Alex Kurtzman On Why The World Needs More Star Trek… And Possibly A Musical Episode

After co-creating Star Trek: Discovery four years ago, Alex Kurtzman was tasked by CBS (now ViacomCBS) to oversee the rebuilding of the Star Trek Universe on television. Now the executive producer is talking about how he sees the franchise fitting into today’s changing world.

Why Star Trek is relevant today

Star Trek is in its 55th year, making it one of the older and more enduring franchises. As a guest on the official Star Trek podcast The Pod Directive, Alex Kurtzman offered his view of why Star Trek matters now more than ever:

“I would say that in this particular moment in time where everyone is rethinking a lot of the assumptions that they made about the world and the systems that are in place in the world, Star Trek speaks to those in a way that I think no other franchise does. It’s always been incredibly relevant, but it’s really relevant now…

Given the state of the world, no matter what side of the political line you’re on, nobody can disagree with the fact that we are as close to a civil war as we’ve ever been since the Civil War. And this [Star Trek] gives you a roadmap to the possibility and the potential of human beings and what we can accomplish if we stop thinking the way we’ve been thinking. Because if we keep thinking this way, we’re not going be around. And I think that’s the beauty of Star Trek is it actually gives you a positive for the future.”

At another point during the same podcast, Kurtzman pointed at Trek’s unique relationship with science as a key differentiator:

“I think one of the things that singularly defines Trek is that science is the solution to the problem. It’s always the combination of science and humanity, and then taking the humane approach and understanding where the intersection is between those two things. And then on top of which, the bridge crew—who everybody sort of associates with as a family—has to work together using their different skill sets to solve a problem with both science and empathy. And I think that’s Star Trek.”

From Star Trek: Discovery “Terra Firma, Part 1”

A variety box of Star Trek colors

Things for Trek have progressed over the last few years, with the launch last year of the highly serialized and more cerebral show Star Trek: Picard along with the animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks. Later this year we will see the debut of the kids’ animated show Star Trek: Prodigy. And next year, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds promises a return to classic episodic Star Trek storytelling. Kurtzman talked about his approach to building out the Star Trek Unvierse with a variety of different styles:

“I think that some of [the Star Trek shows] are rollercoaster rides. Some of them are more meditative. Some of them are hilarious. Some of them are interesting explorations of the state of humanity. And some of them are just about the pure joy of seeing the world through the eyes of children… Our universe wants to be different color crayons in the same box… There’s a common thread between all of these things. But if all the shows are the same, we’re failing, right?

My hope is that this sort of misnomer that Trek is only for people who know Trek—the whole point is yes, of course, it’s for those people first and foremost—but it’s also for people who have never seen it and don’t know anything about it. Because if we don’t also get those people in, then ten years from now, twenty years from now, we’re not going to have new generations of Star Trek fans.”

From Star Trek: Lower Decks “Cupid’s Errant Arrow”

Why Star Trek shows aren’t a fit for network TV

Of course, all of the new Star Trek series find their home (in the USA) on the Paramount+ streaming service. When asked if he thought Star Trek could work on traditional broadcast television, the executive producer was skeptical, explaining:

“We now live in the streaming age where the expectation is significant in terms of scope. And as the line between movies and television seems to have evaporated, we could not produce these shows on a network budget. It just would be impossible. Which doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It just means that the story has to be built in such a way where you wouldn’t be going, ‘Oh, god, I feel like I’m not getting what I should.’ It has to be specifically best told on network television, in the same way that there are certain stories that are best told in two hours in a film. And [there are] certain stories that are best told over seven to twelve years of serialized storytelling. So it’s really what’s at the emotional core and what is the built-in longevity of a particular kind of story, and where does it best fit. So, I would never dismiss it. But I would be very vigilant about making sure that it was necessary on [network] television, and not just another show that we can do there.”

From Star Trek: Picard “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1”

And about that musical episode…

Alex Kurtzman has previously mentioned one of his hopes is to do a musical episode of Star Trek: Short Treks. Currently, there are no plans for more entries in the series of Trek shorts, but Kurtzman laid out the criteria that need to be met to make such a musical Trek work:

“Nothing would make me happier [than making a musical Star Trek episode]. I’ve thought about this. And if we ever did [more] Short Treks, that would be the perfect format for it. The thing is, if you’re going to do a musical, it would have to be as brilliant as “Once More, With Feeling” From Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It has to have a concept that makes a musical necessary, or you have to come up with a really, really good reason for people to start breaking out in song. And we have yet to really explore that. But nothing would make me happier. I would die to see that.”

Kurtzman points to Buffy the Vampire Slayer for musical inspiration

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For the love of God, no, no, NO MUSICAL EPISODE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuvok, I understand
You are a Vulcan man
You have just gone without
for seven years about
Paris, please find a way
to load a hypospray
I will give you the sign
Just aim for his behind
Hormones are raging
Synapses blazing
It’s all so very illogical

Robert Picardo did that so WELL!

The Doctor was basically a walking musical! ;)

One of the reasons why I love him so much. They HAVE to bring him back on Prodigy at some point. Robert Picardo is a national treasure!

I’m thinking he’d be a great fit for Lower Decks.

Definitely LDS!

Bring him back to ANY series! It can still work what with him being a hologram.

Agreed! Especially now that all the shows minus one are post-Nemesis.

The crazy thing is he can still appear on Discovery in the 32nd century since we know his back up was still in the Delta quadrant in the 31st century and left for Earth in Living Witness.

So yeah if they REALLY want The Doctor back, it’s not exactly hard. This isn’t a Prime Kirk situation. ;D

couldn’t we just have the original version of the Doctor show up in Discovery given that he is already in the alpha quadrant and essentially immortal or am I forgetting some small bit of Trek minutia that indicated that he wouldn’t survive that long?

Oh yeah sure, I just wonder how people would feel about essentially an immoral hologram since he would be over 800 years old but I guess that is no more crazy than anything in Star Trek.

But I would have no issue seeing the original Doctor walking around in the 32nd century, but I will take him in any form as long as Picardo is back playing him.

Not to get ‘off topic’ but it’s still a bit surprising there aren’t more sophisticated or even sentient holograms in this era by this time seeing how evolved the Doctor himself became in Voyager. I expected to see sentient holograms captains and etc by this period. But maybe there are, we just haven’t seen those yet.

I loved that; it was a fantastic bit of singing!

Before I even got through the article I was thinking, “Oh great, they’re going full Joss Whedon now.”

Firefly is a fantastic series. It’s more TOS “Wagon train to the stars” than any of the new Treks.
Someone give Nathan Fillion a starship LOL

Firefly was great! It deserved at least one more season. They at least got a movie out of it.

I remember reading a while back that Disney are looking to reboot/remake Firefly as a more ‘family friendly’ property for Disney+

I agree. NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Please not. I can’t stand such episodes where people start top sing and dance. I found episodes like Plato’s stepchildren, the Way to Eden, or I Mudd veeery embarrassing.
There is a german word named “Fremdschämen” how I feel about that. Can’t translate it.
Either make the story so, that it is part of it and really necessary to sing (like a species only communicating that way) or make a stand-alone episode which easily can be skipped.

But If other people like it, I am fine. I’m not there to dictate what the people have to like or not.
(DaveCGN not DaceCGN)

Oh, you could justify singing by doing a NAKED TIME type thing where your inner whatever is unleashed, and mumbojumbo that the only way you can express is through song. That’d probably be the best way to do singing anyway, with characters expressing hidden desires. And if you really need a scifi angle, have the ship’s computer wake up as a result and give it a song too — this could lead right into CALYPSO if you wasted this idea on DSC.

