Star Trek was an idea from the mind of Gene Roddenberry, a man who flew B-17 bombers in the Guadalcanal during the second world war, before discovering television after a successful and decorated career with American airline Pan Am. Before his big break though, Gene joined the Los Angeles police department, eventually penning the pilot of Star Trek – his ‘wagon train to the stars.’
But you know most of that. You know that the series suffered from a false start, lack luster ratings in the third season before cancellation struck the death knell. You know that the series returned four years later for twenty two animated adventures airing on Saturday mornings, eleven motion pictures and four spin off series over the next forty years.
And you also know that there is so much more to this franchise that we adore so much. But what is it that we love? And why do die hard fans stump up hard earned cash to see movies that are clearly taking the beloved franchise in a different direction… and just why am I sitting here at my computer in a room I’ve modified especially for this website typing out this monologue?
Because we all have a hobby, some of us take it to the extreme while others enjoy a passing fancy, occasionally popping by to see what’s new in the universe (my parents, my sister and her husband.) They don’t mind that the direction has changed, that new actors have come along to reprise the roles made famous by those men and woman from 1966.
Well, I do.
And I’m not a hard core fan, I don’t have rooms of collectibles, but I do have a collection of autographs… and I do own all of the episodes and movies on VHS, DVD and BluRay. OK, so maybe I’m a little more fanatical than I casually admit. o.O. But I digress…
Simon Pegg has stated that Paramount has conveyed jitters about the Star Trek-y direction that he was writing the new movie and so it’s clear to see that Paramount are attempting to create a cinematic universe that everyone seems to have these days…
Fast and the Furious 256 is coming soon and Marvel and DC have released ridiculous schedules up until the next decade. So Star Trek must continue to survive at any cost in the cinemas, and what is any cost? Well obviously, perhaps, the further degradation of the awesome universe that was built up by some amazing creatives and awesome actors and actresses.
But Paramount perhaps forgets one thing. Marvel and DC have broken into television and are making successful runs at it too – Arrow, The Flash, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Agent Carter, Gotham.. and coming this year Supergirl (what am I forgetting?) Is it time to bring Trek back in cannon to the small screen? Can a prime universe tv series and an alternate universe movie franchise co-exist? Marvel and DC think so. They did it (albeit not alternates, but different time periods with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Carter, but the audiences followed.)
Paramount and CBS Home Entertainment need to remember that (and I’m an Aussie here, so bear with me) the network they owned eleven years ago – UPN – had barely any market penetration and that hurt the ratings. Voyager and Enterprise were the only spin off series to air attached to a network and, just like the original series, that hurt them eventually causing their cancellation.
An interesting tidbit from the upcoming US summer TV season is that Sony Entertainment’s syndicated series’ Unforgettable is about to kick off season four on America’s A&E network, after being axed by CBS twice (they brought it back once) and it’s all because of lucrative foreign investment (good on the French…) there again is more proof that it’s not just the American domestic market they should be looking at.
But, as I have said before… TREKZONE.org will continue to support and promote any and all forms of Star Trek, come as they may, into the future. But the eye will be ever more critical, and more concerned about what lies ahead.