Thursday, 19 July 2012

The Next Generation

Everyone who knows me knows I like Star Trek. I used to like it a lot more (in a weird fanboyish kind of way) but now I'm sort of settled into a calm enjoyment of the franchise. Either way there once was a time I didn't like Star Trek, and I think it may have been because of a show called Star Trek: The Next Generation.

When I was young my mother would watch reruns of the show on television (this is probably when it was first put into syndication, I remember because they were doing it to promote that dumb Generations movie). It was a very educated show but something clicked with me that meant I could never get into it on a weekly basis. It was cool but as a kid it just didn't have enough fun in it to keep me hooked. It soon fizzled into hate when I got into the preteen shithead phase and just thought it was boring and stupid. Dumb kid.

Then in high school I was given a bunch of magazines filled with Star Trek shit. Character bios, ship diagrams - and it worked. I, being a little sperglord at the time, fell in love. That's when I saw the original series, and that's what got me into the series. In fact I love the original series so much more.

Enough of my experiences, let's talk about Star Trek in the 1990s. Of course The Next Generation coasted from the '80s till about 2002 with half the series left and a string of shitty movies. Beyond that though were also Deep Space Nine (which is forever be my second favourite of the Treks) and Voyager (worst show ever lol).

The Borg two parter was what really got people into the show. I think it exploded over the summer between Part 1 and Part 2. You could find memorabilia everywhere, the shows were coming out on tape, and everyone was talking about it. It was like the time before the new one came out a few years ago. The Borg really mark the air of the '90s in Star Trek - their robotech appearance, which propelled toy sales with how cool and futuristic it looked, their stark contrast to everything else ever in Star Trek. They were the backbone of the series from their inception - the two parter made the show popular, the point of that ship on Deep Space Nine was to fight off Borg attacks, and Voyager even had a Borg crewmember. In fact they were so popular they had a movie based on them; albeit a shitty one. The Borg were the new Klingons - fearsome, popular, and evil.

The late '90s meant the death of Trek for a while unfortunately. The rise of the internet gave way for nerds to obsess over the most minute details of the series to anyone that would listen, which prompted the writers to gear the series more to them so as to curry their favour. When this happened the general public stopped caring about Star Trek and a few years later Nemesis was barely making its budget back and Voyager were being ended finally by the higher ups. Even Enterprise, a decent show in its own right, didn't really get a chance.

Bottom line, '90s Star Trek could be pretty good, but to quote Wayne's World "although in many way superior, it will never be as recognized as the original".

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