I don’t know about that, they didn’t call Data to pick the next leader of the Klingon Empire, Data didn’t lead both sides of the Borg Wars, Q wasn’t tormenting Data all through the series with a universe-ending time paradox hanging in the balance
TNG with the serial numbers filed off Starship Redenbacher The Orville, which had an iffy start but has improved as it’s gone along IMHO.
I don’t always love what these various incarnations do with the characters, but I’m appreciative we basically have four Treks, The Mandalorian and more Star Wars shows on the way to enjoy. It’s a good time to be a geek.
Sure, the most important things happen at DS9, and the Enterprise meddles in politics everywhere, while Voyager single-handedly rearranges political landscape of the delta quadrant. And by extension, a lot revolves around the captains.
But in STD it’s different. She’s not an important person, the universe exists to motivate her personal conflicts and feelings.
The Klingons are the evil enemy with whom no peace is possible, who the good Federation is fighting. Questioning the war is just not done. Until Michael starts feeling different about it, then the war and its reasons evaporate.
Probably unpopular opinion:
The chief virtue of Classic Trek wasn’t that it was particularly good SF. It was that it was often the only televised SF available.
(note here that I do not consider Star Wars or Flash Gordon style space operas to be SF; they’re fantasy with rayguns. A high-tech futuristic setting is not in itself SF; SF is the literature of ideas, of “what if?”, of exploring the consequences of hypothetical situations)
Given that we now have shows like The Expanse and Altered Carbon, Trek is pretty much redundant. Apart from nostalgia value, it has little to offer.
With a tight definition of SF, there was never much televised SF available. Altered Carbon is definitely in a different sub-genre, The Expanse is a great show. But still, there has to be room for more than that? The pre-STD Trek series used to deliver up to one strange new world a week. Who’s doing that now?
Also, Discovery fails the basic intelligence test to be considered SF…
To be fair, in the “original universe” the Borg don’t show up until TNG, so I wouldn’t expect to see them in Discovery.
STD and Picard are not really good shows (for my own taste) so I’m not really enthusiast.
To me Star Trek is a really setting for self contained, dilemma of the week, episodes with maybe a plot other-arching the season.
I think television has, by and large, moved away from the episodic style that was big back in the day that the original series and TNG/VOY/DS9 aired. Star Trek has to adapt, and I think Picard, for all its flaws did it well. I’m still watching Discovery for the first time, so the jury is out on my end (definitely way darker than Picard, although the set design is gorgeous and the acting continues to impress across the board… but the science of the first season is just too weird bizarre… )
I thought DS9 really hummed when it hit season 3 and 4 and the Dominion war became a hugely important part of the show. It took a few cautious steps away from episodic territory and more into season long plot arcs punctuated by “encounter of the week” style stuff that related to the war somehow. I found that far more compelling television.
But ultimately, what’s missing for me (and Picard finally hit the right notes in the last two episodes of season one) is that sense of “hope” that Star Trek brought. Hope for a better future, a more egalitarian and just future, a future not predicated on wealth hoarding and survival of the “least fit but most able to twist the system to their advantage”, but instead “let’s all try to help each other thrive because it makes us a better species.” Sure, Star Trek always had its own problems with sexist tropes (micro-mini skirt uniforms; the “dark world” version of the female characters always being sex-pot vamps, the constant need for male-female pairings and playing to common gender stereotypes), but it tried.
This’ll probably be fine and obviously I’ll watch it at some point, but it feels dishearteningly retrograde to keep moving towards where the franchise started.
Surely they should be called “Anson III Major” and “Anson III Minor”? Unless those numbers reflect the sort of shenanigans that don’t usually come to light until Jack Nicholson slaps it out of you.
On a related note, when I saw New Spock I immediately thought “oh, I wonder if he’s related to Gregory Peck” and I WAS VINDICATED.
I think we will see a push back from that kind of writing in the years to come. Not everything as to be an 8 hour movie ! Look at Picard, some episodes are more self contained than others, but since there is an eminent threat looming other the galaxy it just looks like the characters are f*king around.
I agree !
Yes, and I think it’s because it’s harder to write, you have to be more subtle to make a good crew dynamic if they can’t beaker and hate each other, and you can’t solve every dilemma with an action scene.
I love this 3000. Some of the best episodes of Trek are not solved through massive space battles and action. “Darmok” is among the finest. “Chain of Command” when Picard is tortured by the Cardasians (I always want to type Kardashians for some reason). The DS9 episode “Far Beyond the Stars.” Yeah, I feel you on this totally.
That’s the “literature of ideas, of what if.” That’s the good part.
They needed some new technologies that were game-changing but wouldn’t change anything. They had to be so weird-bizarre that we believe they end up mothballed and never used again. I thought the mushroom-hyperspace stuff was pretty cool. The show has other problems though.
I kind of felt more like it was the literature of “I’ve dropped ten grams of shrooms and I’m watching Ant-man and the Wasp, and those tardigras are awesome, I should use those somehow.” But sure, Trek isn’t the most rigorously scientific show ever and they’ve done some equally bizarre stuff on other series (I’m looking at you, Voyager, and the whole “Paris and Janeway mutate into lungfish and mate” episode). But I also hated THOSE episodes, too, so… meh.
I’m only now watching the second season of The Orville (because it came late to Prime here in my part of Europe) and it is scratching a Star Trek itch that neither Discovery nor Picard did. Straight up TNG story lines: a crew of a ship that generally does its job (rather than going rogue all the time) and that is faced with different challenges (which often turn out to be moral conundrums) every episode rather than following one single overarching story line to the exclusion of all else.
I loved Picard (and to a lesser extent Discovery) but there is no denying that The Orville does a lot of it a lot better. They are closer to Roddenberry’s vision.
And like many (I’m sure) I was sceptical about Seth MacFarlane before I watched the show but he clearly cherishes and respects the source material. Maybe more so than the official Star Trek writers who are great at incorporating minutiae of canon but seem to be losing sight of the spirit of the whole thing (and especially TNG).
Oh, and on an unrelated note:
that generally does its job (rather than going rogue all the time)
I would love to see that in a James Bond movie again, too, for a change.
I see where you’re coming from and I don’t see this as particularly heretical (though some surely do) but those three are different genres in my opinion. Altered Carbon is straight up cyberpunk, the Expanse is what I would call classical literary sci fi (i.e. in the tradition of Asimov, Dick, or Lem), while Star Trek is its own genre of, well, optimistic episodic space exploration? There’s certainly room for all three of them. I would argue that the episodic format allows for more exploration of different themes rather than the deep exploration of one question (transhumanism in the case of AC, political and societal effects of space exploration in The Expanse) the others provide.
This was not the case in the United States. There were several Irwin Allen shows on at the same time as TOS. Also, The Flying Nun.
I found the times they revisited or mentioned old characters - mostly to insert some tragedy - really jarring. What happened to Hugh, B4, Icheb, Riker, and Troi made me hope they stick with new characters from now on.
Yeah, and we care about them ! Not because they saved the galaxy, but because we know them ! Because we saw them doing mundane things, know what they like and dislikes, their hobbies and quirks and I think that’s a thing you can do with the episodic style of the previous shows.
You mean, Riker having to go back to work at his age, while Troi has become a stay-at-home mom in social lockdown on what appears to be a planet containing one family?
(ETA: I know you mean Thad, but as we never knew of his existence or met him, he is really an abstraction to us more than a person.)
Yeah, what a way to add the medical ethics angle to the ban on synthetic lifeforms.