Fix an Episode with 1 Change

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Fix an Episode with 1 Change

Postby Bryan Moore » Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:42 am

I feel like we've done this sporadically over the years, but rather than a long search and necro, here is my challenge:

You can pick any episode/movie/book/your own weird Chakat fan-fic that you'd improve upon with a single change, however minor or major. I'm not setting limits as to suggesting what counts as "one change" but a couple of minor changes work too. No cheating like "Let's make Picard a woman, the Enterprise-D set in the ocean, the Romulans actually be the Soviet Union, and every time Wesley isn't on screen, everyone is asking 'Where's Wesley?'"

One for me, albeit rather superfluous: Have a few lines of dialogue with Data and Crusher explain in The Inner Light as to how a civilization that was barely spaceflight capable and largely unaware of their own star's demise was able to generate a telepathic link to Picard, when no evidence of such telepathy or anywhere close to that technology was shown. Please understand, I LOVE that episode, but that always bugged me.
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Re: Fix an Episode with 1 Change

Postby Graham Kennedy » Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:49 am

Come up with something way better than "The Picard Maneuver". That thing literally sucks on every level... one, it shouldn't work against a ship that has FTL sensors, which are pretty obviously ubiquitous in Trek. Two, even if you don't have FTL sensors, you can literally see the ship make the jump on the screen as it does it, so it's perfectly obvious which one is the real one. Three, even if you didn't know, surely any 24th century ship could just shoot at both targets! Four, Data claims there is no known counter to the Maneuver, and the episode treats it as if it's this perfect tactic that allows you to destroy any ship at all. But if you know in advance that the ship is going to do the Picard Maneuver, then the Picard Maneuver can't possibly give you any help! Everyone on the bridge would know exactly which ship was the real one! And yes, they didn't want to shoot back because it would kill Picard, but for Pete's sake you're in a Galaxy class ship - the most powerful in the whole of Starfleet. Just put the damn shields up and let the Stargazer shoot at you all day long! Nothing's going to happen!

What you could use I don't really know, but off the top of my head...

What Picard did was warp right at the Ferengi ship, coming out of warp about two kilometres away - insanely close. He then dumped the antimatter pods and warp core, ejecting them right at the Ferengi ship and detonating them with a phaser barrage (powered by batteries) right as they reached the Ferengi ship. It was blown away, and the Stargazer barely survived.

The Picard Maneuver is so impressive because it needs absolute split-second timing to get it right. You have to drop out of warp with incredible accuracy, dump the pods in exactly the right direction, power away as fast as you can on impulse and then detonate them in the tiny window where you are far enough away to survive and the enemy hasn't fired at you yet. Most everyone who tried to reproduce the event in a simulator has failed, ramming into the enemy by accident, or destroying both ships in the explosion by setting it off too soon, or being destroyed by the enemy before they could set the explosion off at all. Picard is literally the only man who has ever pulled it off.

It's also plausible in that pretty much nothing could be expected to survive it. I'd bet on a GCS to survive phaser fire from the Stargazer all day long, but I wouldn't expect it to survive having a warp core and full antimatter pods blow up at point blank range.

So make this the explanation of what the Maneuver is. Then add in that when they scan the ship, oddly enough they find that despite the age and battle damage the ship's antimatter pods are in perfect condition and are 100% full and the warp core is fully functional. You could even use that - the Ferengi tell them that this is proof that Picard lied about what he did because he obviously never ejected the pods and core. It later proves that they are Ferengi fakes.

You don't say "there is no counter", because the E-D could always run away. But the damaged Stargazer is unlikely to survive the way it did originally, so the danger here is in saving Picard somehow, not in saving the E-D - though once they decide to stay, Data points out that the explosion would indeed destroy their ship. So it's not that they can't avoid the danger, it's that they choose to face it to save their Captain.

And then the tractor beam works, because even if you hit the eject button on the Stargazer, the beam holds everything in place and Picard can't eject the pods or core.

