…But not as we know it!
I’ve been watching Sci-Fi shows on TV and at the cinema since I was knee-high to an Ewok. I remember hiding behind the sofa sometimes when watching the first Dr Who series as a kid – Watching replays makes me think that somehow black and white made it more scary. I fell in love with Star Trek when the original series was brought to the UK’s TV screens. Some of those stories were iconic and some remain in the back of my consciousness to this day. Others less so as they have been let down by dated scenery and effects.
Originally Star Trek was a set of stories that normally had a conclusion within the same episode. That was the format that The Next Generation followed to a large extent. Although there was the ‘Continuum’ of the characters being on a vessel that was exploring, each episode was just a snapshot in time.
The first hint that this was going to change was with Voyager. Now there were stories that continued from one episode to the next, either beneath the surface or up-front and in full technicolour. If you can take your eye off Jeri Ryan’s tight-fitting suit you will see the significant tale of 7 of 9 that grew over 100 episodes. This was so different to the past where we knew what every officer’s role was on the Enterprise and saw very little change in their status as the exploring went on.
Bring on Deep Space 9 – Now we’re in a series with a continual ongoing story. While the foreground is still episodic, there is a long growing background story that will ultimately see full blown war. So, Star Trek has evolved significantly over the years and shed its ‘good guys always win every episode’ skin. It has even accepted the possibility that the bad guys may sometimes be the good guys and vice versa – the Andorians and the Vulcans in Enterprise being a case in point.
That brings me to Picard. This new series on Amazon has had a bit of a mixed response and I must admit that on my first watch I was a bit non-plussed. It’s only when I look back at the way that the Star Trek franchise has changed that I realise that this series is the next logical growth. It has the ongoing story that Deep Space 9 had. It finds a way to involve characters from older Trek series but treats them with a level of respect that maybe the films did not – it recognises that they are older. It introduces new characters that we can love or dislike too. It benefits from all the wonders of modern CGI while capitalising on some good acting and it presents our heroes as more flawed than I think we have ever seen them before. On a second run through of the first series, I’m now fully engaged and loving it 😎👍
If you haven’t, I’d love to recommend that you try watching Star Trek Picard too 😀