And there was much tentative rejoicing.
I’ve been thinking about this whole new Star Trek show thing for a while now, ever since the announcement first hit, and I’ve been trying to decide exactly how I feel.
On the one hand, I think the time is right. By the time the show actually hits the air and Internet, Enterprise will have been out of production for a dozen years or so. I think that’s long enough to lie fallow, and I been saying, at least privately, for a while that Star Trek needs to be back on television. Episodic television, not watching the movies.
On the other hand, when I have to consider the atrocities committed by first two movies in the new franchise, I worry that they’ll screw it up completely. (For reference, both of the reboot movies had good moments, but both of them went from good to dreck in the second act and failed to improve. But I’ve made that argument, and in a lot of detail, before.)
But Star Trek needs to be on TV, so don’t we have to take that chance sooner or later?
So here’s what I want:
First off, I don’t care what time frame they put it in, or whether it’s on a ship or a starbase or on a planet or some combination of the three. My preference is for a ship, really, but whatever.
I want there to be stories, and for those stories to be about characters. Star Trek, good Star Trek, has always been about people and ideas. The story has to be good, and I have to care about the characters. It’s fine if I don’t care about all the characters right away, if some of them take a little time to grow on me. That’s fine.
And I want it to be inclusive. Actually, it’s not just a matter of what I want here. It has to be.
Every series has worked to expand the inclusiveness of the Star Trek universe, working with the times but also pushing them, to expand the diversity of the people who crewed the ship or the station.
You don’t think so?
Star Trek, The Original Series had a half alien first officer, a Russian on the bridge deep in the cold war, and a representation in the main cast of skin tones that weren’t variations of pink.
Next Generation stepped away from just having pretty people in the service, having a middle-aged bald guy as the captain. It also gave us three major female characters (at least for a while), and a former enemy, a Klingon.
Deep Space Nine made the lead character, the captain, black. It upped the ante on the aliens and it put strong women in the cast, as much or more than TNG.
Voyager gave us our first female captain (as more than a bit part), a black Vulcan, a half-Klingon chief engineer (who happened to be a woman),
Enterprise gave us a dog. Okay, that’s not fair, but if it didn’t work quite as hard as it could have at pushing the diversity boundaries, it didn’t take any steps back either, with lots of diversity in both the primary cast and the background actors.
I’m simplifying, but all I want from my Star Trek is those three things: ideas, people, stories, diversity.
I don’t want an action movie on a smaller screen. I want Star Trek.
Don’t screw it up, CBS.
Be well, everyone.by