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Topics - CX

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General Sci-Fi Discussion / Ghost in the Shell (2017)
« on: April 08, 2017, 05:33:11 PM »
I just watched it today.  It'll take me a bit to fully organize my thoughts, but my first impressions are thus (do not read if you don't want spoilers):

- They completely wasted the characters, and failed to establish any kind of connection/comradery between them.  So it rang false when there was supposed to be character drama.  Like, why does that one doctor feel the way toward the Major that she does? 

- The referral to the main character as simply "Major" rather than "the Major" was somewhat jarring to me.

- They went through great lengths to copy iconic imagery from the first two movies, yet completely changed the circumstances of them, and with the garbage men the change made no sense.

- It came off as them snatching names and iconography from the previous adaptations with their own made up shit as the actual substance of it, which came off as rather ham-fisted the majority of the time, especially how they kept explaining the concept of the fully-prosthetic body and name-dropping the show.

-A lot of the establishing shots of the city looked fake as hell, partly or maybe even mostly because of the giant ad holograms.  It's funny how much more convincing similar shots in 1982's Bladerunner were in comparison.

- I was rather disappointed that the Major didn't get an opportunity to show what an awesome hacker she was supposed to be.

- The plot really rubbed me the wrong way, because while I'll be the first to say that adaptations don't have to be exactly like the source material, they deviated so much from it that it might as well not be GitS.  Instead we got a recycled amnesia/revenge story with elements of "The Evil Corporation" not unlike what was in the Total Recall remake (and RoboCop from what I've heard).  It felt like I was essentially watching the same movie with different window-dressing.

- Other than the cityscapes, the movie was rather good-looking, though I had a laugh at the elimination of the Major's nipples from all the shots they were ripping off from the 1995 movie.

- I also liked that Aramaki was able to speak Japanese and everyone was able to understand him, as given the level of technology this only makes sense to me.  I also liked that it was not explained to death or even at all, really.  It's probably the only thing in the movie that wasn't explained to death like the audience was a bunch of idiots or something.  I do kind of think Kusinagi's mother should have been able to do the same thing, though.  Although part of me doesn't like that she has a living mother like this (her background being mysterious was honestly some of her appeal).

- The soundtrack was barely noticeable, and did nothing to stand out on its own.  The first two movies and Stand Alone Complex all had outstanding soundtracks that stand out on their own and complimented the movie/series very well.  The only use of the iconic wedding theme from the first film was relegated to the end credits (rather like Abrams Trek if you think about it), and made no sense in the context of the actual story beyond the fact that it was something from the original movie.  Of course, this seems to be the movie in a nutshell.  I am so disappointed, even though I was expecting to be disappointed.  :(

Videogames and computers / Computer Design Thoughts
« on: March 30, 2017, 02:15:42 AM »
So the vast majority of home computers these days are towers it seems. But, remembering with some nostalgia, I rather liked the design of the old desktops like the Compaq Prolinea 433 and the Apple Macintosh IIsi. Whatever caused the old desktop designs to go out of fashion, and do you think they could ever make a comeback?

Silver Screens and Boob Tubes / Man at Arms
« on: December 22, 2016, 12:06:15 AM »
Anyone else watch this YouTube channel at all?  It's all about making swords and other weapons, mostly from movies, anime, and video games from viewer requests.

Channel link

There's also some cosplay stuff and some other stuff, but I mostly watch for the Man at Arms stuff.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Sokka's Meteor Sword (Avatar: The Last Airbender)

Guts' Pre-Dragonslayer Sword (Berserk)

Kennosuke's Sword: Kuromukuro

Videogames and computers / Buying a new laptop
« on: December 21, 2016, 11:49:40 PM »
So I'm kind of looking at getting a new laptop. I don't need anything real fancy, but I do like to have at least 2 usb ports (preferably 3, though) and an HDMI port. To be honest, this is simply replacing the netbook I currently have. Why don't I get a new netbook? Well, because honestly all the ones I've looked at kind of suck, even next to the netbook I currently have, or don't look like an improvement considering the expense of getting them (looking at memory and processor mostly). I have found a few laptops that have me interested, though, and I was wondering if anyone knew anything about them in terms of a good or bad reputation:

Dell i3552-3240BLK laptop
Dell Latitude E6430
Acer Aspire ES 15 ES1-572-37X2

General Trek Discussion / Why Star Trek Enterprise Failed
« on: December 15, 2015, 01:54:56 PM »
This is an interesting article someone posted over at WordForge, which is an interesting read, even if I don't entirely agree with it.  Still, I encourage everyone to give it a read.


The upshot, though, is something I think is pretty much on the money:

Enterprise was supposed to be a grand television series about exploration, about the spirit of adventure, about the triumph of the human spirit. Instead it kept getting bogged down in gimmicks, gimmicks which it never needed and gimmicks which its audience had long since grown weary of. The show’s producers, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, were locked into a formula which told them that they had to have a reason to fire phasers every episode or their audience would stop being interested. Enterprise’s producers never had any faith in Star Trek fans and so it wasn’t long before Star Trek fans lost faith in them.