Either you like musical episodes or you don’t and no maguffin will ever make it appealing to those that don’t.

I’d love a stand alone longish Short Trek as a musical episode.

Hell, I’d just like more Short Treks period. If getting a musical short is a pretext for more Short Treks, that’s more than enough reason.

An out of canon musical version of trek I’d be down with, if there was a West End or Broadway Star Trek musical I’d do my best to go and see it but the melding of that particular genre with otherwise serious drama totally breaks the immersion for me. You don’t really get many people on the fence with musical episodes, it’s typically either love or hate.

Kurtzman specifically talks about a musical Short Trek so it would be a stand-alone.
If you live in Germany chances are it wouldn’t be released there anyway (like the 2nd season of Short Treks which is neither on Netflix nor Amazon Prime).

Already been done, guys….

You know you would watch

Honestly, I absolutely love the idea of it.

At first I thought he was overexaggerating when he said this is the closest we been to a civil war since the first one. But then yeah, I never thought in my lifetime we would have an all out insurrection because a bunch of loons listened to their boob President who can’t just be an adult like every other President before him and admit he lost an election. Because of him, they literally tired to overturn the government and wanted to kill his Vice President because he simply followed the law and procedure. If these yokels were willing to kill elected officials because they truly believed the election was stolen, then yes these same people can be manipulated enough to take up arms to fight against that same government because their boob ex- clown President tells them to.

That is really scary. NOT saying it would happen, but sadly after 1/6, you can’t rule anything completely out either. I’m not trying to make this ‘political’ I’m just going on what Kurtzman was saying and in some ways he’s right. There is a stark division in the country to the point it could go that way. However I don’t think it’s enough of them for it to ever happen, but it is possible even if short lived like 1/6 was.

It would help to reduce tensions if Hollywood wasn’t an official mouthpiece for the Democratic Party. There is no denying that the entire Hollywood apparatus is designed to boost the Democrats and purge out as many conservative members as possible.

Its obvious to me as an Australian that Hollywood would like to see permanent Democratic rule, effectively creating a one party state.

I can’t recall a time a Hollywood show or movie cited civil war or an insurrection because it preaches more inclusion. I get your point, sort of, but I’m talking about what goes BEYOND just speech or political organizing (which Hollywood has both in droves) and outright violence because you don’t like certain policies (or in this case just in serious denial you lost an election).

I have no issue to see more conservative content and I am definitely liberal. Of course EVERYONE should have a voice. But no, not when it leads to actual violence as we saw in 1/6. You can feel however you want and you can certainly try and change things within the law, but you can’t try and overturn the government just because it didn’t go your way either. That’s the difference between democracy and anarchy.

In which case we are definitely on the road from democracy toward anarchy at this point, because the other side is demonstrating through Mitch and his bunch of selfish losers that they would prefer to crash democracy than demonstrate this country still is one. And they clearly prefer civil war to acknowledging the truth of the election. They are fomenting, baby! This is not just petty party politics. Now that they’ve seen how Trelane Trump does his whining baby thing so well, they will let the whole thing fall to pieces rather than accept the will of the majority, let alone do the right thing.

“Trelane Trump” Perfect! I’d love to see someone “b!tch slap” Trump, though…

Agreed kmart!

These people would rather have civil war to keep their reality show clown in power instead of just admitting he lost an election because most of the country really do hate him. How popular of a President are you when you lose the popular vote twice? Even Bush won the popular vote on his second election.

Trump wanted to stay President because he wanted to be shielded from all the indictments coming his way but he’s not a king and I wish more people in his party stood up to him.

I agree with your points but you only seem to apply it to the conservative right. So I guess all the death, destruction, and occupation from BLM “peaceful” protests for almost a year was totally acceptable and not considered an attack on government because you didn’t like who was in office. It seems only one point of view is acceptable and others are not tolerated unless they confirm to the narrative. Exactly what star trek is not supposed to be. It used to be we could discuss or debate while still respecting each other as humans and could still do life together while trying to make life better for everyone. Now only political affiliation matters and it’s a cancel culture if you say or voice on opposing opinion, then your are either racist, phobic, or deplorable. Depending on who you voted for or didn’t vote for determines how what you say is accepted or denied. But not trying to be political.

Yep. Star Trek was at its best when it took an issue and examined multiple sides to it. It explored the positives of multiple views on things. Something that doesn’t seem to be accepted these days in some high profile circles.

And what’s really goofy is that things that were a “no no” to day 20 minutes ago suddenly aren’t. Weird how that happens….

Sigh, this is just hopeless.

I think violence of ANY kind is wrong, but I don’t remember any of those protests ended with trying to kill politicians either. And where did I say that YOU can’t consider their viewpoint as wrong???? Huh? Did I tell anyone here to only agree with me? Could you not post your viewpoint? Considering that I literally read it and responding to it, you were able to say what you wanted just fine as I was, right?

But AFAIK, no one from those protests actively called for an insurrection of the government. And certainly no one IN the government said it was Ok for any of those people to do what they wanted, which is the main issue. Trump was advocating for those idiots to do what they did because he told them over and over and over and over and over again not only was he cheated out of an election, the government, which he was in charge of, was actively conspiring to keep him from being President. So please spare me pretending its the same thing. They raided the capitol over a lie! Instigated by the President himself.

And if someone from BLM or any left movement tried to overturn the government, I will definitely denounce that was well! OK? And for everyone who attacked anyone should be in jail!!!!!!!!!!

I’m going to say it again, if someone in a protest, ANY protest, violently attacked someone they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. No excuses. And yes, if they are using active protest to cause an insurrection, same deal!

OK? We good now?

May I again point out to you Tiger that NO ONE has been charged with carrying a gun. Only mostly trespassing charges. How would YOU like to be held in solitary confinement for trespassing? And you do not think that the establishment of autonomous zones is not a form of insurrection. And isn’t murder, rape,looting, and the burning of property just as important as 1/6. May I also add that there is the possibility that there were FBI embedded in the so called “insurrection”. Also why will the federal government NOT release the 14,000 hours of video of the riot at the capitol? Just because Nancy Pelosi and the “squad” call it an armed insurrection does not make it one. Perhaps we would still not be having all of the violence if the FBI used as much zeal in tracking down the rioters as they have done in finding and persecuting the rioters at the capitol. No, I do NOT agree with rioting in ANY form. It achieves nothing and destroys so much.

Trying to downplay something where people were literally killed including officers is sad.

And now you’re using Fox news talking points? This is why Trump should’ve never been President. Total disgrace on every level. And as usual trying to pass off blame to everyone else except the people directly involved. .It’s beyond disgusting and all those people should be charged to the fullest extent. They literally threatened to kill people because their boob President told them he lost an election that he clearly didn’t. And now they are sitting in jail awaiting trial because they believed this clown.

While it certainly tends to be true that (at least in the US; I can’t speak with authority about the rest of the world) the arts and entertainment industries tend to attract more progressive practitioners (just as folks in the military tend to be more conservative), Hollywood’s actual output tends to skew less overtly progressive than either its creators or a very healthy chunk of its American audience, so as to not ruffle the feathers of a portion of the audience, both at home and abroad. Frankly, I for one would really appreciate it if more productions were a little bolder in espousing stronger progressive views. For that matter, the Democratic Party itself skews “liberal” only by comparison to the Republicans, whose leadership leans pretty far right these days. A huge swath of the US leans a fair bit farther left than most of the Democratic leadership.

