I have my mixed feelings about the Star Trek franchise as a whole, but in general I’m really glad the series has existed. The original made a lot of “firsts,” and it got me through several years of my childhood. We only got one channel on the TV, and my mother let me watch very little other than Little House on the Prairie and Sesame Street… except for Star Trek reruns on Saturday afternoons, because she was an old fan.
NextGen I wasn’t as fond of. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely had its share of good actors and episodes. But it really felt like the emergence of ST as a “franchise” and all the negative connotations that go with that. So, mixed feelings. After that I kind of lost track of the various iterations of the universe. I think I still prefer to largely think of ST as the original show, something that today might look silly, but that when I was seven years old and living in the backwoods of Vermont was positively luminous. I don’t have many treasured childhood nostalgias, so I’ll hang onto that one, thanks.
Anyway, regardless, it’s really neat to read Wil Wheaton’s musings on Trek’s 40th, in particular the pieces of his review of NG’s “Naked Now” episode. As usual his writing is both hilarious and thought-provoking. Enjoy!
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I was always a NextGen fan, probably because the command style of NextGen seemed “more realistic”. (Yeah, a gamer fallacy that crept over.) The older series, since I only viewed it in snippets, seemed to chase extremes and didn’t have a solid core. Like the music during the episodes, it seemed brash and wild– which, without significant contrast is just random.
Of course, I lost touch with Trek during the second series to me (DS9), so maybe it’s just that the first series you really watch is the “real one” against which all others are compared or seem deriviative.
Partly I do think it’s that you like whatever you watch first best. Partly I think you really have to take the original series in the context of its era–by today’s standards it just isn’t the same. That’s easier to do, of course, if you first saw it earlier rather than later.
There were things about NextGen I really liked, and things I didn’t. The unrelenting beigeness of it got to me–both in color of the ship, and all too often, in terms of characterization and plot. It isn’t something I’m particularly interested in going back and watching again the way I am with Stargate, but I did enjoy watching it at the time.