Thursday, February 03, 2005

Sad, Sad Day

It's a day as dark as the darkest matter, true believers. Star Trek: Enterprise got the ax. For the first time in 18 years, there will be no Star Trek on the air this coming Fall. I personally thought after Voyager ended that they may have rushed headlong into another series too quickly. It's not as though Enterprise (first two seasons, anyhow) would have kept them coming back, anyway.

I guess the big question now is not IF Star Trek will return, but when. Maybe that's being optimistic, but I think it's just a matter of time. Rick Berman thinks at least 3 years. I personally hope it's longer. The whole franchise needs to be aired out. I think the real debate is whether its best to ressurrect the current universe (maybe another 24th Century show), or to try some kind of "Battlestar Galactica style" reboot. I'd almost be in favor of the latter. I loved The Next Generation and DS9, but by the time Voyager rolled around, things were starting to feel pretty tired. I think there might really be something to say for a totally new take on the material, rather than just a revisitation to the same universe. I'm not sure distance will correct the problem.

Ronald Moore said:
"In some ways, the continuity of the show is starting to work against it. There is such a complete universe with so many characters that it's a bit daunting for new audiences." (You can read the whole thing here.)

Trekkies (Trekkers?) are already starting to cry bloody murder over the idea, but I think he might be right. I recently watched the first couple Star Trek movies and let me tell you, there's very little respect for continuity. Maybe that's too strong, but it's not the point of those films. It's just good story telling and fun, exciting characters. A reboot of some kind might give Star Trek room to breathe again. The thing that concerns me about a reboot is that the trend these days is to go dark and gritty. This, however, strikes me as antithethical to the spirit of Star Trek. It really works for Galactica, but I'm not sure that a hyper-military Star Trek would still be true to the source material (DS9, aside. Face it. Even on DS9, things never got too gritty.)

Either way, I think nothing is sacred if we're going to reapproach Star Trek. Nothing. I'd like to post further thoughts on this in the future, but here's what I'd like to see from some kind of reboot:
-Set in the 23rd Century
-Human beings, wide-eyed and exploring space
-Get rid of all the stupid technology. No transporters. No replicators. No holodecks. I'd even say "no artifical gravity" if I thought that would be affordable for television. We've got to kill what's been called the "gee whiz" factor. Today's audience has seen it all. I don't want anything to be "modulated" as a solution to ANYTHING.
-No more bumpy-nosed aliens of the week. Pointy ears and different color skin should not an alien race make.

To sum up, I think it's possible to do a show about exploration without getting mired in our expectations for what Star Trek should be. It's unlikely that anybody will listen to suggestions like this, but I think the universe is the problem. Not the continuity, per se, by the universe of expectations created by technnology and the aliens of the week type adventures. I do, however, think that getting rid of those problems may require killing the current continuity. Sad, but true.
Post a Comment