Saturday, June 1, 2013
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Monday, May 27, 2013
The 21st Century has begun rather poorly, and isn't getting us any closer to anything even remotely like the ideal of Star Trek. You can mess around with internet bullies who tell you that because you hate J.J. Abrams Star Trek Remake you're a 'fukin fagot' or you can move to another level. There are more implications to J.J. Abrams Remake beyond whether Archer could have even been alive during the time of Scotty's Academy days, or whether Red Matter could create Black Holes, or the simple fact that Benedict Cumberbatch isn't Indian, there are criticisms beyond whether lens flares are a really cheesy attempt to make your crappy blockbuster 'seem more realistic,' or whether Damon Lindelof is a hack. The new Star Trek can be seen as not simply a degeneration of Trek, but cinema itself, and why it was made the way it was has more to do with how the companies which make movies see us, and even worse, how audiences eat it up and why.
I'm going to continue to criticize the J.J. Abrams films, but more in the context of our very real world, and plump the depths of the world Star Trek alluded to of our next century, the one we've already started living in. Can we turn this back? Can we get not only our original Star Trek back, but the ideals that it promoted as well? Will films like the ones J.J. Abrams make contribute to a degenerated society, fully corrupted, and will it lead us to the horrors of something similar to Star Trek's 21st Century? Can we get out of it? Is a more positive future denounced now by our society? Can Star Trek still show us anything? Can a pioneer come along to take us in a new direction? Can we remove ourselves from the infantile internet hate-antics, and move up a level? Can we fans reach higher levels asked of us by the very show we claim to admire?
Join me. http://zeframandme.blogspot.com/
Friday, May 24, 2013
It is not even really true science fiction, as both it's science is ridiculous and not even attempting to predict anything nor imagine anything, its technology is there to serve as gimmicks and plot devices, and there is neither irony nor specific focus on any plausible reality there. "Red Matter" might as well have been "Magic Goo from Outer Space" and it's supposed technical "reality" is laughably unrealistic and highly improbable and implausible. Making Black Holes from planets, and magic blood that brings people back to life because it was "genetically engineered" makes about as much sense as Magic Goo that miraculously causes black holes to appear on planets... Automatic-fire phasers seems pretty implausible in that a phaser beam can simply be fired in a constant beam and do more damage. Aim your phaser, press the button, and if you move your hand you can cut people in half or disintegrate them completely. Automatic-firing seems senseless, and having it makes the films seem more like action movies, but to ask Star Trek fans to shut off the critical thinking part of their brain goes against what they are used to going all the way back to 1966. One feature of Star Trek was always that it involved the viewer's critical thinking part of their brain, whether it be science, or it be understanding a cautionary scenario that implied something in the real world. J.J. Abrams asks the viewers to shut off their brain in order to watch his movies. He asks them to not think about what's happening. He relates nothing that is happening in the films to reality in any way, it's nothing but action, and sensory overload, and empty and utterly useless content. Star Trek fans are certainly not used to this.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Let’s take a moment and look at what made Trek great. Well, many things. It was a great space adventure show, it had cool aliens, cool technology, interesting characters and it offered an interesting view on the future. That special future is what I want to explore here. One of the things Trek was famous for was providing a positive view of humanity while being modeled on our own society. Let’s face it, Trek often dealt with current events and used science-fiction to criticize them.
A new Trek show would need to do that, so here’s my top 10 list of how the crew of a new enterprise should mirror our own society. Simple points that would show the viewers a future they can relate to and hope for.
1. A multi-religious crew. Let’s face it, religious tolerance isn’t at its best these days. Religious terrorists in the Middle East advocate violence against non-believers, redneck preachers in the
2. Sexual openness. Let’s face it, our society is often plain scared of openly talking about sex, so instead, we get movies and tv shows exploiting it. I believe that in the Trek utopia, people would be free to talk about sexual topics and respect each others in the process. Yes, people use the holodeck for sexual fantasies. Everyone suspected it, and it was confirmed in DS9. Let’s show that yes it is natural and people shouldn’t be ashamed of their own sexuality. People should also respect themselves in the process.
3.Homosexuality. We had crewmembers of various races, a blind pilot who later became an engineer, a female captain and various aliens. I think it’s time we got a gay couple on the bridge.
