Diverging From Roddenberry’s Legacy
It’s beginning to look grim for Trek fans that want Star Trek Discovery to fill the void of Roddenberry’s legacy. With an excellent analysis posted yesterday, Ryan Britt may have opened the debate more than two months before the show even premieres.
Alex Kurtzman, executive producer, co-creator of Discovery has only ever worked on the Kelvin timeline and never had what could be called a true Trek-like apprenticeship with either Roddenberry himself, or one of the many writers and producers that helped Star Trek thrive well after Roddenberry’s passing.
This is not a slight against Mr. Kurtzman, in any way, but many Trek fans do in fact take the divergent timelines as something to carefully observe in the hopes that they do not muddy each other beyond recognition and make Star Trek Discovery completely unwatchable. However, it should be noted that Mr. Kurtzman has been directly involved with such films as “The Mummy”, with Tom Cruise, which has an approval rating of 15% on Rotten Tomatoes, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” which comes in at 52%, and the Transformers movie “Revenge of the Fallen” which has an approval rating of 19%. These movies may have done well financially, but it should be clear that they are often hastily done with sophomoric writing, directing that focuses too much on action, and special effects that kick the story well into the back seat.
Star Trek Fans Are Both Forgiving and Unforgiving
Star Trek fans can be very forgiving when it comes to canon and the adherence thereto, but that does not mean that they will welcome a divergent timeline TV series, or at least because one has never been tried, we can’t be certain. However, it should be noted that one of the major criticisms of Star Trek Enterprise was the Xindi, a species never before referenced in any canon, and their storyline which dominated the series would have been well known to humans or anyone living on Earth given the acts they carried out. Yet, the show has largely been accepted as Trek canon by the majority of fans.
Despite this anomaly, it seems unlikely that the majority of fans are willing to take a Kelvin-like timeline, flashy effects, new species – not to mention the absurdity that is the Klingon nouveau – and simply accept it as if it were the next link in the chain that is TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT…
The taboo word on many people’s lips is The Orville, a show that, so far includes a wealth of Trek alums, such as; Seth MacFarlane (yes, he counts because he appeared on an episode of Enterprise), James L. Conway, a writer, director, producer whose credits include Star Trek: Enterprise, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Next Generation; Robert Duncan McNeill; Brannon Braga; Jonathan Frakes…etc.
So, by the looks of the crew, it seems that one show debuting this fall is full of Star Trek alumni and will focus on exploration, adventure, science, and the hope of humanity’s future, and the other is Discovery.