Podcast: All Access Looks At Star Trek’s Future On TV

All Access Star Trek podcast episode 139 - TrekMovie

After a check-in on the ongoing WGA strike, Tony and Laurie take a look at what’s coming our way in Star Trek on TV, starting with the arrival of Strange New Worlds season 2 next month, continuing through new seasons of Lower Decks, Prodigy, and Discovery‘s final season and then the new Starfleet Academy series and Section 31 TV-movie. They talk about what they know about each show, discuss their hopes and predictions, and speculate on what each show’s role is within the greater Star Trek universe, as well as the changes in the streaming industry business and how that might affect the future plans of Paramount+.  They wrap up with a look at KHAN!!!: The Musical and a great discussion with Nicholas Meyer on the Hollywood & Levine podcast.


Bill Wolkoff on Twitter

Javier Grillo-Marxuach explains the problem with mini-rooms [Twitter]

‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Showrunners Talk Kirk, Scotty, A “Bigger” Season 2, And Beyond

Writer’s Headcanon Explains How ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Gorn Fit With “Arena”

Paul Wesley Talks About Creating A Whole New Kirk For ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Season 2

Paramount Streaming Loss Widens to $511M as Paramount+ Hits 60M Subs [Hollywood Reporter]

Paramount Should Just Quit Streaming at This Point — Analyst [Indiewire]

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ To Conclude With Season 5

Shazad Latif Waiting To Hear About The ‘Star Trek: Section 31’ TV Movie

‘Star Trek: Starfleet Academy’ Series Officially Announced


Tony: Review: ‘KHAN!!!: The Musical’ Is A Loving Send-Up Of Star Trek And Broadway

Laurie: Nicholas Meyer on Hollywood & Levine podcast: Part 1 and Part 2

Let us know what you think of the episode in the comments, and should you be so inclined, please review us on Apple.

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I’ll just say this. I hope LDS, Section 31, Prodigy, Academy, even SNW, and the final season of DISCO really take their writing to the next level after what was delivered in Picard season 3. I watched my blu ray of LDS season 3 (granted it’s a comedy and animated). But damn. It revealed just how on another level Picard season 3’s writing was. So, I’m excited about SNW. I’m excited that we have more Star Trek in the works. But let’s hope that the writing that was done pre-strike is on par or better than Picard season 3. And whenever the strike ends, let’s hope that writing is stellar. Get it? Stellar because… Star Trek. Hehe. LOL.

Also, I’d like to see a TNG-esque finale to Discovery, meaning at the end as you pulled away from the card table, you also pulled outside the ship and watched it fly towards a nebula. In this case, you could have a scene on the bridge where they are all smiles. The camera pulls out of the the bridge dome. You see the ship fly towards a nebula. And then the ship does its spinny thing, black alerts, and disappears.

I really do want these characters to go off into the sunset happily. They’ve earned it!

You might get some debate that the writing stepped up on season 3. If the threshold for good was that they cobbled together decent continuity for a season full of fan service, you’d likely get little debate. As far as the story goes, to be polite, it was a horrible contrivance, at best.

I’m continuously stunned by how much nostalgic TNG fans are willing to overlook in Picard S3.

It had all the problematic elements all the raging fans condemned in other Secret Hideout shows, in some cases on steroids – but it gave them the actors, production designers and music they are familiar with, so I guess that’s what’s more important to them than good writing.

Unfortunately, younger fans like the Gen Z teens in my family, despite having been Voyager and TNG fans just a few years ago, have found nothing that appeals to them in Picard.

Don’t see who the audience for a nepotistic ‘kids-of’ show would supposedly be.

Come on now, that audience will be the ones pounding their keyboards that “the fans” only want the Legacy spin off, and nothing else. I’ll give Matalas for the loving, appropriate send off for the TNG crew. So they’ve been sent off. Time for something new…assuming Paramount Global survives the strike, of course.

I liked the season in spite of its flaws, same as SNW’s first season which had some of the same but also much different flaws. No fandom cannibalizes itself faster, harder, and longer than Trek fans for some reason.

Agreed. I didn’t think either SNW S1 or Picard S3 was perfect, but I thought the good far outweighed the bad in both of them.

Agreed. Sometimes Star Trek fans suck the life out of just about everything.

This. Non fans were furious when Starfleet Academy was announced and demanded it be canceled before seeing a moment. People didn’t like the idea behind Prodigy either. “I’m not watching a woke kid’s show!” It’s outstanding Trek. Lower Decks was supposed to be American Dad with combadges. It’s fantastic. This minority subset of viewers has their arms crossed and scowls on their faces refusing to try anything new and promising they’ll hate it.

I’m not sure I would call those people ‘non fans’ or ‘anti fans’ or whatever label.

I do get exasperated by the ‘give me only the Trek I want and cancel everything else’ element of fandom. (And folks here are getting impatient with my requests for those types to chill out.). Those kind of folks have been annoying me since they first campaigned against TAS in the 70s.

The thing is, looking at the fact that Noga Landau and Gina Villo ended up being the cocreators of the concept for Starfleet Academy that finally got the show out of development hell, it looks like we have every reason to believe it will be another winner.

Really glad you enjoyed it too Dvorak! :)

This is a different question Tiger2.

Liking season 3 doesn’t automatically mean liking the proposal for a show that we were given at the end of the finale or, worse, how Matalas has elaborated it on Twitter and in interviews.

I liked Picard S3 well enough, especially as my spouse really enjoyed it.

The first half was an order of magnitude better for me.

But finding it an ok season, with pros and cons, doesn’t extrapolate to the premise of a nostalgia tour show with a crew dominated by nepotism actually sounding like something that will hold a an audience of the size Picard did.

Which I never remotely said or implied. I simply agreed with Tiberus Mudd’s assessment of the seasons. Dude, you need to relax lol.

The writing in SNW was light years beyond Picard S3.

While SNW has a lot of nostalgic elements, the fact that it’s an all new cast made it inherently less able to use that nostalgia as a crutch for weak storytelling as Picard did.

SNW wasn’t perfect, but it was well written from start to finish. Picard S3 was basically just Seasons 1&2 with the TNG cast.

I actually don’t disagree with this too much although I don’t agree it was anywhere near season 1 or 2 for me. I really disliked those seasons lol. But if you feel that way, that’s fine of course. I still really enjoyed season 3 a lot, but yeah it was flawed for sure which I pointed out in every episode I had real issues with.

But I do think overall SNW had a stronger season, but it also spent a lot of time remaking a lot of other stories instead of being more original. Nearly every episode minus 2 or 3 felt like it was pulled from other stories. But I still enjoyed most of them too and I like I can just watch individual episodes of that show like the classic shows.

But overall I really liked both despite issues I had with them.

I liked SNW but Picard S3 was still easily better.

But I agree with most here but neither were perfect. But man this has some of the best Trek since the 90s. I loved every new season beginning with SNW, LDS season 3, PRO and then Picard S3 being the grand finale.

A few years ago I thought I was always going to be a NuTrek hater but now I’m truly excited for what comes next. 😎

Thing’s are going so well maybe I’ll even like the last season of Discovery lol.

Woah, you think you may like Discovery too? Have you been drinking?? ;D

In all seriousness, I also really really hope Discovery goes out with a huge bang! The season 5 trailer didn’t excite me but it was only a minute teaser as well. So yeah, fingers crossed we’ll get a great season on its way out.

Of course if we find out the reshoots for the finale was to get Riker and Troi to be part of it, I smell big big trouble lol.


I said I could, obviously no guarantees of course. For a few episodes I thought I was going to at least like season 4, especially without Georgiou there before it became downright awful with boring subplots, lots of dumb decisions by characters and yeah the crying. A bit less than season 2 and 3 but yeah.

But maybe this time it will be different and I hope so. I don’t pay money and spend my time watching something every week just to hate it. The only reason I still even bother with Discovery is because it has Star Trek in the title. If it wasn’t for that I would’ve stopped watching it long ago as I imagine others.

I loved the all-new cast of Strange New Worlds, like Pike, Spock, Number One, Uhura, Nurse Chapel, and Dr. M’Benga.

He’s obviously talking about the actors, but new actors who are still playing 55+ year old characters which is the draw and what fans are paying to watch.

We get a new actor playing Batman every 5-10 years…they are still playing Batman and who fans are ultimately showing up for. That’s exactly how nostalgia works, when a character becomes so old enough you accept different actors playing them. There was a time, not that long ago, people only saw Shatner as Kirk or Nimoy as Spock. That too has changed as it will for the TNG characters one day.

Gosh, I hope not. The Star Trek characters aren’t James Bond (to me). I recognize im in a teeny-tiny minority, I just think recycling characters with new actors is anti-imagination and tough to square with an optimistic future. Again, to me. I recognize im the only person on the planet who probably feels this way.

Well we’ve already had multiple Kirk’s and Spocks since the Kelvin films. I’m going to guess when this iteration of Trek is done, they will get new actors to play these roles again…and then again after that.

