New Star Trek series for TV in 2017

Who knew about this?  I didn’t.

This seems symptomatic of a lot of screen entertainment these days: revivals and sequels, not much that is wholly new. I suppose the flicks are so expensive to produce now that they don’t want to risk a flop; they pick something that had previous success.

I suspect that instead of less-than emotional Vulcans or androids, they’ll fill the gaps with “gays”. No… wait… “gay” (I detest the twisting of that word) is running its course now.   They’re boring (or Islamic terrorists).

They’ll be transgender! Or transspecies! No, transspecies was pretty much what all the non-Earthlings were, right? It’ll have to be trans.

Moreover, since networks now produce shows with the intent of changing societal mores, this series will have to have an aberrant character that helps to push the envelope.  The other day I was talking to a friend who actually forces himself to follow TV for the sake of watching how it has been used to twist morals and minds.  He has even watched shows like Modern Family and New Normal… blech.. and now Transparent.  He said that he had tuned into an old episode of Will and Grace.  Even he was surprised how far and how quickly things have been twisted.  What was edgy and awful just a few years ago, after the constant onslaught, seems pretty tame now.  He added that it is as if they – the show-makers – mapped out a plan ahead of time and then patiently executed it over decades to move society to where we are now.

So now is “space the final frontier”?   Gender-morphing atheists hurtling around in really cool looking ships fighting lizard-guys/gals/questioning!  And at least one of the enemies will be religious in some way.

Still, bad, social-reengineering Star Trek might be better than no Star Trek.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Just Too Cool, Lighter fare, Look! Up in the sky! and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. MikeToo says:

    I’m sure Neil deGrasse Tyson will have something to say about this.

  2. Someone please be the Garrigue says:

    Like the LCWR cosmonauts: trans-catholic.

  3. iamlucky13 says:

    No Star Trek was better than JJ Abrams Star Trek.

    I’ll wait and see on this one, but the trend of re-imagining classics has typically been adding whiz-bang effects, faster paced action, and more sex, at the expense of character and storylines. Yes, JJ Abrams managed to create less believable, less likeable characters and plots than the stilted, cheezy characters and typically flawed science of the original series – which despite all of its painfully obvious flaws I can’t stop myself from thoroughly loving.

    That said, Battlestar Galactica turned out mostly better than the original, so there’s hope.

    On the moral angle, Star Trek has always had a preachy aspect to it. I’m sure the new version will, too. So did Battlestar Galactica, which I was surprised to see raise the issue of abortion and not merely come down with the conclusion that it was obviously right.

  4. Bender says:

    No Star Trek was better than JJ Abrams Star Trek

    Sorry, you are in error. No Star Trek was better than Deep Space Nine (which was the anti-Roddenberry series). [The one I never saw.]

  5. pannw says:

    My daughter said she finally watched The Breakfast Club and wanted to know why on earth I hadn’t let her watch it years ago when all her friends got to. I said, isn’t it Rated R? She said it was but couldn’t understand why, since there were just a few swear words and nothing else. I couldn’t remember there being anything particularly offensive, but figured I had forgotten, since it was rated R. But I hadn’t forgotten. That’s just how far we’ve sunk into the moral sewer. What used to be R rated is milder than what is now on commercials during prime time football games. It’s sickening.

    I doubt I’ll care much about the new Star Trek. I used to be a big Trekkie but I stopped being interested in it after Next Generation.

  6. Felicia says:

    “He added that it is as if they – the show-makers – mapped out a plan ahead of time and then patiently executed it over decades to move society to where we are now.”

    This! Very much this!

  7. yatzer says:

    “He added that it is as if they – the show-makers – mapped out a plan ahead of time and then patiently executed it over decades to move society to where we are now.”

    If you can find a copy of After the Ball, you can see how all of this actually was orchestrated. Copies seem to have mysteriously disappeared from public libraries around here. It was written in 1989, I think, by a couple of guys who knew how to market.

  8. leftycbd says:

    Someone mentioned Battles Galactica. It may be worth mentioning to some here that the original series from 1979 was basically Mormons in space, based on some points of the colonials’ theology.

    Glen Larson, series creator, is Mormon. for some points on this zee:

    As for the new Star Trek TV show, I understand that it is to take place in the original universe, just after the movie Undiscovered Country.

  9. Baritone says:

    I followed The Next Generation for a while. I have to say the theme song is forceful, moving, and even inspiring. When it came to science fiction and technological possibilities, it was intriguing. Unfortunately, they use the good to pull you in, then they offer you a conglomeration of enlightenment ideas, confused morals, unnecessary personal problems, and atheistic humanism.

