Star Trek (TNG) vs. Battlestar Galactica

Discussion in 'Other Media (TV/Film, Comics & Games)' started by Bengoshi-San, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. Bengoshi-San

    Bengoshi-San Celestial Dragon

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    Which do you like better and why?

    I am not very impressed with Battlestar Galactica, nor have any of the characters really engaged me yet at all. They all sort of feel like third-rate Sci-Fi channel actors.

    The answer for me is quite simple: Star Trek The Next Generation is the mother of Space Opera TV shows and shall always be and I pity anyone who hasn't or isn't willing to watch it. Each and every single character is deep, well characterized and the show itself is far beyond science fiction, it's philosophical and ideological. The human race, as depicted in TNG is one that does not discriminate, does not abuse power and is always willing to lend a hand.

    I'm still only four episodes into BattleStar Galactica, so maybe the show will improve, but I dare say it will ever be better than TNG.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
  2. manephelien

    manephelien Gryffindor Gal

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    I don't really think you can compare the two shows. BSG is rough, gritty and doesn't hesitate to show the seamy side of humanity, even though it often is through the distorting mirror of the cylons. Trek is great fun, great adventure and it's safe. You always know the heroes will come home at the end of the day (unless it's a nameless ensign along only to be killed or an actor wants out - Tasha Yar). That said, I love TNG too, and I far prefer the Trek vision of the future of humanity.
     
  3. James Carmack

    James Carmack Jo'ou-sama no Shimobe

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    Which BSG are you talking about, the new one or the original? (I'm guessing the new one since you mention third-rate Sci Fi Channel actors.)

    And if you love TNG so much, why do you envy those who haven't/won't see it?

    And is it really fair for someone who is quite obviously head over heels for TNG to judge another show after a mere four eps?

    I don't really ave a dog in the fight, having only seen a smattering of episodes for either one without any objection to either. However, as far as the no discrimination in Trek goes, some witty commentator made the fine point that the vast majority of the "good" races are all attractive and hardly removed from humans in their appearance, but the uglier and less humanoid a species is, the more likely it is to be one of the bad guys. Some message to the kids. "We don't just like people with blond hair and blue eyes. We also like people with blond hair and green eyes, hazel too. We can even find it in our hearts to tolerate people with blond hair and brown eyes. That is how open-minded and progressive we are." :p

    And, seriously, how can you not go nuts for Edward James Olmos? He's not only going to save humanity, but also teach you calculus. You may be able to multiply by threes, twos and ones, but he can multiple by nines. What's nine times six? One, two, three, four, five, six... Fifty-four. ^o^
     
  4. Dawnstorm

    Dawnstorm Master Obfuscator

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    The answer is simple:

    Farscape

    What? Not an option?

    Never mind me... :cool:
     
  5. Susan Boulton

    Susan Boulton Edited for submission

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    If you are referring to the first series from the 1970's I would say yes, but not the re-imagined series. I would not say that Mary McDonnell and Edward James Olmos, who both have received Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe nominations are third -rate actors. Most of the cast I have seen in other series, Jamie Bamber was in Band of Brothers and Horatio Hornblower.

    As for STNG cast, besides Patrick Stewart, I have not seen them in anything that is not Star Trek related.

    To be honest I have always found the Star Trek future to be too shallow and squeaky clean. I love the twists and turns of the current Battlestar series, nothing is what it seems to be, the scripts are well written and acted, character driven rather than special effects and the use of the techo babble get out of jail card that Star Trek always has. I am looking forward to the final series once I can get the DVD.

    Battlestar is in my opinion equal to B5 for story and plot.

    Farscape was ok, but was a bit full of itself, it kept ramming home the point that it was different than other series, but in the end it turned out to re-hash the same old plot lines.
     
  6. Bengoshi-San

    Bengoshi-San Celestial Dragon

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    You are right, the vision of humanity's future is different in each by a long shot. But looking at just the acting, TNG's actors all had a unique personalities and you were invested in them and wanted to be. In BSG, you almost feel as if you HAVE to like some characters, the ones in leadership roles, because everyone else is kind "poo" anyway.

    There is a huge difference in acting. In my opinion.
     
  7. Bengoshi-San

    Bengoshi-San Celestial Dragon

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    Sorry for the confusion.
    A - I meant PITY, not ENVY. Typo.
    B - I mean the new BSG, not the old-school one, which I have heard was pretty good.
    C - You are right with the whole "ugly appearance = ugly deeds". That definitely resonates with TNG.

