Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
And proposes a new Star Trek series...
Published on February 15, 2005 By Draginol In Movies & TV & Books

JMS, the creator of Babylon 5 along with a fantastic writer of many graphic novels (including the long delayed "Rising Stars..ahem..) has put his two sents on the recent cancelation of Star Trek: Enterprise and his thoughts on what Paramount needs to do..

I'm sending this to both the B5 folks reading this and any Trek fans
looking on.

Bryce Zabel (recently the head of the Television Academy and
creator/executive producer of Dark Skies) and I share one thing in
common. We are both long-time Trek fans, from the earliest days, who
felt that the later iterations were not up to the standards set by the
original series. (I'm exempting TNG because that one worked nicely,
and was in many ways the truest to the original series because Gene was
still around to shepherd its creation and execution.)

Over time, Trek was treated like a porsche that's kept in the garage
all the time, for fear of scratching the finish. The stories were, for
the most part, safe, more about technology than what William Faulkner
described as "the human heart in conflict with itself." Yes, there
were always exceptions, but in general that trend became more and more
apparent with the passage of years. Which was why so often I came down
on the later stories, which I did openly, because I didn't feel they
lined up with what Trek was created to be. I don't apologize for it,
because that was what I felt as a fan of Trek. That's why I had Majel
appear on B5, to send a message: that I believe in what Gene created.

Because left to its own devices, allowed to go as far as it could,
telling the same kind of challenging stories Trek was always known for,
it could blow the doors off science fiction television. Think of it
for a moment, a series with a forty year solid name, guaranteed
markets...can you think of a better time when you take chances and can
tell daring, imaginative, challenging stories? Why play it safe?

When Enterprise went down, those involved shrugged and wrote it off to
"franchise fatigue," their phrase, not mine.

I don't believe that for a second. Neither does Bryce. There's a
tremendous hunger for Trek out there. It just has to be Trek done

Last year, Bryce and I sat down and, on our own, out of a sheer love of
Trek as it was and should be, wrote a series bible/treatment for a
return to the roots of Trek. To re-boot the Trek universe.
Understand: writer/producers in TV just don't do that sort of thing on
their own, everybody always insists on doing it for vast sums of money.
We did it entirely on our own, setting aside other, paying deadlines
out of our passion for the series. We set out a full five-year arc.

But when it came time to bring it to Paramount, despite my track record
and Bryce's enormous and skillful record as a writer/producer, the
effort stalled out because of "political considerations," which was
explained to us as not wishing to offend the powers that be.

So on behalf of myself and Bryce, I'm taking the unusual step of going
right to the source...right to you guys, fueled in part by a number of
recent articles and polls, including one at in
which nearly 18,000 fans voted their preference for a new Trek series,
and 48% of that figure called for a jms take on Trek. (The other
choices polled at about 18% or thereabouts.)

See, if somebody doesn't like a story, doesn't want to buy it, that's
all well and good, that's terrific, that's the way it's supposed to be.
But when "political considerations" are the basis...that just doesn't

So here's the deal, folks. If you want to see a new Trek series that's
true to Gene's original creation, helmed by myself and Bryce, with
challenging stories, contemporary themes, solid extrapolation, and the
infusion of some of our best and brightest SF prose writers, then you
need to let the folks at Paramount know that. If the 48% of the 18,000
folks who voted at sent those sentiments to
Paramount...there'd be a new series in the works tomorrow.

I don't need the work, I have plenty of stuff on my plate through 2007
in TV, film and comics, so that's not an issue. But I'd set it all
aside for one shot at doing Trek right, and I know Bryce feels the

If you want this to's up to the Trek and B5 fans to make it

The rest I leave to the quiet turning of your considered conscience.

J. Michael Straczynski

on Feb 15, 2005

He is right.  If you watch pre and post Roddenberry, you see one of a future where war is skirted.  It is toyed with, danced with, but then avoided.  Post Roddenberry is all about intergalactic war.

If these 2 are true, then I would definitely like to see a new series ala the old Star Trek/TNG genre.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

on Feb 15, 2005
I’m not privy to their marketing research but something was telling them exploring the universe just wasn’t exciting enough anymore to be a hit. I guess they thought viewers needed conflict. But Romulans and Klingons were too much like us to kill without remorse. Villains needed to be irredeemably evil. Hence the arrival of the can’t be reasoned with, you will be assimilated Borg. Other sci fi like Stargate sg1 followed suite the parasitic Gould and the vampire like Wraith.

You would think with all that’s going on in the world an hour of space exploration inline with Gene’s version of the future would be a welcome escape for us, and a recipe for success for the network.
on Feb 16, 2005

But Romulans and Klingons were too much like us to kill without remorse.

I always saw the Klingons as an analogy of the Soviets (and hence why they were at peace in TNG), and the Romulans as the Chinese (The Vulcans were the Japanese, hence the 'common race' factor).

IN all, I liked the way Roddenberry took the troubles and issues of the day and turned it into a story with a moral for tomorrow.

on Feb 21, 2005
I've been a fan of the Trek universe for many, many years. I watched the reruns of TOS as a kid in the 1970s, cautiously tuned in, in 1987, to the first episode of TNG and was quickly hooked, and watched the universe grow and spread with the addition of three more series and ten motion pictures, each of varying quality.
I write stories based in and around the Trek universe, collect various items of memorabilia and such, and have had the odd pleasure of attending two conventions. In short, I'm a Trekker.

Though I enjoyed the premise of "Enterprise" (and Jolene Blaylock's catsuits--RrroowrrR!), I was often put off by the way they screwed with the timeline. Two examples that come to mind right now are the "phase pistols"---phasers. "The Cage", the unused first pilot, made in 1964, was acknowledged and incorporated into the Trek dogma with the episode "The Menagerie".
If you recall, Captain Pike and crew were using ~~laser~~ pistols just a few years before the Kirk era, in which phasers were introduced as the standard issue weapon, in "Where No Man Has Gone Before", when the show was picked up. Yet, Captain Archer and crew, a century and a half before Kirk, were using phasers. As a Trekker, this distortion gives me a headache.
Another one that gets me is the way they'd never heard of Romulans until then. Unless I'm wrong (my copy of "Star Trek Chronology: A History of the Future" is still packed away), Earth had met the Romulans and had fought a series of wars with them, which ended with the Treaty of Algeron, by the era "Enterprise" takes place within. Another headache.

I'd be glad to see someone else, if they stayed within Roddenberry's vision and took it back to basics, come and take the reins. Could be a good thing.
on Nov 28, 2006