) Homepage Journal
    Funny. I'm in the same boat, and there are others in the thread who said the same thing. We're Star Trek fans and we've all decided, simultaneously, to give up.

    That's not necessarily the reason the movie tanked. We're not really its core audience anymore. They've been trying to make it more mainstream for some time. My guess is that the mainstream heard, "Well, if the Trekkies aren't going to see it, why should we?"

    That's not the media reviews. That's their friends. I'm the biggest Trekkie of my group. If I'd gone, others would have come.

    Why did we all give up simultaneously? I think it's a combination of sub-par TNG movies and the sub-par Voyager and Enterprise series. When there were only 79 episodes of TOS, you _had_ to see the movies: you'd seen everything else. You even had to see Trek V. But if you gave up after Voyager, as I did, and never got into Enterprise, you're already out of the loop. It's not that you're afraid you won't get it. It's that you no longer have that drive to see 100% of Star Trek.

    I don't think that LotR at the same time was the problem. If it had been very good, or if we were all still dedicated fans, we'd have made time. We weren't spending that time watching LotR again. We were doing something else, out of the theaters entirely.

    I don't believe the Trek franchise can be salvaged. Certainly not as long as Berman doesn't understand why the last one tanked. But even if he did, he's lost an awful lot of potential fan base. He might be better off starting a new series of his own.

    He could turn it over to the Deep Space 9 crew instead. The series didn't develop the cult that TOS did, but it did have a devoted following. They too would have a hard time digging out of the hole the franchise has dug itself, but they've got the best chance.

    If not that, then just let it rest. I loved the series, but none of the other things I love are immortal. Someday I will find something new to love; indeed, I already have. I will remember Star Trek fondly, and that means I probably won't see Nemesis until I catch it, wistfully, on DVD, and remember better days.
  • Re:doomed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The_K4 (627653) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:45PM (#5225327)
    Wait...it was number 10 and it was 2x as good as 5......Coincidence? he he he. It was not the greatest thing out there, but it was entertaining and worth the $8.50 and 2 hours that I gave to it. Now what I am looking forward to is this [go.com] because after all it helps to have a GOOD STORY before you make the movie. :)
  • by ChadN (21033) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:45PM (#5225331)
    In the SAME exact way that Spock died. In fact, much of that (piece of crap) Nemesis movie was directly ripped off from previous movies and older episodes (which I haven't even watched in about 10 years, and I STILL saw all kinds of old episode rip-offs)

    Berman should just be told, "You can't shine shit."

    Also, expect Data to make a comeback (if ever they make more of this garbage); he downloaded himself into someone else before he died (just like Spock; how original)
  • Two Words (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:46PM (#5225337) Journal
    Babylon 5.
    Babylon 5 showed audiences that they can expect a long story arc to keep their interest in a show. DS9 almost had it. Andromeda could have had it but through it away. Enterprise doesn't even come close, and the films just can't have that kind of plot line in only 2 hours. Sci-Fi traditionally appeals to the higher intellectual bracket, but most modern TV and Film Sci-Fi seems to have been written by soap-opera writters. Why?
  • Re:doomed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by barc0001 (173002) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:46PM (#5225341)
    If you follow that rule, it should have been good, since the rule was odd movies suck, even movies do well:

    Odd:
    TMP (OK), Search for Spock(OK), Final Frontier(Oh God, please kill me!), Generations(Eh. maybe OK), Insurrection(Not so good).

    Even:
    Wrath of Khan(Very good), Voyage Home(good, and apparently appealed to the widest audience), Undiscovered Country(Good), First Contact (Very good), Nemesis (what happened?)

    So, the rule seems to have broken here...
  • by Phoenix (2762) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:48PM (#5225353)
    Ok people...Forget the future. Between the actions of Kirk and Picard and to an extent Sisko, the future is bright and shiny and getting brighter and brighter as time goes on. Borg are not as great a threat as they once were, Klingons are allies, Romulans are now talking to us, Dominion is not a threat, the cardassians are worse than the bajorans were. There's nothing left to 'darken the future'

    What needs to be done if you want movies is to cover things in the ST Past. The Romulan war, the first war with the klingons...all sorts of things that can be done.

    If the authors of the Star Trek Novels can keep putting out good stuff, there has to be something that the scriptwriters can bring to a big screen.

    Or the best idea of all...

    Give it a rest for another 15 years, keep it in syndication, THEN come out with stuff after the new blood gets behind the wheel.

    You know...kinda like what happened with ST:TNG.

    Phoenix
  • Momentum (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lumpish Scholar (17107) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:50PM (#5225374) Homepage Journal
    If you make a really good movie, people will show up next time.

    If you make a really good movie and then a really bad movie, people will show up at least one more time. (Example: STAR TREKs IV, V, and VI.)

    If you make a mediocre movie, fewer people will show up next time. (To some degree, a really bad movie is less harmful, since people hope it's a fluke, and the film makers might try harder afterwards.) Two in a row, even more so.

    If you make a movie where I have to turn my brain off in order to ignore the inconsistencies -- if you think shiny things and loud noises are enough to keep me in my seat -- somebody may show up next time, but it won't be me.
  • by 47PHA60 (444748) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:51PM (#5225387) Journal
    I think that the fact that Berman is "confused" about the movie's failure while being "convinced" that it is a good movie might explain the problem.
  • by Skwirl (34391) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:04PM (#5225519) Homepage
    You forgot about Deep Space Nine reruns. They recently played the final season again locally and, I'm sorry, but that's some of the best mainstream sci-fi writing I've ever seen, since this was when they were competeing with, and emulating, Babylon 5. I have this dread feeling that they're going to jump the movie franchise straight to Voyager, the suckiest of the suck, and ignore finishing the hanging threads of DS9 entirely.
  • by x_man (63452) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:04PM (#5225527)
    For Berman to say that he doesn't understand why the movie failed shows how completely out of touch he is with Trekdom and its fan base. Remember, this is the same guy who bragged about never having seen an original Star Trek episode. I think Berman was trying to make Nemesis a mainstream movie like Spiderman, whose story unexpectedly resonated with so many people. But the main reason Trek has been so popular is because it goes against what people like Berman think is mainstream. The preview for Nemesis was exactly the opposite of what most Trek fans wanted to see in their series. You might just as well have named the movie Die Hard IV - Bruce Willis in space.

    Rick Berman and Brannon Braga are the reason Trek is failing. These guys are the overseers and the authors of most of the really bad Trek episodes. Voyager could have been the best Trek series ever but Berman and Braga couldn't break away from the same canned plots. Enterprise is about to be canceled for the same reason although Paramount has promised a sexier Enterprise - Yeah! That's why I watch Star Trek, for the T&A. DS9, which most hard-core trekkers think was the best series since TOST, was lucky because Berman and Braga abandoned it early on to work on Voyager.

    For some hilariously insightful reviews of Enterprise that, I think, sum up many of Trek's problems, check out this site: http://www.firsttvdrama.com/enterprise/index.php3
  • by sql*kitten (1359) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:05PM (#5225528)
    Maybe it tanked because Star Trek is dying out in mainstream culture.

    I think it's the opposite - Star Trek is distancing itself from mainstream culture. Consider the original series. Kirk and his crew roamed the galaxy exploring the frontier, basically doing good, but they wouldn't back away from a fight and they weren't afraid to break the rules in the service of a greater good. That's not just entertaining TV, it resonates deeply with the way Americans see themselves.

