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Thread: nuTrek & nuBSG

  1. #1
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    nuTrek & nuBSG

    It seems to me that the nuTrek reboot has some things in common with the nuBSG reboot. They both present a grittier vision of the universe, they both add angst to the characters, they both use similar visuals like shaky cameras and lens flares to add "realism."

    So I'm wondering if they both appeal to the same audience. How many of you love them both? How many of you hate them both? Who hates one and loves the other one?
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  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
    It seems to me that the nuTrek reboot has some things in common with the nuBSG reboot. They both present a grittier vision of the universe, they both add angst to the characters, they both use similar visuals like shaky cameras and lens flares to add "realism."
    A grittier nuTrek would probably include Spock killing himself or slicing off his ears to repudiate his heritage the end of the movie. Or nuSpock would kill oldSpock. And the spaceship design that would look more 60s.

    So I'm wondering if they both appeal to the same audience. How many of you love them both? How many of you hate them both? Who hates one and loves the other one?
    RDM BSG is the best TV SF since, uh... well, I'd say the original Star Trek, or early Tom Baker Who. Certainly since Stone Tape.

    My opinion of nuTrek cannot be discussed, as this board is apparently rated PG. : P
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  3. #3
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    Loved the nuTrek.

    Loved the nuBSG... at first. They began to lose me around season 2, started getting me back, losing me again, getting me back and then... awful finale, IMO. Made me feel I'd wasted years paying attention to it. Got some wonderful soundtracks out of it, a handful of excellent episodes, and a boatload of great moments. In the end, I dislike it (not hate it) because of the lost opportunity. I'll take Babylon 5 any day. At least it knew where it was going.

    I don't really see them as comparable, though. Most of the techniques you cite are standard in much of television and film these days.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by mechascorpio View Post
    At least it knew where it was going.
    Yeah, but no one else but JMS knew in time to prevent it being crap. Television is not the medium for fascistic auteurs.
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  5. #5
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    I can't quite comment on that, since I've never watched nuBSG on account of not being drawn to it at all, mainly because of the gritty setting, angsty characters and so on (not watching it does not mean I've not researched a bit about it ). And I intensely disliked nuTrek.

    But there is nothing new here, since the lack of grit and angst was what had drawn me to Trek to start with (TNG to be precise). Sometimes I feel that writers try so hard to make characters human and fallible that we end up with very depressing stories and hopeless characters, which are not always what I look for when entertaining myself.

    And it's the current trend, yeah. But I've always been more or less against trends (like for instance being a Trek fan in France or liking ENT and VOY).
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    Although I agree with you that both share the angsty, gritty vibe (holy crap, the Iron Age of comics isn't over, its switched mediums! ) I don't feel the two are really comparable in other than a few stylistic points.

    nuTrek tried to be retro, whereas nuBSG clearly only borrowed names and a core concept.

    My problems with nuTrek aren't the angsty gritty bits or the shaky cam, both of which have been done to death and I am surprised that a movie touted as "fresh and new" for a year before release would in fact be too trope-heavy to make warp. This movie was a sequence of actions scenes strung together and about the only thing that would make it seem connected is the same characters are in the scenes.

    Meanwhile, at first I liked nuBSG (while still cherishing my memories of its beloved if overly cheesy predecessor) because, unlike nuTrek the writing was pretty tight. While this continued for the most part, I disliked the growing "grittiness" factor wherein all the main characters (heck, the supporting ones too) are disfunctional jerks, all in the name of "realism." You know what? Realism is in my face 24/7, I don't need my escape mechanism mirroring it. I'm okay with characters who are in fact heroic.

    By the end of season two, I was actually hoping the Cylons would catch that fleet full of headcases and put them out of their misery. Of course, as season three unfolded and we learn that the Cylons are just as disfunctional, I was hoping the Anti-Monitor would eat that whole universe. Problem solved!
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  7. #7
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    The new BSG started off very well, especially the first season. Season two was good, season three started to go off the rails, and season four, OY season four was a TRAINWRECK!

    The new Trek...I'm waiting to see what they do with the next movie. If they crush Canon again, new Trek will cease to be in my mind.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pericles View Post
    The new BSG started off very well, especially the first season. Season two was good, season three started to go off the rails, and season four, OY season four was a TRAINWRECK!

    The new Trek...I'm waiting to see what they do with the next movie. If they crush Canon again, new Trek will cease to be in my mind.
    You summed up my feelings on both pretty well. Except I dislike the nuTrek ALOT.
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  9. #9
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    Well, first, I really don't think Star Trek (2009) is "angsty" or "gritty," so I wouldn't consider this an apples-to-apples comparison.

    Second, the BSG miniseries was so depressing and hopeless, I just couldn't get on board. I really tried to like the first season, but it was too depressing to continue watching.

    So, they're not similar. I love Star Trek (2009). I've watched it four times, and each time I see the movie, I want to go right back into the theater and watch it again. For me, it's that much fun.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tatterdemalion King View Post
    Yeah, but no one else but JMS knew in time to prevent it being crap. Television is not the medium for fascistic auteurs.
    ermmmm. okay.