Maybe not a perfect repair, but a hell of a lot better than what we got, I think.

It sounds a lot more complex, but I think it could be done with relatively little dialogue.

This :
PICARD: I improvised. With the enemy vessel coming in for the kill, I ordered a sensor bearing, and when it went into the return arc
DATA: You performed what Starfleet textbooks now refer to as the Picard Manoeuvre.
PICARD: Well, I did what any good helmsman would have done. I dropped into high warp, stopped right off the enemy vessel's bow and fired with everything I had.
RIKER: And blowing into maximum warp speed, you appeared for an instant to be in two places at once.
PICARD: And our attacker fired on the wrong one.
RIKER: I did what any good helmsman could have done. You did it first, sir.
PICARD: It was a save our skins manoeuvre. We were finished. On fire. We had to abandon ship. We limped through space in shuttlecraft for weeks before we were picked up. I haven't thought about this for years.
DATA: Sir, the Ferengi are standing by for us to take possession of the Stargazer.


Becomes this :
PICARD: I improvised. With the enemy vessel coming in for the kill, I ordered a sensor bearing, and when it went into the return arc
DATA: You performed what Starfleet textbooks now refer to as the Picard Manoeuvre.
PICARD: Well, I did what any good helmsman would have done. I dropped into high warp, stopped a couple of kilometres right off the enemy vessel's bow with the dorsal to her, and jettisoned all of our antimatter pods directly towards their shields before they could react.
RIKER: ...then blasted out of there on impulse, firing on the pods just as they hit their shields.
PICARD: Yes, no known ship could survive an explosion of such magnitude. We barely survived it ourselves from a few thousand kilometres away.
RIKER: I did what any good helmsman could have done. Those timing and the piloting skill required are astonishing, sir. Nobody has ever achieved it again, in simulation or reality.
PICARD: It was a save our skins manoeuvre. We were finished. On fire. We had to abandon ship. We limped through space in shuttlecraft for weeks before we were picked up. I haven't thought about this for years.
DATA: Sir, the Ferengi are standing by for us to take possession of the Stargazer.


Then this :
RIKER: The Picard Manoeuvre. What is the defence against that, Data?
DATA: There is no defence, sir.
RIKER: Then devise one, fast!


Becomes :
RIKER: The Picard Manoeuvre. What is the defence against that, Data?
DATA: Only to destroy the incoming ship or evacuate the area at warp speed, sir.
RIKER: Neither is acceptable. Devise a counter that saves both ships, fast!


That would cover most of it.
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Re: Fix an Episode with 1 Change

Postby Graham Kennedy » Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:14 am

And easier one - in "The Changeling", one or two lines of dialogue to show that Uhura is NOT relearning everything from scratch. Rather, she is learning things as a way to help her recover her original memories, and they are confident that after a day or two she will be back to normal.
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Re: Fix an Episode with 1 Change

Postby Atekimogus » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:13 pm

Not sure if it counts since it is not an "episode" per se...but here it is:

At the end of Star Trek Generations........the Enterprise D does not get destroyed.

Apart from being the most shamefull thing any Enterprise probably had ever to endure, apart from making zero sense how the whole fight went down (shields or not....that BoP should be a dust cloud after the first salvo....this is a ship that vaporized a good chunk of a borg cube on first contact for gods sake) I feel that with everything that came after the whole character of TNG was completely lost.

Now don't get me wrong, First Contact is still one of my favourite STar Trek Movies and I was as impressed as anybody by the new sovereign class......but in retrospective I wonder if that wasn't the wrong move in the long run. Designwise I have to admit that the sovereign looks like a step back, immediately after First Contact it gets the shit kicked out of if from every villain they encounter (could have kept the GCS for that) and for some reason they thought everything needs to be an action movie now.

