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Author Topic: A data journalism approach to solving "best ST" debates?
Kevin
Ensign
Posts: 21
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Post A data journalism approach to solving "best ST" debates?
on: July 8, 2014, 13:53
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I was very interested to read this article http://ampp3d.mirror.co.uk/2014/07/01/community-will-come-back-for-a-sixth-season-but-will-it-be-any-good/ on AMPP3D, ostensibly about the 6th season pickup of Community by Netflix, which takes a data journalism approach towards evaluating which seasons of selected popular television shows are the best, based on the IMDB scores of individual episodes.

This got me to thinking--what would this approach look like for Star Trek? Would it provide an "objective" way to answer debates about which Star Trek series are the best ones, and to what extent each series got better, or worse, over time? Can it be used to finally settle Kirk vs. Picard? I'm too lazy busy to wade into this project immediately, but I am interested in your thoughts.

One thing I have done is to compile Star Trek episode ratings by Eugene and Torie, to see what they can teach us. Who is more likey to give out higher ratings? Which do they rate as worse: 3rd season of TOS, or 1st and 2nd season of TNG? More on this topic later. :)

Kevin
Ensign
Posts: 21
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Post Re: A data journalism approach to solving "best ST" debates?
on: July 16, 2014, 15:24
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I finally had time to follow up with the data on Eugene & Torie's ratings through the end of TNG Season 3:

Image

Note that starting with TOS Season 3, Eugene and Torie started to hand out ratings below Warp 1, which changes the scale somewhat. I assigned a half point for a rating indicating some level of movement (e.g., impulse) and 0 points for a rating indicating no movement at all (e.g., warp core breach). I normalized Eugene's Warp 7 rating given to Wrath of Khan to a 6.

There are some interesting points revealed here. First, there is a high level of agreement between raters (borne out in the individual episode ratings as well as the averages), although Torie's ratings tend to be a little lower than Eugene's, averaging out to about two tenths of a point below. Second, according to our raters, the episodes in TNG Seasons 1 and 2 are awful--a full half point worse, on average, than TOS Season 3. TNG Season 3 manages to nudge ahead of TOS Season 3 in the raters' estimation, barely, but is still worse on a per episode basis than TAS, and far behind TOS Seasons 1 and 2. If TNG had ended after three seasons like TOS, it would be in the doghouse by comparison, with the average episode rated a full 1.2 points lower than the episodes of the classic series (and 0.8 points below TAS). The ratings for the classic film series (I-VI) reign supreme--even when you factor in Eugene and Torie's relatively low ratings for the odd-numbered films. The average rating for the film series, however, is only slightly better than the average rating for TOS Season 1 (4.4 vs. 4.3), reflecting how truly remarkable Trek was in its first 29 episodes.

Kevin
Ensign
Posts: 21
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Post Since it has gone quiet around here...
on: July 17, 2014, 00:00
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...I may as well mention that we have just started our TNG Rewatch at Star Trek: Relive the Majesty. Here's the link: https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/105070501462876214405

We're going in release order, and have finished TOS, TAS, and the first four films. If Torie & Eugene don't carve out some time to get back to fourth season, we could catch up in about a year!

Bluejay-
Young
Cadet
Posts: 5
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Post Re: A data journalism approach to solving "best ST" debates?
on: December 26, 2014, 14:32
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I like the TOR and Google rewatches, but I sure hope Tori and Eugene return to finish theirs. Can't have too many. I wrote a long (maybe too long) rewatch review of The Motion Picture.

Image

ecmyers
Administrator
Posts: 86
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Post Re: A data journalism approach to solving "best ST" debates?
on: January 19, 2015, 13:17
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This is some fascinating data, which I only just managed to look at...

I'm glad there are more re-watches going on, and happy you're all helping to keep this site active. I'm trying to catch up on some comment threads throughout the site, but I wanted to pop in to say that we're not done here. Life has been very, very busy with law school (Torie) and books and a new baby (me), but we intend to pick this up again! We're at least going to finish out TNG, and then who knows? Sky's the limit.

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