Don’t get me wrong, I too was more than happy for Shatner to be the one and only actor playing Kirk for a lifetime. And in fact wasn’t for a TOS reboot at all at the time. But I know that was never going to happen either because that’s not how Hollywood operates. Certainly not these days.

And once fans start accepting it as they clearly are now, it makes it even easier.

Completely disagree. I don’t think following the TOS crew is the appeal for most fans of SNW.

It was the draw and the hook, yes. But it’s the writing that is keeping people engaged.

Unlike TNG a season 8, which most people love because of the cast. So much so that you don’t even see the weak writing. Any actual critical analysis that revolves around story and character reveals it pretty quickly.

Not hating on it. I liked the season. I thought the cast was great. But it’s not nearly as well written as SNW, which can’t lean on the appeal of the original cast to obscure bad writing.

It sort of is for me. I never been a big TOS fan but I always liked the characters. So it’s nice to watch them in a more modern show. But those characters don’t have the sane hold for me like the TNG characters, not even close. But it’s fun to learn about them.

It’s not the main reason I watch the show though and I don’t really like prequels but it’s fun to be back on the original Enterprise too.

But if you’re a big TOS fan I think most are excited to watch them. The producers seem to think so since they keep adding them on the show. Why is Kirk even there? He doesn’t even become captain of that ship for another 5 years. He’s obviously there just for fan service.

I have to disagree with you on this. I found the writing on SNW to be cringe-inducing: Pike’s endless pontificating and Spock’s soap opera nonsense with T’Pring being the worst offenders.

And while I get that the cast itself is mostly new, the fact that the show relies on legacy bit characters like M’Benga, Number One and Chapel really is a huge drawback- especially when the few original characters such as Hemmer and Ortegas are badly served as a result. Hemmer literally existed to serve Uhura’s arc… and Ortegas was created because…. somebody needed to be the pilot?

And the reliance on these pre-existing bit players makes the criticism of Legacy as relying on legacy characters a bizarre one.

Also the less said about Paul Wesley’s casting as Kirk the better. What on Earth were they thinking going with him?!

Liking the season in spite of its flaws is what I’ve done with Discovery as well as Picard’s first season. Season 3 of Picard is much the same.

I had been psyched by the hype to hope Picard season 3 would be something more, but was quite deflated by the end of the finale. (I signed the petition after the first half season.)

I’m seeing many of the same drawbacks with all the live shows to a greater or lesser extent.

Picard S3 in the end doubled down on some of the forced relationships to legacies and nostalgia that others may love, but I find undermine the aspirational values of the franchise.

I admit I’m exasperated that the Picard S3 enthusiasts seem to think it’s something altogether different when, as you’ve noted ‘the house style’ of this era was very much present for better or worse.

But the real question is not whether there’s an appetite for a 25th century show with Berman-era visual design code and legacy characters to serve an older demographic that runs down to older millennials now in their 40s. That’s been more than proven.

To me the question is whether the the proposed show we were offered at the end of the finale, with Jack Crusher as the principal character, has an audience. It seems not to be something people really want to think about or discuss.

Personally, I’m not into a Jack Crusher show and it was the only part of the finale I didn’t like. Overall, I liked Picard-S3 a bit more than SNW-S1 and think those are the only two good seasons produced in this new era (LD is a parody show and I admit I haven’t watched Prodigy yet) and I’m a 40something loser who still likes Star Trek. I don’t know how Paramount+ determines its programming decisions so I couldn’t speak to how big of an audience there might be for a Legacy spinoff. I do know that the comments section of this site doesn’t the general audience. I am interested to see the Nielsen numbers for Strange New Worlds season two. If it matches or exceeds Picard then we’ll have a better idea of how Star Trek on P+ is playing to the market (and yes, when Disco debuts next year that will provide still more context). Nielsen isn’t the best way to determine interest, of course, but I’ll go with their track record over other measurement services.

Personally, I do not care what Gen Z thinks. As they grow, they’ll appreciate it in their own way.

Just for clarity, the only good season of Picard was season 3. Season 2 was trash and season 1 was eh ok.

GenZ is what will keep the franchise alive another 50 years, though.

As for Picard, the fact that you don’t see how S3 was just as bad as the first two seasons is rather telling to how well they’ve conned and manipulated you. Kudos to Matalas on that one.

Or maybe they just liked it? It’s OK for you to not like it and think it was the worst piece of shit you ever watched. I will defend your right to feel however you want. But yeah telling others they were ‘conned’ because they don’t agree with your assessment is really really not cool and annoying.

A lot of people will like things you don’t, I know, shocking.

As a fan watching the show in the moment I’m not sitting there thinking about whether Gen Z will like something. I’m thinking about whether I like it. And I do. If I’m thinking about marketing I want to think about Star Trek for all, serving the fans of today and tomorrow. But as a fan in the moment, I could care less about Gen Z. I don’t watch Star Trek fro Gen Z’s happiness. I watch it for mine. And season 3 made me happy.

Star Trek: Picard season three had tangibly, actionably, demonstrably good writing and actual drama, with character arcs and stakes. Telling people they’ve been “conned” and “manipulated” is unnecessarily combative. We’re talking about a TV show here, not a cryptocurrency.

I liked Season 3. But it suffered all of the same problems as seasons 1 & 2, which I also thought were just fine.

That so many people don’t see those same flaws is frankly hysterical.

You say “demonstrably” but it’s all a matter of opinion. I thought s1&s2 both had decent writing at times, just as s3 does, just that I’m able to take off my “omg it’s the TNG crew” glasses to see all the same flaws in weak character drama, bad plot, and poor storytelling that are still present.

Picard had an arc that began at the beginning, was developed in the middle, and completed by the end. That was not the same as in the first two seasons in a show about Jean-Luc Picard. Riker had an arc and it was an emotionally compelling and meaningful story — about someone finding hope in the midst of their grief — even Raffi’s story made more sense this time around, even if they totally dropped the story midway through and by the end when it got picked back up it was too neat — but still emotionally meaningful because it paid off all three seasons of her struggle. I still can’t believe we had Guinan recap what happened to Rios, that Rios was ever a Starfleet captain when he never behaved as one, and everything with Jurati was just so incredibly cringe.

I appreciate that some people think “everything old = bad and everything new = good,” because I think the world needs young people intent on purging their reality of the world that came before them so they can feel free to create a new world unencumbered by the past, I just can’t believe some of those people think Strange New Worlds is anything new.

You’re hilarious.

Rage addicts can’t stand it when people actually love their Star Trek, enjoy watching it, have a blast discussing theories and reactions with fans, and then move on to watch something else they’ll enjoy. These people focus their lives around how terrible everything is all the time and are only satisfied spreading toxins around with fellow ragers.

You don’t like it. That’s fine. But because you didn’t enjoy it, they’re wrong.

Saying that it’s disappointing that Picard S3 failed to draw in Gen Z does make me a ‘rage addict’ Ryanpfw.

(Would you stop with personal jabs please?)

People like Matthew are saying that they only care about their experience.

Well mine wasn’t as great as I had hoped in part because Picard wasn’t a show that appealed across the generations.

The fact that our Gen Z teens won’t watch Picard has affected my experience of the season, even though my spouse watched enthusiastically.

Let’s frame it this way, pre-COVID our kids were just starting to come to Cons with me. They were huge Voyager fans as preteens, and keen to watch as much of the new shows as we’d let them.

Our youngest attended their first ComicCon in 2019. They waited for hours with me to get a midhall seat at a panel with Anson Mount, Ethan Peck and Anthony Rapp since they were too young to be able to have a premium pass.

None of our kids were willing to watch Picard S3, even if at least one of them still watching each of the other new shows and still sporadically rewatching the classics.

A lot of older fans talk about how the shows should appeal to every age. Picard never did.

Why is fan service bad? The show is made for the fans. I hate this BS about oh all it was was fan service. Good! Give me more fan service. Make the universe familiar. Season 1 of Picard began trying to be something not Star Trek at all and it wasn’t until the higher ups at CBS said “wth is this? We can’t market this as Trek” that they shifted hard and brought Troi and Riker back.

And if you haven’t noticed, since season 1 of DISCO, they’ve done nothing but rely on fan service and legacy.

Pike, Spock, and the Enterprise.

Picard himself.

Prodigy and learning about Starfleet, Janeway doing Janeway things.

Lower Decks is a heap full of fan service.

All call backs. All fan service.

I want the fan service. Bring on the fan service and less of this constantly over emotional family crap that spawned from the age of Fast and Furious.

Picard season 3 was great. It was Star Trek again. Picard season 2 was convoluted trash. And Picard season 1 was decent. And there’s nothing anyone will say that will convince me otherwise.

Again, there has been nothing but fan service as far back as 2009. You can argue even farther back to the last season of Enterprise (which most fans seem to praise), but it was more story based instead of characters themselves.

