Series-Spanning Character Arc Ideas

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Series-Spanning Character Arc Ideas

Postby AlexMcpherson79 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:35 pm

TOS, TNG and VOY all pretty much suffer from a disease I call Episodicitis, that is that due to being constructed as each episode being self-contained, and that by episodes end, the status quo had to be back in place, we couldn't really get proper arcs.
DS9 was the black sheep for obvious reasons, and also in my opinion, the best series for it, though it had its problems as they still were semi-stuck in the thought processes that come from episodicitis.


What if ENT really took DS9' "series-spanning arcs" idea and each episode was more of a chapter in the story? I look at Heroes Season 1 which is more 'Volume 1' and split into 23 chapters, and if anything, you had to start at the beginning (murder for 'out of order airing syndication' then, which is how I got TNG here in the UK when I was a kid... and Snooker wasn't on. Or Tennis. Or F1. and only when the BBC decided to actually show it on BBC 2.)

I'm not talking about "mission of the week" here, 'oh there's a plot, this guy who befriended archer is actually a CRIMINAL' Or whatever that episode was where Archer got his a$$ handed to him in the desert. (cough which time)

No, I'm thinking that Each character would have their 'overall character development arc', the idea that we start with 'this' character, and end the show where they are now 'this' person, and its a steady transition. Archer starts out as idealistic, but slowly becomes bitter at how the galaxy they're exploring is less wonder and more war and terror, he just doesn't *get* the Klingons and their culture, (a bad first contact onward?), and his part in the creation of the Federation was if anything, his desire to change things for the better, so his *bad* development (as in he kind of becomes an asshole, not as in badly-written development) had a *positive* outcome in the long run.

Hoshi... okay after what I said in the UT topic in the ds9 subforum, I'm thinking she'd have a run of starting out kind of useless as an *officer*, though we learn quickly that she wasn't part of starfleet pre-NX-01, her commission was due to Archer just wanting one of his friends who happens to be really good at languages aboard (and did NOT get on with any of the actual applicants!) so she immediately starts the show with major inadequacy issues, she doesnt get how to be an officer, doesn't like spending practically all her time aboard ship (lack of officer training results in not away team mission qualified), and early on lots of problems translating things for the crew (because she's not allowed off ship until she finishes her on-the-job officer training qualifications)

But the Hoshi after the end of the series (of a 7-year run or 'end the show at the creation of the federation')... Hoshi is now a full-on Ambassador for the United Federation of Planets... and her scopes of diplomacy is The Klingon Empire. Maybe even the Vulcans be the ones who insisted she be the Federations' first Ambassador to the Klingon Empire, on account of that despite her diminutive stature (especially compared to Klingons who average AT least six foot?) she has not just learned the language and culture, but is quite able to talk down even quite hostile Klingons, and the Vulcans attribute that Pre-Federation, Humanity and the Klingons aren't at war.... even though there has been 'many' instances where the Klingons sense of honor would have allowed them to declare war anyway. Mis-steps in Humanities reach into the galaxy situations.

Hoshi at series beginning and end are practically two entirely different characters... and we've got like seven years to get from A to B, (*whisper* while also making it so that Q decides the UFP need the Universal Translator, because most linguists in the UFP are useless, Hoshi as JUST a linguist was useless, but what Hoshi Became scares him and doesn't want another Hoshi 'I can talk the Klingons Who Venerate Not Just War but A Just War out of a Very Just War' Sato)


Is that not an epic-sounding character arc?

What do you guys think? Ideas for the others? (Travis especially!)
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Re: Series-Spanning Character Arc Ideas

Postby Graham Kennedy » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:41 am

What you're describing is actually Babylon 5. The show is really noticeable in how the characters grew and evolved over the years, not just in their attitudes but their jobs. Realistically it's kind of ridiculous that Picard was Captain of the Stargazer for like 20 years, and the E-D for like eight. B5 went through three different commanders, and by the end of the show I don't think there was a single character who wasn't in a different job. Usually not just "promoted to the next level" either, but radical stuff - Sheridan ended up President, Ivanova ended up the head Ranger, Garibaldi ended up a billionaire businessman, etc, etc.

For Enterprise... honestly I'd have Mayweather quit Starfleet and captain a ship. I'd say there was a new generation of Warp 4 cargo ships rolling out of the shipyards and he was taking one over. So not taking years to get anywhere and growing up in space, but rather visiting new planets all over. He just never fit much into the show, so I think it would be fitting to return him to his roots.

Trip, I think I'd make his the chief engineer on the project to design the Daedalus class ships. And maybe the Captain of one of the first ones.

