Small Realities

Inside the mind of Lance Schonberg

Star Trek

So two weeks ago today, 08 Sep 1966, was the 45th anniversary of the original airing of “The Man Trap”, the 45th anniversary of the dawn of the Star Trek era.  I let the day pass without public note (not really like me for something of this scale, but I’ll probably make a big deal out of the 50th when it comes—45 is just another year, really), but I’ll admit to a little private reflection.

Star Trek has been on my mind more than usual lately, not really because of the 45th anniversary, and not really because of my ridiculously slow production of Fractured Unity.  I’ve watched several documentaries recently, saw William Shatner at FanExpo at the end of August, and I’ve been dropping serious hints about the new bluray issues of the original series seasons (contains original and remastered versions of every episode) for potential Christmas and birthday gifts.   For me, of course.

I’m a Trekkie and I don’t really care about the nomenclature battles all that much.  Have your opinion, but don’t try to shove it down my throat (that goes for everything, really).  I’ve been a Trekkie for as long as I can remember.  My whole life.  One of my earliest memories is of sitting in my father’s lap in an old comfy chair and watching “The Immunity Syndrome” (giant space amoeba episode).  If Star Trek was on TV when I was a kid, I was watching it.  As an early teen, a local station broadcast it weekdays starting about five minutes after I got off the bus.  So convenient.  If I’m channel surfing (rare, but does happen), and come across it, I’ll stop there.

When TNG came along in the 80s, I watched it almost religiously, by myself or sometimes with a cluster of friends.   A new episode was cause to stop whatever we were doing and switch to the TV.  Sure, the characters were completely different, the uniforms were a little odd, Worf’s sash seemed pretty frilly for a Klingon (that got changed in season 2), and the hand phasers looked kind of like dust-busters, but it was certainly still Star Trek.

DS9, I had a bit of a harder time with in the early years.  The first few minutes of that first episode were great, and then it got kind of boring.  To boldly stay where no one has stayed before, we used to joke.  That got better, too, because the show had a chance to expand and grow.  It pushed things in new directions and we got the Changelings, shifting Klingon allegiances, and growth of both the Ferengi and Cardassians beyond cardboard cutouts.

Voyager had a lot more potential than it was allowed to realize in the first couple of seasons, but eventually hit its stride.  There were times when we called it the Love Boat in the Delta Quadrant because someone always seemed to be flirting with someone else.  A tinyislandofFederationtens of thousands of light years from home made that natural, I guess, but once the relationships settled out, the Janeway-Chakotay-Tuvok dynamic worked pretty well with most of the secondary characters just barely secondary and giving a real cultural mosaic in the crew, maybe for the first time.

Enterprisewas a bit tougher than any of the other series before it.  I don’t think it’s because of the Bryan Adams inspired theme song, although that didn’t help much.  It came onto the scene when TV shows didn’t get a chance to find their stride anymore.  Be good and grab an audience or be gone.  By the time the storytelling really found its stride, it was too late.  If you didn’t watch it that far, there were a lot of good episodes in the last season.  The fourth season, which is still more than TOS got, if you think about it, but it came on the heels of three series that got seven each.

I’ve seen every movie in the theatre, first run.  All eleven of them.  No, I wasn’t all that thrilled with ST V, but it had its moments.  The 2009 reboot?  Well, I’ve given my opinion on that one before.  Half a great movie.  The other half?  Let’s just say it averages out to about a 7 and go with that.  The next one needs to be better all the way through, not that I’m holding my breath. Hollywood in general hasn’t done a lot to impress me in the past few years, but there’s always hope.

I’ve watched fan film and listened to fan audio drama and I’ve read comic books and novels, and even a little fanfic here and there.  Yes, I’m a Trekkie.

The point of all this rambling is that I think it’s time Star Trek came back to TV.  Movies are all well and good, and there are plenty of reruns of all the old series, I suppose, but there’s been no new Trek since 2005.  Not as long a gap as from TOS to TNG, sure, but considering that from the beginning of TNG to the end of ENT was just about eighteen years, six is a long gap.  It’s lain fallow long enough, alternate timeline movies notwithstanding, and we need a new ship, a new crew, a new adventure.

The world needs more Star Trek.  Get on it,Paramount.

(And yes, I’ve heard the rumours.  I’m not interested in rumours, I’m interested in Trek.)


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