    Next Gen was California in the 1990s - the Captain took his therapist with him on board and no-one made a decision without getting a consensus from everyone that their feelings wouldn't be hurt. And Voyager - Janeway wasn't a captain, she was a self-loathing Democrat senator, never hesitating to put every other species' interests ahead of her crew's. Californians don't realize it, but they're held in contempt throughout the rest of the world - when some actress announces she's converted to Buddhism or taken to a macrobiotic diet or started wearing crystals, the rest of the world just rolls its eyes.

    Essentially, Star Trek is dying because the people making it make it for people like themselves, not the fans and not the general public.
  • by ReelOddeeo (115880) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:10PM (#5225581)
    Give the franchise a nice tombstone and lay it to rest already.

    I think this says it better than most of the other comments I was going to reply to.

    Like most television series, after a certian number of seasons, they just are no longer interesting.

    Now Trek has been lucky to be able to do a number of spinoffs.

    But at this point, they've done just about everything there is to do in the universe. C'mon, what else can you do? They've had to fight every different kind of alien, or advanced alien. We've encountered aliens with just about every possible motivation. We've explored politics and religions (DS9).

    Sure, you can make up new enemies and make friends with past enemies. But then you're just doing the same old thing. Nothing is new.

    It was much better to see some old plotlines resolved, as in past movies. Like when the two klingon bitches were killed. The Enterprise D destroyed to make room for its successor. Kirk finally dies. etc. That was nice to bring more closure than the original series's had done.

    Maybe they could have a movie, that incidentially, touched on whatever happened to Wesly Crusher. Just as an example. But really, is there anything else new that they could relaly do? The Trek universe is pretty much filled.

    In fact, that's initially why I got so interested in Babylon 5. Then I discovered that there was a much bigger underlying story going on, and was really hooked.
  • by Windcatcher (566458) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:12PM (#5225596)
    1. Lose the Political Correctness. Seriously. We don't appreciate being preached to. We watch Star Trek for the science fiction, not to have some leftist Californians tell us how great their sensibilities are. I stopped watching Enterprise in the middle of the first season for this reason (go Farscape!!)

    2. Plot holes suck. I saw Nemesis with some friends of mine. After it was over, the most rabid Trekkie in the group announced, "It never happened. I never saw it." Yes, it is fiction, but that doesn't mean we won't be angry if your writers completely destroy our ability to suspend our disbelief. Worf, as a member of the crew? How did this happen? Wasn't crusher with the Traveler? And why put him in at all, if he doesn't even have any lines? We don't need a label telling us what garbage is; our noses can detect it just fine.

    3. Idiotic notions. How many times have we heard this line: "You're the only ship in the area..." I'm starting to get the impression that there is only one ship in the entire Federation.

    4. Terminal pacifism. Sit up, get the wax out of your ears, and listen up: people want to see the Federation kick A$$. A lot of us are tired of the "Oh, but we can't possibly hurt anyone" attitude. If the Federation was run by the USA, believe me, each ship would be loaded for bear with the biggest, baddest, nastiest weapons and gizmos imaginable. A lot of us on the east coast have thicker skins, so spare us the pacifism. Ever heard of Darwinism? The Federation would have been annihilated by now, and good riddance.

    5. Two (what am I saying?) ONE-dimensional characters. Ever watched Farscape? You should. The characters are dysfunctional. They have issues and problems. Like the rest of us. They're just as neurotic as the rest of us, and we can relate. We can't relate to the cookie-cutter folks you keep putting before us.
  • Re:why it sucked (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sql*kitten (1359) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:13PM (#5225615)
    How dare they allude to this being the last episode of the next gen crew and have Data die.

    Particularly since Berman/Paramount already made the final episode of the ST:TNG series in which we see that Data survives to a ripe old age and becomes a professor at Cambridge after retiring from Star Fleet. That's why the fans don't care: we're not invested at all in the fate of the characters, because we know that the producers will just change it afterwards anyway. And no amount of CGI can save you if the audience fundamentally don't care what happens next.
  • by dughat (158489) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:14PM (#5225623)
    Bingo. I know that for two viewers, my wife and I, the priority was TTT, Harry Potter, then Star Trek, and by the time we got around to the first two, we couldn't find the third at a decent theatre. So I'm sure we'll rent it, but I'm not overly disappointed by that.
  • by pcx (72024) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:16PM (#5225639)
    If I was a mod today I'd definately hit this one up. You've hit the nail on the head. It's really sad when the best trek since the original series was made not by Paramont but by a guy with a digital camera and too much time on his hands...

    http://homepage.mac.com/starshipexeter/

    I'll take good knock down drag out fight with an old style, evil, klingon and those futuristic miniskirts over self-introspective psychobable crap anyday of the week.
  • by Wraithlyn (133796) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:16PM (#5225645)
    Maybe because we've now been exposed to truly exceptional television sci-fi, like B5 and Farscape, the same old recycled cliched Trek plots just seem so vacant and derivative.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:17PM (#5225651)
    I normally don't pay too much heed to Roger "I Looooved Speed 2" Ebert's reviews, but I particularly liked his review of Nemesis, especially this quote:

    "In movie after movie after movie I have to sit through sequences during which the captain is tersely informed that the front shield is down to 60 percent, or the back shield is down to 10 percent, or the side shield is leaking energy, and the captain tersely orders that power be shifted from the back to the sides or all put in the front, or whatever, and I'm thinking, life is too short to sit through 10 movies in which the power is shifted around on these shields."
    (Full review here). [suntimes.com]
  • It is dying... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sterno (16320) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:18PM (#5225671) Homepage
    The thing is that the original Star Trek series was something fresh and new. The Next Generation was a well done revival of the Star Trek universe that allowed things to play out for more than just a handful of seasons. But then they tried to take a good thing and exploit it.

    So DS9 comes around and that was pretty good, and at it's peak, it was better than ST:TNG IMHO. But then, comes voyager, and that had its moments but really went down the tubes. Now we've got Enterprise which had great premise, but not nearly as well executed as it could be.

    The other thing is that Star Trek has tended to be somewhat saccarine. It's in this future where humanity has made the utopian society and there's just enough bad guys around to give the good guys somebody to fight with. It's a very black and white universe and after a point, that gets pretty dull.

    Compare this to something like Babylon 5. There you've got a head of security who's an alcoholic, and his alcoholism actually becomes a serious problem. You've got the good guys and the bad guys but then you find out the good guys are actually just as bad as the bad guys, they just dress better.
  • FIREFLY (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Orclover (228413) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:20PM (#5225694)
    Why did Nemesis tank? same reason Firefly got cancelled just when it was starting to get good: Richard Berman!!! hes doing the same thing to the Star Trek franchise that he did to his wife to get her to cancell Firefly, fucking it hard and thuroughly. Send his bosses a message, treat anything with his taint on it (including what his wife touches)like it was covered in leper's piss, avoid like the plague. Maybe after the two of them are begging for dollars off the freeway exit the franchise will start to recover.
  • by j3110 (193209) <samterrell@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:22PM (#5225728) Homepage
    Yep... they could have shown any of the two-parter weekday episodes, and it would have been about the same quality. Just compare the movie to the borg episodes! Why did they have to get the stupidest plot ever? "Hey, let's throw some cloning into Star Trek!" What a dumb idea. Then they cut out Wil's part!?! What was he thinking? Multiplicity in space would have had a better plot.