Whether Hollywood would truly like to see permanent Democratic rule is kind of moot, as long as Republicans continue to game the electoral system in such ways as to maintain a disproportionate grip on power relative to their support in the populace. Serious electoral reform is needed.

That’s right Comrade, the Politburo needs to pick the candidates, right?
Let’s face it, the over-politicization of entertainment either way results in some boring and nonsensical garbage. No one should get their politics, left or right, from entertainment versus history. Don’t be lazy and go read. Take a class.
And let’s let entertainment be fun.
Look at Into Darkness – Starships will fire photon torpedoes at the Klingon home world (drones, get it??) and Kahn will be just a poor abused guy trying to get his family back that big bad George W is revealed. $190MM lesson learned?
The real lesson – even TOS movies can suck when exposed to over-politicization.
Then Picard, see, those building the exploration fleet are just misunderstood slaves where AI lives matter….. forced to work as slaves under the mandate of Admiral Picard. Everyone got that? Picard purposely programed robots with emotions that they could be employed as slave labor in his evacuation fleet (then he goes off to force Data to be alive again because of his needs driving Data to suicide).
The only fun here is waiting to see just how terrible the show will end up due to some forced nonsensical analog that blows up on real thoughtful reflection. I got huge laughter value out of Picard being mistakenly written as a slave master (never liked that character!)… oh wait, they aren’t slaves now, they are just robots.. so the whole analog doesn’t apply?!? Nice work writers, nice work!
Here is a thought.. why not have as how where there is some fun cooperation regardless of politics exploring the universe. Like a trek… through the stars.

 over-politicization of entertainment’?

better stop watching any ‘trek’ from the past then.

Thats not really true though, Trek used to send social messages not blindingly taking one side or the other. The viewers took these messages however they preffered.


I think YOU have the parties reversed. Democrats are destroying our democracy and fair elections. They are the ones that wanted to change all of the voting rules prior to the 2020 election.

My estimate is that the huge swath of Americans tend to lean more left than the hard core conservatives and more right than the hard core liberals. I don’t think there are very many at all that go further to extremes of any party leadership.

Maybe someday Hollywood will make a zany comedy about white supremacist domestic terrorists trying to violently overturn an election that will more up your alley.

No But Hollywood has already made plenty of movies about the illegal terrorist insurrection of the 13 British North American colonies that overthrew a legitimate Government.

You’ll be back. Soon you’ll see. Pretty soon you will remember meeeee….

NextGen had a script that dealt with this exact aspect in the unshot unaired version of THE HIGH GROUND, where Picard realizes he is supporting the wrong side when the Roms are backing rebels on a planet trying to break free from their government, which Feds support. That would have been something to see — Picard realizing and acknowledging — or being made to acknowledge — he was wrong about something, which only happens once in a cloaked moon (Q WHO.)

You know what I don’t understand are all of the people that say America is evil and needs to be changed. No one has nailed their butts to a wall and is forcing them to remain in this evil country. Find a country that you like and leave this one alone for those of us that love this country as is. It just seems very strange to me that so many people want IN the country but NO ONE seems to want OUT of the country. Think about it before you slam the U.S.

Despite the widespread violence of the anarchist mobs burning down cities across the country, the US was far closer to civil war 50 years ago. Kurtzman, like you, is just parroting MSNBC tropes.

50 years ago, we had great turmoil (when do we not?), but we didn’t have a president who, upon losing a reelection bid, failed to gracefully concede and instead tried to hang onto power, insisting the election was stolen and imploring his most dangerously fanatical devotees to stage an insurrection and storm the Capitol.

I’m sorry… When did he try to hang on to power? He had every right to dispute the results. Everyone does. Al Gore did the same thing. The only difference then is the Supreme Court took the case. This time they opted to not get involved and didn’t even look at it. Which quite frankly the really should have. Even if they ruled the election was on the level it could have diffused much of the strife many were feeling. Which would have been felt regardless of what the President said.

There was no attempt to remain. In the end he voluntarily left and adhered to the laws and the certified result.

I always thought you would be on the other side storming the government.

I’m not quite as pessimistic as Kurtzman at the moment, but as Spock put it, history is replete with turning points, and we are at a fork in the road. It is clear that the GOP has abandoned the concept of loyal opposition. It’s not hard to find actual conservatives now a days who understand that the Republican Party stands for nothing now except to retain power. It’s going to take those actual conservatives that are out there to stop watching their party disintegrate, and do something. Until then, we wait.

I try very hard not to even paint this as a party issue, I honestly just focused on the people who followed Trump and who called themselves ‘patriots’ as they beat up politic officers and went around the capitol looking for politicians to kill. But yes HOW the GOP reacted over it since is just as disgusting. A lot of these people were actually saying what a disgrace it was and then later changed their tune and tried to downplay it to appease Trump and his loony base. That included Mitch McConnell himself.

I mean Mike Pence got booed at some event not too long ago. Why?? For just doing his job and was lucky enough to make it out of the capitol alive after Trump put a target on his back because he followed the law??? But according to these people Pense is the problem, not his old boss who incited an insurrection because he wanted to stay in power in every disgraceful way possible.

It’s this kind of warped thinking is WHY a lot of these people are dangerous and frankly sick in the head. But look who they follow?

OK, its probably only a matter of time before this discussion is shut down lol. But yeah I definitely what Kurtzman is saying. I DON’T think it will happen but the fact there ARE people literally want a civil because their boob President lost an election fair and square says it all.

Tiger I do not like to voice political opinions on a Trek website for I PREFER IT to remain a political but I am tired of the word insurrection being used for 1/6 and “peaceful protest” used for the summer of rioting, burning murder and looting. Get your facts straight. No one has been charged with sedition or insurrection. They HAVE been charged with trespassing and some with other misdemeanor charges. They ARE in solitary isolation in tiny cells with the term “slop” applied to their food. Where are the few rioters that were charged? All charges have been DROPPED against these criminals, Where is equal justice under the law? There is not any. Quit listening to main stream media who is preaching NOTHING but hate, racism and division and use your own brain to swim through all of the hype. Russian collusion, Lafayette Park gassing, etc. have been proven to be false. Are you really happy with the state of America. I for one do not think that we are systemically racist. I CHOOSE to believe in DR. KING”‘s vision and what I also think that Star Trek represents. Not utopia but a civilization that has evolved beyond believing that an individual’s character is decided by skin color and predetermined by chance before birth and EVERYONE is treated equally. Now having said all of that I just don’t think a musical Star Trek would cut it and I hope it never happens.

It was an insurrection and it was disgusting. They would’ve killed people if they had the chance. I mean they DID kill people. It will be a stain on America for years to come.

I don’t know what you saw but I never saw any all out insurrection here in the USA. This was just a bunch of yahoos who were susceptible to being goaded into doing something stupid by a few bozos who planned this well ahead of the President’s speech. A speech in which he specifically said to “Peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard”. This is hardly goading people into storming a building. No one entering the capitol had any plans to take over the government or execute anyone. In fact, the only death occurred when a Capitol police officer shot one of the trespassers. To this day we have no idea if it was a good shoot or not as nothing has been publicly released about it. If you want to see an actual insurrection take a good look at what happened in Myanmar in February. Further, if it truly was an insurrection why has no one who has been arrested charged with sedition or some other insurrection related crime?

