Star Trek – I have been a huge Star Trek fan for as long as I can remember and up until recently, I had no idea how toxic a place the world has become when it came to this fandom. Like gaming and films, Star Trek has become targeted by the die hard fans who believe that anything non-canonical or ‘new’ is terrible and therefore must be slated before it’s had a chance to take its first breath. I’m sure you’ve all seen the posts about ‘you’re not a gamer if you play on easy’ or ‘that’s a girls game, you can’t play that and call yourself a gamer’, well the Star Trek community has these types of ‘fans’ too.
Star Trek: The Next Generation was pinnacle Trek for me – this is a personal opinion but what I will not do is immediately slam anything released before or after this as trash. Yes, I have my likes and dislikes but this is purely based on what I enjoy vs what I don’t enjoy. More importantly, I took the time to watch, re-watch and think about what was positive and negative about each thing.
Recently, Lower Decks has been targeted by the ‘if it’s not like the original show then it’s not Star Trek’ brigade, all because some genitalia and anuses appear on screen for 20 seconds. Oh, and yes, they are completely covered by big black squares so it’s left to your imagination what they might look like. The uproar on Twitter was vile with the show creators being threatened, mass hatred for the show being thrown about and worst of all, the ‘this isn’t Star Trek’ mantra.
Going against what I said above, I was once someone who labelled Discovery as ‘crap’, ‘awful’ and ‘not Star Trek’. I’m not proud of that. I’ve learnt that what I should have said is ‘it’s not for me’ or ‘I didn’t enjoy it as much as other Trek’. I didn’t take into account the hard work by the hundreds of people who made the show happen. I’m also guilty of not giving it a real chance based on me not particularly liking the Klingon design.
I’ve struggled with depression in my life, I can admit that now but when I feel a bad day coming there is one thing I can always rely on. Star Trek: The Next Generation is my safe place, something I can turn on and know that everything will be ok. There’s no swearing, the stories are good (on the most part – space Jellyfish for example) and I can lose myself in each and every episode. The crew of the Enterprise D feel like family to me and they help my brain calm down and move away from the negative things flying through it.
I struggle with any Star Trek that swears (not including Captain Picard saying Merdé that one time), having grown up with TOS and TNG it somewhat baffled me that things like Picard and Discovery wouldn’t be enjoyed by my children until they are old enough; I felt myself getting angry that they sullied what I always thought as an innocent show. Of course, this is ridiculous, I wouldn’t have a problem showing the first TOS movie to my Step Daughter but would never show her Wrath of Khan, a film definitely made for the older fans of the show so why, should I have a problem with modern shows catering for audiences that expect darker, more adult themed shows?
Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek for everyone and I believe that if he was alive now, he’d be happy to see how far Star Trek has come. The Original Series, for those of you that don’t know, was aired in 1966 which was a time when racism was still rife in the general population so imagine the surprise of viewers when a black woman was cast as a major member of the crew? Interracial kissing, aliens, women leading entire races – Star Trek opened the worlds eyes to inclusivity as well as what technology could be.
This is how everyone should treat Star Trek – it was designed to be enjoyed by everyone, not one specific group. Every series made from old to new, highlights that anyone can be anything they want, this is exactly what Gene Roddenberry wanted. If you don’t enjoy one particular show, just accept it, don’t slag it off. I loved Lower Decks, it gave me the Star Trek I love (especially all the training exercises in ‘I, Excretus’) whilst giving it a large dose of comedy which previously I had only seen in The Orville.
For those of you moaning about anuses and Lower Decks, take note: There is more Trek in this show than Discovery and Picard put together whilst also adding comedy. Bringing back various races from the Pacled’s to the Exocomps really bought a smile to me, they needed more screen time but in ‘traditional’ Trek, that would have been impossible.
I have accepted that some Star Trek doesn’t work for me and that’s ok but now it’s your turn, be nice and just move on to a series you do like.
Now and just because I can, here is my rankings of Star Trek based on my opinion. Just because something is at the bottom, doesn’t mean I didn’t appreciate or like anything, it just means I didn’t enjoy it as much as the others.
|Star Trek: The Next Generation
|Star Trek: Lower Decks
|Star Trek: The Next Generation Movies (all of them, even Generations)
|Star Trek: The Original Series Movies (all of them!)
|Star Trek: Voyager
|Star Trek: Picard
|Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
|Star Trek: Rebooted films (Not so much In to the Darkness)
|Star Trek: The Original Series
|Star Trek: Enterprise
|Star Trek: The Animated Series
|Star Trek: Discovery