On September 8th, 1966 Captain James T. Kirk leads the Enterprise on a five-year mission. It technically ended after only 3 seasons due to poor network ratings. But ratings are only a few numbers on paper as the show had gained a Syfy cult following unlike no other. Years later “Star Trek” would find its way back onto network television. On September 28, 1987, a new crew being deemed “The Next Generation” would take to the cosmos for 178 episodes over seven seasons. The success leads to other “Star Trek” spin-offs such as “Deep Space Nine” and “Voyager.” The 1990s are considered the golden age of “Star Trek.” They tried to keep the momentum going with a prequel series titled “Enterprise” in 2001, but sadly this would be the end of the “Star Trek” dynasty. Due to its low ratings and fans not happy with the storyline, “Enterprise” only lasted 4 seasons. Its last episodes were said to have the lowest ratings in “Star Trek” history and it was rushed out.
After this it seemed like the “Star Trek” era had come to an end and that the final frontier had nothing left to be seen. Until J.J. Abrams rebooted the original series in 2006 with a new “Star Trek” movie. He gave the Enterprise and crew a complete makeover that came with more of an intense Syfy action tone. This was a move to try and appeal to the next generation of “Star Trek” fans that craved intense CGI action with a hint of sex appeal. This eventually led to a new tv show being released in 2017 titled “Star Trek Discovery” which would be a prequel also but takes place in the J.J. Abrams “Star Trek” universe.
When it was first announced fans such as myself were jumping for joy, our beloved show was making a return to the living room screen. But then something happened which quickly killed our buzz, CBS announced that you would have to pay to watch it on their CBS Digital Network. A show that had been free to watch on basic cable for almost 4 decades now would cost you a monthly subscription fee. That left a bad taste in a lot of dedicated fans’ mouths because it was the fans that made the show even possible. Aside from many old school “Star Trek” fans not being happy with the new series, it lacked story and was filled with more action and CGI, the new series focused on being a more hip and cool “Star Trek,” so it could gain millennial followers. What were the original fans such as myself to do, it was a new “Star Trek” show with a ton of Star but no Trek? True fans of the show fell in love because of the writing and the formula/tone of the show. The crew having to solve problems, issues, and face twists and turns. This is what made “Star Trek” a truly amazing show and “Discovery” just didn’t provide that.
Now I knew how people felt when CocaCola came out with new Coke. What was said to be a new and improved formula in reality just pissed everybody off. It was then that comedy genius Seth McFarland would answer the call in 2017 by creating a new starship entitled “The Orville” on FOX.
It was new Syfy show that was going to be a comedy version of the classic “Star Trek.” But soon many viewers found out there was so much more. The episodes had their funny moments, but you could tell that Seth was appealing to the classic “Star Trek” fans’ appetite for good stories.
Many people would try to say that it was a comedy knock-off, but that’s only what they saw on the outside. The real Trekkies such as myself saw so much more in the series and were locked in. I even found myself clearing my schedule, so I could watch “The Orville” when the new episodes would air. Its had two amazing seasons and FOX just announced that it’s picking it up for a third. I can only hope that this is the beginning of something great for the science fiction world. I don’t know what the future holds, but right now it looks like “Star Trek” fans might have to rename themselves. Maybe its time for us Trekkies to hang up our United Federation outfits and join the Planetary Union thus becoming “Orvillians.”