Angry Trek fans denounce new Trek before they’ve seen it (2017 and 1987 editions)

Before the launch of Star Trek: Discovery, pause and reflect that the 1987 launch of Star Trek: The Next Generation was met with a subset of angry fans condemning it before they’d seen it (see below).

Now, 30 years later, TNG is held by some Trekkies to be as sacred as TOS.

Will Discovery be good? Who knows. But as a confirmed Trekkie myself, and as someone who also enjoys the movies (even the Abrams ones), I know that Trek belongs on the smaller screen in serialized form.

But don’t forget, it took a more than two seasons before TNG found its footing, and TOS wasn’t perfect (most of the third season was awful).

The early word is that DSC is good (DSC is the approved three-letter designation, avoiding an unfortunate STD nomenclature). I am ignoring the voices of those Trekkies who have pronounced a fatwa against it before they’ve even seen it.

Nor do I care that much about continuity. (Okay, I care a little bit, but not like continuity should be considered an infallible text.) Just make it a good show with compelling characters and thought-provoking stories. Oh, and take advantage of 1080p and make it visually sumptuous.

I will definitely be watching Sunday.


WATCH: Star Trek Discovery – first look trailer

We’re finally seeing the first footage from the new Star Trek series, Discovery. The first episode will premiere on CBS this fall, with the rest of the episodes appearing exclusively on CBS’ streaming service, All Access.

CBS has also announced that the original 13-episode order is being expanded to 15, and a companion show, Talking Trek, will launch at the same time.

You may be cool…

You may be cool, but you’ll never be Captain Kirk learning his lines while riding a motorcycle cool.


(And I think this answers any complaints about Kirk riding a motorcycle in the Abrams reboots.)

Happy 50th, Star Trek!

I discovered Star Trek during its first renaissance in syndication in the early 70s, and the first episode I remember seeing is “The Corbomite Maneuver.” From that moment, I was hooked.


I was just a kid, but that sparked a lifelong love affair with Trek and with science fiction. I devoured every book I could find about Trek – Stephen Whitfield’s The Making of Star Trek, David Gerrold’s The World of Star Trek and his book about the writing of the Tribbles episode, and the adaptations of James Blish. And just a few years after that, NBC gave us the Saturday morning cartoon, which I loved in all its cheaply animated glory.

From there I began reading all the sci-fi classics I could get my hands on – Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and more. Years later I fell in love with Star Trek The Next Generation and the cast became my TV “family.” In later life, moving to L.A., I met and became good friends with the aforementioned Mr. Gerrold, and got to hear stories from the Holy of Holies itself. Happy 50th anniversary, Trek!

Star Trek Beyond: A better sneak peak

The second trailer for Star Trek Beyond has premiered, and it’s a much better look at the film than the first one, which seemed indistinguishable from any number of bland, overdone action franchises.

This one adds a few hints of an actual story into the mix, though vague, as is expected. It’s still filled to the brim with action (this is a big-budget franchise tentpole, after all), but the new trailer seems to show there will be a little more than that.

And this time, no Beastie Boys.

Take a look:

You can read a very good breakdown of the trailer from The Guardian here.

Netflix gets Lost In Space

Let me get this out of the way first: The only reason I care about Lost In Space is that without Lost, there would have been no Star Trek.

In the mid-60s, NBC was primarily interested in Gene Roddenberry’s idea of a space adventure show because CBS had a hit with Irwin Allen’s campy space opera.

Netflix, the current king of streaming, has just announced it is bringing back Lost In Space. The new version is said to be “epic” and “grounded,” which I assume means it won’t be the kiddie show the original 60s drama became.

Even in my childhood eyes at the time, Lost In Space was just too dumb for me, whereas Trek opened my mind to new ideas and sparked a lifelong love of science fiction. But with Trek returning as a series streaming on CBS All Access, and Lost In Space being revived on Netflix, these two iconic shows could be going head to head once again.

Trek was always the more serious-minded effort, where Lost was known for its campiness. Will fans of the old show miss “Danger, Will Robinson!” too much to enjoy a more serious reboot?

Get the details of the new Lost In Space from Deadline Hollywood.

Star Trek will return to television in 2017

Yes, it’s true!

A friend shared a link on my Facebook timeline that Star Trek was returning to TV, and at first I thought it was a hoax. But I dug and found that it’s true — Star Trek is returning to its television roots in January 2017… and the announcement comes straight from CBS.

According to the press release, the show will feature “new characters,” and I read that to mean we won’t be seeing Kirk, Spock, Picard or anyone we’ve seen before. There’s no word on whether the show will be set in the 23rd century (the era of the original series), or whether it will continue beyond where Star Trek: Voyager left off.

Alex Kurtzman will serve as executive producer for the new show. Kurtzman co-wrote and produced the films Star Trek (2009) with Roberto Orci, and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) with Orci and Damon Lindelof.

But there is a caveat: The new Star Trek won’t be on your TV screen as the previous series were: This one is going straight to the consumer via CBS’ online portal: CBS All Access, and there is a small subscription fee. Obviously, CBS is using the Trek franchise to build its online service… and it’s a smart move. It’s where TV is going.

However, the first episode will appear on old-fashioned TV on the CBS network in order to hook the audience. Future episodes will then be available domestically only on CBS All Access.

Now, some personal thoughts:

I’m hoping this will be a real reboot and that the producers won’t bow to the pressure of the fan “cult” and try to make it fit with existing “canon” (which is a garbled mess), or explain away differences as a ridiculous “alternate timeline” as they’ve done with the JJ Abrams movies. Just make a good show and I won’t care one bit whether it fits in existing canon. Give me a good show with compelling stories and well-drawn characters and you can reinvent the whole universe.

Besides, Star Trek belongs on the small screen. It’s where we can get the kind of stories that made Trek great. We were NEVER going to see stories like “City on the Edge of Forever” or “The Inner Light” on the movie screen. Star Trek, at its best, when it’s got hours to fill, can give us drama, comedy, soap opera, Twilight Zone, farce, you name it.

If the producers are brave enough, Star Trek can indeed go where no one has gone before.