But as far as the Kelvin movies up to everything now, they all had it. I certainly understand people who say there just feel like it too much these days and I agree. But A. It’s not a Star Trek issue alone, but a Hollywood one. Just look at every major franchise today from Star Wars to even Harry Potter and tell me it’s not the same deal. And B. Because yeah it works. It works really really well lol. People will say they want something new, but same time every freaking episode or movie that implores it fans seem to rave the most about, so what are you going to do? People love nostalgia and comfort food and the studios know they will happily pay for it if you give them enough of it.

In fact, it’s literally why it’s shocking the Legacy show wasn’t the first new show out of the gate. Based on everything up until now, they been approving shows that can stuff them with as many legacy characters as possible. Now you have an excuse to go even harder lol.

The only time it has misfired (and badly) was in STID and TATV. Others slightly controversial with making Spock Burnham’s brother but in the end that actually won most fans over once he and Pike showed up on the show itself. And practically everything else since, it’s been a huge home run, especially on LDS, PRO, SNW and obviously PIC.

Completely agree.

I’m not trying to belabor this too much but I just remembered something else that really proves at the end of the day, it is the fans who ultimately wants the nostalgia and fan service. Not all of them, but certainly enough.

Literally just a few days ago I was reading an old thread dating to the first Kelvin movie and I read the article where Shatner confirmed he wasn’t going to be in it. Dude, people were livid at the time lol. There were so many people angry and upset that he wasn’t going to be in the movie with Nimoy that many said they no longer wanted to even watch it. This was back in 2007 before anyone knew the story or how it would be set up. But fans were begging for him to be there and some had already written the movie off even though they were TOLD the movie were about the early adventures of the TOS characters and they still had Nimoy there. But it still wasn’t enough for some.

And of course at the time I understood it. People wanted to see Shatner and Nimoy reunited again after nearly 20 years and they hated how he died in Generations. I wasn’t upset it didn’t happen and having Nimoy was already enough IMO but I would’ve been stoked if Shatner was there too of course.. But it proves over and over and over again ultimately we even get stuff like the Kelvin movies, SNW and Picard because it’s the fans who are actively pushing for it.

So nooooo one should be remotely shocked so many people are now pushing for the Legacy show and wants everyone from Janeway to Quark to show up on it. Yes they will accept something new, but the minute you tell them they could have so and so character back in a movie or a show, most will gravitate to that idea first, me included obviously.

I remember that. Not here but I was on Trekweb in those days and I remember all the pleas to get Shatner in the movie by the old TOS fans. 🤣

There were so many people pushing for it at the time. I would’ve been fine to see him too but I kept thinking but didn’t that dude die like 15 years ago?

But I know, it’s Star Trek. They could’ve found a way if they really wanted to, but they probably didn’t want the movie to be about the search for old Kirk in the Nexus and focus on the new cast.

I’m exactly like you and I WANT the fan service. I’m a fan so GIVE. ME.THE.&%#@.FAN.SERVICE!!!

Give me every legacy character. I’ll take Janeway and Tuvok and Riker and B’Elanna and Bashier and Seven and Q and the Cardassians and the Borg and on and on. I have no shame because it’s just entertainment so who cares??

You’re worried the newbies will be lost? Non Trek fans don’t care, it’s all Klingon to them. Focus on the fans that will watch the shows,buy the merch,go to the conventions, read the novels, play the video games and pay for the movie tickets long after the newbies lost interest and go back to watching Marvel or Star Wars like what happened when JJ verse died out.

This is definitely the biggest contention and exactly WHY they give in to old fans over and over again…because they know they are the ones who will stay committed to it thick and thin.

You said it, they WANT new fans and they NEED new fans but the problem is A. there just isn’t enough of them to sustain the franchise, period and B. the little they do get, it’s hard to get them committed to the level that you have the old fans of course and it’s easier for them to lose interest faster. Sure many may have become fans due to Discovery but does that translate to them watching other shows? And will they watch other things once that show is gone?

I’ve said this before but the pattern proves it. They were trying very hard to get a new fan base with the Kelvin movies and wipe the slate clean so to speak with a new universe. When that didn’t quite work out, they went back to the tried and true Prime universe but tried to offer something different for new fans with Discovery while basically giving Trek another soft reboot. And when THAT didn’t work, they ultimately went back to the drawing boards yet again and focused on old fans again with more nostalgia and legacy characters with Picard, LDS, PRO and SNW while making the universe feel as much like the Roddenberry/Berman era of old.

Now I think they are trying to do something a bit more in the middle where the shows lean more heavily for old fans once again but still feel contemporary enough for new fans to get into as Laurie said in the podcast about SNW. It’s obviously made for old fans first and foremost when you are throwing in a dozen legacy characters to appeal to them; but still open enough to attract younger fans as well. Same thing for LDS and PRO obviously.

Prodigy is apparently the opposite and its obviously made for new younger fans first and old fans second. But it’s not doing what the Kelvin movies did and is very entrenched in old canon and legacy characters that keeps the old fans happy. In fact, unlike the Kelvin movies where new fans were being introduced to brand new canon basically, Prodigy’s premise is meant to draw new fans in to the old universe as much as possible and to push them to eventually watch the older shows.

Again I have no idea how successful any of these new shows are doing attracting new fans but they are clearly meant to keep old fans invested just like the old days and it seems to be working a lot better now.

In other words, they are still trying to target new fans, but all the shows are built for the old fans. The Academy show sounds like it will try harder to bring in new fans again, but even then I won’t be surprised they reboot it in a way for old fans again if that fails and old fans reject it as they did DIS and early PIC.

Totally agree on all of this and after trying to get new fans with the JJ movies ultimately failed they finally focused on the old fans again.

I know those movies got new fans. That even included some of friends at the time. But most of them didn’t stick around, that was the problem. They moved on by the time Beyond came around, many by even STID. None my friends who saw the first movie in the theaters even bothered to go see STID. And they all liked the first movie too. I don’t think any ever saw Beyond, even on TV. Any interest was completely gone by then.

But that’s the problem, it takes a long time to get newbies into Star Trek full time and most are not going to go full Trekkie unless they fall in love with it early on. Their commitment level is very low. I can speak to it because that’s how I was for years. I watched it casually but I didn’t become a bigger fan probably until 3 years after I started watching it. And I had a lot of people around me who were fans at the time. That’s how I started.

But trying to cater to them to the point you ignore the fanbase is just a mistake. How they aee doing it now is certainly more ideal.

That they did it by respecting the legacy characters, giving most of them decent material and preserving their voices while introducing a few decent new characters is no small feat. As I’ve said here before, it’s a TV show designed to entertain and evoke a positive emotional response. At the end of the day, that’s what it did for me, and I can’t really do more than acknowledge it was not perfect and did commit various errors other shows have been guilty of and there was some paucity of imagination in places where we could have seen something new rather than safe and familiar.

But I don’t have much desire to litigate that because what they got right was so good. And that’s really the whole point of being a fan in the first place, and there’s no actual purity award to win for not being a hypocrite about what you like as a fan.

Season 3 is different for me than Discovery which I criticize for fundamental lapses which make it hard for me to care about the characters or get swept up in the story. I’m trying to be more conscious of the benefit of siloing that and not jumping on anyone for disagreeing unless they reply to me. But as pure art and entertainment, the show has just never struck the right tone for me, and they don’t usually align with what I’d call the more pedantic things some will get hung up on. I honestly don’t think Matalas and co. committed as many of those big sins as egregiously, and compensated with lots of genuinely moving moments that didn’t ring false.

You can argue Picard S3 had it easier because it traded on the work others did on these characters for 18 years, but they still didn’t fumble the character work at the end of the day, and I would happily watch a show with Jack, Shaw and Sidney, especially if it had a killer premise. It’s following two semi-woeful seasons for comparison, but S3 was exciting, emotional and fun, and I liked where it took these characters. That’s the best feeling in the world to me.

Wow this was a great post and I think you hit the nail on the head why people really loved the season, because even if they fumbled some of the plotting and it was too much nostalgia bait, what really mattered to most is they got the characters so right and was happy to see the actors themselves haven’t missed a beat.

At the end of the day, that had to succeed more than how right the Enterprise D looked or if you care about the Borg showing up for the third straight time. Many ultimately tuned in because they wanted to see these specific people and they wanted to see how well they all interacted together again but also gave them the room to have become different people in the last 20 years.

And by every account, even if you don’t like the season itself, they succeeded. This season has made people emotional on a level I haven’t seen since Spock died in TWOK. The funny thing is I agree with nearly every issue people had against the season. I have not gone thirty posts calling someone an idiot (but I never call people idiots here…in my post ;)) because they thought such and such plot line sucked or something felt too contrived. Chances are because I probably agree with those issues too.

And yet I still loved it because there was an emotional throughline that stayed with me from the premiere through the finale. They treated these characters honorably and they gave them all enough room to have their moments to shine that made me NOT regret to see any of them back.

For example, I have made it clear many times I had no issues if I never saw Data again. I accepted they when they killed him off in Nemesis. I accepted it yet again in first season of Picard lol. Not once was I screaming to bring Data back and I NEVER expected it to happy this season. I really thought we were just getting a reformed Lore basically and I was OK with that.