In some sense I agree that things are looking pretty bad. I mean we have some cities where riots are going on unimpeded and officials who refuse to do anything about it. We have crime and murders rising at an unprecedented rate in many major cities. And while I suspect the pandemic is a major factor here there have been some in power who have opted to use it to drive a wedge between people instead of trying to keep us together. So while the “Civil War” comparison does smell more like hyperbole to me, I do see what he could be getting at.

Of course you didn’t, you voted for Trump and spent four years ignoring every disgusting thing about him and just can’t face the reality this is someone who has no morals, ethics and CLEARLY only care about himself to the point he was willing to let these people carry out overturning the government because he can’t face the reality he lost a race. So we’ll just move on, it’s no point with Trump supporters. You guys enabled to do and say he wants. and now trying to downplay something that should’ve NEVER happened. It only happened because he couldn’t just say he lost the election and moved on like very other President before him and got these people believing in a sad lie to the point they wanted to kill his VP over it. I mean yeah. We’ll just stick to discussing Star Trek.

closing partisan bickering thread.

As for his other point about Star Trek not being a fit for network TV anymore, I also have to agree.

Yes, maybe if it was like when classic Trek was on from TOS to ENT, sure, because that was a very different time when syndication was a thing and Star Trek was producing 100+ episodes.

Today it’s just a very different time and Star Trek has evolved like TV in general. I was saying this very thing to a respected poster here maybe a week or so ago that Star Trek is now elevated to a different standard beyond what we get on standard networks and because of they now gone for a higher level of production and it’s no way they could make the episodes or amount of episodes for a standard network budget or time frame. I mean it would be like trying to put The Mandalorian on ABC, it just wouldn’t work because those are basically mini-movies. They take a LONG time to produce just like the Star Trek shows do now. You can’t throw up twenty episodes in a year.

I know people are becoming more cynical about streaming but we wouldn’t be getting the level of Star Trek shows we are NOR the number of them this soon. And if you hate the new shows, there is a higher standard of production between what you got in TNG and DS9 than what are getting in DIS and PIC. They just feel more cinematic in so many ways (but I still would watch TNG and DS9 over those shows in a heartbeat and do) and closer to what you see on HBO versus FOX.

Now that said, I’m a fan, so if they put a Star Trek show on CBS and it ran for 20 episodes a season like the old days, of course I would be just as happy. But I think what Kurtzman is saying is Star Trek is just a very different animal. You can’t go ‘cheap’ on it but it probably not popular enough to even survive on a big network show for the costs, so its tricky. It’s literally the reason TNG ended up in syndication. Sure Voyager did 7 seasons on UPN (the most successful Trek show on a network) and it was definitely the costliest show at the time but UPN was a different breed as well and is gone today.

And I always believed if Discovery aired on CBS instead of AA it probably would’ve been cancelled after its second season because its just too costly and it would require tons of viewers to watch it to keep it on. And the competition would be more stiff. On a streaming site, it doesn’t need close to the amount of people watching and why there are now 5 shows coming to that P+ even if its under 5 million watching it.

And if you don’t believe me, let this little nugget sit with you: Not a single space opera show is even ON a network at the moment. They are all on streaming. And the recent few that were like Orville and Expanse ended up on Hulu and Prime. So yeah, these shows just have a harder time on networks or basic cable and even a big brand like Star Trek would probably have a rough time today.

Pretty good point about there being no sci-fi on TV these days. The fact is though that all must-see TV of the past years, particularly since covid, have been streaming shows. I don’t even know anyone aside from my aging parents who even watches old school TV. It’s all streaming and YouTube. But what makes those shows cultural phenomena is them being good, well-told stories, which isn’t the case with Disco or Picard. They appeal to a very narrow audience, from what I can tell. There aren’t many Discovery memes circulating the internet, that’s for sure. So it’s still an open question whether streaming Star Trek will be enough to actually enter the popular consciousness in a way that isn’t simply based on nostalgia for Berman Trek.

 “So it’s still an open question whether streaming Star Trek will be enough to actually enter the popular consciousness in a way that isn’t simply based on nostalgia for Berman Trek.”

I think that’s a really good point actually, but based on the shows announced post Discovery it’s clear they are more concerned about the latter and trying to get the fans aboard who grew up and still loyally watch Berman Trek, hence Picard, Lower Decks and now Prodigy. ;)

Which is why I’m surprised that people here were surprised when Q was announced to come back. I mean he’s one of the most popular characters in that era. There are still comic books and games being made based on him. He’s very much a part of that nostalgia like pretty much EVERY Trek show post-Discovery is basically feeding off of now.

But yes while I think Star Trek is popular obviously, it still has a ceiling of how popular it could be. To give them credit they tried very hard to make Star Trek for a mass audience with the Kelvin movies and it sort of worked, but I don’t think it created the type of interest with new fans like with the old fans or the people whose been watching it since the 70s, 80s or 90s. It was kind of a flash in the pan type of thing and why there has been so much trouble getting another movie off the ground. And I think the days of $200 million Star Trek films are dead. For us old fans we never needed that anyway but they probably felt they needed something more for the global audience to pay attention and unfortunately they learned when it comes to Star Trek the global audience had a short attention span and moved on.

With the streaming shows, my guess is its pretty much the same old fans mostly watching the new shows. Discovery has been around four seasons and I don’t think I met a single person on this board specifically who came here because Discovery was their first Trek show. Sure they are out there, but my guess is in much smaller doses based on all the sites I seen.

And another reason why it’s probably smarter to keep these shows on streaming. Because on a network you need a mass audience to stick around. On streaming sites, you can have a much lower threshold to sick around and especially on a new site like AA/P+ where Star Trek is your only true brand to get people to subscribe. And its clearly enough of them that will pay for it too.

And the sticking point for Star Trek is that it still hasn’t broadened its appeal for a wider audience. Regardless of what many people think of it, Star Trek (2009) took a step in the right direction with that film by pulling people into theaters who wouldn’t typically see a Star Trek movie because of the director who was attached. That four year gap between movies killed whatever momentum they had going and once Discovery premiered Star Trek was pretty much settling back into its old ways after that first season. The budgets were bigger, they shot in a wider aspect ration but outside of the fan base it was a collective shrug.

Yep I’ll never get it either. There was SO much hype after the Star Trek 09 film (even if the BO wasn’t really THAT big in reality but definitely impressive for Star Trek) you would think they strike while the iron was hot. I can kind of understand Paramount didn’t want to go to fast with it since people said it was too much Star Trek by the time Enterprise ended (I’m wondering if they are saying that now ;)) BUT waiting four years for a movie (and a ‘meh’ one at that) just killed any hype from that point on (and then waiting 3 years for THAT movie).

I even had a few friends who went to see the first movie who never saw a Star Trek movie or episode in their lives. I still lol when one my friends who saw it said ‘Dr. Spock’ is now her favorite character. But hey at least she was starting to care. Today I doubt she’s ever seen any of the sequels because they wanted too long. By the time Beyond came around, it was just the usual old Trekkie friends who bothered to watch it in the theater. The few friends I had that did care Trek was off the radar again.

And I don’t know a single person watching any of these new shows. My brother, who was a more casual Star Trek fan growing up, tried to watch Picard, but gave up by episode 3 because it wasn’t like TNG which he assumed it would be (we don’t really discuss Star Trek much ;)). He keeps saying he may finish the season but haven’t yet.

