It’s time to reboot Star Trek

I had the good fortune to see an episode of the original Battlestar Galactica recently. I’d always heard it was pretty bad and wasn’t expecting much – but I was still struck by just how terrible it was. The Battlestar Galactica currently in its third season bares little resemblence to that poor scifi of decades past. The new one is brilliant more often than not – the writing is tight and socially relevant, the actors bring the characters alive, and the drama is gripping. The old one was just cheesy.

This contrast made me think about the original Star Trek, although this was a case where the reverse is true. The original series, while having no shortage of cheese, still managed to be charming. It’s the follow-ups that have progressively gotten worse, to the point that the franchise is now effectively dead. It’s been run into the ground by mishandling, poor writing, and cheese. It long ago abandoned the elements that made the original so charming, and instead lost itself in technobabble and incoherent plotlines. Especially after Voyager and Enterprise (not to mention the last few movies), salvaging any part of the morass that is Star Trek seems impossible even for the most skilled of writers. Perhaps more depressingly, it doesn’t even seem worth the effort.

Unless we were to give it a Battlestar Galactica style makeover.

So let’s reboot it. Go back to a clean slate. Re-imagine Roddenberry’s vision from the ground up and start over from the beginning. Let’s take that part of Star Trek that fans have loved for over forty years and make

Re-cast Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, etc. Maybe even shake up the bridge crew with a different character or two. Fans will bitch, but if it serves the story, then so be it. Make sure every one of those characters a thorough backstory. In the original Star Trek, they were memorable for their personalities, but all the characters were pretty much flat and one dimensional. Let’s see how they got to be where they are, or at least tell a story that’s self-consistent. Let’s have characters that evolve over time and are changed by their experiences.

Re-think the universe. Star Trek aliens always suffered from a monoculture, where entire races would have one personality shared between them. Let’s get away from that and flesh out some of these civilizations – or minimally, that of the Klingons and Vulcans. Both of them should have a culture and history at least as diverse as Earth’s. Their politics, and the politics of the Federation, should be at least as complex as ours. And while the show doesn’t have to embody hard sf, it should at least have internally consistent physics – it should decide on how warp drives, transporters, and replicators work and stick to that.

I could continue, but I’m sure you get the idea. Battlestar Galactica shows what can be done when a concept is given the treatment is deserves. Don’t you think it’s about time Star Trek got the same?

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3 Responses to “It’s time to reboot Star Trek”

  1. bananasfk Says:

    The fans already do star trek better then paramount do. Have a look at http://www.hiddenfrontier.com/

  2. Mathew Ingram Says:

    I think something like that has already been done, but failed to catch on (even though it was very good). It was called Firefly 🙂

  3. Andrew Falconer Says:

    With the Auction of all the Star Trek props, it should help the people at Paramount start all over again on the Star Trek Concept. At the end of 2008 a New Star Trek will be launched. The original series creators had imagined some future concepts correctly, but were very vauge or wrong on imagining medical advances for their storylines. Starting over is the only way to go on another Star Trek.

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