The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => Starbase Café => Topic started by: t042544 on September 09, 2004, 12:20:00 am



Title: Star Control Television Series
Post by: t042544 on September 09, 2004, 12:20:00 am
So, I have heard some rumors that they are looking into developing a television series based on the Star Control 2 universe.  Has anybody heard this?


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: meep-eep on September 09, 2004, 01:44:50 am
Quote
So, I have heard some rumors that they are looking into developing a television series based on the Star Control 2 universe.  Has anybody heard this?

Ok, hoaxes 101:
Don't be too vague. "some rumours" doesn't work. Make up a source. Some magazine that noone reads, or invent one altogether. Similarly "they" is too vague. Make up someone, or some company. Choose someone who is famous, but not too famous, to make it more believable. Noone with half a brain is going to fall for it this way.
For example: "I just read in Hollywood Monthly that Sam Raimi (from Xena, Hercules and the Evil Dead movies) is negotiating with Toys for Bob for the rights to make a movie about Star Control. While I love the idea of a Star Control movie, I have my doubts whether he is such a good choice to tell a story like this. What do you think?"
I'd still have to see it to believe it, but at least you may fool a few credulous people.



Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Megagun on September 09, 2004, 01:49:43 am
Well said, meep! :P


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: t042544 on September 09, 2004, 01:58:12 am
Well then let me re-phrase my previous comment.  Would anyone watch a TV series based on Star Conrol?


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: 0xDEC0DE on September 09, 2004, 02:24:32 am
Despite the fact that I would most certainly tune in for such a show, I absolutely reject the notion that a sane television production company would sign up to produce a television show based on a decade-old video game that didn't sell well in its time, has a fairly tiny cult following (comparatively speaking), and whose "intellectual property" is currently split between two companies.  Just securing the rights to use the names, characters, et. al., would probably be quite costly, not to mention the cost of producing a sci-fi series with many "alien" aliens (as opposed to "funny forehead" aliens) of any passable quality.  To argue that financing such a show would be a bad investment is an insult to bad investments.

Where did you hear these rumours?  Do you have website links to back them up?


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Tiberian on September 09, 2004, 02:27:02 am
OxDECODE, that really cleared the table. Damn good speech. I do agree with you on everything you said.

Of course I would like to see it though.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: t042544 on September 09, 2004, 02:30:46 am
For argument sake...  Funding for a television series such as this would be no more or less than a babylon 5 or Star Trek.  Babylon which was the least expensive Sci-Fi show was at 800k per episode which is small however they did have the none nose piece aliens and the expanse world.  Three letters spells out how to cut costs CGI.  Yeah, it wasn't an all time seller, but it actually has a rather large following and is rated as #6 best game of all time by gamespy.  The most important thing is that it has a great, funny story line.  That is what would be important.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: meep-eep on September 09, 2004, 02:43:31 am
Even with a good story, a lot can be messed up. I would look to the first few eps of such a series, and go from there.

As for the actual possibility of a SC show, all you would need is one fan in a position of power within a production company. Networks seem pretty desperate for decent shows, so it could happen. I'd find an SC2 movie or mini series more likely though.

There is no relevant "intellectual property" split up. Everything they would need is with TFB. They don't need the name "Star Control", nor the game manual or the .DUK movies.

I don't know how expensive B5 was, but usually decent CGI is one of the most expensive parts of a production.

Btw, the series could be a cartoon.



Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: t042544 on September 09, 2004, 02:49:01 am
So are there any petitions to create a TV series?


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: FalconMWC on September 09, 2004, 04:33:47 am
Sure there are! - Lots of them, like the place that place that you read it t042544!  


::)


;) - Actually, not really....


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: meep-eep on September 09, 2004, 05:10:16 am
I don't know what petition they are refering too, but there is this piece from this chat with tfb (http://www.classicgaming.com/starcontrol/history/files/scchatlog.txt):
Quote
<_Stilgar> <Tsing> Did you REALLY sign the 'Turn Star Control into a movie' petition?
<Fwiffo> I will confess, we are still interested in creating more Star Control and yes we signed the petition.



Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Art on September 09, 2004, 05:24:33 am
If there were an SC2 series, it would *have* to be a cartoon. The SC3 Muppets were, overall, pretty dismal failures (in my opinion) compared to the SC2 artwork, pixellated as it may now look. The number of weird-shaped alien aliens would make the budget for designing and producing animatronics and costumes for them pretty hard. (And don't anyone dare say that we can fix that by writing out the alien aliens, or modifying the more alien-looking aliens into humans with funny face-prostheses.)

I could picture it being done well as a cartoon with a semi-serious but still jokey and kid-oriented feel. Something along the lines of the fairly good lineup Fox was running for Saturday morning cartoons (before drastically over-rerun Pokemon episodes took that over). The sort of middle ground they got with series like "Rusty and Big Guy" or "Men in Black" or "Batman Beyond" would be good. Part of me thinks that a 3D CGI animation would suit the feel of SC2 better than hand-drawn animation, which these days usually turns out looking too sloppy and kiddish or else too anime-influenced (and I really don't think an anime aesthetic would be good for this series). It would only follow the plot of the game loosely, change the Captain to a complete starring cast of the Captain and his bridge crew... yeah, I can see it working.

Random thought: When I first heard the Hyperspace theme and got it stuck in my head (irrevocably), I thought it was one of the best science fiction themes I'd ever heard, and it was a shame that I'd never get to hear it as the theme song to a TV series because it would be *perfect* for that purpose. Now I've got a little collection of remixes of Hyperspace on my computer, and the progression of types of remix almost perfectly matches the sort of evolution famous TV themes go through during the remake process as shows spin off into movies and games and TV sequels. It's a song that does remix very well, allowing me to picture some hard-driving mix like Rush's mix being the theme song to an ironic, hard-edged '90s remake of some slightly campy beloved '80s show, to which the original mix is the theme song.

It's perfect for opening credits: you have the slow take over the ship as the opening melody plays, and a break into scenes from the show as the percussions start up, and the melody is broken up into nice, repetitive phrases that cue you to switch between the main cast member's faces, followed by a series of cool action shots as we go into the bridge, and then a big crashing finish with a reprise of the main tune and the words "STAR CONTROL" across the screen.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: VOiD on September 09, 2004, 06:33:50 am
Art: I actually went ahead and imagined the Hyperspace song as a theme song for such a series, and what I heard in my head resembled quite colsely the sound of good ol' 80's shows like The A-Team and Macgyver... dunno if that's only a good thing, but still... :)


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Art on September 09, 2004, 07:22:18 am
Yeah. exactly! Original Hyperspace is like the theme song to some old '80s cartoon, and one of the newer mixes is like the theme song to the CGI '90s version of the cartoon with better voice acting and an edgier plot. (Remember when there was a craze for those, like Transformers: Beast Wars, or that new Voltron series? That was cool.)


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Shiver on September 09, 2004, 08:05:36 am
Star Control 2 would go pretty well in anime form. I would keep the fact that it's based off SC2 hushed though, as that's not going to get most people's attention. You'd need to add in a lot of characters aboard the flagship as well as among the Ur-Quan and many other species that aren't in the game to make it work.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: t042544 on September 09, 2004, 08:08:29 pm
But, if you structured it to run in a 3 year story arch.  I always envisioned it to be similar in feel to a Galaxy Quest.  Very Bawdy and pushing the edge of FCC guidelines.  I think that a cartoon what not do it justice, and with CG the cost has actually dropped significantly to create the aliens.  I am not a big fan of the nose prostetic aliens and these can be achieved by CGI.  Maybe we could start a petition to start a Television series.  Anyone know how?


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Death 999 on September 09, 2004, 11:25:05 pm
better yet, does anyone know how to make a television series?


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Tiberian on September 10, 2004, 01:49:45 am
There is one problem if the series would be a childish cartoon like Voltron (which was pretty damn good when I was 5 years old).

Kids of today have never heard of Star Control so they wouldn't consider it as a series based on a game. Then some would maybe try out the game and like it? And us oldtimers who only know the game at first follow the series just because of that... Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing after all?


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Megagun on September 10, 2004, 01:55:43 am
Well, I think it'd be fine as a CG thing..
You know.. with ships having melees...crappy humans/ur-quans talking.. :P

Now all we need is Scott to go on with his XR movie project... :P


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Terminator on September 10, 2004, 03:04:30 am
If a Star Control 2 based- cartoon or televison series/movie was made how would the captain be portrayed? We already know how the aliens would react and be portrayed, yet the captain is a bit of a variable and will determine the way it is liked. If I had any say on this I would choose a cynical character like Mel Gibson in "Payback"


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Art on September 10, 2004, 03:16:03 am
Naw, the Captain's a snotty wiseass kid who's in over his head, but whose heart of gold and iron courage win out in the end.