    I don't know who wrote that POS, but it was not Star Trek material. Don't axe star trek because some idiot thought it would be a good idea to clone Pickard. It's the dumbest Star Trek ever. You can get away with stupid teen movies or stupid girly movies or even stupid action movies because people don't go to see them for their intelligence. Star Trek is about people being smart. They didn't need a damn clone if they had a kick ass weapon. A doomsday weapon and a clone and a retarded robot do NOT make a plot.

    I haven't even got to the ending. WTH? Data dies, the ship is nearly destroyed, and the romulans came to help??? It's a contrived and forced "Suprise" ending.

    Don't make dung and call it Star Trek, and people will come see it. People haven't stopped liking star trek, star trek has stopped being star trek. It's no longer new and political. People watch Star Trek because it shows them how it is possible to achieve a good bit of a Eutopia by not being stupid (at least in the original series).

    Star Trek has always been politically racy. The censors would scream at rodenberry quite often. Then he would just make the plot make fun of stupidity even more... like the half-black/half-white planet. What happened to those kinds of plots? Can you just imagine a story like that with todays technology so that it doesn't look cheesy?

    It's not dead, creativity is dead. It's dieing with the creator. It's quite sad actually.
  • by PhoenixFlare (319467) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:25PM (#5225745) Journal
    Already posted [slashdot.org] on this back when the movie first came out, but I guess I can do it again.

    I'm sorry, but Ebert's review was worthless.

    The man spends the whole 700 words of his review whining and making mistakes that nobody who had watched even a few episodes of TNG (or even TOS, for that matter) would make.

    Example:

    This far in the future they wouldn't have sparks because they wouldn't have electricity, because in a world where you can beam matter--beam it, mind you--from here to there, power obviously no longer lives in the wall and travels through wires.

    Riiiight....So the uncountable number of power conduits, control circuits, etc. that have been shown throughout all the series...Just there for decoration?

    Or these gems:

    I've also had it with the force shield that protects the Enterprise. The power on this thing is always going down.

    ...and I'm thinking, life is too short to sit through 10 movies in which the power is shifted around on these shields. The shields have been losing power for decades now, and here it is the Second Generation of Star Trek, and they still haven't fixed them. Maybe they should get new batteries.

    "technical" details aside, those sort of grade-schooler comments only reinforce the fact that he has not a clue in hell about the Trek universe. I can understand not liking the series, but geez....If you're going to rant about details, GET THEM RIGHT!

    And lastly, the part you quoted:

    I think it is time for "Star Trek" to make a mighty leap forward another 1,000 years into the future, to a time when starships do not look like rides in a 1970s amusement arcade, when aliens do not look like humans with funny foreheads, and when wonder, astonishment and literacy are permitted back into the series. Star Trek was kind of terrific once, but now it is a copy of a copy of a copy.

    I don't know about him, but i've seen 1970's arcade machines and games, and they sure as hell don't look anything like stuff in the modern Enterprise-D/E shown in recent series and movies. The only time that rang true was when it actually WAS 1970.

    As for the "humans with funny foreheads" comment, he has, again, obviously never watched more than possibly one or two episodes of TNG, that probably involved Klingons.

    Only one thing has been nailed with that review: My opinion that the man should never be allowed to review a Sci-Fi movie again.

  • by Phanatic1a (413374) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:34PM (#5225822)
    You're definitely confusing cause and effect. It was out of the theaters so fast because it bombed.
  • by danimrich (584138) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:36PM (#5225835) Homepage Journal
    Yes, I think Gene Roddenberry's spirit is missing in Nemesis. What disappointed me was that there was just one storyline and that this storyline was pretty straight rather than containing twists that would have made the movie more interesting. Surprisingly, aside from a new wonderweapon and a second "Data" there was not much going on in the technical sector, too.
    And yes, I did feel a little disappointed in the end.
  • Agreed. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by steppin_razor_LA (236684) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:37PM (#5225842) Homepage Journal
    Short of some excellent special effects, I've enjoyed many of the episodes on the shows considerably more than I have enjoyed the movies. The movies often times seem so... well.. "cheesy".

    I would have loved to have seen some follow up to DS9. The last season was dark, serious, brooding -- with an intricate and interesting plot. I remember being glued to the TV -- I couldn't wait to see what would happen next.

    I also enjoy voyager and enterprise. Like TNG, some of the episodes are very forgetable, but I've seen some very good ones come out of each.

    What I want out of a Star Trek movie is:

    1. Some continuity with the plot lines developed in the series.

    2. For the movies to be closer aligned with the current TV shows

    3. For the content of the movies to be more like a season finale / opener from the television series and less like a formulaic sci-fi movie with familiar characters.
  • by sielwolf (246764) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:39PM (#5225862) Homepage Journal
    And that's sad for a Star Trek. What did the previews make it look like?

    Hellraiser Nazis in Space.

    Also it seemed to not go for any of the interesting content-drama-adventure that ST is known for. It was more of just an action movie... which everyone smirks at if you mention it in the same sentence with Star Trek ("That bald dude... an action hero? pfff!").

    Hell even *sigh* Star Trek V had an... interesting presence. Sure, they blew up God with a photon torpedo but that's not the point. The point was that it was thought provoking SF, in line with what David Brin always touts, not space opera.

    Trying to make it that will always turn people away from Star Trek.
  • by dhovis (303725) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:41PM (#5225871)
    Try Babylon 5. The first season is out on DVD now. Some of the earlier episodes are weak, but by the time you hit Season 3, it becomes some of the best SF ever made. The buildup over several seasons is subtle and amazing. Check out Walter Koenig as Bester, he proves that he is a good actor that was given nothing to do in ST.
  • by Flamerule (467257) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:51PM (#5225968)
    Rick Berman is the problem.
    Agreed. Rick Berman and Brannon Braga are singularly and solely responsible for the downfall of Star Trek. As time has gone on, it has become blindingly obvious that the greatness of TNG after its first few crappy seasons was more of a fluke than anything else; Berman hadn't taken total control of the franchise yet. Once he had, we were fed the steaming piles of shit that were Voyager, and now Enterprise. Thankfully, DS9 was given over to Michael Piller, and because of it, DS9 was a great show.
    Firing him is the solution.
    Frankly, I don't think a solution is appropriate. Star Trek has been good when... it was a forum for good SF. As other posters have commented, TOS had episodes written by real SF writers like Harlan Ellison, Theodore Sturgeon, et al., and it had a lot of original, interesting ideas. TNG continued in the same vein, finding ways to make interesting episodes. DS9 introduced a continuing, compelling storyline that didn't end when the closing credits came on.

    OTOH, Voyager and Enterprise were and are dreck. What's the point of continuing to make Star Trek shows? I've loved Trek in the past, but I also love SF, and all I really want is a good show. Trek shows haven't been good because they were Trek, but because they were good. Babylon 5 didn't need to be Trek to be a good show... can everyone see where I'm going with this? If there are any people working on Trek for Paramount who actually care about SF, for god's sakes, leave the sinking ship, and make us some good SF shows.

