The Thinker

Star Trek: It’s Dead Jim. Let it Lie

I didn’t think it would happen to me. But I’m finally Trekked out.

Star Trek was so 20th Century anyhow. It’s a new millennium. Let’s evolve. Let’s acknowledge that Star Trek was one fairly cool TV show and surely a powerful meme for a lot of us. But its time is over. It’s time for Trekkies to get a different life and move on.

Admittedly I’ve been on the downward slope for a long time. I usually wasn’t allowed to watch the original TV show it, and caught most episodes on reruns. Much of it was, and still is, excruciatingly bad, but for its time it seemed brilliant. (Compared to “Land of the Giants”, “Time Tunnel”, “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” and “Lost in Space”, the competition, it was positively brilliant.) Now the sets look cheap. William Shatner is a horrible actor and painful to watch play James T. Kirk. Occasionally a really good director could make him convincing. Nicholas Meyer, who directed Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan managed to do it. But usually Shatner reverted to form. After a while it was increasingly painful to watch the wreckage.

Star Trek: The Next Generation was a vast improvement, but even it stumbled in its first year and suffered from some continuity problems. (It got better when Riker got a beard.) STTNG revived my interest in the show. As a liberal Democrat I was very much a Jean Luc Picard fan, and to this day I am astonished by the quality of Patrick Stewart’s acting. I know there are a lot of Captain Kirk bigots out there, but Jean Luc was the captain that Kirk was not. Kirk was hot tempered and emotional and survived on tricks. Jean Luc was compassionate and thoughtful and you felt the presence of his command.

The movies were off and on. The even ones tended to be good, the odd ones sucked. STTNG movies have suffered from a similar fate.

I knew I was in trouble when the Star Trek: Nemesis came out and I couldn’t be bothered to see it. My loss I guess. I’ve heard it was pretty good. But as happened to the original cast, STTNG cast is old now too. Even my heartthrob Marina Sirtis is suffering from a sagging face and breasts.

The one thing that might bring me back is a movie with the Borg in it. Star Trek: The Borg Encounter is in production right now and should be out this year. The Borg were absolutely the creepiest villains ever created. I loved all the shows and the movies with the Borg in it. Even Sauron (from “Lord of the Rings”) cannot seriously compete with the Borg for the dubious title of most awful enemy of all time. Klingons and Romulans don’t even raise my eyebrow anymore.

I didn’t like it when STTNG ended but it had seven years and it was about time. I was seeing the same plots over and over again. It went out well.

I tried to watch Star Trek: Deep Space Nine but couldn’t get into anything other than the Ferrengi. It was too shoot ’em up for me, but the Ferrengi were hoots:Republicans and Libertarians of the 23rd century run amok! They were the perfect way to laugh at the Reaganism and neo-conservatism of the time.

I was disgusted with Star Trek: Voyager. I thought it was cool to have a female Captain but that was about it. Blasting them across the galaxy was just a gimmick. But it didn’t take long before it became more plot repetition. We’d seen these plots before. Actually we had seen them many times. The words were spoken by new characters, but nothing had really changed.

I watched a couple episodes of Enterprise but other than the Vulcan’s curves and one cute dog there was not much there to spur me to watch more. I got out of the habit. Going back in time didn’t seem to make it any more interesting.

Its time is up. Thank you to Gene Roddenberry and the rest of the crew for a nice ride. I enjoyed the couple of conventions I attended. It was nice to meet Majel Roddenberry one time, and lots of cool Trekkies. I’ve enjoyed some of the better fan fiction. When you were good you were really, really good. Sometimes you were really bad. You also had a lot of mediocrity. But it’s dead Jim. It’s time to put Star Trek into its historical package and evolve.

