2021 UPDATE – Of course, in some ways, I didn’t get at all what I asked for here: Enteerprise would proceed, run two seasons, and hen have its name changed to Star Trek: Enterprise and have a number of shakeups that would carry it through two more seasons for a total of four. And any outside help that was brought in on Star Trek: Nemesis clearly didn’t help the movie or the franchise.
But then, Trek was shelved for a while. No new series were on the air for nearly fifteen years. And in the meantime, the movies got rebooted by J. J. Abrams in such a profitably manner that they would forever change the way Trek would be produced, and the expectations placed upon it.
And in the meantime, television itself would change in ways I’d never have been able to anticipate, moving not only to streaming and subscription-based services, but to shorter season with more extended serial storylines and plot structures. So in a way, I didn’t get what I wanted, but then I did. And I find it both great and terrible. Mostly great, though.
Shelve Trek for a few years. You cannot go anywhere on the ‘net to read about Trek without dealing with messages, posts, or public opinion bleedthrough from the pundits, armchair scriptwriters, and self appointed Guardians of Forever out there that have nothin’ to spew but negativity and derision.
I saw some good points in Moore’s interview of a few months ago. I also saw some snarky unprofessionalism that betrayed his own roots in this sharkpit of unbridled opinion known as Trek fandom. But I saw true wisdom in his conclusion that there should be a space of time before the new series.
Trek fans want to WANT Trek. They want to be thirsty for it. I can say many of the “critical opinions” that bash the latest Trek are kneejerk reactions attributable more to saturation–in effect desensitization to what’s good about Trek, to good Trek itself. Any American icon only gets so many days in the sun before people start kind of wanting to see it have a fall from grace.
Four series on the air in one form or another. 500 episodes, and a general atmosphere on the part of fans (or at least the net-enabled ones who believe themselves to represent the majority of the viewing audience) of distrust or downright hostility towards each new rumor, does not say to me you have an atmosphere capable of supporting a new show. It won’t matter how good it is. Especially if it’s on UPN.
Nurture the movie franchise. It both needs more help and has more potential for gain in the future. It was after the success of Star Trek IV that TNG got its launch window. Personal opinion aside, given the lukewarm critical and public reception of “Insurrection,” and the erosion of viewership for “Voyager,” all you’re going to have to sell the next series to viewers is that it’s Trek, but it’s “different enough.”
That ain’t going to do it. If “different” in more up to date ways (in terms of storytelling) was going to cut it, DS9 would have ruled the roost, beatin’ out TNG. Viewership eroded for both the show that was “different” and the more traditional approach of Voyager.
What would really be “different enough” is for a studio and an executive producer to show the foresight to recognize this, and know when to hold onto their cards.
For what it’s worth, I bet it’ll be a good series. I’ll watch it if it is. But I give it two seasons, and then the above reasoning will become clear to TPTB after the wasted money and the egg on the face of the franchise of Trek.
End opinion. Encode for secure transmission.