And yet, the minute it turned out to be Data, I was just thrilled to have him back. It took a minute to adjust it was an old Data but he was back and exactly as I imagined he would be. It’s like Spiner never stopped playing him. It’s things like that that people are happy and joyous about. It’s why these ratings for these episodes are ridiculously high lol. I even questioned that some fans are going a bit overboard in their enthusiasm, but yeah as a life long fan whose been one since the seventies…I get it. My fandom didn’t start with TNG but with TOS. But I GREW UP with TNG and that’s why I am so attached to them more than any other crew and TNG is not my favorite show either (but it is my second).

This could’ve turned out bad. I mean REALLY bad! But they stuck to landing IMO and certainly when compared to the first two seasons. Now I will also admit expectations were much lower after the first two seasons. Maybe if this was season one, the reactions wouldn’t be so strong. But then, maybe it would’ve been the complete opposite when everyone was super excited about Picard coming back.

All I can say is I NEVER asked for a TNG reunion…never. Like Data, I had accepted these characters had their time. But now seeing them again 20 years later, it reminded me why I have loved these characters for long as I have and I will forever thank Matalas for making it happen. No regrets on this end.

Wow well said man! This is exactly how I feel as well. They did the characters justice and gave them the perfect ending at the same time.

But unlike you I prayed every year they would come back since 2002. 😆

And I have to say it was totally worth the wait for me.

We’d also seen them fumble a few legacy characters before. Seven of Nine was so different that Jeri Ryan had a panic attack. Picard became more like Patrick Stewart than the character we remembered. Younger Guinan was very little like Guinan. Season 3 allowed these characters to change but in ways that felt meaningful and believable (while getting Jean-Luc and Seven back on track).

I scanned the Emmy submissions just the other day and was genuinely a little disappointed they didn’t at least make a token try for Jonathan Frakes. This is not something I ever imagined I’d be thinking, even when TNG was at its height. That Matalas and co. could write material that would make me reevaluate Frakes as an actor and make him the MVP of the series is damned impressive in my book.

Yeah Frakes knocked it out of the park! It’s funny in every interview I seen, he kept saying he was nervous to act full time again and thought his performance would be lackluster and ended up being one of the best actors in it. I always loved Riker and it was such a joy to watch him all season. Both he and Worf were probably my favorites this season but I honestly loved them all.

And yes I think this season did all the other legacy characters justice like Seven as well. I know people didn’t like how she was characterized in season one (although I had no issues with it personally) and basically just wasted in season 2 which I definitely agreed with. But season 3 was perfect by showing how much she has grown but still Seven. And it was great to see Picard feel much more like Picard as well. It too was a better balance because he felt commanding and resolute again.

Matalas really understood who these guys were and did them all justice and why so many are begging for him to stay involved in the franchise. I really hope he does come back.

For Seven, season 2 was the most egregious misuse of her character. They committed the ultimate sin of telling rather than showing how being totally human was affecting her. The scene at the gala where she is happily holding court and totally at ease? Instead of more than one cutaway shot and Raffi explaining it; we got Jurati belting out Pat Benatar. Another example of how I just couldn’t invest in a character. It’s not easy to write compelling new characters, which makes the misuse of characters who already come armed with years of good development all the more frustrating.

i think (hope?) that Academy will be on the cutting block at Paramount +….how can you stick w/ greenlighting a show that is a spin-off of a show that is 4th in the rankings of the current ST franchise. stick w/ SNW, LD and greenlight Legacy….let DSC and Prodigy sunset.

Discovery saved the franchise from apparent oblivion and deserves respect.

The shows on offer need to be for more than older millennials, GenX and boomers to survive more than a decade. Gen Z isn’t watching Picard.

Older fans can help make Paramount+ viable now, but milking franchise for that audience doesn’t build a future.

So both are needed. Prodigy has, up to this year, been Paramount+ second most popular original animated series after Lower Deck.

An Academy show has been been a possibility since Star Trek V. If there finally is workable premise in a time period that newer fans are positive about, it’s needed to sustain Discovery’s gains.

Discovery saved the franchise from apparent oblivion and deserves respect

Discovery “saved the franchise from oblivion” only in the sense that there was no Star Trek on television when it premiered. Any other concept would have done the same thing.

Exactly. It was the first show on in 12 years, that alone was going to draw attention. But yes it gets credit for being first, but I don’t remotely buy because people loved and adored Discovery so much is what ‘saved’ Star Trek lol.

It could’ve been anything. Imagine if Picard was first? Or SNW? Or even Prodigy?

I have zero sense of what the show’s demographics are as I haven’t seen any official ratings breakdowns from the opaque streaming world, and I’ve not been to conventions in years to gauge who has been watching it. We have some anecdotal evidence of younger people watching it, and it’s made a big play for an inclusive audience which I’m sure has been successful by several metrics.

But I haven’t a clue how many people who are new to Trek (or new since 2009) watch it. Maybe Picard would have done as well, but there’s something to be said for proving anew they could start semi-fresh with old characters only coming back as guest stars and recasts. I don’t think an Enterprise continuation would have justified what Netflix paid CBS for Disco, for example.

What is known is that Disco did prove to CBS the resilience of the TV franchise and that it deserved the premium TV budget treatment, allowing us to get a very diverse slate of polished shows since then. So in terms of respect, it deserves that acknowledgment, even if this doesn’t make the show immune to criticism.

This is the one thing I will say about DIS and that A. It did prove how much people wanted Star Trek again and B. Yes, they were willing to accept new characters. I do think PIC and SNW would’ve been huge out of the gate, but yes because a big part of it was resting on nostalgia and familiar characters again. It showed fans were up for something new and different, its really the execution that people had issues with, not the idea in itself.

We can certainly argue exactly how popular DIS is in the zeitgeist, but no one seemed put off by having these characters either. In fact, some were upset to have Pike and Spock in season 2 because they really wanted this show and these characters to stand on their own, me included. I been branded ‘the go forward’ guy, but not because I want to see the same tech in a tinier form with sleeker ships, it simply gives shows the chance to stand on their own and create their own mythology. DIS was hamstrung with that literally on day one no other show had to deal with before.

That is the real irony about DIS, there are people who wanted it to be a TOS prequel who embraced it fully from the start while others wanted it to just be its own thing. But then it tried to do both very awkwardly and didn’t really please a lot of people in the end.

I think the show should’ve picked one lane and went all in. Either be something closer to what SNW ultimately gave us OR be exactly the show we got in season one (Orc Klingons and all), but not tied to TOS or frankly any of the old shows by just being a full on reboot and embracing it. I think that was the biggest mistake but I’m fine if others disagree with that.

But if the show has gotten new fans for trying something new, that’s always a positive.

Totally agreed. And then of course SNW is a chicken and the egg thing because it took advantage of casting and production decisions which Discovery test-proved first, and set a tone that was designed to be different. Without that who knows what kind of show it might have been had it been dreamed up first?

But yeah, Disco had to roll with so much production turmoil and go through a lot of growing pains which other shows have learned from. So I give it props it for that too, while at the same time I can’t help noting how detrimental they were to its mojo. I respect them sticking to their guns with Michelle Paradise’s vision and offering us all some stability, I have just never jibed with her approach to storytelling.

I can agree with all of this Ian.

Discovery roiled with behind the scenes chaos at least as much did TNG in its first two seasons. It’s important to remember that in any overview of the show.

Kurtzman had to move quickly to replace the showrunners while S2 was actually in production. Paradise, with himself as backstop showrunner was the best he could do so far we haven’t seen that she’s grown with the job the way Pillar did with TNG.

Michelle Paradise seems to have been incapable of letting go of the old CW style of pacing and earnest melodramatic ‘hallway conversations’ breaking up the plot progression.

Even though Discovery has the kind of budget and talented cast that could deliver a very different show, season four really dragged at points.

Even the newer CW shows aren’t made that way, but now the new owner NextStar is cutting them to save money.

Kurtzman seems to be doing better with his selection of showrunners since the early days of Discovery and Picard. I give him points for learning from his lessons with difficult egos (Fuller), abusive managers (Harberts & Berg) , inexperience (Chabon) to having now demonstrated that he can bring on solid leaders and let them run shows that deliver well for their niche (McMahan, Myers, Hagemans/Waltke, Matalas).

As a promising new addition and a counter example of the newer CW style, Noga Landau who will be showrunner for the new Starfleet Academy, really evolved her CW offering Nancy Drew over its first 3 seasons. (The final season will premiere late this month.)

Landau increased suspense and complexity, took advantage of the core ensemble of 5 characters, made the most of her vfx budget to add some supernatural elements. It doesn’t get many pro media reviews after its initial launch but every review since season one has been positive and the audience scores are high on both Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb on seasons two and three.

I’m hoping that Paramount sticks with the plan and gets it into production in 2024.

Kurtzman has absolutely adapted his approach to delegating adroitly.

I would never refuse to give a Trek show a shot. I have very little familiarity with Nancy Drew, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is indeed a dark horse that portends well for SFA. No CW show gets any real media coverage anymore.

to be fair SNW is also a DIS spinoff and look how that turned out?