This is spelled out clearly in the manual, and comes out pretty clearly in all the Captain's dialogue choices. The Captain has a *very* distinct voice as a character, whichever way you choose to play him; good guy, bad guy or wishy-washy guy, he has that smart-alecky teenager-ish edge to him all the time.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Culture20 on September 10, 2004, 03:40:52 am
To further emphasise this (if it isn't too overused), some of the Captain's funnier dialog choices could be shown in imagination-trees like J.D.'s in "Scrubs."  It would let us see some aliens respond to the Captain's pithy quotes without it having a real effect on the over-arching plot (even better, the Captain's description of Dnyarri influence when talking to the Ur-Quan could match his overall conversation-patterns :) ).


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: meep-eep on September 10, 2004, 10:12:07 am
Quote
Naw, the Captain's a snotty wiseass kid who's in over his head, but whose heart of gold and iron courage win out in the end.

Heart of gold? He is a bloody slave trader! And iron courage? He lets Fwiffo do the fighting! ;)

Seriously though, I'd say the reason he wins is because of luck, or perhaps fate.



Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: FalconMWC on September 10, 2004, 07:36:57 pm
Or because its hard to lose when you have a full stack of hellbores....  ;)


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: t042544 on September 10, 2004, 08:00:35 pm
Perhaps a character like Bruce Campbell...  Kinda lucks his way through things but a sort of unfounded arrogance.  


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Megagun on September 10, 2004, 08:02:51 pm
...or because it'd be sucky when you keep losing the game... :P


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Tiberian on September 10, 2004, 09:48:31 pm
There are few pictures of the captain in the original ending sequence. When fleeing in the escape pod, he is glued to the window, watching the explosion... Then later on at the star base he is lying in bed with Talana by his side (she looks quite nice in that one). Then he is shown close as a grandpa telling stories to his grandchildren. Those pictures give a good hint to what the captain could look like in the series.

The voice of the captain in the ending of SC3 does not match the pictures very well, in my opinion. The Captain is very yuong (can someone remember, how old exactly?) and yet the voice in SC3 was very deep and mature.

Still, it could make a good show.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Lukipela on September 12, 2004, 05:11:37 pm
Quote

Kids of today have never heard of Star Control so they wouldn't consider it as a series based on a game. Then some would maybe try out the game and like it? And us oldtimers who only know the game at first follow the series just because of that... Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing after all?


Then we could all be cool and tell people "I played SC2 while it was still underground. Oldskool man!"


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Art on September 14, 2004, 09:15:45 am
Admittedly the Captain does tend to luck into a lot of situations, not least of which is totally lucking into being Captain of the Vindicator, just because for whatever random reason he's the only person who can work the computer. It's a situation that I think is quite comparable to that of the main characters in _Lexx_, who are where they are basically because they luck into being the ones aboard a super-powerful planet-killing spaceship when it goes active.

Even so, the Captain's not a total tool; he's got plenty of chances to fail if he's too stupid, too evil or too cowardly, and he manages to pull through them despite his youth and inexperience. That should be reflected.

I think while the dialogue-tree thing works well in Scrubs, here it might be too blatant a reference to the original nature of the plot as a game. It's the sort of joke that could eat away at what seriousness the plot has and make people care less about the actual story. Ideally the Captain would be like a sort of middling SC2 character -- one who has about an equal ratio of "right choices" and "joke choices" in the dialogue, who says and does the right thing when it really needs to be done but can't resist making an ass of himself way more than he should. We should be able to see that he's way in over his head and that deep down he's scared as hell about the responsibility that's on his shoulders, and he tries to defuse that tension as much as he can by being a class clown.

By the way, if you want a "Payback"-style cynical warrior, I think Commander Hayes is your man. Hayes' character is nicer than Mel Gibson's, but he should still be the tough, disillusioned, grizzled old warrior to the Captain's wiseass kid. The dynamic between the two of them really should be one of the linchpins of the show, with Hayes trying to give Zelnick sage advice and Zelnick cheerfully ignoring it much of the time and winning shocking victories out of nowhere, leaving Hayes torn between being elated and really pissed. That sort of relationship is a staple of popcorn sci-fi, but it's one that I think still has a lot of life in it.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Art on September 14, 2004, 09:17:58 am
Oh yes, and if I were writing the show Fwiffo would definitely be a recurring character, and would definitely be the fighter ace who consistently saves the ship from destruction. I think you could really milk the irony of Fwiffo being a craven coward whom the Captain has to browbeat, threaten, and force into combat, who turns into an unstoppable killing machine once battle becomes inevitable. "I close my eye, set acceleration to maximum, and press the fire stud wildly."


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Death 999 on September 14, 2004, 09:12:38 pm
And the four Pkunk captains should be a lot of fun too. Always have them arguing over the interpretation of the omens, and occasionally one of them says something really wise.

Also, there needs to eventually be an on-board Frungy-pit to accommodate the new allies, but we should NEVER see the game in progress.

We could also see a LOT of Utwig masks.

The shofixti maidens could be unfrozen early, and quickly have to be put back in stasis so they don't get too old.

There could be interesting dynamics if Zelnick sells a second egg fragment to get a Mauler ship... culture clash with the captain there.
And of course when Zelnick tours his new purchase he is revolted at the secondary weapon, but all sales are final. And he only discovers about the use of the egg cases to research better slave harnesses afterwards...

The captain of the Mauler could be a corporate deadweight who was promoted past his or her (say, her) level of competence. It was then determined that a captain was needed for the Mauler being sold, and rather than the furnace, she wouldn't be much of a loss as a captain. So she is borderline competent, and requires significant adjustment to the new atmosphere.
Of course, to maintain a feel-good tone, this change will enable her to blossom. Also helping will be that all of the crew of the Mauler except the captain will have to be Syreen-sucked Mycon, so they can be furnaced without quite as major ethical issues.

Also, assuming the Drruge captain was female, we could have an amusing plot thread as she tries to compete with Talana... note that if she's not hanging in her chains she will be free to wipe her nose drool, and that would take care of the worst of the aesthetic problems. Also, girls with tails == cool.


As far as Hayes is concerned, we could show Zelnick TRYING to take his practical advice, like about mining, but being frustrated with the actual execution, since Hayes won't be there 90% of the time. Hayes will be the only person Zelnick can have a simple conversation between equals as collaborators -- the other ship captains are subordinate, and the aliens, though allied, are not usually going to be really close collaborators.

Zelnick will try to keep a brave face for the crew, but after mining out Alpha Centauri and suffering hideous losses, he's going to have to pour it out somewhere, and it's going to be with Hayes.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Art on September 15, 2004, 01:41:23 am
Interesting ideas all...

I find the Hayes/Zelnick dynamic to be interesting in the game. The thing is that Hayes is obviously quite a bit older and wiser than Zelnick; however, Hayes defers to Zelnick a lot, addressing him as "Captain" and giving him ultimate authority over the operation. It could be because Hayes has always been a proper military man who needed a leader to defer to, or because Hayes really does see great potential in the boy that needs to be drawn out, or, interestingly, because Hayes is at heart a little bit afraid of Zelnick and what he can do. Zelnick himself is a strange, slightly alien weapon in Hayes' hands -- he's the one with the huge, alien starship that no one else can make work, and that puts him in a really odd, tense position of power versus everyone else.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: piratebob on September 15, 2004, 10:22:38 am
I think one of the best scenes would be the confrontation with Tanaka. This old, honor-bound warrior, finding the SIS, and babbling a confusing stream of insults. Zelnick, bewildered, trying to reason with him before finally giving in to his emotions and verbally blasting this senile old alien, and then Tanaka finally getting it. That would be awesome to see.

Another good one would be first contact with the Orz. Translator's note, and then a stream of Orzish.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Cronos on September 15, 2004, 08:27:52 pm
[Intro]

Fade in, a large blue starship glides against a black sky in the foreground. In the background, Saturn and it's magnificent rings, the sun in the distance.

Scene change, the Bridge of the Vindicator. The captain asks for a status report from, Velts. The crew is gradually introduced but an air of tension is in there. No answers to signals. None picked up.

The earth appears on the main screen, blue, serene, beautiful. The crew sighs in relief. Earth is still there, but the tension remains, they still havent picked up a signal. The captain wishes, idly, that Captain Burton was here to witness this event and makes mention of those he "left behind".