    I have great memories of Star Trek; I hate having them ruined by Berman and Braga's need to drag out a dead horse and beat it, year after year. They keep (trying) to make movies and TV shows because they have secure positions at Paramount, and they need to produce content. But we don't need content from Paramount. We just need SFnal content, period, and hopefully someone more talented then Berman (not that that's difficult...) will step in and fill this need.

  • by Dolemite_the_Wiz (618862) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:07PM (#5226101) Journal
    1. 'Star Trek - Planet of the Hippies' (Insurrection) left a bad taste in everyone's mouth.

    Not even Oscar Winner F. Murray Abraham could have saved this movie. This movie should have never been made. Horrible Story, horrible script. Jonathan Frakes (Commander Riker) did a pretty good job directing with what he had to work with. It took me a long time to decide on wether or not to go see Nemisis based on the terminal putridness of this movie.

    2. Very Poor Script Selection for the Entire ST:TNG movie series.

    Let's face it, most of TNG movies should have been ditched in pre-production. I can't beleive there weren't better movie scripts to choose from. If I were the producer, Nemesis, Insurrection, and First Contact would have never been made.

    3. Expectations from Star Trek 2.

    I don't know about all of you but, 'The Wrath of Kahn' was the best Trek movie. It made the best use of all elements of the Trek world. (Bringing a character back from a single episode, Space battles, classic Kirk dialogue, scenes at home, training scenes {Kobiashi Mauru test}). I think nemesis tried too hard to set new expectations for Space battles based on the final battle in Trek 2.

    4. Evolution of Characters/TNG World.

    The only character evolutions in the ST:TNG movies were Data, Jordi, and Riker/Troi's revisit of their relationship. What about the other characters? What about the evolution of the ST:TNG world? What happened to the sexual tension Between Capt. Picard and Dr. Crusher?
    How do the character development in the movies move towards the characters portrayed in the final TV episode of TNG?

    In the Original Star Trek Movies Characters, there were attempts to show evolution of characters/the Trek world (Sulu's own command, Kirk's promotion, and Klingon Peace).

    5. Q. Not one movie even touches on Q. A great movie could be made from this character.

    6. Use Movie Screen writers instead of Trek TV writers.

    ST:TNG is notorious for it's anti-clamatic endings, most books (Non ST books) on the market today are written this way. You'd get a great story, great character development, great build up....but the ending really sucked and left you scratching your head on how this ending came to be.

    7. The Mistique of the ST:TNG TV series hasn't been transferred to the big screen. It seems like the actors are just going through the motions in the films.

    8. Let Nicholas Meyer Write/Direct again!

    This is the man who directed ST 2 (The Wrath of Kahn) and 6(the Undiscovred Country) and wrote ST 2, 4 (The Voyage Home), and 6.
    Nicholas Meyer seems to have a grasp on a good story and character development.

    I think the people at Paramount have some serious thinking to do before another Trek movie is made.

    Dolemite

  • A few reasons. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Maul (83993) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:24PM (#5226246) Journal
    I don't think it has much to do with how good or bad the movie really was. I think that it was because of the following reasons:

    1. Interest in Star Trek is fading. The last couple of Trek TV show offerings has not really done a good job of pleasing fans. I think a lot of on-and-off Star Trek fans are getting tired of Berman's crappy TV offerings, and are looking elsewhere for Science Fiction.

    2. They released it at the wrong time. They were directly competing with Harry Potter, a James Bond flick, and Two Towers. I think that a lot of people would have checked Nemesis out, except for the fact that there were probably three or four other movies that they'd rather see.

    I skipped out on Nemesis myself. It isn't that I didn't want to see it, but I rarely go to the movies nowadays. The first chance I had to go to the movie theater, I naturally went and saw the Two Towers.

    But I've heard that Nemesis isn't really all that bad. It might not be as good as Star Trek 6 or First Contact, but it is definately on my TO RENT list. I think that the home video release will see a lot more acceptance than the theatrical release.
  • by MrLint (519792) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:27PM (#5226271) Journal
    I totally agree, Rick Berman is really star trek's problem, not its solution. Nemesis wasnt 'bad' per se.. but i jut plain wasnt blown away by it. I am not gonan review ithere.. but its was no wrath of Kahn. Other berman blunders, Look at the finale of Voyager, the last scene was a bunch of guys totally uninstrested staring at a green screen. There was no directing at all going on there. It woudl have been better with a cardboard cutouts and subtitles.
  • by Golias (176380) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:29PM (#5226284)
    You know, I hear a lot of Trekkies talk about Gene Roddenberry like he's the patron saint of good sci-fi, and RIck Berman like the's the anti-Gene... But I keep coming back to this simple fact:

    Star Trek: The Next Generation got a whole lot better around season 3, when Roddenberry pretty much lost control of the show and let Berman take over. Remember that "Bones with tits" season-2 doctor? That was a direct result of Roddenberry insisting that Dr. Crusher be written out. He made a lot of those kinds of bad decisions, and the show was better off without his input.

    When I hear people talk about "the spirit of Gene Roddenberry" in a Star Trek project, I usually think "oh, you mean this one is a heavy-handed and preachy humanist morality play that insults our capacity for reason?" Sadly, the answer to that is usually "yes."

    Enterprise and Voyager sucked due to piss-poor writing and a lack of fresh ideas, not because they somehow strayed from the Roddenberry fold.

    Of the three post-TNG shows, Deep Space Nine was the farthest from Roddenberry's vision, and it's not only the only watchable show of the three, but it was often better than TNG.

    I think the movie failed simply due to horrible timing. The previews had me interested in seeing it, but by the time I had seen The Two Towers three times, I wasn't very interested in hitting the theater for a week or two, and by then Nemisis was out of the theaters. If it came back to a big screen this week, I would probably go out and see it. I'm sure that's true of a lot of geeks. If they had opened this Friday, they just would be going up against the tenth week of TTT and a lot of crap like Darkness Falls and Two Weeks Notice. They would have made piles of money that way. What the fuck were they thinking?

  • by bfwebster (90513) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:35PM (#5226328) Homepage
    First, Nemesis didn't tank because of competing films. Nemesis could have been released at any point in the year, however clear the schedule, and it would have tanked. I agree with most of the previous comments as to what's wrong with the ST franchise, including the political correctness, plot holes, cute humor, and Left Coast touchy-feeliness.

    Second, I think the real demise of the (movie) franchise came after ST3:TSFS. At that point, you had the Enterprise destroyed and Kirk, Spock, and McCoy on the run from the Federation in a Klingon cruiser. Stop for a moment and think what a killer movie you could make with that setup, going off on a completely different tangent from anything seen in ST movies or shows, but still true to form to Kirk's approach to problems. Instead, we got ST4:TVH, which put everyone back in their neat little boxes and made everything all better again (and threw in some gee-whiz eco-sensibility about whales). (Did I mention that my wife for Christmas got me a t-shirt that says "Nuke the gay whales!"? And I'm a registered Democrat.)

    Anyway, while individual episodes and movies have shown promise, the whole franchise is sinking down to heat death; Nemesis and Enterprise are likely to be the end of the Star Trek franchise. It's been a nice run, but let it go, folks. ..bruce..


  • As long as we're on the subject, here's my take.

