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Salon Writes on The Troubles with "Trek"

Hemos posted more than 14 years ago | from the the-end-of-an-era dept.

Movies 281

Splatta was the first to write with us with article currently running on Salon about the possible end of the Star Trek "idea". The story is well researched with commentary from Paramount, Leonard Nimoy and others about what's happened to the Star Trek story over the last several years and "the indignites of age". Is it the end of Trek? What do you think? Is the franchise dying?

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it is (1)

uninerd (79304) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576039)

the franchise is dying.

Trek is over (1)

nebular (76369) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576042)

Anyone who has seen voyager knows that the current Star Trek idea is over. Insurection sucked and so does voyager. They should've ran with that idea of doing a show about Captain Sulu and the U.S.S excelsior. The old series never went bad

old and needing a new idea (1)

Indy1 (99447) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576045)

the problem is they keep doing the same ships, meeting human like aliens.......etc.........DS9 was a cool change of pace. I think they need to change the focus to something they havent done before. What i dont know......but thats why i am a computer jock and not a screen writer ;)

Yay... (1)

Cebert (69916) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576047)

Here we go with a thread of a few messages filled with memories of good things about Star Trek and an outpouring of non-stop "it sucks" messages from juveniles while they push their own debatably "better" choice.

I think I'll safely ignore this entire thread -- we've seen it all a thousand times before.

As with all things (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576051)

All good things come to an end. Is it really all that bad of a thing? Perhaps it is better to stop, rather than create the same old same old, or other dissapointing material.

It's dead Jim, and so am I. (1)

ryder (111) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576053)

*sigh* I miss Bones.....

As a franchise... They've covered just about everybase. I wouldn't mind seeing one or two more Next Generation movies. I really hope they don't start up any half-assed syndicated TV show though.

Yeah, but Fall_Line sucks *ss. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1576056)

Yeah, but Fall_Line sucks ass.

Re:it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1576058)

good thing too, cause I always hated Star Trek. Star Wars I liked, but I never got into Star Trek.

change of focus (1)

47Ronin (39566) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576060)

Maybe the problem with Trek at the moment is that its original mission is played out and old. Space has already been explored and how much more can you discover? Maybe instead of focusing a main plot on exploration aspect of the series, maybe screenwriters should try other approaches.. How about a Starfleet Academy series? Lots of personalities, races, conflicts within the community, threats from infiltrating aliens, occasional away missions for training, etc. Maybe the point is not to make a series about ever-exploring ships; how about focusing on static environments with dynamic plots (like DS9 or Babylon 5). Of course, opening the series to missions and exploration adds ideas.. I find the Voyager series pretty cool.. maybe only because I missed a few seasons and the reruns I see every night now is like a season premiere! However, I did find some of the episodes lacking in depth and good conclusions (Demon, The Phage).

Linux user: if (nt == unstable) { switchTo.linux() }

It's never too late (1)

KDan (90353) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576121)

to get rid of one of the worst sci-fi series of all times. Ok, this is just a personal opinion, but anyone who likes science fiction (as opposed to sci-fi like star trek which has nothing to do with science) should automatically despise Star Trek...

Yes, I know, it's generated a lot of fans out there... but so has Barbie Doll, and other stupidities... Star Trek is just one of them... I mean how anthropocentric can you get? All aliens are just humans with little bits of make-up added? So what do they want to say? The human race is perfect? Or the fact that a guy who's supposedly Captain of a spaceship goes and leaves his duty to explore planets and put himself in danger... what's up with that? What do they want to say?
And then you suddenly realise the truth: They don't want to say anything. It's just a cheap popular sci-fi series...


The reason for the death of Trek... (5)

WombatControl (74685) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576123)

There are a lot of reasons why Trek is in the state that it's in, but the main ones are Rick Berman and Paramount itself. In some ways, the death of Trek started in its own popularity.

Trek is a massive cash cow for Paramount, a major franchise for them. Because of this, they're far less likely to do anything that would cut off that revenue flow. Basically, they can't take risks whith the story, because that might cause people to stop buying Trek stuff, and take a few precious pennies away from Paramount.

Rick Berman is equally afraid of losing that income, because it would mean him losing his job. Now, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps this is because higher-ups have tied his hands. He's not the kind of person who can revitalize the franchise.

By far, the best thing to do is to end Voyager gracefully and end the Trek franchise for a while. Bring it back with new blood in a few years, and bring it back to the spirit of the original, episodes and characters that actually take chances and make the audience think. Then, maybe, Trek can get back to where it should be.

Well, it's over (1)

Machin Shin (72048) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576125)

In a way i'm happy to(hopefully) see Trek go. I'm not sure who to blame, well maybe Paramount, they have run it into the ground with so many spinoffs, (crappy) video games, (mostly crappy) books, (shitty) comics and (stupid) little dollies. Even though i liked some eps of Next Gen, most of DS9 and Voyager are a joke, and nothing more than trying to breathe life into a dead series. A TOS movie, suggested by the article, could be cool but the plot would have to be outstanding for it to get ME to go watch it.
If Trek is to survive (and i'm not sure i want it to)Berman&co. will have to perform a serious miracle, and it's not likely to happen, the article is right, these guys don't have the imagination or balls to do it.
Ah, the irony, ST:Voy & DS9(in reruns) is still alive and a far better show, B5, is well nigh dead.

Re:it is (1)

magicpaul (98982) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576127)

It will never die...Voyager sucks, but Deep Space 9 is okay, and TNG will always be there on tape. I didn't even get into the original until long after the fact when it was on each night around 6 pm. Being 22, I wasn't even alive when it was taped. The originals introduced me, and I will stay loyal forever after. Just don't assimilate. The collective is evil.

Keep 666 Gates away from my brain.

I would like to continue to think for myself and Microsoft has no intention of allowing this. M$ is the Borg collective.

Re:old and needing a new idea (1)

Amberle (104519) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576128)

I have been a Trek fan since I was 5 years old-- my first crush was on Will Wheaton. Star Trek is something I hold near and dear to my heart, but I think Indy1 is right. Star Trek as it is is dead... If they can come up with a new, fresh idea for a series, that will be great! But everyone is getting bored with ST as it is, and lets face it, Voyager is just kind of silly. I think the idea of a Star Fleet Acadamy series is great, though I am concerned that it would turn into a Beverly Hills 90210 with com badges. What about a ST spinoff that's not necessaraly about Star Fleet, but set in the same universe.

Just an idea.

It's not quite dead yet... (3)

n2kiq (106867) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576132)

The whole thing just needs to rest for a while (as was pointed out by one of the preceeding posts).

I more or less grew up during the middle of The Original Series. I think I've still missed a few episodes but they were really tackling current events issues (not that I knew it then). Roddenberry really put himself out on a very long, and very thin branch to produce this series, and it paid off too. Although it's a little dated it's still good stuff.

Next Generation was basically a knock-off, but after 15+ years it was a welcome one. There was a good infusion of neat(tm) ideas that worked pretty well.

The differing perspective of DS9 was good, but no one wants to watch 3+ years (or so it seemed) of War. Terry Farrell must have thought so.

Voyager was initially a neat idea, but except for being way-far-away, there's little really, really new.

Earth Final Conflict (on a slightly different, but paternally related subject) is a decent series, although I haven't watched it as much as I would like. It's a (reasonably) new and neat idea.

Paramount - Take a rest for a while and dream up something really different and unique, then be deliberate in choosing where it goes.

Just a few $0.0275 (inflation)

Re:Trek is over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1576135)

Come on!!! What do you mean the original series never went bad?!? Do you remember "Spock's Brain" That has got to be the worst Startrek episode ever. I agree, the new shows could have been much better but, you never know... that new series (probably Starfleet Academy) might be good... stranger things have happened (like Gates and Jobs being friends...).

Gods, let's hope so! (5)

ajs (35943) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576139)

Star Trek was a wonderful phenomenon to watch. The original series could really stand on its own, even given the extreme level of schmaltz. The fan-base was an unheard of phenomenon for a TV show.

But it's been a long, slow downhill slide. The movies were always uneven, but the recent offerings even make The Great Bird's self-indugent outing in ST:TMP look like art. Voyager episode quality can be measured in terms of how much of the plot can be said to have actually happened at the end of the episode, and no one on the set of any recent ST production (TV or movie) actually takes it seriously beyond their own task. It's just a business, now (this last from various sources at media cons and through the Net).

Look at what's been going on meanwhile: Babylon 5, Earth: Final Conflict, Farscape, X-Files. Even Reboot has plots that Voyager could learn a few things from. I'm not saying that other shows are perfect. Babylon 5's "Grey 17 Is Missing" provoked creator J. Michael Straczynski to lament not being able to apologize to each and every fan individually. But these shows try to explore what can be done with TV science fiction. Star Trek is interested in finding a way to increase the franchise market-share, and not much else.

I'm not actually trying to bash Star Trek, here. What I'm trying to say is that the good people involved in that show would be far better served trying to create something new and innovative. Those who desperately cling to the franchise because it's the only way to assure a market should be quietly taken out and shot. It's just more humane that way. After all, they shoot producers, don't they?

Perhaps in 20 years, the fan base will rise again to provoke a new generation of studio execs to re-create the mythos again. Until then, even the hint that ST's days may be numbered is welcome news in these quarters... :-|

If you stand still for too long... (1)

Wayfarer (10793) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576141)

...You might as well be dead. A story universe like Star Trek can only be carried so far if it remains static. The Federation's perspective itself can only be carried so far. Sure, there have been changes over the lifetime of the series, like the nature of the Klingons. However, the premise remains the same--boldly go where no one has gone before, and do it from the POV of the Federation. And that's the safe thing for Paramount to do.

