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Star Trek is Great. Let's Kill it.

Star Trek is Great. Let's Kill it.

To hear the other side of the issue, you might want to read some responses the following rant has provoked. I wrote this little article in 1999. Since then, Rick Berman has revealed in an interview that the powers that be did not take my advice. A pilot episode for a fifth Trek series is being made. Big mistake.

I have read numerous statements from various people on different message boards that can be paraphrased as "Make no question about it; there will be another Star Trek series after Voyager."

My question: Why? With ratings dropping steadily each year and a market already saturated by reruns of earlier series, there are more than enough indications that the exsistence of Voyager was already one trip to the well too many. Oh, I don't doubt that Rick Berman has ideas for Trek Show 5, but I cannot fathom why Paramount would approve it any time within the next decade, if ever.

And Trek fans should be thankful for that. Do we really want Star Trek to look like a cash-greedy factory spitting out new MacSpin-offs every few years?

A fifth Trek series would once again have to perform the daunting feat of being new and original while not straying from what fans expect Star Trek to be, while maintaining continuity with hundreds of previously existing episodes and trying to attract new viewers. Good luck.

TOS and TNG have already entertained us while stimulating our imaginations through exploration and opening our minds to the possibility that the human race will overcome modern difficulties. In short, Star Trek has fully accomplished what it set out to do. Now it is time to move on.

The talent and effort that would be spent on creating a new series in an old universe could be much better spent by creating an entirely different SF program. The possibilities are out there for shows as revolutionary in our time as TOS was in the sixties. Why don't the powers that be get to work on such a project? Put your shoulders into it guys!

Let's allow Star Trek to rest in peace, solidifying its place as a classic rather than the cash cow Paramount slaughtered by slowly bleeding it dry.

C'mon Argus! The message of Star Trek is timeless! Do you really want to deny future generations a glimpse Roddenberry's vision?

If Star Trek is remembered as a classic, the reruns will always be around. Shallow viewers might laugh at the outdated FX, but they aren't the ones who would pay much attention to the message anyway. Intelligent viewers will always be able to see past the technical limitations and appreciate what the writers were saying. And it's not as though Star Trek needs to be the only conduit to carry such a message anyway; many works of science fiction feature forward-thinking ideas and optimistic portrayals of the future.

I'm going to add something that will strike many fans as blasphemous. I don't agree with all aspects of Roddenberry's vision anyway! There, I've said it, and I am sure some readers are still in shock. Oh, I support the general ideas; we should all be working toward eliminating the curses of war, poverty, intolerance, and violence. But Trek's message is more detailed than that, and I don't agree with all of the specifics. For one thing, I have some beefs with the Prime Directive. A policy of non-interference is an excellent guideline; in most situations advanced cultures have little business butting into the affairs of others. However, Starfleet has set up this guideline as thier "Highest Law." Giving a book to a person from a primitive culture would be considered a worse crime than murdering someone from your own. Several times, the Enterprise' crew nearly took this guideline to morally inexcusable extremes. There is no justification for standing by idly and allowing an entire race of intelligent people to be wiped out by a natural disaster, as the crew intended to do in TNG episodes "Pen Pals" and "Homeward." I am also not a big fan of denying scientific information to those cultures that ask for it. Withholding weaponry and in some cases other forms of security-threatening technology is understandable, but in most cases information should be a free gift to all who desire it. Another issue on which I disagree is the religious aspect. I believe in God, while Trek's vision of the future is pretty atheistic. There is nothing wrong with a show promoting the beliefs of its creators; I just don't happen to share those beliefs in this case. Worf, Kira, and a few other characters have religious beliefs, but those beliefs are generally viewed from a non-believer's perspective. Check out the decidedly unreligious messages of episodes such as "Who Watches the Watchers", "Rightful Heir," and "Mortal Coil."

Argus, are you saying that a future Trek series will adversely affect past series? That's impossible!

That is not at all impossible. The death of Newt at the beginning of Alien 3 rendered pointless her rescue in Aliens. Luke's revealed siblingship with Leia in Return of the Jedi cast a creepy shadow over their smooch back in Empire. Later installments of a series affect our perception of earlier ones.

But that's not the same situation and you know it!

True. A better example would be the Rocky movies. The original film was a classy piece of work, and was well recognized at the Oscars. Four sequels later, it is simply remembered as part of a cheesy series of boxing movies. You can't become a classic if you appear to be factory-produced.

That's not the same either. The Rocky sequels stunk, while the Trek spin-offs have been pretty darn good.

That is also true, but it doesn't matter. My last statement stands.

Every great work of literature features a strong beginning, a strong middle, and a strong end (well, except when the the author died before he got that far, such as in The Canterbury Tales, Billy Budd, etc). So far, Star Trek has had a beginning, a middle, another middle, another middle, and so on. But make no question about it: someday, Star Trek will end. It is only a question of when and how. Let's give it a good, strong ending while it still has some life left in the writing, and while at least some of the fans are still watching. Do you want it to fade away years from now as one of those forgotten shows no one knew they were still making? Me neither.

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