A TOS resurgence?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Warped9, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    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?
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  2. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    Melakon's grave
    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.
     
  3. PCz911

    PCz911 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    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.
     
  4. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    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).
     
  5. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    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.
     
  6. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Location:
    shores of Australia
    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.
     
  7. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Trying to focus....
    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?
     
  8. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Trying to focus....
    TOS will always be my first love!
     
  9. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    England
    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.
     
  10. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Well, Nimoy was nominated for Star Trek three years straight. Didn't win, though.
     
  11. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    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?
     
  12. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    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.
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    ^^ 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.
     
  14. CaptPapa

    CaptPapa Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    I really do not know . . .

    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.

    ME
     
  15. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

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

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    There's a general resurgence of nostalgia as well as attention in the form of JJ Trek for the old show. For myself I guess I am "over" it...I've seen it too much or something because I rarely watch the show since the TOR-R came out. It's almost like they got it right and so I no longer need to see them. I tend to watch STNG-R and Enterprise more than any show if I do these days.

    RAMA
     
  17. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    It saved the franchise as a whole because the last 2 movies made a combined $170 million at the WW box office, and JJs movies made $850 million. See how that works?
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    The two Abrams films definitely lifted Star Trek's profile among general audiences. The rest of us would've still been here talking about it because we've been talking about it non-stop for forty-years. :lol:
     
  19. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    Yes.
     
  20. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    The two Abrams films did the same thing for Star Trek that the Micheal Bay films did for the Transformers. They both took an already-existing IP with a core fan base that loved it already, yet was still limited in crossover and mainstream appeal. They found a creative team that for good or ill found a different narrative approach, jettisoning many of the concept's peculiarities its hardcore fans love but go over the heads of most casual filmgoers.

    Looks like those two franchises hit paydirt. But for every Transformers and Star Trek, you get Garfields, Smurfs and Lone Rangers...