Roddenberry, Takei Speak on State of TrekBy Michelle
February 3, 2005 - 10:47 PM
The voices of many Star Trek-connected people have been heard this week discussing the flaws of the franchise and whether it might be time for a hiatus. Add Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's son, Eugene W. Roddenberry, and original series star George Takei (Sulu), both of whom said they don't believe that Star Trek at present is as vital or exciting as it was years ago.
"Star Trek will come back," Roddenberry told SyFy Portal. "But right now it needs a break....maybe if they kept it fresh and exciting the whole time, it wouldn't need a break."
Roddenberry, who said that the news of the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise affected him although he never worked on the series, said he believes that Paramount brought the franchise to its current state, and that he wondered whether the Sci-Fi Channel's Stargate or Battlestar Galactica might become the benchmark for science fiction television. "CBS doesn't know what they have with Star Trek," he said of the attitude among the Star Trek staff. "They don't know what it's about, they don't know what it is. I thought Paramount had enough issues on how important the fans are, now we have to start all over again."
Roddenberry added that he would have loved to have been involved in the franchise, but he was not raised as the heir apparent by his father and his own projects, including a documentary, Trek Nation, might be in jeopardy with the cancellation and the restructuring at Paramount. On the other hand, he said he thought there might be more of a demand for Star Trek products once the effect of a series' absence is felt.
Meanwhile, Takei, speaking to Dreamwatch (via Sci Fi Pulse), said that he considers the original series to be extraordinary television and does not believe recent shows measure up. "Gene Roddenberry saw in this medium called television so much potential and he also saw the various restrictions," he observed. "You couldn't talk about issues directly, so he came up with a science fiction series so he could disguise the issues he wanted to talk about." Within those limitations, Roddenberry created a show that was at once informative and inspirational.
"If you compare Star Trek with Sci–Fi Shows or the Star Trek spin–offs today you'll see that our content can not only hold its own against some of those being made today but surpass them," he added. For him the saddest aspect about Star Trek's departure from broadcast in 1969 was "knowing we were doing good quality work but being cancelled, which meant the show wasn't being appreciated."