    Well, at least we agree about early Tom Baker Doctor Who (though I love Season 18 as well)!
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  11. #11
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    The new BSG is probably my favorite tv show in recent memory. As a kid I loved BSG. But my taste was questionable. I thought flying motorcycles were the height of storytelling. To be honest I watched some old BSG and found it tough too watch. Except for when Baltar was in the room. Baltar is always fun to watch, whatever the universe. I absolutely loved the story arc for Baltar in the new BSG.

    What attracted me to the new BSG was a mix of things. The struggle to survive, the Biblical tale of finding a new home, and the political commentary. I think TOS was probably the last time Star Trek delivered as effective a commentary on its time. TOS was very much a story of what sort of a world humans could build if we learned to truly care for one another - a secular humanist utopia at a time when American society finally began wrestling with racism and sexism as it faced the Soviet Union in the Cold War. BSG's politics were very much about "what will we do to survive"? "Are there lines we shall not cross".

    New Star Trek... I really enjoyed it, but to be honest, its tough to compare it with old Star Trek. TOS had three seasons of television. New Star Trek... Well its hard to get message and action and introducing characters. I think the first movie did an excellent job of re-establishing the franchise. It reintroduced the characters to us. It gave us an emphasis on what it means to be the person in command, a highlight of TOS storytelling that no series really seemed to capture as well. In many ways it is parallel to Batman Begins or the remade Casino Royale. Its most important aspect was restarting. I feel the Batman franchise then showed what it was capable of by its next movie whereas Bond seemed to stumble in Quantum of Solace. Right now it remains to be seen in which direction Trek will go in now that its next film can be telling a kick-ass story about these reintroduced characters. It seems that at this point we have enough data to judge the new franchise as would with just "The Cage" or "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
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  12. #12
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    While opinions vary on JJTrek, it was Star Trek. BSG may have been the best thing since sliced bread, but it changed too much to have retained the name. When the star tells you that fans should not watch, that tells you something. And yeah, the old Baltar was almost as fun as Kor! Those shots of him mugging the camer with lighting from below are precious, and wtching Collocos and Shatner chew up the scenery together was a blast When they brought him back in DS9 with ridges, he did not disappoint. OTOH, watching the new BSG and finding myself lusting after Starbuck was... creepy...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
    It seems to me that the nuTrek reboot has some things in common with the nuBSG reboot. They both present a grittier vision of the universe, they both add angst to the characters, they both use similar visuals like shaky cameras and lens flares to add "realism."
    Yeah, that is exactly what it felt like. JJ tried to borrow from BSG and in my eyes unsuccessfully so, because it just doesn't match (e.g. the anti-ordnance guns of Enterprise firing at torps). I found it lame to just copy another successful Sci-Fi series, which in my eyes had a totally different premise.

    I could have accepted a darker, more realistic approach of Trek, but NuTrek does not have it. There are so many "accidents" in the plot and plotholes alltogether that it does not really feal more realistic. The comedian acts of Kirk (giant hands, etc.) do not add to the realism, neither. I think the fact that obviously they could not decide what kind of movie they want to make, is one of the major flaws.
    The movie is entertaining, but it is nothing special for me.
    In difference BSG usually had an intense story, dramatic arcs and compelling characters. None of it can be found in NuTrek. Other relaunches like Batman or Bond managed to do this as well, so I wondern, why JJ Abrahms could not do it, or did not want to do it.

    But to sum up my answer to your question, I think they copied many aspects of BSG considering FX, but not themewise.
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  14. #14
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    I really don't see where JJ took from BSG for Trek XI.

    A lot of the camera and other tricks for BSG were actually in Firefly, which came out the year before. However, stylistically these sort of 'realism' tricks have been all over the place in movies and television since the Blair Witch Project. So on the cinematography front JJ was just using tricks which have been in vogue for a number of years now.

    As for grittier...okay, Trek XI was not gritty. Destroying Vulcan had the same emotional impact as destroying Alderaan from Star Wars...not much, but enough to demonstrate the danger of the situation. None of the main characters died. I mean at least in Serenity you lose a few main characters. If Trek XI had killed off Uhura and Checkov then it would have been gritty, but as it was it was about as gritty as Star Wars. Having seen Trek XI twice I have to say it was clearly influenced by Star Wars, which is why I think it has broad appeal, but really irked a lot of Trek fans. I like Star Wars and Trek, but I like them both for different reasons - watching a Trek movie which felt like Star Wars are weird and somehow wrong.

    I also think that if you look at BSG - you have a lot of strong roles for women, none of that is in Trek XI. It is more like Star Wars where its all about guys with one token woman. It's a money making formula, as displayed by Star Trek, Dark Knight, and Transformers. It comes off a little dated to me, but it does work.

  15. #15
    Well, Star Trek did lose Amanda, but I think it's fair to say the resemblance between it and nuBSG are superficial. Galactica offered a far grimmer, not just grittier, universe (though at times punctuated with moments of great hope).
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