January Topic of the Month: Why is Star Trek so popular?

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January Topic of the Month: Why is Star Trek so popular?

Postby Zania Jaarda » Fri Jan 02, 2004 8:07 pm

Star Trek has been a part of our culture since the 1960s. Since it's inception, it has ushered in a new era of science fiction, and even fantasy.

NBC decided to pull the plug on the show after a very short period of time, but the popularity of Star Trek skyrocketed after that happened.

Why do you think that Star Trek became so popular? What has helped Star Trek maintain that level of popularity? What are the current threats to that popularity, if any, and how can they be overcome?
Last edited by Zania Jaarda on Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lucasausems » Sat Jan 03, 2004 7:44 am

For me personnally, I like the things that happen in space, the special effects, those are the real kick offs for me. Every time a ship blows up in space, I'm at the edge of my seat.
What's also cool, are the aliens, how their culture works, I find that truly amazing!
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Postby Jake Sjet » Sat Jan 03, 2004 1:09 pm

"Captain, the aliens looks excatly like us, but have play doe afixed to their foreheads and have a dodgy accent...so they must be the long lost race called...Actors!"
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Postby Lucasausems » Sat Jan 03, 2004 1:32 pm

Actors huh?? From planet are they, they sound familiar, I heard it before, Oh wait I'm an Actor!!
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:49 pm

Personally, I think that there is some deep down fascination with science fiction and fantasy because it offers an escape from the real world. It can provide a vision of what one believes the future may be like.

Considering the troubles within our everyday world, that can hold appeal to some people who are looking for something to provide them with hope - especially if it means the end of poverty, disease, discrimination, etc.

Star Trek was first aired during a time of social upheaval, so it's message was lost within the time, only to be rediscovered later by those who watched it through syndication. Some found the deeper meaning behind the episodes and took them to heart, becoming true fans. They even showed their support by creating conventions and pushing to have a movie made.

Which brings us to where we are today!

As for threats to the popularity, there are several that need to be considered:

1) The day of the week the show airs on - Fridays are often known as the "death slot," killing some programs!

2) The other shows a Star Trek series is up against. The higher the ratings the other show gets, the fewer people may watch Star Trek. Currently, Enterprise is squaring off against Smallville.

3) Network execs - yes, those in charge can also have an impact! Remember, the execs axed the original series after a couple of seasons, plus they've made other mistakes before, leading to the untimely demise of very good shows. They seem content to focus on the so-called "reality" shows instead of listening to what viewers really want.

Just my Image! What do you guys think?
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Postby Ducane » Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:18 pm

I think that I've never laughed so much at a post in a board Captain!! specifically, the part where you inserted a picture of American currency into your sentence;)

I also love science fiction because I imagine working in the future in developing technology that rivals that which we see in sci-fi shows today.

Also, I need to acquire some Anti-Hydrogen, no really, I'm not joking. I had an inspiration in my Physics lecture the other day, and I need a few grams of Anti-Hydrogen to experiment with... So far, I haven't found any on e-bay.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Wed Jan 07, 2004 1:26 pm

Ducane wrote:I think that I've never laughed so much at a post in a board Captain!! specifically, the part where you inserted a picture of American currency into your sentence;)


That's one of the 1600+ smilies that I've managed to come across and put into my EmotiPad! :-D

I also love science fiction because I imagine working in the future in developing technology that rivals that which we see in sci-fi shows today.

Also, I need to acquire some Anti-Hydrogen, no really, I'm not joking. I had an inspiration in my Physics lecture the other day, and I need a few grams of Anti-Hydrogen to experiment with... So far, I haven't found any on e-bay.


The one thing that's interesting about the whole sci fi genre is that some of the concepts that are seen in the shows are being attempted by scientists as we speak. Some have already succeeded at holographic communication over distances, and a few are beginning to theorize how to create a functional transporter.

As long as we continue with our exploration of space and see successes, like with the recent of the Mars Rover landing and data that we've received, imaginations will continue to thrive. As long as people can imagine, then Star Trek and other sci fi series will never truly die, even if they fade from the airwaves for a while.
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Postby Jack » Wed Jan 07, 2004 1:51 pm

Maybe part of the appeal of Star Trek is not the spaces battles, the future technology or the aliens but how equal everyone is in the Trek future. How barriers have been brought down, inequality banished and prejudices eliminated.

And you get space battles, tchnolgy and aliens :lol:
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Wed Jan 07, 2004 4:45 pm

I think you make an excellent point there! Indeed, I believe part of the appeal of the series is the fact that it is set in the far future, where poverty, disease, and discrimination have been eliminated. With the exception of outside threats, everyone lives in peace, co-existing and striving to make continued technological and scientific discoveries.

If I haven't said it before, welcome to the Zealous boards, Jack!
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Tue Jan 13, 2004 1:48 pm

Anyone else have some thoughts on this? Why do you think Star Trek is so popular?
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Postby pSyCo » Fri Jan 16, 2004 9:19 am

The most important thing about series is: Don't make the audition feel dumb. If you do this, the ppl won't like the show, it's that simple. Sometimes I don't like the very 'american' feeling in the shows - don't ask what exactly it is, maybe the everyone happy at the end thing.
Another thing I miss in Star Trek is the lack of 'real' aliens. Most aliens are so... well, humanoid. Oh well ^_^
The show is popular because of the science fiction, Jean Luc Picard, the 'happy ends' and, last but definitely not least, Q! (don't you all just love him? ^_^)
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Fri Jan 16, 2004 11:38 am

Very good points! I totally and completely agree! There has to be some dark twists, and there should not always be a happy ending. This could do a lot for character development, especially over the course of a series, plus it keeps fans hooked, chomping at the bit to see what happens next.

After all, look at The Empire Strikes Back. That has a very dark ending, and the critics hated it, but it quickly became an all-time fan favorite. Most fans have said that The Empire Strikes Back is the best movie of the original trilogy.

I think part of the problem, at least when it comes to aliens, is money. Most TV shows have very limited budgets, and they need to operate within those budgets. If they go over, the studios aren't very happy as they have to pay for the rest.

If sci fi series could get one major sponsor, that would be willing to pay for most of the costs of the show, along with several minor sponsors to pick up the rest, then the budget concern would not be so big of an issue and you would see a lot more species that are non-humanoid (perhaps CGI created).

The downside to this is that the sponsors would want their commercials aired with each episode, and the stations that air them would not be able to add in that many commercials. Commercials are how the individual stations get paid, thus, they would lose money by showing a program that had the commercials already included.

The trick is to find the balance. ;-)
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:25 pm

Just as with the last time, I am removing the sticky on this thread since the month of January has passed, and we are going to put up a new Topic of the Month shortly. This thread will remain unlocked, just in case if anyone finds some inspiration and wants to add their opinions. ;-)
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