Nerd Lunch Podcast 238: Beyond Star Trek Beyond

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Nerd Lunch Podcast 238: Beyond Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Month begins! The Nerd Lunch crew kick off a four week long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. They welcome William Bruce West and postulate on the future of Star Trek. What will the new series be like? Where does Star Trek need to go in order to survive another 25 years? Great nerdy discussion!

By | 2017-05-06T15:39:21+00:00 July 12th, 2016|Categories: Podcast|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

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Nerd Lunch co-founder and podcast co-host

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  3. Jack February 26, 2017 at 12:48 am - Reply

    You know, I don't think you guys would ever claim to be doing profound journalism here, yet you always manage to go where no man has gone before. The original series isn't very good? Forty-five years ago, I would have hitchhiked to Florida and tracked you down over a blasphemous statement like that, but now I see it. My first exposure was TOS in syndication. I was in the navy in the late 60s, touring the great crap-holes of the world on my rich uncle's yacht (it should have been named Enterprise!), and Armed Forces Radio didn't provide anything new or entertaining, so around the time I got out in October of 69, I started seeing this incredible space show in which we were the aliens in the space ships visiting strange planets, and it rocked my world, as well as setting my writing career off down the first of many dead-end alleys. But I loved the show. I inhaled the books that I didn't realize were simply sock-puppets to herald Roddenberry's greatness, I bought and wore an IDIC (which was the same thing), and blindly swallowed the story about the third season going in the toilet because Roddenberry, in a political move, had refused to return as line producer.

    But yes, it isn't very good. You can see it in Kirk's motivation, which is primarily "will this be fun?" There's an episode with a sparkly creature holding them prisoner on a planet, and Kirk's response is, "Well, we'll kill it." When the full might of the Enterprise doesn't even give it a minor boo-boo, only then does he decide to try to communicate with it. There are, of course, many others, but this is indicative of his approach to problems. Stephen King, in Danse Macabre, his 400-page study of horror as entertainment, carries the following quote from Harlan Ellison, writer of the episode City on the Edge of Forever:

    "Paramount had been trying to get a Star Trek film into work for some time. Roddenberry was determined that his name would be on the writing credits somehow. The trouble is, he can't write for sour owl poop. His one idea, done six or seven times in the series and again in the feature film, is that the Enterprise goes into deepest space, finds God, and God turns out to be insane, or a child, or both."

    Harlan's opinion, and if you know how Harlan is, you can draw your own conclusions. Nonetheless…

    The Next Generation went to the other extreme, with its crew of hanky-wringing social workers flitting around trying to bless everyone with harmony. For all that, Trek in general was ground breaking in its concepts, and I think laid the bulk of the groundwork for modern science fiction. It's true, the first show especially wasn't that great, but compared to the drivel it had to compete with on the neighboring channels, Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel, and their ilk, it was War and Peace. So, yeah, like so many other things today, look back and laugh, but don't neglect to give grudging tribute, because the wonderful entertainment we have today was built largely on the work of one Eugene Wesley Roddenberry.

    Great show, guys. It almost always is, but you don't always touch on a huge piece of my personal nerd-dom like this. Hope you found this useful, and I'll be back next week… Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!

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