Star Trek.

I have been a Star Trek fan since the late 60’s.

I remember the very first episode I saw of the Original series (STOS)

And being absolutely fascinated by the whole concept and the possibilities.

And also of the unlimited power of the imagination.

Back then science fiction was not as popular as it is now. I remember being mocked and laughed at in school  when I was talking about my favourite tv shows.

Star Trek was able to comment on many social issues of the time in America such as racism,Vietnam war, religion and our limited attitudes to life and our conditioning on life

because it was “only science fiction”. Whereas another programme would not have been able to get away with such subject matter. STOS featured the very first interracial kiss on tv between Kirk and Uhura. It also had its  “Cold War” with the Klingons representing the Russians or the old Soviet Union as it was back then.

It also challenged our concept of what life was and introduced us to many strange and wonderful life forms, religious,political and social beliefs.

Making us question and examine some our own belief systems and attitudes.

A mirror to our views on society and civilization.

 

Years went by and Science Fiction quietly slipped into the background until George Lucas brought Star Wars to the cinema and suddenly Sci Fi was back in the limelight.

The makers of Star Trek decided to bring back Star Trek and produced a series of films featuring the original cast.and also a new tv series Star Trek The Next Generation (TNG).

This series focused on inter crew relationships,racial relations, philosophy and scientific discoveries, many which were based on scientific fact.

The Klingons were suddenly our allies again reflecting  different world attitude and an uneasy “peace” between the superpowers..

This series ran for seven seasons in tandem with the original cast in cinematic releases.

When TNG finished it was followed by Deep Space Nine (my personal favourite of the Star Trek series) and this in turn was followed by Star Trek Voyager after another successful seven seasons.

Deep Space Nine (DS9) focused on our attitudes to philosophy,religion and the Dominion War. It reflected America’s growing military involvement in world affairs  like the Gulf wars and also asked serious questions about the role of the security services like the CIA and the NSA and the secret government within the government who actually rules the country and determines foreign policies.

 

Star Trek Voyager was about the crew of a space ship which was accidentally transported light years across the galaxy. It was predicted that it would take over 70 years to return to Earth. On their way home they met new species and worlds.

Nothing to do with a woman driver/ captain who couldn’t read a star map and had to top at every planet to ask directions and poke her nose in everyone’s business !

But seriously it also asked serious questions on life and our responsibilities etc

When this series finished along came Enterprise,This went back to the period prior to TOS and Kirk..This didn’t have the same impact and was never as popular as it’s predecessors.

 

So now we have a new series called Star Trek Discovery. Now a lot of fan are already upset by  the latest cinematic reincarnation. These feature a young Kirk and crew “boldly going where no Man has gone before” and like a bull in a China shop blundering in and causing havoc and chaos everywhere. With no sense of responsibility or for consequences of their actions. The typical American “anti-Hero/Hero” who defies convention and rules but gets the job done in the end and with “The End Justifies the Means “ attitude.. .and of course throw in the usual “father / son” relationship that Americans seemed to be obsessed by and away you go.

Now the latest tv series Star Trek Discovery, set somewhere between Enterprise and TOS has been aired. It features as it’s main character, a human who has been raised as a Vulcan – adopted by Spock’s parents. And she hates Klingons because they killed her human parents. Of course in 50 years of ST history we have never heard of this.

And in the first two episodes she has started a war, assaulted her superior officer, is responsible for the destruction of her ship and the lives of many of her crew. And she has also made a martyr of the Klingon leader, whose fanatical supporters now have a “Holy Cause” in other words a Jihad .

The Klingons are now depicted as savage, fanatical, purple and ugly, almost beast like…

In a world of “terrorism” fanatical, racial and religious intolerance.

Who do they remind you of ?

 

So I’m afraid that for many Trekkies this is a betrayal of the ethos and vision of Gene Roddenberry’s, the original creator.of the Star Trek universe.

I will watch another episode or two, just to see if it improves,but so far this series has left me very disappointed,angry and sad.

 

Then again, maybe I should just get a life !

 

c/ Denis Murphy 30 Sept 2017.

 

 

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