How to get the younger generation interested in TOS?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by evangelist6589, May 28, 2014.

  1. Shat Happens

    Shat Happens Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Good. That way there will not be any kids at the theater.
     
  2. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    There are many fans of New Trek who are older. I think we had an age based poll when ST09 came out and the older generation was well represented in the like and love categories. On the other hand, one the the more vehement critics was in his twenties.

    Elitism might be acceptable in certain contexts, but Star Trek isn't on of them. The show's message about that. And it being a originally TV show designed for popular entertainment purposes sure doesn't make it an poster child for elitism, either. Fans who embrace it as a way to set themselves above and apart from the "mundanes" really don't get it.
     
  3. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    This may inform this discussion somewhat, as it is a different angle:

    I will tell you that I do the whole internet RPG (Sim) thing and have for a number of years, and I've run a few of my own games and I have persistently tried to get TOS games going, and it was like pulling teeth. You can get a few people aboard, but not enough (and enough would be like 5). And you could advertise anywhere; I did on various websites and the group site itself. Still nothing. I looked at a number of ways to try to sell it; it's retro, it's a fun and interesting setting, it's the original, etc. Still just the same trickling of interest that wasn't enough.

    So I have tried to be a salesman for TOS, and I never found out a way to do it. The most you'd get in response was "I like the Original Series, but I don't love it that much". Most of the activity of the RPG group (which I will not name so as not to advertise) was on Post-Nemesis Star Trek, gray/black uniforms and all. I think, though, that the Star Trek reboot has made the rah-rah fandom shift towards that setting, because the TNG setting doesn't seem to have the same player zest like it used to even a few years ago, and it does seem to be moving towards the "Nu-Trek". I was part of a sub-group of that RPG group that started in the Pike era around 2008 or something, and changed to the Nu-Trek setting not too long after that (and before the 2009 film came out); it did a lot better as the latter than the former. I think on the whole that's what the lively fandom is moving towards. You'll always have the love for the older stuff, but the zest and livelihood will be with the newer stuff. Though it does break my heart a bit, as I really would like to have gotten a proper TOS game going (my avatar, incidentally, is from a semi-successful/semi-failed TOS Klingon game that was the last game I played, captained, and it folded).

    So that's my take on it, and I don't know how or if you can sell TOS to the younger generation; it's hard to sell it to even a not-young audience. TNG is the reason for that, and Nu-Trek is the reason for anything taken away from TNG.
     
  4. Ivan Bilic

    Ivan Bilic Cadet Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Zadar, Croatia
    It would be hard task to do, since lot of things changed. I wasn't watching TOS when originally aired. However, i watched some of them much later.:)
     
  5. ClassicTrekkie

    ClassicTrekkie Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Location:
    Central Ohio, USA
    I like how you think good sir! Couldn't have said it better myself :)
     
  6. TheSubCommander

    TheSubCommander Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    I would suggest if you are talking about someone under 30 who has never seen any form of Star Trek at all, start with the movies 1-6, then graduate to the fan collectives, then Movies 7-12. If you start them off with Star Trek 2009 and STID, I personally think you risk them rejecting the rest of Star Trek.

    Besides, having someone think of Chirs Pine as the true, definitive Kirk is just, well, wrong. He's a fine actor, but Shatner IS Kirk. :P
     
  7. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    Location:
    On the destruct button until the last minute!
    It's been amazing to watch younger Doctor Who fans embrace the old show. That franchise doesn't seem to have any trouble attracting new blood simply by producing an engaging, forward thinking new series that respects and honors the past. If we had the same thing, I think the younger nerds would happily go back and rewatch the old stuff. Just the other day, I met an eleven year old who dressed Patrick Troughton for Halloween and a ten year old who built his own K9. And I personally know four women in their early twenties who have now watched the entirety of classic Doctor Who. I don't know any who have done the same for Star Trek.
     
  8. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    Interesting, as i've run into a number of NuWho fans who scoff at the original series--the usual moaning about cheap sets, poor visual FX, etc., and think anything launched by Davies was the best thing since sliced bread. That includes the God-awful Torchwood, while they pretend that there was not an overwhelming fanfic/soaper nature found in many a NuWho season.


    From my experience, they seem to be rare DW fans.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
  9. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2001
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    Pretty sure the JJ Abrams films have ignited a resrugence of interest in the TOS era, and for those who can tolerate the production value and style, of the original series as well.
     
  10. dstyer

    dstyer Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Location:
    Battle Creek, MI
    Personally, my 10 year old has liked the Animated Series quite a bit . . . I've used that to turn her interest to the original TOS shows. We've seen Amok Time, Tribbles and City on the Edge of Forever so far. Next, I'm going to get her to watch Charlie X.
     
  11. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    The JJ Abrams films ignited interest in those films purely, and anything else filtered through those films. TOS got less love than you think, and I'd argue it lost attention.
     
  12. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2001
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    I find it difficult to accept this statement as entirely verifiable or all-encompassing of every person who has seen the JJ Abrams films.

    The point is: More people are aware of TOS now that the Abrams films have been produced, released and so well-received -commercially and critically- than were before these films were made.
     
  13. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    Location:
    On the destruct button until the last minute!
    I got my daughter (current age 7) into the show with "The Devil in the Dark" "Arena." She responded to the monsters. That was a few years ago, she's seen nearly every episode now and loves them.
     
  14. Kirk1980

    Kirk1980 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Did DeForest Kelley....just write Star Trek V? "What we should do is find Christ in space and it turns out he's Lucifer."
     
