To go into all the reasons why there is a fairly sizable contingent of “Star Trek” fans that really dislike the recent CBS All Access franchise offerings would take entirely too long. Suffice it to say, some diehard ‘Trek’ fans are not happy with the current direction of the franchise, spearheaded by Alex Kurtzman. And that distaste extends to the most recent new series, “Star Trek: Picard.” But according to the series’ showrunner, that level of hate is to be expected.
Speaking to Deadline, ‘Picard’ showrunner Michael Chabon explained why it’s perfectly alright to have fans hate his series. You see, the writer-producer says the ‘Trek’ franchise is littered with stories of how fans hate new series at first, but then over time, they grow to love them.
“Part of what you’re talking about is, for example, the way that I felt about ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ when it premiered,” explained Chabon. “I was sitting in front of my TV, watching ‘Encounter at Farpoint,’ and I hated it. I kind of hate-watched it — although we didn’t have that term then — for most of the first season. At some point in the second season, I realized, oh, wow, that was a good episode. The show actually did get better. It takes a while to figure out what a show is.”
He continued, “As someone who’s watched a lot of ‘Star Trek,’ you’re comparing something that you have now seen once with huge expectations, to something that in some cases you’ve seen hundreds of times. It takes a while for you to shed your expectations, your biases, your prejudices. I was prejudiced in favor of Mr. Spock, Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy. It took a long time to lose that.”
Many folks upset with ‘Picard’ believe that the series is yet another example of Kurtzman (the man in charge of all of the CBS All Access ‘Star Trek’ series) misunderstanding ‘Trek,’ by focusing entirely too much on loud action and forgetting the fundamentals of the sci-fi franchise. And in ‘Picard,’ there’s the added issue of the new iteration of the franchise re-using characters from ‘The Next Generation,’ opening itself up to further criticism and comparison.
Chabon also says that he knew that there would also be a certain subsection of fandom that never would like his vision for the series, but he had no interest in pleasing them. He “was aware of the kind of toxic fandom, the anti-SJW, you know, sad little corner of fandom — you just disregard that. Sometimes you’re motivated to have things simply because it’s possibly going to piss off or provoke people who seem to have missed the memo about just what exactly ‘Star Trek’ is and always has been all about.”
Regardless of fan sentiment, apparently ‘Picard’ has been a pretty popular series for CBS All Access, as the network is already moving forward with Season 2, as the new ‘Trek’ series on the platform all seem to be doing well. So, maybe the next batch of episodes are when the diehard fans will find joy in this new era of ‘Trek?’