    Wouldn’t it be great to have Catholics exploring the final frontier in the tradition of St. Francis Xavier, Christopher Columbus, and the Franciscan missionaries? Yeah, not their agenda. Then again, the souls to save are here on earth.

  10. Maltese says:

    Britone–yes, the creator of the original Star Trek was a die-in-the-wool atheist. Those who are entrenched in the idea of an equal or greater life-form from our own tend to be (think Carl Sagan.) It’s a good distraction from Christ, King of the world, and cosmos. The only A+ I ever received in College was in astronomy. I know we are on a relatively-miniscule planet in a relatively-speaking-tiny solar system in a galaxy among billions of galaxies, and that it takes light 2.5 million years to reach us from the Andromeda nebula. But more impressive is that we exist on this tiny planet, in the first place, and that God would love us so much to give His only Son to us for our salvation.

  11. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    “The Verdict” (1982) with Paul Newman was rated R only because Jack Warden used the F-word several times in the same scene.

    “The King’s Speech” got an R because the King uses a string of swear words in the same scene. (A PG-13 version was later released.) I enjoyed the film, but that scene was just a cheap attempt at teen-level comedy, showing a king use bad language.

  12. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    In “Star Trek,” nearly everything is possible except, of course, the existence of God. It had time travel (and now alternate or multiple timelines), a universe filled with aliens (including those in non-corporeal forms), mind transference, mind reading, a parallel universe, other dimensions, and so on.

  13. jltuttle says:

    Catholic Amish. That’s what we’ll have to become if we care at all about saving our families.

  14. Maltese says:

    jltuttle–I agree, but more than the pacifism of the Amish (though I agree with their self-sustaining lifestyle, simplicity, and devotion), I think we should arm ourselves. The Amish exist in a well-functioning state-protectorate, if that goes away, one must rely on a group of like minded folks–well-armed like-minded folks.

  15. DavidinWA says:

    That’s why I’ve gone back to watching the Rifleman TV series. It’s black & white (both the color & the morals) and there’s just too many shades of grey now.

  16. Father G says:

    Fr. Z,
    Your comments on the upcoming Star Trek series are not off the mark.
    Here is what the showrunner of the new Star Trek series, Bryan Fuller, had to say:

    So you’ve basically been meeting with people for casting.

    FULLER: I’ve met with a few actors, and it’s an interesting process. There’s a few people that we like and we want to carry on what Star Trek does best, which is being progressive. So it’s fascinating to look at all of these roles through a colorblind prism and a gender-blind prism, so that’s exciting.

    That’s what’s really exciting about this new show, and while Fuller didn’t come right out and say that the new Star Trek will have an LGBTQ character, he strongly implied it:

    Star Trek has never filmed certain subject material because it was filmed at a time when showing a gay character or showing certain kinds of characters was frowned on. What I’m so looking forward to is to see you guys be so progressive and all-inclusive. Are you looking at it that way?

    FULLER: Absolutely. I think the progressive audience that loves Star Trek will be happy that we’re continuing that tradition.

  17. EeJay says:

    Star Trek 1960s was the best. Star Wars Episodes 4-6 were the best. FULL STOP, PERIOD.

  18. moon1234 says:

    All of the Trek tat has occurred after JJ Abrahms got involved is antithetical to traditional canon.

    I am really hoping that Star Trek Axanar gets made. It is traditional Trek without all of the pc Hollywood stuff. No wonder CBS is trying to sue them to get it stopped.

    I am not interested in their reboot series with every modern societal perversion thrown in.

    [Wow. Another trekie thing I didn’t know about.]

  19. DonL says:

    The left has long understood that victory for the diabolical lay in the moral corruption of society through mass media and entertainment (with much infiltration of the traditional institutions, including churches)
    In the meantime, the right had been busy protecting its 30 pieces of silver.

  20. The Mad Sicilian Geek says:

    Today’s script writers are so predictable and they’re running out of original ideas… As a result, they’re “going boldly” to the only place they have left… social justice.

    (Note: “boldly going” is BAD grammar that has been popularized. The CORRECT use is “going boldly”).

  21. Orphrey says:

    pannw: “My daughter said she finally watched The Breakfast Club and wanted to know why on earth I hadn’t let her watch it years ago when all her friends got to. I said, isn’t it Rated R? She said it was but couldn’t understand why, since there were just a few swear words and nothing else.”