 

10 Responses to “Star Trek: It’s Dead Jim. Let it Lie”

  1. 4:24 am on September 22 2003, Meh said:

    It’s ok. Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda is AWESOME

  2. 11:24 pm on October 9 2003, kirk said:

    Im burned out on Trek and after”First Contact”, it was a down hill slide,some of DS9 shows were well written,such as the episode,THree Little Green Men,but Voyager and Enterpirse,You can keep those spinoffs.Next Generation did recapture the magic,but this last movie,”nemesis.”,was boring and over kill.I was one of the original trekies who in 1968 at age ten wrote NBC not to cancel the show ,after 1969 the reruns of original trek everyone watched;then the movies we loved in the 80s! The only way to save the franchise is to go back to the original trek with new stars playing the characters;or recreate a new version of the next Generation with the pool of trek stars they have. Maybe when we go back to the moon or have a manned mission to Mars Trek will come back. Paramount over did it to fast,to many shows and movies.This last movie release was to soon. Enterprise is reinventing the wheel,pre Kirk who cares!Trek has to much competition,everyone is tired of fiction like people were when westerns were over done.IF your going to go ape on something,do it in moderation, they burned out the fan pool! I would rather read the Left Behind book Series and watch the movie.Left Behind ,which is based on what is really going to happen some day! I guess we can call Star Trek American folklore in our history books someday. Reminds me of the JFK comspiracy,we all know it was a cover up but everyone is bored with the repeat documantaries and books over the years! Star Trek was fun and I went to two conventions here in St.Louis in the 80s,meet some of the original stars. Trekies are good people and ,we dont care about sports,and think on a higher plan than the general public, all I can say is Farewell Star Trek it was fun and from time to time I do play a trek DVD,thinking back when I was 16 year ago and wouldnt go on a date until after 7 on Friday night s until after Star Trek was over.

  3. 2:28 pm on October 15 2003, Richard John said:

    I disagree. Not only do I think Star Trek was one of the best conceived, intellectual program franchises ever to appear on television, for me, at least, it continues to entertain. Personally, I believe that it is public sentiment that has grown insatiable and regardless of the quality of any Star Trek episode, there are those who remain unsatisfied. Apparently, unless you spend 100 million dollars on special effects to wow and dazzle the infantile minds of today’s viewing audience, nothing rates as “good” anymore. DS9? Sweet Heavens! DS9 is awesome! Some of the best plots and episodes EVER in the entire history of the franchise are DS9 episodes. DS9 packed an unusual punch with its Dominion War theme, offering many episodes whereby the FX were exceptional. Yet, to the explosion hungry youth of today, addicted to movies where acting takes a back seat to the bombs ‘a flying, DS9 seemed too tame to be cool. Voyager sure had its low points, but invariably it had its good moments also. People need to remember that a show like Star Trek is only good if viewers still possess a working imagination and are familiar with the concept “suspension of disbelief.” It was never cool to be a Trekkie. The word is synonomous with “nerd.” In a hip, trendy world, where are you going to find a youthful audience that is willing to be “nerds” even one hour a week? They’re nonexistant. Enterprise is suffering from this same disinterest. The media hype these days hinges on eulogy where Star Trek is concerned. It seems they “want” to kill it. I haven’t read a positive news article regarding Star Trek in ages. Its not because the quality of the show has diminished any…..it’s because the audience it caters to is nonexistant…and in today’s money hungry world….that means cancellation. Money, Money, Money….the Borg Invasion 4-D Experience….only exists because the execs in charge need something to do with the props and are too cheap to come up with anything else. But make no mistake….Star Trek is as good today as it ever was. Take the time to watch some of the Enterprise episodes like Season 1’s “Unexpected” or “Breaking the Ice” or Season 2’s “Regeneration” (oooh…with the Borg…you ought to like THAT) or “The Crossing” or “The Catwalk” and you should agree that EVEN IF they ARE revisiting some previously visited themes, they are doing that quite well. I think they would have to set the starships aflame, blow up the Earth, and murder several key players for most of the youth of today to even yawn and take notice. And since that is not what Star Trek is about, there may be no hope. I’m just tired of reading “its horrible” “its bad” “its dying” etc. The only thing that is lame, horrible, and dying, is the imagination of the demographics that made the Next Generation such a success. Peace.

