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Before reading this article watch the Midnight Edge Report on how the Star Trek rights currently work. The Report gives you an in-depth view of it history and where it currently stands. It is just under an hour long but worth the watch. (I have added it just below.)
Finished the report? Good, your up to speed.
For this article, I will refer to each timeline like this.
Cannon Timeline, Everything made between 1965 (The Original unaired Pilot) to 2005 (Enterprise)
Kelvin Timeline, Star Trek 09, Star Trek: Into Darkness and Star Trek: Beyond.
Prime Timeline, Star Trek: Discovery, Short Trek and the Future Picard Series.
So how has CBS and Paramount devised us, well let start with the first JJ movie. It stated that Spock came back from the Prime timeline which created the Kelvin timeline. At the time of making the film. I suspect that they meant for Spock to come form the Cannon Timeline, as no TV series where in production due to the agreement with the licencing.
Now fast forward a few years and CBS wants a flagship show for their streaming service. As Star Trek is their most profitable franchise in their portfolio, it is chosen. However due to the deal agreed with Paramount and in turn Bad Robot they would need to buy the rights in order to make a new TV series. Bad Robot gave it to them under the same conditions that CBS gave it to Paramount / Bad Robot.
In another words it had to be 25% different from the Cannon Timeline and Kelvin Timeline. Due to this the man tasked with creating Star Trek: Discovery (Bryan Fuller) had a major disagreement with Les Moonves at the time the head of CBS and was fired and Alex Kurtzman was brought in to finish off the work. (It should be noted the majority of Fuller work for Discovery was dropped and only the basic story outline for the pilot was used. as well as some other things.)
As this being another Prequel, Fans where a little daubes about it, but Kurtzman came out and stated not to worry and everything would line up with the Prime Timeline leading fan to believe that Prime was Cannon. With the first season Discovery the fans found the show to have a closure look in style to the Kelvin Timeline than with Cannon. But Kurtzman kept stating that everything would line up with the Prime Timeline and this has continued.
Fans have not been happy with Discovery as stories and the style of the show have not yet lined up with the Cannon Timeline. To top that off there has been alot of SJW politic thrown into as well. While politics was done in Cannon timeline, it was always done in a subtle way and not hitting the views over the head with it constantly. The writing on the show has been move soap opera than Science fiction and what science there has been has been wrong (An example of this is Sonar in Space. Sound do not work in space as there is nothing for them to travel though so Sonar can not work. However radio waves do travel though space and don’t work the same way as sound. It is likely the writers don’t know the difference between the two). The characters on the show have also been unlikable. This has lead to viewer and fans stop watching the show, and has lead to Kurtzman and co to start to worrying. But I will come back to this.
Now you want to know what the big deception is. It has come form multiple leaks from with in CBS and Paramount, that when Kurtzman say everything will line up with the Prime Timeline he does not mean the Cannon Timeline but something new that will use parts of the Cannon Timeline. This is because of the licencing being given to Paramount / Bad Robot and licence it back to CBS. This mean that if Discovery or any future Star Trek show wanting to use something form the Cannon Timeline without being 25% different would have to get permission from Bad Robot and CBS and pay for the licence to use it. In another word Discovery producers need to pay Bad Robot who in turns need to pay CBS to use something from Cannon that has not been 25% changed.
So Kurtzman, CBS and Bad Robot have been deceiving Fans when they have said everything will line up with the Prime Timeline as they have been implying it was the Cannon Timeline when it fact it not. This means that the Prime Spock seen Star Trek 09 is in fact from this Discovery Timeline and not the Cannon Timeline. (The one good thing about this is that the Romulan Star Empire is still there in the Cannon Timeline.)
This also mean that the upcoming Picard Series will be set in the Prime Timeline and not the Cannon Timeline, this is why we keep hearing that Picard will be very different to the one we know. That because he has to be 25% different, it also the reason why we will never see any of the cast of TNG or other Cannon Timeline Trek shows/ Movies appearing in it.
Why have the Star Trek Fan base been deceived. The simple fact come down to Money. The people behind Discovery (Secret Hideout a Subsidiary of Bad Robot) and Bad Robot are unable to make any money from mechanize from the Cannon Timeline as CBS own the rights to this. However they can from mechanize from the Prime and Kelvin Timeline. In order to get fans to buy mechanise from these two Timeline and not Cannon, they are trying to erase the cannon timeline with Prime without the fans knowing about it and have them accept the Prime Timeline as Cannon.
Needless to say with the news of this revile fans have not been happy with it. It possible that fans would have accepted it better if they where told form the start and not deceived but that was not the case.
What will happen now? Well that is still up in the air. But one thing is for sure the Board of Director of CBS that have come in since Les Moonves was fired are not happy with the situation either. They have not yet green lighted season 3 of Discovery and with the fan reaction to Discovery and Kurtzman it is looking high likely that it will be cancelled. They also have not yet given the Picard Series a Budget which is due to start filming in April. (As the show has no budget, no script have been written, no set built and no cast casted.) which means the Picard Series is on hold. The CBS Board of Directors are considering what to do next.
What can happen next for Star Trek?