Or, as SF Debris put it, they took the audience for granted.  I'd also add to that, they had this odd kind of double-think they used in running their shows.  And what I mean by that is that they loved to play up the fact many people who have gone into STEM since TOS's original run were inspired to do so by Star Trek in some way - all these smart people are into Star Trek which makes it a good show, right?  Yet at the same time, they also seemed to have the attitude that their audience was made up of idiots who would literally eat up anything they put out that was Star Trek - that Star Trek fans were made up entirely of teenaged boys who lived in their mother's basement and so they didn't need to put any real effort into the show, and if they did all they had to do was make sure there was some eye candy to keep their butts in their seats.

Creative Writing Forum / Voyager Redux
« on: December 13, 2015, 11:23:19 PM »
So a similar discussion to this has popped up over at the SF Debris forum, which isn't surprising since he started as "The Opinionated Voyager Episode Guide."  Basically it's just a "what would you have done?" type thread, and it's kind of gotten me thinking about a few things again.  I actually did do a write up a long time ago, and so I'm starting to mentally revisit it.  This isn't a serious thing, as it would still have to take a back seat to Foundations, which itself has taken a back seat to, well, quite a bit of things, including the reviews I write.  Still, it would be fun to bounce ideas off of people, just to see what they think, which could in turn make for a better show if I ever get around to working on it.

Setting/Premise Questions:

In my original write-up I have the ship actually sticking around DS9 for at least a half season, if not a full season.  In my mind I thought that this could help make the change to the Delta Quadrant more abrupt and more dramatic, as the audience will have gotten to know the crew and their sense of "normalcy".  I'm not even sure if I'd have that shift to the DQ result in any crew deaths or not.  Both have dramatic potential.  This is entirely based on the idea of the show being about the characters, and their being stranded and wandering their way home again would still be all about them.  But I know the way I see things isn't how others are necessarily going to see them, so I'm wondering, would it actually be better to do as the original show did by sending the ship to the DQ in the first episode, which would give the show a much more straightforward premise?

Character Questions:

Tom Paris/Nick Lacarno - It's my understanding that the only reason Tom Paris wasn't Nick Lacarno is that the studio would have had to dish out royalty payments for every episode the character was in.  I'm not real clear on the actual rules regarding this, though.  For instance, if it was instead revealed that Tom Paris was simply an alias, and so the name Nick Lacarno only came up occasionally, would the royalty payments be fore the name, or would this be for the character (so every episode vs the episodes the name was used in)?  Even if it was the case that the studio could have gotten out of paying royalties for every episode in that way, would it still be better from a creative point of view to establish that these are two entirely different characters, even if they are played by the same actor (essentially as the show actually did, just that I might go further)?

Seska - Stick with her as a Cardassian spy, or should she just be a Bajoran woman?

Ship Questions:

I have to say that I've never really liked the design they used for the show.  So for me, the question would be whether to use an established design, or something new.

Silver Screens and Boob Tubes / MaximumWeeaboo
« on: October 12, 2015, 11:51:15 AM »
So my friends and I got into doing a group thing for a while.  Essentially it's a fan-zine, which was inspired by my purchase at one point of an issue of "Otaku USA."  What inspired it was that basically every review in that magazine was basically a big slobbering blowjob to whatever was being written about.  This inspired us to write some of our own stuff, which is more honest, frank, and somewhat mean-spirited (as you can tell by reading the Evangelion review in the first issue).  Sadly, of late we've pretty much stopped doing much of anything at all, let alone on a regular basis.  Still, you an certainly visit the website and check out the issues we have put out.  I'd be interested in seeing what you all think of them, as they are a bit different from my usual style.

Oh, we also all adopted pen names based on the different names called out during the MST3K episode "Space Mutiny."  I'm Bolt Vanderhuge.  ;)

We also did a couple of video reviews, though that was apparently all we could manage, as any plans after that to do a review pretty much fell through.  Still, here there are for your enjoyment:

MaximumWeeaboo's High School of the Dead Review.  And yes, the opening title riffs were made completely on the fly as we watched it.

MaximumWeeaboo's Gun Smith Cats Review.  We actually made an attempt at preparing our riffs for this one.  Here's a blooper from this process.

Another thing we thought we'd do is to make a few little humorous videos just based on things our twisted little minds thought of when watching something for our weekly anime night.  Naturally, with a name like MaximumWeeaboo, we decided to call them omake.  ;D

Hakko Learns to say "I Love You" (Canaan)

Shions Knife Trick

Ke$ha and Sins

Gendo's Health Plan

Trek Dandy

Keiichi and Belldandy at the Movies

Unleash the Power of the Sun!

