Paul Gadzikowski

On the nature of STAR TREK

I have had enough of people boycotting ENTERPRISE solely because it doesn't keep continuity with STAR TREK, as if that was important.

Continuity doesn't matter.

What matters to the continuing life of the STAR TREK milieu (including but, in these online times, not limited to the corporate franchise) is that stories continue to be written for it. That's all. Stories are what it's for.

Was King Arthur a fifth-century warlord or an armored knight in the middle ages? Do you care? But the stories still live. One writer complains editors won't buy new ones right now because the market's saturated with new ones. And these aren't new stories! They're retellings of the old ones, sometimes radically revisionist!

Yes, STAR TREK is different from King Arthur. The differences are electronic media and intellectual property law. But that's it. STAR TREK was the first popular folkore of the communication age and remains preeminent nowadays when new electronic folklore comes (and goes!) every sweeps month. And not just preeminent but pervasive. There are K/S fans who've never watched the show! STAR TREK needs to remain a folklore to its fans instead of become a religion to its fans if we want to keep up with it. (And most of us here must know this. Most of us create our own alternate universes in our fanfiction, or enjoy reading others', or both. I hope none of us taking up bandwidth with our own alternate histories are the ones throwing stones at the guy in the front office.)

James Bond has been in his thirties for forty years. Superman has ranged from sixteen to thirty for eighty. One day there'll be a new STAR TREK tv series retelling the adventures of Captain Kirk - and if this one's not radically revisionist, perhaps the third one will be. Look at Sherlock Holmes. Look at Tarzan. Look at Maverick and The Brady Bunch and Battlestar Galactica.

DOCTOR WHO lasted three decades because there was always someone new at the helm behind the camera, and died because the same man had been at the helm for ten years. If Rick Berman has helmed STAR TREK for fifteen years and now is making it over his own way, he ought've been kicked out years ago - for someone who works faster.

Disliking ENTERPRISE because it doesn't keep continuity is a reactionary reason. Dislike (or like!) it on its own merits or get out of the way.

Email Paul

To essays index

Back to Paul's index.