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Old July 14 2012, 03:39 PM   #1090
Christopher
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis is right -- no matter how obsessive some fans get about continuity and consistent reality (and I'm one of those fans myself to a degree), Star Trek is ultimately a work of fiction, a creation of writers and artists, and it does indeed transform itself under different creators and for different formats and audiences. We like to pretend all the Trek series to date fit into a uniform continuity (and some of us always denounce the latest variation as too great a departure from that continuity), but that's a myth, an illusion resulting from familiarity. Each new incarnation of ST coming from different hands has been a reinvention, a transformation. For example, Nicholas Meyer's Trek movies take place in a Federation that's far more militaristic and far less technologically advanced than the one where ST:TMP or TNG took place. It's a radically different take on the Trek reality than the one Roddenberry had in mind. And Trek movies in general are more action-oriented and more scientifically ludicrous than the TV series, because of the different demands and expectations of sci-fi feature films vs. weekly television series. While Trek tie-in novels tend to be more in-depth and elaborate with their world-building, and so on. They don't really fit together with each other as neatly as we choose to pretend. (And some of us don't make that choice. There are still a few fans who refuse to believe that anything made after TOS, or at most TMP, counts as "real" Star Trek.)

So like any work of fiction, ST is adjusted and modified for new incarnations. We fans train ourselves to gloss over the differences so we can pretend that our conceit of a singular, consistent universe remains valid, but the people actually creating them have to take the more realistic view that they're works of fiction made for particular audiences and formats and need to be adjusted and reinvented accordingly.

Whatever form Star Trek comes back in, it will be different from what we knew before, because that's how fiction works. Any long-running multimedia franchise survives by change and adaptation - that's axiomatic. And yes, the purists will whine and scream about how wrong it is, just like they did with the Abramsverse and before that Enterprise and before that TNG and before that the TOS movies and before that the animated series. But other fans will accept it and embrace it just like they did with all the others, and they'll find a way to rationalize the changes and go on pretending it all fits together, just like they did with all the others. The key to the pretense of continuity is looking beyond the differences to the fundamental unities. But one shouldn't forget that the differences of approach and interpretation, the changes from one generation or medium to the next, have always been there.
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