Hillary for Anime

There are also a few other videos you can check out on the MaximumWeeaboo channel, like the panel that never was (we just took over an empty room at a small local con), a support video for another reviewer we like whose channel was taken down for a time, and some short review videos called "What am I Watch?!"  Also a couple of the omake were posted to a friend's channel (he made them), and it could be fun to see our early interest in trolling Grand Theft Auto IV's multiplayer, our current obsession with World of Tanks, and his fascination with the local weather being as he's from California, where they don't get that kind of weather.  ;)

Artwork and Design / Custom DVD sleeves
« on: May 19, 2015, 11:27:31 PM »
I have all of the TOS movies on DVD, the directors cuts they came out with a while ago, actually.  Anyway, the DVD cases seem to be about the same width as the old VHS covers, so I thought I'd start on a project to make my own custom DVD cover art to fit in the sleeve of the DVD cases in lieu of the original rather plain ones they came with.  So the thing I'd like to do is emulate the VHS covers I remembered from my childhood, namely the ones that places together would form a picture along their spines.

I was wondering if anyone had a good high-res version of that picture that's being used for the spines that I can split up and use for my DVD covers.

Silver Screens and Boob Tubes / CX Reviews (contains some spoilers)
« on: April 06, 2015, 12:10:27 AM »
I'd thought about waiting until I finished posting my anime reviews before starting this thread, but the more I've thought about it, the more I realized that was kind of pointless.  Plus, some of you who aren't really into anime might get more out of this thread anyway, as this set focuses more on sci-fi movies, though I don't restrict myself to just that genre. 

I mostly focus on stuff that isn't as well known to mainstream audiences in the hopes of making more people aware of them.  In the case of the things I review that are well known, I guess it's mainly to add my two cents to what has generally been said about them in the many other reviews there are for it.  I'd actually hoped to start out with Avatar or Abrams Trek (2009), I guess I just haven't been able to bring myself to start on what would be some extensive, in-depth looks at movies I find to not be very good, yet seem to be immensely popular.  Some of that also might be a reluctance to actually watch those movies again, as I'd have to in order to take the detailed notes needed to do those reviews.  Yeah, it'd be easy to just lay into them because I don't like them, but I still try to be fair and give enough information about whatever it is I'm reviewing so even if you disagree with me, you could still make an informed decision about something you might be considering taking the time to watch.

As with my anime thread, I'll be posting an index at the end of this first post, and updating the index with direct links to each review I post as I post them.  As of yet I haven't come up with a list of favorites or recommended works, but I might as I build up more reviews.  As it stands, my list here isn't nearly as long as my anime list.

Please feel free to comment on my reviews, and with your own thoughts on the media I review.  Be warned, though, that as I can get rather in depth with my reviews, that they often contain some spoilers.


So, yeah, I've become quite the anime nerd since the last time I was here.  In fact, not long after I started on my quest of looking up all the various things that looked like they might be interesting to watch and putting together a list of them, which I then began to watch alphabetically, except for a few a skipped ahead to.  Anyway, when I got to one in particular, I felt driven to write a review for it, and thus my obsession for writing a review for every anime (or animated work) I watched was born.  That was in July 2010.  As you might imagine, I have quite a few reviews now, which I'll list below alphabetically.

I plan to post a review once a day, and I'm thinking I'll post them as close to the order I originally wrote them as possible, though I'll skip ahead to any that people might request.  You'll notice that most of my early reviews tend to be a bit short - I guess I just felt most of them didn't deserve the attention I gave to Blue Gender, the first series I reviewed.  I also didn't include screencaps initially, though later on I began to do this fairly regularly as an excuse to snark at something. ;)  I'll also warn you that the majority of my reviews are somewhat spoiler heavy, as I like to discuss some specific things I liked or disliked about a series or movie.  I have tweaked some of the reviews a little from when I first posted them, but this is mostly to correct typos and the like.

Also, and I can't emphasize this enough, please feel free to comment on my reviews. 

My Recommendations:

These are shows I especially liked for whatever reason. Some are good sci-fis, some are funny, some are over-the-top action "man-ime", or well, whatever. They are in roughly "top" order, though to be honest it's kind of hard for me to rank them past the top 5.

The Index:

Everything I've written reviews for, in roughly alphabetical order (by franchise title).

I'll be posting direct links to each review as I post them.

Bulletin Board / I Have Returned
« on: June 16, 2014, 05:43:21 PM »

Okay, joking aside, I'd like to thank all of the people who made this possible.  :)  It's been a while, and I've kind of missed the place.  Not sure what else to say.   :-\  Been a while since I've talked to some people, though, now that I maybe have the opportunity (provided they're still here), I'm at a bit of a loss.

I glanced through some of the forums just to kind of get an idea for things that have been discussed, mainly to make sure something I might want to discuss hasn't been covered already.  That didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would.   :-\

Currently, I'm really big into reviews and reviewing.  I've written a number of reviews myself, which I've split up between anime and sci-fi (mostly), so that's something I could contribute right off hand if anyone's interested.

Webmasters' Corner and Member Sites / Starting a personal wiki
« on: May 28, 2009, 08:26:54 AM »
So I'm thinking of adding my own wiki to my Foundations site in order to make it easier for fans to reference characters, places, ships, etc.  How would one go about setting one up and customizing it to resemble the rest of my site?  Is there a way to set it so that only I and maybe a few staff members can edit it?

