All day long, my social media have been pinging with jubilant people repeating the message that a new Star Trek series is coming out in 2017. Now don’t get me wrong — I was once a 9 year old boy who begged his parents to let him stay up late to watch Star Trek — but I felt a despairing groan deep inside me.
Let it die.
The series came out 51 years ago. We don’t need another rehash, reboot, repeat, whatever of the same stories. It’s not as if this is the only science fiction future we can imagine, it’s not even as if this was the best framework for telling stories ever. Inspire me with something new. Do something brash and wild and surprising.
I know, this is commercial television, which lives for the predictable and bland, the lowest common denominator that will draw in the largest audience. I will point out two things: 1) in its time, Star Trek was that weird wild card that network executives didn’t understand, and 2) now its virtue to television producers is that it is an entirely known quantity with a built in audience, and is therefore the precise opposite of what good science fiction ought to be.