To Boldly Charge Where No Man Has Charged Before

The good news:  a new Star Trek series will premiere on CBS in January 2017!  The bad news:  after the first episode, you’ll only be able to watch it on CBS’ video on demand channel, which has a $5.99 a month subscription fee.

I love the Star Trek franchise, so the idea of a new series — with new characters and plot lines — is very welcome, indeed.  But the idea of charging people to watch the series, rather than putting it on a free broadcast network, seems antithetical to the whole Star Trek egalitarian/United Federation of Planets/”we’re all in this together”/the future is about a united human race following the better angels of its nature message.  I don’t remember any Star Trek, The Original Series episodes — other than those featuring Harcourt Fenton Mudd, and maybe The Trouble With Tribbles — where material items or money seemed to play any part.  The fact that they’re charging for new episodes therefore seems kind of chintzy of me.

Will I watch the new series?  I’ll watch the first episode, for sure.  And if it looks good, maybe I’ll watch more and pay the $5.99 a month.  But I didn’t really watch much of Star Trek:  Deep Space Nine or Star Trek:  Voyager or Enterprise, because they didn’t really grab me.  If the writers can come up with new characters of the quality of Spock or Jean-Luc Picard or Data or, of course, James Tiberius Kirk, I’ll tune in.  If not, I think I’ll probably save that $72.00 a year and use it to watch the next Star Trek movie.

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