Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Star Trek Again

Just as "Star Trek: The Next Generation" broke ground for syndicated television, and "Star Trek: Voyager" was the flagship of the new UPN network, it was announced a new Trek would be the big draw for CBS All Access. (Kind of like Netflix or Hulu but with CBS reruns).

My friends who know of my fondness for Trek asked if I were excited.

No, I'm not.

I know the Internet was invented so Star Trek geeks could debate who is the better captain, Kirk or Picard, and a gazillion gigabytes of data on the Internet are about Star Trek. But, if you can just put up with a few kilobytes more, here's why:

I never recovered from the disappointment that was "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
I had come late to the party, watching the reruns of TOS throughout the '70s. What a great show. It blended science fiction and adventure, and it was written by smart people for smart people. So imagine my excitement when I heard there would be a new Trek. It would be a whole new crew, but us Trekkies were open-minded.

My big moment of disappointment came about the second or third episode. A new alien species was establishing itself. A Ferengi showed up on the viewscreen of the bridge of the Enterprise. And Whorf, feeling threatened, points his phaser at the viewscreen.

Let me repeat that: Whorf, feeling threatened, points his phaser at the viewscreen.

Two things went through my mind: The writers are imbeciles...or ...hey wait a minute ... the writers think the viewers are imbeciles.

Either way at that point, the show had to win me back, and it never did, nor did any of the following series.

TNG in fact got worse:

The psychic never told the audience anything it didn't already know.
Someone had to explain the plot to Wesley every week.
Every time Whorf got in a fight he got his ass kicked
Ryker was just redundant, Picard would say, "Warp factor 1," and Ryker would just repeat him. He was supposed to be the guy who went planet-side to keep the captain safe. This never happened.

On and on, by the third time Picard surrendered I kind of gave up.

Oh and the "something went horribly wrong in the Holodeck!" schtick I think they did every episode.

Deep Space 9's Tribble episode did something TNG was never able to do, have an actually funny episode. DS9 had its own mythology based on TNG's, but not really about TOS's idea of exploration and science. I lost interest pretty quickly.

I gave Voyager about a season. The point of the ship being lost gave it an excuse to ignore the prime directive to whose slavish devotion made TNG so boring. Once again, a concept they gave up immediately. They always followed the prime directive .. the path to most boringness.

I gave up on Voyager after Capt. Janeway gave a race of aliens who had killed her crew and stole their organs a stern scolding to never do that again. (Jerri Ryan pumped a lot of life in that show though).

I didn't see enough episodes of Enterprise to give a fair review, but that it only lasted 4 seasons might tell you something.

So, I might give it a chance when it premiers for free on CBS in 2017, but after 50 years of disappointment, I'm not sure I'd give it more than that.