A gasp, the crew snaps their gaze to the viewscreen in horror. The earth slowly turns orange and then a bloody red, cue in "Starbase - Under a Red Sky". Nearby a glint can be seen, silver and rotating, the starbase. As they close in radar scans detect a vessel approaching, hailing them. The captain, still dumbfounded as to what it is thats wrong with the earth dumbly orders an open channel.

Cue in opening Ur-Quan "Interloper" sequence from the start of the game. The vindicator closes to the starbase, noticing that power outages are everywhere. A signal is recieved.

End of Teaser, cue Theme Song "Hyperspace" :)

I have a friend that can write scripts so if need be I can get that transcribed. If anything I think we should use a mix of Precursors and original music.

The first season would be all about exploration, just visiting the local area, dealing with the Ilwrath, first contact with the Pkunk, Melnorme and initial contact with the ZFP as well as, perhaps, a return to Vela in the final episode.

Season two would include the making of allies. Discovering the Orz and the resulting extremely creepy fate of the Androsynth, darting through Ur-Quan space to get to the ZFP homeworld, convincing the Spathi to join the new Alliance, roughing it up with the Vux, meeting with Tanaka, dealing with an increasing number of probes ("Another Probe!? Thats the 12th one this week!") and making a cliff hanger with the Vindicator about the enter Quasi-Space for the first time...

Season three would involve hunting for the necessary parts for the portal spawner, initial encounter with the Thraddash, Druuge, Utwig/Supox and General Zex, the Plight of the Syreen and the insanity of the Mycon. The cliffhanger for this one, would be a confrontation with the Talking Pet and the Zombified Blobbehs of dewm!!! (Formerly known as the Umgah).

Season four would have the captain dragging in Zex's beast in exchange for the Maidens, Tanaka being overjoyed at the prospect, contact with the Yehat, both the Starship Clans and the Royalists, the Distress of the ZFP and ending with a dramatic cliffhanger with first contact with the Kohr-Ah.

Season five would be progressively darker then the previous ones. The ZFP may have been saved but the Quasi Space generator took a beating and the Vindicator is trump trash in the middle of Ur-Quan and Kohr-Ah space. Captain Decker, a side character of an escort ship decides to sacrifice his ship and crew to give the vindicator time enough to hyperspace out as a dozen Kohr-Ah Marauders enter the scene.

Upon the captains return to the starbase, he finds that the Spathi have up and left, that a mysterious fleet is on the move nearby and that based upon computer simulations, the Kohr-Ah would win their war in a matter of a single year. The only bit of GOOD news is that the Shofixti have returned and are eager to help the new alliance in any way (leading to the introduction of a Shofixti side character).

The captain heads for the Spathi and discovers their fate. Dismayed, he collects the hyperspace caster.

Eager to improve the situation, the Captain gets into gear and heads over to Yehat space. On the way he encounters the Pkunk fleet on the move to their inevitable deaths in Yehat space. Unable to convince the Pkunk to return home, he continues to the yehat. There he confronts four Yehat Terminators with evidence, hard solid evidence that the Shofixti are reborn. The Yehat Captain coldly replies that he must obey the orders of his Queen and moves to attack. Cue in dramatic music as the Terminators close in on the Vindicator. At the last second, two of the Terminators break formation and Attack their brethren, downing the Royalist forces in a single swift strike. Cue in the conversation of the Yehat, Honour and the fate of the Shofixti in a cutscene.

Despite this, however, the rebirth of the Shofixti has triggered a catastrophic civil war amongst the Yehat. Cut to a scene of terminators innumerable fighting, retreating, shielding and being destroyed all to the cue of dramatic and epic music. The season ends with the captain in utter shock, realising that instead of helping to end a war, he has only started one.

I'll get the rest down later. Sleep required.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Fsi-Dib on September 15, 2004, 10:24:35 pm
A SC2 cartoony series would be excellent. My absolute favorite style would be what they used in Titan A.E.; a mixture of both cartoon and CGI.

One evening I developed one episode in my mind (hey, everyone has at least *thought* of a SC TV series before this thread came up!), and I came to the conclusion that the investegation of Eta Vulpeculae (Androsynth homeworld, I think it was Eta Vulpeculae), would be rather frightening if done well.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Death 999 on September 15, 2004, 10:33:31 pm
Why would the Earth suddenly turn red as you get close? I figure it was just a game bug that it appeared blue from a great distance, yet was red up close.

Also, the alliance did know about slave-shields before, so there would be no doubt as to what the effect was.

Personally, I would start with the pilot being the story leading up to the beginning of the game. Otherwise the question of 'how the heck did we get here?' is quite strong.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: 0xDEC0DE on September 15, 2004, 10:53:14 pm
Now that we're indulging ourselves with discussion of what plot points we would like to see if a show were ever produced, I see another problem with the idea:  Television has already had a multi-year scence fiction story about Earth fighting and losing a war against an alien power, a starbase (space station) being cut off from Earth and seeking to restore freedom, ancient alien powers battling each other for doctrinal supremacy, a quest to unravel the mysteries of the ancients, "alien" aliens, and cross-species romance: Babylon 5 (http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/lurker.html).

Hell, in Season 4, the Vorlons and Shadows even deployed their versions of "planetary siege units", and the results were much more impressive than Dreadnoughts and Marauders.  A Star Control series would be an "also-ran"; all of its themes were handled before -- quite adeptly, I might add -- and then some.

Again, that's not to say that I wouldn't watch were someone dumb enough to put it on the air, but I'd think that the possibility of such is nil.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: t042544 on September 16, 2004, 12:06:28 am
I think the big difference is Babylon 5 was completely serious.  You need to look at the idea of a Space Dramedy, I mean how cool would it be if Captain Picard would shoot first and ask questions later.  All of the current series show a superior human race who is too good to be fighting.  What happens when they don't know what to do and they make a huge galactic mistake.  It is easy to do comparisons and show similar series on TV, look at all the CSI series and family sitcoms.  They are all identical.  However, they all appeal to a certain demographic.  Star Control would appeal to male 18 to 34 demo.  Paul Reiche has said in the past how similar he has thought Babylon 5 was to Star Control.  Look at how close Deep Space 9 and Babylon 5 were.  I personaly think it is a splendid idea.  More importantly is sounds really, really fun to watch.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Death 999 on September 16, 2004, 05:13:09 am
Collossal differences between B5 and SC:

The Vorlons are strongly unequal to the Kzer-Za.

The tone of B5 is very different:

The threat does not start off as 'we must go hidden from the great enemy, or else they'll destroy us'. Heck, even against the shadows, they knew where the station was all the time, and chose not to destroy it because they found it useful.

The Earth government is not an enemy in SC. There is no oversight of Zelnick, no orders to weasel around ('observe the chain of command!').

While there will be some diplomacy and a touch of intrigue, it will not be a show ABOUT intrigue and diplomacy.

The action follows the wandering ship, not the space station. White stars notwithstanding, B5 was about B5.

The alien races have very different tones and feels in SC2.


I think saying they're the same thing is kind of like saying that The Grapes of Wrath is just a remake of the Aeneid.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: 0xDEC0DE on September 16, 2004, 10:30:58 am
Quote
The Vorlons are strongly unequal to the Kzer-Za.

At the risk of falling into the trap of "Worf vs. Chewbacca", "Godzilla vs. Ultraman", "Terminator vs. ED-209", etc., what do you mean by this?  And qualitatively, is there a difference?  Both are the "top dog" in their respective fictions.

As for the rest, yes, the details were different, but you have to admit that the "main" story/backstory elements were so similar it's almost eerie.  Although I have to admit this could be seen as an asset, since history likely judges Babylon 5 as a success.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Fsi-Dib on September 16, 2004, 04:34:01 pm
I just started to think about this ... Farscape + Babylon 5 ~= Star Control 2. I leave the details for you to tell, I'm lazy.  ::)

I would imagine that the episodes would start with a short summary of the happenings between episodes, such as mining n planets, visiting the Melnorme for the 'n'th time etc.

Of course, the intro in every episode would be a composition of history and how they ended up to the Earth from Vela. Neato.



Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Megagun on September 16, 2004, 08:41:40 pm
I'd say we make this thing by ourselves.. Nothing too shabby and such, basically some 3dsmax moddeling, combined with some 3dsmax scripting and someone with a very fast PC to to the rendering.. Nothing with sound when we get started, just the main gfx and rendering stuff. Sound might come later..