  4. 12:10 am on April 24 2006, Vampyr said:

    No. Hes right its dead man… We had some really good times but star trek is just too played out…
    I mean its just too much back history for new fans to join. (so then why didnt enterprise work you ask) Easy Because even if it took place before the first star trek it required back history… And I mean no its just dead man… If you are really intrested in space shows then where were you when Firefly was cancled? Or Farscape? Get a new series and support it man… Because this series deserved to die with DS9. (I fail to recognize the existence of voyager… I gave it every chance in the world but that last episode embittered me too much… What a shitty way to end voyager… They all deserve to rot in hell)

  5. 1:21 am on September 23 2006, Tessa said:

    Decided today on a whim (and after reading my local newspaper) to attend a Star Trek convention that had rolled into my town for (supposedly) three days. Mountain Con was the “new” handler, and had promised that Walter Koenig and Richard Hatch and some “lesser known” one episode folks, would attend.

    Arrived at the “noon” time, as advertised, only to find nothing set up, forums that didn’t exist (until two hours later) no advertised talent, just forums that only contained “fans” talking about their “experiences/bragging about who they had met.” Boredom on the hoof.

    One unknown actress was manning the only “autograph table, in a huge room (she had been in Classic Trek, appearing on one episode, as a love-interest of Chekov. ) Whoopee!!

    Was told by the staff that the “main talent” wouldn’t appear until tomorrow!! Poorly organized mess.

    The dealer’s room was a joke (total 12 tables of junky toys/jewelry/swords, no real memorabelia.)

    Disappointing waste of money.

    Trek is dead, and these “wheezing” Trek conventions that try to keep it on life-support should stop “conning” the fans (particularly those of us, who remember how they used to be, before they became commercialized money-machines.)

    If Paramount and Lincoln Enterprises don’t care about fans anymore, they should stop all the junk.

    It’s a disappointment. Will never attend another “commercial” convention again.

  6. 11:22 pm on October 15 2006, The Big fish said:

    I few people keep questioning why Star Trek fell off the rails. Recycled stories I think is very hard to avoid in the series but this is not the problem. To keep it going there needs to be a new generation of viewers captured by a series. To do this it must capture the imagination (and not by technobabble that Star Trek can fall into) by good stories, even if recycled, I mean how many ways can a doctor save a patient in ER?? The success in these shows are engaging characters and a continuing interesting story line to keep people coming back for more. Babylon 5 killed DS 9 with the story line and space sequences and BSG with its low tech but humanising (even for cyclons) elements has changed my view of what is needed.

    My Opinion anyway

  7. 4:05 am on April 1 2009, Liberals are Parasites said:

    Star Trek is not dead. It is merely in hibernation. It goes in cycles.

    Enterprise was a dumb series that I never watched. Going back to the 22nd century to do a backstory is idiotic. The new Kirk/Spock movie will be idiotic as well.

    If they wanted to revive the whole thing, they should be bold and do a new series in the 25th century. The 24th century is saturated, it is time for the 25th century. Many cameos by the 24th century characters in old age can be done.

    25th century. That is the solution.

  8. 4:01 am on August 11 2009, JamesTKirk said:

    JJ Abrams ruined Star Trek. It’s dead Jim

  9. 11:41 pm on June 8 2010, Kirk SKywalker said:

    “Wrath of Khan” was like a dark version of Star Wars– it ended the intellectual bent of Star Trek, and just got flashy and preachy. It would have bene better if Kirk and Khan whipped out lightsabers and dueled it out in the end, rather than Khan saying “KARK! YEW HAVE SONK MY BATTLE-SHEEP!” right out of “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.”
    And so they threw in some preachy moral about how Kirk was a cheater rather than someone who thought outside the box, and how now “he had to face old age–” with Kirk “getting old and senile” at 49, despite that McCoy was ALIVE AND WELL at age 137!!!
    Meyer had never even SEEN an episode of Star Trek, so clearly he was a pimp hired by Paramount to boost ticket-sales over The Motion Picture– and so he turned it into Star Wars meets The Exorcist, i.e. Space Opera + religious horror.

    Oh well, it’s not my train-set… just my childhood memories sold out, like a classic rock-song sold out to a Humvee-commercial.

  10. 4:17 pm on January 30 2011, bob said:

    Leonard Nimoy called us old Trekkies who did not like the new movie “dickheads”. Was a big fan of Spock and Nimoy. Not anymore.

    Maybe he was just kidding (I doubt it) but I took it as a directive to get out of Star Trek Fandom, so I have.

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