2019, Welcome Back Star Trek

January of 2019 was overall quite silent for most genres. As usual we’ve had the usual drama and unrest, but overall, quiet. Well, that is unless you like Star Trek…

A little bit of context first. We’re talking about Star Trek here, the grand old lady of Sci-Fi, the one that started it all in 1966 when Captain Kirk and Mr Spock first traversed to the first star on the right, and straight on ‘till morning. In many aspects, Star Trek has been revolutionary throughout the last 52 years. It portrayed the first interracial kiss on American television, has had many bouts of episodes focusing on civil rights, liberties and other agendas including a diverse selection of characters of all races and sexualities. It has inspired many scientific breakthroughs in the real world, like the mobile phone for example.

There’s no doubt that Star Trek is by far a staple of pop culture, but it hasn’t been ever-present. After the end of the original spin-off saga after “Star Trek: Nemesis”, the franchise struggled with its sole series present at the time, which was eventually prematurely cancelled. A reboot would hit the box office in 2009, under the lead of J.J. Abrams, which would be a strong show at first but it was reported in December that this film series had silently been cancelled after its third iteration. For Star Trek to truly take off again, it needed to re-introduce itself on the small screen. The franchise’s own did just this in 2017, with the launch of “Star Trek: Discovery”.

Credit

However, the first season of this show was controversial to say the least.

Star Trek has been a beacon of liberal and progressive thought since it was incepted. Regardless, a select few cited annoyance and anger towards what appeared to be a strong liberal agenda presented in the new show. The general many also criticised the lack of the Star Trekky feel that the new show suffered from. This being the absence of the feeling of adventure and impending moral dilemma that made us love Star Trek for what it was. For me, Star Trek will always be Captain Jean Luc Picard spewing knowledge and philosophy.

So as a basic situational explanation, Star Trek: Discovery’s first season didn’t impress most fans. It was in this context, that an alternative was created. Over on Fox, Seth McFarlane, creator of the famous “Family Guy”, was given the go-ahead on his own Star Trek spoof, named “The Orville”. Incredibly, unlike most Star Trek copies that we’ve seen throughout the last few decades, The Orville actually worked. Fans loved it, as it provided a light-hearted comic approach to the original Star Trek genre, up to the point that most Star Trek fans began saying that “The Orville” was more Star Trek than Discovery Season 1!

So we come to January 2019, what happened exactly then?

Well, both Star Trek Discovery and The Orville released their second running season last month, and till now, both have incredibly impressed fans. Discovery season 2 has seen a mix-up within the story and characters, which is now providing a warmer, more light-hearted but at the same time philosophical approach which fans are appreciating more. Meanwhile, The Orville season 2 continues on the same path that its debut season started on. So in the end, we can see, that the future is bright for all sci-fi fans, we have the geeky comedy we need to smile thanks to Seth McFarlane and more importantly, Star Trek is back!! I highly recommend you try both out!


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