4. Technology and privacy. This is a subject that I believe should be tackled. We live in a society where teenagers live out their lives on social networks and the like, where we share our private thoughts on google, thoughts that are later used for targeted advertising. Some people, myself included, worry about this and take active steps to protect online privacy. Let’s show a future where this is true. Where the captain just doesn’t have access to what crewmembers do in their quarters, where transport inhibiters are placed inside private homes, where you just can’t enter the holodeck during someone else’s private session. Trek, after all, is all about the positive uses of technology, and that means it should be shown as used responsibly.
5.meaningful entertainment. This is something where I feel Trek often failed very hard. Let’s face it; characters in Trek always were interested in antiquated stories and characters. I have no problem with the idea of characters like Sherlock Holmes still being popular in the future, but the Trek universe always felt stagnant in it’s literature to me. Voyager tackled the issue a bit with that one episode where the Doctor writes a holonovel. We need more of that. Let’s see creators taking their role seriously, aka providing meaningful entertainment while offering criticism of society and making the audience think. You know, what Trek should be doing in the first place.
6.The Captain’s power is not absolute. Starfleet isn’t a military institution. Forget what DS9 said, Roddenberry was against the militarization of Starfleet and I happen to agree with him. In fact, we should use the enterprise as a way to mirror our own professional lives and relationship with our superiors. Let’s not show the ship as a dictatorship, but as a place where crewmembers can question the captain’s order when not in a crisis situation. The TNG episode “lower decks” touched the issue of the little guys on a spaceship. Let’s get further into that and show the equivalent of a lower deck union with the power to change certain ship policies that might not be fair to common crewmembers.
7.Copyright issues. This issue was also tackles a bit in “Author, author”, the Voyager episode I mentioned earlier. Let’s face it, copyright issues are an important subject nowadays. Not only the rights authors have regarding their work, but the rights of distributors and customers too. Should works of art belong to everyone? Well, in a moneyless society, piracy isn’t a problem anymore, and that would be a good way of showing artists and authors who create not for profit but to share ideas. We could also see works of art parodied, even modified, and explore the social implications. In fact, I think the crew of a new enterprise would need at least one non-starfleet holodeck program creator, just so we can touch issues like that.
8.Free healthcare. Nothing new here, this was explored in every single episode involving the Ferengi and sick bay. Still, wouldn’t hurt to remind watchers that essential services such as healthcare are free in the future and that a doctor will treat every patient with respect and dignity.
9.Command transparency. Here’s an idea. On a regular basis, the captain and senior staff members have to declassify their official log entries for the crew to review. Crewmembers would then be allowed to criticize their superiors. A recent study showed that 75% of red shirt deaths are avoided if the Captain has to account for his actions at the end of the month.
10.Crazy, out of this world technology. Trek was always about technology. Let’s show amazing medical advancements, new AI technologies, basically any tech that would captivate the audience’s imagination. One important note here, it’s about technology that’s truly revolutionary, not technology that just looks great.
Those are my ideas. I definitely think a new Trek show would be possible, but not under producers that worry more about ratings and copyrights then telling a good story. So I’m looking at you, fanfic writers. Let the people know good Trek can still be done. If you wrote or worked on a trek story in any form, or if you just know of a good one, leave a comment.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
by Norma Harvey
First off, despite the title of this post, I have to say that I don’t hate this movie and I don’t think it’s the worst thing to ever bear the name Star Trek. There are things that I enjoy about this film. I think the cast is excellent. They chose people who look enough like the old actors that I could accept them as the characters, at least physically, and they can act. Two thumbs way, way up for Karl Urban especially. I like the music. I like the new design of the ship and the sets, with the exception of the engine room, I just wished they’d turn down the lens flares so I could see them better. Seriously, who decided that having your audience squinting at the screen was good cinematography? I enjoyed the opening sequence and was emotionally invested in George and his wife being pulled apart; a nice contrast of the birth of Jim with his father’s death, then the title shot showed up and everything went to crap. Finally, I like the idea of time travel to create an alternate universe. Star Trek has always had a weird relationship with this from the beginning anyway. Making changes to the timeline should alter the future ala ‘City on the Edge of Forever’, but we also see that alternate universes can exist along side the prime one with ‘Mirror, Mirror’ and ‘The Tholian Web’, and I’m not even going to get into the timey wimey ball headache that is ‘Yesteryear’. So, I can buy that the writers have created this new universe and the beloved one remains untainted. However, almost from the moment this new universe is created problems arise. We have this whole new expanse to play in, to boldly go in all new directions and we don’t.
