'NY Times': Reports of Trek Death ExaggeratedBy Michelle
August 31, 2004 - 7:20 PM
Reports of the death of Star Trek have been greatly exaggerated, said members of the original cast and Paramount executives, though they acknowledged concern about the declining ratings and finances of the franchise.
Reporting from the "Beam Me Up Scotty" convention this weekend, expected to be the final gathering of the surviving original series cast members, The New York Times quoted Leonard Nimoy (Spock)'s reminder that "'Star Trek' has died several times and come back stronger than ever", though Nimoy conceded that, as was the case after Star Trek: The Motion Picture, "the ideas that were propelling [the franchise] have run dry."
The article drew other parallels between Star Trek's previous fallow periods and the current era, comparing the letter-writing campaign that saved the original series but landed it in the Friday night "death slot" of 8 p.m. to Enterprise's move to the same time period. The Times noted that several actors have suggested a break from new films and series to avoid creative exhaustion. "The bar has been raised so high with sci-fi films...you need to step back and refocus on what's pertinent to this moment in time," said Denise Crosby, The Next Generation's Tasha Yar and a producer of Trekkies 2.
Fans who remain loyal to the franchise, the article noted, expressed excitement about Manny Coto's assumption of executive producer duties on Enterprise and the anticipated appearance of Brent Spiner, who will play an ancestor of Data's creator Dr. Soong. Ultimately, the article concluded, financial rather than creative concerns are likely to determine the future of the franchise, quoting executive producer Rick Berman as saying that he highly doubts that Nemesis will be the last Star Trek movie, though it may be the last to involve the actors currently involved with any of the shows. Paramount's Garry Hart added that he doubted that there would be more than a season or two between Enterprise's bow and a new Star Trek television series.
Eugene Roddenberry, the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, acknowledged fans who create their own live-action episodes, while the newspaper made note of the fact that fans have been writing their own Star Trek stories for decades and observed that for many fans, living the principles of diversity and non-interference are as important as the entertainment component of the shows.
"In a society with so much violence and stupidity, the conventions are an oasis where you can find some genuinely good people who believe in humanity and respect the rights of others," stated Walter Koenig (Chekov). And astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, admitted that he'd like to command a starship.
More on the state of the franchise, including quotes from Berman and various other cast members, is at The New York Times.