It’s fair to say that some people just don’t like change. This is not a new phenomenon or feeling. Some of us don’t like when the world does something that people are not used to.
In a recent article in The New Yorker, writer Jill Lepore chronicled the rise and fall of Volkswagen. Volkswagen seemed unstoppable from its perch atop 1960s culture with its famous vehicles like the Beetle and the Bus. But as the years rolled on, Volkswagen got away from its old ways and got into trouble with the United States government by falsifying efficiency numbers concerning their diesel automobiles.
Lepore spoke with fans of the original Volkswagen Bus, who drove it back in the ’60s. This new bus, which Volkswagen calls the “ID.Buzz,” has been completely redesigned and is powered by electricity rather than diesel or gasoline. Though the Buzz is — by all statistics and measures — utterly superior to the old ’s VW Bus, those original fans aren’t interested.
The VW ID.Buzz
“If this is the future, I’d rather live in the past,” said a member of the VW Bus Junkies Facebook page (as quoted by Lepore).
It might not be too much of a stretch to compare the VW Bus to “Star Trek,” which are both iconic in their own right. Trek ushered in a new storytelling style and a positive view of the future. These stories were broadcast on television while the U.S. struggled with many issues of the 1960s and provided comfort and escape to millions.
Interestingly, the original VW Bus even guest starred on an episode of “Star Trek: Voyager” as the vehicle of a 1990s hippie and scientist played by actress and comedian Sarah Silverman.
There is no doubt that many fans of “The Original Series” do not like the new era of shows or films. Like the new electric VW Bus, they say that “NuTrek” has strayed too far from its roots and is “Star Trek” in name only. Many fans have turned to the FOX/Hulu show “The Orville” for their space adventure fix.
“Orville” Executive Producer David A. Goodman told CBR why he thought some Trek fans liked his show so much.
Sarah Silverman and her VW Bus
“I think the difference for us is that Seth [MacFarlane] was very much aware… he’s making a show for everybody,” Goodman told CBR in 2017. “That’s what gets lost in the discussion of ‘Star Trek’ fans liking and not liking a show.”
“The original ‘Star Trek’ was a show that millions of people watched all over the world,” Goodman said. “A subset of them — like me — are super passionate ‘Star Trek’ fans. I’ve written three ‘Star Trek’ books. I’m a big fan, but we represent a very small, tiny part of the audience that watch that show.”
“Orville” creator Seth MacFarlane is also a big “Star Trek” fan and obviously modeled his show on the franchise. Many feel that he’s done a better job at capturing the spirit of “The Original Series” and even “Next Generation” as well.
It’s often that when so-called “NuTrek” shows are promoted, fans go out of their way to recommend “The Orville” instead. These fans usually blame “Star Trek” executive producer Alex Kurtzman for ruining the franchise.
‘The Orville’ vs. ‘Star Trek: Discovery’
An excellent example of this attitude was a recent post on the Heavy on Star Trek Facebook page, where one fan said of “Star Trek: Discovery” and Kurtzman:
“The concept of jumping to the 32nd century is a great idea but executed by the worst group of writers ever brought together. It’s an absolute dumpster fire. With good writers, Kurtzman gone, and post-Burnham being shot into space, this show could be redeemed.”
Fans like this have taken it upon themselves to try changing the franchise’s direction by creating petitions. One petition in particular aims to replace Kurtzman with MacFarlane. The petition says:
“Alex Kurtzman has little respect for the wealth of information and progress that the ‘Star Trek’ universe has built up over more than 50 years. He repeatedly ignores what the fans want to see for ‘Star Trek.’ Seth MacFarlane, on the other hand, is a lifelong Trekker who has shown that he can create a compelling story that respectfully and meaningfully looks at some of the problems ailing our modern world. His work on the Orville is a testament to his creative genius and respect for fans.”
MacFarlane on ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’
It’s unlikely that this petition (or the many others) will move Paramount to make a change at the very top. Kurtzman recently extended his contract with the studio until 2026, and he was at the helm when the massive hit “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” took Trek to new heights.
In many ways, “Strange New Worlds” is to the ID.Buzz as “The Original Series” is to the original VW Bus. SNW looks a lot like TOS, but the guts inside are very different. It’s a matter of time if Anson Mount’s show will have the staying power that William Shatner’s does today.
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Millions of people are watching the new Star Trek shows and they aren’t getting canceled after 3 seasons. The writing is way better (Spock’s brain anyone).
I hope so! BYE! Kurtzman and GOOD RIDDANCE!
the writer of this article seems to be as clueless as the Paramount execs hes trying to make a point about. By saying fans “dont like change” and that were “stuck in the past” is the same mindset that has us with these crap shows to begin with. ST:TOS was, is and will always remain a classic show, but what made it so great was the level of storytelling, writing and performances given by the original crew. Each version of Star Trek was different, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT, but still had the same quality of writing and stoytelling that the fanbase had come to love. Paramount is doing its best to change Star Trek to fit the narative of current TV and ignoring what the franchise was about on a whole.
Discovery is the modern day night time drama, just like This is US, Grey’s Anatomy,Scandal, but in space
Lower Decks is a low rate attempt to captilize on the adult animation genere like The Simpsons, Family Guy, America Dad.
Prodigy is their attempt to capture a younger audience with a show very much like Star Wars Rebels and Clone Wars
Picard is them trying to “recapture” the old by bringing back old characters, which might work if written better, but alas,,(even though season 2 was better)
Were not stuck in the past, and we welcome change, the original series of shows proves that. We just dont want to see the franchise tunred into the same shows that we watched Star Trek to get away from,,