It’ll be cheap to produce. And we don’t actually know the “rankings” of the ratings because streamers are mostly black boxes when it comes to that stuff. P+, especially, was only added to the Nielsen measurements back in February. SNW will be an interesting test case to see just how popular it is.

Sooner have Prodigy than Lower Decks personally anyway.

Same! And I love them both.

Yeah I wouldn’t get rid of either.

Cancel Starfleet Academy. It was a bad idea in the early 90s that was rightly rejected.

Make an adult show like Picard Season 3. Get rid of the bland Jeff Russo music. Give us Legacy. Incorporate Dorn as a semi regular. Give us Stashwick flashbacks.


LOL We won’t be doing that.

Cancel Starfleet Academy… Make an adult show like Picard Season 3.

Thank you. We don’t need kiddified Star Trek, and it’s gobsmacking that anyone would consider it, given the abysmal track record that Star Trek has in shows with children.

It is amazing how the debate in this thread is essentially an instantiation of the debate Laurie and Anthony hashed out in this episode. As such, it really is not about the overall quality of various shows but simply the tastes of different generations.

That’s been the case since 1987. ;D


So only your demographic matters James…

Not very IDIC if you.

But I am not the demographic for Prodigy, which I champion.

Just look at the audience scores for DSC, Picard 1 and 2. Then compare to the 98% rating Picard has.

The majority of fans rate it. The ratings are sky high. Why do I think this is? They made Star Trek again and the writing was good.

Exactly. People praise Prodigy all the time here proving it has nothing to do with demographics, simply quality.

And there is a huge fear the Academy show will go the direction of Discovery, which supposedly fits my demographics, but an awful show. It’s still shocking to me it took this long to finally get cancelled.

As far as Picard audience scores says it all.

Season 1: 52% Not good, but could be much worse.
Season 2: 30% It’s much worse.
Season 3: 91% 😎

That’s not just high for this show, that’s the highest rated season of every NuTrek show to date. That’s near TNG level of ratings. The highest seasons of that show rate in the 95-96% levels.

It literally took bringing back the TNG cast to hit those type of ratings again.

I understand why people have their fears about the Academy show. But we still have to see it first before we know it’s going to just be an overwrought teen melodrama in space. ;)

But yes, if you don’t like Discovery I get the fear too. I’m just crossing my fingers it’s going to be a more interesting show. You have also said you originally expected LDS to be truly bad and would just feel like a silly comedy but it surprisingly won you over. So for people who did doubt shows like LDS and PRO but was won over early on might feel the same way for the Academy show. I mean, it’s not TOTALLY impossible lol.

As far as the audience scores for Picard, they do seem to line up to a lot of the reviews fans have had for each season on most boards, especially on Reddit. Season 3 seems to be a smashing success for many there. Although I would say more seem to like season 2 there as well, at least a little more than that rating suggest. It’s just my overall feeling of course and I personally think 30% is waaaay too high lol. I just really hated it.

Yeah you’re right I could love it. But if I had to choose between it and the Legacy show, that’s not even close to a choice. I don’t care about kids 900 years into the future. I do care about following characters I been a fan of for 20 years on the Enterprise G in the 25th century though.

You know me, if we get the Academy show I will give it a chance but I have zero passion about this show. I definitely like the idea more than the walking cartoon MU Georgiou with her little black Section 31 badge planning coups every week, so at least dodged a bullet there.



Sorry I just had to let it out! 😁🙃

PS YOU’RE STILL A HACK KURTZMAN!!! (Ok I should’ve stopped while I waa a head)

LOL, you’re hilarious man! ;D

So an 91% Rotten Tomatoes audience score on S3 is a strong showing in your view?

You’re also making the case that it shows that Matalas should be given more to do with Trek.

Without agreeing myself that Rotten Tomatoes is the benchmark, and saying again that it skews heavily towards an older American male audience, let’s look at what that means for Paramount’s decision to greenlight Starfleet Academy…

Here are the audience scores for Nancy Drew:

Season 1: 73%

Season 2: 90%

Season 3: 97%

Average overall: 87%

Creator and showrunner Noga Landau, co-created and will be coshowrunner of Starfleet Academy.

97% audience score!

As I’ve said elsewhere, CW has moved away from targeting the youth audience. The new owner has cut almost all the scripted shows, Nancy Drew’s ending is no reflection on Landau.

I think we should be expecting another Prodigy or Lower Decks kind of suprisingly beloved show.

Hopefully you’re right.

I just don’t really care about an Academy show in general. I want to be on a starship warping 9 somewhere.

But you are correct I really thought Lower Decks and Prodigy were going to suck…hard. I would love to be surprised again.

The more I dig into the team for Starfleet Academy, the more I suspect we’re going to have a fantastic surprise as we did with Prodigy.

In addition to Noga Landau Starfleet Academy showrunner coming over from Nancy Drew (which is concluding like almost all CW scripted shows under new owner Nextstar), Gaia Violo is the other cocreator and wrote the pilot.

Looking back, Violo seems to have been reported as coming on board as a creator after the weak backdoor pilotish episode in Discovery S4 ran in early 2022.

Violo was cocreator and a senior writer on the 30 episodes of Absentia, a AXN thriller show that ran internationally on Amazon Prime. It was well received by critics and audiences.

Yeah, I do think this is the biggest hindrance for many with an Academy show and the fear it’s just going to be students on a campus and not out there exploring the galaxy. That’s obviously a fair issue,, especially for fans who are really only interested in star ship based shows.

Again, the reason why so many want Legacy isn’t just to have old characters reappear, they also want the exploration back which frankly we never really got in Picard. We got much closer to it in season 3 and everyone seemed happy to be on a star ship again but it wasn’t about exploration either. The finale set up that the spin off show is going to get out there again in a completely new era on another Enterprise and yeah that naturally excites people.

For many, that will always be quintessential Star Trek.

But I remember saying this when the Academy show was announced and I do think there will be a space component to the show. Maybe there will be a mix of what Enterprise was originally suppose to be and we spend the first season primarily on Earth but eventually make it out to space (and stay there) in the later seasons. But I really have a feeling they will find a way for this to be a ship based show from the beginning.

As I said a thousand times now, I really do want new ideas and concepts in Star Trek and why I’m excited about this idea. I’m totally open to whatever they will do with it as long as its good of course. But I can’t imagine there won’t be a star ship component, especially since these guys knows what fans gravitate to the most and another reason why SNW, LDS and PRO are popular in the fanbase because they all deal with exploration. Again, it doesn’t take a lot to get fans onboard if you give them the right elements with at least passable writing and interesting characters.

Per usual you hit the nail on the head. For me Star Trek is about exploring. It’s why I couldn’t get into DS9 at all. It took me years to finally get into that show.

The Legacy show and the Academy show are on the opposite ends of the scale for me for multiple reasons but that’s one of the biggest. I don’t care about students being in classrooms learning about warp propulsion. I don’t mind it in an episode but I don’t want an entire show around it either.

But hopefully you’re right and the show takes place in space and we see them doing other stuff. That would be more interesting at least.

Picard S3 also doesn’t suffer from angry, entitled fans campaigning against it with ridiculous 1/10 scores the way Discovery and many other shows with female leads do.

Rotten Tomatoes is heavily male, and American. Not particularly representative of the market.

James you may not have been among the folks here that kept saying Prodigy was an unnecessary kiddie show and show never be made etc. There were several who were though.

How about seeing what the show is before saying it should never happen?

I don’t think they have to cancel it, but I DO think it at the VERY least, they should let fans know a Legacy show is being considered IF there are to be more shows in the future. Now if the Academy show is the only show we’ll get for the next 5 years, then I do think they should seriously reconsider just like I’m certain that’s what they did for Section 31 when fans were begging for the Pike show.

They listened once…they may be listening again.

Wasn’t Nicholas Meyer planning to do an audio-only story about Khan? It was announced last year as an official upcoming project, but I haven’t heard anything since. As I recall the story idea was a holdover from the days when Discovery was going to be an anthology series.

Thought I saw somewhere that it died on the vine.

Interesting observations on SNW, I agree that it’s leaning a bit heavy on nostalgia, to its detriment. There’s a comparison to be made to Enterprise, they bent over backwards to get all the familiar elements of Trek introduced as quickly as possible. Those results were…..mixed. The Federation is a vast piece of interstellar real estate, I’d really like to see something different. At least Discovery tried to give it a go.

I’m hoping SNW can dare to lean-in more to the new, but loving it for what it is nonetheless.

That’s why I’m excited for the LDS crossover because it sounds so different and quirky. And while not a HUGE fan if they really are doing a musical, we can definitely say it’s new lol.

The irony is until Picard season 3 showed up, SNW had the most legacy characters more than any other show. LDS has a revolving door of them but they are all just one episode or cameo appearances so far. The ONLY legacy character who has showed up in more than one episode has been Riker and he’s only shown up in three episodes. Everyone else has been a one and done.

