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Thread: Science Fiction and Drama

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    Στωικισμός Member Bijo's Avatar
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    Default Science Fiction and Drama

    Battlestar Galactica: if I'm correct this was an old TV show and is -- and in the process of -- being remade in our more modern times. I never watched the old one from many a moon past, but have seen some of the new one.

    Well, what is there to say regarding this show? Quick... "critique" aimed at the new series as it is now: please remove the show from TV. I could provide you with more lyrical lament for your amusement but the previous should be sufficient.


    It has too much drama. While such a thing is liked by some and could be indeed a great factor in television shows and other such creations, I think it a bad aspect if combined with science-fiction (though this is a subjective thing).

    If we regard the original Star Trek there have been episodes possessing too much drama and it kills the beauty that is science-fiction -- and worse: the beauty that is Star Trek. This show can be so beautifully philosophical, scientific, logical in nature, and funny in its own way, and has some dramatic aspects, etc., but yesterday was one of the days I saw an episode which almost forced me to go do something else because it featured
    -- Kirk acting all romantic (even if he used her logically to determine a truth)
    -- the insane emotional woman comfortably being receptive of his affectionate behaviour
    -- those two points together make the cheesy factor, and what made it the worst is that it continued FOR TOO LONG.

    That in a nutshell. It becomes "too human" to be interesting.

    Why should you care about romantic relationships between people (even if false, it still shows activity looking like it)? It is a thing not to be used here. Drama in general should not be in science-fiction UNLESS it is well-used and doesn't distract from the only true relevant thing: indeed, science-fiction and all interesting things related. If I want drama in a show I will watch soap series (which are always of bad quality) or a good movie. BUT NOT SCIENCE FICTION OF ANY KIND.
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    L'Etranger Senior Member Banquo's Ghost's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    Odd outlook.

    Surely science fiction is merely a genre, a setting for a dramatic plot to unfold? Science fiction without drama is a documentary.

    Which episode are you referring to anyway? Kirk getting romantic with an insane woman doesn't narrow it down much.
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    Στωικισμός Member Bijo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    Quote Originally Posted by Banquo's Ghost
    Surely science fiction is merely a genre, a setting for a dramatic plot to unfold? Science fiction without drama is a documentary.
    While this would be essentially true (though actually false for science fiction does not equal a documentary necessarily), I didn't say drama should be totally absent. If it is well-used I have no objection, but if not used well I object.

    I happen to specifically refer to unnecessary drama in the form of romantic love-like situations (though other forms might be there too). If too exaggerated, or too much, or too long-winded, or plain silly, almost neglecting the science fiction itself, it is wrong I say. They can coexist but only if the play doesn't suffer from it.


    That kind of brings me to the next point of which you asked a question...
    Which episode are you referring to anyway? Kirk getting romantic with an insane woman doesn't narrow it down much.
    Heh heh :) I didn't want to spoil it for anybody who happened to not have seen it yet, so I used very general wording.

    I refer to the episode wherein Kirk is investigating Kodos the one who had thousands slaughtered to save thousands of others. While it raises some philosophical question(s), and perhaps ethical ones and so on, this episode contains too much drama and this is overkill.

    Regard the woman whom he has flirty advances with and such, look at the situation. It is a boring episode that made me -- even if I can be hardly emotional -- irritated or angry. Of course the episode features beings who played actors of classic theatre and with that goes drama, but it doesn't mean the whole episode should suffer for it.

    This is Star Trek. There should be Kirk as leader, Spock and McCoy as his senior officers, and the bridge, etc., etc., and they investigate interesting matters and encounter exciting situations that keep you on the edge of your seat. Many Star Trek episodes have some drama one way or the other, but in many of them it was all good. This particular episode was not; it was plain annoying to watch. Do you remember the end of it? Another dramatic scene that is understandable -- and in a way beautiful -- BUT TOO LONG.
    Last edited by Bijo; 06-19-2007 at 15:34.
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    Come to daddy Member Geoffrey S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    Science fiction and drama go together just fine. All I have to say on the matter: Firefly.
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    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey S
    Science fiction and drama go together just fine. All I have to say on the matter: Firefly.
    I loved the characters in that series but the creators should have made a western series instead heh. A shame really as it had potiential IMO.


    CBR

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    Quote Originally Posted by Bijo
    and encounter exciting situations that keep you on the edge of your seat.
    Maybe I'm stupid, but some episodes only kept me at the edge of sleep, though(and maybe that's why) I do not watch it regularly and cannot tell you which ones.