I was one Trekker who was attracted to Babylon 5 because it offered a whole new perspective on the space genre. There was a new universe, produced in what was (at the time it started) a rather novel fashion for a large-scale space series. And the perspective wasn't nearly as centered on one species/alliance/side as it was in Star Trek.

To paraphrase Darwin: evolve or die.

Re:It's never too late (1)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576144)

Ok, so you can only like one thing or the other, yep.... Our way or the highway.

Ever wonder why there's so much conflict and hate in the world?

It's Dead... (0)

Bad Dude (14345) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576151)

Treak is dead... No New stuff.. Just the same old stuff... Dead.. Dead... Dead....

Insurrection sucked? I'd beg to differ... (3)

Masem (1171) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576152)

I feel that Insurrection broke the odd-number trek film curse, though it certainly wasn't the greatest trek film. Half the problem was that the movie, in terms of it's expanse and the influence that the plot had on current and future Trek history, was not very large.. if anything, this movie would have made a better episode, or two part episode even. But transferring something that would have made a good episode to the big screen requires the incorporation of lots of special effects. While these aren't absent in Insurrection, they stand out too much (Data's invisibility at the beginning, the invisible ship, and the space battle). They all feel forced. Most everything else about the movie feels about right and is pretty close to the original Trek series (notice that Picard got the girl this time :-).

Now, Voyager on the other hand, is suffering from being in prime time and thus forcing ratings. If you think 7 of 9 is there to build personality, think again :-). It's not that Voyager's episodes aren't necessarily bad (There's a few that really stand out as stinkburgers however), but in 9 out of 10 times, it's been done in the trek universe before. This is one of the reasons the Doctor is getting a lot of favored reviews.. he's the only character (or type of character) that really hasn't been developed in any other trek series, and many of the plots revolving around him are new. Many of the Seven of Nine plots are too Borg-intensive, as opposed to moving her away from Borg. But every other character on Voyager is bland, and I've yet seen any really good exploration of one particular character that hasn't been done before.

I agree that what Paramount should do is hold off on another series.. put at least a year between Voyager and whatever this new one is called (and since there's no B5 to compete against, there's no rush here). Plan the new Trek movie to premiere the same year as this series comes out; if possible revolve the movie around the new series (Although I've heard the new movie will be strongly Klingon in nature.. yeeesh).

The article itself.. (4)

Tarnar (20289) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576155)

First, have any people commenting so far (before my post in terms of chronology) even READ this article? It seems to be a Witchhunt.

Here we have a Trek fan, who is bitter about the divergence in the franchise (so many different series), who is looking to point a finger. He calls TNG and Voyager tripe on the first page (and is half right ;-) ). He goes on to be nostalgic, quoting Shatner again and again on the decline of the series. Talking about the old scripts being the best ones, the old actors being the best actors. He even says WHY this may be so, as nostalgia can cloud your vision. The 'good ol days' are always better. Then he ignores he ever said that.

Then he starts pointing fingers. Squarely at Rick Berman. Now, this is bar-none disgusting. He blames him for all the bad series. He blames him for killing off Kirk in a 'dishonorable' way (I thought how he died was good, he saved 200 odd million people and got to come back to life like Spock). Rick Berman may have had his faults, but he put DS9 & TNG on the air. Plus movies. Finding one person to point a finger at is SO easy, and here we see it done.

Then there's all the talk of marketing and franchising. Now he sounds like a bitter Star Wars fan, whining about George Lucas getting commercial and sick about the series.

Maybe Star Trek is dying. I hope not, DS9 was an amazing series. TNG was a great one too. 'Generations' was not as bad as the author wanted it to be. It was a way to look back at both TNG and TOS (or at least Kirk's hairpiece). It's sad to see a fan get bitter and start pointing fingers when his favorite toy series falls apart.

Voyager... (1)

R. Anthony (97761) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576157)

"So your the first female captain, and you're lost?" - Conan O'Brien interviewing Captain of Voyager, Kate M.

I for one am still curious as to why they replaced the last ST with Voyager... I think this is what took the wind out of ST's sails. The fact that they had to bring in Jerry Ryan for sex appeal is pretty demeaning to science fiction...

I have watched the series (and movies) on and off since the late 70s, but ST never held a candle to the SF books that I've read over the years. Perhaps it's the fact that the genre doesn't often translate well onto the screen, but I suspect it's also due to the limited nature of the show. However, there is at least movement, as opposed to DS9 which never appealed to me.

Another thing that I've found distasteful is the same thing that has progressively annoyed me about Lucas' Star Wars films. Too many creatures.

And yes, ST is guilty of the Jar Jar factor aswell. The point is, a story should sustain itself, and there shouldn't be a need for an endless parade of critters to simulate an alien experience.

Personally I will watch ST again when they get another Captain on par with Jean Luc. Flashing a little T&A (7 of 9) isn't going to win me over so easily.

Bury it already... (1)

Zan Thrax (53693) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576158)

The original series is looked back at with fondness for a good reason: It ended before it got too old, unlike almost every single American tv series. Each show was new, in at least some way. Each show of each series since then has felt less and less original. Combined with comparisons to previous Trek series, they wind up recycling their own story lines, and also have to be distinct from other SciFi shows/movies/books.
In the 1960's, Trek was original. Noone had really seen something like this before. In the 1980's, the only people who hadn't seen everything TNG was doing were the youngsters like me. DS9 was fairly new to people (like me again) who hadn't seen a certain other sci-fi series on cable. Voyager... well Voyager's just bad.

The article talks alot about the crew of the original ship being more interesting. They are. Even though the characters are under-developed and over-acted, they had much stronger relations to each other. Because of the simplicity of the characters, clear dynamics were easily created. The later series characters all evolved (somewhat), and had more complex relationships that changed over the span of the series. While this would seem like a Good Thing, it isn't in this case. With the simple, immediate relationships in the original series, the viewer could quickly get involved in the story. Of course, if the original series had been allowed to drag out forever like most American series, the weak characters would have become incredibly boring and trite.

In the end, the franchise is dying because Trek is becoming just one of many sci-fi shows, instead of the only one. And it doesn't compare favourably most of the time.

Nirvana (1)

uninerd (79304) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576161)

Sir, i flame you not. I merely ask what you mean in bringing Microsoft into the matter. Granted, my initial response to the article was a lame attempt at a first post- but what is this a forum for? News for nerds? Or is it a MS-bash-whatever thingy? Frankly, i don't see the logic or relevance in your comparison. Besides, wasn't the Borg's robustness and efficiency more analgous to a few (ahem) *nix OSs than to MS? oh well, whatever nevermind.

replacement ? (1)

Zurk (37028) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576163)

wasnt earth final conflict supposed to be start treks replacement ?

Re:old and needing a new idea (1)

tmatysik (72927) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576165)

If there's a Trek series not about Starfleet, it'd have to be about something like the Maquis, maybe about a shipload of rebel Romulans. Nothing else non-Starfleet would really work. I think Starfleet Academy would be quite good, or maybe a ground-based Starfleet security force on some planet in a dangerous place?

Might as well join the flood. (1)

MichaelH (3651) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576166)

Let it die.

TOS had its place. Heck, I milked it for a 20 page paper more than a couple of years ago. In fact, my first memory of television involves Star Trek.

TNG was ok. I watched it faithfully while it was possible to not reorient the antenna to do so. DS9 was ok, too.

Voyager is excruciating.

In a lot of ways, it's all an echo of the ongoing disaster that is the Fantasy/SciFi section of your local chain bookseller. People without anything new to say are happy to push these megaseries on a public that is shockingly resistant to learning new characters and settings. For a while it was a sort of cute "Tolkien wrote a trilogy, so good fantasy must come in threes" meme. Then it was Frank Herbert extending Dune through the arguably troublesome fourth and disastrous last two volumes. And along the way, David Eddings, Stephen Donaldson, Piers Anthony, and others decided people were happy to just stick with the familiar. In fact, they got punished in the market if they tried to stray.

It's ironic that a genre in which the readers pride themselves on the new and imaginative would much rather look in satisfaction on bookshelves with row upon row of "volume four in the fifth trilogy of a ten part epic."

Star Trek is trailing edge and predictable now. Let it die. Let's see something new.
Michael Hall

Alot of people just don't understand Star Trek (4)

Temporal (96070) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576167)

In my opinion, TNG was the best TV series I've ever seen. No, I'm not a trekkie. I don't own a single piece of Star Trek merchandise, and I haven't seen an episode of Voyager since last season. But I understand it. Note that when I say "Star Trek" here, I am mainly refering to The Next Generation (and also Voyager and DS9), as I am not very familiar with the original series.

Star Trek is not about science or technology. Those are just a medium for the real stuff that goes on. Star Trek is about the characters and moral issues. To enjoy the show, you have to watch it consistantly. You have to know the characters. Half (if not more) of the content of the show is just about the characters and how they are growing. Most people wouldn't understand why it is hillarious when Data says "oh shit!" It is, of course, because doing so contrasts so much with his normal character. (he says "oh shit!" shortly after first installing his new emotion chip) When you really get in to it, you find that Star Trek has better character development than almost every other series on TV today.

The other important issue in Star Trek is the moral issues presented. One of the most interesting episodes of Voyager that I have seen involved a debate over whether or not it is right to use medical or other scientific data aquired through immoral means. Although I did not agree with the decision made by the Captain, I found myself talking about that episode for hours afterwards.