I think if they launched a TV show a LOT sooner that would’ve kept Star Trek in the public eye more between the films instead of waiting 8 years later after the first movie when it was just us nerds caring again. They could’ve built on the franchise for all those new fans excited about the new movies if a new Trek show was out by 2012 or something and then another movie by 2011 the latest. But again it probably went back to a fear of oversaturating the brand and wanted to take things slower.

Apparently in the wild west of the new streaming frontier, that word no longer exists. And honestly maybe they should just bite the bullet and make a smaller film on P+ if they really are afraid to make a bigger film again. And you can get away with making a $50 million Star Trek film on streaming because there is no real competition or trying to get it into China. ;)

Ironically, I think I’d actually enjoy Discovery more if they spent less money on it. I agree it has astounding production values, but I don’t think they actually make the show better.

I think a lot of people here would agree with that. After all, most of us still watch a 55 year old TV show with outdated effects and cheap looking sets. And to many that show is still better than the new stuff today and I’m one of them. ;)

Just an opinion, but I would just love it if all the millions of dollars in production money were not being allocated to umpteen different nu-Trek shows of inconsistent quality and writing.

Rather, I would be over the moon to have one full season of absolutely stellar Trek with outstanding, layered, complex narratives from the opening scene of Ep-1 to the final fade to black on Ep-1X.

In exchange for the multiplicity of nu-Trek that Kurtzman gives us now, I would give my own private Zeta Quadrant for just one transcendent season of Trek with 20 episodes and a fully fleshed out arc where the plot is driven by a rich, compelling and unique narrative with actual discovery that is central to the story … rather than color-by-numbers plot twists and obligatory action set pieces where discovery is perhaps the 8th mandate instead of 1st or 2nd on the list of requirements on that season’s creative brief.

Can we go back to Trek on a shoestring budget … when Trek was defined by the quality of the story and not by the size of the production budget and the number of CG shots? Because that was when we got episodes that made millions of people across the planet take notice of, talk about, and aspire to make tangible these odd little morality plays in space.

The shiny and expensive nu-Trek that we get now feels like – my opinion – we’re getting hot air and empty calories.

Where is my “4 LIGHTS!!!” level of drama in nu-Trek? That ep needed about $10 in light bulbs to blow my mind with epic, gut twisting character development. If Kurtzman can do that level of quality across one full season of DISCO, he will have my full support.


I’m good with them spamming a bunch of new Trek as long as Strange New Worlds ends up a real TOS Wagon Train to the Stars space exploration space-is-hard show.
If they end up in the holodeck because nothing to learn and everyone wants to be just like those enlightened humans .. just activate destruct sequence destruct sequence 1 code 1-1 a and go stick to spam Trek shows.
Like the Enterprise prequel. Do not tease us with exploration, adventure and conflict (primative starships, Earth having to emerge where the Vulcans see as as over-emotional, illogical and primative, the Andorians think we are push overs, the Klingons want us dead, the Romulans want us as slaves, no shields, no phasers on stun, no transporters, nuclear weapons, need those dilithium crystals, no phone home for authorization because it takes two weeks to get a response from Starfleet command) and then deliver transporters, time travel, peace with the Klingons and phasers on stun in HOUR ONE.

“I’m good with them spamming a bunch of new Trek as long as Strange New Worlds ends up a real TOS Wagon Train to the Stars space exploration space-is-hard show.”

Dude, these are the SAME people who bought you the spore drive in the 23rd century. The people who wrote for Discovery which obviously took place in the same time SNW did is now writing for SNW. Don’t get your hopes up, that’s all I’m saying lol.

“In exchange for the multiplicity of nu-Trek that Kurtzman gives us now, I would give my own private Zeta Quadrant for just one transcendent season of Trek with 20 episodes and a fully fleshed out arc where the plot is driven by a rich, compelling and unique narrative with actual discovery that is central to the story … rather than color-by-numbers plot twists and obligatory action set pieces where discovery is perhaps the 8th mandate instead of 1st or 2nd on the list of requirements on that season’s creative brief.”

Unfortunately to get that,. you’re going to have to keep rewatching DS9 over and over again. ;)

I’m doing just that btw. Just started on the third season literally today and in heaven! Got 5 beautiful seasons to rewatch and be captivated all over again!

Maybe we will get that next season in DIS or PIC, but just in case….

I understand your point. There is something to be said for the idea that Trek seemed to be better when less money was spent on it. And that includes TV and streaming.

But then there is the other argument that if you have lots of different Trek shows being made odds are at least ONE of them will be acceptable. The problem is so far none of them are. So I am leaning towards, let’s make this show cheaper, put on over the air TV and I suspect we would end up with a better product.

That ep needed about $10 in light bulbs” No, it needed $12.50 in light bulbs!

From a ratings and viewership standpoint, no, there isn’t a place for Star Trek on network or cable television anymore and it basically comes down to economics: Discovery would be far too expensive as a network show and for the number of viewers it pulls in it would be hard to justify the cost.

Looking back to Discovery’s premiere on CBS, the numbers were marginal at best but for All Access it was accomplishing what it needed to do to drive subscriptions. The same can be said for Picard. Picard did what it needed to do but the numbers would be underwhelming for broadcast or cable for what they’re paying per episode.

In relation to Netflix which cancels shows which pull in more viewers than Discovery, there’s a good chance it wouldn’t have survived as a standalone series on Netflix either.

The thing to keep in mind is that all shows are initially produced at a loss. Star Trek is costing Viacom a small fortune but they need to eat that loss out of necessity. Unlike Disney+, which has produced a number of successful series that have connected with a wide audience, Paramount+ is still looking for a breakout hit that generates the level of excitement and crossover appeal like “The Mandalorian” or any of the MCU series.

Star Trek is a tool for Paramount+. How long they’ll keep this going before shifting resources elsewhere is anyone’s guess.

Looking back to Discovery’s premiere on CBS, the numbers were marginal at best but for All Access it was accomplishing what it needed to do to drive subscriptions. The same can be said for Picard. Picard did what it needed to do but the numbers would be underwhelming for broadcast or cable for what they’re paying per episode.”

Were did you find the numbers for these shows? I’ve searched everywhere and couldn’t find anything.

Agreed with everything you said Denny C!

In fact I always bring up the fact that when Discovery first episode premiered, it only got around 9 million viewers and that’s WITH DVR numbers. That’s pretty low for a CBS show, especially something as costly as Discovery. And compare that to Enterprise, the show that got cancelled after 4 seasons and yet it still got 12 million people to watch its first episode on UPN….the same network that wasn’t even in all households in America at the time.

And before that Voyager got 21 million viewers to watch Caretaker but this was when Star Trek was huge and interest was really high. And no, Voyager didn’t sustain that number obviously.

It doesn’t mean Discovery couldn’t be more popular, but it does tell you how much TV has changed today when after not having a Star Trek show on for over a decade, it got less than 10 million viewers to watch its initial episode on the biggest network in the country. And there are a lot reasons probably, the biggest being many people don’t view shows live as before, but that’s something network still relies on a lot. With streaming, not very important.

And also agree while I think Picard would easily be more popular on network TV being so many grew up watching TNG, it still may not be enough to last long on a network. So I don’t it matters what Star Trek show is on, none of them would probably have a real chance today; at least not like the old days.

They are producing a lot of Trek today but as you said they probably see it as a plus when in another 5 years Paramount will have a huge Star Trek library to keep fans coming back to forever, even if its not driving as many to the site now. That’s literally the playbook Netflix has been using and they all seem to think it will work. Network TV doesn’t work that way. They will keep a low running show on for awhile but its much easier to cut it lose when you have so many options which Netflix is now doing. Fortunately for us Paramount+ is not in the same boat yet lol.

