The death of Star Wars, Star Trek and Doctor Who

Because most big franchises are owned by large corporations, they’re almost inevitably going to fall into the hands of someone who has a different take on that universe sooner or later. Unless there is a strong guardianship over time, there will likely come a point where the legacy that came before isn’t respected, perhaps because it isn’t understood or simply because the stakeholders think a particular direction will make more money.

I don’t follow Star Trek or Doctor Who, but in the case of Star Wars, while I agree the sequel trilogy was problematic, I enjoyed the first season of The Mandalorian. So I think there’s still space to enjoy particular parts of franchises as big as these, even if the overall story or continuity is broken. And continuity, while important, isn’t everything. The KOTOR games are still highly valued even though they’re not canon.

My advice is that you look for some new franchises to get invested in, that aren’t built on decades of expectations. For sci-fi video game stories, I recommend Horizon: Zero Dawn and The Last of Us if you haven’t played them (completely different from these). In terms of shows, I haven’t been following any new shows in a while, but in terms of sci-fi I really enjoyed the 2004 Battlestar Galactica (a complete four season story) and Firefly (a complete one season story). I’m sure there’s more noteworthy stuff out there, if you subscribe to Netflix, for example, there are a lot of new sci-fi shows that people are talking about such as Altered Carbon.

Yeah, the corporate big wigs more often than not seem to be behind the scenes controlling the direction of all these beloved series(e.g. Kathlene Kenedy). For the worst it seems. When certain wrtiters and showrunners leave a show it can make or break a show. As the new writers, producers and production team may not understand the heart and soul that made that show so beloved.

I’ve seen Battlestar and Firefly. Both really good shows. There is not many new sci-fi shows that interest me though besides The Orville.

Some of my recommendations:
Farscape
Lexx

Are into fantasy as well? There are a number of new TV series coming out based on classic novels (in part inspired by the success of Game of Thrones). And with sci-fi novels I heard there was a new adaptation of Dune coming soon, plus the Avatar sequels.

Yeah I like fantasy too of course. Oh, and yes, I’m very interested in the new Dune movie!

The last good fantasy tv show I watched was Merlin. I watched Game of Thrones up to the very end with a friend but it was a bit too violent for my tastes. Seems to be the same thing with the new Witcher tv show…

Anyway the thing is: these shows have lost a lot of fans and support. Basically. Star Wars, Star Trek and Doctor Who have all been disgraced.

It’s going to take a lot to win its fans back. I just can’t believe it’s come to this point.

Politics. I know exactly what happened to all of them. Let them go. This is something I would like to talk to you about Solo.

If you look back at The X-Files for example, I think there were differences of opinion, but they were all included if they were credible.

You’ve basically described why I’ve stopped watching new ‘star trek’ and just started watching the Orville. To me even though it’s a under a different name and in a different universe, it feels far more like a continuation of the spirit of star trek than any of the ‘new trek’ is.

I completely agree about The Orville. Sad but true. Why can’t Seth MacFarlane be in control of Star Trek?..

The characters in Discovery use the most basic scientific language when coming up to solutions to problems. Like for instance they say things like:

“I like science.”
“This is the power of math, people.”

“You guys, this is so F****ing cool!”

“Yum Yum!”

I mean this show was written by 10 year olds!!!..Star Trek used to sound technical and intelligent…Not any more. It’s just pathetic!

I never been that much of a Star Trek fan even though I watched much of the past series, but I thought Discovery was passable. I can’t say I like all the characters and the plot isn’t the best, but nothing that I found too terrible. Picard feels less Star Trek for that matter and aside from the nostalgia factor I don’t think it’s been a good show so far.

Is nobody going to mention The Expanse though? It’s the best sci-fi series I’ve seen in a long time. it’s set in a not too distant future of our solar system, with three major factions (Earth, Mars and the Belters). There’s a lot of focus on politics (it actually reminds me of Gundam in that regard, and aside from the setting also Game of Thrones) aside from the usual space battles. If you liked the 2004 Battlestar Galactica, I think you’ll enjoy definitely enjoy The Expanse. The first season is a bit slow but it really picks up in season 2.

I don’t really care for all of these shows that tend to adapt dark and edgy subject matter really. I can’t speak for the Expanse but from what I saw in the commercials and trailers it seems to go down this path.

Things are just too serious and dark these days. What happened to the shows that used to have class, humor, intelligence, adventure and hope? Can characters not go around and murder people? Can characters not have a haunted painful past? Can characters actually have some kind of hope for their world? Why does everything have to have a bleak depressing world? Can a show just have a positive atmosphere for once?