    This and the recent close thread smell a bit like "Bijo discovered TV and now he needs to correct all the wrong things in it".
    No offence intended, I know it's not the case, I just found your outburst of TV critique somewhat amusing.

    I know it's not a movie, but in AquaNox2, which counts as science fiction IMO, I found the lovestory very interesting and even before it unfolded I always thought "go for that girl man, she's sweet and could be interested", maybe it's just because I was kinda lonely, but that element kept me going through the campaign.


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    zombologist Senior Member doc_bean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    Space opera - soap opera

    There's a reason they are named so similarly

    That said, sci-fi isn't a genre set in stone, if it was it would be boring anda complete waste of time. If it's just about science you're better of reading Penrose or Hawkings. Sci-Fi is (usually) about humans and how they cope with 'extreme' circumstances. As a study of human nature, the aspect of drama and emotions shouldn't be neglected. We do a lot of things for emotional reasons, whether we admit it or not.

    That said, I watched the Battlestar Galactica pilot and the first episode and found it all to be rather 'meh'. I might start watching it again in the future, but it doesn't seem like all to great a show to me, despite the praise it has gotten (on the .Org and elsewhere).
    Yes, Iraq is peaceful. Go to sleep now. - Adrian II

  8. #8

    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    I love Battlestar Galactica. Just throwing that out there.

    Anyways, you won't have long to complain as the fourth season has been confirmed to be it's last.

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    SF is just another form of storytelling. If you don't like a particular show, book or film, I suspect it has to do with the story not meshing with your taste, rather than some fundamental flaw in the drama/SF formula (which is kind of a goofy idea, BTW).
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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    Στωικισμός Member Bijo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    doc_bean & Lemur:

    The point I've been making is that science fiction and drama can mix well, but sometimes it is TOO MUCH DRAMA like in the example about Star Trek. Then suddenly the most attention is set on it instead of science fiction. I am seriously questioning if you've even read let alone understood my point previously.


    ---

    Just a while ago I was watching Star Trek and it began so beautifully -- well, I missed the beginning because that stupid digital box messed up and kept messing up -- and the tension rises and rises and there was sufficient drama in it too. We're possibly at war and all stations are to be made ready, and down in the weapons room a womanly worker is telling her superior officer "Even if we're going to be at war or not, I'm going to marry you." [emotional stupid silly romantic-like scene]

    Can you tell me what's wrong with this picture? Anybody? Anybody at all? I will tell you. So much tension and beauty that builds up, and suddenly there's a cheesy scene that has HARDLY ANYTHING to do with "SCIENCE FICTION", let alone it totally imbalances the play. This is war or a threat of war, for cryin' out loud, there's no time for silly romantic scenes from insignificant characters who should be doing their job instead of taking too many seconds to converse in foolishness.

    Drama could be there BUT it MUST befit the show, not overtake it or in any way imbalance or ruin the show or even a piece of it. It must be perfect, no more no less. That little scene I described is just an awkward piece of rubbish.
    Last edited by Bijo; 06-19-2007 at 17:47.
    Emotion, passions, and desires are, thus peace is not.
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    L'Etranger Senior Member Banquo's Ghost's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    Quote Originally Posted by Bijo
    While this would be essentially true (though actually false for science fiction does not equal a documentary necessarily), I didn't say drama should be totally absent. If it is well-used I have no objection, but if not used well I object.
    Well, I suggest most people would object to bad drama.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bijo
    I refer to the episode wherein Kirk is investigating Kodos the one who had thousands slaughtered to save thousands of others. While it raises some philosophical question(s), and perhaps ethical ones and so on, this episode contains too much drama and this is overkill.
    Ah, The Conscience of the King. Great episode, one of my favourites (see my avatar text). Just goes to show how it's all a matter of opinion. It's very dramatic for sure, but one has to view it through the lens of a 1960's space opera. Compared to much of the stuff broadcast alongside it, Trek was pretty tightly written (not Spock's Brain, obviously ).
    "If there is a sin against life, it consists not so much in despairing as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this one."
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    Kanto Kanrei Member Marshal Murat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    It's like Pirates of the Caribbean 3. In the middle of (spoilers) the fight between Davy Jones and the 'Good Guys', Swann and Turner decide to get married, while fighting the 'dead but undead' crew of Davy Jones.
    I got angry. If it's a fight scene, you better make it good. A marriage in the middle, confessing love and adoration? It just *popped* in there, made no sense...