    The grounds for comparing the two isn't made of bedrock, but I think it's naive of the new generation of sci-fi fans to watch BSG and not even consider TNG as anything. If not for the social importance it had or being a big part of culture.

    After all... BSG itself has taken many ideas from TNG and many of the writers are huge Trek fans.


    And continuing on the acting part of things. I am not saying that all the BSG actors are horrible, but just not able to portray a character that you can get attached to in any way. At times, it's almost as if you are watching them do their job, however they get it done and that's all there is to it.


    Sorry for the rant. I'm hoping that things become more clear to me as I go through the first season of BSG.
     
  8. Bond

    Bond Registered User

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    The two series I think are too different to compare too closely. TNG is more a collection of short stories while BG is one story arc. TNG can therefore explore a greater variety of ideas while BG explores a certain number of ideas in greater depth. I am impressed with how BG hit the ground running with episodes that started at an already high level of quality. In my view it took TNG a couple of years to really hit its stride, the first two seasons had pretty wooden acting. Still, personally I have to give the nod to TNG. I may be biased. I think I've seen nearly all the episodes while with BG I've only seen the majority of the first season.

    In the later seasons of TNG, one can feel the comraderie and familiarity among the cast and the viewer already knows these characters very intimately and I felt that gave an added dimension to the storytelling. Seasons 4 to 7 I think sustain a high level of quality and the diversity of storylines serve as fantastic entry points and overviews of many common ideas covered in science fiction.
     
  9. Dawnstorm

    Dawnstorm Master Obfuscator

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    BSG has some of the best acting on SF-TV, I'd argue, but I feel their characters don't allow for much of a range (I haven't seen that many episodes, but I've seen considerably more than 4, and they're spaced out across two seasons.) The impression I get is that they're very good with suspense, which is mostly due to the actors and the brilliant dramaturgy/cutting. The thing is, though, that I feel too little variation in atmosphere; it's mostly various shades of bleak. A bit like ramming home the situation. I keep wondering why they're not just heading for the next sun. The grim hope gets old.

    How many seasons are there of BSG? It's perhaps fair to point out that it took STNG a couple of seasons to get off (season 4 to 7, as Bond said, sounds about right, though I didn't count). Some of the later episodes are quite good. That said, like Hol, I'm not much fond of the glory-glory federation routine. My fave Star Trek will always be DS9; they made a mistake introducing the Defiant, and had a really lame streak, but I like the way the premise of the entire show subverts the federation's glory; and unlike Voyager, which had potential to do the same, they actually went through with it to the end (except for the Defian-debacle). I didn't much care for the "Founders", though.

    I never got into Babylon 5 at all. It simply bored me to tears: I didn't like a single character, and the mysticism got on my nerves. The best thing about the show, I found, was the ship design for the Shadows and Vorlons (names?); those were splendid. (I'm almost certainly unfair to B5, here; I even wanted to like it, for Harlan Ellison's involvement. I just couldn't get into it.)

    Farscape is my personal favourite, but I can see that it's a matter of taste. "Full of itself for being different" turns into lovable silliness if you're me. Actually, it's not that different; it's more like "let's have fun with the tropes". If you want different, you'd better go for Lexx. I loved the four original films (Dark Zone), but didn't get into the series itself. It had a kind of surreal/absurd but consistent aesthetic. Both Farscape and Lexx thrive on style, though, above anything else. They're shows for dandies, primarily, though of different tastes. (It's not a coincidence that both series have organic space ships, I think.)

    I think a great part of Farscape's appeal to me lies in the Henson creature shop. The show has more than a bit of the Henson touch. I wouldn't argue the show's the best; it's just a favourite.
     
  10. fluffy bunny

    fluffy bunny Tasty or your money back! Staff Member

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    It's difficult to compare TNG and Battlestar as they're very different shows. In terms of shows with an ongoing arc, it'd be easier to compare Battlestar to Star Trek DS9, Farscape and Babylon 5 (and possibly Firefly).

    Out of all of them, Battlestar is probably the coldest, echoing a post 9/11 feel. The characters aren't as easy to like as is the case with other shows. There are memorable moments, but you could argue that it's the characters that make you want to stick with a show. At the beginning of season 3, I wasn't impressed with the direction that the writers decided to take with many of the characters.


