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What would it take for a TV show set in space to become as big of a cultural phenomenon as Game of Thrones?

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18 hours ago, Red Tiger said:

Most of the people I know don't know what a Klingon looks like or what they are. You are severily overestimating Star Trek's impact.

Most of the people I know definitely know what a Klingon looks like or what they are. You are severely underestimating Star Trek impact.

See how stupid it is trying to prove a point that way?

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24 minutes ago, baxus said:

Most of the people I know definitely know what a Klingon looks like or what they are. You are severely underestimating Star Trek impact.

See how stupid it is trying to prove a point that way?

Does seem like a point that we will never be able to prove either way.

Having said that, for the sake of futility I definitely think more people would recognise Jon Snow or Dany and her dragons than a Klingon. I don’t know many people outside of a small number of pretty geeky guy friends who have ever seen an episode of Star Trek.

I’d go further and say most girls I know barely know the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars.

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I tend to believe that we live in a bit of a bubble here on this website.

I'm willing to bet that if we went downtown in a major metropolis and did the old "Jay Walking" segment from the old Leno Tonight Show and showed random people pictures of Klingons and Jon/Dany I'm willing to bet we would find that neither truly has a major recognition among the general populace.

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Obviously Game of Thrones is going to be more recognisable.- recency effect alone would say that. Kind of difficult not to recognise characters when the show ended less than a year ago and posters advertising it as streaming now still show up on buses and billboards (UK). To measure cultural impact, i say come back in several years and see how relevant it still is

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4 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Obviously Game of Thrones is going to be more recognisable.- recency effect alone would say that.

Maybe. On the other hand, humans in medieval costumes are pretty generic; I bet you'd get a bunch of non-fans guessing Lord of the Rings, for example. While TNG/movie klingons are pretty distinctive, though the more recent JJ and Discovery variants won't have helped.

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22 hours ago, baxus said:

Most of the people I know definitely know what a Klingon looks like or what they are. You are severely underestimating Star Trek impact.

See how stupid it is trying to prove a point that way?

Not at all, because this isn't the same point. This isn't about your circle or mine, it's about both circles. Your original point was that you'd be hard-pressed to find somebody who didn't recognize a Klingon. I pointed that it was really easy. Now you are pointing out that it's easy to find somebody who does, but if Star Trek was really as strong as you made it out to be, then both of our social circles would find it really easy to recognize Klingons.

Perhaps you could chalk this up to living in different countries, perhaps we have different kinds of social circles, but the thing is, if I showed those same friends a picture of Daenaerys, they would at least be able to say what series' she's from and im pretty sure yours would too, because this series is everywhere (even though I stopped loving it quite some time ago).

Edited by Red Tiger

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To the actual question in the thread title.

It's important to have a lot of material to work with before even the first script is written. One of GOT's advantages was that it already had several books to work with. I think that if X-Files had an actual planned-out storyline, it would have lasted much longer. Heroes had a similar problem, no real planned story, just making shit up as it went along.

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40 minutes ago, Red Tiger said:

To the actual question in the thread title.

It's important to have a lot of material to work with before even the first script is written. One of GOT's advantages was that it already had several books to work with. I think that if X-Files had an actual planned-out storyline, it would have lasted much longer. Heroes had a similar problem, no real planned story, just making shit up as it went along.

X Files is a different era of TV though.  No one expected shows to have overall arcs back then.  It was designed to be episodic.  Star Trek was always episodic with no overall plot for that matter.

Today, we expect our TV shows to be more long form story telling.  Which is part of the reason that the number of shows per season is so much less.  How many Next Generation episodes were in a season?  24? 30?  Game of Thrones was doing pretty good to put out 10.

Even 24 which debuted with... you guessed it... 24 episodes per season dropped it to 12 the last time they attempted a reboot.

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1 hour ago, Rhom said:

X Files is a different era of TV though.  No one expected shows to have overall arcs back then.  It was designed to be episodic.  Star Trek was always episodic with no overall plot for that matter.

Today, we expect our TV shows to be more long form story telling.  Which is part of the reason that the number of shows per season is so much less.  How many Next Generation episodes were in a season?  24? 30?  Game of Thrones was doing pretty good to put out 10.

Even 24 which debuted with... you guessed it... 24 episodes per season dropped it to 12 the last time they attempted a reboot.

That is true, I can't deny that, Lord Bundy.

That being said, Cris Carter admitted that he had no idea what he was doing with the series. He made episode after episode with one mystery after another and rather than answering questions, he would pile up 2 more questions instead.

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23 hours ago, Red Tiger said:

It's important to have a lot of material to work with before even the first script is written. One of GOT's advantages was that it already had several books to work with. I think that if X-Files had an actual planned-out storyline, it would have lasted much longer. Heroes had a similar problem, no real planned story, just making shit up as it went along.

If The X-Files had a pre-planned story, it would have been much shorter. It only lasted nine seasons because it kept stringing the mystery out and because it became part of the TV landscape so inertia kept people watching. It was only when the cast completely changed that the general audience tuned out.

Dark Skies was supposed to be the X-Files with a pre-planned, five-season story arc and looked like being a great show. Alas it only lasted one season, despite having a clearly much better, strongly-designed storyline than The X-Files.

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57 minutes ago, Werthead said:

If The X-Files had a pre-planned story, it would have been much shorter. It only lasted nine seasons because it kept stringing the mystery out and because it became part of the TV landscape so inertia kept people watching. It was only when the cast completely changed that the general audience tuned out.

Dark Skies was supposed to be the X-Files with a pre-planned, five-season story arc and looked like being a great show. Alas it only lasted one season, despite having a clearly much better, strongly-designed storyline than The X-Files.

If heading out with a 5 year arc you really need to hit the ground running and make sure you grab a big audience straight away. Otherwise it's a lot of effort for nothing. Basing it on a book that is finished (and successful) minimises this risk to some extent although i think readers are far more forgiving of slow starts so will accept not much happening in book 1 as long as the writing and world building is good.

That said a lot of unplanned shows have more arcs than we often give them credit for. Next gen does have arcs sone which continue into ds9. Buffy and farscape maybe found the sweet spot of roughly having season arcs but no solid long term plan.

The benefit of not having a long arc from the outset is that you tend to launch with the main hook instead of building up to it. Then the show can fall victim to its own success eg x-files, lost and BSG.

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1 hour ago, red snow said:

If heading out with a 5 year arc you really need to hit the ground running and make sure you grab a big audience straight away. Otherwise it's a lot of effort for nothing. Basing it on a book that is finished (and successful) minimises this risk to some extent although i think readers are far more forgiving of slow starts so will accept not much happening in book 1 as long as the writing and world building is good.

That said a lot of unplanned shows have more arcs than we often give them credit for. Next gen does have arcs sone which continue into ds9. Buffy and farscape maybe found the sweet spot of roughly having season arcs but no solid long term plan.

The benefit of not having a long arc from the outset is that you tend to launch with the main hook instead of building up to it. Then the show can fall victim to its own success eg x-files, lost and BSG.

Babylon 5 started slow and managed to finish its arc, although only just.

Buffy actually shows the peril of not having an arc: Joss Whedon admitted that turning Angel into Angelus as early as Season 2 was a huge mistake, as that would have made for a better storyline later in the series, but it was such a good one he ran with it immediately. Although he did note that it made the spin-off show possible, so it may have been better in the long run.

TNG's arcs were pretty marginal (a few episodes here and there about the Borg or the Klingon civil war). DS9 had much, much stronger arcs but even then the majority of the episodes were not tied into the main arc in any way.

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