    I was recommended to show The Breakfast Club to my senior ESL class for my students to get an example of US culture that would be entertaining for them. But then I remembered the content of it from when I saw it in the 1980s: as I recall, it includes drug use and fornication, along with a heaping dose of contempt for virtually all authority. I thought, I don’t want to show that to my students. Even if they see it all the time on TV and at the movies anyway, I don’t want to normalize that behavior or seem to endorse it by showing it in class. As a parent, that’s something to think about, as well.

  22. Ann Malley says:

    The original Star Trek was pushing boundaries and yet is viewed now with happy nostalgia. Despite knowing it, Gene Roddenberry injected Christian ethics while at the same time believing himself one who would be morphing the world’s minds.

    Remember, “The Mark of Gideon?”

    Kind of odd that in a time wherein space travel is possible that a people who “value life” so much that they would rather introduce deadly disease into their population, a population that is supposedly transcendent in their culmination of art, science, beauty, etc, would reject the very logical option of populating the myriad planets that need colonists. Very odd that “Captain” Kirk wouldn’t offer that real option.

    Human beings are called to be fruitful and multiply, and to subdue the earth. Well, space is also Gods creation and potentially our earth. So wanna bet as space travel, colonization becomes popular that the new television push will be to shame those haters who deprive their country of offspring to colonize those places that others may do before them?

    Talk about your space race!

  23. slainewe says:

     “The other day I was talking to a friend who actually forces himself to follow TV for the sake of watching how it has been used to twist morals and minds. “

    I do a similar “culture watch” on network TV shows that have “Catholic” characters or story lines. The latest attack on the Church I have seen is the Gary Sinise detective character in “Beyond Borders” successfully convincing a priest to break the seal of the confessional. (The priest gave the detective a Bible verse that could be decoded to reveal the suspect’s name.)

    I have seen many TV shows attempting to break priests in this area, but they have all ended with the priest sinless. Now Hollywood has the audacity to think it has arrived at a workable solution to the “confessional seal problem.” and is free to foist this heresy on an uncatechised “Catholic” audience to ensure their cooperation when the government begins its real war on the confessional seal.

    I don’t know Sinise’ religious convictions, but I wonder about the guilt of Catholic actors knowingly taking part in Anti-Catholic propaganda. How evil must the story-line be before a Catholic actor, director, cameraman, etc. must excuse themselves from a project and suffer the consequences?

  24. YoungLatinMassGuy says:

    The reason modern science fiction today is total and complete garbage is because the writers are working on the assumption that the issues people will face in the year 2500 AD will be identical to the issues faced in modern day New York City.

    “Yes, we’re going to terraform Mars, but which bathroom should I use on this spaceship?!?!!?”

    Heaven forbid an original science fiction is written or produced…

    How about: “Aliens, upon meeting with representatives of humanity, realize what abortion actually is, and an interstellar incident occurs between the aliens who find all life sacred and the monstrous primitives of the Earth…”

    (That one would go over like a lead balloon…)

    “Jihad is brought to the stars with a sabotage on the ISS (Or Mars/Moon/Other Space Habitat)…”

    How about, “Depicting life in a simple monastery, and then at the end, the twist could be that the monastery is located inside Bernal Sphere out between Earth and Mars…”

    Other ideas:

    “The Nanny State goes to the point of outlawing weightlifting. ‘You don’t need those kinds of strong muscles….’ using the same logic as they use for outlawing firearms, and they register gyms and gym members, regulating when they can workout across the nation…”

    “America loses its prominent place as world super power because the obesity rates gets out of hand…”

    Anything like those would at least be interesting, and new (and in some cases might actually happen…)

    Modern Science Fiction is boring and predictable. To the point where I know what’s going to happen in each scene. The characters are cardboard cutouts, they are nothing more than a part of the background at best (George R. R. Martin, I’m looking in your direction…). They are clichés. There’s no originality…

  25. leftycbd says:

    The only sci-fi show to take religion seriously was Babylon 5. While they got it wrong, they at least addressed issues akin to the 5 last things. I liked having a group of Catholic monks on the station, even if back in Rome there was the first woman Pope.

  26. wmeyer says:

    Several years ago, Supertradmum related to me a story from her teaching a sophomore class about heresies. Their final exam was to watch Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, and look for heresies. She reported that each of them spotted 20 in the first 30 minutes.

