Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by The Rock, Mar 31, 2022.
Is this because Chris Pine can't ask for as much as he did in the past?
I honestly don’t know why people would want even more of something we’ve already had 25 (!) franchise seasons of, not to mention the ongoing likes of The Orville and Lower Decks.
Star Trek died a slow, agonizing death because TNG, VOY and ENT all offered essentially the exact same thing over and over again. You don’t throw out stale bread, and then weeks later dig it out of the garbage to make a sandwich with. Star Trek needs diversity in its presentation. The new creative powers know that. It makes no sense to pump out 3-4 series that are all exactly like each other and exactly like what’s come before.
I love old school Star Trek, but it’s had its day and it died off for a reason. Lets not repeat history.
I'm not a huge fan of the Rick Berman era of Star Trek. That said while I think your observation is spot on, even I have to admit the original premises for both Star Trek Voyager and Enterprise were originally a bit different from how they ended up airing on screen.
A large part of the premise for Star Trek Voyager was the fact that there were two factions on the ship (the Federation crew and the Marquis they apprehended before being lost in the Delta quadrant); the original premise called for those two factions to be in Conflict from time to time, but the network executives didn't think that would work and that Star Trek fans would turn it off because of that, so like you said it became TNG-lite.
Likewise, the initial pitch of Enterprise had the first season taking place mostly on Earth and detailing what it took to actually launch the ship into space for its first mission. And here once again, the UPN network suits thought that was too radical a change to the established formula, and they also added an aspect (the whole Temporal Cold War subplot) so that if they felt it wasn't being accepted, they could immediately tie Enterprise into the 24th century Berman Trek era, and possibly bring in cameos to boost ratings if they felt it was needed. I believe both Berman and Braga tried to reason with the network suits with respect to Enterprise saying that maybe there should be a couple years of a break between the end of Voyager and the start of Enterprise, but they were over rules and I'm sure both wanted to continue to receive a paycheck so, they did what the Network suits told them to do.
It had its good points and it's faults.
Much as I enjoy new-Trek, the sets on "the Orville" are such a breath of fresh air from the dark, dizzying visuals of new-Trek. I'd love for "Star Trek" to return to simpler visuals.
But not for the alien stuff. Aliens and alien planets are one thing new-Trek does far better. I don't care how noticeable the CG is. It's better than every planet looking like California, and 80% of the aliens looking like humans with rubber private parts on their foreheads.
I also obviously don't want to return to the Federation's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy of the 90s.
I say keep most of the new stuff, but tone down the Stark Industries holograms, and turn on the friggin lights.
No, it died because Les Moonves hated Star Trek.
SNW isn't that dark.
So, Strange New Worlds?
Star Trek didn’t fade in popularity because Les Moonvese “hated Star Trek.” It faded because the formula, format, and writing for both the series and the motion pictures was stale and frankly lacked creativity or any “risk” at that point.
I don’t like when fans try to rationalize reality away. The shows and movies in the franchise had just gotten stale by the end of the decade, and people (including me) were moving on to something else. It wasn’t some conspiracy to kill the franchise by a studio exec.
I thought that was pretty much what I said in my original post, but happy to clarify.
The format was stale. It had played out and the stories had all been told.
The powers that be realised this and ditched the "planet of the week / weekly reset" with DS9, which imho is still the peak of traditional Trek. They tried more resets with the premise for both Voyager and Enterprise, but chickened out both times, reverting to staid TNG-lite template. Enterprise tried again in seasons 3 and 4, but it was too late by then.
Look no further than The Orville to see how dated that format is. Once past the comforting familiarity you realise itdoesn't really cut it for a modern audience.
it sure cuts for me: it’s the right balance between serialisation and episodic series and especially the latter part of the third season was phenomenal.
I think it comes down to what audiences want. Ultimately, for me, the Orville cuts quite poorly because the characters are not that enjoyable. Which probably depends on the person.
Oh the characters are a good distance from great. So is the uncomfortable humour injection. Aside from that, it still suffers from TNG by numbers syndrome.
I haven't got to season three yet, and I may not.
How so ?
really well written and exciting episodes.
On the bad side, the first part of the season suffered from pandering episodes, quite probably due because they were written before it was decided for longer airtime’s and had to be extended
It wasn't stale, Enterprise getting better with the new show runner, it was Les Moonves he didn't like Star Trek, it's well known.
What’s well known is that viewership declined steadily from a height achieved with TNG, falling steadily through the remaining series, and that the last two films from that era were poorly received by fans and general audiences. ENT Season 4 was too little, too late md definitely not enough to bolster a steady decline in interest that had been taking place since about 1997.
If you have a source that indicates that a studio executive purposefully torpedoed the franchise, and that the failure in television ratings and movie ticket sales for NEM and INS were due to that and not general apathy of audiences due to having a generally stale and uncreative product, I’d be happy to review it.
Brannon Braga has said that's false in interviews. He didn't dislike Star Trek.
Also as Vger said, the show was declining in viewers greatly. Sure it got better, but it didn't gain enough new viewers to reach higher than the earlier seasons.
Your analysis is faulty in that DS9 bled viewers/ratings from it's very first episode, at about the same rate as every other Star Trek series after Star Trek the Next Generation.
There's also the aspect that as Internet viewing and other forms of media viewing options and diversions began to become available for people, syndicated and network viewing overall began to decline as well across the board. The only Star Trek series that gained viewers after it's pilot episode aired was Star Trek the Next Generation.
Every other Star Trek series from DS9 to Enterprise bled viewers at about the same rate. Remember that the reasons that the Starship USS Defiant was added in season 3, and Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf was added in season 4, and making the Klingons the Federation's mortal enemy again in season 5 was all to try and stop the viewership bleed, and see if they could gain back some viewers overall. In the end none of these strategies worked as they had hoped.
Yes viewership numbers were high enough to continue producing DS9 episodes (even though some stations bought at an increase in the licensing fee for season 7, and as a result some of these syndicated stations stopped airing new DS9 episodes for a few weeks at the start of that season while they negotiated with Paramount); again the fact is that every series after TNG bled a lot of viewers after the pilot episode.
ENT probably would have made it to 7 Seasons as well if there hadn't been an upper management change when Les Moonves was promoted to CEO of CBS in 2003, and oversaw the merger of the UPN and the CW. (and remember that Viacom which owned Paramount at the time, purchased CBS in 1999.)
If Les Moonves had been in charge at Paramount at the time of DS9, it probably would have been canceled after it's 4th season and it had made the requisite 100 episodes required for striped indication back in the day. (And in fact that was the only reason Enterprise got a fourth season, as that gave it 98 episodes which was close enough to the magic 100 episode number.)
If he had been directly in charge at that time, Voyager and Enterprise probably never would have happened.
While your analysis looks likely to be correct, it's not counter to my post in any way - DS9 never approached the popularity of TNG and viewing figures didn't feature in my (imho) "peak of Trek" comnent.
It's still by orders of magnitude the best Trek show. To me.
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