|Compiled by fan Bjo Trimble and published in 1976,|
the Concordance was an all-in-one guide to the first
series and animated sequel. That's all there was.
For Trekkers of certain age, the coming debut of Star Trek Discovery represents something of an embarrassment of riches. Not to look a gift alien artifact square in the orb, but one wonders in this digital age when anything seems possible and all forms of Star Trek are available all the time, whether a new series is necessary or even desirable.
Heresy, I know, but bear with me.
Between NBC's cancellation of the original series -- TOS to the Trek cognoscente -- and 1979's turgid but welcome Star Trek: The Motion Picture, there was a generation of us who learned to survive and to sustain ourselves on what we had.
What we had wasn't very much: nightly reruns on New York's WPIX-Channel 11, a dozen volumes of James Blish adaptations, original novels, bad comic books and Star Trek conventions. For a lucky few in the NYC-metro area, there were dedicated stores, The Federation Trading Post in Manhattan and on Long Island, Star Base I.
Still, we survived. Without the Internet, without streaming on-demand video, we survived (thank you VHS format).
|Set phasers on stunned?|
The next next next generation
Given no other obligations, including meals, bathroom breaks and sleep (not to mention sex, bathing or gainful employment) one could spend the better part of a month marinating in all things Star Trek. And that's only the official canon. Youtube offers even more.
Now we get a series tailor made and delivered for binge-watching.
William Shatner, yes him, notoriously once told a room full of Trekkies, "get a life." Sure that was said in the context of a Saturday Night Live skit, but do you really think the thought hadn't crossed his mind before that?
So the question is, do we really need another Star Trek series? Perhaps more specifically, do we need this one? I am a bit wary. Call it Star Trepidation.
STD has had a notoriously difficult gestation. It's Sept. 24 debut comes six to nine months behind schedule, on a CBS for-pay streaming platform. Original show-runner Bryan Fuller quit. Early reviews have been... well there aren't any. They're embargoed.
Plus, it faces immediate competition from the already-airing, not-for-pay, somewhat tongue-in-cheek FOX offering, The Orville, which is supported by TNG-era producer Brannon Braga and boasts episodes directed by him and by Trek alumni Jonathan Frakes and Robert Duncan McNeill.
|Conventions like Star Trek America helped sustain the|
series' hold on the public consciousness in the between
the original incarnation and most of its subsequent sequels
Discovery on the other hand, appears deadly serious, maybe too much so for an era when reality -- killer storms, earthquakes, nuclear saber rattling and reanimated racial animus -- seems to cry out for a something sunnier, more optimistic, something like Star Trek was born to be and was until the 12th movie, Into Darkness.
Plus DIS is a prequel, immediately challenged to fit into the canon without disruption. If the short-lived Enterprise proved one thing, dedicated Trekkers and Trekkies are a persnickety bunch. They take their continuity seriously.
Tonight, millions of us Star Trek fans will hunker down in front of our TVs, and tune in for the premier. First one's free! How many of us will stick around when it's not?
That will be the biggest discovery of all.
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