But SNW has managed to squeeze in a dozen legacy characters in one season. And half of those are on the ship and the other half are recurring characters like T’Pring and we know Kirk and Sybok will be in season 2.

And I’m not really complaining that much but it feels way more like a TOS show starring Pike than a Pike show at this point. What connection does Pike have with Khan, zero, but yet a Khan descendant for some bizarre reason is on the ship.

What you just articulated is the nagging criticism that SNW has been derivative, to this point.

Riker had a purpose in there anyway. His role was literally to help and support Brad Boimler which is how it should be with returning characters. Now we’re seeing the results of his time on the Titan under Riker’s command.

It was the same with the DS9 episode. Quark was in that episode mostly to support Tendi and give her the chance to really shine.

Oh yeah fully agree about Riker. I want to see more of him on the show. It was surprising we didn’t see him at all on season 3 but I guess since Boimler is on the ship, they didn’t feel the need to bring him back.

For me Lower Decks hasn’t had enough legacy characters! 🤣

I want to have at least a few recurring characters but like you said they are just used sporadically. I wish Riker and Paris would show up again. I’m crossing my fingers Kira show up again next season too. And I don’t just want a photo of Tuvok, bring in the real deal next time McMahon.

As for SNW, yeah a ton of legacy characters are on that show. But I don’t mind and I’m not a big TOS fan at all. I’ve never seem the original MBenga on TOS. At least I don’t think I have? I always hated the original Chapel and this Uhura has more than 5 lines in an episode.

But boy does Deadwood Kirk suck. I’m actually missing Fratboy Kirk from JJ verse. 🙄

I mean Shatner might be 137 years old but he still comes off way more energetic than this guy.

I’m OK that there are no recurring roles on LDS, but it is really surprising we don’t have any so far either. I did think we would just bump into a few of the same legacy characters every once in awhile but that hasn’t been the case at all.

So I wouldn’t mind if more had a bigger role beyond just cameo appearances, which most of them have been. Also would love to see Kira and Tuvok back as well.

As far as MBenga, he was only in two episodes of TOS, so it’s very easy to miss him if you haven’t seen much of that show. It’s also a good excuse to have him on this show since he was barely developed on TOS. And I’m really enjoying the character a lot. As far as Chapel and Uhura, yeah they are written more contemporary today and that’s a good thing IMO.

I don’t get the rationale for Starfleet Academy, especially for a streaming service.

From everything I’ve read and seen, Starfleet Academy seems like it’s being produced to be the equivalent of a CW show like Legends of Tomorrow or Gotham Knights. A cheaper Canadian production using an established IP with young (cheap) talent in the hope of drawing in teens and kids.

Now that makes sense if you’re The CW and you’re just trying to draw in a smaller demo audience on network television to get specific ad spending, but someone tell me how Paramount thinks Starfleet Academy gets them more subscriptions for a streaming service?

Wouldn’t it make the most sense to get as much of the Star Trek audience as you can get with a flagship show (either Strange New Worlds or Legacy), and then spin off Starfleet Academy from either one within the series (i.e., the same way TNG laid the track down for DS9, and both of those shows introduced the circumstances that set up Voyager) introduce characters, write specific plotlines and world-build organically within the larger franchise. I know someone is going to say “well Discovery is Paramount’s flagship Trek series,” and I just don’t feel that, and I think you’re going to end up with a highly niche audience within the already niche Trek audience with a Starfleet Academy series that’s spun off from Discovery.

Beyond that, I haven’t heard anything which indicates the people in charge have figured out the fundamental issue with an Academy show that’s been present for the past 40 years when it’s been suggested, which is where is the tension going to come from? Because if it’s set at the Academy, then it’s basically a young adult series on par with Riverdale, except with the skin of Star Trek on it. It’ll be about love triangles and school shenanigans, but is that enough to sustain a Star Trek series? If you move the action away from the Academy, to be about cadets functioning in space like the USS Valiant episode of Deep Space Nine, then it’s not really an Academy show anymore.

Those are great points. I would love to see a Legacy series and a SFA show where we might get a Commandant Picard in the 25th Century.

First, the cheap CW model is dead even on CW, but that audience needs a place to go.

Right now, it only Netflix among the streamers that’s serving that demographic, and it’s shows don’t look like the old CW.

Second, it doesn’t sound like anything you’ve read has focused on those who are making it. One creator/showrunner ran Nancy Drew, which was critically rated much better than Riverdale. The other was a writer with The Magicians – managed to do better than other university age focused shows.

First of all, yes the co-creator/showrunner, Noga Landau, was behind Nancy Drew. It has a 53% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Landau has no experience writing science fiction. None. What she does have experience with is writing a teen formula, which indicates the series will probably be a teen drama formula against a Star Trek backdrop. Moreover, the other people within the creative team are Discovery alums, so you can expect that tone and quality of writing with this series.

Again, maybe they’ll prove me wrong, but I have yet to hear a compelling story idea for this series other than young people at Starfleet, and with the people behind the series and their track record it would suggest plots centered around teen angst, teen drama, and teen sex.

Other will feel differently, but I don’t see that as a compelling idea for a Star Trek series.

Being on the CW, Nancy Drew got a low number of professional reviews in its first season and that was it. Hard to know what that 53% represents based on a few season 1 screeners.

What is interesting is that Nancy Drew has an 87% average audience score. That’s actually a very high score given Rotten Tomatoes users skew even more heavily male than Reddit (itself 2/3 male) and older.

I know someone is going to say “well Discovery is Paramount’s flagship Trek series,” and I just don’t feel that

It doesn’t matter. Paramount clearly does. I think we need to consider that Discovery was a greater success than fandom understands. It isn’t my favorite Trek by any means, but Paramount is plainly very happy with Discovery’s results.

It wasn’t a success. If that show was on network television it would have been cancelled after season 2. The only reason it has carried on as long as it has is because the first two seasons were bought and paid for by Netflix for the international streaming rights. Season 3 was the first sole Paramount/CBS funding of the show. Then everyone at Paramount was like oh damn this show costs a lot to make. And the product is doing ok we think. Let’s make season 4. Season 4 tanks… maybe season 5 should be our last.

And let’s be honest the writing has had so many ups and downs, mostly downs.

I actually agree, I don’t think Discovery would’ve lasted more than 2-3 seasons tops on a network. And before people start typing, I feel the same way for Picard and SNW. I just don’t think ANY of these shows would’ve brought in the ratings for the money they cost to justify it. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am unfortunately. But it’s not a Discovery hate thing either.

That’s why streaming is a much better option for Star Trek IMO, because it has the room to grow and develop. Unfortunately streaming has its limits too and while it’s probably much easier to get a Star Trek show on there versus a network today, they don’t have nearly the same life span of a traditional TV show like all the classic shows got. I wouldn’t be shocked if all the shows got cancelled by season 5 if not sooner like Discovery did. LDS will be the real test if that gets cancelled after season five or live to see another day (which I’m crossing my fingers it will).

But if that goes after season 5 too, then I’m guessing that will be the ceiling for every show outside of some big exception.

No Trek show since TNG would have survived 7 seasons on a Big Four network. Even if you heavily factor in the different market headwinds late-DS9, Voyager and Enterprise faced, none of them demonstrated they were able to sustain the kinds of ratings that would keep them anywhere besides On the Bubble at a big network.

You’re totally right these shows probably won’t all get 7 or more seasons due to how streaming works. Still, that paywall means we are being monetized in a way that makes what would have been a niche audience 20 years ago a positive goldmine for Paramount. That’s assuming the rest of the company doesn’t fall apart around it.

Yeah I agree. I’m not saying this alone for the new shows, I don’t think Star Trek overall would’ve survived long on any of the big networks and that includes TNG too. It’s why I’m so happy they turned FOX’s proposal down back in 1986 to premiere TNG on that network and decided to go the syndication route instead. Because I’m guessing it would’ve been cancelled by season 2 like a lot of FOX shows back then.

However I do believe TNG would’ve been popular eventually as it became, but I don’t know if it would’ve made it on a network long enough to get there. That’s also the difference between network TV and streaming, shows have more breathing room. Unfortunately streaming is becoming more cut throat like network TV, hence DIS cancellation but the fact most of these shows were pretty much guaranteed multiple seasons from the start on a fledgling streaming service gave them all a chance to thrive. I mean I love Lower Decks, but I don’t know if that would’ve survived one season on a network since most animated shows don’t seem to last except on FOX for some reason.

Now all that said, I do think these shows have a better chance succeeding on a cable network (especially something like LDS) because it’s way less competitive, but no I don’t think we would’ve had 5 shows running at the same time on SyFy, HBO or Showtime like Paramount+ either.

TNG would have gotten way more notes from a network. The ratings translated to something that would have succeeded on the big 4, but who knows if it would have been given the creative freedom to become the phenom that took off the way it did?

Yep totally agreed!

