A term coined by Justin B. Rye in his essay "Star Trek: Mark Two
", which points out various inconsistencies in Star Trek
and ways of avoiding them for a hypothetical remake.
Oneshot Revisionism occurs when a writer notices an illogical trope or plot device and attempts to avert it. More often than not, the attempt only draws further attention to the illogic of the convention - "if X didn't happen here because of Y and Z, why does it happen every other time?" - and at the same time makes it harder for other writers to Hand Wave
the whole thing away. Especially bad when the plot device in question has been used multiple times in the same Canon
where the one-shot revision is set.
The important thing about Oneshot Revisionism is that it works
; generally the only problem with it is that it draws attention to all the other times it theoretically could and should have been used but wasn't. This distinguishes it from a Voodoo Shark
, which doesn't even work on its own terms.
- From Star Trek, taken from the aforementioned essay:
- The "Kirk Maneuver" in the second movie: a ship "diving" and then "resurfacing" before the attack. It's a clumsy break from the 2-D Space convention, still unconvincing (why resurface?), and making it impossible to just discount 2-D Space as a TV convention that doesn't reflect how the space battles "really" went.
- In the sixth movie, there is the one time when a ship loses artificial gravity. Which only highlights the fact that it breaks much more rarely than it should.
- In fact, in the Voyager episodes Year of Hell, the ship is scarred and barely holding together, but never does the gravity give out.
- Expanded Universe material justifies it (sort of) with the explanation that artificial gravity is built to be almost impossible to disrupt in Federation starships because most Federation member races are really uncomfortable in zero-G and work far less efficiently. This makes sense considering most of them only go out in zero-G conditions for bare minimum qualification trials. So while other factions' vessel designs use a centralized gravity generator, Federation gravity is plated into the floors so that any disruptions are local. Life-support and Deflector Shields are apparently harder to decentralize.
- Image lag effects in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Battle". Why do they happen only this time and not every time there's a disruption in faster-than-light travel?
- The "Star Trek Phase II" fan-film web episode "Blood and Fire", based on a rejected Next Generation script, is a one-shot revision of the complete lack of homosexuals in the Star Trek universe. So now instead of zero homosexuals in the universe, there are exactly two, which is almost worse.
- The Expanded Universe novels have started being pointedly casual about mentioning this or that character with a same-sex partner, possibly to compensate for the above. It can sometimes come over as trying too hard.
- In the TNG episode "The Wounded" we see a space battle at 250,000 km. This make all those occasions where ships fight nose-to-nose all the more dumb.
- In Star Wars, Space Is Noisy is just a convention that fans accept, along with the use of the convention of sound traveling at the speed of light, as being imaginary sound effects for the viewers' pleasure. The Expanded Universe goes further and Hand Waves that these sound effects are for the pilots' use as well. Attack of the Clones tried to portray space more realistically, only to stop halfway: there is sound in space, but it travels slower than light!
- Each Knights of the Old Republic game contains exactly one situation where an NPC will scold you for being a Kleptomaniac Hero. Others will completely ignore you looting their possessions under their nose, which gives you no dark side points either.
- Except the Tusken Raiders, who will not merely scold you but shoot you on sight...
- Stargate SG-1 has such a moment associated with the pilot episode, "Children of the Gods":
- The novelization of the episode has the characters lampshade Aliens Speaking English, which confirms that yes, the aliens do speak English after all; it's not merely translated for the audience's benefit after Daniel reconstructs the local language and teaches it to his teammates off-screen.
- In Dragon Quest II, when the Kleptomaniac Hero opens a locked door in Midenhall, the guard initially reacts the way you'd expect somebody to when someone breaks in to loot a chest. However, he then recognizes the Prince and apologizes.
- Similarly, in Dragon Quest III, your hero is the son/daughter of Ortega. When you break into the treasure chamber of your liege's castle, the guard recognizes you and says that he respects your father too much to stop you. He still mildly calls you out for it, particularly since the king will actually give you permission to raid the treasury late in the game...
- The Doctor Who story "Midnight" took on the oft-used idea that the Doctor could show up with no history, no credentials, and a lot of knowledge which he refuses to explain, be detained for two minutes, and then be treated like an authority because there's a crisis going on. In this one story, these traits actually make everyone else suspicious of the Doctor as would happen in reality.
- Which is only highlighted by the fact that Donna's absent from the episode. With a human to vouch for him, the Doctor's okay, but when this man shows out of nowhere with no ties to anyone and he seems to know everything...
- There have been a couple of attempts to nerf the Sonic Screwdriver, by explaining that it doesn't work on anything with a "deadlock seal" (which showed up fairly often for a while, but seems to have been abandoned), or anything made of wood. Which means that he can use it to hack an alien computer millions of years in the future, but can't open a modern bedroom door.
- The revised JMS origin for Spider-Man which says that a "spider-totem" made him fated to get the power, and explains why Spider-Man has a lot of villains who are themed around animals. Of course, this just calls attention to the fact that lots of other superheroes also have a gallery of themed villains with no explanation whatsoever.
- Another such explanation was given by writer Mark Gruenwald in Quasar; That all superheroes and villains in the Marvel Universe are the result of a cosmic being's influence, and that "themed" beings are naturally drawn to each other. This also counts as One Shot Revisionism, as the idea's never been acknowledged by other writers; of course, since this was in Quasar, it's likely no one knows about it.
- An untold story of the Crisis on Infinite Earths comic book series was published in 1999, featuring Earth-D, a perfectly racially mixed world. On it, all the aliens pointedly did not have human racial features. What makes this One Shot Revisionism is that it makes it harder to forget that the aliens still had most human features not associated with race.
- In One Piece, everyone is Made of Iron, except for Kuina, who dies when she trips and falls. A character comments on her death by remarking that "people are so fragile."
- Power Rangers RPM did a lot to decrease some of the worn out clichés of the series and even came up with some decent hand waves for others. Such as the rangers' morphing call being a voice reading security device. However it does still cause some head scratching when the rangers need to shout POWER RANGERS RPM! when using the Megazord finisher (and even then, not every time).
- Some campaign missions in Starcraft take place on space stations or in other places where natural resources you need to build a base and train troops would not be realistically found. Because this is a strategy game, they are provided anyway with no explanation. However, in one mission in the second game, your Mission Control mentions how you were lucky to find resources because this particular space station is very old and has undergone bombardings by resource-rich asteroids. So... what about all the other space stations?
- In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry's friends take a rare luck potion before the Death Eaters show up at Hogwarts. This justifies the Death Eaters' Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship and it's suggested afterwards that many of Harry's friends would have died had they not taken the potion. However, the Death Eaters having bad aim was played straight in the climax of the previous book.
- In the case of the Battle of the Ministry, the members of Dumbledore's Army who were there were using the twisting corridors as well as their smaller size and youth to their advantage; outpacing the Death Eaters as well as using extensive cover and tactics to avoid taking casualties. Even then, however, they still lose several members (Hermione, Ginny, ect.) to the Death Eaters as they attempt to escape.
- Seven Sorcerers by Caro King averts Nobody Poops... exactly once in the beginning when Nin, fresh from the normal world, asks for a pause to relieve herself. Afterwards, one could think humans in Drift don't have to use toilets. (Magical being get a pass as they are literally based on imagination).