Longtime Gene Roddenberry assistant Richard Arnold has some views on the LA Times editorial discussed here recently. The editorial called for a total ‘reboot’ of the Trek franchise, which Arnold wasn’t buying….his letter to the editor:
Although I share Dan Neil’s concern about any plans Paramount Pictures may have for the next "Star Trek" feature film, I do not agree that the"franchise" should be abandoned. Certainly the series’ creator, Gene Roddenberry, wouldn’t feel that way, nor do millions of "Star Trek" fans worldwide.
What "Star Trek" does desperately need is some new blood. Hopefully with J.J. Abrams at the helm, the next film will get the ship and her crew back on course!
A purist…not open to TOS Remastered but open to recasting TOS?
For a long time Arnold was the Star Trek archivist and general keeper of the canon for Trek. He was known for his strict and some might say purist views on what is and is not ‘Trek’. He would regularly veto book and comic book story lines that he felt distracted from what he considered the ‘core of Trek’ (see recent Trek BBS discussion here). His purist view seems to extend to the new CGI-enhanced version of Star Trek The Original Series. Friend of TrekMovie John Tenuto reports that Arnold made some very negative comments about Trek Remastered at the recent 40th Anniversary convention in Chicago. Arnold called the original show ‘sacred’ and didn’t buy into CBS line that they aren’t changing the show, saying any changes were wrong. For example, on the idea of adding additional Enterprise flyby shots that weren’t possible to do with 60s technology, he said: "I don’t want to see the ship at new angles." Criticizing CBS Paramount is nothing new for Arnold as his call for ‘new blood’ indicates. This repudiation of the Berman era is consistent with previous comments saying he didn’t believe Roddenberry would be happy with the post TNG Trek series (DS9, VOY & ENT). But yet he seems open to JJ Abrams and Trek XI getting the franchise ‘back on course’. John Tenuto reports that he spoke optimistically about the notion of Trek XI bringing back the TOS era. So to sum up: rebooting is bad, remasterinng is bad, recasting OK.