I'd say it (at least) might be able to make something nice.. 3dsmax might be replaced with something else... Any good free and easy software perhaps? Though I think most of us have any 3dsmax version (I have 2.5, and perhaps 6.. not sure)..

"The Story" can be told by either some Starwarsish text at the start of a episode, or something like a flashback..

And Cronos: that thing you wrote down was nice.. Even though it was the Sc2 story.. :P

Well.. I'm up for it... It'd be nice to see when the project will die :P.. It probably needs a community completely supporting the project, though.. :P

edit: and ofcourse it wouldn't be a real Television series.. As long as you can convert each episode to a video cd.... We might be able use this to get a wing in the door, you see?


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: 0xDEC0DE on September 16, 2004, 09:44:32 pm
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I'd say we make this thing by ourselves..

That's the spirit!  Does anybody know an amazingly hot blue girl to play the Syreen?  :)

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I'd say it (at least) might be able to make something nice.. 3dsmax might be replaced with something else... Any good free and easy software perhaps? Though I think most of us have any 3dsmax version (I have 2.5, and perhaps 6.. not sure)..

Blender (http://www.blender3d.com/) is free, rather feature-packed, and supports distributed rendering, so you could put together an "ad-hoc render farm" comprised of volunteers, and without having to pirate software (piracy is so 1990's anyways...)

That's not to say that video production is easy, or cheap.  You'd need a screenwriter to make a "series bible" (basically a guideline for writing scripts for the show), as well as a script for the pilot (that'd likely be the show you end up making), a team of people to storyboard the script into something cohesive, work on costume design, set design, etc., people who can build sets, costumes and props, organise a shooting schedule, etc., people to work the cameras, and actors to stand in front of the cameras.

And that's just for pre-production; a project like this would require a massive amount of post-production, which means video editors, graphic technicians, sound engineers, etc.  In other words, there's a good reason they call it the "entertainment INDUSTRY".


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Tiberian on September 16, 2004, 09:49:32 pm
Star Control is not so much like Babylon 5 in story telling, only the story. As said before, SC follows the ship, B5 the base. But here is the crux. 'Crusade'. Following the ship in B5 universe... The ship even looks just like the mother ship in SC3 and there are similarities to Vindicator as well.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Death 999 on September 17, 2004, 12:14:49 am
OK, so all 5 people who watched Crusade before they heard the grim truth about it from someone they trust will say there's a similarity.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Cronos on September 17, 2004, 04:56:58 pm
Quote


And Cronos: that thing you wrote down was nice.. Even though it was the Sc2 story.. :P


True, but making it fit into 7 seasons and further subdividing it into 24 episodes per season is going to be a mammoth task. Not to mention making it relatively PG-13 and suitable for kids. The Ilwrath, for example, can be made to look like depraved fools but we cant hint about genocide since kids arent really ready for that kind of stuff.

Season six would be about the Syreen Vengence, fixing the Ultron and freeing the Chmmr and the eventual destruction of the Sa-Matra.

It seems that I lost that creative streak. I guess there will be a way to stretch it to seven seasons what with interpersonal relationships between the crew, engineering problems and new planets to explore. Not to mention some egg heads for the nerdy side of things :)


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Art on September 17, 2004, 08:13:05 pm
The Ur-Quan are not nearly as cosmic an enemy as the Vorlons adn Shadows. They're more... "human", I guess is the right way to put it. And they should be portrayed as such in any dramatic retelling of the SC2 story.

Personally I don't think the whole of the SC2 game story is that great as a story; I mean, the plot isn't as tight or connected or detailed as you'd want it to be for a pure storytelling medium. But it's a *great* framework to hang a story on, and what I would like to see is scriptwriters having fun with the idea, creating new interactions that weren't seen in the game. More details about ZEX's relationship with the other VUX. Fwiffo's reactions to Tanaka (maybe even make part of the initial conversation take place between the two of them while dogfighting rather than with the Captain). Details of life on a Kzer-Za Dreadnought. And so on. The plot would definitely be *reminiscent* of B5, but unlike B5, as someone else said, a series like this would feel free to laugh at itself and indulge itself a lot more -- it could even coyly acknowledge similarities to B5 in some throwaway gags ("This is just like one of those space adventures my grandpa watched when he was a kid").

Tanaka should play a larger role in the story, I think. He serves the important purpose of actually being a relic of the First War; unlike Hayes, who's had time to adjust to Earth's defeat, Tanaka has been spending years hoping for the Alliance's victory and is only having to come to terms with defeat now. Could be a great source of conversations and character development.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Culture20 on September 17, 2004, 10:05:50 pm
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As for the rest, yes, the details were different, but you have to admit that the "main" story/backstory elements were so similar it's almost eerie.

The "main" story/backstory elements were so similar it's television writing as usual:  virtual plagerism.  P&F have to walk a fine line regarding their public comments of B5, we fan-boys don't.

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We cant hint about genocide since kids arent really ready for that kind of stuff.

Really?  Tell that to the elementary school kids all over the U.S. who learn about the Holocaust.  Also, remember that many alien villians in SCI-Fi cartoons commit genocide (the Invid in Robotech Gen3 as an example).  I would think that the only scene cut from SC2 for TV would be Talana's.  While it might be mild by some people's tastes, it'd have parents' groups up in arms about the filth in childrens' television.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: RabidTurkey on September 18, 2004, 02:07:48 am
Star Control, the Television show, for kids?  No way - I could see it as nut-busting funny, Adult Swim humor - late at night, live action with generous amounts of CGI animation - now that would be something to watch.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Art on September 18, 2004, 04:23:16 am
I would never suggest it be an actual children's show; I want there to be references to sexuality, to bloody, massive war, to genocidal madness, and so on.

I would also never suggest it to be like the kind of crap that makes up the majority of late-night Adult Swim. I want an SC2 series that would be funny, but not be dissipated postmodern self-hating humor that Cartoon Network seems to be stuck in the rut of. No crappy show that makes fun of how crappy it is, and makes fun of the fact that it's a cartoon, and makes fun of itself making fun of itself until people turn it off and fall asleep on the couch in the dorm lounge.

Unfortunately the market for genuinely cute, funny, yet ultimately serious ripping yarns of adventure seems to have largely dried up. It still exists fitfully in some of the stuff marketed to children or preteens, moreso in Japan than in the US. I do picture SC2 as having a tone similar to those of the grand old adventures like original Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica -- indeed, the old Battlestar Galactica series is a good model for how I picture the feel of a series based on SC2. That mix of humor, drama and action is hard to find; I think the only recent TV franchise that caught it well was Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

As far as "plagiarism", ignoring the fact that we have all the chance of a flying fuck in hell of actually seeing any SC2 series ever, you can't "plagiarize" a concept. Idiots often start up idiotic lawsuits as *though* you could, and occasionally win because of stupid judges, but you couldn't have genre fiction at all if you didn't allow people to "steal" ideas. You get a genre by getting people setting things in very similar settings that are convenient to tell a certain kind of story. (Ever notice how many movies there are about people turning into zombies and destroying civilization, except for a lone outpost of resisters who have to fight off the zombie hordes to save themselves? Or about a guy who meets a girl, drives her away through some mistake, and then earns her back? Or about a prince whose evil uncle murders his father to steal the crown, and he has to avenge his father's death? And so on.)

And the similarities between SC2 and B5 *are* very broad in nature -- do you know how many shows B5 would have to sue if "There's a space station, and ancient battling alien forces, and lots of alien species" was an idea that belonged to them? There would be a *commercial* problem -- we'd worry about no one watching the show because people said it was a "Babylon 5 ripoff" -- but there would certainly not be a legal problem.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Art on September 18, 2004, 04:31:02 am
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At the risk of falling into the trap of "Worf vs. Chewbacca", "Godzilla vs. Ultraman", "Terminator vs. ED-209", etc., what do you mean by this?  And qualitatively, is there a difference?  Both are the "top dog" in their respective fictions.

As for the rest, yes, the details were different, but you have to admit that the "main" story/backstory elements were so similar it's almost eerie.  Although I have to admit this could be seen as an asset, since history likely judges Babylon 5 as a success.


No, not really. B5 was a success among geeky fanboys; in terms of actually making money among regular people, it was a roaring failure. SC2 as a TV series could likely succeed by avoiding the things that drove people away from B5, that B5 fanboys rave about so much. No byzantine alien politics, no gloomy dark depression, and significantly lighter on the moral uncertainty. Make it cute, make it funny, give us heroes we can root for, without losing the meat of the story.