If shows like this don't interest you, that doesn't make me think any less of you. Everyone has their own tastes. But lots of people come at Star Trek from the wrong direction, and then they think it sucks. Star Wars fans, in particular, can't seem to comprehend the idea of sci-fi without constant fight scenes and explosions. So, I guess what I want to say is, no, just because you don't get it doesn't mean it sucks.


Re:old and needing a new idea (1)

NiceGuyEddie (105289) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576171)

I always had a craving to see a series set in the same universe but with more "rough and tumble" type characters, people that don't have the prime directive to follow, maybe pirates or mercenaries. another idea that has popped into my head at least once is to _not_ feature regular characters maybe reoccuring characters that show up every once in a while with many different yet intertwined stories to tell... my major complaint with Trek so far is that they portray the main characters as being to "shiny" and good...we need some characters that are dark and mysterious. (here's where I start a war sort of like the star trek vs. star wars, trek vs. B5 threads in the newsgroups) Babylon 5 had plenty of characters that were shady, granted that may not have been Gene's vision, but people were, seemed to me atleast, alway portrayed as either good or gray areas, people will never be like that. and there also needs to be more personality development done to the characters, by the end of DS9 Worf was a very colourful character, but in the begining he was very one dimensional.

Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1576173)

I hope to release you from the collective. What can I do to help you sir collective-lot?

Let it die... (1)

itachi (33131) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576174)

Watching the current crop of Star Trek spinoffs is like going to the hospital to visit your sick, dying 120 year-old grandmother. You really love her, she's a great old lady, but it's clear that she's suffering. She was always so nice, you hate to see her in pain, but you hate to see her go. I think that maybe it's time to just let go. In fact, I think that the series finale for TNG would have been a great funeral, but it's a little late for that.


It's all About The Almighty Buck (1)

divergent (97692) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576177)

I mean come on how hard can it get? The original show did do some work as far as making minor political points and they tried to show some diversity among aliens (although the "interesting ones" always looked similar to humans).

The original series was stopped because at that time the marketing was different, now a days they (being Hollywood and TV in general) run every popular idea into ground, sometimes painfully so. Look at some of the stuff they wrecked before, Highlander 2 is a great example of "how can we squeeze some cash outta this?" It is how it works, period. If the setting were different and TV (especially TV) writers, producers and directors were allowed we would see more challenging material across the board.

It is coicidence that Star Trek has reached this point, next week it will be another concept, just not as popular.

I do have to admit there is one exception and that has been X files. Every time I start thinking X files isn't worth watching someone tells me I missed a great episode. Otherwise I cannot think of a single long running series that was not exploited to it's fullest for the sake of a penny.

Re:Yay... (1)

NiceGuyEddie (105289) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576179)

all of my favorite episodes were the ones with Q

Poor, poor Trek... (2)

Millennium (2451) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576180)

It's sad to see what's happened to Trek over the years. TOS was pretty good. I personally think Trek was at its peak during TNG, but I know I'm in a minority as far as that's concerned so I'll just shut up about it.

DS9 was a good series in its own right. But it never felt quite right; it was tied in with the Trek universe quite well, but it didn't feel like Trek.

Voyager... I'd like to like Voyager. A few of the episodes are actually very good. But it just doesn't work like TNG or TOS or even DS9 did. It's like Trek crossed with Lost in Space (not the movie; the original TV version).

At least they cancelled that one atrocity they were thinking of doing; I can't remember the title but it sounded like it would turn out as Star Trek meets Saved by the Bell. A series based on Starfleet Academy could be a Good Thing, but I don't think the present team could pull it off.

The Trek franchise isn't going to die out anytime soon. If you don't believe me, rent Trekkies and watch some people who are probably obsessed to an unhealthy degree. The question is whether it will continue for a long time or suffer a prolonged, agonizing death. Sadly, at the moment it seems like the latter. But I hope it turns around, either with Voyager or whatever next series (that idea with Sulu and the Excelsior was very cool; what happened to it?)

uhh, reality check (2)

YogSothoth (3357) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576181)

Ok, before everyone goes non linear on this "death of trek" idea, I'd like to propose an alternate explanation. Let's take the two most recent movies:
  • Insurrection - grossed 73 million
  • First Contact - grossed 95 million

One possible hypothesis is the aforementioned "death of trek" theory, but here's an alternate one:

First Contact made more money because it was a *much* *better* *movie*

Stay with me folks, we're just getting started ... now how about the much
lamented Voyager and it's less-than-stellar tv ratings? More evidence
that the franchise is faultering? Possibly. Let's review, which of the
following non-starter ideas/characters/incidents have occurred on Voyager?

  • Introduce little girl with horns on her head, ensure that she
    is on par with Wesley Crusher in terms of appeal, feature
    her prominently in a number of episodes.
  • Have the doctor and/or seven of nine sing, possibly even nursery rhymes in three out of four episodes starting a new season.
  • Produce threatening, captivatingly brilliantly conceived villians
    like the kazons (or was that the chili-con-kazons) and feature
    them for a season and a half.
  • Have Chakotay hop onto the shuttlecraft for some sort of pow wow
    with the 'great spirits' in order to sort out some bad
    delta quadrant mojo

The answer? All of the above. I mean really folks, what do the folks at paramount expect? You put out garbage like that and then are surprised when people don't bother with it? And as far as the franchise dying goes - you could have made that statement just after the release of *every* *one* of the odd numbered movies and for every odd numbered movie (so far) there was an even numbered movie that mysteriously revitalized the dying franchise.

It isn't hard Paramount, produce something worthwhile and we'll line your
pockets - produce crap and you'll end up eating it.

Re:Nirvana (1)

magicpaul (98982) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576182)

The collective of Borg fame analogizes to M$ pretty much exactly. I am certain Spock would see the comparison in perspective. The Borg has not yet succeeded against humanity, which is what I hope for humanity at large. Microsoft must be stopped.

Re:change of focus (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576183)

Maybe the problem with Trek at the moment is that its original mission is played out and old. Space has already been explored and how much more can you discover?

But space hasn't been explored. Sure, Star Trek's been to a lot of planets with bipedal aliens, and introduced a dozen forms of fictional radiation, but what of real science? Ideally, any new show should be set in an eralier era, in which technology is less distinguishable from magic.

I liked DS9, if only because it tried to develop a (somewhat) plausible political and social background for some of its cultures. Nimoy actually makes the Starfleet Academy idea sound plausible-- until I had read this article, ST:Starfleet Academy reminded me of BH:90210.

The Descent to Mediocrity (1)

grahamkg (5290) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576184)

ST: TOS. The Enterprise and her crew are the flagship of Starfleet, with a mission for exploration, a "Wagontrain" to the stars. Kirk is the consumate swashbuckler.

ST: TNG. The Enterprise and her crew are the flagship of Starfleet, with a mission for exploration, a "Wagontrain" to the stars. Picard is the intelligent manager.

ST: DS9. DS9 is a space station, with a mission to service travelers, a "truckstop" in the stars. The head of the station is competent but forgettable.

ST: Voyager. Voyager is a small starship, with a practical mission to cross the galaxy to return home, a modern "Lost In Space" that ends either when the ratings drop below profitability or they actually return home. Captain Janeway is not only incompetent, but deserves a courtmarshal for stranding her ship and crew to the other side of the galaxy.

Does it really take much to understand the demise of Star Trek?


Re:The article itself.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1576185)

Actually, did you read the article? He even mentions its not fair to just blame Berman. Also, people close to Trek hated how Kirk died and blamed Berman for it (like Nimoy)

The problem with Star Trek is.... (1)

hyyper (21529) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576186)

The problem is in the 23rd century, computers are
still running Microsoft OS's. Good grief, how
often can the ships computers get cracked by aliens, holodeck characters and berzerk crew members before they switch to the latest OSS operating system.

Another thought.... (3)

ajs (35943) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576187)

Star Trek is essentially dead. Voyager is stringing along just well
enough to keep some minimal fan base from storming the studio with
pitchforks and torches, but.....

What if Paramount created a very loosely themed series with nothing
but guest writers and a team of staff-editors? You could have a group
of 5-10 "regulars". Kind of an anthology show, maybe even with
1/2-hour shorts grouped 2 per episode. Don't give it a ship. We've
already established that the ships look pretty similar inside, so
there's no reason to tie the show down. Just build a bunch of sets
that can be quickly dressed to be different ships.

You could then tackle everything from the oft mentioned Star Fleet
Academy (still an idea I would need proved to me) to exploration to
simple character pieces to huge Starfleet-moving plots. Hell, at that
point you might even get a few good SF writers to write an episode or
two. Not so much share-cropper novels as mildly-constrained free-form

The best way to go would probably be to avoid setting any
ground-rules. Just write up the core cast for the series bible and set
the writers loose. If they write something that you would never have
allowed, but it just works, go with it.

This is really about all I can imagine that would save Star
Trek. You'll notice that I've given no actual story ideas here. If
someone's on the inside, please feel free to show this around, as
there's nothing here that any real claim could be laid to.

Think Jar Jar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1576188)

Then speak not ever again.

It's the story, stupid (2)

extrasolar (28341) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576189)

Is Star Trek dead? I will have to answer "It depends."

I have long been a Trekker. I grew up with The Next Generation (the best of the Trek series IMHO). I also know what makes Star Trek better than Prime Time.

It's the story stupid! If there is a good plot and theme, that could make up for the worst of actors, the most hideous directing, and the cheeziest special effects.

Star Trek did this. Gene Roddenberry was a God because of this. The Next Generetion did this. I can't count how many times both series have surprised me, gasp at the depth, and made me think. This is what Star Trek did well and this is what made it a success. It was (and still is) one of few shows that want you to think.