In terms of dropping the ball with this film lets start with the characters. We have a Jim Kirk who has grown up without a father making him more reckless and more of a rebel than the Jim Kirk of TOS. A realist versus an idealist if you will. Great, how will this change affect how Kirk acts now in comparison to what we saw in TOS? He becomes an asshole that’s what. We see in a deleted scene that he appears to have had a difficult childhood, and honestly the scene with his brother and Frank really should have been kept in because it gives him depth in the following scene with the car. Without it Jim Kirk evading the police and driving an antique car into a quarry for reasons unknown makes him come off as an asshole. Feeling annoyance at the main character is not the emotion you want to be invoking in the audience if you want us to care about what happens to him for the next 100 minutes of the film. Unfortunately the feeling of annoyance at Jim Kirk won’t be leaving anytime soon. Now after he acts like a slime ball to Uhura in the bar, playing on the whole pop culture ‘Kirk is a playboy’ idea which I hate by the way, we get a glimpse into why he acts the way he does. We hear from Pike that like his counter-part Kirk is smart, but he doesn’t apply himself. We can see the subtle change in Kirk as Pike talks about his father. His whole body language just screams:
‘Oh, great another person who wants to tell me how great my father is and thinks I should be just like him. I don’t want to talk about this and need another drink.’
Too bad we didn’t actually go anywhere with this. When Pike dares him to do better he contemplates it, but honestly I don’t know why what Pike is saying is any different from what Kirk seems to have heard before. When he goes to the recruit shuttle he seems to be doing all this to prove that he can do a dare, to stick it to authority. What it is his real internal motivation for doing this? Nobody knows and so we have no way to connect with the character except via way of nostalgia which as we all know, from all the Easter eggs in this movie, they’re pushing that imagery hard. Especially with the next big scene, the infamous test.
The Koybashi Maru scene again makes him come off like a cocky asshole who is sticking it to authority rather than the intellectual exercise Wrath of Khan made it feel like. He sits in the chair acting all at ease, because he knows he’s going to win and I just want to punch him in the face. Then came his whole reason for doing it: “I don’t believe in no-win scenarios.” Why? When was this established? Why does he now apparently want to be just like his father? What caused this change? Explain stuff movie I dare you!
What drives Kirk to want to be in that captain’s chair? How has he proven that he deserves to be in that chair by the time the movie is over? He’s rude, he’s obnoxious, he’s arrogant, and the only command decision he makes is to direct the Enterprise to Earth to stop Nero. Getting the Enterprise there without being seen, disabling the drill, and getting the ship away from the black hole, that Kirk kept them in because he’s a revenge loving idiot, are all done by other people. This is the cadet they want to command the Federation flagship? In my eyes he certainly hasn’t earned that right. He was simply slotted into his predestined role so we can have the whole bridge crew assembled properly by the time the end credits roll. This was a mistake in my opinion, but since it is in place now I hope it is something that will be addressed in the sequel now that we have Kirk in command a good decade earlier than he was in the prime!verse. This has got to cause resentment among the officers in the fleet that were in the Laurentain system. Creating conflict as these captains have to deal with, in their eyes, some wet behind the ears little punk. Leading to Kirk having some self doubt as to if he really does belong in that chair and then perhaps some Kirk/Spock/McCoy discussion about the issue. The golden trio component was another vital missing element in this film and one the producing team apparently doesn’t even want if the DVD cover and posters are anything to go by. (As an aside am I the only one who thinks having closes-ups of the character’s faces in shadow looks awful?)
Well Kirk has been badly handled and that brings us to our next glaring character issue: Spock. And let me get this out of the way now because it’s one of the big issues I have with Spock; no I do not like the pairing of Spock and Uhura. It comes out of no where, it has no bearing on the plot, and it blasts a big hole right through Spock’s character. Also the excuse of, ‘it’s an alternate universe stuff is different just go with it’ doesn’t wash. We were shown that Nero altered the timeline to create this universe when he attacked the Kelvin and this changed Kirk’s life profoundly. We get no indication that this event affected Spock’s personal life in any way. In fact we see that the duel nature of the character, in constant conflict internally, that was present in TOS is still in place here. He is tormented by his peers for being a half-breed. His heritage is seen as a handicap by his elders. Sarek wants him to be fully Vulcan and yet he himself married a human. The conflict is set up perfectly, and then we get to the academy and it all goes right out the transparent aluminum window. Spock is an instructor, why was he okay with having a relationship with a student? And yes the way I interpret the hangerbay scene the relationship didn’t just pop up when Uhura comforted him in the turbolift after the destruction of Vulcan. Spock specifically said that he does not wish to show favouritism and glances over as people pass by, so whatever is going on between them is more than professional at this point and others have noticed. Then at the end they stand on the transporter pad kissing goodbye in public. What the hell? Even Spock Prime in the movies, who had accepted his human side and that emotions were necessary in his life didn’t act like that. If Spock is willing to be so openly affectionate in public then there is no struggle for him. If there is no internal conflict between logic and emotion then the cornerstone of the Spock character is lost. Now once again this is something the sequel can deal with now that this stupid relationship is in place. It can delve into deeper character issues as other Treks did. With Vulcan gone does Spock pull deeper into being a Vulcan to preserve that culture? Just like Kirk he has had a glimpse of who he might one day become, does he wish to be Spock Prime? Who is open to emotion and displays it when the situation calls for it. Is it destiny? Or will he forge his own path and be his own person?
