As a life long Star Trek fan, it is with a heavy heart that I say that I’m beginning to think it’s losing it’s way. Throughout my childhood and adolescence, Star Trek was something special to me: a vision of a future in which humanity, at peace with itself, had united and set off to explore space. Every week, characters I loved were shown having wonderful adventures on awesome star ships. The TV program captivated me, and the films even more. It was sometimes all I could think about: there was something about this franchise which fascinated me unlike any other.
Yet now, that fascination, that excitement, is waning. Don’t get me wrong: I still love series like The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. Captain Picard is one of my favourite characters in all of fiction; and I still love the Dominion War story arc from DS9. It’s just that Star Trek doesn’t seem to be what it once was. Read this, for instance. Five new Star Trek series are now in the works: three live action, two animated. Since the 2009 film, Star Trek has become a tangled mess of interwoven storylines and alternate universes; it has lost the artistic coherence it once had as well as the intellectual weight which was the foundation of so much of it’s appeal. It is just being churned out, series after series, merely to attract viewers hungry to see a return of the program they remember, with very little respect for what Star Trek once was. It is now serialised nonsense which doesn’t understand the boundaries between television and film, much less the combination of intellectually-grounded science fiction, compelling storylines and relatable, captivating characters that made Star Trek great in the first place.
I regret to say that a program I once loved has now lost my interest, and as long as it’s producers continue to churn out this lightweight, commercial dross, I can’t see it coming back.