I’m not quite sure that’s the case, and we don’t really know how many people tuned into Disco seasons 3 and 4. Yes, Netflix subsidizing the show was huge, but Paramount bought back the international rights for Paramount+. That had to have been expensive, and not something they’d do so soon if they didn’t see the value in Disco to keeping subscribers engaged and bringing new ones in overseas. I do think Disco’s demise was hastened by Wall Street turning on media companies and making it clear that adding subscribers wasn’t as important to them as guaranteeing a profit from all this spending quickly. So now we are seeing austerity across the board and the old streaming adage that new shows are more valuable than old shows kicked in.

I agree. Wall Street investors have turned on media over streaming due to the fact that it’s not making a profit. As I’m sure you know, you can’t run a business if you’re not profitable. I would also say similar to one of the factors the writer’s strike is about are investors and studios trying to connect value to things like views. Views don’t equal revenue/profit. Right now, subscriptions and ads do. And so it’s trying to find where I put my money with my allocated budget.

And so part of the reason I think views were down for Discovery, is that it is being canceled. If I’m a Paramount exec, and my subscriber base is bringing me cyclical revenue, and my subscriber population is viewing and re-viewing Discovery the most, then one would think studio execs would invest more of their budget in that show, considering it would mean I would bring back that cyclical revenue and possibly more. And so that’s why I think low viewership is a primary reason Discovery is being canceled.

I also think lower views and fewer re-views are just two pieces of it. I think that in addition to high costs for sets, VFX, the volume wall, and makeup and design, you have growing cast contracts. Low views and increasing cast costs are what I believe are likely key contributors to its downfall.

That could be. There’s a persistent rumor that the Discovery cast’s contracts are for 6 years not seasons. I would just say that it’s possible Discovery’s numbers weren’t drastically falling so much as Paramount A) wasn’t getting new subscribers off an old show so they calculated SFA would be more valuable, and B) thoughts they’d have more time before Wall Street started taking them to task for not making money yet – Netflix was given an incredibly long leash, after all. So difficult decisions had to be made sooner than was expected and this hard choices came with them.

In the end it’s all so opaque, the closest we’ll ever get to a real sense of the show’s ratings will be with season 5 and the new Nielsen measurements.

Other than Paramount keeping the show on the air, what specific metrics indicate Discovery is a success?

I know Parmount claimed it was the most popular show on the service back in 2021. But they provided no viewership numbers and this is a streaming service that’s never made a profit and is losing half a billion $dollars every quarter with a limited viewer base. So in some of those years, Discovery is the biggest fish in a small pond of limited original programming options.

The fact the show has survived for 5 seasons is not necessarily an indication of quality or widespread fan support. It can just as easily be explained by sunk-cost fallacy explanations, in that it would be more expensive to eat the existing contracts tied to the show and suffer the PR embarrassment of canceling the first Star Trek series that was meant to be the the flagship of the streaming service.

Anecdotally, I don’t feel that Discovery has had anything of the cultural impact of any something like Picard season 3. I don’t see it talked about online in the same way as Picard, other to be criticized, and I don’t think any season has had the excitement for its stories and episodes in either the same way as Picard or even Strange New Worlds.

If the creative direction of Discovery was popular, successful, and embraced widespread by fans, why then has every series since Discovery more and more distanced itself from the style and tone of Discovery? Picard has moved more and more towards reembracing the Berman era, Lower Decks is deeply rooted in TNG as the basis for its storytelling, and Prodigy is basically a Voyager follow-up.

Reading between the lines, and what no one will ever actually say out loud, Starfleet Academy arguably allows them to have new content while being cheap. They can use the existing Discovery crew and production staff, cast unknown actors with lower asks that will be cheaper than resigning existing cast/legacy actors, and basing it at Starfleet Academy allows the stories to limit visual effects costs.

There are other global metrics, and US ones other than Nielsen.

Discovery has done well in Parrot Analytics television demand metrics in every season, with scores in the exceptional (top 2%), 40X the demand of shows in its category.

It has always been in the mid to upper half of Parrots’ top ten digital originals during its runs. Until the Yellowstone franchise took off, Discovery and the Good Fight were about the only CBS/Paramount shows regularly cracking that list.

SNW did as well as Discovery’s better seasons.

Picard S3 surpassed both, which is to be expected as demand scores include social media metrics. Matalas has done a much better job of harnessing social.

Discovery and SNW EPs and cast seem to still be constrained by whatever social media lockdown happen during the ViacomCBS merger. With the writers strike, SNW season two isn’t getting the buzz or the promotional social media stuff it should. All to say, I don’t know how that will hurt SNW’s scores this year.

Regarding Starfleet Academy being cheap, I’m not sure.

Making anything in Ontario will certainly be less expensive than in California, but Paramount has already ruled out new Star Trek production in California after Picard wraps.

On the point of younger less established actors having lower salaries, I agree that’s a big factor. Landau succeeded is casting a strong but young ensemble of fresh faces in Nancy Drew that have gone on to bigger things, so I am hoping she can do it for Starfleet Academy.

I can still imagine that they’ll use the AR wall and have significant vfx, but will be able to reuse them more and won’t have build new ones as often as SNW.

I don’t know if they’ll do significant location shooting, but Humber College nearby CBS Stages, has several futuristic buildings that would be suitable for the Academy. It’s a polytechnic with a film school that one of the Canadian EPs is a booster alum for.

LOL why don’t you wait for the show to come out.

Yeah, I know it’s weird that on a post about a podcast speculating over the future of Star Trek people are giving their opinions about the news over the future of Star Trek.

I know it’s crazy. SMFH.


Thanks for another excellent discussion! In particular, I think your thoughts about Starfleet Academy showed for the first time (at least to me) the potential it has if set in the 32nd century to connect directly with issues the younger generations face in our rapidly changing world of today. Not only would that appeal to a new audience, it also opens up a whole new vista of creativity without canon constraints. If done properly, it would be a breath of fresh air (an odd phrase for the near vacuum of space!) for the franchise.

I am looking forward to Academy. Whether it exists in the 32nd Century or the early 25th Century, it has potential for the reasons you mentioned. I was on the fence about this show when it was announced, but then I remembered I was also on the fence about Lower Decks and Prodigy, but I love them both for different reasons.

There is tremendous irony in the fact that the actual creative possibilities of a cultural franchise such as Star Trek is being severely curtailed due to the role and presence of producers and the investment class they represent. After all, Star Trek is a cultural product of some actual value in our society (it is not, for instance, a degenerate expression of our pathologies, as many other programs now produced) and its actual distinctive premise is based on the transition beyond capitalism into a world where material resources are fairly and adequately distributed to all. The fact that we must now be satisfied with ten episode seasons due to profitability concerns of a small minority as well as the fact that most of this country’s wealth is now in the hands of that small minority, is a sign that it is the system within which such cultural items are produced – namely neoliberal capitalism – that is the main problem, not ‘whether streaming or selling memorabilia or making movies’ will solve the legitimate desire for more Star Trek series.

In summary, so the real villain is capitalism. Which is absolutely true here.

And yet without profitability, you don’t have a studio to create content. So, double-edged sword.

The casting of the new Jim Kirk on SNW is one of the worst casting I have ever seen. He may be a nice guy and good actor for another part, but I only see Jim Carey doing a Kirk impression with this guy. I hope he’s dropped after this season. I’m looking forward to SNW otherwise. Except, I wish they would refer to the ship as THE Enterprise and not just Enterprise. I need the “the!”

Agreed. I’m going to stay opened minded (as I always do) in season 2, but yeah I just think this was such a bad casting choice which is crazy since everyone else seemed like a solid one, even if they are portraying some of the legacy characters differently like Chapel and Uhura.

But this Kirk is just a bad choice IMO.

The way I see Discovery is that it is set in an alternate timeline now that it is in the 32nd century. It may or may not happen, whereas the 25th century continues on from known Trek history.

SNW did it for me in every way. I was extremely excited every week and there were only 2 episodes that didn’t fully work for me (episodes 7 and 8), so I’m looking forward to more shenanigans on the Enterprise. But there are two things I, let’s say, would’ve done differently:

1: Wait for fan response before writing/producing season 2. That’s just not clever. What if the response wouldn’t have been this great. They would’ve gone on to make another season like that. I actually wonder if they would’ve gone ahead with more Kirk if they had gotten feedback before.

2: Speaking of: just don’t do Kirk. Like you said: I don’t know why we would need him. Here’s this new show, with its new crew. Just flesh them out first before adding more legacy characters for crying out loud haha. Maybe it’s just the casting, or the way they introduced him as an alternate version of Kirk first, but still. I’m on the fence.

3: Okay there’s a third: don’t kill off your most special character on the show in the first season. They say it was always the plan, but I’m sure they would’ve reconsidered after getting feedback first… well we’re back to point 1.

About the extra stuff they shot for the Discovery finale: I was actually thinking they might add an extra storyline and sprinkle that throughout the episode. Maybe even enough to make it a 90 minute episode, making the whole series come full circle (whatever that is). But not sure that’ll happen. If they really want to end it quick and clean they would just do some extra scenes tacked on the end and call it a day.