I'm not sure where else to post this, so I figured I'd make it here, and a mod or admin can move it if this isn't the right place for it.

A couple of weeks ago the cidvision (formerly known as Nov-Net) BBS went down because the domain name expired.  It was pretty much dead anyway except for some sporadic posting on the member forums, so I guess Mak has decided to let the old BBS stay dead.  Anyway, this leaves the sites hosted on TrekOnline without any forums.  Considering my options, I feel that attempting to start up another BBS for TrekOnline would be futile because it would probably never be that active.  This leaves me with requesting some forums on an already active board, and of the boards I know of, SCN is probably the best fit due to the sci-fi slant here.  As such, I'd like to request both public and private development forums for the TrekOnline members, though I can really only do this for my own sites at this point.  Foundations is the only one that would need a development forum as The Guardian of Forever is a fan fic archival site and as such needs no "development".  Rigil Kent is the only author of Star Trek: Endeavour, and the last time I talked to him he was unsure if he wanted to seek hosting here.  As for the other member, you'd have to talk to Jimi James about that, as it was his development forum.

Videogames and computers / FEAR 2
« on: April 04, 2009, 04:18:54 PM »
Well, I finished playing FEAR 2.  It was fucked up and awesome.  I don't really understand the bitching I've seen about the sequel not being as good as the first game, because it's pretty fuckin' good.  The only reason the first game is better is because it had the novelty of being new and had a mystique attached to it because of that.  FEAR 2 had the same kind of challenges you faced in the first game, with a few surprises sprinkled in for good measure.  Not to mention that Alma has a hot form in this game, which is part of how the game is fucked up, because it seems Alma has more than a passing interest in the character you play.  While the "mystery" isn't quite the same as in the first game, mostly that's because you already know pretty much everything, so while they try to do that again with some more clandestine projects for you to learn about, while fucked up it just doesn't have the OMGWTF effect of the first game's twisted mystery.

Otherwise the game is a solid shooter, and they even have you crawl into an armored mech suit a couple times, and man the wicked cannon on the APC you roll around in the game on a couple times too.  About the only thing I'd fault the game for is that I was sick to death of crawling through ducts and crawlspaces after the first game and the two expansion packs.

Oh, yeah, and the invisible ninja guys are more badass and annoying in this game.  Not only do they look more freaky, but they do more damage, are harder to see, and seem to be able to move as fast as you can with the enhancements you gain after the first level of the game.

You are playing a regular Delta Force soldier in this game, so in the first level you have to be a bit more cautious because you don't have the enhanced reflexes to make things as easy as they were right off the bat in the first game.  As far as timing, the game starts a little before the first game would've finished, with the end of the first level being the huge mushroom cloud you saw at the end of the first game.  Continuity wise, I have to wonder how the ending of the first game would really fit into the second game.  IN the end, between both that and the ending of the second game, everything is very wide open for a third game.

Now, as for the fucked up shit, it is very spoiler heavy, so only read if you don't care about being spoiled.

Apparently Alma fucks you during the last part of the last level.  They actually start that off shortly after you reach the surface of the devastated Auburn (which looks really sweet BTW) with your initial encounter with an Adult Alma.  At first it's the hag form you saw at the end of the first game, but after you fight her off, she morphs into something much easier on the eyes and the sexual subtext starts there.  In the end, after you do what you were supposed to in order to destroy her, it turns out it didn't work, and she appears again, this time very pregnant.  In the end, she approaches you and puts your hand over her belly, apparently showing you that your character is the father.

One hell of a note to end the game on.  Nothing else after the credits, unfortunately.  :-\

Silver Screens and Boob Tubes / "Based on a true story"
« on: March 22, 2009, 11:02:19 PM »
So I'm reading shit about the Amityville Horror.  Why do so many people seem to want to believe the stories they read or see in movies are absolutely true and happened exactly as they were presented in that book or movie?  I really don't understand why it has to be anything more than an entertaining story, but apparently people go so nuts about the shit that they had to change the address and appearance of the house from the story, and the town still suffers from tourists actually breaking into places to steal souvenirs.  ::)

Artwork and Design / Any interest in drawing an Andorian ship?
« on: February 23, 2009, 06:30:12 PM »
I'm posting this on behalf of a friend of mine, who's looking for an artist who might be able to draw up the plans for an Andorian merchant ship for them based on his description.

We discussed the matter very briefly. I had envisioned the ship as following the same general lines as Shran's ship, the Kumari, in terms of overall shape and nacelle position. Of course it would be considerably smaller and the central fuselage would be somewhat thicker, proportionally. Also, where the Kumari carried what appeared to be weapon pods at the outer tips of her wings, the Lerteiran would carry cargo pods for non-perishable items like hardware. (Note that the Andorian design has the nacelles placed closer to the fuselage than Human design does).

