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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old April 22 2014, 06:40 PM   #1
Warped9
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A TOS resurgence?

In some ways it seems as if TOS has almost always struggled for respect if not attention.

In its original run there is debate as to how popular the series really was. It quickly developed devoted fans and gained media attention even as the ratings debate continues. In the 1970s there's no question there was elevated interest as the series grew ever more popular in syndication. Tie-in books and merchandise, which started practically from the beginning, started to really grow in the '70s and into the '80s with the release of each successive film. It was also a time when we saw the introduction of home video technology that allowed us to record episodes and watch them when we wished.

The introduction of TNG grew the franchise again only this time it might have started drawing attention away from TOS. The new series was more contemporary (then) and slicker looking. And it really began the fracturing of the overall fanbase as new fans developed loyalties to each particular spin-off series as their favourite. With all the new stuff going on it's easy to see how TOS could be relegated to almost an afterthought with newer and slicker looking productions now available.

An interest in TOS has never really gone away even if it has waned from time to time. There remains a devoted core following. But in recent years could we be seeing a resurgence of interest?

There have always been books and other merchandise tied into TOS. But lately TOS fans have seemed to be getting spoiled. We've been getting books offering indepth looks at the show when it was being developed and produced. We've gotten a first-class release of the entire series' soundtrack. Round2 has been reissuing original AMT kits (retooled and tweaked) as well as long awaited kits such the 1/350 Enterprise and the forthcoming 1/32 scale shuttlecraft. Technology and resources now allow dedicated fans to produce filmed episodes and many of them choose to play in the TOS universe including some very well produced efforts. And like them or not the JJ Abrams' films have also been bringing attention to the original series.

I rmember being a fan in the '70s and there was a lot of excitement and enthusiastic interest back then. Yet in some ways today could also be a golden era for being a TOS fan. You can get box sets of the series displaying the episodes looking better than they ever could have even when they were new on television. You can buy tie-in merchandise we could only have imagined back in the day. There are more and even some better books than were available then.

And the series as a whole as well as individual episodes are still studied, analyzed and debated.

How many forty year old television series do you know that still get this kind of attention? Yes, there are a handful of other shows that are remembered and even enjoy a small cult following, but nothing to seriously rival TOS. Is it a series that really can still speak to newer audiences? And do you think we could be seeing something of a resurgence of interest?

Thoughts anyone?
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Last edited by Warped9; April 22 2014 at 08:28 PM.
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Old April 22 2014, 07:56 PM   #2
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Re: A TOS resurgence?

I still prefer TOS over any other interpretation, and that includes the Abrams revamp.

It's what I started with of course, so there is the immense nostalgic factor of seeing most of those episodes in the NBC run. But the series also has a completely different feel compared to everything that came after. I prefer it over the original cast films as well.

I've long had the notion that visual sci-fi is the most theatrical type of television, and nothing has captured that theatricality as well for me in terms of performances, cinematography, lighting, and story telling as Shatner and company. Maybe it's all due to Bill, though I didn't start really liking him in TOS until about 20 years later.
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Old April 23 2014, 03:16 AM   #3
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Re: A TOS resurgence?

Melakon wrote: View Post
I still prefer TOS over any other interpretation, and that includes the Abrams revamp.

It's what I started with of course, so there is the immense nostalgic factor of seeing most of those episodes in the NBC run. But the series also has a completely different feel compared to everything that came after. I prefer it over the original cast films as well. .
I completely agree. There is something special about tos. It's the same feeling I get with Sean Connery and bond. It's the original.
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Old April 23 2014, 03:20 AM   #4
Hober Mallow
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Re: A TOS resurgence?

Speaking for myself only, I'm finished with sequels and spinoffs of sequels and spinoffs of spinoffs of sequels. At this point, it's either or Kirk and Spock or I won't bother tuning in (or going to the theater).
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Old April 23 2014, 03:59 AM   #5
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Re: A TOS resurgence?

Part of what I found interesting was following rewatches through podcasts and blogs and finding people not at all or very little familar with TOS, even being fans weaned on later series, and yet coming away impressed with many episodes and aspects of the original series.
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Old April 23 2014, 04:06 AM   #6
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Re: A TOS resurgence?

It is, indeed a great time to be a TOS fan.

There seems to be a new TOS novel every second month, and TOS seems to get more releases relative to the other series. I am hoping the Cushman book series does well enough to tempt Pocket Back into the non-fiction fray as well.

