Star Trek: Devil In The DarkIf you're of my vintage, you'll have grown up watching original runs of the original Star Trek episodes. In fact, "The Devil in the Dark" episode was the very first program on TV I saw in color!

People seem to have the greatest allegiance to the show they grew up with. It was Next Gen or DS9 for those born in the 70s and early 80s. Those born a few years later favor Voyager. And those people who appeared on the planet in the mid-80s and after, seemed to go for Enterprise.

Most people who watched the original run of The Original Series (TOS) remember it fondly and feel its morality tales still have relevance in today's world. Those growing up on Next Generation and later series have a less favorable impression. On a side note, the original series was shot on film, an inherently high definition medium, and Star Trek can be released on Blu-Ray whereas Next Gen was shot on video and so no high-def copies will ever become available.

I've always preferred the more cinematic techniques used in the original series as, for me, they add to the ambiance of an episode and play as much a part in conveying emotion or character thought as the music or script. Next Generation failed dismally in this respect by using flat lighting and pastel colors everywhere.

While I never really considered Deep Space Nine as true Star Trek because they were all stuck in one place, in retrospect it stands the test of time better than Next Generation which looks decidedly dated now, even more so than The Original Series.

Voyager started out well with a good premise but for my tastes descended too much into soap opera, purely character driven cheesy plots, A, B and C stories (i.e. the writers weren't good enough to write a single 40-minute story) and interminable techno-babble which was used to pad out already badly scripted episodes. It ended with a dismal episode concerning Voyager's return to Earth. What an anticlimactic episode for those who spent seven years watching the series.

The only other series likely to make an appearance on Blu-Ray is Enterprise. This series was much maligned by the Star Trek community for rewriting Trek history. Spock was supposed to have been the first Vulcan serving in Starfleet, yet T'Pol served as First Officer 150 years earlier in Enterprise. since she wasn't a Starfleet officer, the apparent dichotomy was solved. Enterprise saw other Trek history rewrites too. Actually, this didn't bother me that much as Enterprise was much closer to the spirit of The Original Series than the intervening efforts. But, once again, the writers dropped the ball on the final episode. >

It's probably obvious that my favorite Trek movies are those with the old crew, particularly Star Trek II (The Wrath of Khan) and Star Trek VI (The Undiscovered Country). These were both greatly helped by two great ham actors (or at least actors who could ham it up) to match Bill Shatner's OTT Kirk, namely Ricardo Montalban (sadly now deceased) and Christopher Plummer.

Generations was a bit of a mess with a badly thought out plot and the lousy "bridge on the captain" way Kirk was killed off. He really should have gone out in more spectacular and fitting manner.

First Contact is where the Next Gen crew had their moment in the Sun. Easily the best of the Next Generation movies, it was followed by two complete duds that would have made mediocre TV episodes at best.

And now, seven years after Star Trek: Nemesis embarrassingly limped out of theaters, Star Trek XI lands on May 8th, 2009.

I've looked at the trailers and hmmm...I have a lot of reservations about this movie. But that's because I grew up with the old crew and I don't think Trek history should be messed with (despite my being okay with what Enterprise did). The problem for me is that Star Trek XI plays around with the characters' own histories, takes liberties with their relationships and will fundamentally change the perception of of those characters for long-time fans.

I understand that this is a reboot for a new, younger audience, but at this stage (not having seen the movie), perhaps it would have been better to use a different crew and ship, but set in the pre-TOS years. I'm not enamored with some of the casting choices either. Okay, I agree I'm something of an old fart on this.

JJ Abrams (the movie's director) can be good - Alias was excellent while he was at the helm but descended into mediocrity after he left. The same has happened with Lost (still think the writers are making it up as they go along). Cloverfield had an intriguing trailer but the movie didn't live up to expectation. It was a Godzilla movie shot on home digital cameras. Need I say more? This was one movie where there should have been more seen of the monster (it was cool). What he did with Cloverfield doesn't give me warm fuzzy feelings what what he'll do with Star Trek.

Time will tell. There's only a couple of weeks more to wait till Star Trek XI hits the theaters. Of course I'll go along to it. I really hope that I'll be applauding at the end of the movie and wanting more instead of holding my head in my hands disappointed with the "vision" of a director who wasn't even a Star Trek fan.

For those who've managed to avoid the hype or who are wondering what all the fuss is about, check out the latest movie trailer.

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