And I’m also guessing in time eventually all the old Star Trek shows will be exclusive to Paramount+ in America but that is probably at least a decade away. I notice they now have most of the Star Trek films back BUT most of the films are still on Hulu, Amazon Prime and Epix. It’s still a long way before they get to exclusivity level like Disney+ and Star Wars. But in the meanwhile, keep pumping out new content to keep the rest of us on the hook.

This is a great example of what I’m talking about. This advertisement literally flashes on my Roku TV every day for weeks now:

They know where their bread is buttered. Star Trek alone is not going to turn P+ into a powerhouse, but clearly they know how much the brand is driving viewers to their site. Also why Prodigy is coming there instead of Nickelodeon now. Someone probably realized it will get kids turned on to old Trek like Voyager and all the other shows now at their fingertips to watch after listening to holographic Janeway teach them the rich and important history of the Federation for multiple seasons.

I’d say you’ve prematurely cancelled, PANDORA. The pandemic has left the CW schedule in shambles with them desperately trying to paper over the holes with edgy Brit comedies till they get their productions up and running, a strategy which is failing them so bady that I’d say PANDORA’s 3rd season is almost a certainty.

Heck, just look at what they did with SUPERGIRL’s and SUPERMAN AND LOIS’ episodes airing in the same time slot in alternating blocks with neither show’s narative crossing over with the other. That’s right, stories so different neither cousin has appeared on the other’s show this season even though they’re alternating their episodes in the exact same time slot!

Anything you want to see on Star Trek can be had by starting your story with, “They go to a planet where…” You want a musical episode? They go to a planet where people communicate by singing, rather than speaking, so the ship’s crew has to sing, too.

If they’d done that in TOS, Kirk would have had to have been on vacation or had laryngitis or something, since Shatner is a terrible singer. :-) But Nichelle Nichols and Leonard Nimoy could sing! And of course The Doctor and Seven of Nine sang beautifully together in VOY.

Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz can definitely sing … the problem is giving them something appropriately Trekkian to sing.

Musical seems up the ally of these writers. Also soap operas – the young and the restless….. IN SPACE!!!!! Star Trek 90210?

Hehe, atleast soap operas provide some good looking eye candy.
Nu-trek so far has some very dour looking people in it.

From now on I count the days …

With all due respect, you have never heard me channel Shatner – it is my karaoke superpower!

Hee! And do you have … strategic … pauses? :-)

This… and this only. :)

While I get that Star Trek is looking more “cinematic” these days because its on streaming and more expensive to produce, I also miss the classic, cheap bottle episodes and character pieces. Episodes like The Measure of a Man, The Duet, The Drumhead, Sarek etc…were certainly not expensive episodes but they were excellent character pieces. I think Kurtzman needs to ask himself the question “Does it always need to be cinematic?”

I think it’s the streaming audience that wants it cinematic not necessarily Kurtzman.

I think that’s false choice. streaminG Audiences tune in to dynamic, edgy personal storytelling – not “corporate crap.” Disney isn’t selling its own soul (Mickey etc) – only that of its purchased franchises- Marvel and Star Wars.

We as Star Trek fans have 100 years of SF ideas and themes to pull from and they were not all poetry and two person drama. We also should have no problem echoing anything from The Wire and Mad Men to I May Destroy You.

The enthusiast-pandering answer would probably be to immediately discontinue the Discovery-verse, cease all SNW retcons, commit to listening to “internet Trek experts”, and attempt to create a “Wrath of Khan 2.0” until the end of time. Oh, and bring back “proper TNG” – whatever the hell that means LOL

While that plan would play great with the uber-Trek nerds on Reddit and the comment sections of every Trekkie website, it’s not really a business plan that’ll result in Star Trek being a business for very long.

Watching uberfans defining “real” Star Trek is a constant circus show LMAO.

Watching uberfans defining “real” Star Trek is a constant circus show LMAO.”

EXACTLY. Thing is the showrunners, the suits, the cast and crew all read the feedback. They must throw their hands up in the air and say: “Trekkies can’t even agree on what Trek is or isn’t! Let’s put our own spin on it..”

Oh for “F” sake! A musical epiosde? No way – the Kurtzman era goes from from horrid to ridiculous.

maybe they could shoot a stand alone episode and add it after the series finale. Oh, wait…

He said it would be a Short Trek. A super Short mini episode.
I dont like New-Trek that much but you are hysterical.

You misread emotions mate, I’m pissed that Star Trek is in the hands of a talentless hack who produces substandard garbage that makes little sense and is poorly written and overly contrived!
You and your approach clearly demonstrate you’re a twat!

This isn’t the site for your kind of personal attacks. Goodbye

He was talking about a Short Trek, and a one off. If that little creative exercise bugs you that much, don’t watch it…..assuming it ever gets made. Good f**king lord, take a sedative.

Sorry Phil, I don’t do drugs! And as long as Kurtzman & Co run Star Trek into the ground – I will maintain my rage!

And further; the point about Buffy and its musical episode; Buffy was campy – it suited the series. Whedon NEVER ever did a ‘musical’ Firefly episode! Why? Totally different genre, which took its settings seriously – humour existed – however they “live(d) on a spacehip”.
Kurtzman just does not and will not ‘get’ Star Trek and it is SOOOO apparent in the subpar shows he’s created.

Musical Lower decks could 100% work

Yes! This is definitely what Star Trek needs. If we consider the other CW shows, they’ve done musical episodes – the one with Supergirl and The Flash singing about being super friends was great! Imagine a crossover with Picard and Michael Burnham AND Spock singing their hearts out! My heart is bursting thinking about it.

Star Trek has never been Shakespeare, I don’t care what that guy who played Admiral Jarok says. Let’s get back to the “Way to Eden” roots of trek.

Engage, Mr Kurtzman! In the warp factor of 5, 6, 7, 8!

Well we already did get Spock singing a bit with Number One!

Maybe we’ll get an encore on the show!

And I remembered that Flash/Supergirl singing scene. It was actually pretty good!

(But let’s keep far away from Way of Eden as possible)

I remember that I either skipped that episode or watched that episode skipping the singing parts.

Li Wrath di Khan is an entertaining bit of fluff….

Trek already did a musical episode with Data singing at Riker and Troi’s wedding.
No need for any more.

It was crucial for that scene where B4 starts to sing at the end but I have to say that I didn’t like that to. I made my own edited version of ST Nemesis and left that scene out. Or even the whole wedding scene. (sorry)

No way! The wedding scene was the best part of Nemesis for me.

‘irving Berlin!’

Then your version wouldn’t have the hope that the memory download might eventually take hold. In WoK the test audiences didn’t like the ending and the reason was there was no hope. So they went out, shot the scene of the torpedo tomb intact on the surface of the Genesis planet. That did the trick. Just as Data starting to sing Blue Skies at the end of Nemesis.

I know the importance of that reference. But they could have maybe handled that in a different way. The movie started with an attack and a serious tone and then switches to a wedding scene with singing. I found that very “kitschy” and didn’t like that. What if they had put the wedding at the end of the movie and then have B4 singing that song. (Data could have had hummed that melody before somewhere in the movie. “oh i’m just preparing to sing for the wedding” or something.) Would have been a better goodbye in my opinion and a beautiful ending scene. That idea just crossed my mind.

