Will Star Trek XI Appeal To Old Fans?

If you’re of my vintage, chances are you’ll have grown up watching The Original Series (TOS) of Star Trek. In fact, “The Devil in the Dark” episode was the very first program on TV I saw in color!

People seem to prefer the Star Trek series they grew up with. For those born in the 70s and 80s, it was Next Generation and/or Deep Space Nine. Voayager appeals to those born a few years later. And Enterprise was favored by those born in the mid 80s and after.

Most people who watched the original airing of The Original Series (TOS) have fond memories of it and feel that even in today’s world, some of its morality tales still have resonance. Those growing up on later series have a less favorable impresssion. It’s interesting that because TOS was shot on film, Star Trek is being released on Blu-Ray in high definition whereas Next Gen was shot on video and so it will never appear on Blu-Ray.

The only other series likely to make an appearance on Blu-Ray is Enterprise. This series received a lot of criticism from Star Trek fans for palaying around with Trek history. Spock was supposed to have been the first Vulcan serving in Starfleet, yet T’Pol served as First Officer 150 years earlier in Enterprise. since she wasn’t a Starfleet officer, that resolved the apparent dichotomy. Enterprise contained other Trek history rewrites also. Actually, this didn’t bother me too much as Enterprise was much closer to the spirit of TOS than the intervening efforts.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the first Trek movie, was released 30 years ago. The final movie, Star Trek: Nemesis, limped out of movie theaters in 2002. So here we are, seven years later, awaiting a reboot of the series that started it all. Star Trek XI lands on May 8th, 2009.

I’ve looked at the trailers and hmmm…I’m ambivalent about the movie. But that’s down to me growing up with the old crew and I don’t think it’s a good idea to tinker with Star Trek history (despite my being okay with what Enterprise did). The problem for me is that the new movie messes with the histories of the characters, takes liberties with their relationships and will fundamentally change the perception of of those characters for long-time fans.

I can see that this has been designed for a new, younger audience, but (not having seen the movie), maybe it would have been better to use a different crew and ship, even if still set in the pre-TOS years. I’m not taken with some of the casting choices either. Okay, I agree I’m something of a curmudgeonly old fart on this.

Time will tell. Star Trek XI will be here in a acouple of weeks. Naturally, I’ll go to watch the movie. I really hope that I’ll be applauding at the end of the movie and wanting more instead of holding my head in my hands as another icon is destroyed.

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