In our next character misstep we have Nero and his stupid motivations. Yes I know this has been commented on a lot, but I’m throwing in my two cents anyway. Honestly this, to me, is nothing more than an attempt to shove in a concept from Wrath of Khan in an attempt to tie this film to the best Trek movie made to date. Why does everybody who makes Trek think that they have to rehash this concept in order to have a successful movie? Newsflash everyone at Paramount, you don’t. What you need to have are good themes, a good story, and some great character growth. The most financially successful film of the first ten movies is in many respects the very opposite of Wrath of Khan. It has no central villain, it’s a comedy not an action/drama piece, it doesn’t even take place in space. What both films do have though are great themes, well told stories, and growth of the characters and that’s why they, generally, are the most beloved of the Trek movies. Simply giving Nero a revenge motive does not automatically elevate him to Khan’s level. Yes Khan wanted revenge on Kirk for marooning him on Ceti Alpha V and never checking up on them; thus allowing his followers and wife to die, but Kirk was directly responsible for this. Also Khan was an egotistical tyrant who couldn’t stand the fact that he had been beaten by an inferior who had obviously long forgotten all about him. So, it makes sense that Khan acts like he does in the film. Nero, on the other hand, has none of this. He wanted revenge on Spock for the destruction of Romulus, but Spock was not responsible in any way for the destruction of the planet. He had been trying to save it and didn’t get there in time. Not to mention this whole scenario just brings up a whole ton of plot holes. Nero said he saw the destruction of Romulus. Which implies he was near the planet when he was working, so how was his ship not destroyed in the supernova? And if he knew Spock was coming that means there was at least some knowledge of the impending disaster, why was the planet not evacuated? How did Nero manage to transform his simple mining vessel into a doomsday machine and get back before Spock got there, just how late was Spock? Finally why would Spock inject the red matter into the star if it had already gone nova? This has a partial explanation in that he wished to prevent further destruction as this thing was supposedly threatening the galaxy, and right here is the key point to giving Nero’s motivations some much needed depth. Have Nero think that the nova is threatening two planets in particular, Romulus and Vulcan. Spock is sent to help and Nero thinks he deliberately delayed in order to wipe out the heart of the Romulan Empire, while saving Vulcan, and returning a hero. We in the audience know this isn’t true of course, but Nero doesn’t. This also gives the loss of Vulcan in the new universe another layer of depth. Not only would Nero be doing this to get revenge on Spock by having him watch the destruction of his home just as he did, but he would be twisting the knife in even deeper by showing Spock that he hasn’t saved his planet after all. To quote a villain who doesn’t suck, “I’ve done far worse than kill you. I’ve hurt you, and I wish to go on hurting you.”
Aside from the character issues the next big problem for me is that the film has no theme to give all the events cohesion. We have Kirk starting out as a reckless kid, becoming a reckless young adult and then getting a captain’s seat as a reward for that. We have Spock struggling with his duality and then just having it all deflate into nothingness like a popped soufflé. We have Nero running around screaming about revenge and wanting to destroy the Federation to save Romulus. Even though destroying the Federation won’t stop the star from going nova in 129 years anyway, but what could have pulled this all together thematically? Well since it’s establishing a new universe where characters are aware that the prime!universe is out there we could have had a whole thing about fate and destiny. How much of life do we really influence? Are things predetermined, can they be changed, do we want to change them? It could have been about loss and coping with that. Where Nero chooses a revenge filled and eventually self-destructive path at the loss of his family; Kirk in contrast starts out self-destructive and grows into a man who will use his pain and loss as a driving force to help others. Where Spock starts out confused and conflicted, working through his loss he comes out of the events more whole, more at peace with himself. Instead we just have a bunch of scenes that are strung together in a flashy sequence.
