Star Trek has had a tough time recently. The first two rebooted Abrams movies did solid box-office and got people out to see them who hadn’t traditionally been Trek fans. However they left a bad taste in the mouth of long-time fans, particularly the second movie with it’s Khan switcheroo antics. This did little to persuade those who think Abrams is a copy and paste hack with few original thoughts in his head.
By the time the third movie rolled around the newcomers had moved on to something else and the long-time Trek fans stayed away. Which was a shame as out of all the three Kelvin-verse movies Star Trek Beyond looked like a solid step in the right direction for this cast and crew.
On TV it wasn’t faring much better. Star Trek: Discovery suffered from an unlikable character set and Trek’s seeming discomfort with going forward, tying itself down once again to a prequel.
Then when they did go forward it was was almost as if those writing Star Trek: Picard had never even seen an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation or one of the Enterprise D and E crewed movies. The gap in characterisation and scenario from what had been laid as foundations was jarring.
But TV is where it is at right now, and one of the cast of the recent movies is just fine with that. Simon Pegg played Scotty in all three Abram-verse movies and co-write the third movie. As a huge fan of sci-fi he may have been one of the reasons the third movie felt more Trek:
“Maybe TV is a better place for [Star Trek] now. Television has evolved so much. Its become something which is very much a contemporary, a peer of cinema. It’s simply viewed in a different way. It isn’t a reduced scope anymore. You can still do masses of interesting things, and it can still look modern and not inexpensive. Maybe television is a better format for Star Trek. That’s where it started, you know.”
Star Trek: Discovery is to show its third season later this year, Star Trek: Picard renewed for a second season despite wholesale fan rejection, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds seems something of a panic reaction on behalf of the network to issues with those first two shows. Animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks is also on the way.
Whatever they do, TV Trek also needs a massive uptick in quality to survive. Who knows, maybe they will actually hire some passionate people who understand and love Star Trek?
We won’t hold our breath though.