The central portion of the Andorian design is long and slim. The control room/bridge is located approximately one fourth of the way back from the nose of the ship. There is no exterior viewport on Lerteiran's control room. The ship's internal gravity is oriented lengthwise. In other words, a ladder runs the length of the ship, and one climbs downward from the control room to the living quarters deck, then to the galley/sickbay deck, then to the internal cargo bay, then to engineering. There are two airlocks, one for crew and one for cargo. There is also a wide cargo bay door at the rear of the ship for those rare (very rare) occasions when they are hauling something that cannot be brought through the cargo bay airlock.

Lerteiran is set up for a crew of three, with single quarters for three. She is currently carrying four, and things are cramped. The Andorian engineer moved in with the captain and set up a bunk bed. The new Vulcan crewman took over the engineer's old quarters, and the human crewman still has his own place for now.

There are three cargo areas. the two cargo pods outside that I already mentioned, and one internal cargo bay that is pressurized and can be heated. The internal cargo bay is used for perishable items and/or passengers. She is currently contracted for thirteen passengers, and they are stacked in there like cordwood. Bunks are fastened up the sides of the walls with barely enough room to walk between them, and only one bathroom for all thirteen women.

Lerteiran does not have a tractor beam, but she does carry two grapples, one fore and one aft. She does not have shields, but she does have hull plating. Lerteiran with a Terran style phase cannon. Originally she was fitted with an Andorian standard low yield disruptor (Andorians do not fit their commercial ships with military grade hardware). However, when Daniel Johansen bought into the partnership he used his boomer connections to score a phase cannon for them. They ripped out the disruptor and retro fitted it.

Following a recent battle, Malcolm Reed and Trip Tucker double teamed an upgrad on Lerteiran's phase cannon. They ran an overload circuit from Lerteiran's impule drive to the cannon like the one ENT uses. Lerteiran dare not use it very often however, lest they blow up the ship. The whole concoction (phase cannon and overload cable) are obviously visible afterthoughts on the ship's appearance. They can plainly be seenn as cobbled up retrofits.

Lerteiran also carries spatial torpedoes, obtained from the same place as the cannon. When Starfleet upgraded their ships to photonic torpedoes they decided to sell off their surplus supply of spatial torpedoes to the boomers. Daniel contacted his old buddies and got some. After the aforementioned recent battle, while upgrading the phase cannon, Malcolm decided to spiff up Daniel's homemade torpedo launcher. They can now carry up to three spatial torpedoes, one in the tube and two in the magazine. The torpedo launcher is also an awkward looking addition that sticks out like a sore thumb. But nobody on Lerteiran cares. The weapons have already saved their butts more than once.

Anybody who might want to take a shot, or knows somebody who might be interested, i would surely appreciate it.

Here's the series if anyone is interested.

Silver Screens and Boob Tubes / Windows DVD Maker
« on: February 14, 2009, 03:04:00 AM »
Does anyone know how one might select one's own menu picture(s) for Windows DVD Maker?

General Trek Discussion / Vulcan Writing
« on: January 19, 2009, 04:28:19 AM »
Does anyone know of any efforts, official or fan-made, to assign word or letter meanings to the various samples of Vulcan writing we've seen so far?

Videogames and computers / Screencaps from a DVD
« on: December 29, 2008, 05:25:54 PM »
So, I have the DVD, my computer can play DVDs, does anyone know how I can make screencaps?

Oh, and on a related note, does anyone know how I could make some screencaps of my game FEAR: Perseus Mandate?

General Trek Discussion / How I'd "reboot" Star Trek
« on: December 07, 2008, 03:05:47 AM »
Star Trek

Maybe it makes me something of a hypocrite, but with all this hype going on because of JJ Abrams take on Star Trek, and my general dislike of said take, I've been thinking myself of how I'd update Star Trek for modern audiences, and the conclusion I've come to is that it would be more of a retelling than a reboot.


I guess I could say that it's more or less the same as the original – somewhat optimistic, while not overly so.  Rather than confine myself to the three years the show actually lasted, I'd take on a seven season format, and I'd probably mix stand-alone episodes and multi-episode story arcs the same way I have been in Foundations.  That might upset some people, but then so would a reboot by itself.  In a way, this is more of a retelling, than a reboot, but I suppose that is in the eye of the beholder.

The show would start out with Pike in command, and more or less the crew seen in the first pilot episode.  It'd stay that way for the first season and a half or so, following the adventures of that crew, and keeping in mind that the show isn't necessarily going to follow the one season = one year format.  Over this time, there would be crew losses and other change-overs.  Spock will join the crew from another ship as a lieutenant in the science department.  Obviously another officer will be the science officer.  "Number One" will be killed or transferred, as will the original science officer.  Eventually, Pike will be injured, giving him the melted face and landing him in the iron-lung hover chair.  I'm thinking he'll be more Steven Hawking than "blink once for yes, twice for no".

At this point, Kirk will be assigned as captain of Enterprise, and after an episode or whatever story arc he comes in on is over with, he ends up choosing Spock as his first officer, and Spock elects to keep his position as science officer as well.  More adventures will happen, some of them recognizable as reworked versions of the original episodes.  More crewmembers will be killed or transferred, and more will be brought in.  This is how we get McCoy on board, as well as Chekov and Sulu, though Chekov will have a higher rank because of his position as security chief.  Keep in mind that just because there are familiar names that they might not necessarily survive the show.  At some point, Scotty will be assigned as chief engineer.