I don’t think they’re going to send anyone back to their own time, because according to history the ship is lost. That would ruin the whole cover-up.

I’m still on the fence about the Academy show. I strongly feel it belongs in the 25th century because I think that’s where most people would want it. Some one should do a poll on it to find out what the consensus is. If they do it as a Discovery sequel I’m kinda open to it, as long as they use (part of) that cast as professors. They could even leave the Disco sets standing. Any word if they’re torn down or not at this moment?

That’s my 2 cents. Thanks for a great new episode!

I’m really worried that SNW is going to jump the shark with the Lower Decks tie in

Lots of good points here, especially given that they had got so far ahead on production that S2 hasn’t yet been released.

I know it’s the writers strike and deeper corporate restructuring that has suspended S3 production just as it was about to start.

I don’t however think it’s entirely bad if it enables them to avoid things like unequivocally killing off Hemmer or making a very dubious casting choice as they have with Kirk.

I’ve been perpetually dubious about the Academy show, but see the need for it absolutely. And both Prodigy and Lower Decks convinced me that with the right EPs, niche Trek can be fantastic.

I’m less concerned now that we know who created it. If they can bring any of The Magicians’ twistiness and suspense or the better youth drama writing of Nancy Drew, it should be able to reach beyond its target market.

I actually think the 25th century would be a disaster for the Academy show.

Too constricted by established canon, too much temptation to milk nostalgia and legacy characters and relationships for the other fans. Even young people like my teen kids, who were raised on Trek, just aren’t interested in seeing legacy characters as lecturers at the Academy, sorry.

The 32nd century, with a reestablished Academy bringing together cadets from a range of species and ages, people who have until recently lived in isolated and insulated cultures, could be fantastic and aspirational.

There’s also the opportunity for intrigue with Cronenberg’s music Kovich having a strong hand setting up the new Academy.

Plus, the bright and shiny 32nd century, rising up after the fall, is much more hopeful than where Picard S3 left the 25th century.

ratings matter more than what will please the fans

Just a reminder that nobody here has read a single word of any Academy script yet, so it seems a bit early to be so judgemental. Young minds, fresh ideas. Be tolerant…

Assuming that the Tilly at the Academy episode of Discovery was a back door pilot for the Academy show (which it might not be), I can see why people would be skeptical. It was a pretty bad episode.

That episode, All Is Possible, clearly wasn’t what the greenlighting decision was based on.

More an indication that Secret Hideout was told it wasn’t ready yet, and more work was needed.

Neither of the two writers of that episode are creators of the Starfleet Academy show, nor is there any indication they have been involved in its development.

Tilly returned to main cast on Discovery for production of season five, and it was another year before we got a green light announcement.

The Starfleet Academy pilot is the work of a completely different team of creators and EPs.

I hope that things would be different as you say, but we did get a concrete look at what Secret Hideout had in mind for Starfleet Academy in that episode. It would be reasonable to think it would be at least a starting place for whatever the new series is.

I had low to zero expectations for Lower Decks and Prodigy before those shows came out, so Secret Hideout could surprise us with a great show. I hope that they do. That said, I don’t think that Discovery’s 32nd century setting has worked very well, so I have zero enthusiasm for another show set in that era.

Same. I don’t really care about the 32nd century at all and that Academy episode sucked.

But also like you I didn’t think I would like LDS or PRO and was pleasantly surprised. Now they are both some of my favorite shows so you never know.

Actually, we got a concrete look at a proposal that wasn’t greenlit.

So, no we don’t know Salt.

The two EPs for Starfleet Academy who are getting ‘created by’ credits weren’t even involved at the time Discovery S4 was filmed. (The previous teams attempting to develop the show have come and gone over the 5 years of development hell it seems.)

Gina Violo joined in 2022, and previously was a cocreator & writer for Absencia. She’s also credited with the Starfleet Academy pilot.

Showrunner Noga Landau just joined since worked wrapped on the final season of Nancy Drew (which starts its run later this month).

What we do know is both show have strong audience ratings. Bodes well for Starfleet Academy.

I really enjoyed Pic S3 for TNG crew sendoff and fan servIce, but I have zero interest in Legacy. No, it was way too much JJA-Trek for my liking, Matalas just gave us Return of the Picard. I don’t need to see Jack leading The Picard Awakens — because you just know he won’t be able to resist his The Force-like powers (derived from the Borg) in Legacy

I’ve been meaning to say this for a while and didn’t have anywhere to. I guess this counts the best for where to put it.

I hope that someday we get more from ENT era or another major protagonist from Andoria so I can know one thing: if any of the Andorian development in ENT was inspired by Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars novels. (This is not a bad thing. I love his novels.) It’s like wow Andorians and Chiss are pretty much the same species, just with some physical and cultural differences. I love it. I love both species. Also I’m not very far into ENT admittedly but Shran reminds me of Thrawn a lot, but if Thrawn was a protagonist instead of an antagonist.

Wow so cool you’re getting more into Enterprise man! :)

And yes I too hope we get more adventures of the NX-01 in the 22nd century. This is still the only show to do a deep dive with the Andorians and Shran is awesome, a huge fan favorite to this day. I don’t know where you’re at in terms of what season but the stuff with the Andorians just gets better and better every season.

I’m currently stalled on season 2 episode 15, so an Andorian one. Just haven’t felt up to continuing it yet.

Well glad to hear it my friend! I really hope you enjoy the show overall but if you like the Andorians now, then that will only grow IMO although they aren’t in season 3 much, but have a great story line in season 4.

I’m contemplating rewatching Enterprise again from start to finish. Last time I watched the entire show was back for my grand rewatch of the entire franchise back in 2021 for Trek’s 55th anniversary year.

As Tiger notes, you have a great deal of Andorian story development ahead of you. They have a small but important role in Enterprise season 3 and a much larger role in season 4. You get to visit the Andorian home world(s) and get immersed in parts of their culture.

I’m not a big Enterprise fan, but I loved what they did with the Andorians!

I also love what SNW did in bringing an Aenar to main cast but *%#!&*!!!

Same. And… same.

I also love the Andorians too. They became one of my favorite species thanks to Enterprise.

There’s a comparison to be made to what’s going on with Doctor Who presently.

The Chris Chibnall era of the show has been extremely polarizing among fans of the show. Just like with Discovery, some fans extoll it for going in new directions, while accentuating diversity by putting a female lead and actors of color front and center. And, just like Discovery, the show has suffered the fury of racists and sexists who cry woke politics.

Others, on the other hand, feel Chibnall’s run exemplifies a rock bottom for the show with some of the dumbest story developments that moved away from what made Doctor Who storytelling great. For example, the entire “Timeless Child” twist is arguably one of the stupidest and most damaging elements to the Doctor Who mythos, which seems to have basically been made without any consideration as to what it says about The Doctor as a character.

Just as some are advocating a turn back to Berman era Trek and legacy characters, Doctor Who seems to be going through a similar course correction where Russel Davies has been brought back to run the series again, David Tennant and Catherine Tate are back (temporarily) to reorient the series.

And then it goes right back to the lead being an actor of color so what’s your point. The diversity is continuing either way.

My point is that the powers that be felt the fans wanted a return to “Legacy” in order to get fans who were alienated by the Chibnall era to come back.

That in order to get over what many felt was dumb writing, they had to reorient using the legacy elements of the show in order to move forward.

it was always going to see this happening with a new Dr and an anniversary season

DW at rock bottom?
you should have seen the the show in the late 70s and mid 80s when it was almost unwatchable.
chibnall’s era will not get prizes and kudos compared to the show under RTD and moffat but it was entertaining once it got its groove on with the return of classic monster and the master in the second season.

‘timeless child’ and ‘dr ruth’ breathed new mystery into the show instead another time lord storyline.

Chibnall’s run was a disaster for the show creatively.

What made The Doctor special in previous incarnations was limitations. In the end, The Doctor was just a person that decided to throw away the rules of Time Lord society and run away. It was The Doctor’s choices that defined his character.

Chibnall’s decision to make The Doctor the source of all the Time Lords’ power as “the timeless child” is one of the stupidest story decisions I’ve seen done to a franchise that cheapens their main character. It doesn’t add anything to the story. It doesn’t add anything to The Doctor. In fact, it diminishes the character. Instead of being great because of choices The Doctor made, it gives the character greatness by design.

It’s also indicative of what happens when you play fast and loose with continuity, and the idea of “what does it matter if new showrunners put their own spin on characters.” Well, sometimes you end up with messes like this.

The Dr not being a time lord from the start and being the source of that race’s capacity to regenerate was a brilliant twist that explains a few things about the character over the years.
And underlined the ruthless of the time lords, something we saw from the start in ‘the war games”, punishing the Dr when alerted them to misuse of their time travel technology.
Now we know their abuse of the Dr goes back centuries despite him/her saving gallifrey on numerous occasions.
I’ve always accepted the Dr is more than a time lord and now has truly escaped the grasp of the time lords

And canon has been changed and adapted on the show for years, rightfully so if it refreshes the format