With the lack of theme comes the next greatest issue: nothing is explored in any great depth. We have the destruction of Vulcan, the home world of one the founding members of the Federation, what are the consequences of this? Nothing. Yes Kirk uses it and the death of Amanda to get Spock emotionally compromised, but that’s it. To me it’s comparable to the destruction of the Enterprise and the death of David in The Search for Spock. Both these events are huge and yet they don’t have any really impact on Kirk or anyone else, until the sixth movie that is, they are just things that Sarek can list off that Kirk lost at the end of the film. Same thing here; it’s used for shock value and to get the plot rolling and the consequences are not dealt with. The same thing is true with the death of George Kirk. We start off with Kirk seeming to not want to be anything like that man and then he turns around and does want to be just like George for reasons the audience is never given. If you aren’t going to deal with the butterfly effect you so painstakingly set-up then you might as well have done a direct reboot of canon and have done with it.
The most annoying thing of all though is that the more times I watch this film the more I see that this story is just awful. Things do not flow naturally from it all. Events and people are merely pushed around to get things where they need to be for the plot and to give us pointless actions sequences. For example there is no logical reason for Spock to kick Kirk off the Enterprise and leave him marooned on some planet in the middle of nowhere, except of course that Kirk needs to meet Spock Prime. As with many things discussed in this review so far this is easy to fix; by having Kirk found as a stowaway and put in the brig earlier only for him to escape it with ease. Thus Spock knows he must get Kirk off the ship if he is to retain proper command. Or how about having some Vulcan ship that’s escaped the imploding planet in trouble, hailing the Enterprise, and having to land on Delta Vega? The Enterprise goes to help and Jim, as part of a landing party, runs off to do something heroic and runs into Spock Prime.
For an example of a pointless action sequence there is the whole drill on Vulcan sequence. Kirk and Sulu drop down to disable the drill and fight with the Romulans. It looks cool no question, but it wasn’t necessary, because right afterwards Nero lifts up the drill and they’re able to use the transporters again. Yes they say the drill was sabotaged, but nothing comes of that line and they don’t start the transport until Nero retracts the drill. When it would have been turned off by his crew and the transporters would have come back up anyway. So, the whole scene was entirely pointless. We could have had everybody sitting on the ship doing nothing and the outcome would have been the same. Also why does it take about five minutes to get to Vulcan from Earth, but at least five hours for everyone to get back? This is where the skydiving scene could have been made more relevant. Have Kirk and Sulu successfully disable the drill and Nero and his crew have to make repairs before they can go to Earth. Now the Enterprise is in a race against the clock. They don’t know how long it will take the enemy to fix it and get to Earth. Do they go to the fleet and hope they can all make it back in time, or do they risk heading straight for Earth and taking on the Narada one on one?
Why does Pike promote Kirk to first officer? Because the story needs him to be in that position to take over the Enterprise later, but what in story reason is there? Pike sees potential in him you say, but what potential? Outside of losing a bar fight he started and cheating on a test what has Kirk done to show that he is command material? I’d have been totally willingly to go along with this if we were given some indication that Kirk deserves it. If McCoy had mentioned that he knew Kirk was the top of his classes and the failing the Koybashi Maru wasn’t a sign that he was a bad cadet. Or if we had seen Kirk up for a promotion or a reward of some kind and was turned down for seemingly petty reasons and Pike objects and then gives him a field command, to give Kirk the opportunity to show his skills. Instead he is just put there because the plot needs him there. Shoving your characters around like pieces on a chess board so they can fit into neat boxes by the end credits is a sign of bad writing. Other weird or pointless crap includes the Pike integration scene. Again it’s a cool scene, and another rip off of Wrath of Khan for those of us keeping score, but it was there so Nero could get some border protection access code to disable Earth’s defences, which are never spoken of again; huh?
Why can they not contact Starfleet after leaving Vulcan? The drill was what was causing the disruptions before and it isn’t there now. Of course the answer is that if Spock could contact the fleet they would all converge on Earth to face Nero and the whole Kirk Spock struggle would be non-essential. (It literally took me re-watching the bridge scene three times to hear Spock say that the sub-space communications have been damaged and that’s why they can’t contact anyone. Hey, director! If you want to convey information to the audience don’t have a character do it when another character is trying to shout over him.) Why can’t any Vulcans shoot the drill if Spock was easily able to do it with the Jellyfish? Why does Kirk have to run away from two creatures on Delta Vega? Why does the Enterprise arriving late to Vulcan have to be because Sulu is an idiot? Why do we have to have a scene with Uhura in her underwear? Why does everyone who works with Trek now a days insist on making it an action, sex, filled vapid piece of work with nothing of substance?