Then came Deep Space Nine. DS9 had a great concept. It could have been great in the same way Star Trek 6 was great. In many ways the show was great. But somewhere along the lines, the story became unoriginal and cheap. But then they began a war, somewhat like Babylon 5, and it meant something. I was satisfied with the last few seasons of DS9 but I will submit that it lowered Star Trek to a point that it was like everything else.

And Voyager. This is a sad show that tried, futily, to retake some of the energy from TNG. Voyager has had some great shows but what it lacks is excellent theme. Theme is key to all that is Trek. If a show doesn't mean anything, I don't want to watch it and I am sure there are others who agree with me. Voyager kept rehashing the same themes, whether original to Voyager ot stolen from TNG. These themes became stale. Then 7 of 9 came aboard and the ratings went up! Now instead of trying to revive Star Trek, all the producers needed to was keep the audience staring at Seven's breasts--just like everything else. So in this sense, Star Trek is dead. It should be hung and tortured for the monster it has become. But, there might still be hope.

I will use a familiar cliche to Babylon Five watchers: This new series might be our last, best hope for Trek. I have read of some rumors about the new series parelleling the United States and Europe. The uninitialted may find nothing of interest here. But the more alert Trekkers will recognize this as another attempt at the thing Star Trek has done so well: making Star Trek relevent to a current day audience. Indeed, this is a common challenge for all science-fiction. But think! The recent controversy over the United States attacking Kosovo. Whichever side of the fence you take regarding this incident, there is plenty to say here about morality and human beings in general. How exciting it could be. Hopefully, as the article suggests, Rick Bermin will rethink Star Trek in this way. Come on Rick. Tell us something for us to ponder. Make us think. Blur the distinction between good and evil. And have our heros save the federation from its largest threat: itself.

This new series holds all the cards. This could be the resurrection of Star Trek! It could also bury Star Trek forever.

Live long and prosper, Star Trek.

Linux? That's GNU/Linux [] to you mister!

E:FC (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576190)

You mean "Toronto: Final Conflict" ? :)

I call it that after I tried watching one episode during the first season.
The heroes got out of a car and parked behind the CBC TV studios.
That killed any chance of me 'suspending disbelief.'
The commercial hence didn't make me want to watch it either.

TNG amused and entertained while it was on, TOS is fun to watch mainly because, unlike TNG, NOT EVERYTHING IS SOLVED BY CHANNELING X PARTICLES THROUGH THE DEFLECTOR ARRAY!!!

I will say this for TOS: at least the humans got out and fought, unlike the push-button driven TNG.

PS Wrath of Khan is the best!!!



Re:uhh, reality check (1)

divergent (97692) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576191)

I was actually surprised first contact didn't make more money - but as a joke I have to admit I found it hilarious when the teacher on South Park said this about Contact:

"I waited that long just see her goddamn father!"

too funny. But you raise another point, Contact is science fiction at it's best, Star Trek was not sience fiction per se as much as a "TV Show" with a futuristic setting.

Trek needs to regroup. (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576192)

The article is sad, yet true. Next generation was a very good continuation of Trek, as it had the blessing and guidance of Roddenberry, at least up until season 5. It did quite well during 6 and 7, but at least they had the mercy to end it there... DS9 was pretty good, as they weren't continually encountering "new, strange anomalies" and had an original premise, and gave stories with more continuity. They actually had SOMETHING to do with each other.

Voyager just sucks .

I suggest that it be put into hibernation for a while, let all of the old people cycle out, and wait for new writers/directors to come in.

If anything for moves, Peter David should have something to do with the next movie (note MOVIE not TV SHOW). He always did a good job with Star Trek. And that X-Men thing was well... stupid. Good thing i never read it...

Perfect (1)

Ross C. Brackett (5878) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576193)

If somebody asked me to write an article about Star Trek, (and I was a better writer) this is exactly the article I would have written. This is the first "Star Trek Sucks" analysis that reveals the most obvious reason why Star Trek isn't good anymore: Rick Berman.

If people ask me if I like TNG, I'll say "sure, seasons 1-5". Seasons 6 and 7 were so completely different from the previous stuff, it was almost a new show. I don't know about anyone else, but I felt incredibly cheated when ideas that Roddenberry had obviously wanted to incorporate into the series over time; such as the idea of an alien civilization "seeding" the galaxy's genepool, or the fate of young W. Crusher were "dealt with" in single tritely-written episodes leading up to the finale, as if to get rid of all that silly nonsense about the potential of the human race so we can get back to the good stuff: space station soap operas and blowin' stuff up!

So here's my proposal: Paramount if you're listing, you need to do two things: 1. Stop being jerks. Overmerchandising, and even worse, cracking down on copyrights used by the freaking community of devoted fans that has kept your mini-empire from crumbling 2. Hire me. Yes, that's right, I humbly offer my services as the full-time curator of the Star Trek universe. I don't know much about production value, I don't know much about profit margins, but I know Trek.

Bah. It'll never happen. Besides, I'm not even sure if Paramount's even worthy of getting a second chance. Trained monkeys could do a better job of keeping Gene's vision alive. Face it: if Paramount was forced to make a choice between Voyager and Ally McBeal on their Wednesday lineup, which one do you think they'd choose?

All right, I'll put it in terms that even a Paramount Executive could understand: by not investing in the long term success of the series by truly putting some thought into what goes, you'll lose the fanbase that was attracted to the series in the first place: people who like thought-provoking, cool-feeling, well-written sci-fi. As is usually the case in everything, short term micro-managment is what will kill a project. Even one as cool as Star Trek.

The end of Trek. (1)

Sangui5 (12317) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576194)

I do have to say that if Trek continues on now as it has been, it won't last long.

Paramount's only cash cow is Star Trek. As a business they cannot exist without it. Unfortunately the cow is going dry. I'd put the beginning of the end when the networks got fed up with being required to air paramounts other shows in order to air Trek. When DS9 stopped being aired regularly on network TV was the day that I stopped watching regularly. It's back now, but I don't have the time to catch up with what I missed. The series really needs a rest, and get a fresh start, or at least some new visionary writers.

It isn't that any of the new Trek stuff is bad, it's just that it is all old-hat now. They are covering stuff that has been done before in Trek and in other places. Star Trek used to be real science fiction. You know, the good stuff that wins Nebula Awards, not those pulp series books (the Trek books actually come to mind). Since its comercial success, they don't have the guts to try anything new. Science fiction isn't dead, and it's been around a lot longer than Start Trek. As long as there are new, revolutionary ideas being written about in SF, there is a chance for Trek.

It's really a pity that Nimoy won't be doing any more movies. If a good movie was written with a good Spock part, I'd hope that he'd agree to do the part. Of course, nothing with any artistic value is going to be put out, simply because Paramount wants a money maker, not a cultural treasure. Really, that's the big problem. Paramount wants money, and they fail to realize that the reason that Trek has been so successfull is that it is a cultural icon. Not on par with Shakespeare, but it certainly is something that I'd like my grandchildren to be exposed to some distant day in the future. Unfortunately they'll have to live with Kirk dying an ignoble death, while Spock, Bones, and Scotty just fade away...

Trekkies and Internet took the fun out of Trek (1)

Zico (14255) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576195)

Where I'm coming from: Probably by now have seen all the episodes of the original series, a few dozen or so of the Next Generation series, and just a handful each of the next two spin-offs.

The original series was just a plain fun show. It never took itself too seriously, and you could count on getting laughs out of Kirk, Bones, and Spock. By the time the Next Generation was in high gear, the humor was drained from it, with forced Data gags being about the only source of attempted humor. The show just took itself way too seriously, with constant kvetching about the "Prime Directive" or whatever. Instead of appreciating the show for its entertainment value, trekkies would incessantly debate the minutiae of the show and whether this or that scientific aspect was legit. I thought: Who cares? If I want to deal with some legit science, I'll pick up a tome based on fact, not watch a fictional TV show. Just entertain me.

Unfortunately, the show's creators would listen too closely to the over-analyzing of the trekkies, and while pandering to them, neglect what it takes to make a good all-around show. They thought it was necessary to cater to this narrower audience in order to keep the series alive. They were probably right -- the problem is that the approach didn't make for good TV.

Now look at the original series -- they didn't have instant feedback on every single facet of the show, so the show was a product of the creators, not a reaction to the complaints of trekkies. Sure, it didn't get a strong enough reaction from any one group (like the latter series did from the trekkies, and only the trekkies) to allow it to survive more than a couple of seasons, but it made its appeal more universal. That's why, even to this day, everybody knows who Kirk, Bones, Spock, etc., are. Targetting a show at a niche audience is okay, but when you start ceding the creative control to a nitpicky audience, you're asking for trouble, because you're never going to be able to satisfy everyone. It might get you longevity, but the end result is predictable and feels forced.

I will give the latter series credit for the whole Borg thing, which was a very cool concept. At this point, though, about the only thing that will get me tuning in is some good old fashioned lesbian action. ;-)


Re:The reason for the death of Trek... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1576196)

Rick Berman has done a fine job with all of the ST-TNG episodes after Gene died plus the DSN episodes too. Voyager sucks, but that is NOT Berman's fault. The corp. and not the person is at fault. For Votager, UPN.

Paramount was in control when Gene made the original Star Trek, but that was cancelled after the 2nd season.

Here is the reason Trek is sick and dying... (1)

Lotek (29809) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576197)

Like the article pointed out, (and I think didn't give enough focus to, ) the original series had a certain something that the later ones lacked... they were written by people who had experience in life. They were the generation of WW2, and were rooted in the Cold War. They were also, for the most part, writers who were damn good Science Fiction writers first, and writing for television second. They wrote real, deep characters that got into trouble, and thought (or fought) their way out of it.