So instead of the beautiful 6 foot E-D model (probably one of the most detailed and beautifully made models in the whole of star trek) we got a CGI model from Insurrection onwards at a time where CGI just wasn't there yet imho (and still isn't...even in the JJ movies.....the ship is still not looking "real" to me...idk why).

Shame....
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Re: Fix an Episode with 1 Change

Postby Bryan Moore » Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:42 pm

Atekimogus wrote:Not sure if it counts since it is not an "episode" per se...but here it is:

At the end of Star Trek Generations........the Enterprise D does not get destroyed.

Apart from being the most shamefull thing any Enterprise probably had ever to endure, apart from making zero sense how the whole fight went down (shields or not....that BoP should be a dust cloud after the first salvo....this is a ship that vaporized a good chunk of a borg cube on first contact for gods sake) I feel that with everything that came after the whole character of TNG was completely lost.

Now don't get me wrong, First Contact is still one of my favourite STar Trek Movies and I was as impressed as anybody by the new sovereign class......but in retrospective I wonder if that wasn't the wrong move in the long run. Designwise I have to admit that the sovereign looks like a step back, immediately after First Contact it gets the shit kicked out of if from every villain they encounter (could have kept the GCS for that) and for some reason they thought everything needs to be an action movie now.

So instead of the beautiful 6 foot E-D model (probably one of the most detailed and beautifully made models in the whole of star trek) we got a CGI model from Insurrection onwards at a time where CGI just wasn't there yet imho (and still isn't...even in the JJ movies.....the ship is still not looking "real" to me...idk why).

Shame....


I love the look of the Sovereign, too, but I completely agree the death of the E-D seemed absurd (survived the freakin' Borg - TWICE!) and entirely a matter for a big movie moment with the drama of a crash landing. I would have even accepted "we lost the star drive, but the saucer escaped" with the intention of a new star drive section being built with some different updates and perhaps even with a major refit for the saucer.
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Re: Fix an Episode with 1 Change

Postby Graham Kennedy » Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:05 am

My one change for that would be simply this : put Lursa and B'Etor on a Vor'Cha class cruiser. Take a few shots to show them exchanging fire, with the E-D hitting their shields as they fire through and hit the hull. And fire a ten torpedo spread Riker asked for, as opposed to the single torp Worf fired. Everything else could be exactly as before.

Actually, given that almost all of that could be done merely by changing the VFX shots, it wouldn't surprise me if some day there was a fan version that did just that.
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Re: Fix an Episode with 1 Change

Postby Bryan Moore » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:26 am

1 great fix, across multiple episodes: Use consistent VFX for the 147 different types of Birds of Prey we see. There's the one that's the size of a Mini Cooper, one that's the size of a bus, one that's the size of the Bounty, one that's the size of the Enterprise-D, one that's the size of the Dyson Sphere, etc... That could have been done in remastering with probably a $10,000 budget.
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Re: Fix an Episode with 1 Change

Postby Graham Kennedy » Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:18 am

Hell yes. Not as much of an issue these days with CGI making it easy to scale everything to everything else.

Funny, when I first started Blendering ships I would just use the default "blender size units" and I'd literally try keeping a consistent scale by working out on paper how big things would be. And just like Trek, I wound up with ships and even parts that were wildly out of scale with one another. I can only imagine how hard it must have been to scale actual physical models that were usually built to wholly different scales.

Then I finally twigged that there's an option to set the program to actual real-world units, and the program can easily handle objects that are anything from hundredths of a millimetre to tens of kilometres in size. So now everything I make is in perfect scale to everything else.
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Re: Fix an Episode with 1 Change

Postby McAvoy » Sat Jan 26, 2019 3:18 am

It won't fix the whole movie, but replacing the BoP with a Vorcha class ship would have made more sense. That maybe the whole fight involving more than the Enterprise firing off one phaser.

I would have liked to see a no holds barred battle where the E-D is struggling against the Vorcha. Geordi figured out early on to randomly switch shield frequencies but the initial damage is done.

