If you don’t know who Rick Berman is, than you will never understand why so many old Trekkies now hate J.J. Abrams.
Rick Berman was the producer of Star Trek The Next Generation, Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Star Trek Voyager, Star Trek Enterprise, and the Star Trek The Next Generation Movies. Instead of being a figure of love and admiration like Star Trek Creator Gene Roddenberry, Rick Berman is viewed by most Star Trek fans as the Anti-Christ who did his damned best to destroy everything that made Star Trek great. J.J.Abrams must have him on speed dial.
Over the past few days I’ve killed the random moment reading the many blog posts and movie reviews talking the many, many things that are wrong with Star Trek Into Darkness. Among the many complaints are things like stealing storylines from older Star Trek story lines, making the Federation more war like and less Dora the Explorer, and ignoring what made Star Trek great in the first place-a lot of deep thinking and introspection on moral issues. Sounds a lot like what was being said during the glory days of Rick Berman’s often dark, militaristic, and plot stealing Star Trek.
For all you kiddies who weren’t even born 25 years ago when Star Trek The Next Generation ended it’s run, there were a number of damned good shows and a lot of so-so shows and a whole season of pure crap shows. Even Rick Berman got a couple of dozen great shows out the 624 or so episodes of Star Trek filmed during his rein of terror. So there is some hope that J.J.Abrams might get one great movie banged out, but we may have to wait three or four films before it shows up.
I liked Alias, LOST, and Fringe-in their first couple of seasons. Abrams is great at getting things going, but totally sucks at wrapping things up. The build up for Cloverfield was amazing, the film, not so much. So it makes sense that his first Star Trek was pretty good and his second Star Trek was pretty much one WTF moment after another. Again, if you’re a kid who spends ten seconds on every web page you visit-and left this page long ago-than you don’t know about those hundreds of hours of Star Trek that have gone before. Who the hell has the time to sit down and watch all of that? There are plenty of episodes I never care to see again, and I am a fan, though often a nitpicking one.
Which brings us back to Rick Berman, why we love to hate the man who brought us countless hours of fun-so much of Star Trek just doesn’t make any damned sense at all. I’m guessing that fans of CSI or Law&Order don’t have every plot stored away in their brain somewhere that they can cross reference with the hundreds of hours of each of those shows. It’s a show you watch for an hour and are happy when they catch the bad guy. Star Trek is more than that. Star Trek is more like the longest novel ever written, while I don’t keep every episode on instant recall, I do recognize most of them after a few minutes of viewing.
So yeah, J.J.Abrams is the new Anti-Christ. Rick Berman can sleep sound knowing that his Mantle has been passed on.