Reed I'd make a weapons designer of some sort.
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Re: Series-Spanning Character Arc Ideas

Postby bladela » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:07 pm

Graham Kennedy wrote:What you're describing is actually Babylon 5. The show is really noticeable in how the characters grew and evolved over the years, not just in their attitudes but their jobs. Realistically it's kind of ridiculous that Picard was Captain of the Stargazer for like 20 years, and the E-D for like eight. B5 went through three different commanders, and by the end of the show I don't think there was a single character who wasn't in a different job. Usually not just "promoted to the next level" either, but radical stuff - Sheridan ended up President, Ivanova ended up the head Ranger, Garibaldi ended up a billionaire businessman, etc, etc.


in the real world i don't think anyone will remain captain for that long...
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Re: Series-Spanning Character Arc Ideas

Postby McAvoy » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:50 am

bladela wrote:
Graham Kennedy wrote:What you're describing is actually Babylon 5. The show is really noticeable in how the characters grew and evolved over the years, not just in their attitudes but their jobs. Realistically it's kind of ridiculous that Picard was Captain of the Stargazer for like 20 years, and the E-D for like eight. B5 went through three different commanders, and by the end of the show I don't think there was a single character who wasn't in a different job. Usually not just "promoted to the next level" either, but radical stuff - Sheridan ended up President, Ivanova ended up the head Ranger, Garibaldi ended up a billionaire businessman, etc, etc.


in the real world i don't think anyone will remain captain for that long...


No they don't. As is the case with new Top Gun movie coming out, they don't retain captains that long. Either they get promoted or they are pushed out.

However Star Trek follows more of the old sailing days of naval advancement. You could be a captain of a ship for a long time due to the long distances and slow speeds to cross distances.
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Re: Series-Spanning Character Arc Ideas

Postby AlexMcpherson79 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:59 pm

I always viewed it as an ever-expanding fleet - They promoted Captains to Admirals as needed, but for most, Captain is the Goal. Picard came across as already knowing that - he seemed too old to not yet be an admiral, but probably had put off the promotion just like Riker had put off transfers from The Enterprise. That though he did want to eventually be a captain, he was far far too comfortable to just suddenly accept a promotion and transfer. I don't think its coincidence that he finally accepted one when he was finally getting married to Deanna. (He wanted to stay on the same ship as his old squeeze! Maybe her answer to the question 'will you marry me' was 'only if you finally accept a promotion, Really Will, you've been stuck in a rut as First Officer, Moving on will be good for you!)

So in the end you have captains who spend longer as a captain than they did as anything else, combined. Look at Kirk - how old was he when he was given command of the Enterprise? He accepted a promotion to Admiral after five years, so for "admiral = endgoal" officers, that sounds to me like the right length of time in grade, but he realised that he missed the chair too much hence why, even as an admiral, we had TMP and TWOK with Kirk in Command. Then post-TVH's end-of-movie trial his demotion to captain basically had the klingons go "Uh, making him a captain is not punishing him!". So really, I view his captaincy as stretching from TOS through to TUC, spanning what, two decades?
2263 to 2293, so thirty years. When he joined in what, 2250, graduated 2254? so 2254-2263, nine years... so forty-odd years in starfleet, three quarters of it in command of a starship, near enough.

In my view, Starfleet is always expanding, but in the early years of the federation, there actually wouldn't be much expansion of the fleet. So, lets take the progression from this series, enterprise.

Season 1 to 3, there is only the NX-01 as an explorer. The Intrepid and one other are short-range defensive, it feels like anyway. The NX-01 was built alone, but after launch, they began to build the next one, which took three years, but by then they had finished another shipyard, so would be building two, maybe staggered so every year and half a ship launches, except no because they're building shipyards too, but they're limited in personnel draw. So that's why Admiral Forrest was the only admiral I actually think was around in Ent, (maybe the "klingot" guy from Broken Bow was an admiral, IDK, but I dont think another admiral was shown. And why would there be loads, Starfleet in the show was a handful of ships and one cruiser, the NX-01, which itself is only a small ship compared to *everyone else*.

... more thoughts but loosing track now, *scratching head*
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Re: Series-Spanning Character Arc Ideas

Postby Graham Kennedy » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:02 pm

It's clear that Starfleet really has a very different culture to current military forces in several ways. Their policy seems to be that if somebody is good at a job and happy in it, they can keep it for as long as they like. Hell in Tapestry Picard was still a Lieutenant jg at the age of 64! One promotion in an entire 40+ year career, and nobody seemed to have a problem with it. Hell, even if you do get a promotion it's purely voluntary - you can turn it down and just stay in your current job for as long as you like.
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Re: Series-Spanning Character Arc Ideas

Postby Captain Seafort » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:16 am

Graham Kennedy wrote:Hell in Tapestry Picard was still a Lieutenant jg at the age of 64! One promotion in an entire 40+ year career, and nobody seemed to have a problem with it.


That's nothing - as McAvoy said, Starfleet's career structure is more akin to the Napoleonic era. Take this guy for example - stayed a lieutenant for half a century.
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