Maybe a ticking time bomb where they have minutes before the core explodes but they have to deal with the Vorcha first.
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Re: Fix an Episode with 1 Change

Postby Atekimogus » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:31 pm

Graham Kennedy wrote:My one change for that would be simply this : put Lursa and B'Etor on a Vor'Cha class cruiser. Take a few shots to show them exchanging fire, with the E-D hitting their shields as they fire through and hit the hull. And fire a ten torpedo spread Riker asked for, as opposed to the single torp Worf fired. Everything else could be exactly as before.

Actually, given that almost all of that could be done merely by changing the VFX shots, it wouldn't surprise me if some day there was a fan version that did just that.


That would work...no idea why they used a BoP in the first place....after touching up the 6 foot model this was probably one of the most beautiful E-Ds we ever got (Don't like "Generations" but LOVE the beautiful shots of the Enterprise) and the Vorcha Class model - with a bit of touching up and adding a couple of details - could look every bit as good as the BoP.

However, for all what we know Worf actually could have fired a full spread. Since we know the ship can launch 10 torps simultaniously....maybe they were just following the same path and it "looks" like only one big torpedo. But then....one torpedo is really all you need for a BoP, which makes the whole thing so ridiculous.


My point was more though, that after that the loss of the Enterprise, TNG lost quite a bit of their character. We lost all the sets we were used to (Ten Forward, Bridge, Sickbay etc.) and the Sovereign never really felt like "home". Now I am not sure what the thinking was here, but I - and I might be alone in that - did NOT need a new ship just because they moved to the cinema screen.

Just more detailed and updated sets would be just fine with me. On the contrary...there would have been SO many super cool things they could have shown with the Galaxy Class which are are in TNG Tech Manual but not possible on a TV budget......and what do they do? They pick the one which crashes the ship....

Heck...even a "the saucer is salvagable and we combine it to a new drive section and major refit" would have been better, imho.
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Re: Fix an Episode with 1 Change

Postby Graham Kennedy » Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:11 pm

Atekimogus wrote:
Graham Kennedy wrote:My one change for that would be simply this : put Lursa and B'Etor on a Vor'Cha class cruiser. Take a few shots to show them exchanging fire, with the E-D hitting their shields as they fire through and hit the hull. And fire a ten torpedo spread Riker asked for, as opposed to the single torp Worf fired. Everything else could be exactly as before.

Actually, given that almost all of that could be done merely by changing the VFX shots, it wouldn't surprise me if some day there was a fan version that did just that.


That would work...no idea why they used a BoP in the first place....

Most likely to save money by re-using the destruction of the BoP from ST VI.


However, for all what we know Worf actually could have fired a full spread. Since we know the ship can launch 10 torps simultaniously....maybe they were just following the same path and it "looks" like only one big torpedo. But then....one torpedo is really all you need for a BoP, which makes the whole thing so ridiculous.

Could be, but when they say "full spread" I want to see them all... well, spreading.


My point was more though, that after that the loss of the Enterprise, TNG lost quite a bit of their character. We lost all the sets we were used to (Ten Forward, Bridge, Sickbay etc.) and the Sovereign never really felt like "home". Now I am not sure what the thinking was here, but I - and I might be alone in that - did NOT need a new ship just because they moved to the cinema screen.

From what I've read, the thinking was that the Galaxy class had been designed in the days of the 4:3 TV screen and was designed to be comfortable on that ratio. When they moved to the movie world they're on screens that are way wider, so they felt they needed a new ship design. It's no accident that the Sovereign class is much flatter and longer than the Galaxy - it's to fit the flatter, wider cinema screen. It's why the Galaxy saucer is wider than it is long, and the Sovereign saucer is longer than it is wide.

