Posts Tagged ‘Enterprise’

4 Tips for Talking to the Truly Alien–Friday Four

Extraterrestrial Communication ContactIf you’re lucky enough to live in a universe with precursors, however negligent they may be, then the aliens you encounter might have more in common with you than you’d expect. But what happens when the life among the stars is so different that even basic communication is difficult? How can you hope to strike up a peace agreement, or a trade deal, or simply acknowledge each others’ right to exist, when their way of thinking is totally incompatible with us? Just imagine how much we could learn from people whose perspective is that different from ours!

As long as the guns aren’t blazing, there’s nothing to fear. With enough time and effort, communication will become possible, so stick with it. Peace is attainable, and we can reach it together by using these 4 tips for extraterrestrial communication.

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A Dismal Reflection: Apocalyptic Alternate Realities

turn-left-titanicWhen it comes to TV, things are always at risk of getting stale; if a series has a twenty episode season, for example, then a savvy viewer might realize that the lead actor’s character won’t die in episode 10. Characters rarely die at all, in fact, and permanent injuries mean permanent makeup (just ask Coulson how long he went one-handed). Even sets are rarely destroyed, since so much money goes into building them; with so little seemingly at stake (usually), it can be easy for the audience to stop seeing the enemies as threatening. How can you show the danger posed by our enemies without upsetting the status quo? Enter sci-fi’s favorite trick, the parallel universe/alternate timeline, where events and circumstances differ from the primary setting of the show in specific ways. By using these familiar-yet-strange settings, the writers can explore facets of the characters and the world in which they live that would usually be unavailable: how they might react to the destruction of their home, or the death of a critical character. Better still, since this alternate world is only around for an episode or two, massive changes to the status quo can be made, giving the writers a chance to explore apocalyptic themes that are usually out of reach.

What? No, it’s an utter coincidence I’m writing about apocalypses the same week as the election…

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Star Trek–The Humanist’s Guide to Morality

Enterprise TOS50 years ago today, Star Trek debuted on television for the first time. I know there’s no shortage of similar articles today; but whatever the motivation behind them, it all stands as a testament to the powerful impact the show has had, on both American culture in particular and the culture of the world in general. Star Trek, more than any other series, exemplifies the hopefulness and positivity in the future, to such an extent that it’s often the bar that other creators measure their work against. It was easy to be positive in the do-anything early days of modern sci-fi, but by sticking to its guns through 5 (and soon, hopefully, 6) live action series, Star Trek proved that it meant what it said.

But why does Star Trek appeal to the people that it does, and what makes it capable of staying so popular for so long? Let’s look at this briefly, by using myself as an example. That can’t be a bad idea, right?

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4 Ways Your Trip Through Time Can Go Wrong–Friday Four

Doctor TARDISAre you planning on building a time machine? Or maybe you’re just trying to figure out what to do with the one you’ve already got? Well, you’ve come to the right place, my friend. I have here four of the big mistakes that new time travelers make early in their careers. If you don’t want to return home to a future of Nazi Zombies from Space, or even just get back, excited to share your invention, only to find that no one remembers who you are, then you better read over these sci-fi missteps first.

And for the love of all that exists, DON’T EVEN GO NEAR HITLER!

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4 Biggest Retcons–Friday Four

Hurt DoctorWhen writing a long running series, keeping track of continuity can get complicated. Writers and showrunners come in and out, and even we the fans have to admit that it’s unreasonable to expect every new staff writer to be perfectly versed on the entire history of the show (and that’s especially true for shows prior to the Internet). Inevitably, that means continuity issues crop up, but they’re not always a mistake, and it’s not always the writers who are solely responsible for continuity mistakes. Sometimes, to get things back on track–and more in line with the modern incarnation of the franchise–changes will have to be made, retroactively, to what had been previously established. Sometimes these are fairly small, like adjusting dates, but sometimes they’re so huge it’s impossible to ignore them. For better or worse, here are 4 of the biggest retcons in sci-fi franchise history.

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The Fall of Star Trek and the Space Opera’s Demise

Enterprise Damagetwo weeks ago, when exploring the idea of the “anti-Trek,” I mentioned that I feel the lack of space-based TV shows in recent years can be attributed to the reimagined Battlestar Galactica. But the truth is, of course, not so simple, and the path to BSG has its roots in reality. We can point it down almost to the day: September 11, 2001.

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The Problem with Prequels

Yoda Obi-WanI think everyone’s familiar with the Star Wars prequels, and how universally panned they are. There are a lot of reasons: bad writing, bad acting, pushing the limits of CGI and greenscreen way past where the early 2000s could realistically support them… but not all of the problems are so easy to explain. Some of them aren’t limited to just Star Wars, but rather common afflictions of all (or at least most) prequels. So today we’re going to examine the concept of the prequel, as one of the inevitable ramifications of the rampant efforts towards franchise creation over the last 20 years, and look at just where they often go wrong.

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What Could Have Been: Enterprise Season 5

NX-02, Columbia, might've been an indicator of what a refitted Season 5 Enterprise would look like.

Could the NX-02, Columbia, have appeared again in Enterprise season 5?

With all this talk of cancellation, I thought it might be interesting to go back to some of those shows that were struck down in their prime, to see just what we all missed out on. One of the most well-documented cases is that of Star Trek: Enterprise season 5, which the former producers have been quite open about discussing. While some people hold out hope that Enterprise might be revived on Netflix, the reality is that as long as the movies are going, there’s no chance, and even if it was to somehow return, they’d likely have to come up with some new ideas (preferably ones that avoid the problems with prequels). Given this, let’s take a look at the fifth season we might have seen, in some alternate universe where networks in 2005 understood the concept of DVRs. Read more

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