With Bad Robot, Kelvin Timeline now dead and no other movie going into production soon. Their licence for the films will expire sometime in early 2019. How this will work with them licencing Discovery back to CBS is currently unknown. But Shari Redstone who own the majority of shares in CBS and Paramount want to re-merge the companies, and this is looking highly likely to happen at some point this year. She is also extremely unhappy with the way Kurtzman and Moonves has treated Trek, as Star Trek has been very good to here family and they have ruined it name. When the re-merger of the two companies happen the Trek licencing rights will be back under one house. However this does not mean that the troubles with it will be over. As I have stated it is unknown what exactly the deal Moonves has done with Bad Robot and if he has given them a state in Star Trek. If this is the case it could be awhile until the problem has been resolved and Cannon Timeline Star Trek can start to be made again.
Is there anything the fan can do?
With the way the licence is at the moment, the short answer is no and something that will have to be fix between CBS and Paramount and possibly Bad Robot and Kurtzman.
But the Fandom can come together and let them know that what they are doing is not acceptable. In the old days I would have said a letter writing campaign would have worked, but unfortunately those days are long gone. But that not to say it can’t be done. The easiest way to do it, is not to buy mechanize from Discovery or the Kelvin Timelines (though there is not much out there for it.) As this income would dry up and no one watching their shows / Movies Secret Hideout and Bad Robot would have to admit defeat as they would hold something that is worthless to them. If it is true that they have a stake in this alt Trek as it is worthless to them they would give it up.
What do you think can be done to get Cannon Timeline and decent Star Trek back?
At one point it looked like we would never see a HD version of DS9. With the cost of converting Standard Definition to High Definition and the fact that a lot if not all of Deep Space Nine Visual Special Effects where shot on tape and not film and have been lost. (with the VFX being shot on tape, this is not able to be converted to HD as the quality of tape is far lower than film.) Also toward the end of DS9 run, they moved towards using more CGI in these VFX, the digital files for these VFX have presumed to have been lost.
However that could change. Ira Steven Behr the former Executive Producer of Deep Space Nine is make a documentary about the show, and how it has gone from the black sheep of the Star Trek family to one of the most beloved.
The documentary titled “What We Leave Behind.” will feature footage from the show. As the show is currently in standard definition it would not look good with everything else filmed in HD. So Ira Steven Behr been able to convert five minutes of footage into HD, and this looks stunning. The footage is also in widescreen instead of the standard 4:3 which was broadcast at the time.
Don’t fear the footage that has been converted has not been stanched to fit today TV standard of 16:9. At the start of season 3 of Deep Space Nine, the cinematographer’s working on the show started to shoot the show in widescreen but still framing everything for 4:3 aspect ratio. The idea was to future prof the show. (While 16:9 Aspect ratio was not yet available for home TV’s it was coming and the cinematographer’s knew it.) unfortunately this means that if a HD version of DS9 is realised the first two seasons would be in the 4:3 aspect ratio like the TNG remastered realise.
Now I know what you are asking how can this documentary give us a HD version of DS9? In short it can’t, but it proves that it can be done. As I have stated before the VFX shoots can’t be converted but CBS still has the original film of the actor of the acting in a scene that had VFX added in post production. This also incudes the early shoots with a physical models.
As for the full on CGI VFX, a lot of the artist that worked on these shoot kept hold of the files, although not all of them was kept. For the files that was it would only need a little work to touching up the scene for HD and re-render them out. As the files that have been lost this would have to be recreated from scratch and far more incentive to do. But it can be done.
What are the chances of getting a HD Version of Deep Space Nine?
At the time of writing this post is not likely to happen anytime soon due to cost of conversion and redoing the lost VFX, But I would not write it off just yet. Even though “What We Left Behind” is still in production, there seem to be a lot of antiapation for it.
Fan have been asking for a HD version for years and the documentary could push CBS into doing it, but it also depends on how the Remastered version of The Original Series and The Next Generations have done in sales. Here hoping that we final will get a HD version.
For those intreated in Documentary you can visit the website here.
(as of posting this post Ira Steven Behr is looking for help to raised funds to get another ten minute’s of footage converted for the Documentary information on how to do this on the website along with a video showing a still of a shoot that has been converted and comparing it to the SD version.)
Been awhile since I posted a trailer for a film.
Anyway here is the trailer for Ready Player One.
I have been look forward to this ever since the film was announced, love the freaking book.
If you have not ready it and grow up in the 80’s what are you waiting for go and read it before the film come out!!
How about that, today is the 7th Anniversary of starting this blog here on wordpress.
While it started as a place to post WIP of 3D art I was making in blender to movie reviews and posting once a week.
It has changed little in that time, though I have not written of a review of a film for some time. Which is something I plan to get back to.
The art has changed from do 3d models to working in 2D, and I don’t post once a week like I use to.
This blog is still a place for me to post my art.
So here is to the next seven years.
If you call yourself a sci-fi fan you have seen Galaxy Quest, if not bow your head in shame.
The Orville follows Galaxy Quest in being a parody of Star Trek.
This is a live action series from Seth MacFarlane.
In my last post I mentioned that I have lost my Mojo on doing 2d painting and wanted to get back into 3d.
I had starting build something but it was getting a bit out of hand as I am having to relearn how to use blender.
So I have put that on the back burner and started work on something a bit more simpler. This is so I can get back into it and have a better work flow.
Anyway here is a sneak peak on what I am working on.