    Battlestar Galactica wasn't good in my book. Never clicked.

    Drama is required, and with more viewers, you have to add more drama, or more action. BG (the series) could do with alot more action (tehe) IMHO. Drama is required, but having a Greek Tragedy in Star Trek ain't possible, so the drama needs to be toned down. I think the authors wanted to 'keep you on your edge' to see if the heroic Captain does actually get the girl, or if he doesn't. If it didn't mesh, the writers need to get a slap for not writing appealing drama.

    To sum it up...
    It takes a good writer to make drama appealing, it is the great writer who makes drama universal.
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    Tree Killer Senior Member Beirut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    Quote Originally Posted by Banquo's Ghost
    Ah, The Conscience of the King. Great episode, one of my favourites (see my avatar text). Just goes to show how it's all a matter of opinion. It's very dramatic for sure, but one has to view it through the lens of a 1960's space opera. Compared to much of the stuff broadcast alongside it, Trek was pretty tightly written (not Spock's Brain, obviously ).
    Star Trek was great! Favorite show of all time. it was precisely because Star trek was dramatic that it hit such a nerve. There have been countless gizmos and special effects strewn about the sci-fi universe, but what is it we think of when we think of sci-fi... the people. Kirk. Spock. HAL & Dave. Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader. And on and on.

    For the record, Spock's Brain sucked almost beyond words, but it did give us that purely golden line:

    "Brain and brain! What is brain?!?"
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    Quote Originally Posted by Bijo
    The point I've been making is that science fiction and drama can mix well, but sometimes it is TOO MUCH DRAMA like in the example about Star Trek. Then suddenly the most attention is set on it instead of science fiction.
    I think we may be having a semantic meltdown. "Science fiction" is a genre, not a story device or a plot element. You could have a story entirely about relationships, and so long as there are some aliens, clones, or it takes place on the surface of a neutron star, it's SF.

    I do understand your objection, but I don't think it's particularly unique to SF, as the POTC example of Murat's shows. If I understand your posts, you're ticked off when unnecessary relationship filler is dumped into a story as padding. I've seen it, certainly, and with visual SF being so expensive to make, I understand the logic of it. I can just picture a producer saying, "Those space battles sure cost a lot, but a love triangle between Spock, Kirk and the blue-skinned babe is cheap to film ..."

    I've even seen unnecessary action scenes dumped into a film, which is just as irritating. The Lord of the Rings films were often guilty of this. Peter Jackson never seemed to trust us to feel tense, so he would make the action cartoonish and over-the-top, even when it really didn't need to be. I'm thinking in particular of the scene where the Nazgul chase Frodo and Arwyn on horseback after Frodo's got the sliver of sword in him. Filmed exactly like a car chase, complete with stretched out Nazgul hands about to grab him ... tense yet? It was unnecessary and busy, and it added nothing to the film.

    Unnecessary elements can crop up all over the place. It's one of the things that separates good storytellers from great ones. As a famous musician said, "At every stage of a project you are presented with an opportunity to make it worse."

    My point is that your objection really boils down to craft and taste, and has vanishingly little to do with SF in particular. You're only noticing it there because it's a genre you care about, but I assure you the same problems crop up in every genre known to man.
    Last edited by Lemur; 06-20-2007 at 05:58.
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    Toh-GAH-koo-reh Member Togakure's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    My two cents: you might as well call science fiction without drama or some other influencing genre "futuristic action." Thinking about it now, it's the drama, or adventure, or mystery, or suspense in a "science fiction" book or film, that makes it cool. Alien had a huge element of suspense. Blade Runner (arguably my favorite sci-fi film), has plenty of drama in it, particularly in the director's cut. It's a superb sci-fi film. Star Wars without the adventure of it might as well be a fancy Saturday morning cartoon. Star Trek capitalized on all of these here and there, and is definitely solid science fiction. Sure, I can see how some might like a lot of drama or whatever infused in it, and some might prefer less. Really, it's pointless to debate "how much is just right." It's subjective. *shrugs*

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    L'Etranger Senior Member Banquo's Ghost's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    Quote Originally Posted by Masamune
    Bijo: Logical? Have you forgotten Spock's lessons? Logic is a tweeting bird chirping in the meadow. Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers that smell bad.