It would be really difficult to continue Star Trek in this day and age because it is essentially space fantasy.

The whole science fiction genre needs to be more realistic to captivate a large amount of people in my opinion.

Blame real world politics for everything. Star Trek had an amazing run. There were quite a few original stories in there too.

I have not watched the new series, so I won’t comment. But rest assured there are tons of great and original ideas that we will see in the future in my opinion.

The Expanse! How did I forget to mention it? This is fantastic show. I’ve watched the first three seasons and also read the first three books. It’s a faithful adaption of a great modern book series.

I particularly liked the way that the show expands on the books, introducing characters that appear in later books earlier and showing what they’re up to at the time of earlier events.

It is indeed a darker story with some damaged characters, so it’s not going to appeal to everyone.

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People can always watch older shows as well. There are some true gems out there.

Did you ever watch Millienium, Solo? It is about a secret society devoted to stopping the end of the world. It was a spin off from The X Files. I know you recommended Lost to me, but I was too distracted to give it a chance.

Money is a factor, but I think here a lot of people either caved to “political correctness” or wanted it (i.e there always has to be an equal amount of male and female characters, or a greater focus on people who weren’t represented properly in the past). I think Star Wars will ok (they will have strong white male Jedis for example), but it won’t be what we enjoyed in the past.

Personally, I know the politics and I have accepted it. Let it all go and find what you want elsewhere very quickly, IMO.

I haven’t watched those shows @Geoffrey. I should probably watch X-Files at some point. I am of course aware of some it from it’s presence in pop culture.

Diversity is fine in sci fiction and fantasy, so long as it makes sense within the context of that fictional universe. You can look at something like Game of Thrones which has a diverse cast of female characters but most in different roles than the men based on the inspired historical context. Whereas something like Star Wars has traditionally had a shortage of female characters in the main cast without a good in-universe explanation, so makes sense to rectify that.

Well, such shows still exist. I can see how there’s somewhat of a tonal shift in the more popular series nowadays, but at the same time I think there’s more variety than even before. For example Stranger Things, one of the Netflix’s most popular series, has plenty of humor, adventure and hope to balance out the darker content. On the movie side, Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok were very well received.

There’s always going to be franchises that will be mismanaged. And long-running series will inevitable change over time because what worked 20 years ago won’t necessarily work today. Sometimes even the original creators may fail to recapture the essence of the franchise they created. And perhaps some things are simply better left in the past, rather than reinvented for a new audience.

That doesn’t mean the new TV shows aren’t worth watching. There’s more content readily available now than ever before.

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As far as sci-fi and fantasy shows go, (and being somewhat positive shows) they exist but are a rarity. I can barely count them on one hand: Stranger Things, The Orville, Dark Crystal…I truly cannot think of anything else that isn’t dark and depressing. So, I can’t even fill one hand.

I wouldn’t exactly label Discovery as dark and depressing. One thing to take into account is that Discovery doesn’t have many episodes that don’t tie into the overarching plot, and the ones that don’t are very reminiscent of classic Star Trek. The original Star Trek series often resolved any conflict within the span of one episode, while for Discovery it can span an entire season. I find it interesting that you mention Dark Crystal because I thought that was way darker in comparison.

Dark Crystal is a bit dark. I guess it’s a nostalgia thing and well, they’re…puppets.

I think that is ok as well, but at the same time I don’t think a whole audience who supported a franchise should be alienated from it with a lack of characters with whom they can empathize.

I ultimately think we need to go elsewhere instead of trying to change the minds of people who have decided on a new direction for a story.

The X Files was great. I wish they had included more episodes about the supernatural (the main focus was on aliens and UFOs), but when they did it, it was really good. And it has an great spin off series called The Lone Gunmen which is about a group of supergeeks who investigate some of this as well.

Star Trek had a great run. I actually think the name itself wouldn’t work today. The show had a huge focus on exploration, but over time it went elsewhere. And there are the costs to consider as well. I think there is the aim for equal representation or a want to put under-represented people in shows, but there another side to all of this where one group of people have their time in the sun while others are locked out, which I really don’t like.

I honestly think a great deal of people will look at something like the new Star Wars and feel left out, and at the same time, they will misunderstand the reasons. I.e. there are creators who will focus on female characters and destroy male ones to impress women. These people do actually exist and I find that sad.

In Star Trek Deep Space 9 the main character (Commander Sisko) was African American, but the doctor in the show wasn’t. There was something for everyone there. If not in that one show then in the whole franchise.