When the Next Generation show came along, it was... okay. There seemed to be a general lessening in (expensive to film) action, and the situations didn't quite seem as tense. Granted, as the series progressed, there were flashes of brilliance (borg) and things happened that were truly cool and interesting. (Klingons!) But...

I could see the slow slide into lazy writing getting worse with each new episode. More and more often, they reverted to a technobabble, last minute super tech fix. (yes they did this on the orginal series too, but not as often.) Pretty soon, all the new Trek shows had the new Nose/Head/Ear prosthesis aliens who would show up, hell would break loose, and then at the last minute, the problem would be fixed with a technobabble answer. Deux et Machina.

Not to mention, but these guys would come across more weird spatial anomalies than I do meals, but that's another minor gripe.

The only series I really thought that approached the feel of TOS (the original series) was DS9, and then only towards the end. Sure, DS9 had more than its share of technobabble, but dammit, people made hard decisions, and they had to live with them. Things that Mattered happened. Someone pulled out a phaser almost every damn episode, and you weren't entirely sure how things were going to turn out. Sigh.

What I would like to see is the shutting down of trek. Let Voyager finally, thankfully get home. Beam up the welcome mat, and put Trek into hiatus for oh, lets say 5 years. Then bring back something that is:

A. Internally consistent (something no trek series has really ever been) ie: less technobabble / Spatial Anomaly du jour / reliant on last minute inventions)

B: More character driven, with longer story arcs. DS9 was best when it did this.

C: Important to the Trek Universe. This is why DS9 got interesting towards the end. War! And its also why Voyager is mainly interesting to see what Jeri Ryan was squeezed into this week. (not that this is a Bad Thing.)

D: Action! Less debate society. As much as I liked the Next gen, god they talked a lot. Sure, space battle was more expensive to film, so they minimized it as often as they could, but heck, nobody has to build a model ever again! Fire up lightwave and let's go!

Well, anyway, that's my two cents.


Re:Think Jar Jar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1576198)

Ok, let me rephrase that. I like Star Wars except for Jar Jar, but hated all of Star Trek except for the neat Warp speed visuals.

Original idea (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576199)

If Paramount really wanted to do something original based on Star Trek, they would at least few times consider the idea of making series or movie that do not revolve around humans. Most of races are well known from series, yet the details of their political system, culture and psychology are defined just enough to be a base for something creative. While I won't really care about a plot that will revolve entirely around Ferengi (it would require to lose everything that even pretends to look seriously), it's perfectly possible to "develop" other races past the level of caricature -- DS9 is less human-dominated than the rest, and it didn't do any harm to the show itself or its "Star Trek-ness", so making a series or movie without a Federation captain running everything wouldn't be that much of a stretch.

But the fact that it wasn't considered probably means that people at Paramount either can't see it, or never cared to look -- instead they have Voyager where they made the best possible excuse for inventing more alien races without any obligation to "develop" them.

My problem with Star Trek... (1)

Dijital (74753) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576200)

There is a simple problem with Star Trek... The writers are running out of creative steam and refuse to admit it, so to make it where no one stands there and whistles for an hour, they stoop to cheap marketing tricks and dicking around with concepts that do interest people. You want an example?

Try the Borg. When the came out, they were awesome and mysterious. They were a visage of people so integrated with technology they they were *integrated* with technology. They were the projection of our society at a radical level. Naturally, we wanted to know more. What it was like to be a borg... how they are assimilated... what it was like to see people you knew from the other side... The solution: Seven of Nine. Granted, it was a decent idea to start, they pulled it off badly and worse, as a cheap marketing gimmick. Seven was reduced to running around showing off her figure and giving Data-like analysis of everyhting as a Borg technology or as "from Species ". It was terrible.

I think that if things go at the current pace, 2 people will be watching Voyager. GET THEM HOME ALREADY AND STOP LEADING US ON!!!

Okay, so ends my rant...


Its all about the money (2)

MillMan (85400) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576201)

Really all it would take is some decent scripts. But this is exactly the problem, it just can't happen. Any time a sci-fi series goes mainstream because of popularity, or is designed for a "pop" audience, it is bound to be mediocre, IMHO. It's designed to make a lot of money, and therefore it has to reach the widest audience, which means it has to be a generic plot. I'm doing some extreme generalizing here, but hopefully you see what I mean. Movies like the matrix could have been so much more if they weren't limited by hollywood rules, and even the matrix was a bit out there by hollywood standards, I think.

The franchise is NOT going to go away anytime soon. If it has even a 1% chance of making money, it will be around (witness most movie sequels). I did enjoy TNG the most, then DS9. Somehow Voyager just doesn't impress me. The plots from show to show get repetitive, with a lot of holes in the plot (big fight with the borg, the ship gets all f'ed up, then suddenly its all back together next week like nothing happened). The characters seem one-dimensional, and I'm simply not impressed by them. Bad acting maybe? I don't know. Maybe I just really like the ST:TNG cast for some reason.

It's not like there is much else on TV right now thats any better than voyager anyway, however. Mediocre across the board (I'm really cynical if you didn't notice). What was the last series on TV or movie that you saw that was at all original? I'd be interested in what other /. readers have to say about this. I can't even think of a movie, maybe x-files on tv back when it was a newer show...

It seems to me that the only originality in sci-fi these days is in books...most of the better sci-fi doesn't translate well to the screen, though. Of course that is true of any book in any genre, however. Maybe thats just because of Hollywood.

I'm completely astonished that slashdot cares (0)

Thats_Zena_with_a_Z (95166) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576202)

anything about Star Trek to post a story. Before I go any further, I would like to say that I was a Star Trek loyalist/fan before it ever became fashionable, back when people would make their own ST props instead of buying them in the blister pack. Me, I had a NC1701 (not NC1701D) squirt gun.

It seems that the only sci-fi that exists on this electronic rag is Star Wars. Stars this and Jedi that, Jar Jar must die etc etc yada yada yada. I wish that in the preferences section I wish I could check a box so I would not see any more Star Wars stories. I am tired of only one diet of Star Wars sci fi here on Slashdot.

That's just it. Us Trekkies live in a time of bounty of Star Trek stories. It is very easy to forget the lean days of the mid/late seventies when the only new stories were ones that you made up with friends, a ASCII simulation on CPM, a stupid Saturday morning cartoon, or a few newsprint novels.

With such large amount of story resource now, it's not hard to see how people (especially non sci-fi fans) see it as tedium. Just like I see Star Wars on Slashdot as such. Personally, I would like to see quality of story (perhaps a series of movies) rather than quantity (a lot of TV shows).

All that is irrelevant. The very thing that brought Star Trek back (us fans buying it) is the same thing that will keep it around. As long as there is a buck to be made off from it, it'll be around.

Re:Trek is over (1)

ChristTrekker (91442) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576203)

Anyone who has seen voyager knows that the current Star Trek idea is over. Insurection sucked and so does voyager. They should've ran with that idea of doing a show about Captain Sulu and the U.S.S excelsior. The old series never went bad

They actually thought of doing that? I thought I was the only person that thought of that! I'd love to see Sulu and Rand flying around in the Excelsior! They're still young enough, and it would show some good "missing years" stuff.

Do you think that a show set before TOS would have a chance? Say, early days of the Federation, not too long after the discovery of warp drive.


There are solutions (1)

Blob Pet (86206) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576204)

Star Trek will die a slow and miserably humiliating death under Berman. There's no doubt in that, and it's been obvious since Roddenberry's passing. It's not the same anymore and everyone knows it. Berman has to go even though he's kept it going for so long. Nimoy, Fontana or at least somebody's who can understand what the original series was all about like Nicholas Meyers should take the helm. I don't mean that Star Trek's future should be a rehashing of the TOS; I mean Star Trek should not be treated as a normal television show like the original was.

Re:it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1576205)

Thinking for your self might be a novel concept since you seem to just mindlessly repeat the anti MS ideas of the other drones around here.

MS does nothing to prevent you from thinking for yourself and the idea that MS is going to control the Internet is so absurd you show yourself a fool by thinking it. Does using Word to create a document mean that MS controls the thoughts you put into it? Does putting a web page up on an IIS server mean that MS can control what you do with it.

You're a fool.

Oh, my Star Trek, wherefore art thou? (2)

Jerenk (10262) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576206)

I disagree with the author's opinion that TNG sucked. It didn't. I liked TOS a bit better, but I thought TNG was nothing to be ashamed of. DS9 was a bit more cerberal than most would like, but I liked it as a change of pace. IMHO, I thought the show took a turn for the worse (debatable though?) when they added the Defiant to the station. I never really understood the whole Dominion thing. Voyager was cool the first year. It was a change of pace from DS9 and was action-centric (as DS9 was focused on the mind, Voyager is squarely focused on the body).

I think that Voyager diverged greatly in the second season. It lost its way. Then, they added 7 of 9. While most of the viewers today, only watch it because of Jeri Ryan, I think it is a cheap publicity stunt. She adds nothing of value to the series. The Borg - been there, done that. (I am Locutus of Borg - WOW, was that a great cliffhanger!). I remember waiting for months on how the next TNG season would begin. It was fun. People on BBSes would be chatting back and forth arguing about how the next season would start. We were hardly disappointed by the TNG cliffhangers. Alas, DS9 and Voyager lacked that aura.

The recent movies (after IV - the best bar none - okay, II was great as well) have all danced around the themes of ST. They do not have the magic that a single episode of TOS or TNG had. It was all about special effects not about plotline (as has been beaten to death by others here on /.).