    How do you feel? I feel fine.
    "If there is a sin against life, it consists not so much in despairing as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this one."
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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    Quote Originally Posted by Banquo's Ghost
    Which episode are you referring to anyway? Kirk getting romantic with an insane woman doesn't narrow it down much.
    About as much as describing your asian girlfriend as having black hair and dark brown eyes narrows down the field... yes I did do that in years gone by.
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    American since 2012 Senior Member AntiochusIII's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    Quote Originally Posted by Masamune
    How do you feel? I feel fine.
    Deep.



    I (sort of) understand what Bijo's complaining about, but I think it isn't necessarily Science Fiction-Should-Not-Have-Drama as much as an irritating unnecessary "Hollywood" scene. Then again I've never seen "The Conscience of the King" (the name sounds...familiar?) and could not judge by myself whether those elements are actually unnecessary or not. Star Trek to me is a big "what's going on?" Kind of cool sometimes, stupid sometimes; never hated it, never got hooked enough to actively follow it.

    Lemur's LotR example also illustrates the overuse of the unnecessary elements. That extra ten seconds of wtf [why is that there?] can totally ruin a good scene. It happens everywhere even in the best of shows. Remember that romance sells, sex sells, and drama/intense action sells. Sometimes the creators might make a mistake and go overboard with the "sells" side of things.

    As for Battlestar Galactica; I never watched it before.

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    zombologist Senior Member doc_bean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    Quote Originally Posted by Bijo
    doc_bean & Lemur:

    The point I've been making is that science fiction and drama can mix well, but sometimes it is TOO MUCH DRAMA like in the example about Star Trek. Then suddenly the most attention is set on it instead of science fiction. I am seriously questioning if you've even read let alone understood my point previously.
    No, i do think i understand, I just feel that you're setting your taste as what should be conventions of a 'genre'. Crappy writing happens everywhere.

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    Στωικισμός Member Bijo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    Having read the posts, the following is what I communicate.

    Taste, opinions, and such aside, critically and artistically drama -- especially romantic love-like drama -- is able to ruin a scene or ruin a show or a play. We have seen it occur, and it does indeed apply to more genres than science fiction -- but science fiction (and drama) is the topic.

    Regarding the definion of science fiction... It is and should be story, entertainment, etc., of fiction of science (including scientific theories, activity, imagination, space travel, war, etc.) where drama is included as necessary, but not dominant or in a position to ruin the very thing that is science fiction.

    It has occurred and is possible, therefore the point of drama not ruining science fiction is valid.
    Emotion, passions, and desires are, thus peace is not.
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    Dux Nova Scotia Member lars573's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    Quote Originally Posted by Bijo
    Battlestar Galactica: if I'm correct this was an old TV show and is -- and in the process of -- being remade in our more modern times. I never watched the old one from many a moon past, but have seen some of the new one.

    Well, what is there to say regarding this show? Quick... "critique" aimed at the new series as it is now: please remove the show from TV. I could provide you with more lyrical lament for your amusement but the previous should be sufficient.
    I think your problem is that you've missed what the new Battlestar Galactica is all about. The old one was basically a really transparent aping of Star Trek and Star Wars. The new one isn't traditional Sci-fi. It isn't about pushing the boundries of human knowledge and experience (like Star Trek), or just a grand adventure through the stars (like Star Wars is). It's about making sure there still is a human race around to do those things later. A line from a speach Commander Adama gives in the mini-series sums up what it's about, "It's not enought that humanity survives, but that it is worthy of that survival." That idea is reinforced time and again throughout the series. That just keeping yourself sucking oxygen not matter what isn't enough. That you have to maitain your ideals and values too. They say this various times and ways during the show. Usually out of the mouth of the human races voice of reason and moral center, AKA Lee "Apollo" Adama.
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    Στωικισμός Member Bijo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Science Fiction and Drama

    Perhaps you are correct, Lars: I possibly missed the main purpose of its story. From what I see it is a very very dramatic show nonetheless.


    You know what I just witnessed? The Star Trek episode "Shore Leave". Truly a piece of ****. Now, I am a young man who wasn't present when the show was new, and did not watch all original Star Trek episodes thus many of them to me are new. I have enjoyed many of them with great interest, but this one....

    No, no, NO. I thought: "Present something new and get to the point. Let the plot evolve with interesting discoveries and if possible make it interestingly unpredictable." While this would happen in other episodes, it was too much to ask for this one (and the one I mentioned in the other posts).

    You know the current information, the current facts and situation, but they all simply don't move on. No sirree: this particular one should not have been Star Trek. In short: unnecessary drama ruins the play.
    Last edited by Bijo; 06-20-2007 at 19:00.
    Emotion, passions, and desires are, thus peace is not.
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