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How not to reboot Star Trek

How not to reboot Star Trek

I went to see the new Star Trek film at the London Imax, and alongside pretty much everyone else, I was awed and wowed by the action, laughed at the character interplay, and suffused with nostalgic feelings for the actions of Kirk, Spock, Sulu and everyone else. And acknowledged that even if green skin does not go with red hair, it still looks darned good.

However, there are a couple of things that are annoying me about new Trek (spoilers dead ahead, captain!)

Did they really have to change the rules? By breaking the one inviolable rule in time-travel fiction that people from the future trying to change the past cannot change the present? Aside from throwing away 30+ years of stories – no more Khaaaaaaaannn, for instance – it means you’ve broken the internal workings of the box, and it just won’t work as well any more.

Plus, Doctor Who is a 40-year story about a time-travelling person, for goodness’ sake – and if they didn’t feel the need to throw all the old stories away when they re-started the storylines – why should Star Trek have done the same thing?

It can also be argued that Doctor Who had a far more successful reboot than Star Trek. British kids are now pretending to be Daleks in the playground. Whereas most of the people I know who saw Star Trek and loved it were … Star Trek fans. Non-Star Trek fans don’t seem as interested – and that was with an action-packed 120 minutes with barely a mention of multi-phasic shielding.

Supplemental: Star Trek appears to have six different theories of time travel. So I guess it doesn’t matter!


  • For the record, Leah's not big on "core" sci-fi though she watches Dr Who for the actors she fancies. She loved Star Trek.

    Mind, she also liked Wolverine (though not as much) because she got to see Hugh Jackman's bum.

    Women *tut*

  • Phillip Jackson

    I went & saw the new Star Trek movie last week, & love it. There was a number things that got up my noise that dont seem to fall into place. Dont get me wrong the story line was pretty good, but, Spocks mum been killed of & Spocks home world been destroyed. The thing is that I grow up on Star Trek from the beginning & like many many other trekies you dont do that. The stories will be tren up & beaten to death & left as a corps in the middle of the road.

  • The "one inviolable rule in time-travel in fiction" does not really apply in Star Trek – episodes such as "City on the Edge of Forever" or the film "First Contact", time travellers from Trek's 'present' influence the 'past' to great effect. So it's not a novel technique; it also 'frees up' them from 40 years of canon. And it doesn't mean Kirk will never encounter Khan again, as long as the timeline isn't sufficiently disrupted enough.

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