At the end of the "five year mission", the ship will be taken in for a refit, and Kirk will get his promotion.  Basically the plot of TMP will be worked into the show, and they'll have some more adventures before the ship is eventually retired from active duty and designated a training ship.

The Ship

USS Enterprise, NCC-1701:  Constitution class starship, and the second ship of her class.  As far as how the thing looks, I'd go with one of two options – either something that uses the original design as a basis, only with a much higher level of detail, or something that uses the refit TMP version as a basis, only with TOS-type features (the idea being that the refit wouldn't be as drastic then).  If I go with the first option, the refit the ship gets toward the end of its career will make it look similar to the "Phase II" concept Matt Jeffries did, and the 1701-A will be the Probert design, and probably a new class name.  If I go with the second option, the refit will still be considered a Constitution class, and the 1701-A will simply be a later version of that class.  The interior designs will reflect the option chosen, at least as far as the corridors and other sets (the ship isn't going to be completely gutted for the refit), though the bridge will still look very similar to the original, just more detailed and including a second turbolift, with the stations being adjusted.

I can't really destroy the ship until after it's been relegated to being a training ship, but I'd do my best to convey a sense of danger whenever the ship got into some kind of trouble.

Oh yeah, I'd have to redo engineering so it fits in better with the more prevalent layout we've seen on basically every other ship since TMP was made.

The Characters

Captain Christopher Pike: CO.  He took command some years ago when Enterprise's fist captain, Robert April, was promoted and reassigned.  Enterprise is Pike's second command, having previously commanded a smaller science ship (like the TOS version of a Miranda).  We never see it real time (but perhaps in flashbacks), but Pike initially got off to a rocky start with the crewmembers who stayed on from April's command.  He is later able to prove himself to them, so by the time the series starts, he and his crew are pretty tight.   Personality-wise, he is pragmatic and hard-working, and somewhat by-the-book.  He'll either be promoted, end up like we saw him in the original series, or get killed, at which point Kirk is given command of Enterprise.

Commander Shuarri Eltan: XO.  Raven-haired and highly intelligent, Eltan is a full Betazoid.  Assuming she is done correctly, she could actually be pretty useful, unlike pretty much every other Betazoid we've seen (especially Troi).  As April's former XO followed him to become his adjutant, this left the position open, and after Pike finished the interviewing process, Eltan was selected.  By the time the series starts, they are friends, though not on the level as Kirk and Spock.  She'll probably be on until half a season or so before Kirk takes over as captain, at which point she'll be killed in the line of duty.

Doctor (Commander) Philip Boyce: CMO.  Boyce served as the CMO under April, and stayed on after Pike took command.  He's a crusty old man, close to mandatory retirement.  Arrogant, cynical, and sarcastic, he's kind of an asshole, and at first Pike considered having the old man reassigned, but had to admit that he was damn good at what he did, and that he could trust the aged doctor implicitly.  His bluntness also occasionally serves as a rude wake-up call to Pike when the captain lets his idealism get the better of him.

Lieutenant Commander Marlena Moreau:  SCI/3IC.  A human woman, she's the senior science officer on Enterprise.  A very capable officer, she's actually due for another promotion, but she's holding out for a position on one of Enterprise's younger sisters, which is still being constructed at the time the series starts.  She may or may not live to transfer off the ship, thus opening up the spot for Spock either way.

Lieutenant Paul Freeman:  TAC/4IC.  Another member of April's crew that stayed on, Freeman serves as both tactical officer and security chief of the ship.  He's very tough, and not the type you’d ever want to get into a fight with, but he's also quiet and somewhat awkward with the opposite sex.  I'll probably end up killing the poor bastard and have Chekov replace him.

Lieutenant Ryan Leslie:  OPS/5IC.  Not much to say about him, other than that he stayed on after April left, and he's the senior operations officer.  I'm not even sure if I'll work Operations in as a station on the bridge or if that will be its own room.  I may replace the Engineering station with Operations, and have a smaller Damage Control station closer to the viewscreen.  Or I could make Communications smaller.  Leslie will probably get promoted and transferred off, or I might kill him, you just never know (neither do I at this point).   

Lieutenant Commander Mythral Ne'Than:  CE/6IC.  An Andorian and another hold-over from April's crew, Ne'Than (or just "Than" for short) is the ship's chief engineer.  She can also be somewhat ill-tempered and irritable, owing to her Andorian heritage, but her engineering team and the enlisted technicians are all pretty loyal to her.  Again, I'm not sure if I'd kill her or transfer her to make room for Scotty.