As far as how similar the plots are: the Ur-Quan are *like* Vorlons and Shadows, but they *aren't* Vorlons and Shadows. They're not spirits overseeing the development of whole civilizations from the background. The Kohr-Ah don't love chaos for chaos' sake; they kill alien races to protect themselves, plain and simple. The Kzer-Za don't seed civilizations and nursemaid them as gods; they announce themselves quite simply as what they are, giant caterpillar-things, and create a political empire for their protection.

As far as power levels, I'd say Vorlons/Shadows are more powerful than Kzer-Za/Kohr-Ah. But I think "unequal" meant "not alike", not "weaker than".

And the history of the Starbase is totally different from the history of Babylon 5, and the show isn't *about* the Starbase the way it's about Babylon 5, and... argh. Look, the similarities are only "eerie" if you're the sort of person who looks for connections between *everything* and if B5 is one of the only sci-fi franchises you're familiar with. It's certainly similar to B5, but they're really, really far apart in tone, focus and in the basic nature of the story.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: 0xDEC0DE on September 18, 2004, 04:42:23 am
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The "main" story/backstory elements were so similar it's television writing as usual:  virtual plagerism.  P&F have to walk a fine line regarding their public comments of B5, we fan-boys don't.

Careful now.  :)  All available evidence in the public record shows that JMS and PR3 were contemporaries, they both wrote similar stories at around the same time.  And given that it took JMS several years to sell his pilot, it's entirely probable that JMS wrote his space opera first.

As for comparing Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5, that's another matter.  ;)


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Zanthius on September 18, 2004, 05:23:21 am
Ever met a Mycon, face to face? - they are quite powerfull.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: meep-eep on September 18, 2004, 06:28:31 am
/me throws another log on the fire.

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<Manta> Fwiffo: Has anyone ever brought up parallels between Babylon 5 and Star Control?
<Fwiffo> Babylon 5 causes a certain amount of stomping around the office screaming.
<Fwiffo> Babylon 5 steals from us.  We steal from known space.
<Fwiffo> And Larry in known space steals from others.




Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Art on September 18, 2004, 07:05:36 pm
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Ever met a Mycon, face to face? - they are quite powerfull.


Meeting one face-to-face is hard. They live in temperatures that melt lead and all.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Kaiser on September 19, 2004, 06:53:16 am
Wasn't SC2 out before B5?

Vorlons and Shadows are stronger than Ur-Quan?  I suppose.  But tech-wise compared to the rest of the SC universe, Ur-Quan are about equal to the Vorlons/Shadow.

A SC-based movie would definately be awesome.  Could see it knock Enterprise off the charts completely.  lol.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: 0xDEC0DE on September 19, 2004, 08:49:02 am
It's true, Star Control II made it to the store shelves about a year or so before Babylon 5's pilot episode aired, but according to all sources, JMS had been shopping his screenplay around to networks and syndication companies for at least five years before Warner Bros. agreed to produce it (and he has always claimed to have had the story worked out from the beginning), so in all likelihood there is no relationship between the two.

Your mention of that "Enterprise" show, however, makes we want to digress into a rant about the awful quality of television sci-fi today.  Allow me to deconstruct a scene from the episode of "Enterprise" I sawwhile channel-flipping last night:

The captain of the ship is on an away mission (an implausibility I'll forgive due to ST tradition) to disable some manner of plot contrivance that will destroy the universe or something.  The Bad GuysTM are coming after them, but the Good GuysTM have setup a sniper.  So far, so good, seeing Star Trek characters thinking tactically for a change picques my interest.  But then, one of the Bad Guys sneaks up behind the sniper as he's killing the Bad Guys and, rather than simply shooting him in order to stop him (something any soldier or police officer would likely do in order to save lives in imminent danger), puts a gun to his head, and attempts to take him prisoner.  This, of course, leads to the inevitable moronic hand-to-hand combat scene, and soon thereafter I changed the channel and reassured myself that Star Trek fans are in fact much, much dumber than they like to think they are if they can watch that kind of tripe.

But later, it occurred to me exactly what I think is so cool about Star Control: such things as "fistfights on the bridge" are absolutely unthinkable, because humans are downright wimpy in the SC universe.  An Ur-Quan vs. human fistfight would go something like: Ur-Quan approaches human, rips human in two at the torso, and the fight ends.  :)  The emphasis in Star Control is THINKING your way out of problems, and if fighting is necessary, you let your amazingly advanced hardware do it for you, because otherwise you're screwed.  That kind of thing has been done before, but in my opinion it's all too rare on television.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Art on September 19, 2004, 09:27:07 am
Oh yes. No gratuitous fistfights in the SC2 show. It helps that I while I picture Hayes as fairly beefy, I also picture him as past his prime, and I definitely picture Zelnick as a kind of weedy nerd (he's a computer geek, after all). Make us feel like we're in a video-game-ish kind of world where the Cool Ship does most of the cool things and people react to it -- the best action shows, I think, are the ones that give you only a few cool action set-pieces to look at and then focus on the reactions and character development of the people that these pyrotechnic events affect. The old shows actually did this fairly well when they tried; if you look at Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of the few modern action/excitement shows that has my respect, it, too, gave more airtime to character development stuff than stunts, and made the stunts seem all the cooler in comparison (because you didn't get bored with them repeating all the time).

I don't think humans are necessarily super-wussy in the SC2 universe; they're probably weaker than the Ilwrath and Ur-Quan, though then again I have my doubts about whether the Ilwrath and Ur-Quan could survive in a human-normal gravity. The important thing is that the issue doesn't really come up; alien races are sensible enough to live inside their ships with their nice environments and not expose themselves to the problems of mixing environments unless they had to. The comm screen is the central image of SC2 for me, and should be a unifying image for any drama built around it; we glimpse terrifyingly diverse alien environments through our little window, but always interact with them through that window's filter.

Now, more stuff about how we'd actually make a show: I think the show should definitely start with a "how we got here" story, maybe presented as a big separate multi-parter special; the whole history of SC1 can be presented in a quick montage flashback akin to the intro of SC2, and then we have a two-parter following the adventures of Captain Burton as she discovers Unzervalt and leads its colonization. Part 1 should be about finding the Unzervalt shipyard -- the whole story of fleeing the Ilwrath is a teaser that ends with finding Unzervalt, then the meat of Part 1 begins with the story of the Unzervalt colony fleet, then Part 1 ends with the Tobermoon blazing off into space. Part II starts in medias res many years later, with the completion of the Vindicator, the introduction of Zelnick as a character, the Vindicator's launch and the sudden, shocking death of Burton, who thus far has been our main character. The switch to Zelnick as captain should be awkward and uncomfortable for us as it is for him, and it's on a shaky note that the regular series begins with the discovery of the Starbase.

As far as the main human characters, the Vindicator's bridge crew; my instinct is to make them Unzervalt babies from Zelnick's generation, with maybe a few elders who were Burton's colleagues in the mix (but only a few). Also mix them up a bit in terms of race and gender. Let a male be the diplomacy officer rather than a female, for goodness' sake, and let a female be the military/tactical advisor. Have love interests and such among the crew, maybe, but don't play it up; don't make it be *about* that, make them very aware that they're playing for high stakes and have little time for soap-opera crap. And make the Captain standoffish and separate; give him no love interest until Talana, make him the weird nerd who spent most of his life talking to the computer instead of other people, whom no one really gets close to, whom everyone respects but doesn't really quite trust. That gives him a reason to try to overuse sarcasm and humor in his conversations with others, and to form as strong bonds with the random aliens he meets as he does.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Kaiser on September 19, 2004, 01:32:56 pm
0xDEC0DE, most Star Trek fans despise Enterprise.  They try to reach out to non-ST fans.  Hence why they left out "Star Trek" from the title.

Art, your ideas are basically parallel on what I'd picture for a StarCon series.  Sure, there might be some person to person combat (like if you piss off an Orz ship and they try to take over your ship or if some other alien race tries to board, which makes sense to do.  And if any planetary natives attack as you figure SOME worlds would have primitive cultures) but for the most part, it should be minimal.

I think that, if aired, a SC series could very well bring in a large viewer base.  Provided it was done well, of course.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Art on September 20, 2004, 12:13:06 am
Something like an Orz boarding party or the VUX Beast -- a physical danger which actually comes *on the ship* -- would be an "ohshitohshitohshit" kind of event; something disturbing and freaky and panicky because it's something that almost never happens, where the environment of the ship itself has been violated. To Star Trek: TNG's credit, they did do a good job of keeping the Enterprise's corridors "safe" enough for enough of a majority of episodes that having some hostile threat come on the ship was grounds for alarm (rather than an "oh no, not again").

