Like many other people who have currently been informed about the new policy that has been directed at many Fans of the Star Trek universe, I am very disheartened to see this development.
For myself, I am in a unique possition regarding the history of the series, being able to say that I watched the first episode of the of the original Star Trek when it was first aired in the 1960's.
As is well known, many corporate forces attempted to have the original show removed from the air, which was reversed through strong viewer support. Likewise the maintenance of the spirit of the series by the Fans until the Movies and later the arival of Star Trek:TNG.
All in all, the relationship between the Star Trek universe and the Fans of that ideal has been unique and strong. It is not one of simple consumerizm, but rather a shared vision as was inspired by the ideas of the Late Gene Rodinberry regarding the potential of people to be their best. This has always appealed to those who are intellegent and creative.
The bottom line for this relationship is that the Star Trek universe and characters have moved beyond simply being a consumer item, and they are now cultural icons of the late 20th Century. Long after the copyrights have expired on the characters, Images and plots the basic identification of this phenomena will be fixed in the imagination of future generations, in the same way that The Wizard of Oz, Shirlock Holms, Tarzan, and other characters of the imagination are now owned by everyone.
To show how far this has gone; last year the prize for "Best Sermon" in England went to an Anglican Minister who used the example of Mr.Spock from the original Star Trek Series, with a mention of the U.S.S. Enterprise, to illustrate the main thesis. As a result, Star Trek will now be in the offical record of the Anglican Church for as long as the archives exist. Not a bad contribution to the world I would say.
Previously Paramount has recognized the unique contribution that the Fans have provided, and have gone out of their way to support those fans in their continued creative output.
These same people can as easily "pull the plug" if they wish. This is not a threat, but simply a statement of fact that the people who are participating in all of this are not mindless consumers. Many of these people truly love the Star Trek universe, and if it appears to have been tainted in anyway by corporate greed, then it is better that it end now, and leave the good memories intact, than see it perverted.
All ready we have been seeing a number of Negative signs. For example, more T and A have been appearing in the series, which is a sure sign that someone has failed to understand what has driven the series for these many years. Frankly many people whom I have talked to have noticed this trend and are not happy with the development. Where is the intelligence that has marked the series (even if this has not been apparent to many executives responsible for the different series).
Anyway, a lot of people are noticing and a lot more will be informed. A lot of questions will be asked and I hope Viacom will have some good answers for them.
* Joseph Cooper-VE3FMQ QTH-East York-near Toronto Ontario Canada * * Interests are:- BCB and VLF Radio-Woodworking-Steam Railroads - * * -Nikola Tesla-Antique Radios-Crystal Radios-Travel-Burmese Cats * * FAX (416) 423-7782 9:00pm to 5:00pm EDST Monday To Friday Only *