    I absolutely loved Babylon 5 when it was dealing with its main plotline (rather than the occasional filler non-funny comedy episode). You could watch it for G'Kar and Londo alone. True it was very low budget but it did bring a grand scoping plot to the small screen. Babylon 5 was a breath of fresh air in a climate where every other show pressed the reset button every episode. Character development was without parallel. It was that great that DS9 borrowed a lot of ideas from it.

    DS9 - great ensemble with recurring great guest cast.

    Farscape is great for those who grew up on Star Trek. Just when you think you've figured out where the episode is going, the writers turn the plot on its head and take you to areas that you've not seen before.

    As for TNG, I still watch the odd episode every so often. However on doing so, you can't help but realise how far these shows have come. The problem with a lot of the Star Treks is that not every character is written or acted very well (compare that to firefly's ensemble). I'd rather watch the Twilight Zone rather than TNG.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  11. B5B7

    B5B7 Earthman1

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    I don't want to crush your enthusiasm, and will not address the question of the comparison of TNG & nBSG, but you are wrong about the status of TNG as SF (or even as SciFi).
    This is not true in either chronological or quality terms. Star Trek the original series preceded it (as did other series) and is superior to it - it was better SF, dealt more courageously with contemporary issues and has an Asian as a regular main character (Lt Sulu);(this doesn't happen again in ST till the pretty bad Voyager - Ensign Kim). Babylon 5 that came after it was also superior.

    This is fairly true - after all they had 7 seasons to do character development, but they could have done better. For instance, as Picard refers to in "All Good Things": "I should have done this before" - in regard to joining the poker circle.
    This is pure hyperbole - more accurate it is beneath science fiction, as inferior to much SF as both SF and as drama (especially written SF including space opera).

    This was one of its weakest areas - it refused to deal courageously with contemporary issues - either avoiding them or providing a bad answer [eg as regards genetic engineering]. Much superior philosophical and ideological treatments in both original Trek and in B5 (& of course written SF).
    The Prime Directive was very discriminatory, and again original TOS was willing to go against it when needed, not blindly worshipping a flawed principle - so they did not always lend a hand, but were often over-bureaucratic or cowardly.

    Enjoy TNG for what it does have - entertaining light/pseudo-SF, but do not attribute properties to it that only exist for you.:)
     
  12. Bengoshi-San

    Bengoshi-San Celestial Dragon

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    Your post is informative and interesting, all the way until this part, which is the equivalent of telling someone not to have an opinion and blaming me for being the single person on planet Earth who thinks Star Trek is science fiction. I guess B&N, Amazon, Best-Buy and every other place that has any Star Trek movies, music or literature must all be out of there mind for classifying it as Science Fiction.

    I apologize for being the only person on Earth crazy enough to think Star Trek is science fiction. I also apologize for having an opinion and having my own view on things. I did not know that it was against your law.
     
  13. James Carmack

    James Carmack Jo'ou-sama no Shimobe

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    Come on, Ben, you're a lawyer (or at least you play one on TV). You should be more familiar with the local ordinances. How are you going to spring your clients?

    And, technically, if B5B7 (professional wrestling handle: "The Wet Blanket") is saying TNG isn't SF because of his comment about it being "beneath science fiction", then you've done the same by saying it's "far beyond science fiction".
     
  14. fluffy bunny

    fluffy bunny Tasty or your money back! Staff Member

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    To just go back to the original post

    The tone of BSG doesn't change drastically later on. One could say that the stark gritty feel does allow it to tell certain stories in a different way but I do agree that it's difficult to engage with most of the characters (well perhaps the chief, and you're about to meet Zarek). There is a lot of rubbish with regards to their made up religion and the beliefs of the cylons which was offputting for me. It's up to you if you want to keep going or not - there are good themes in there (I preferred season 2) but the show does go off in pretty annoying tangents at times. The show's best when it tries to point out issues with modern America - eg you'll go though themes such as vote rigging and experience an insurgency a la Iraq with suicide bombers etc from the POV of the 'terrorists'.

    TNG had a disctincive vision of an improved humanity. It did have its flaws however.

    As later shows have pointed out there is a lot of moralising. In TNG, a lot of empahsis is placed on bringing 'humanity' to the stars, making other races become more like us. Who is to say human is the right way? Farscape and other shows allowed aliens to be - well alien with their own values. We're adaptable. We respected them and learnt from them rather than imposing our own beliefs on them.

    Could you qualify that statement? You could argue that Star Wars is a fairy tale set in space, but TNG does fit into the area of speculative fiction well in a number of different areas - vision of the future, real world parallels, what if..., first contact situations, contact with alien civilisations and the implications on human society including ideology, space exploration, implications of new technologies etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  15. Wulfa_Jones

    Wulfa_Jones Gentleman and Scholar

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    Of course Star Trek is Sci-Fi... "Pseudo-SF" indeed!