Berman and everyone else at Paramount needs to go ahead and devote a new movie (or series) that refocuses the franchise on plot and story with REAL characters with a twist of action every now and then to keep the audience awake(!). It is something that is sorely missing from the franchise right now. When they rediscover Roddenberry's formula (they will - someone will...), ST will be just as good as it ever was. If they have to take a hiatus in production of ST related shows or movies, so be it. It'll be the stronger for it in the long run.

I can't wait until II and IV are on DVD (especially II). Too bad it will be a few years (bad Paramount, bad Paramount). Wonder if DVD will survive until then...


Re:Nirvana (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1576207)

Hardly. If anything the rabid Linux crowd is far more borgish than MS. Which group gathers and attacks any sentiment that remotely denigrates their choice of an OS (think Linux). When have you seen any online forum that didn't have the vocal Linux 'advocates' flaming and insulting anyone with an opinion that differed from their own?

Re:Another thought.... (2)

PD (9577) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576208)

Hey, I'd even like to see your idea happen like the Hallmark Hall of Fame series. 4 times a year, produce and show and new 1 or 2 hour episode, anthology style. The stories don't have to be linked together either with crew or ship or timeline.

They could even do a sort of mini-series, with maybe 8 or 10 episodes spread out a week at a time, and do that twice a year. That way they can get character development, and also give good treatment to various political happenings in the Klingon, Romulan and Federation universes.

Re:It's the story, stupid (2)

MillMan (85400) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576209)

You're right on the money here. One of the only shows around that wants you to think. Think deeply. They've lost that. Our entire society is losing it as well, for that matter.

That's the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars. Star wars was always a special effects show, that focused more on the setting and the technology than the characters or reality. A fairy tail with a sort of binary good vs. evil. But we've all seen this many times now, and I think thats the reason star wars didn't do quite as well all these years later. So when Star Trek reduces itself to this level, it suffers badly, especially since that isn't what made it popular in the first place, or what it excels at.

But does the average public even want a thinking show anymore? I hope so but I'm not so sure. NBC canned TNG while it was still a very strong show. Perhaps this was part of the reason, the dumbing down of our society? Or perhaps we watch dumb happy-feely shows like ally mcbeal because, well, thats all they give us.

Re:change of focus (1)

Special J (641) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576210)


Something me and buddies talked about to re-vitalize Star Teek was that to create a series (let's call it Star Trek Tales) that had 2 or 3 episode story arcs. We all agreed it would be pretty cool: A Starfleet Academy storyline for a few weeks, followed by story about a non-enterprise starhip then maybe a story from the Romulan point of view...and so on. Don't know if that sort of concept is actually workable ($$$!), but we'd still love to see it.

What do you think?

The Trek I'd like to see... (1)

Tool-Man (11199) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576211)

Is one set in the war torn, starship fighting, massive combat alternate future portrayed in the final episode of Next Generation. Most of the best STNG episodes involved somebody's ass getting kicked in a big way. Written well, it wouldn't have to be that far from Gene's vision of the future. Conflicts happen.

Re:It's never too late (1)

KDan (90353) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576212)

I was just stating my opinion. You don't have to, and obviously won't, follow my word on it...

If people can't even say what they think for fear of disagreeing with each other then where is this world going to?


Re:Alot of people just don't understand Star Trek (0)

HWeissfield (100547) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576213)

I concur with you wholeheartedly, Temporal. I am a member of PugWash, an international organization with the purpose of education and discussion of impending technologies and their effects on humankind. In no other place have I found such a rich area and strong presentation of the moral and ethnical debates concerning technolgy than in Star Trek. Whether it would be discussions tending toward genetic engineering, environmental impacts, or even the inalienable rights that Locke presupposed upon humanity, the Next Generation has been my favorite vehicle of demonstration and explanation upon my peers.

Now, truthfully, I haven't watched the shows since Gene Roddenberry died back in 1992. When Gene died, it was as if he took the spirit of the show with him. Instead of episodes which made you seriously think about the issues involved in the show afterwards, I felt like I was watching episodes made simply for entertainment, which is not something that I wanted. Deep Space Nine was alright in some cases, but Voyager has been a serious disappointment to me. The concept of aliens on the other side of the galaxy all looking alike, speaking fluent English, and efficiently use anarchisms and idioms just doesn't stand up in my mind. My favorite aspect of the show has always been its basis in reality; that everything that happened was based upon some upcoming technology or concept in real life. It showed an almost utopia view of human society in the future; one where poverity, sickness, and other ills were combatted and conquered.

I don't think that Star Trek is dead. If anything, Gene's world should go down in history alongside Lewis, Hawthorne, and Tolkien for the influence that it has had on society. It is probably time to give it a rest though, and I hope that in this stressed and imperfect world of ours, the memories and stories can give us hope for the future.

Borg (2)

jrs (27486) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576214)

They should focus on the borg more... its the federation's most deadly enemy. Movies/Shows, telling us how the borg came to be, etc... or has that alredy been done? Mix that in with a hostile Klingon's and it would be something great to see.

Re:The problem with Star Trek is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1576215)

Typical /. can't have a single thread go by without bashing Microsoft. You're such a loser.

Trek isn't dead--it just needs a new spinoff... (1)

Sir_Winston (107378) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576216)

The *only* reason that people are saying that Trek is "dead" is that there isn't a spinoff in production to take over the franchise once Voyager is retired--this does *not* mean that there isn't life in the old girl yet. Here's why:
Despite the comments by many about how supposedly "bad" Voyager is, it is now an excellent show with good ratings. It used to be bad, though--it started out being totally unlike the rest of the Trek series, with very little Federation-related stuff going on; it was like Babylon 5 on crack. But the show was revamped a couple seasons into the run, the episodes now actually feel like Trek, and it is a great and worthy show now. Plus, Seven of Nine can assimilate me any time, a sentiment shared by almost everyone here...
Yes, The Next Generation is dead and should be put out to pasture. Yes, the original series produced a very very bad movie and now everyone in it is too ancient or too dead to make another that might salvage their reputation. Yes, a DS9 film is likely to go nowhere. But Voyager is now a testimony to what the franchise can do when they stick to hardcore Trek--it took a crappy series less interesting than my left testicle, and turned it into an *excellent* show.
All that's left is to find a compelling time and place for a new series--and the Trek universe is full of them--and to examine what made the early Voyager so bad and what made the rest of them so good to come up with the right kind of theme. Maybe they could even skip a century into the future from where current offerings lie, and evolve Trek in such a way as to interest everyone all over again: there was nothing like seeing the early TNG series and "filling in the blanks" to see how we got from NCC-1701 to NCC-1701-D (oops, was that supposed to be E? ;)
Look at the evolution of the series to see what I mean--in the 60s it was primarily a children's and young adults' show; it wasn't at all technical, and the reason they added baby-faced Chekov was that he looked the age of most of the audience. It was a show that was cancelled with extreme prejudice after just a couple seasons. Then it became a very embarrassing cartoon and comic book--you can't get much lower. Then the middle-aged crew came back in a film meant to appeal to those adults who grew up with the Trek universe, and it was a great comeback and the movies became serious sci-fi meant for grown-ups as well as kids. TNG brought it to a new TV generation who loved it, and a Golden Age finally hit--thirty years after the original series--with the original crew in films and two crews on TV. The early Voyager was the first sign that anything was wrong--but not much is wrong now. No, Insurrectuion wasn't a good film. So what. Thirty years from now, Trek will still be around--time has *proven* its resilience.

Hip Salon journalist shows his age (2)

Skwirl (34391) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576217)

Anyone who would insist that the best of the lot was "Next Generation" (once called "a talk show in space" by Spin) or "Voyager" (the Gilligan's Island" of "Trek") has been sipping too much Romulan ale.
Wwwwwhat? Okay, we all know that Voyager sucks, but everybody of my generation was born and raised on ST:TNG. I remember having debates with my middle school home room teacher about TNG character development. I've had friends who are still glued to the screen watching "All Good Things" for the nth time. Nonononono, how the heck could you possibly blame TNG for killing Trek? TNG SAVED Trek. It opened up the Trek universe to ... well, a new generation of viewers (baaad double entendre, baaaad) ... It's a well known fact that both Shatner and Nemoy have at one time or another denounced the fandom of Trek ("I'm Not Spock", "Get A Life") and this journalist chooses them for his major sources? Why not talk to some of the newer casts? Oh yeah, because you're biased and want to interject your nostalgia into your story. That's what we in the business call bad journalism. Oh yeah, am I the only one who wanted to cheer when Kirk died (both times) in Generations? =)

Re:Nirvana (1)

magicpaul (98982) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576218)

If you wish to characterize the Linux crowd this way...

Look back in history, the Windows 95 crowd is precisely why little has gone forward since then. Linux is a spot of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy OS-choice. Linux does not want anyone who does not wish to agree to share their code. M$ wants anyone who will try to make MONEY in its ANTI-COMPETITIVE ways.

Evil == M$.

Borg == M$.

Who are you M$-ass licker? What of M$'s empire makes you want to defend them (what part of their tyranny -- their stolen Mouse designs, perhaps?)...

Re:Gods, let's hope so! (1)

Burnon (19653) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576219)

As long as Paramount can suck money out of the franchise in its current form, it's doomed to blandness. If after 20 years, Paramount decides to take another shot at the show, they just might get it right. More likely, however, they'll try to go right back to the current formula, hoping that it seems new and fresh to an audience that looks back at any Trek with nostalgia.

With any luck, however, they'll sell the franchise rights to some small production house and let them rebuild the franchise from the ground up. Star Trek really needs the freedom to exist without the pressure to gather the massive audience that can fill Paramount's coffers. That seems like the only way anyone will be able to afford to take risks with content of the show.