  15. Last Redshirt

    Last Redshirt Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2014
    Location:
    On the Starship Enterprise
    I got into Star Trek via TNG, because that was the one that my parents watched. I went from that to TOS, then to DS9 and Voyager. For TOS, I think the best way would either be through the movies like The Wrath of Khan or The Voyage Home, or putting on an episode like Amok Time or The Doomsday Machine.
     
  16. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    I went from TNG and the films to TAS, and then got into TOS from that. Which is a weird way to go for the 90% of you that never went that route; think of knowing something and people as cartoons, and then seeing them come to life.
     
  17. TheAdmiralty

    TheAdmiralty Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    That's what I did when I was a kid. I watched TNG and the TOS crew movies when I was little kid and got into TOS when I was a little older (like, 10 or 11). On a certain level it seemed "younger" and cooler than the films just because the cast were all young and good looking.

    Aside from the special effects, a retro aesthetic and some occasional hammy acting from the guest stars and Shatner, Season 1 and most of Season 2 of TOS hold up perfectly well. Getting kids these kids to look past the FX isn't easy though.
     
  18. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    It's true, a lot of the episodes are bad. I wouldn't want to let someone new wander around unsupervised in season 3. New viewers need some recommendations to guide them.

    I do agree that the Remastered episodes offer a great opportunity. That's what's on Netflix, which makes it easy. The remastering is fairly unobtrusive, involved mainly in the transition shots from one scene to another. But it puts in the level of visual FX that people today expect to see. I think the old-timey FX would throw a young viewer right out of the fictional world; the Remastered FX would help keep them in.

    This topic is of interest to me, because I'm putting together a watch-list for my 17yo stepdaughter. She's very into old entertainments that were good. She likes old movies, like Hitchcock; and she likes old TV comedies, like Cheers and MASH. She once sat with me thru a re-run of one of my favorite West Wing episodes (from season 1), and over the next few months watched seasons 1-4. Her dad has been a big Star Wars fan most of his life, and he's dragged her to a couple of those movies.

    In short, she's a great candidate to sit thru old Trek episodes.

    I really want to keep her watch list capped at 20 episodes; ideally I'd like to get it to 15 or so. I'm currently at 19. In order:
    Where No Man Has Gone Before
    The Corbomite Maneuver
    The Enemy Within
    Charlie X
    Balance of Terror
    Dagger of the Mind
    A Taste of Armageddon
    Space Seed
    This Side of Paradise
    The Devil in the Dark
    The City on the Edge of Forever
    Amok Time
    Mirror, Mirror
    The Doomsday Machine
    Journey to Babel
    The Trouble with Tribbles
    The Enterprise Incident
    The Cloud Minders
    Turnabout Intruder
    This list is tailored a very little bit to her tastes. She's a sap for love stories, so This Side of Paradise is an obvious ad for her, whereas for myself I might trade that one for another: maybe Mudd's Women or Court Martial or Obsession. Likewise Babel: I don't love that episode, but it has Spock's parents. I'm also considering dropping either Enemy Within or Charlie X; and Cloud Minders. That would get me down to 17.

    Here are a few of my thoughts on this process, as a proxy for appealing to younger viewers in general:

    • It is striking how melancholy the earliest episodes are. This is even more obvious when you list the episodes in the order they aired: Man Trap, Charlie X and Where No Man are all sad; Mudd is gritty and a bit of a downer; Little Girls is creepy and a downer; Balance of Terror has the groom die; etc. This is not jaunty, cheerful fare.

    • Based on that, I think it is worth taking a few minutes to remind my stepdaughter of the Twilight Zone, and explain the tight relationship in the 1960s between science fiction and horror. TV sf was steeped in the tradition of anthology shows – both Twilight Zone and Outer Limits had only been off the air for two seasons when Star Trek first premiered. I think I should tell her to expect the early episodes to have a real melancholy air to them; like the galaxy may be too big and scary for us, but we will attempt to make it on our wits and gumption.

    • It's very easy to end her watch list with Tribbles. You can EASILY throw out the second half of season two and all of season three, and not lose anything in terms of introducing to the series to younger people. If she doesn't react well to the episodes, I'll probably gut this list harshly, starting with the season 3 stuff.

    • Looking at my list, I'm struck by the absence of the signature "godlike being" story. Really only Charlie X – I don't count Where No Man because Mitchell is clearly a victim, and he doesn't quite get there, and he's not very mysterious. No Squire of Gothos, no Arena, no Organians, no Triskelion. I think that's a good move. Those episodes were usually cheesy on their own, and they had a bad effect on the fictional universe. The "Star Trek universe" is stronger without those elements than with them. Next Gen fatally wounded itself by starting out with Q. No need to repeat that mistake, introducing Trek to someone new.

    • I would like one example of the "Kirk talks the all-powerful bad guy into surrendering" genre, since that's such a motif. Maybe Ultimate Computer, if she's doing well motoring thru season 2.

    • I really think my stepdaughter might enjoy space hippies. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  19. Anji

    Anji Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Assisting in the birth of baby Horta on Janus VI
    You want to get the kids' interested? Do what my parents did: turn the TV on and watch the show with them.

    Been a loyal fan since 1966 (at age 3) and raised my three kids as fans too.
     
  20. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    Under the Great Blue Sky
    Nope.

    Just show younger people the Abrams movies - they're pretty close to TOS, but with much better production values.