Similarly I wouldn't want the main bridge crew going off on away team missions all the time a la Star Trek. That's unrealistic and is too hamfisted a way to call attention to the core characters. Let there be a bunch of recurring characters who go on away team missions, and have episodes featuring them alternating with those focusing on the bridge crew, and show the interactions between them.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Kaiser on September 20, 2004, 12:31:27 am
Again, I agree with you.  Zelnick, fortunately, never went down on the surface in SC2.  There ARE reasons for that.  He he dies, they basically lose control of the ship.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Death 999 on September 21, 2004, 09:20:07 pm
I agree.. there should be a bunch of specialists whose job it is to go down; we would get to know them well.

Occasionally, one of them will die mining... but it should be a rare event.

Perhaps, in the beginning, the main issue is that there are no resources, and they NEED to mine everything they can...

Scene: Hayes and Zelnick discussing the outfitting of the starship:

Hayes: you'll need an second lander
Zelnick: actually, the ship can only control one at a time, so...
Hayes: no, I meant in case the first one is destroyed.
Zelnick: by whom? We aren't going to be mining under attack.
Hayes (gets very patient): Mining is dangerous. If you lose the first lander, having to come back to get a second one is an unacceptable waste. You won't even be able to get back to the star system to resume mining for lack of fuel.
Zelnick: ... (digests this)...

Later, there would be a scene, debating how to react to mining losses at Alpha Centauri:
Zelnick: How do we keep this from happening again? We can't bleed ourselves to death just mining.
Exec Officer: On the other hand, if we don't have the resources, we're doomed in the event of Ur-Quan attack. If we don't keep mining, we won't even profit from the trip as a whole, and the whole alliance will be starved to death for lack of material.
Zelnick: Last time, we were greedy, and it cost us. How much will we profit if we just drop down for a moment and grab what's nearby? There won't be as much chance of problems.
Exec Officer: Not as much... fuel costs a lot for these heavy planets. And our accuracy is not very good. We will frequently come down far from the veins we're aiming for.
Zelnick: Then we'll come back up empty.
Exec Officer: (grits teeth at visions of waste) ... I guess it depends what you call 'nearby'.
Zelnick: That's something we'll have to work out as we go along. *activates intercom*Lander bay, prepare for launch. Inform the crews of the following change in method...


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: 0xDEC0DE on September 21, 2004, 10:44:14 pm
A sci-fi television show featuring interplanetary mining as a central plot point would be the entertainment equivalent of watching paint dry.

As the cliché goes, you don't make a movie by filming a play from the best seat in the house; similarly, what makes for a fun game does not translate to interesting television (and vice-versa), otherwise "The Tetris Show" would be in its 19th season.  :)

I'm not saying the whole "we need to fund our revolution" plot would not work in a screenplay, but I think it would need to happen "indirectly" to keep from stealing all the momentum from the rest of the story.

Just my $0.02 USD.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Megagun on September 21, 2004, 10:45:05 pm
:P (replying to Death, that is.. heh)

Exec Officer: Lander is down...
<bleep-bleep-bleep>
Exec Officer: What the hell happened to the lander? It landed miles away from the minerals!
Lander crew: ARRGGGGHHHH GET US OUT OF HERE!!! AARGGH *sounds of burning crew*..
Zelnick: Shit.... It's a conspiracy! Something is completely wrong here! *looks at a very short human with purple "arms"...
Exec Officer: damn Umgah in disguise!

(okay.. perhaps not.. that could just be a dream though... Notice the expression on Exec Officer's face when he says "damn Umgah in disguise!"...) :P

Oh, and 0xE... It'd be something like a side-plot.. Perhaps it could be mixed with the history (like Sc1's plot).......


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Art on September 22, 2004, 03:19:56 am
There wouldn't be that much mining onscreen, but I think the idea that a huge amount of resources is being spent wandering star systems scouring them for minerals, and that people are constantly dying funneling wealth back to the Starbase is a great background for the first season, before the real action heats up with the enemy races. There needs to be a feeling of holding the New Alliance together by a thread, and people dying for the cause.

We shouldn't *see* mining very often unless there's some special incident involving mining, and there probably are a lot of plot modules you can pop in for episode ideas along those lines -- random things like finding hostile alien life forms on a planet, negotiating with some pissant pre-spacefaring race for mining rights, a whole team of people trapped on a highly unstable planet that's about to undergo massive volcanic eruptions and kill them all, and so on. It'd be a great way to have a less centralized plot -- the random adventures of one group of miners wandering a strange planet could make for many an interesting episode. Quite a few grand old shows had some cheesy practical concern as a hook for interesting plots. (ST: TNG's Enterprise spent a lot of time ferrying cargo, or ambassadors, or important messages around; the Stargate SG-1 team spends quite a bit of time doing boring archeological fieldwork and getting into trouble along the way; and ST: TOS actually *did* run into interesting situations with mining in more than one episode; I'm especially thinking of that episode with the Horta rock-beast.)


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Death 999 on September 22, 2004, 04:52:23 am
My idea was that you'd basically have the mining take a central role in one or two episodes at the beginning, and after that it would be one of those offscreen activities that is sometimes referred-to but
A) would be repetitive to represent, and
B) is not so critical anymore because there IS a cushion which simply didn't exist the first time out.

After Alpha Centauri, the galaxy opens wide up. You can go wherever you want -- and you can be picky enough about the mining that it simply isn't show-worthy anymore. You can have a few episodes where the mining activity is interrupted, thus bringing about the incident of the show.

I do however think it is sufficiently important to represent centrally in one episode. Keeping it back to JUST one would be a good idea too.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: meep-eep on September 22, 2004, 07:12:11 am
The whole "sending the Pkunk back to their homeworld" thing could be a running gag. Every few eps a few minutes are spend telling the Pkunk a new excuse.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Fsi-Dib on September 22, 2004, 03:20:45 pm
Quote
We shouldn't *see* mining very often unless there's some special incident involving mining, and there probably are a lot of plot modules you can pop in for episode ideas along those lines -- random things like finding hostile alien life forms on a planet, negotiating with some pissant pre-spacefaring race for mining rights, a whole team of people trapped on a highly unstable planet that's about to undergo massive volcanic eruptions and kill them all, and so on. It'd be a great way to have a less centralized plot -- the random adventures of one group of miners wandering a strange planet could make for many an interesting episode. Quite a few grand old shows had some cheesy practical concern as a hook for interesting plots. (ST: TNG's Enterprise spent a lot of time ferrying cargo, or ambassadors, or important messages around; the Stargate SG-1 team spends quite a bit of time doing boring archeological fieldwork and getting into trouble along the way; and ST: TOS actually *did* run into interesting situations with mining in more than one episode; I'm especially thinking of that episode with the Horta rock-beast.)


Like I told in a previous post by me, Eta Vulpeculae (Androsynth Homeworld I suspect) would be a fabulous episode, seeing that one dude get himself trapped into the computer room and start screaming, as the others start to try to break the doors down. Exciting!


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Megagun on September 22, 2004, 08:47:11 pm
Indeed.. ^^

About the mining issue, I think it'd be nice to have the mining thing come up once in a while, even when they already met Alpha Centauri (which will be pretty late in the season)... Something like the mining crew doing some mining, while starting to doubt the captain's decisions. Some kill-that-fungal-squid-scenes would be nice, too.. (incaseyoudidn'tknow: Fungal Squids are those purpleish and pretty damn hostile lifeforms, which can be found a LOT on one of the rainbow worlds (forgot which one, though). The fungal squid-attacking scenes could also be replaced with some other, interesting alien)..

Ofcourse, you don't HAVE to have the screen show the mining sequence always, when they are mining. Expect something like this to be a nice thing:

*Zelnick calls the landing crew
*Landing crew gets inside the planet lander, and heads for the planet (expect some nice planetlander-going-through-atmosphere scenes here)
*Zelnick tells the Landing Crew (via a hyperwave transmission) to "remain radio silence" because some Thraddash are appearing (or any other alien race, ofcourse).
*Nice zoom-out scene, where you start by seeing the planet lander's numbers-painting on it's hull, and end with seeing the Vindicator in battle with the Thraddash, all in a smooth transition (Expect to look at something like: numbers -> planetlander -> loads of surface with a tiny-looking planetlander -> atmosphere -> planet -> vindicator, battling with Thraddash, planet in the background)...