    STTNG was a success because the writers focused on telling stories rather than developing characters. Oh, there was character development over time, sure, but because the characters were taking part in the stories, not the other way around.

    TNG was the only modern series that properly understood this, and I still have yet to sit through more than two episodes of any of the others, and I still love the reruns on TNN (although, admittedly, they seem a bit cheesier now than ten years ago).

    In other words, great, just what Sci-Fi needs: more *insanely* *deep* characters I couldn't give a shit about because they're so self-focused it seems like nothing ever happens *to* them. It's a bit like watching artists trying to engage in conversation about sports.

  • by Watts Martin (3616) <layotlNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:37PM (#5226357) Homepage

    Please. The original Star Trek concept in both the shows Roddenberry had direct involvement in were presentations of socialist utopias, and that's precisely the way he wanted it. The only capitalists we saw in the first two series were buffoons and pirates. If there was any overriding theme in "Trek," it's the theme of being "post-epic," where humans have moved past things like global warfare and, from most appearances, monetary-based economics. If you check any history of the "Trek" franchise you'll see that there were only weapons on the first Enterprise because the network insisted it have more of a military feel.

    While there may be a lot of blame to lay at the feet of Berman and Piller as executive producers, being "out of sync with American culture" is not one of them. The original "Trek" was in sync, all right--in sync with the late '60s. It was far more stereotypically Californian than Deep Space Nine, which dared to do things Roddenberry would never have allowed--volatile, conflicted main characters, ongoing story arcs involving interstellar war without clearcut villains, and characters who changed over time. (As Harlan Ellison noted with respect to his "City on the Edge of Forever" script, Roddenberry was deadset against the idea of stories that would have affected characters permanently.)

    Lastly, your whole equating of "Trek" to California tells us a whole lot more about your attitudes than it does about Trek, or for that matter, about California. News flash: not all of California is Hollywood. Not all of Hollywood is Hollywood, for that matter. As shocking as it might be, Ronald Reagan was not governor of Oklahoma before becoming president.

    Wild idea: maybe "Voyager" sucked teabags because the writers had no talent, not because of their political affiliation.

  • by xaoslaad (590527) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:40PM (#5226384)
    He doesn't know why? He doesn't know why? I hope he reads this site so I can clue him in on it.

    I was watching an episode of enterprise; the one with the Klingons abusing the subdued duterium miners. Well heads blowing up all around, phaser fire filling the sky, Klingons on the hunt, and the total fatalities: 0

    I mean good god I was sitting there screaming about how I was expecting Mr. T to come around the corner at any second. A visit to bureau42.com only reaffirmed that situation when someone with a similar sensation stated "I pity the fool who messes with duterium miners!"

    In the end they trap the Klingons in a ring of fire, not one with a signed eyebrow and what do my ears behold. Did that Klingon just say, "We don't want your dueterium anyways!" and stomp off like a small child back to his ship (teleported out anyways...)

    The Klingons I know would have teleported up, then back down directly behind the unsuspecting enterprise crew, slit their necks before they knew what happened, slain have the duterium miners as a lesson, and demanded the same yields. The two writers of that episode should have been hung up and bled dry for that sorry excuse of an episode.

    Nope Star Trek is just a T&A show now (thats TITS and ASS)... so anyways I digress. Rick Burman, obviously needs to pulls his ****ing head out of his ****ing ass.

    Go ahead mod me down for troll. But it's true. Star Trek was great. How the mighty have fallen.
  • bruce campbell (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:41PM (#5226388)
    star trek needs bruce campbell, to be the best again.
  • by visionsofmcskill (556169) <vision@NOSpam.getmp.com> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:42PM (#5226403) Homepage Journal

    The Similarities between the former greatness of both star trek and star wars are astounding when put in regards to their current demise. Both Series initiated with a great breadth of depth and intricacies in either plot or charcters. However they've devolved into explosions on the screen in place of humanity threatening wars of grander scales.

    Granted the first star wars movis and star trek series had their fair share of campy and goofy moments, but these were almost always counter-baleneced by an enormous weight of responsibility to mankind. And never the grandois responsibility of saving humanity, but the responsibility of LEARNING to do whats right in your small piece of the universe and hope that the effects of that piece of good will ripple out to the benefit of all.

    Look deeply into the better aspects of both series and you will find the characters and struggles alike are all centered around our heroes fighting with themselves or with their respective goverments to save only a small portion of the universe, which turns out to do more good than ever expected.

    But now both series are more about the adventure, and how cool it looks to go along. How much resonance is there after their missions are acomplished? almost none. The darkness of struggle and REAL pain are almost non-existant, and the brutal consequences of failure are rarely made a reality in either series. Why is this?

    Marketing

    a bunch of marketting clowns got their hands on both enterprises and said to themselves "short time gain, short time gain". They figured out how to pack the most glitz onto the least amount of "dangerous" themes to provide the greatest immediate bang to their bucks. What we have been consistently handed are pre-packaged formulated products with little more soul in them than green money can fill in.

    Darkness and potential evil crowd our lives everyday, the majority of us have trained ourselves in how to be good. We ARENT good, we just act good. And we are Painfully aware of how easy it is for us to "go to the dark side". Yet we dont, and what we look for in all our stories and films alike are the reasons WHY we dont go over. These franchises are supposed to serve to remind us of our own innate good which is only apparent after realizing how easy it is not to be good.

    Star trk and star wars no longer remind us why our moral compasses are unexplainably good for the most part. And as such they present no significant worthwhile struggle thats memorable for the satisfaction of vanquishing the darker aspects of life. They are just explosions in space with pretty women on the hood.

    In other words... Star marketing

  • by Quixadhal (45024) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:59PM (#5226563) Homepage Journal
    It's not really that hard to see why the entire Star Trek Empire is falling... the Eastern and Western Emporers (B&B) have put such a tight stranglehold on their creation, that it can't breathe.

    Star Trek has the classic problems of any television series that refuses to change. It has become stagnant. Bremen refuses to hire decent writers and let them run loose. He won't allow any cliffhangers that can't be resolved in 2 or 3 episodes. He also won't allow major characters to die, or fail, or turn evil, or just plain disappear from sight for more than 1 short story.

    Once you have a setting (which Gene provided for you), and a cast with some chemistry (DS9 and Enterprise, not Voyager), all you need to do is get some good solid writing. What makes good sci-fi? What makes good writing!

    Surprise! If I can predict how the episode will turn out before the first commercial break, it's not really that much fun to watch. Yes, I enjoy seeing T'Pol bounce around in her jumpsuit... but that's not enough.

    Suspense! If I know that everything will all turn out O.K. in the end, because the next episode will be out in a week... why do I care? In good writing, you are never quite sure if any character or endeavour will work out. Major characters can die too. They can also become evil, or just disappear without a trace. Watch Babylon 5 someday... see how the characters evolve, and see who survives and who doesn't.... and why.

    Common Sense! Enough with the time travel out of your ass already. There's a difference between asking us to suspend our disbelief and go with the idea of phased particle weapons, or warp drive; and smacking us with technobabble just to see how much blood pours out of our ears. Cause and Effect work well together, and can do wonders for finding holes in a plot.