In closing, I don’t hate this film so much as I am disappointed in it. The potential here is so great to explore new themes in Trek. To have the characters grow and interact in ways we’ve never seen before. Instead of being new and innovative though it has a pointless empty romantic couple, pretty actors, and lots of CGI explosions just like every other summer blockbuster we’ve had in the last ten years, because Apollo forbid that we actually have the audience think instead of switching off their brains when they park their butt in the theatre seat. Now having ranted to death about these things I will still be going to see the sequel when it comes out because that will be the true lynch pin in all of this for me. Now that they have set-up this situation, however clunky and contrived it may be, what are they going to do with it? The writers and producers have received the feedback and supposedly know what to improve on for the next one, but will they? Will they deal with character issues, will they have an over-arching theme? They have a chance do something really unique and forward thinking, you know, what Star Trek does best, will they take it? If they can prove that they can execute the true heart and soul of Trek, and not just give us Easter eggs as winks to the audience, I will be onboard. If not then I’ll be sticking with ‘my father’s Star Trek’ thanks ever so much.
Live long and prosper.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Where did it all go wrong?
By now, we know it, the latest Star Trek movie sucked. I’ve been thinking for a while about the franchise, and where it all went wrong. While Trek reached a new low, it’s been a while since anything actually good came out of the franchise. Now, I understand that some of you might actually like Voyager, Enterprise or the TNG movies. I warn you, I didn’t, and will criticize them. Any of you who liked them, I respect that. I’m personally a DS9 fan, even if it was the beginning of the end in my opinion.
I have to admit, I've fallen back to Doctor Who lately, now that I’ve given up on ever seeing good Trek I haven’t watched a 100 times already. Sure, it's cheezy and often childish, but the writers really give us imaginative monsters and places. In fact, the show is all about exploring strange alien worlds or other time periods. It lasted for so long because it didn't try to "tie-in" everything, keeping it mostly in a "monster of the week" pattern. Bigger story arcs are usually contained within a single season.
This is precisely the error that Trek made. While I love DS9, I do feel it made the mistake of explaining everything. The Romulans where no longer those mysterious aliens we know little about, but became a nation where we send diplomats. The mystery was gone. Let’s face it; you can’t have characters like Trellane, for example, in post-DS9 Trek. Even Q was ignored, only to be reintroduced and stripped of all his mystery in Voyager. The fact is that Trek stopped being about exploring, and became a show that’s about explaining.
Speaking of Voyager, its original concept could have worked wonders and put Trek back on course, giving us weird aliens and space exploration, discovering more about the human race in the process, aka what made Trek great. Instead, that show lost itself in explaining everything, and ruined both the Borg and Q. I will admit that it had its moments, and a few episodes where pretty good from what I remember. (My memory is fuzzy, as I haven’t watched it in years. I mostly remember the specific episodes that pissed me off, not a good sign.) It also started playing with the one thing that ruined Trek: Time Travel plotlines. While one shot episodes, such as “The City on the Edge of Forever”, can work great, Voyager’s time travel plot holes were always confusing to me. The last episode of that show is about time travel, but doesn’t deal with consequences. Instead, it’s about “kicking the bad guy’s ass”. This, to me, is where Trek truly went wrong. At the same time, we had the TNG movies that were turning Trek into an action franchise. Voyager went the same route.
I have to admit, I’ve never finished watching Enterprise. I gave up somewhere at the beginning of the third season. I didn’t like the characters, hated the way they presented the Vulcans and found the time travel plotlines even more ludicrous then Voyager’s. To me, it never felt like the Trek I knew and loved.
After all that, is it really surprising that the new franchise is a dumb action movie full of explosions and sexist jokes? Sadly, no. While it could be possible to make a new Trek series that would work, it would need to be about the ideas and concepts behind Star Trek, not about reusing the characters, locations and aliens. It’s a great idea for an old enemy to come back once in a while, but it should be about paying homage to the original while moving forward. A good sequel should use the original material to build something more, keep the concept alive, but push it further. A bad sequel will forget about what made the original great and keep telling the public how great the characters are.
With this said, I’m sad to say that I’ll go back to watching Doctor Who and will probably stop paying attention at anything new that comes from Trek, at least while the Jar-Jar club is in control. If you’re looking for a good example of a revival of an old show, I suggest you take a look at Who. It’s not perfect, but it modernized the concept while staying true to the original, and it actually respects the original material.