All good things must come to an end……
Six years ago, Tor.com finished up their Star Trek Re-Watch. Originally by Eugene Myers & Torie Atkinson, they departed after finishing the second season, and my buddies Dayton Ward & David Mack did the third season. Tor wanted to move on to The Next Generation, but Dayton and Dave didn’t think covering the seven-year series would be possible with their schedules, and they recommended me instead.
And so on 9 May 2011, I wrote my rewatch entry for “Encounter at Farpoint,” and from that point on twice a week (more or less), I looked at each episode of TNG. After finishing off that series in April 2013, and after I and several others looked at the four TNG movies, I moved on to Deep Space Nine. That took me to February 2015, and I then asked if I could look back at the original series. The fine folks at Tor went for it, especially since I planned to not only look at the 80 episodes of the original series (counting the unaired pilot “The Cage“), but also the animated series and all ten movies.
It’s weird, the movies are both the best thing and the worst thing to happen to Star Trek.
The best part is obvious: after ten years where the only new screen Trek was a (sadly easily dismissed) Saturday-morning cartoon, the movies provided new Trek for an audience that was starved for it, as the franchise really found its audience belatedly in syndicated reruns throughout the 1970s. While the novels and comic books produced during the period between 1969 and 1979 were okay, the tie-in material didn’t really come into its own until after the movie series started. And it was the success of the first three movies that led to Paramount giving the go-ahead to The Next Generation, which got Trek back where it belonged: on television.
And don’t worry, I’ll still be writing stuff for Tor.com. Mostly I’ll be focusing on screen adaptations of comic books, with pieces on Marvel’s The Defenders when it hits later this month, as well as a new feature on Tuesdays: “4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Superhero Movie Rewatch,” which will kick off next week with a look at the 1951 Superman and the Mole Men and the 1966 Batman.