Hopefully, they'll sell it to the producers of Red Dwarf. I'm watching it for the first time now on my local PBS - what a blast! ;)

TOS is dead, not all of Star Trek (1)

monaco (37517) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576220)

On skimming this article (yes, I admit it), the author seems obsessed with the original series. Yes, the original series is dead. Get over it. Kirk's dead, and (probably) won't be in any more movies.

The reason why The Next Generation was so successful is not its tie with the original Star Trek (although that did help develop its early viewerbase). The Next Generation survived and succeded based on its writing and characters, not on whether-or-not kirk would be in the next movie. TNG had very little in common with the original series; it flourished on its own merits.

As for DS9, perhaps in the beginning, it survived based on TNG's success, however its complex characters and continuous storyline allowed it to be successful on its own, even though it was basically an extention of TNG.

I can't say too much for voyager, however, it doesn't adequately keep my attention. But, if whatever new series is rolled out is strong enough, on its own, Star Trek isn't going to die anytime soon. The trick is to either boost Voyager's viewerbase or introduce the new series soon, before Voyager gets cancelled.

Re:it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1576221)

I have to disagree with you that Deep Space 9 is better than Voyager. I will admit that it has gotten better since the Defiant came on the scene, but it's almost like a big soap opera when there all stuck on the station. But like I said, it is getting better. As far as Star Trek Dieing, I don't see it any time soon. There is way to much they can still do with the show. I think that getting away from that stupid space station would really help get a few more converts to help it out. Voyager does tend to appeal to a different crowd than the old "Star Trek", and that should atleast help out its popularity in the future. Personnally, as long as they keep on coming up with new technology, I still watch.

Re:Nirvana (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1576222)

In any other setting this would be a satirical retort. As it is's just sad.

Re:old and needing a new idea (1)

NiceGuyEddie (105289) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576223)

another show that I like alot is Farscape on SciFi

Call this a troll, but it's true... (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576224)

I gave up on Star Trek when the only solution they could come up with to solve writing problems was to bring in someone with bigger tits. (No joke, the TV went off at the last commercial break.) Since then, I have not been able to watch an episode all the way through. I've tried a couple of times, both Voyager and Deep Space 9, but the parts I've seen seem to have more to do with "The Young and the Restless" then they did with the shows, the original and The Next Generation, that used to be such the guilty pleasure. It all seemed to be about who was sleeping with who. And even worse, all of the "relationship" crap wasn't even original, but one more iteration of "having to understand their differences".

But then that has been the whole problem with the series since Voyager and even before. It is all "Been there, done that". I mean, how many times does the goddamn holodeck have to break before they decide that maybe, perhaps they should turn it off?

But then, how far down do ratings have to go before they hire a new writing staff? I mean, Babylon 5 managed to find, maybe not, but Strasynski's not doing anything these days. Maybe he could teach a class or something.

Anyway, sorry for the incindiery post. I should probably stop now before I piss everyone completely off. But I wouldn't loathe the damn thing so much if I hadn't loved it in the first place.

(What really makes me sad is that every once in awhile, a really good SF show pops up, and then dies a quick death. Last year, I absolutely loved Brimstone, but it only lasted half a season. And yet they keep this decaying mess on year after year... Sorry. Bye. Probably ought to post AC.)

Re:It's never too late (2)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576225)

It wasn't your opinion I was commenting on. You're perfectly free to dislike Star Trek, I don't mind at all. What I was commenting on was your statement that anyone who likes "science fiction" has to hate Star Trek. I don't see any reason why you can't like both. After all, I do....

Another MSAC... (1)

magicpaul (98982) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576233)

Nope, I think for myself. I use Mac OS today since it fulfills my needs. I do not yet use Linux, because it is not yet user-friendly enough (I plan to use it because of its power). I do NOT use Windows whatsoever since it is a terribly-implemented OS and its owner acts ANTI-COMPETITIVE whenever possible.

M$ puts the directory structure of my hard drive into any saved Word file ('97 version or later). Thus they are able to control me by revealing my privacy to those outside. I must take this into account if I am fortunate enough to know it. If I am NOT, I am FUCKED by their "undocumented" feature (as M$ calls it).

Well, beyond that, I would never use an M$ product to serve a web-page. Any cracker worth their salt would easily be able to change it. Does M$ give a sh*t about security. No, and NEVER. F*ck the consumer they say, as usual.

So, F.U.D.-you, MSAC. You blow *ss! (once again, but I'm not goin' to fall for that sh*t again)

Re:Well, it's over (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576234)

Well, at least B5 was supposed to be dead by now. One of the things I liked about that show was that it had enough courage to plan an actual ending. Too bad the spin-off didn't fly.

Perhaps they just need to start spending the money on something entirely new for a change.

Re:old and needing a new idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1576235)

The "rough and tumble" idea was supposed to be behind both DS9 and Voyager to varying degrees. I imagine paramount wimped out; although they do love to have their starfleet guys run around and solve problems or encounter anomalies, they seem to always shy away from how the civvies live.. and from what they hinted at on the show it's INCREDIBLY different than now. Only on a few DS9 and TNG episodes did they explore what life was like back home, and it was too centered around the character to show what Earth and a normal human habitation without the Problem Of The Week is like.

If you ever want to see how skittish they were, check out the trials and tribulations Peter David went through to write what is arguably one of the best Star Trek books I read: Between a Rock and a Hard Place and the psychopathic Starfleet officer it featured. He was a fascinating character and a perfect antidote for the too-chummy TNG crew, but trying to create a Starfleet officer that WASN'T nigh-perfect was a nightmare. Just goes to show that B5 was the better show. Everybody there had issues. :D

Re:Voyager... (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576236)

One sad thought I had while watching the latest Star Wars (which I did enjoy quite a bit, by the way) was that with most "greatest loved tales", the authors rarely quit early enough.

Already dead, B5 proved that... (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576237)


Re:It's the story, stupid (2)

Tool-Man (11199) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576238)

I'm not sure if our society has dumbed down so much as the television viewing audience might have dumbed down. I for one have stopped watching television. I tend to get my entertainment and information from the Web, with a dash of NPR and the local public radio carrier while I drive to and from work. If ever I do watch television, it's because I want to zone and get some popcorn for the brain. I'm more inclined to believe that people that are looking for challenging content find it elsewhere, not that there are fewer people in society seeking challenging topics.

Re:It's not quite dead yet... (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576239)

Yeah, but Terry Farrell's got no taste... She slept with Ralph Cirella(sp?) -- they guy who washes Howard Stern's underwear....

Star Trekking... (1)

Tia (45953) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576242)

I've adored Star Trek since I was 6 (which wasn't too terribly long ago, actually). My dad loves Star Trek, my 8 younger siblings love Star Trek, but half my adolescent friends think that loving Star Trek is insane. Why? Because, as I believe has already pointed out, the image of Star Trek has radically changed.

I'm accustomed to ST:TOS. The endearingly bad acting, the suspiciously human aliens, the refreshingly non subtle story morals, the fascinating away missions, the Kirk/McCoy/Spock dialogues are all treasured childhood memories. When I think of Star Trek, I envision a hopeful, funny (not always intentionally) show, one which fueled my dreams of science, space, and the future of mankind.

My friends, on the other hand, are accustomed to ST:TNG, ST:DS9, or ST:V. They think of Star Trek simply as a glorified soap opera and a gargantuan money maker...and, indeed, such is what it has become. Efforts on my behalf to introduce them to the charm of the original Star Trek end in failure, as they're a tad too spoiled by more modern sci fi to see anything in the original Star Trek but corny dialogue and bad special effects. The original Star Trek requires both imagination and optimism to enjoy...modern teens are all too frequently deficit in those areas, and cannot enjoy ST:TOS any more than they can enjoy Dr. Who (another favorite of mine).

What to do? I'm not sure that the original message and form of Star Trek can be restored to popularity. American culture, at present, cannot appreciate it. The charm of the original cast members can never really be recaptured. At present, the modern image of Star Trek is that of just another special effects laden TV show...and, in that form, it is dying. Let it die. Perhaps in another day and age, "the true meaning of Star Trek" can be resurrected.

New Star Trek Idea (1)

Chris Andreasen (2563) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576244)

Okay, I admit that I am not a fan of the original series (heck, I was born long after its cancellation), but it seems to me that the appeal was in the almost utopian view of the future in comparison to current issues. It portrayed an environment in which members of several different races and both genders could effectively work together (alongside their perfectly refined technology) to further human (and other miscellaneous species) knowledge and advancement. It was, in essence, the ideal setting to escape from the turbulent times.
The times, however, have changed since then. A show about conflict in a near-utopia (in comparison to our time) just isn't as exciting as it once might have been, not only because all of the plots are just rehash, but also because we are a lot closer to living in that same type of setting in real life than back during TOS's running.
What I think they should do if the producers want to keep running the Star Trek theme is to dispose of the near-utopian environment and replace it with one that the current generation can relate to more and view with the same hope and aspiration that the original series gave. For instance: the Federation is overthrown... society must re-create itself, not only on Earth but on other planets as well. The technology is still present, but no longer the focus (read: distraction) and human relationship and societal development because the central issue.
Oh well, just me two cents...
-Chris Andreasen

Re:The Descent to Mediocrity (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576245)

DSN: Rip off of the pitched JMS's B5 idea...