    Roddenberry was nothing if not a Progressive. I enjoyed most of the series, but generally either for writing (in certain episodes) or acting, more than for the overarching philosophy.

  27. Phil_NL says:

    New Star Trek? About time.

    TOS (The original series, from the 60s) is just unwatchable for anyone who grew up with the later versions. Frankly, TNG (The Next Generation, 80s) can be pretty unwatchable as well, especially in early seasons or when strikes plagued production. The eye does want something as well, and the cardboard visuals simply don’t cut it anymore. And this was before HD and in 3:4 format… The later series will go that way too eventually, so by all means, try again.

    Problem is, Star Trek was only fun when they weren’t doing societal analysis in their scripts. Every episode that is supposed to offer a future perspective of the real-life politics of the day got it wrong, and quickly just became annoying to watch. If they tried to tackle timeless dilemma’s (sacrificing X for Y, usually) that was fine. But veiled current politics? Horrible.

    Finally, I’ll be very curious how they’ll find a technological niche. If you look at the 60s series, and even TBG from the 80s, the technology falls in one of two categories: the just-about-impossible (warp drive, transporter – which is really matter-to-energy conversion) and the stuff we now actually have 50 years (rather than 300) later: communicators = cell phones ; talking computers ; tricorders and phasers are a bit rough around the edges, primarily because that doesn’t turn out to be the most convenient way of doing the job, but the essence and functionality is there.

    The later series in the franchise (and some TNG episodes towards the end) did add a thing or two that was interesting (Borg nanoprobes), but already had trouble imagining tech that was truely new – let alone a tech that could credibly take us a few centuries to develop from now on. Eventually they did succumb (mainly in Enterprise, oddly) to timetravel, which is together with psychic abilities (which ST largely avoided; sensing emotions is several steps down from reading thoughts literally) a recipe for poor storylines in SciFi.

    So, any new series has the following choices:
    – set it in an early part of the ST timeline, and in fact present stuff as new while we basically have it already
    – set it in a later part, and try to find something we’ll be in awe off. But that will need a really imaginative find.
    – just ignore any inconsistencies with the existing franchise. But that will alienate big parts of the fanbase, and scuttle it anyway. The prequel didn’t work to well either, partly for this reason.

    In sum, Star Trek is done right without the politics and with some proper imagination. I hope we’ll score 2 for 2, but 0 out of 2 is at least as likely.

  28. robtbrown says:

    skainwe says,

    I don’t know Sinise’ religious convictions

    He is a Catholic convert–a good man. At any rate, it shouldn’t be blamed on the actor. Very often movies and TV shows will have a priest on hand for questionable matters.

  29. Pushing the envelope today would be a starship that had a faithful Jewish rabbi, Protestant minister, and Catholic priest as regular characters who weren’t portrayed as backward, ignorant idiots and a crew that not only didn’t include any gays or lesbians, but also had heterosexual characters that did not leap into bed with one another at the drop of a hat, acted professionally toward one another, and kept their sexuality private. I maintain that it is the heterosexuals who paraded their sexuality in public who opened the door for the rest of the mess we have today. The idea of sending a large number of people into space without any moral compass whatsoever is ludicrous, and in order to maintain the sort of professional atmosphere I have described, some sort of religious belief needs to be promoted and nurtured, especially out in space.

    Maybe some Catholic cable channel could produce such a program. I could see this as part of the legitimate mission of such a channel in addition to presenting outstanding preaching, news, and live events pertaining to Catholicism.

    [One scifi writer has included a Catholic priest on his ships, and I am he. That’s is, I am the priest included, not the scifi writer. HERE]

  30. amsjj1002 says:

    The reboot movies I’ve ignored as much as possible. Action films? Yes, but while they carry the name of Star Trek, they do not carry the heart and spirit of TOS.

    The new series? I’m not holding my breath.

    I never paid any mind to Axanar, but after what they did, I sure as heck don’t have any positive feelings towards them. They caused CBS/Paramount to issue such over-controlling guidelines that other fan-groups, like the excellent Continues, are hit. This weekend has been difficult for me. I’m grateful for what I do have, but for a 50-year anniversary, I don’t feel too happy.

  31. Semper Gumby says:

    A buddy who is a big Star Trek fan said today that the new series is set in between the original Star Trek and TNG. My apologies if someone already chimed in with that.

    And thought I’d second Fr. Z’s previous recommendation of Michael O’Brien’s novel Voyage to Alpha Centauri.

Comments are closed.