Lieutenant (J.G.) Arex Na Eth:  NAV/7IC.  An Edosian, Arex serves as the ship's navigation officer.  He was also a member of April's crew in this position.  I don't have much else to say about him so far, other than that while I'd try to keep his appearance (presuming there was a large enough budget and a CGI character could be superimposed over a stand-in), I wouldn't get very descriptive of him in any scripts simply because his appearance might have to be changed if any of this were ever realized on screen.  I have no special attachment to him, so he might die, or he might get transferred, since I doubt I'd keep him for the run of the series.

Lieutenant John Farrell: COM.  Not much to say about him, as he'd be a relatively minor character.  He's just the communications officer, and he'd have a few opportunities to shine because I don't like relegating characters to the background too much if I can help it.

Ensign Jana Haines: Helmsman/pilot.  Basically she's the "main" helmsman of the ship that we'd see the most of, at least until I kill her or transfer her so Sulu can replace her.

Lieutenant Spock: Science officer (later SCI/XO).  Spock will come aboard as a moderately seasoned science officer, who has served on once ship prior to being assigned to Enterprise.  Initially he'll just be another science officer who occasionally has a watch on the bridge, but as Marlena is promoted and reassigned to Defiant (yeah, you can probably guess where I'm going with that), Spock is promoted in position to her former post as senior science officer (mainly because Pike is impressed with the young half-Vulcan), but not in grade, as he remains a lieutenant for a while longer.  It isn't until he also takes on Shuarri Eltan's position as first officer that he is promoted to lieutenant commander.  Initially this was intended to be a temporary arrangement, with Spock retaining the higher rank but not the XO position in addition to his position as science officer, but Spock volunteered to stay on double duty, and Pike saw that he was able to perform both tasks adequately and decided to give him a chance.

Ensign Kevin Thomas Riley:  Navigation officer (later NAV/7IC).  A new academy graduate who's excited to have been assigned to Enterprise, he'll show up a season or so into the show as someone who sits at Navigation in one of the other shifts.  He's a good officer and pretty friendly, but he also has an Irish temper which will be provoked on occasion.  Eventually he'll replace Arex and we'll see more of him.

Captain James Tiberius Kirk: CO.  He is assigned to Enterprise after Pike is severely injured, resulting in the melted face we all know and love.  Kirk's first appearance will actually be in a visit to Pike in the hospital, where Pike kind of tells him who he can trust et. al.  Kirk had previously commanded a smaller ship as a commander, but he is promoted to captain and assigned command of Enterprise.  There isn't any insta-friendship or initial hate going on between Kirk or any of the other characters, but there will be a transition period where captain and crew get to know one another.  Over the course of the series Kirk and his crew will develop a kind of "band of brothers" relationship as far as their loyalty to everyone.  Kirk and Spock will have a very close relationship (just not the kind slashers everywhere apparently want them to have.  Still somewhat career-minded, Kirk will later accept promotion, though the V'Ger crisis will later see him back aboard Enterprise, as well as later on when his old ship becomes an Academy training ship.

Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott: CE/3IC.  Mythral Ne'Than is either going to be killed or injured in the same accident that crippled Pike, or die heroically saving the ship a short time later.  Either way Scotty is going to be her replacement, his reputation as a miracle worker already coming to be known, though Enterprise is going to be the first ship he is the chief engineer of.  He is so excited that he studies the technical manual and memorizes it.  Kirk has him also assigned as the third in command because Spock is pulling double duty, and because he feels more comfortable having a senior officer in that position, even if he isn't normally a bridge officer.

Doctor (Lieutenant Commander) Leonard Horatio McCoy:  CMO.  Dr. Boyce either croaks or is forced to retire due to his age (I'm thinking heart attack though, which I'd probably play up for drama), and Kirk has McCoy come aboard to replace him.  Kirk actually knows McCoy from his days at the Academy, as McCoy was an assistant instructor (like a TA basically) while Kirk was there.  The "Bones" nickname is actually a reference to McCoy's age, which he doesn't much care for at first even though he knows Kirk is only teasing.  McCoy naturally teases right back, and he also has the semi-confrontational relationship with Spock as in the original show/movies.

Nurse (Chief Petty Officer) Christine Chapel:  Head Nurse.  Honestly, I don't know if I'd have her there under Boyce or show up later to replace someone else.  Obviously she'd be played by a different actress than Shuarri Eltan, probably someone about the same age though to reflect her rank and experience.  I'd also retain her attraction to Spock, though I'd have to make the decision later if this would be reciprocated by Spock or not.

Lieutenant Pavel Andreievich Chekov: TAC/4IC.  Freeman is either killed or reassigned, and Chekov takes his place.  He's somewhat young, but he's good at what he does.  Though he's a security officer, he's very friendly, and endures himself to his new crew fairly quickly, probably due to some heroics on his part.  I'm afraid I don't have much more than that right now, but that's not to say Chekov would be a minor character or anything.

Lieutenant Samara Uhura: COM.  I'm not really sure what to say about her, other than that she's pretty much the same as what we saw on the original show.  She'd come aboard sometime after Kirk and replace John Farrell.  She can speak Swahili, English, and Spanish fluently, and with the help of the translation software that is standard aboard Federation starships (aka the universal translator), she can figure out most other languages, including those from alien species that haven't been previously encountered.  She's also very good with computers and electronics, and she likes to make modifications to her translation equipment.  She can also repair it if it ever becomes necessary.  She likes to sing, and she's also pretty good at mimicking voices.

