TO BRAVELY GO – THE TALE OF TWO TREKS – BY TOM CURLEY


“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”


Well, that’s not really true. More like: “It was the best of times. It was not so bad, at times.”

Once more, we are bravely going where no Star Trek series has gone before. This is not our universe, of course.  Real life would be more like “It was the the worst of times. It was the ‘what the fuck is going on? This can’t possibly be real! Would somebody please wake me up’?” … of times.

This is the latest, current run of the Star Trek universe. Our world has been without a Star Trek series for a few years. I think we are always supposed to have at least one original on the air. I’m pretty sure it’s a law, but, for some reason, we have been forced into reruns. But times, they are a’changin’ …

Now, we have two and both are bravely going wherever they are sent.


STAR TREK DISCOVERY – CBS All Access (streaming)

Star Trek Discovery takes place 10 years before Kirk, Spock and the gang started their five-year mission to boldly go wherever the hell they were told to boldly go.

In this variation, the main character is not the captain, but the first officer. She’s a human raised on Vulcan by Spock’s parents. Its main story line is about the First Federation vs. Klingon war. It was shot using a huge budget. The actors are all pretty good. The show is … okay.  I mean, it’s not bad. It’s good…ish.

But it has a few problems.

First, the Klingons only sort of look like Klingons. For one thing they are all bald.

Klingons are usually pretty hairy.

They’re also incredibly racist. They believe in racial purity. Every one else in the universe is inferior. And they are all victims of every other species in the galaxy. You know, like Trump supporters. 

ALL the Klingon’s dialog is in Klingon. Actual Klingon. With subtitles in English!

Really!

Now, I’m as big a Star Trek nerd as anybody out there. I know there are Klingon camps you can go to learn the Klingon language. The bible has been translated into Klingon. People have Klingon weddings.

Yeah. That’s real.

But even for me, this is one nerd-step over the line.

Second, the ship has developed some kind of biologic warp drive that takes you instantly anywhere. Basically, it’s folding space. But what happened to it later? In all the other Star Trek shows? Where did it go? Voyager sure as hell could have used something like that. They were stuck in the other half of the galaxy for seven years — not including syndication.

Maybe someone will explain it in later episodes. Also, the ship can do weird things. Like the outer ring of the ship can spin around for no discernible reason.

The captain is sensitive to light, so instead of red alerts, they have black alerts!

Black Alerts? WTF?  The show’s creators say “they are taking liberties with the show.” Liberties? Did any of them actually watch the other shows? The final, really big problem is that it only airs online through CBS All Access. You have pay for it. Like Netflix or Hulu.

The show is very dark, but still … it’s OK. Maybe the problem is that none of, or at least, very few of the people involved in all the other Star Trek series are working on the show. That’s because they are working the other show.


THE ORVILLE – FOX Network

The Orville takes place in a very Star “Trek-ish” universe. It’s not exactly Star Trek, but really, it is.

Seth McFarland is Captain of the Planetary Union science ship, The Orville. He wasn’t the first choice for command, but the Planetary Union has over 3000 ships to man, so he got the job anyway. The show is funny. Very funny. It’s also serious.

Actually, it’s brilliant. Oh, and the Captain’s first officer is his ex-wife.

The helm officer’s main concern is whether or not he can drink soda when he’s on duty.

Here’s a line of dialogue from one of the shows. They find a giant ship where the people on board don’t know they are on a giant ship. When they try to contact one of them, he shoots at them and they shoot him. Well, they actually just stun him. They then run into his son.

CAPTAIN: We mean you no harm.

DOCTOR: Well, you did just shoot his Dad.

CAPTAIN: Other than shooting your Dad, we mean you no harm.

The plots are really, really good. Great science fiction. They do what the original Star Trek did. Take current events and put a spin on them. In this case usually a funny spin. This is the Star Trek that needed to be made. The one about the ship with a crew of screw-ups, who smoke pot, drink a lot, love to gossip, and yet, always get the job done.

I like this show so much I usually watch each episode twice. I never do that. Maybe because it reminds me of a series I did years ago (that Marilyn created) called Sterling Bronson, Space Engineer! Why that name? Mostly because we knew if we called it any variation of Star Trek, we’d get sued. And it was an inside joke.

So, if you’re a tried and true Trekkie …

Excuse me, Trekker. Trekkers hate being called Trekkies. NOTE: You know how you can tell if someone is a Trekkie? They insist on being called Trekkers. But I digress.

If you’re a serious fan check out Discovery, but if you really want to see a great Star Trek series, it’s The Orville.

Boldly going wherever they’re told to boldly go!

12 thoughts on “TO BRAVELY GO – THE TALE OF TWO TREKS – BY TOM CURLEY”

  1. We’ve become serious Orville fans. It’s funny, but it’s also a real show with characters and a reasonable (well, for a sci fi show, reasonable) plot. It’s not just slapstick. It’s a good “Trek” show. It’s what we would have written had we done TV rather than radio 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Pancho, you should see Denny Crane about getting ‘Sterling Bronson” fees for “The Orville”. We are Orvellian fans. Can somebody just beam that Orange Head alien outta here and into a galaxy far, far away?

        Pancho, if necessary, tell Denny you also have the firm of Kaching Associates to assist him with litigation.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have seen the first three episodes of Discovery so far. I had no expectations so I was pleasantly surprised to find I liked it. Not sure about this new ship or what they are doing but I liked the lead character and was not put off by the appearance of Sarek. If they had messed that up they probably would have lost me. Of course three episodes is not a lot to go on. I had to get it on Netflix who knows if it will ever get to free to air. I had never heard of The Orville before and if it turns up in Australia I’d definitely want to check it out. One thing that is a bit lacking in the bit of Discovery I’ve seen is the humour. All the previous Star Trek’s have had a bit of humour and I like that. I think that the first episode of Discovery was almost entirely in Klingon it was like watching SBS (our multicultural public TV channel). Yes, what are those Klingons doing to keep changing their appearance every 50 years or so? TOS Klingons were all sarcasm and pointy beards. I’m sure fan sites have some explanation for this but I’m not so much of a Trekker that I have tried to find out.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love Orville too. Really enjoy it, it’s well written, tongue in cheek and quite awesome. I too had no preconceived notions about Discovery. So far, I’m enjoying it. It’ll be interesting how they change the Klingons to what we’ve come to know about them…hmmm…. we’ll have to wait and see I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Crap! I wish I hadn’t read this. I had no idea this show existed because we do not have tv. And that is my problem. We don’t have tv so I can’t watch unless I pay per episode. Wait. I can pay per episode. OK, never mind.

    Liked by 1 person

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