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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

What's Wrong With Star Trek?

Scanned from Cinefantastique June 1987 is a two-page article on "what's wrong with Star Trek". Do I agree with the views expressed in this article? Somewhat - Let us begin:

"Like all cultists, the Trekers prefer their rituals predictable and reverently performed. Paramount must genuflect to the generic expectations."
(Trekers? Why does this man keep spelling it Trekers? And why does this bother me so much?)

But this quote basically sums everything up - As an obsessive Star Trek fan, I want to see what I already knew backed up, with a few new, consistent facts thrown in. This is precisely the reason a lot of trekkies like myself found the new movie (2009) so unnerving - it is not what we knew.

Humpbacks to the Future!
The article goes on to give a short critique of each Trek movie (existing at the time) and the thickly laid Greenpeace/ecological message of the Voyage Home.

So far, I agree with everything I have read. Moving onto the second page...

This is where I start to disagree. Thomas Doherty states that while the reunion of the original cast was necessary for the Motion Picture, to continue with the same actors in the same roles is "bordering on ridiculous". While he may be correct in stating that these roles may/have become a straightjacket for the actors, I do not believe that fans would mind the continuing story, using the same actors in the same roles. I would be delighted - they are the characters, nobody else could reproduce them. I want to piece together every second of their lives. Luckily, that is where the novels come in.

"By Trek V,  Scotty may be taking up more space than the transporter room"
It also mentions Saavik - and I do agree full-heartedly that we should have seen more of her. The need for even more new characters? I don't think so, personally. I have always been comfortable with the same, safe characters with the few temporary characters that we got - but maybe that is just me.

He does make a point about the "hot blood" though - were are all those sexy, scantily clad women/aliens we saw in TOS? The short skirts? The plunging necklines? The bare backs? Come to think of it, where are the flying kicks? The double-fisted punches to the back of the neck? I could go on.

The answer: Age and maturity. The movies grow with the actors - could William Shatner still do leaps and kicks? Would we really be comfortable seeing old men oogling at young girls in skimpy clothing? Would that really go over well, and preserve the respect we have for these characters? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on the audience.

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