    While I'm at it, might I also suggest not only sticking with it (don't change the direction a show is headed just because a week or two were unpopular), but letting the characters evolve over time? The Piccard of "All Good Things" was a vastly different man than the one in "Encounter at Farpoint"... and that evolution was part of the show's charm. You got the sense that he'd learned from his experiences, and that he had become a hero.

    Many people have complained about Enterprise... it certainly isn't a "Next Generation", but the chemistry is already better than TNG was for several seasons. If they would just toss them a few really GOOD scripts, I think we'd all be impressed with the results.

    *sigh* It will never happen though, it's too risky. B & B have grown too accustomed to their regular paychecks to risk failure. If they keep to the formula and let the show die a whimpering death, they can blame the fans, or competing TV shows, or sunspots. If they dare produce real stories, they might get blamed for those that don't do well.

    I think ST can be saved, if B&B will keep their damn hands off it. Hire writers who have proven track records, tell them they can do whatever they want -- but they have to ask before they can kill off major characters, and let the stories flow and stretch across seasons. See the "Thieves World" set of novels as a great example of cooperative and competitve storytelling in a common universe.
  • by gilroy (155262) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:06PM (#5226619) Homepage Journal
    Blockquoth the poster:

    I think the movie failed simply due to horrible timing. The previews had me interested in seeing it, but by the time I had seen The Two Towers three times, I wasn't very interested in hitting the theater for a week or two, and by then Nemisis was out of the theaters. If it came back to a big screen this week, I would probably go out and see it. I'm sure that's true of a lot of geeks.

    Maybe. I didn't go see it because the trailers made me think it was hackneyed, confused, effects-driven, and cliche. I don't know if any of that is true, because I haven't felt one iota to go see it now, or to await its release on DVD. The Trek movies have been getting steadily worse and this one just failed to convince me it would rise above the threshhold.


    Besides, haven't they destroyed the Enterprise in, like, every Next Generation movie? :)

  • by alkali (28338) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:06PM (#5226620)
    I think it is time for "Star Trek" to make a mighty leap forward another 1,000 years into the future, to a time when starships do not look like rides in a 1970s amusement arcade, when aliens do not look like humans with funny foreheads, and when wonder, astonishment and literacy are permitted back into the series.

    The reason Star Trek can't make such a leap is because, fundamentally, it is still "Wagon Train" in outer space. I follow Star Trek (to the extent I do anymore) mostly as a soap opera -- I no longer believe Star Trek as a vision of the future. I believed Minority Report as a vision of the future (saw it again on DVD this weekend; I was just shocked by how good it is). I believed Contact as a vision of the future. I believed Russell's The Sparrow and Children Of God as a vision of the future. I even believe 2001 and Outland as a vision of the future. But 30 years after the Apollo landing, I know the future isn't going to look like ST.

  • You must be doing a better job than I am at suppressing the memories of Season 7 aren't you. If there was one more Dream Sequence I was going to hurl the @#$! tv out the windows.

    And lets all recall the wonderful TNG movies. You know classics like the wrath of^H^H^H^H^, er Generations.

    And never credit market timing where damn crappy commercials explain it better. The Ad's where Vapid action sequences tied together with hackneyed lines. I had to call in favors to drag my wife out to it, she thought from the ads that it was going to suck.

    And don't forget, it was Roddenberry who was working against the tide to bring a cancelled series first back from the dead, then into the movies, and finally back on the air. That takes a hell of a lot more Chutzpa than takine am established franchise and running it on autopilot until it is utterly forgettable.

    That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

  • by Bamafan77 (565893) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:19PM (#5226734)
    Great post. You are absolutely on point about Rodenberry holding back TNG and Berman being the inspirational source for TNG best years. Many fans either forget this or never knew it to begin with.

    I disagree about Enterprise and Voyager sucking though. Both are/were better than 90% of the schlock on TV. Enterprise hasn't quite found its stride yet, but I wouldn't say it's truly bad TV. There are some really interesting story arcs going on there.

    Voyager was actually fairly watchable after season 1 I though. Unfortunately, most people had tuned out by then AND it was on UPN. I still catch reruns late night sometimes and find myself enjoying the show. Or maybe I was just that starved for Star Trek (pre Enterprise, remember)... :)

    And you're on point about the timing of the movie release as being the cause for its failure. Hmm, lets see - lets release it between Harry Potter and The Two Towers. Utterly brilliant guys, geeze. If he honestly thought that Star Trek would do well next to competition like that (somehow I doubt he truly believed this), he is more out-of-touch than even his most mean-spirited critics say he is.
  • by rgsmith (473418) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:26PM (#5226784)
    I was sorely disappointed after all the buzz about Nemesis being similar to 'Wrath of Kahn'. It held NONE of the dramatic acting, and none of the sheer POWER of that movie.

    They (Berman & Crew) keep screwing up by trying to tell a sci-fi story rather than telling a HUMAN story. The REAL issue is, they try to focus on too many characters at once, at the expense of the story. When the series (TNG) was running, I LOVED all the character-building episodes. They'd pick out one character, and base the entire episode around that character, with the rest of the crew in 'fringe' roles, which added continuity.

    I personally think to retire the Trek series would be a serious mistake. The things Trek 'stands for' still exist. The opportunities to tell incredible stories are immense - if for no other reason, than because they don't have to spend any amount of time detailing the history behind the characters anymore. I would recommend they take the time to examine classic literature (for story ideas), and classic films (for editing), pay more for the 'movie' crew (director, editors, etc.) than the cast (to improve attention to STORY rather than EFFECTS), and get back to telling simpler, more human stories.
  • by Golias (176380) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:38PM (#5226887)
    A bitchy character would have been fine, but Pulaski was a total rehash of McCoy, as portrayed by a weaker actor.

    Old. Technophobic. Cranky. Cynical. Hates using the transporter. Arguing about humanity with Spock/Data. The list goes on and on. Pulaski was the exact same character as McCoy, with two differences: 1. Female. (Actually, "sexless" would be a better description) 2. Not entertaining.

    Crusher, on the other hand, a widow, a single mom, an awkward romantic history with her commanding officer, these were all very new elements to Star Trek, and allowed for stories which were not warmed-over "Bones vs. Spock" arguments.

    To call her a "Stepford Wife" shows that you have as big of a problem with normal maternal figures as Gene Roddenberry did. Crusher was a military doctor who happened to like being a mom, and liked the idea of being in a relationship. She was actually one of the more interesting characters on the show.

  • by rewinn (647614) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:39PM (#5226891) Homepage
    1. A movie is a much bigger investment of the viewer's time & money than a hour TV program. Therefore it has to be about something much bigger, much more important, or much more ... something ... than this week's episode of Whateverville. The Star Trek universe is basically stable. Gradually the Federation expands, or gets stomped for a while by the Dominion; gradually Voyager goes home. There's a lot of characters who over the course of a couple of years develop characters with a few lines per show. Movie universes have to be unstable. Blow up the Death Star or the Rebellion is crushed. But what if the Enterprise doesn't stop the Great Space muffin from engulfing the earth? We know that it'll be back next week. ST is basically not movie material, despite the most fanatic fans ever. 2. ST writing really really sucks for movies. On TV it is ok for Picard to look at the Awefully Big Romlan Ship and say, "That's a predator" because you've got a small screen and rely on sound to communicate more. In a movie you have a bigger screen, more opportunity for acting; Picard would no more say "That's a predator" than Data would reply "There is no fecal matter in that statement, sir". 3. I felt especially ripped off because the publicity pretended the movie would tell us about the Romulans. The ongoing exposition of Klingon culture throughout the later TV series was a real pleasure! But this movie focussed on the Remans, wholly made up ugly guys, and gave only a few sets to the Romulans. If you want to do a Trek movie, do "Reunification" about the Vulcans & the Romulans. Don't screw around - make it a major change in the universe so we take it seriously. And get a real science fiction writer/movie writer in there. Actually ST has some good actors, they've just got lousy materials to work with
  • by Golias (176380) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:03PM (#5227051)
    I think you mistook subtly for absense in the case of Dr. Crusher's conflicts and dimensions.

