Star Trek is a Family Time Show
Star Trek has always been considered a family show. While it deals with subject matters that are of importance and relevance to the world at large, it has always done it in a way that has made it accessible to almost everyone of any age.
It’s so much a family show, as a matter of fact, that many people considered Star Trek: The Original Series to be mostly for children and teenagers. I even remember watching some of it as a child, though I didn’t really get into Star Trek until The Next Generation‘s third season.
Earlier today, CBS All Access posted a one minute teaser for Star Trek: Discovery – the newest series in the 51-year family-friendly franchise. Of immediate notice was the apparent TV-MA rating in the video. The MPAA has apparently slapped that rating on the upcoming television series.
Showrunners Wanted Family-Friendly
This is confusing because recently, Discovery execs explicitly stated that it’s still a family show. “I’m not saying we’re not doing some violent things or doing a tiny bit of language,” said Aaron Harberts, one of Discovery‘s showrunners. “[W]hat’s important to the creative team is the legacy of the show which is passed down from mother to daughter, from father to son, from brother to brother. We want to make sure we’re not creating a show that fans can’t share with their families.” That would realistically mean no more than a TV-14 rating. “You have to honor what the franchise is. I would say we’re not going much beyond hard PG-13.” A PG-13 is similar to a TV-14 rating.
Of course showrunners have already said this Star Trek incarnation was going to be darker and grittier than those of the past. Just how much grittier they mean isn’t exactly clear. But consider this; Hannibal, a television series about a serial killer who eats his victims, is rated TV-14 – a lighter rating than Star Trek Discovery seems to be getting.
It’s unclear specifically what content may be bringing the series into to such a restrictive rating. But if the rating holds, it’s likely the next generation of Star Trek fans won’t be like the generations that grew up watching the show, being inspired by its ideals. It won’t be shared with our children and initiate them into the wonderful world of science, technology, engineering, health, psychology, or many other myriad of fields. And that’s a real shame.
Star Trek Discovery airs this September 24th on CBS All Access, Space/CraveTV, and Netflix.