OK. I see. But they had to set up all of the characters together on their way somewhere. Having two ceremonies at two different places accomplishes this. So they would need to have some reason for them all to be together. And yes, it shouldn’t be that hard. But I personally had no problem with going from the mass murder in the Romulan Senate to Picard’s toast.

Musical episode?! NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO AND NO A BILLION MORE TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“Don’t mince words, Ed. Tell us what you REALLY think…” Kidding aside, I think I’m with you. It’ll generate some buzz, it’ll get talked about on Entertainment Tonight and similar. After it airs, I think it will become material for the BluRay release..

If they really want to bring music they should explore Klingon Music. Do they really only like klingon Opera? Shouldn’t they prefer something like Manowar? Or Death Metal? How about “Klingon symphonic operatic Death Metal”?

Possible names for that episode:

A klingon knight at the opera
A night at the klingon opera
Warriors of the universe
Brothers in Bathlets

A musical would make best sense in the holodeck. Another option would be encountering an alien species that only communicates through song the way Picard encountered one that only communicated through metaphor.

bad enough there are lyrics for the OS theme.

You think that’s bad? Did you ever hear the lyrics for Ilia’s theme (TMP)…? I will never be able to recover the neurons I burnt listening to that.

I’m definitely up for a musical episode!

I remember three musical eps on other genre shows: Buffy, Xena and Supergirl… and yeah, I liked those a lot… There are many ways of doing it. Either as some holodeck program or alien simulation, some first contact with an alien race that regards non-musical communication as an offense or some even stranger idea such as a parallel universe that has music as an underlying matter of course. Or maybe Q could turn them into singing morons :-)

They actually did a musical episode for Fringe as well which is a show Kurtzman produced. I’m kind of surprise he didn’t mention that one but I liked it as well.

Rebecca Romijn performs Gilbert and Sullivan apparently (and did already in a short Trek). That fits well into established Trek.

Gilbert and Sullivan. I love that scene in Insurrection. I just watched it recently and it;s fresh in my mind. When I watched it for the first time many years ago I thought it was dumb, not sure what changed.

Let’s think OUTSIDE THE BOX regarding a “musical” episode of Star Trek. Think of “VIRTUOSO” – this ST: Voyager is another example of the possibilities. The holographic doctor inspires and entire race to “create” music, as they’ve never heard it before encountering the doctor, who sings “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” in sickbay….. the rest is ‘Trek history, as they people on their world create entire musical symphonies with new versions of the holographic doctor uttering not just music as humans know it, but also using tones that aren’t quite natural – which the doctor becomes upset over, as that’s not the way he thought they would use his [hologram copy likenesses] for. A new ‘Trek musical episode could be written to go in that direction, obviously, with any of the ‘Trek casts. The series ST: Prodigy could end up encountering that species (as it’s set in the Delta Quadrant), so it’s possible in many types of stories.

There are at least two novels where Uhurah is the focus and they meet aliens and the plot involves music. Tears of the Singers and Uhurah’s Song. Some think they haven’t aged well, which may be the case. But it should be obvious. Close Encounters did it. Even ST IV sort of had whale singing. I want an episode of that!

Kurtzman is , frankly, a bit of hack.

How he got this gig when is he is best known for writing the bad Transformers movies is shocking to me.

I’d welcome back Bergman and Braga, before anything by Kurtzman.

Here I thought Kurtzman was just going to say the world needs more Trek because he needs another home.

Kurtzman Trek is pretty awful & way worse than Berman Trek (and that is saying a LOT!!).

 It just would be impossible. Which doesn’t mean it can’t be done. “

When you say something is impossible… It means it can’t be done.

‘there are no unknowns….’

True… But the word “impossible” has a specific definition. One that he demonstrated that he’s unaware of.

Star Trek the Musical has been done before…by Mad magazine in 1976

“How Much For Just The Planet?” is one of the best Star Trek novels ever, and it’s a musical.

This guy has no real vision other than checking demographic boxes.

musical? Check.
kids show? Check.
cerebral sow? Check
inserting curse words? Check

He continues to play it safe and rely on nostalgia rather than content and quality.

i admit I’m cautiously optimistic about SNW, but that’s because of the cast and their work on Discovery.hope it’s more ‘new’ than not.

Am I the only one that misses the Berman Era?

Not. At. All.

We reach.

Oh I definitely do and said so many times. But I am enjoying the new stuff too just not at the level I do with classic Trek. But that’s what Netflix or Blu Rays are for. ;)

How can anyone take seriously what Kurtzman says when he makes false statements like, there never being a Star Trek show produced for children? The Star Trek animated series won an Emmy for Outstanding Entertainment – Children’s Series in the 70’s! He obviously does not know his subject matter when he should be the top subject matter expert.

Alex Kurtzman does not have the background in achieving any consistent success (if any) in his career or any understanding of character and story development to really speak to the needs of any genre. Especially science fiction, where he has repeatedly demonstrated an inability to develop thought provoking, plot consistent engaging stories. Let alone address the specifics of Star Trek. He knows next to nothing about Star Trek except the things that have surfaced into pop-culture. The pop-culture line items are only the surface attributes that casual observers recognize. These are not the fundamental attributes that have allowed the Star Trek genre to survive for over half a century. Of which, Kurtzman and his parade of producers have very little understanding. Primarily of which is the lack of sound science fiction and good character driven stories. Instead he has openly stated that Star Trek is primarily a platform for messaging. That is his personally stated perspective of what Star Trek is. This is obviously incorrect. Star Trek has not survived to this day by being a platform for messaging. This misguided perspective has turned Star Trek into science fantasy presentation with so many in-story plot inconsistencies (Due to the cavalcade of producers) and uninteresting characters that anyone watching his presentations have to completely suspend any coherent thought processes to be able to get through an episode of any of his presentations. This is the complete antithesis of what has allowed Star Trek to survive.

I compare today’s Star Trek to Irwin Allen productions of 60’s – Allen cranked out a lot of them. People watched them. A lot of people are fond of them. No one talks about them today. There was nothing enduring about any of them. No great characters or stories is the problem. The same is true of today’s Star Trek.

I swear some people act like Kurtzman beats their kids or something. The guy is trying. It may not be the type of Star Trek some people don’t like, but it’s disingenuous to say he doesn’t know anything about Star Trek. He’s been making it for literally over a decade now (but yes to mix results). I think its fair to say he knows something about it at least.

I did not say, “he doesn’t know anything about Star Trek.” If you paid attention to what I wrote you would have read that I said, his understanding and knowledge of Star Trek is of the “surface attributes” of Star Trek. That is not “nothing”. To make it clearer to you, I am saying his understanding of Star Trek is superficial. Him coincidentally being in charge of the franchise does not make him a subject matter expert. Which being a professional, he should be. He is not. Otherwise, how could he, among other things, make blatantly errant statements, multiple times, that there has never been a Star Trek specifically made for kids. I think that is clear proof that he does not know Star Trek very well. Or did he just happen to forget one high mark milestones of the franchise directly related to subject matter he happened to be discussing at the time. Either scenario is unacceptable for someone in his position.

You didn’t actually read all of my message, did you?

I think that the makers of TAS have repeatedly denied that it was made specifically for kids. They intended for the show to be a “proper” continuation of TOS that just happened to be animated. They didn’t want to make it a kids show.
So given that original intention, Kurtzman is not wrong when he’s saying that Prodigy is the first Trek show targeted specifically at kids.