This all would make a good excuse for some landing scenes.. Partially, sometimes.. Sometimes full landing reports. To throw in some randomness, those landing reports are MEANT TO BE "boring" sometimes, when nothing happens, but you get to look at the beautiful scenery of a damn-beautiful planet. Good excuses for some landing scenes, again.. ^^


Talking about the conversations, I think it'd be pretty nice to have them done a bit different than the usual "you see someone, and he/she is talking" thing. Perhaps something like "you see the interior of a ship, and hear two people talking (you can barely see them between the chaos of that ship)"...


Okay.. enough talking for now.. :P
Oh, and about the people thinking this would do good as a anime: no. No. NO! Sc2 is a GAME. Having it in anime form wouldn't do it any good. 3d renderings are the way to go, especially because of all the beautiful planet/space scenes. Those also make Sc2 as a anime series just.. bad....


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Tiberian on September 22, 2004, 11:32:11 pm
I have enough courage to face the reality in the mining. It would not be very interesting no matter how it would be done, because the reason is  not-exactly-necessary nor is it 'really' dangerous. Imagining that 'we' fight evil forces all over the Quadrant and survive, but we land on a rock, where a brainless slimeball melts our lander to scrap metal and the crew inside it...

I think the whole concept of mining could and should be sidestepped in some way. Not changing the plot, so that the mining exists, but to make it proper for TV, the whole concept would have to face some modifications. (I constantly get the image of drilling the planet's surface into my mind.)


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Megagun on September 22, 2004, 11:42:37 pm
The planet lander doesn't drill in the surface, it just *collects* the minerals which are lying on it's surface..


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: VOiD on September 23, 2004, 07:15:13 am
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The planet lander doesn't drill in the surface, it just *collects* the minerals which are lying on it's surface..

I always found that particular aspect of the game a little corny. You'll be roaming around right smack in the middle of another starfaring race's sphere of influence, perhaps even in their home system, and the surface of every planet is ripe with a teutologically redundant plethora of surplusage of rare minerals. You would think they'd be smart enough to actually exploit the vast amount of natural resources around them, but no. :)


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Death 999 on September 23, 2004, 10:33:27 pm
I always rationalized this by thinking that the precursor ship had fabulous sensors which could detect deposits buried deeply within the rock of the planet, and the landers could nearly instantaneously drill down and get it -- BUT these deposits had to be extremely pure in order to be collectible.

That explains why you can't begin strip-mining (you're not equipped for it), and explains why local residents might not have noticed these resources.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: VOiD on September 23, 2004, 11:52:43 pm
Well, it is a computer game, and as such, one with very simplified physics. That's a pretty good rationalization right there... ;)

EDIT: (Hmmm... hit-and-run drilling... pretty interesting concept)


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Kaiser on September 27, 2004, 12:45:24 am
Another intresting thing that could happen would be stumbling across old, abandoned Alliance bases.  You figure that not all would have been destroyed.  Maybe even staff them as listening posts or something.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Cronos on September 27, 2004, 06:53:56 am
Good idea, once an abandoned alliance base is discovered, the crew could scavenge fuel, supplies, resources etc.

Then they could have the resources to go forth and make Allies. The Pkunk could be a reasonable first contact (hehe), followed by the Spathi. The Orz could be the first race to reliable begin shipping the necessary materials to the Starbase, or they could refuel in Orz space, whatever would work.

There also must be a way to help introduce people unfamiliar with Star Control to the series. Perhaps some kind of background explanation when the credits are rolling by as they did with SeaQuest...

<credits scrolling by>

"Starbase Commander Hayes at your service Captain. As you know the Alliance of Free Stars had it's begginings with the Chenjesu/Mmmrnmhrrrm mutual defence pact...."

Etc.

Things would probably have to be compressed/extended to the length of the credits.

Also, when time is meant to be "Passing" (as in landing on Spathiwa to eliminate the Evil Ones, or just chugging along in hyperspace) there should be asides where we see mysterious dark ships blasting some Utwig juggers, or we could see a red probe begin the replication process or something. Just to let the viewers know that there is a lot of stuff going on. Heck, we could even show the Ur-Quan dreadnought being downed on Alpha Pavonis and the subsequent Arilou discovery/Talking Pet mind controlling the Umgah etc.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Bartholomew on September 28, 2004, 12:40:14 am
A TV Show made out of this game would be so much like Star Trek that people would be offended. =\

Unless there was some sort of twist...

... GIANT SPACE MOLES! Burrowing through the universe!


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Art on September 28, 2004, 06:16:40 pm
Great, first people say it's unworkable because of B5, now someone comes in and says it's "too much like Star Trek".

Why? Because there's a spaceship, and a crew, and wandering around in alien planets?

*GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD*: STAR TREK DID NOT INVENT THIS IDEA. BABYLON FIVE DID NOT INVENT THIS IDEA.

*BOTH* those shows borrowed heavily from print and video media that existed for a very long time before they came out. They don't *own* the concept of space opera science fiction, and a show doesn't need to look radically different from them in order to be a new and interesting show.

What offends me is that people appear (no personal offense meant) to have had so little exposure to what's out there and *been* out there in terms of science fiction that they really seem to think "traveling through space and having cool adventures" is a unique idea that Gene Roddenberry has filed under his name at the U.S. Patent Office. Star Trek is *NOT THAT SPECIAL*, people. It's just the most commercially successful incarnation of a very old idea, an updating of the Jason and the Argonauts model of serial adventure that existed in movie serials and radio shows and such in a million different ways before Roddenberry brought it to prime time.

I mean, I could sort of understand the objections to the similarities to Babylon 5, even though they're superficial similarities (there is a space station, there are two powerful warring races, there are humans cut off from Earth, etc.) There *is* no similiarity to any of the Star Treks -- we don't have a giant peaceful Federation in which a ship is wandering about performing various tasks for the government. The only similarity is "There's a big ship with a varied cast of people in it wandering around". Are we going to say that you can't do cop dramas anymore because you'd be ripping off NYPD Blue (which has a police station full of cops, therefore it must own the idea of cops)? You can't do a high school romantic comedy anymore because of Pretty in Pink, which owns the idea of a boy and a girl from two different social classes falling in love? You can't do slapstick cartoons anymore because Warner Brothers owns the idea of animated characters falling off of cliffs?


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Lukipela on September 29, 2004, 11:29:07 am
Quote
Great, first people say it's unworkable because of B5, now someone comes in and says it's "too much like Star Trek".

Why? Because there's a spaceship, and a crew, and wandering around in alien planets?

*GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD*: STAR TREK DID NOT INVENT THIS IDEA. BABYLON FIVE DID NOT INVENT THIS IDEA.

*BOTH* those shows borrowed heavily from print and video media that existed for a very long time before they came out. They don't *own* the concept of space opera science fiction, and a show doesn't need to look radically different from them in order to be a new and interesting show.

What offends me is that people appear (no personal offense meant) to have had so little exposure to what's out there and *been* out there in terms of science fiction that they really seem to think "traveling through space and having cool adventures" is a unique idea that Gene Roddenberry has filed under his name at the U.S. Patent Office. Star Trek is *NOT THAT SPECIAL*, people. It's just the most commercially successful incarnation of a very old idea, an updating of the Jason and the Argonauts model of serial adventure that existed in movie serials and radio shows and such in a million different ways before Roddenberry brought it to prime time.

I mean, I could sort of understand the objections to the similarities to Babylon 5, even though they're superficial similarities (there is a space station, there are two powerful warring races, there are humans cut off from Earth, etc.) There *is* no similiarity to any of the Star Treks -- we don't have a giant peaceful Federation in which a ship is wandering about performing various tasks for the government. The only similarity is "There's a big ship with a varied cast of people in it wandering around". Are we going to say that you can't do cop dramas anymore because you'd be ripping off NYPD Blue (which has a police station full of cops, therefore it must own the idea of cops)? You can't do a high school romantic comedy anymore because of Pretty in Pink, which owns the idea of a boy and a girl from two different social classes falling in love? You can't do slapstick cartoons anymore because Warner Brothers owns the idea of animated characters falling off of cliffs?



*Applauds

Long winded as you might someotimes be, I like you.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Fsi-Dib on September 29, 2004, 07:20:15 pm
Farscape is a little bit like Babylon 5...
  • Crichton ~= Sheridan
  • Pa'U Zotoh Zhaan ~= Delenn
  • Ka D'Argo ~= G'Kar
  • Rygel ~= Londo Mollari
  • Chiana ~= Lyta Alexander
  • Stark ~= Kosh
  • Aeryn Sun ~= Susan Ivanova

Really ... compare them. Their characters personality match somewhat well. And I haven't seen anyone whine about it. Thus Star Control 2 would be NOTHING like Star Trek or Babylon 5 or even Farscape. How many humanoid races you have in Star Control 2? 4 (Humans, Syreen, Arilou, Druuge) or five (add Utwig?). ONLY[/i].


