TREK

I've been meaning to write about Star Trek: Enterprise for awhile now but some recent rumors Warren Ellis has heard spurred me on to finally make this post.

The rumor Warren heard was that the final episode of Enterprise was going to reveal that the entire show had been a holodeck novel watched by ST: The Next Generation crew members. This smacks of the typical crazy internet rumor but the problem is that the actors who played Troi and Riker are confirmed to be playing parts in the finale. Also, Warren apparently got an email from a friend saying he saw 2 actors in TNG uniforms coming out of a soundstage. Of course this isn't proof but it's enough to lend at least a little backbone to the rumor. The real problem is that something like this isn't out of the realm of possibility given the people running the show. If the showrunners had shown any sign of knowing what the hell they were doing, people would dismiss something like this out of hand. As it is, we can't be sure.

Enterprise started out with a perfect setup. Trek, without the baggage of Roddenberry's vision of a conflict-free humanity and little continuity. Things were supposed to be dangerous, not as sterile, etc. Immediately this went out the window. When they did the 'Han Solo & Pricess Leia' story only 3 or 4 episodes in, I knew things were doomed. I didn't watch a lot of the 2nd season. The 3rd season once again had a good premise (once you got past the too-obvious Space Arabs allusions to 9/11) and squandered it. Come on, a region of space that warps and twists and obeys different laws of physics and all that happens is the walls buckle and crates fly around? Please. I wanted to see people merged into the wall, parts of the ship disappear and expose everyone to vacuum, etc. Real danger. But no, the leash had to be kept on the writers.

Now comes the 4th season and they get somebody else to run the show. The new guy has done a really good job I'd have to say. Starting out by wrapping up what was supposed to be the over-arching story of the entire show, the Temporal Cold War, in 2 episodes by blowing something up wasn't the best way to handle that and the nine-millionth retelling of the 'Ancient aliens learn humanity' story was terrible but other than that, I liked it. Unfortunately, they basically told the new guy 'The Titanic has broken in half and is mostly underwater, want to be the captain?' There was little chance of anything turning the show around by that point.

The reason the 'holodeck novel' rumor smacks of truth is that the people in charge of Trek are capable of it. But if it's true, they deserve the wraith of every Trekkie in existance and to never work in any creative medium again. Doing that to the people who have watched you bumble your way through one of pop culture's most beloved franchises and turn it into a laughingstock would be the ultimate insult. It's hard to think of that as anything but a middle finger to your fans. To steal a joke from Warren Ellis, they might as well just go ahead and replace that episode with a black screen and the message 'FUCK YOU FOR WATCHING. -THE MANAGEMENT'.

But even if it's not true, Trek is going into cryogenic sleep for at least a few years. Hopefully long enough for somebody with a creative bone in their body to take over. I'm available, by the way. :)