    She was a character with a shitload of inner conflict. Picard, who she obviously felt some affection for, was also the man who gave the order which resulted in her husband's death. She was a loving mother who had a romantic draw to a man that was uncomfortable around children. McFadden and Stewart did a fantastic job of depicting characters with a lot of issues which they did not wish to confront. Sometimes the best drama is protrayed without dialogue.

    If you were bored by her character, I would submit that you didn't really understand what was going on with her on the show.

  • by DunbarTheInept (764) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:04PM (#5227065) Homepage
    So, Rick Berman doesn't know the answer to, "Why did Star Trek do badly?

    Of course not because the answer is, "Rick Berman".

    Fans left in droves over the last decade because of his constant attempts to transform Star Trek into a touchy-feely franchise about emotions that occasionally had some adventure from time to time, instead of the other way around like it originally was under Roddenbery.

    Look at these two ideas that *sound* like a great setting for an awesome sci-fi series, but in practice they fell flat: 1 - A federation ship on it's own stuck too far away from home to get any help has to find it's own way home and make it's own repairs by hook or by crook in a totally alien section of the universe. Great idea, right? Yeah, on paper. But in practice we got some stupid show about a crew we don't like, who we wouldn't care if they all died tomorrow because they are that annoying.

    Okay, but how about this one: 2 - The adventures of the very first enterprise ship, back in the days before Earth had become powerful, back when it was just getting it's feet wet and making mistakes and learning the hard way how to make it in space. Sounds great, right? Yeah, but then Berman, putz that he is, instead gave us a show about feelings, and how humans are all stoopid, and where they actually spent an entire episode trying to learn what one crewman's favorite food was. (No, I'm not kidding!). It's like one of those terribly boring episodes in the middle of an anime series where all they do is eat and go shopping, but stretched across the entire series instead of just one episode.

    The best way for Berman to save Trek would be for him to quit and give the helm back to people who know how to entertain.
  • Re:Blatant B5 Plug (Score:3, Insightful)

    by forged (206127) <soltesz&gmail,com> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:12PM (#5227132) Homepage Journal
    They were mostly done in 1995 using Amigas. At the time they delivered the best value within a tiny budget.

    True fans of B5 don't like the series for the digital effects. The deep characters and huge storylines with some recurring themes (thelepaths, shadows, Minbaris vs. Earth vs. Centauri, etc.) are what makes B5 desirable.

  • by Go Aptran (634129) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:26PM (#5227237)
    Rather than yet another retread of the old series... or another mediocre movie... I'd love to see Trek take some chances

    How about a miniseries on Klingons... maybe a history of the Klingon Empire?

  • by sunspot42 (455706) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:46PM (#5227383)
    >Star Trek: The Next Generation got a whole lot
    >better around season 3, when Roddenberry pretty
    >much lost control of the show and let Berman
    >take over.

    Berman had a lot of help. Michael Piller came in as co-executive producer for Season 3, working beside Berman and writing a considerable number of episodes himself (far more than Berman ever wrote or co-wrote). As Roddenberry was increasingly ill by that point, there were several producers and co-producers working on the show as well, including writers like Ira Steven Behr. They'd also attracted a stable of excellent writers by that point, particularly the brilliant Ronald Moore, who wrote classics like "Yesterday's Enterprise," "Sins Of The Father," and "The Defector" for Season 3.

    Giving Berman all (or even more than a little) credit for the success of TNG would be like giving Al Gore all the credit for inventing the Internet. I'm sure Berman was very effective at getting money out of the suits, but it's obvious the man doesn't have a clue when it comes to forging a compelling story. And that's precisely why Trek is in the trouble it's in today.
  • I agree. One of the best things about the original Trek was the sense of wonder that surrounded the show. The universe was a big, dangerous place, we *were* boldly going where no man had gone before, and everything was new and exciting.

    It's not that way any more. We're not exploring the unknown, we're just screwing around with the Klingons and the Romulans some more. Everything feels familiar and rehashed, not just because ST is 30 years old, but also because TV itself is 30 years older. There's just no "Gee Whiz" factor any more.

  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @09:11PM (#5227855)
    The problem with ST was not that it was communist-utopian. That angle was a real contribution to sci-fi and probably the one single feature that excited people so much about the series.

    The problem is that Roddenberry (not Berman!) learned his moral sensibilities from Leave it to Beaver. Inexplicably, he thought that 50's US prudeness is a universal virtue, and in his fantasy, it would remain with us for centuries. Instead of the grungy Rock and Roll, Star Trek characters would love cliche classical music (or: "wild guys" like Riker favored castrated "Jazz"). Instead of Sade or Nabakov, the future would read... oh yes, Shakespeare and Conan Doyle. Like Leave it to Beaver, it seems nobody has ever gone to the toilet on the Enterprise. It's not clear whether they even have any. Maybe they use the transporters for that? We are never told. That would be "dirty."

    You know, if there is ever going to be a communist revolution, you can count me out if as a result, we'll all end up in some sort of a prude navy. Life is Roddenberry's world seems so fucking stale because nobody pushes the envelope. That's no accident. That's written into the show by Roddenberry himself, who spent his life trying to show how the hippies will not win. The coolest concert to ever take place on the Enterprise is ... what? Data's poetry reading?

    As far as the rest of what happens in the future, it's all about the Protestant work ethic. By the time we get to the point where human labor is not necessary for sustaining our species in comfort, you would think that many of us would pursue pleasure, crazy art, group sex, drugs, body modification, etc. But no! In Roddenberry's world, we rush to sign up for the space-navy. If we're "lucky", we get uniforms and duty shifts and we spend our time taking orders from some Wald Cleaver pinhead while praying to be promoted a rank.

    Notice that Rick Berman went some ways towards undoing this "50's anti-beatnik" attutude on the shows. Can you imagine Roddenberry agreeing to Enterprise-style coed decontamination scences? Ha! The whole point of Enterprise is to spice up Rodenberry's pristine, prude world with some sex, grime and humanity. Now if they only got better characters and scriptwriters, there might be hope!

    To make vivid how totally dull (for example) TNG characters are, imagine what they would say if they took out a personal ad. I'll do one for Troi; you can do the rest on your own.