Fun fact: when Star Trek TOS aired in Germany the first time between 1972-1974 it really was conceived as a show for children! It was dubbed in a less serious tone and added was more comedy. The german dub is considered “legendary” but also sounds embarrassing and dated. The same happened with the TV show “The persuaders” which was a flop in its home country but very popular in Germany.
The prologue is different too but part of the german popculture. Whenever “the final frontier” is referenced, they have to dub it with “infinite vastness” to keep that reference.

In case of Amok Time the Pon Farr part was completely ommited by cutting and recutting the episode and changing the dialogues. Later that episode was restored and redubbed completely. That was repeated for the DVD release in 2004 when the they had to redub the missing scenes of all aired episodes. There exist 3 (!) dubbed versions of “Amok Time”. Since they only released 39 episodes back then (minus Space Seed!!!), it is not understandable why they didnt’t leave off that episode instead.

TAS was dubbed even worse, shortened extremely, completely changed and totally made into a show for kids. Kirk had the same german voice like Picard! I’ve never seen that version. It was only released on VHS. It must have been so bad, they had to redub it completely for the DVD-version (keeping the serious tone) which is the only one I know.

That’s the way I recall it too. The Filmation series may have been made with an awareness that kids would be watching, but people claiming it was STAR TREK for children are falsifying and mangling STAR TREK history as badly as they accuse Kurtzman.

And this article:

confirns it.

Thank you everyone! It’s no point of responding to that poster now. You said it all for me.

And I’m certainly NO Kurtzman apologist as I been just as critical of these shows as I been a defender. Anyone who knows my handle knows that and DIS and PIC are currently my two least favorite shows in the entire franchise. But some of these ‘attacks’ get to the point of ridiculous at times. This one especially.

That’s a great link Disinvited, I learned quite a bit! Thank you! And I watched TAS for the very first time just a few months ago. I actually enjoyed it for the most part once you get over its rough spots (which it had plenty of). But it even changed my perceptions of what I THOUGHT it was after all these years once I actually just sat down and watched it.

The genesis of TAS is old news to me along with the history of Scheimer, Sutherland and Prescott productions as the Filmation production company. Scheimer was from my home town and his accomplishments are well know to those of us who are interested in animation.

I will clarify for you in respect to TAS – When I said TAS was intended for children, I was referring specifically to the time slot in which the show aired. Saturday morning in the middle of the children’s programming slot. Regardless of the intention, are you contending that this was an adult’s show that aired in the middle of the children’s programming time? If you are then you are arguing against reality. There were any number of animated shows that aired in the evenings at that time that were intended for adults. That time slot dictated the audience the production was focused upon. Does it make any sense to place a show in a time slot dedicated for an audience you are PRIMARILY going after? In this case your contention is non-children. No, it doesn’t. There’s too much money involved. That would be similar to airing the Simpsons on DisneyXD on Saturday mornings. If you can find a preponderance of industry driven classifications that say otherwise, I will happily go along with it.

I have to ask you, beyond you piggybacking on the information others have provided in respect to the contention of the intended audience for TAS, what did I write that was inaccurate? You present no arguments except YOUR changing attitudes about current day Star Trek. Do you understand that that is an example of personal revelation(s) and has nothing to do with the facts of what I originally wrote. If it does, explain it instead of lamely trying to dismiss my opinion. I provide an actual statement made by Kurtzman that illustrates his ignorance of the subject at hand. I could give you many more if you like to back up my point.

It looks like you are just having an emotional outburst that has no (facts) substance and nothing to back it up except your feelings.

Your argument is illogical. There was nothing magical about a Saturday morning time slot that instantly transformed many of the violent sports, news, movies syndicated reruns, etc. that many broadcasters chose to air then into “children’s” programming

Neither was the converse absolutely true. Even though the first Trek series aired in the evening during prime time, the production constantly had to deal with the network suits denigrating it as a “kid’s show.”

Again you said it. The point is it’s not black or white. What Kutzman said was fine.

No there was nothing “magical” about the Saturday morning time slot. But there is well-documented industry driven purpose behind it. To deny this is to admit you do not understand the fundamental reason why television shows are made – To make money by selling advertising dollars.

You cannot simply make unfounded generalizations such as, “a Saturday morning time slot that instantly transformed many of the violent sports, news, movies syndicated reruns, etc. that many broadcasters chose to air then into “children’s” programming”, without giving some evidence of this being a practice of the networks during the mid-seventies when this show ran. I cannot find any evidence of this statement. What you say runs counter to any and all network practices of the time. Please provide examples from the time period we are discussing.

Blocks of shows, specifically Saturday morning cartoons are purposefully put together in order to enable advertisers to sell their products to a specific set of viewers. This has always been true and is still true. Which is why even if the intention of the TAS producers was to produce an “adult” show, that is not what they ended up with, when examined by nearly any measure. To deny this is to deny reality. You would have to say, hypothetically, if their intention was to build a Chevy Camaro and they ended up building a Ford Mustang, the car was actually a Camaro. That would not be true.

Your point concerning “the converse” is contrived in that any number of derogatory attitudes towards the show were held by the networks to which Desilu attempted to sell TOS. To that point, the primary concern was that the show was, “too cerebral”. This was the primary concern which prompted the second TOS pilot, but remained to some degree after TOS episodes began to air.

To have ignorance that Saturday morning sports programming and news, which made more money, often preempted so-called children’s programming is exactly as bad as you accuse of Kurtzman. The point being the networks did not hold fast to this slot as you profess and bumped so-called Saturday morning children’s programming all over the day for other programming.

Also note, I said “broadcasters” which includes more than just networks but also a wider scope of counterprogrammers unwilling to let the networks define programming schedules for them.

You also said, “There were any number of animated shows that aired in the evenings at that time that were intended for adults. That time slot dictated the audience the production was focused upon.”

But isn’t it a fact that the networks took the reruns of those evening animations that you claim were focused on adults and aired them in the same Saturday morning time slots in which you claim no adult focused animations aired?

Man, if you don’t like the current versions of Star Trek no one is getting on your case about it and as I said I have been just as a critical over them as others (but really enjoy Lower Decks so far). The difference is I support ALL Star Trek and I believe it all has the potential to improve. Maybe it won’t but history has shown it’s at least possible, right?

But if you think all the new shows are hopeless and Kurtzman is a clueless hack, you are more than welcome to not watch any of it. No one cares. There are still 700 hours of TV shows and movies of classic Trek you can rewatch that Kurtzman had nothing to do with to your heart’s desire, which I know many old school fans do today, including others on this site who I respect. None of it is a contest. It’s all just TV shows. Maybe later you will start to enjoy the new stuff. But as said, if not, you have TOS to ENT to rewatch and whatever you enjoy to watch between those. No hard feelings. Take it easy.

I appreciate your response. Nothing you said is incorrect. But I still stand by the point I was making initially, (and I will paraphrase),as professional if you are a subject matter expert and speak in public you need to make sure you know what you are talking about. If you say something that runs counter to the truth you damage your credibility.

When you look at the wreckage that Kurtzman has left behind him (Universal Monster Universe, The Amazing Spiderman franchise among the most notable, how do you ruin Spider Man?!?, Clarice is dead, I can go on…), with statements like he made about Star Trek and children’s shows and then stands behind it, he earns any amount of critical scrutiny.

I’m genuinely surprised that Voyager never did a musical episode. It just makes sense there

Lest we forget, Mad Magazine did a brilliant job with a Star Trek musical.