Ensign Hikaru Sulu: Alpha shift helmsman/pilot.  Though of mixed Asian ancestry, Sulu was born in San Francisco.  He had aspirations of being a pilot at an early age, and as a teenager decided he wanted to join Starfleet.  Enterprise is his first assignment after graduating the Academy.  I'll definitely retain his fondness for fencing (as in not with a katana) and I might even make him gay for the hell of it.  Over the course of the series he'll earn a couple of promotions, though one of them will see him taking over the operations department and placing him in the chain of command.  Mostly this is because he finds that he has a knack for command, and Kirk does his best to groom him for his own command.  Toward the end of the series, Sulu is offered a command and accepts it.  Eventually we'll see him in command of Excelsior.

Crewman 1st Class Janice Rand: Yeoman.  I'm not sure how much of the undercurrent of attraction Kirk had for her that I'd keep, but I'd definitely lose the sexist attitude directed toward this character in that Kirk would have no reason to be surprised to have a female crewmember assigned to him as his yeoman.  If I did retain some kind of a thing between them, I'd be sure to make it completely clear that it has the potential to end Kirk's career.

Commander Willard Decker: XO.  Decker will be assigned to Enterprise by Starfleet, partially because they are uncomfortable with Spock pulling double duty on one of their larger ships, and partially because of his father's influence.  Kirk and the majority of the others will initially resent this, but as it turns out, Decker isn't the entitled brat they think he is, and he's actually quite competent at what he does.  Kirk will actually become quite fond of him, and when Kirk is promoted he recommends Decker to command Enterprise (at which point the ship undergoes a major refit).

The Movie Era

The stories for the first couple of movies will actually make up the last season or so of the series if I did it.  Starfleet would systematically refit and upgrade a large portion of its mainline ships.  Enterprise is refit when Kirk is promoted to Starfleet Command.  Later Kirk takes command of Enterprise, or rather the small task force it leads during the V'Ger crisis, though there is friction between Decker and Kirk because Kirk isn't quite used to being on his old ship without actually being in command of it.

Eventually Enterpise is assigned as an Academy training ship, largely in part because Kirk wants to keep it close by out of fondness for it, and because he is made commandant of Starfleet Academy.  The crew is essentially split up at that point, either taking positions on other ships or posts, or they become instructors at the Academy, which is what Spock, McCoy, and Scotty end up doing.

Other Vulcans in Starfleet

Spock is not the first Vulcan in Starfleet, but he is the first to commission through Starfleet Academy on Earth.  Most Vulcan officers commission through something akin to an ROTC program at the Vulcan Science Academy.  Even after a century since the end of the Earth/Romulan war and the founding of the Federation, Vulcans are still somewhat uncomfortable with Starfleet's seemingly militaristic tone, which has persisted even all this time after the Earth/Romulan War.  While part of this is because of conflict with the Klingons, there's also been a lasting element within Starfleet coming from Earth to keep the military aspect of Starfleet in the forefront, the attitude on Vulcan is that there should be more focus on the science and exploratory missions that Starfleet has also taken on.  As a result, most of their officers take posts on dedicated science ships, and most of those are on ships built by Vulcan.  So in that way Spock is something of a trailblazer and he initially takes a lot of flack for it; even his own father stops speaking to him.  Others end up following in his footsteps though, including some younger Vulcans who look up to him.  Starfleet also has a Constitution class ship in order to sort of bring Vulcan further into the fold, and they even let them have Vulcans make up the senior officers (and no, it's not named Intrepid, but rather something more appropriate).  This eventually paves the way for more Vulcans to serve in a more integrated manner within Starfleet later on.

Videogames and computers / FLV player
« on: December 06, 2008, 12:46:17 AM »
Anyone know a good FLV player I can use to play videos I've downloaded from YouTube, or at least a good converter so I can make them into MPEGs?

Get a Life! / StoreFantastic?
« on: November 25, 2008, 10:35:46 PM »
Anyone know anything about ?  I'm looking at possibly ordering something from them, but I'm skeptical as to the site's legitimacy.  Anyone have any experience with them?

Videogames and computers / Silent Hill and Resident Evil series
« on: November 02, 2008, 11:39:04 PM »
Are the Silent Hill and Resident Evil series of games available for PC?

Get a Life! / Most shocking election result you can think of
« on: November 02, 2008, 04:28:13 PM »
So...   You get up on November 5th, turn on the TV, and see the winner announced.  Which one is most likely to make your jaw drop?

  • McCain wins
  • Obama wins
  • A third party candidate wins
  • "None of the Above" wins
  • Bush wins

(yes, I'm being facetious with that last one :P)

Get a Life! / Math Problem
« on: October 29, 2008, 04:41:54 PM »
Anyone know how to find the top and bottom inner diameters of a hollow cylinder from the volume and the outer diameter?

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