    There are so many different types of Sci-fi that a statement such as is boarding on ridiculous. Of course so sci-fi is hard core, using highly detailed science and politics in the story and then there is the more mainstream stuff such as Star Trek.

    Star Trek: TNG was a very popular TV show and still is. Without its success, it is unlikely the new Battlestar series would exist. For many it is the introduction to sci-fi (and for other, including me) about as far into it I want to go. I can be doing with that entire preachy “high brow" Science Fiction.

    Cambridge dictionary definition of Sci-Fi:
    “science fiction noun (INFORMAL sci-fi, ALSO SF)
    books, films or cartoons about an imagined future, especially about space travel or other planets:”

    Sounds like Star Trek to me.

    As for BS vs TNG, they are two very different shows. They might both be Sci-fi (!) but deal with very different things. You could compare DS9 and B5, but that would be opening up a whole can of worms!
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  16. Bengoshi-San

    Bengoshi-San Celestial Dragon

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    Well said Wulfa.

    To each his own, that is why I started this thread, to see what others had to say. Everyone here (unfortunately) DOES have the right to an opinion AND an interpretation.

    Those of us who would deny the rest an opinion could very well be called dictators. :eek:

    From my point of view, The Next Generation may be flawed, but it was flawed at a time when people liked the flaws as much as the purities. The society and culture surrounding TNG has made it possible for future Science Fiction/ Space shows to become popular.

    Some will consider the original ST to be the best, others will think that B5 or DS9 are better. However, ST as a whole is such a relevant piece of Science Fiction that were we to be without it, we couldn't enjoy other shows such as Andromeda, Battlestar Galactica and the other more recent shows.

    The same can be said about the Harry Potter and LOTR movies. I personally enjoyed them a lot, others, the purists who loved the books did not. They considered the movies to be a violation of such great books (I personally do not care much for J.K. Rowling's writing). However, without these breakthrough movies that have made millions, we most likely wouldn't have the chance to see other fantasy literature come to the big screen.

    It's about breaking ground in an uncharted area. Sure, the tools will become more efficient and the process will be quicker, but that does not mean that one should insult the spoon that was used as shovel.
     
  17. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    Or, at least, staff members... ;)

    Seriously though, before people get too carried away with calling each other names, let me remind you of how we work around here:

    Sadly, it is far too often the case that these sort of threads, where it 'has' to be 'either/or' that can bring out the worst in people. Personally, I'm happy to sit on the fence and enjoy both, but perhaps for different reasons.

    I think there's valid points here in this discussion: but please try to keep to them before deciding to take on each other. Further posts that even hint at such actions will lead to the closure of the thread and strikes all around.

    Mark / Hobbit
     
  18. Bengoshi-San

    Bengoshi-San Celestial Dragon

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    Just some healthy debate. I think most people who have commented have been right in one sense or another.

    I never meant for the thread to be choosing between in a definitive since but more on the differences between them and why people watch one or the other.

    Part of my intrigue towards TNG has to do with the ideological thinking behind the show and how humans are shown to be virtuous. (As unrealistic as that may be. In our current state of consumer-nature, the human race will probably have a future closer resembling BSG than TNG). It's still nice to imagine that humans will play an important part in the future peace of the universe, as unlikely as it may be. However, I've also been now thinking about the other side of things. As another member already mentioned.. this contradicts itself in the show many times, as you do not see a wide variety of races, and that most of the more peaceful races are human or human-like in appearance whereas the unattractive races are always evil and out to screw everyone over.
     
  19. kged

    kged Gloriam Imperator

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    *Nips into thread, avoiding spoilers, to give the glad tidings:*

    BSG season 4 is now available for pre-order on DVD. I have waited so long for this!

    As stated, I've avoided everything else in this thread, but I saw a bit of the OP. Wrong. Dead wrong. Never read anything so wrong in my life. Wrongest thing I ever did see. ST:TNG is absolute pap compared to BSG. Even on its best day, ST:TNG is fair. The worst BSG episode is many orders of magnitude beyond the best of ST:TNG.

    So there.
     
  20. TornydoKhan

    TornydoKhan New Member

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    Hmm.... Never was a fan of BSG, but then I never made an effort to watch it.
    TNG was quality programming until I fell in love with DS9...