    I am a SWF seeking a special someone with whom to share my feelings. My hobbies are yoga, collecting vases, reading books you were probably assigned in High School, going on long walks in the holodeck, attending staff meetings, eating chocolate and annoying people. Just kidding! Did I mention I have a great sense of humor? Send me a message in Box 4251

  • No Wil Wheaton (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ChaoticLimbs (597275) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @09:19PM (#5227902) Journal
    Simple. No Wesley Crusher. That is all. And the #2 reason it tanked was that it didn't "feel" like a proper Star Trek plotline. The overall theme of the movie was not similar to previous Treks. Also Data dies, and that sucks. They failed to use or killed off my two favorite characters. Other than that, it just wasn't up to snuff.
  • by bluethundr (562578) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @09:41PM (#5228026) Homepage Journal
    Gene Roddenberry is over-hyped as the creator of Star Trek. He gets the credit for coming up with the basic idea, don't get me wrong. The idea of having a futuristic livingroom as a metaphor for a space dwelling futuristic civilization was new at the time. And he definitely in my book gets credit for expanding the role of NON WASPS on the tube. He had a pretty serious battle on his hands to get an Asian and a Black Woman onto his imaginary crew. He also cast a strong female into a leadership role in the original incarnation of the show. The FIRST "Number One" was soon to be wife and ex-mistress Majel Barret who was later cast into the role of Nurse Chapel. But he had to relent on something, and let that one go.

    But the real reason good trek was produced was Bob Justman who was the one who found all of the good writers that made Trek what it was. He also had a LOT of creative input. One of the best of those writers was Gene Coon who perhaps did more to shape what we now know as Trek than Gene R. or Bob! Coon did write the WORST of all TOS eps "Spock's Brain" - BRAIN BRAIN!!! WHAT IS BRAIN!!! - (sorry, couldn't help myself there) under a nomme de plume but let's not forget that he was the man who invented the Klingons [bravofleet.com] (the non brussel-srpout headed kind) in addition to penning some of the best eps while helping to stave of declining ratings (in what is now known as the flawed system for ratings they were using at the time).

    But the episodes that Roddenberry wrote were usually pretty bad to downright AWFUL [startrek.com]. Turnabout Intruder is basically an hour of enduring Shatner playing - no - NOT the role of Captain Kirk but that of AN HYSTERICAL FEMALE. Woops! Did I say that Spock's Brain was the worst episode? My bad! What a truly inauspicious way to end that fine series! And "Charlie X"? C'mon! The episodes that he wrote were usually pondeous morality plays or worse.

    And Gene Roddenberry certainly wasn't the reason that any of the movies were any good. After TMP, the studio basically rested control from him and placed stewardship of the franchise in the hands of Harve Bennet. And if you ask me Nicholas Meyer is actually the wunderkind [startrek.com] of the movie franchise!

    Roddenberry's involvement in the movies (after TMP) was minimal and mainly consisted of him firing angry memos at Meyer, Bennet and the studio brass about how they were murdering his creative lovechild! His solution? The movie he proposed for Star Treks II THROUGH VI (and I swear I am NOT making this up) consisted of the Enterprise crew travelling back in time to save JFK from being assasinated! He proposed it EVERY...SINGLE...TIME the issue of a new Trek movie came up.

    So Star Trek does have moments of greatness, but I don't really think they had much to do with Roddenberry. Star Trek at its BEST was a co-creation between Roddenberry-Justman-Coon.

    And I would agree that TNG actually picked up for a while after Berman grabbed the reigns from G.R. But his performance over time is dodgy at best. I really think that if you want to save the future of Trek, you either have to
    • Find someone new - or -
    • Bring back the creative team of Meyer and Benet
    As the creative team of Berman and Braga clearly isn't cutting the mustard at this late date.
  • by Lethyos (408045) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @10:30PM (#5228239) Journal
    ...can be read in this post [slashdot.org]. I think I was pretty close to the mark.

    This movie was never made for its fan base. It was created for the masses. It's lack of intellect failed to attract the fans and because it was a Star Trek movie, it failed to attract the masses that it targeted.

    Stupid director. So, was I close? [slashdot.org]
  • roddenbery's gone (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sbwoodside (134679) <sbwoodside@yahoo.com> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @11:13PM (#5228417) Homepage
    It was a sad, sad day when Roddenbery died. The philosopher captain, the morality dilemmas, humans as good people free from conflict -- these were all the themes he wanted for TOS. They wanted a cowboy show but he still managed to get a black woman on the bridge, a russian, the incredible spock character, all kinds of examination of what it means to be human. He finally got what he wanted with TNG. The philosopher captain, the android struggling to be human, the moral dilemmas, the quest for understanding. These are all themes that came out from roddenbery.

    People who think that these themes only developed after he died, should really go and watch Encounter at Farpoint again. After that, the series struggled for a while. It finally hit its stride in season 3, and 3 and 4 were the best. After his death, the loss of his vision was slow because is was imprinted on the cast crew writers etc. By the time it ended, I wasn't watching any more because the spirit was gone. Voyager made an attempt to revive it, well, they had a female captain, that's something but they never recaptured the spirit.

    It was Roddenbery that made TOS, especially TNG, unlike /any/ other TV, /ever/ because no one else has been principled, visionary and good at producing TV at the same time.
  • Just plain dumb! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ardias (544478) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @12:51AM (#5228956) Homepage
    When I read the review of this, I could not even want to watch it. The plot stinks. The premise has so many contrivances that I can't just suspend disbelief.

    This Picard clone grows up in a Romulan slave mine and ends up becoming the leader of Romulus? Would any self-respecting Romulan ever accept a former slave, or a human as their leader? It is far more likely that the clone would never get out of slavery.

    This just has no credibility as a plot device. Since politics in the ST reality is just a mirror of today's geopolitics, just try this idea and see if you could believe it. Imagine some nation like China making a clone of a caucasian US Navy captain, and put him to work hauling dirt. Then when the Chinese leadership gets decimated, they have this caucasian clone take over. Name one person who would buy this for a minute!

    Give me a break, Berman! Not even the Raelians believe anything that stupid!
  • why nemises failed (Score:2, Insightful)

    by turingcomplete (633413) <slashdot@@@turingcomplete...net> on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @01:19AM (#5229138) Homepage
    The biggest problem with Nemises: Councellor Troy lived, Data died. Data was one of the best characters on the show! If they wanted to kill someone it would have been a perfect opportunity to kill off Troy. They love affair between Troy and Number 1 was always so lame--neither of them could act. I hated when they had whole episodes devoted to them.

    That and there were whole parts of the movie that were never explained, like half thought-out ideas. E.g. what was the whole mind meld/sex scene/mind healing all about?
  • by Oriumpor (446718) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @04:37AM (#5229875) Homepage Journal
    The part which ties B5 away from any other Sci fi is most likely the ending of Season 4. (Where JMS wasn't sure he was going to get picked up for Season 5 or not so he had to sum up the plot in the final episode.) He made sure we all realized that no matter what a few heroes did, it all gets distorted by current historians in the end. That was a powerful message, as was almost every single episode he wrote.

    If there was a deep meaning that Gene-The human race sucks and so I wrote a few scripts-Rodenberry ever put down into film form that even comes near this one simple part of an awesome story full of wonderful little nuggets like that one I'd like to hear about it.

  • by MonkeyDluffy (577002) on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @09:34AM (#5230559)
    While the serial format has alot of good things going for it, what has to be done is creating a plotline that gets you from point A to B. Otherwise you end up with drawn out neverending soap opera like shows. While subplots are fine, they should not end up becoming the main focus.


    -MDL

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