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Old May 12th, 2005, 04:35 AM   #2
Sci-Fi
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Star Trek

(cont)

‘NO MORE SHOWS’

The immediate fan response, in postings to one of the big “Trek” Web sites, was mostly cynical:

• “Thank God this horror of a show is off the air. It was not ‘Star Trek.’ ”

• “You can all go stick plasma injectors in your warp cores! ... If you had treated it like ‘Star Trek’ and rooted for it to be good, like a good fan, it would ... never have been canceled.”

• “Why should people have treated it like ‘Trek’? They purposely left out ‘Star Trek’ from its title in the first season — great way to distance yourself from the fans.”

• “I guess it hasn’t hit you guys yet. You say good riddance and you hope next time, it will be done right ... Well, this is it! ‘Star Trek’ is over. There will be no more shows.”

No more shows? Ever? Not likely, says executive producer Rick Berman, who has spent 18 years churning out “Star Trek” series for Paramount.

Berman told USA Today that he saw this as only a hiatus for the “Trek” franchise — maybe for three years or so, but not permanently. Not even counting the original 1960s series, “We’ve done 624 hours of ‘Star Trek’ over the last 18 years,” Berman said in February. “You can take one too many trips to the well.”

The fans aren’t surrendering. Steve Krutzler isn’t taking down his Web site. The original Trekker, Bjo Trimble, thinks “Trek” can rise from the ashes if people such as Berman and other “unimaginative” execs at Paramount will just go away.

And there’s a scene from one “Trek” movie that we should keep in mind.

The wolf is at the door — the Klingons, Romulans, whoever, are on the rampage — and things look grim for the original Enterprise crew.

“We’re dead,” Scotty moans.

“I’ve been dead before,” Spock says.

And so he has. And so “Trek” has. On the final frontier, there are always possibilities.

TOP 10 ‘TREKS’

Our picks for the best episodes from nearly 40 years of “Trek” TV

“The Menagerie” (“Star Trek: The Original Series,” 1966): Intricate two-parter built around the very first “Trek” pilot episode, 1965’s “The Cage,” in which the intense Jeffrey Hunter played captain of the Enterprise.

“City on the Edge of Forever” (“Star Trek: The Original Series,” 1967): Kirk and Spock chase a crazed Dr. McCoy through a time portal back to 1930s Earth, where Kirk falls for a young Joan Collins, who must die if history is to live.

“Amok Time” (“Star Trek: The Original Series,” 1967): Like a salmon, Spock must go home to Vulcan to take a wife, or die.

“The Doomsday Machine” (“Star Trek: The Original Series,” 1967): The Enterprise must stop a planet-killing machine that resembles a colossal, horizontal ice cream cone.

“Mirror, Mirror” (“Star Trek: The Original Series,” 1967): The bridge crew gets tossed into a parallel universe, where Spock has a beard and the Federation is a bloodthirsty empire.

“The Best of Both Worlds” (“Star Trek: The Next Generation,” 1990): Capt. Picard is turned into a Borg and the “Next Gen” crew comes into its own in this epic two-parter.

“Chain of Command” (“Star Trek: The Next Generation,” 1992): As the Federation stands on the brink of war, the Cardassians capture and torture Picard for information. This should have been one of the “Next Gen” movies.

“All Good Things ...” (“Star Trek: The Next Generation,” 1994): Picard hopscotches through time in this immensely complex two-hour finale to “Next Gen’s” seven-year run.

“Trials and Tribble-ations” (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” 1996): The DS9 crew goes back — literally — into the 1960s episode that introduced those purring balls of fur, tribbles.

“Fight or Flight” (“Star Trek: Enterprise,” 2001): The new crew runs into a starship full of slaughtered aliens and realizes that space can be a very scary place.

— Bobby Bryant

IN PRINT

Even if the sun sets on “Star Trek” as a film and television franchise, it’s likely to keep going for many years in the format that’s cheapest to produce — paperback books.

The first “Trek” novel — James Blish’s tight and terse “Spock Must Die!” — appeared in 1970. Blish also did a series of slim paperbacks adapting the original 1966-69 series. Since then, the universe of “Trek” books has exploded. Book series are set before, during and after virtually all of the TV series and films.

We did a quick Internet search and turned up about 500 “Star Trek” books — a total that includes both original novels and adaptations of the various films and TV series. Paramount Pictures, which owns the “Trek” franchise, says no other fictional literary universe is that huge.

— Bobby Bryant

THE 5 SERIES

A guide to the shows that built a 40-year TV franchise

“Star Trek: The Original Series,” 1966-69, NBC. Time frame: the 23rd century. The captain: James T. Kirk (William Shatner). The catch phrases: “Beam me up,” “He’s dead, Jim,” “The engines canna take any more!” This is the show that started it all, but producer Gene Roddenberry’s vision of an egalitarian future suffered from low ratings and died after three years.

“Star Trek: The Next Generation,” 1987-94, syndicated. Time frame: the 24th century. The captain: Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). The catch phrase: “Make it so.” Proof that “Trek” could be a long-term TV success.

“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” 1993-99, syndicated. Time frame: the 24th century. The captain: Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks). The catch phrase: none, but this spin-off set on a space station was, week in and week out, the best-written “Trek” show.

“Star Trek: Voyager,” 1995-2001, UPN. Time frame: the 24th century. The captain: Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew). The catch phrase: none. By the time the lost starship Voyager found its way home, most fans had quit caring.

“Star Trek: Enterprise,” 2001-05, UPN. Time frame: the 22nd century. The captain: Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula). The catch phrase: none. This prequel to the original series was set a century before Kirk and Spock.

— Bobby Bryant

THE INSIDERS’ VIEW

What went wrong with the franchise? Some “Trek” actors think they know:

“Paramount has gone to the well too often, because the franchise has been such a huge cash cow for the studio, for decades.”

— Jonathan Frakes, Will Riker of “Next Generation”

“(After the first ‘Trek’ film in 1979,) ‘Star Trek’ was like a beached whale. I think something similar is happening now. ‘Star Trek’ is in this stranded situation. The ideas that were propelling it have run dry.”

— Leonard Nimoy, the original series’ Mr. Spock

“As soon as one series ends, the next one begins. ... How can you sustain that? The bar has been raised so high with sci-fi films. I’m not talking just about special effects, but interesting, elaborate tales. You need to step back and refocus on what’s pertinent to this moment in time.”

— Denise Crosby, Tasha Yar of “Next Generation”

“ ‘Star Trek’s’ just not special enough, not anymore. They need to shut the whole thing down, wait five years, create an interest, an excitement, a hunger for it again.”

— LeVar Burton, Geordi LaForge of “Next Generation”

— From wire reports

ON THE TUBE

The final two episodes of “Enterprise” will be broadcast from 8-10 p.m. Friday on UPN, cable channel 13.
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