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The Weird, Fun, & Miscellaneous > Patrick Stewart will star in new Star Trek TV series as Jean-Luc Picard

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message 1: by Gary (last edited Aug 05, 2018 02:23AM) (new)

Gary | 1470 comments Well, this is almost unequivocal good news to me. I say "almost" there for two reasons. One, though I did like the recent Star Trek: Discovery series, I do think that show suffers from more than a few issues. It's rather shoehorned into the Star Trek universe and even though it looks amazing a few of the storylines and plotholes a problematic. Two, and this is quite a bit more abstract, I'm leery of revitalizing old TV shows in general. In general, I don't think we need to bring back shows that have already run their course. Modern TV/film is incredibly derivative right now. There's very little new going on in the mainstream. If you take a look at the list of longest running TV shows in history half of the top 40 are on the air right now. Given the history and nature of the multi-series/timeline universe that is Star Trek, it is surely the exception to this rule, but I automatically pause these days when I hear something is "coming back" in one form or another. I was a fan of Buffy the Vampire, for example, and I'll give the reboot a chance, but I'm not looking forward to it in any particular way. I would have been happy with another six seasons of Firefly but if you told me they were going to reboot the series or reassemble the cast and start again, I'd be similarly skeptical. They are, apparently, finally going to get a Deadwood movie, and I'm interested in seeing what happens there, but my expectations are muted.

Star Trek is, of course, something of a different project on a bunch of levels when it comes to such concerns. It's died and reincarnated over and over again. It is, in fact, part of it's nature. So... bring back Picard for a series? Sure, why not? Can't be any worse than Voyager.... And I have more trust in Stewart than pretty much any of the other actors who have taken on Star Trek characters.

Overall, I'm guardedly optimistic to learn:

Patrick Stewart will star in new Star Trek TV series as Jean-Luc Picard on CBS All Access

CBS says the series will relate the next chapter in Picard's life.
At the Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas on Saturday, CBS announced that a new show will join Star Trek: Discovery on its CBS All Access streaming service. This new Star Trek series will explore Next Generation character Jean-Luc Picard's next chapter and will see Patrick Stewart return to the role.

The show is the first to come after CBS' June announcement that the Star Trek television universe would be expanding with Discovery showrunner Alex Kurtzman overseeing the new series (disclosure: CBS is CNET's parent company). CBS said then that traditional, miniseries and animated Star Trek shows were being considered. No word on whether other series are still being considered; this announcement may be the only one, or simply the first.

In his statement on Twitter, Stewart said, "I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course. It is, therefore, an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him."

Stewart elaborated that he's ready to return as Picard to "research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these very dark times." Fans are, understandably, terribly excited by the news.
Full article:

message 2: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 792 comments I've never been a Star Trek fan, but I somewhat enjoyed the new Star Trek, so I'm looking forward to this one. I watched a few TNG episodes back in the day and I thought they were interesting, but I didn't want to follow a show that had already been running for a while when I discovered it. Finding out about a TV show is so different these days, we just have to hunt for season one on our favorite provider or get the DVDs.

I'm only worried that this series seems to be a new show that CBS will hold "hostage" on their CBS-All Access streaming service which I'm not planning on getting. Ironically, even after subscribing we don't have all-access to all of their shows and seasons...

message 3: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1470 comments Yeah, the money side of Star Trek has been a problem for a long time. But to me the big problem isn't so much how they go about squeezing the consumers of their materials, but exerting copyright over other creators. I'd argue that a lot of what gets called copyright and trademark doesn't really apply to Star Trek given the nature of its existence in pop culture. First off, it was, effectively, abandoned by its creators, and it was the fans who kept it alive, and they kept it alive by essentially creating who new areas of fandom like what we now call fan fiction can cosplay. Sure, there were elements of those things before Star Trek, but I'd argue there's a direct line between the letter writing campaigns to keep the show on the air in reruns and the current six-, even seven-figure project funding which the studios have put the kibosh on. The reasoning for exerting copyrights there appears to be that they're afraid such things will compete directly with their own work, and maybe they're right after fifty years of that kind of fandom being the basis of the line's success. I doubt it, somehow, but that's how things work.

I'd argue that the nature of Star Trek at this point makes it an exception to copyright. There are a lot of aspects of it that make it it's own sub-genre rather than something derivative. Owning a copyright to the Star Trek characters is kind of like saying one owns the copyright to sci-fi itself or something so commonplace as to be an "idea or concept" and, therefore, public. It's a mult-verse. The rebooted Captain Kirk literally isn't the OS Captain Kirk. Any fan product is just as easily seen as an alternate version of the alternate realities that are intrinsic to the Star Trek idea. The setting expanded itself beyond copyright, such that anyone exerting copyright over anyone else working within it is like saying one owns mythology itself. Sure, you can own any particular story or work within that idea, but you can't own the concept itself.

Just having a omniverse shouldn't be enough to void copyright, but in combination with the other factors involved with Star Trek; it's abandonment by copyright holders, it's expansion by fans, etc. means that copyright no longer applies. A corporation can still own trademarks within that concept (though plenty of Star Trek trademarks have also been abandoned...) and they absolutely can churn out their own products under the general category and they own those, and are within their rights to make money however they can from them, but dictating to others how to interact with the genre would be like saying other people can't tell cyberpunk stories or make superhero comic books. Star Trek is its own conceptual genre.

And all that's ignoring the corporatization of copyright itself. Copyright is (and should still be) meant to protect innovation and development, not create a kind of corporate intellectual property fiefdom, which is what it's turned into. Lifetime of the creator plus 70 years is some sort of freaky generational nonsense.

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