Star Trek has been dying by degrees for years. (1)

Buaku (93539) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576253)

I've been a Star Trek fan for years. I'm old enough to have seen it when it first came out, and I liked it then, and I still do. All that being said, I just don't watch Star Trek any more. I watched TNG regularly, a little of DS9, and a whole three episodes of Voyager. I just can't stomach it anymore. The main characters aren't likable. Ever notice how the background characters are usually MORE complex in the Star Trek spinoffs? The number of background characters who became important because they turned out to be more interesting to the viewers is amazing. The main characters are simply too sublime for anyone to care about or like. In the original series, the main characters were extremely noble, but they were not humerlous paragons of duty, justice, and the Federation Way(tm). Star Trek next made the mistake of not keeping their universe believable or consistant. Everything occurs in a vacuum. They have episodes where they replace limbs and fix aging through use of the transporter. This is just one example of too many to count where they introduce a major technological advancement, and then have it disappear. In the original series, no real attempt was made to explain things like warp drive or the transporter. This was a Good Thing(tm) because it helped discourage cheap fixes using the technology. The capabilities of their technology was also more clearly defined, and so you didn't have nearly as much techno-babble B.S. The TNG movies have all been two hour long TV episodes. Who wants to spend $8 to see a two-hour long TV episode of anything? I could go on and on, but the truth is that these are symptoms, not the disease. I believe the real problems is: They don't have someone in charge of the universe as a whole. Gene is gone, and no one is steering the boat anymore. Mostly looks to be a bunch of different power cliques turning out various unrelated episodes and movies of varying quality. The original Star Trek was canceled before it could degenerate into something worthless. It was kind of obvious that they were running out of ideas, but they (were forced) to quit while they were ahead, and so were able to come back. What if instead the show had ran on until it ran itself into the ground? This is like the Elvis question - would Elvis have remained popular if he had never died? Or would he have faded into obscurity? At this rate, I'm betting on obscurity for Star Trek. Oh, shadows of Star Trek will hang around for a while in the form of lame spinoffs and stuff to siphon money away from the die-hard core fan-base, but that's all. I've heard people mention a Academy spinoff for example. Whoopee. That'd be the ultimate in inward-looking "who-cares" spin-offs. From Marco Polo to water polo. It would be cheap to produce though, and would fulfill the function I mentioned of siphoning money from a dwindling fan-base. Oh well, all things come to an end.

Re:Hip Salon journalist shows his age (1)

Burnon (19653) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576254)

You're not the only one who wanted to cheer when Kirk passed on. Half of the theater did when I went to see the film. As much as I enjoy the original series and Shatner's portrayal of a young headstrong Kirk, Shatner has done a lousy job with the middle-aged and geriatric versions of Kirk.

The only thing that would have been better than killing the Kirk character would have been to avoid basing a film around the character in the first place.

Re:it is (1)

the Epopt (106274) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576255)

I would like to continue to think for myself and Microsoft has no intention of allowing this.

Megalomania. Microsoft could not possibly care less what you do to yourself and call "thought." You are trivial.


Dying? Oh, gawd... (1)

Egotistical Rant (42993) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576256)

Star Trek is beyond's a fat old horse with four broken legs. They should shoot it and put it out of our misery.

Re:Alot of people just don't understand Star Trek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1576257)

> but Voyager has been a serious disappointment to
> me. The concept of aliens on the other side of
> the galaxy all looking alike, speaking fluent
> English, and efficiently use anarchisms and
> idioms just doesn't stand up

Well, there was this one TNG episode which explained why all the aliens are humanoid. All the humanoid races you see in Star Trek are actually "descended" from one race. This race seeded planets throughout the galaxy with thier genetic material. This is why Klingons, Romulans, Humans, Talaxian, etc. are humanoid. This is also why you can have inter-species breeding. However, it doesn't seem like all humanoid species can interbreed. When Worf and Jadzea Dax got married in DS9, there were issues whether or not they would be able to have children.

As far as everybody speaking English, its the universal translators ;-). Everybody is implanted with a little universal translator, believe it or not. I guess thats the best they could come up.

- The TicK of OpenProjects.Net

I hope not... (1)

Ricardo Casals (103689) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576258)

Well, I certainly hope not. I am currently laying down the basics for a Star Trek story of my own based on a new ship with a new crew and in the 25th centutry which I think will be very intriguing. I should be buying my Star Trek Encyclopedia and Technical Manuals, as well as Klingon Dictionary, so that I can be as accurate as possible with my story.
So, in other words, the franchise may die, but I hope not. Even if it does, anyone can still write stories based on it.

PS: My story will be published solely on the intenret and will be GPLed ;-)

An alternative New Star Trek series idea (2)

Tradewars Addict (105452) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576260)

This was originally posted on the Ain't it Cool News [] website back in August (1999), and you can find the original full story here [] .

The interesting bit is this:

"Interestingly enough, there was a surprising lack on consistency between the reports, save for info on one of the titles - Gene Roddenberry's PHOENIX RISING. All of the reports about this show said pretty much the same thing. Thus, the Phoenix Rising information should be considered rather reliable, although please be aware some changes will likely come down during the show's developmental process."


"Gene Roddenberry's PHOENIX RISING. Phoenix Rising is being developed by Star Trek: Deep Space Nine alumni Robert Hewitt Wolfe.

FLASH BACK: Remember Roddenberry's two series pilots from the '70s (Genesis II and Planet Earth)? Both featured a man called Dylan Hunt being frozen in (more or less) modern day, then revived on an Earth that has fallen to great savagery and barbarism. The point of the proposed series would have been for Hunt and his sidekicks to work towards reuniting and re-unifying mankind. Remember this concept for a moment, and the name Dylan Hunt.

PRESENT DAY: Robert Hewitt Wolfe conceives of his "perfect" Star Trek series: a series set thousands of years in Star Trek's future. The galaxy is in turmoil, all of the governments to which Trek fans are accustomed have crumbled and imploded. The galaxy is a really screwed up place: Vulcans have renounced their logic and are now savage enemies of anyone who crosses them. Homeless Klingons roam space in violent packs of attack ships. The Federation is long gone - but it is an ideal not forgotten to those living in this untamed reality.

A Federation "Enterprise" from a bit further down the ship's discovered drifting in space, its Captain (and maybe a few crew) are frozen in stasis. Ship and crew are revived, and are horrified by the galaxy to which they awaken. Using their Enterprise as an icon for the cohesion and strength that used to be (but is now lost), Enterprise and her rag-tag crew set out to restore the Federation to what it once was, and restore peace and balance to the galaxy.

It is unclear if Wolfe ever formally approached Paramount with this Trek series concept. None the less, the basic idea for his series is finding its way into a new (non-Trek) "Roddenberry" series called Phoenix Rising.

Take the Genesis II / Planet Earth scenarios mentioned above...throw them together with Wolfe's "ideal" Star Trek series...and you get Gene Roddenberry's PHOENIX RISING. PR is the tale of a spaceship and captain found drifting in deep space. They are revived into a galaxy that is all messed-up. They set about trying to restore peace and order to the way of things - by trying to re-unite the galaxy and resurrect the glorious old days of solidarity and (relative) peace. It's a tough job in a tough place, but somebody's gotta do it.

Given this formula, one significant question sticks out: this "galaxy in decay" notion would have worked magnificently on Star Trek - as viewers would already have a general frame of reference for what Trek history looks like & feels like. Thus, we can understand what has actually been lost, and are able to visualize what our heroes are trying to resurrect.

But Phoenix Rising does not have the benefit of dealing with such solid and established notions of what has come before, because its back history (on which the entire series is predicated) has never been seen or experienced by the audience. As such, one concern regarding Phoenix Rising is that our heroes will be struggling towards a "new order" / "golden age" which has no resonance or point of association to the viewer. Thus, the "goal" of the series might seem tenuous or abstract, unless the show (somehow) conceives of a brilliant & effective way to convey the coveted age of hope which our characters are striving to bring back - so we can associate with what their endgame really is.

As far as I can tell, Hercules' Kevin Sorbo has expressed great interest in playing the revived captain in Phoenix Rising, although no final decisions have been made on this. I am told that Sorbo will either go for PR, or Gene Roddenberry's ANDROMEDA (see below).

Phoenix Rising is currently being developed with an eye towards a Fall 2000 premiere."


I would LOVE to see it a star trek series developed as mentioned above, but it looks like Paramount will find a way to mess with it again and screw it up...

and I haven't seen anything as far as recent news on Phoenix Rising, since I am not really that heavy of a TV watcher, etc...

but one can always hope, I suppose...

Re:Well, it's over (1)

DeadFish (11364) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576261)

Heck.. "planning an ending" doesn't even cover it. The ending was calculated before the first episode was shot. It was an *epic*, one long massive story, which ended when the story was told

(Well, okay, there *was* that weird quasi-lovecrafty Dark Primordial Nasties movie, but hey, i thought it was pretty keen)

This of course allowed for such things as long.. long.. LONG forshadowing, lots of seemingly discrete elements revealing their relationships, and in general forming a whole cloth.

Funny thing is, I really didn't expect B5 to take off when it first premiered. Just goes to show, i guess.

TNG -- Q (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1576264)

What ever happened to Q? I thought that the Q should have been explored more... In a trek movie perhaps... B5 says alot about how studios care about good sci fi...if you look at the crap that JMS has gotten on B5 and especially crusades... Where is the motivation to write good sci fi if the fans can only enjoy it at 2am. -- AC

Yes, I am trivial. (1)

magicpaul (98982) | more than 14 years ago | (#1576265)

Precisely, individuals are thought of in aggregate by the M$ marketeers. This backs up the borg idea nicely. I do not consider that M$ even thinks I exist. I am but a minor, minor person in their War to control a world of 6 billion.

But I am a member of a group. M$ wants to own all users of computers. Micro$oft does NOT care for individuals whatsoever. They matter not to this collective.
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