Just more detailed and updated sets would be just fine with me. On the contrary...there would have been SO many super cool things they could have shown with the Galaxy Class which are are in TNG Tech Manual but not possible on a TV budget......and what do they do? They pick the one which crashes the ship....

You may be overestimating the budget a little. It's no accident that Trek movies re-use sets from the TV shows constantly. They mostly can't afford to make new sets for the movies. As it was we got to see Stellar Cartography, and that probably blew half the set budget for the whole movie. The idea that they were going to be making new sets for all sorts of areas we never got to see before just wouldn't fly back then.

Hell, even the 2009 Trek and Into Darkness saved set money by using industrial locations. When you see the concept art of what they wanted to build :

Image

Image

And what did we get? A brewery. And that movie had quadruple the budget that Generations had to work with.
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Re: Fix an Episode with 1 Change

Postby Nutso » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:02 am

Blew the budget on lens flares.
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Re: Fix an Episode with 1 Change

Postby McAvoy » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:26 am

From what I understand the E-D was designed without any insight on how the model could be mounted and how awkward it would be.

So I think the E-D was really destroyed so they can have a new ship that was easier to shoot. Or at least part of it.

The Vorcha model was detailed from what we see on TNG and I think it wouldn't have been much of a problem just repainting it maybe adding a few things to it.
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Re: Fix an Episode with 1 Change

Postby bladela » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:08 pm

McAvoy wrote:From what I understand the E-D was designed without any insight on how the model could be mounted and how awkward it would be.

So I think the E-D was really destroyed so they can have a new ship that was easier to shoot. Or at least part of it.

The Vorcha model was detailed from what we see on TNG and I think it wouldn't have been much of a problem just repainting it maybe adding a few things to it.


it is plausible ... of course, in view of the massive use of CGIs of subsequent films, it was a waste (even though I love the Ent-E)
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Re: Fix an Episode with 1 Change

Postby Atekimogus » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:45 pm

Graham Kennedy wrote:From what I've read, the thinking was that the Galaxy class had been designed in the days of the 4:3 TV screen and was designed to be comfortable on that ratio. When they moved to the movie world they're on screens that are way wider, so they felt they needed a new ship design. It's no accident that the Sovereign class is much flatter and longer than the Galaxy - it's to fit the flatter, wider cinema screen. It's why the Galaxy saucer is wider than it is long, and the Sovereign saucer is longer than it is wide.


Interesting. Now I do not agree with their train of thought at all, considering how absolutely gorgeous the ship looking in Generations.....but it is something I never even considered. Very good point indeed.


Graham Kennedy wrote:
Just more detailed and updated sets would be just fine with me. On the contrary...there would have been SO many super cool things they could have shown with the Galaxy Class which are are in TNG Tech Manual but not possible on a TV budget......and what do they do? They pick the one which crashes the ship....

You may be overestimating the budget a little. It's no accident that Trek movies re-use sets from the TV shows constantly. They mostly can't afford to make new sets for the movies. As it was we got to see Stellar Cartography, and that probably blew half the set budget for the whole movie. The idea that they were going to be making new sets for all sorts of areas we never got to see before just wouldn't fly back then.

Hell, even the 2009 Trek and Into Darkness saved set money by using industrial locations. When you see the concept art of what they wanted to build :

Image

Image

And what did we get? A brewery. And that movie had quadruple the budget that Generations had to work with.



Agreed...altough frankly...I sometimes wonder how inefficiently those movies are handled sometimes when it comes to this kind of thing nowadays. Heck..even adjusting for inflation and everything...the old Star Trek crew, directors and art department, could make probably 4-5 movies with this budget and STILL have custom made set and no redressed breweries.

Sure..mabye less CGI action shots and useless action scenes...but maybe a bit more script, dialogue and a bit more forethought, not spending half the budget on re-shoots.

(Good point about the Stellar Cartography, this is exactly what I meant. Just give us one or two such locations now and then.....would not have been to much to ask imho....instead we got a Dune Buggy)
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