Monday, November 2, 2015

Beam Me Up

So it appears as though they are making a new Star Trek series. I am not sure if this is good or bad.

Growing up, I always liked Star Trek, although I won't say it was my favorite...that is, until The Next Generation came out. (Yes, I'm old enough that there was a time when TNG didn't exist.) It was a daily ritual to sit down and watch it right after school--at the point that I started watching regularly there were enough episodes to show them daily. While the first season or so was a little sketchy, writing-wise, it became a brilliant implementation of a storied franchise, and I still maintain some of the episodes have some of the best writing in the history of television.

Still, though, when Paramount tried to milk the franchise clean, first with the oddly boring Deep Space Nine, then the acceptable but still aggressively mediocre Voyager and the sadly forgettable Enterprise, I lost interest. In retrospect, I'm sure I would enjoy all of these series--they did have legitimately differing goals and plotlines, so it wasn't just "Big ship runs around encountering weird stuff and pressing the deus ex machina button at the 59-minute mark." (That concept, by the way, was markedly reserved for the Doctor Who reboot.)

Anyway, it seemed that the TNG movies also kind of ran out of steam--I still haven't seen Nemesis, and have pretty much zero recollection of the plots to any of the others. I am still a little shocked that they only were able to eke out four big-budget movies, and even Generations doesn't really count. It's telling that none of the spinoffs really went anywhere, and decidedly had no proper movie treatments.

While I'm not opposed to it, I haven't seen either of the new Star Trek movies under the alternate timeline (or whatever). They seem interesting, but I just haven't gotten around to it. 

At any rate, I view this news with a little bit of trepidation. The press release above (written, it seems by a 12-year-old) doesn't sound promising, with the show airing on a pay-service channel that hasn't even launched yet. (And, while we're at it, that web site looks very 1995-ish. I fully expected to see Angelfire popups when I loaded the page.) The synopsis ("The brand-new Star Trek will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966.") also doesn't sound promising--we've heard this story before, and no sexy cyborgs or half-baked Vulcans are going to sate today's viewers who have ready access to zombies, superheroes, and incest in their low-to-high fantasy demands.

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