Although we all have differing opinions on the merits of JJ Trek, I have never seen so many under 20's tweeting and generally geeking out of the TOS characters...cosplay, fan productions...these are great times for TOS.
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Old April 23 2014, 09:10 AM   #7
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Re: A TOS resurgence?

Even after all these years, it's shocking that no incarnation of Star Trek has had an actor win an Emmy. Shatner, Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Nana Visitor and Andy Robinson all gave consistently superb performances throughout their respective series. Every one of them was Emmy-worthy.

Conspiracy theories, anyone?
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Old April 23 2014, 09:11 AM   #8
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Re: A TOS resurgence?

TOS will always be my first love!
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Old April 23 2014, 11:33 AM   #9
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Re: A TOS resurgence?

Botany Bay wrote: View Post
Although we all have differing opinions on the merits of JJ Trek, I have never seen so many under 20's tweeting and generally geeking out of the TOS characters...cosplay, fan productions...these are great times for TOS.
The new movies have definitely kept TOS in the public eye. If it weren't for them, I doubt interest would anywhere near as high as it is.

I wonder if the AU premise and that the new movies keep so close to the original is why they remain relevant, when other rebooted properties don't seem to have the same effect on their predecessors.
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Old April 23 2014, 05:29 PM   #10
Hober Mallow
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Re: A TOS resurgence?

CrazyMatt wrote: View Post
Even after all these years, it's shocking that no incarnation of Star Trek has had an actor win an Emmy. Shatner, Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Nana Visitor and Andy Robinson all gave consistently superb performances throughout their respective series. Every one of them was Emmy-worthy.

Conspiracy theories, anyone?
Well, Nimoy was nominated for Star Trek three years straight. Didn't win, though.
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Old April 24 2014, 07:06 AM   #11
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Re: A TOS resurgence?

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
The new movies have definitely kept TOS in the public eye. If it weren't for them, I doubt interest would anywhere near as high as it is.
That could be the stretch of the century. TOS is so much a fixture of popular culture (from the obvious to subtle references), that it retains a strong public identity, with little association with the (blink & you missed them) JJ films. On that note, long before the JJ films, how many national commercials used TOS or its trappings?

Next, look at merchandising, which can be a fairly accurate pulse of interest--particularly when talking about an old TV series: in the same decade the JJ film was released, TOS merchandising was never in limbo, or fading. A flood of TOS items were available (ex. Art Asylum/Diamond's long line of TOS action figures, role-play hand props in retail stores, Round2's model kits, publishing, etc.) Companies do not continue to produce such merchandise if the consumer interest (dollar) is not there.

Even among fan films long predating JJ, among the jewels in that crown, you will see TOS productions, which were not only attention-grabbing, but some received national news media coverage (TV, print, etc.). That was unprecedented, since most things even in the neighborhood of the word fan was largely a disrespected curiosity, certainly at that time.

Interest in TOS did not need the JJ movies to retain or build interest. As of this day, what average person ever talks about the JJ films?
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Old April 24 2014, 10:05 AM   #12
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Re: A TOS resurgence?

TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
Interest in TOS did not need the JJ movies to retain or build interest. As of this day, what average person ever talks about the JJ films?
I would say that if it weren't for Abrams's films, Star Trek in total would be completely dead, because it was already pretty much dead not long before them. So yeah, like it or not, the new movies did help.
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Old April 24 2014, 01:15 PM   #13
Warped9
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Re: A TOS resurgence?

^^ You are really stretching it. Abrams didn't save anything because a healthy interest still existed. Those films brought added interest, but that's it.
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Old April 24 2014, 02:51 PM   #14
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Re: A TOS resurgence?

Dukhat wrote: View Post
TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
Interest in TOS did not need the JJ movies to retain or build interest. As of this day, what average person ever talks about the JJ films?
I would say that if it weren't for Abrams's films, Star Trek in total would be completely dead, because it was already pretty much dead not long before them. So yeah, like it or not, the new movies did help.

Uhhhhh . . . if Star Trek was pretty much dead before JJ Abrams came along with the 2009 version, it would have gone 'pretty much' unwatched and would have died itself right away.

On the other hand, it would be unrealistic to not at least acknowledge the two new films for adding some interest to the franchise, and the original series in particular. However, when you look at the merchandise currently available, you'll find that The Original Series material dominates all other variations (including fuTrek), both in quanitity and also in value - check out eBay for varification on that aspect.

For me, TOS will always be The ONLY Series.

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Old April 24 2014, 04:34 PM   #15
Hober Mallow
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Re: A TOS resurgence?

The Abrams movies aren't my kind of Star Trek, but there's no question they've brought renewed interest to the original Trek.
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