My hero, David Gerrold recently did an interview with the Courier Mail on his thought about the original Star Trek Series. First, he explained the two factors that he believes lead to the success of the original series:
"First, we had such a remarkable cast... Gene Roddenberry picked three very, very good actors and they fit together so beautifully," he says.
"And then the second thing is, the context of Star Trek is that here's a world where everybody is respected and everybody has a place in this world and people are all big enough to handle their problems, and so they focus on problems of a much larger scale and challenges of a much larger scale (Courier Mail)."
I have to agree. I think the phenomenon of Star Trek is that we fans really do want to live in that world and try to live in accord with the values we see in the series. The vision of a world where people are free from their relatively petty problems to delve into the deeper meaning of life and justice resonates within us.
Gerrold also points to the creativity of the original series:
"And they would come up against new people and new planets that would challenge their definition of themselves, it would make them ask the question 'what does it mean to be a human being? What are we up to here?' And I think that was part of the appeal of the show: we're discovering not only what's out there but what's inside ourselves, and that the final frontier is really the human soul, not space – space is just where we're gonna meet the challenge," Gerrold says (Courier Mail).
Gerrold hit the nail on the head. I know the stories that I enjoy writing most are the stories that did into why people are the way they are and why they do the things they do. The potential of the soul is truly the final frontier.
News that the next Star Trek feature film... will revisit a young Kirk and Spock is heartening for Gerrold.
"If it were my choice I would reinvent the original series," he says.
"Wipe the blackboard clean and you go back to Kirk, Spock and McCoy and the Enterprise, with new actors to find different interpretations of the characters. And I think there's a possibility, just as we've see different interpretations of Superman and Batman, maybe that's how Star Trek is gonna survive (Courier Mail)."
Well... I like the new Superman. I think the creator of the new Batman should be horsewhipped until they beg for forgiveness. And while the new Battlestar Gallactica is technically brilliant, the story is so dark I want to kill myself at the end of each episode... I just stopped watching the series.
Like any good myth, I know there will eventually be new versions of Kirk and Spock, but the brilliance of Star Trek was the optimism and adventuresome nature of the characters and the setting. If it were to loose that it would become Voyager or Enterprise, and suffer their fate. Gerrold opened my eyes to the possible benefits of a remake, but I would prefer to meet new characters in the time of Kirk and Spock.