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: 0xDEC0DE on September 29, 2004, 07:55:19 pm
As a wiser man than myself one said, there are only four types of stories to be told:
  • Man vs. Nature
  • Man vs. Man
  • Man vs. Self
  • Talking Dog vs. Vampire
But, however much I might agree with the thrust of your position, I don't think it's necessary to misrepresent the arguments that came before you in making your point.

I did not say it wouldn't work because it's "too much like B5", hell, I even conceded that B5's relative success might be instrumental in getting such a project greenlit. Suits like to make shows similar to other successful shows, hence the current fascination with forensic science, courtroom antics, and "real people dealing with fake crises".

My original argument was, and still is, that the fanbase of SC2 is so small, and the costs associated with making the show "properly" are so high, that noone in their right mind would ever dream of funding such a venture, as they would never get a return on their investment.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: RabidTurkey on September 29, 2004, 11:00:38 pm
Before discounting the series as too difficult, too expensive and limited fan base, let's quickly look at a couple different details.

Too difficult -  Is it?  The universe of SC is highly engaging and imaginative.  With 20 some odd alien races, fully realized with history, direction, and drive - each interacting with the main character with their own agenda in mind, and a progressive storyline which begins with "Humanity got their galactic butt kicked", and the most unlikely of heroes fly their ancient (sentient?) ship across the universe to enlist the aid of belligerent alien races in order to save humanity from galactic imprisonment.  I would think the stories would write themselves (with a progressive storyline, of course).

Too expensive?  Fortunately, there have been quatum leaps and bounds in film and CGI technology.  Consider the difference between film and High-Def technology (both I'm fairly well versed in, so let the jousting begin!).  Film, the traditional technology, is still the choice for 'Must See TV', and is horrendously expensive - retail (which I'm sure studio's never pay, but still...) 35mm film can run up to $1000 per 1100 ft roll (a little over 10 minutes), counting post productions costs (which never end if your an Indie filmmaker), plus sound conforming and a billion other steps.

Enter HD, more importantly, HD 24P - cheap cheap cheap.  A 55 minute tape is roughly $100, and the cameras are getting less and less expensive (the Panasonic hit an all time low of $40K just recently.)  Sounds great, with 8 channels, just dump it to an AVID, edit, add effects, color correct, ect.  My point is the cost of shooting has been reduced considerably.

Now effects.  Who here thinks adding optical effects and CGI has gotten more expensive in the last 5 years?  Have cost stayed level?  Or have the dropped like a hot rock?  Again, technology has gotten cheaper while effects  have gotten better, there's a greater talent pool, all driving cost's down.

I would see SC as a Situational Space Comedy Action Series,
spoofy enough that you could get away with CGI on par with the first Toy Story, add in a judicious amount of live action with a group of actor's who can nail comedy, and build just a few permanent sets.  Here's the key - composite, composite, composite - They whole game was basically told through the view screen of the ship, why not take a page from this and tell a majority of the story from that prospective?  Sure, we get the see the bridge, areas of the ship, crew quarters, ect.., but alien interaction (with the exception of Syreen) is all done through view screens and exterior optical effects.  No Illwrath wrestling, Ur-Quan tussling hand to hand combat here, but there could planet interaction through a shuttle viewscreen.

Lastly, the fan base.  I totally agree with you.  It's been, what, fourteen years since the game has been released?  It's been sooo long that many people say "Star What...".  However,  videogame Aficionado have considered SC to be one of Greatest ever made (hey, #6 on gamespot.com Greatest of all Times), and the videogame industry is smoking hot right now with no slow down in the near future, Hollywood has figured this out, but television is still trying to figure out how it’s going to stop hemorrhaging it's male demographic (hey!  Let's do reality TV about boxing!) to the almighty Xbox.

But that's not what's going to sell it.  Tetris is also considered one the best games ever, and no one in their right mind is ever going to make Tetris TV.  What's going to sell is a not just a good story, but a great one.  Great stories and amazing writing would get this off the ground, the fact it's based off a videogame is all secondary and marketing.

Finally, I understand trying to get a television series picked up is a Herculean task. First, you would need to get the rights (Dear Paul and Fred…), next, come up with a rockstar concept  (think B5 meets FarScape meets ST: TNG, but funny), write a pilot like you’ve never written before, get yourself an agent, take a view meeting  with Spike and Sci-Fi networks, and try to get something to stick.  Yeah.  That easy.  So if your laying odds, it doesn’t look good, but you’ll never see it to no one tries.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Tiberian on September 30, 2004, 12:21:36 am
When you say sentient starship, I get the image of K.I.T.T. in my mind.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: RabidTurkey on September 30, 2004, 02:56:39 am
Not that blatent, I would see it more instinctual, more reflective of the crew's emotional state, and reacting thusly.  Also, it would make sense why a crew of deeply flawed characters might be at the helm because of some connection they have with the ship rather than the space station sending over its finest diciplined (and uber-bland) officers to take control.  Actually, I could see some potential conflict with the second generation Tobermoon crew and the officers of the old StarControl - imagine a crew made up of the old Star Trek uniforms with the flared out bell-bottoms and big collars of the original series mixed in with the ultra modern, sleek material design of the new officer uniforms...

Just some ideas.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Death 999 on September 30, 2004, 09:02:53 pm
Well, remember that even the starbase crew was randomly selected by the 'quan, so they don't need to be all that bland.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Arne on October 02, 2004, 03:16:03 am
The universe needs to be alive and rich (in this case especially), and I doubt that can be done with 45 minutes of taking human actors in three different sets and then 45 seconds of 3D animations.

The only sci-fi movie I can think of with that got away with something like that is Aliens. Otherwise it's like a comic where you don't establish the enviroment and skip the backgrounds on the images. It just gets too sterile and void, and unfortunately most sci-fi is like that.

The ideal thing would be if Pixar made 'LotR'-sized trilogy... ...  ... nnnggh... *spurt*

... eherm, anyways, One thing I'd like to see for example is when Pluto-Fwiffo tells the captain about his situation you get to see little flashbacks from Fwiffos crazy but Spathi-normal life, 18000 brothers and sisters, getting to answer the door, 'recruited' to the fleet etc... That's the sort of thing that would make the universe seem more alive, and that's the sort of thing that would require ILM or Pixar.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Halleck on October 13, 2004, 12:47:02 pm
Whomever said that this should be an Adult Swim special was right on the mark. Cartoon may be the way to go- in fact, styling it like a toned-down version of Sealab would be pretty awesome. It would be great to watch the crew of the Vindicator travel the galaxy making fools out of themselves. Compared to the plot of the original, it would be hyperbolic, but such a show could easily find a new audience and stay on the air without being accused of ripping off B5 and ST.
I just think that the humor of SC2 would be better amped up for a high school/college audience than toned down for the kiddies (or mainstream adult viewers).


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Art on October 13, 2004, 03:11:09 pm
An Adult Swim special would probably only end up making fun of SC2 in a very childish, absurdist, random kind of way, the way Space Ghost Coast to Coast and its spinoffs make fun of the original Space Ghost cartoons. That may be the only realistic way to actually get something like SC2 on TV these days, but excuse me for not particularly wanting to see it (any more than people who are genuinely fans of the old Space Ghost cartoons are probably pleased by what SGC2C has done to the franchise's image).


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Halleck on October 14, 2004, 07:21:12 am
Quote
An Adult Swim special would probably only end up making fun of SC2 in a very childish, absurdist, random kind of way, the way Space Ghost Coast to Coast and its spinoffs make fun of the original Space Ghost cartoons. That may be the only realistic way to actually get something like SC2 on TV these days, but excuse me for not particularly wanting to see it (any more than people who are genuinely fans of the old Space Ghost cartoons are probably pleased by what SGC2C has done to the franchise's image).

You have a point, but like you said, that would probably be the only way to get it on TV nowadays. Such a show would most likely offend the purists, but it could potentially appeal to a wider audience in terms of general viewing. Plus- it would be entertaining. Then again, I like SGC2C and you don't.


Title: Re: Star Control Television Series
Post by: Tiberian on October 14, 2004, 09:15:47 pm
SC2 could work well if it would be anime.