As much as fans of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” love the show, there was a time when Trekkies were outraged at the thought of a new Enterprise. That time was just before the debut of “Next Gen” in 1987. Now, “The Next Generation” is hailed as the best Trek of them all — according to ScreenRant and many others.
Thanks to a newspaper article from the era, preserved on Reddit, fans from 2022 can look back at what folks were saying about the previous edition of “NuTrek.” Among the complaints were those from a “die-hard” fan from Atlanta, Ga., named Ruth Breisinger, who led a letter-writing campaign to stop “The Next Generation.”
“It’s ludicrous,” Breisinger told writer Dave Thomas. “The charm and success of the original show was based on the perfect mix of characters — and the actors playing these parts. It’s the family of characters, especially the relationships between Captain Kirk, played by William Shatner, and Spock, the character that Leonard Nimoy made famous.”
Some Not-So Classic Episodes
“There are many fans who really hate the idea of a new show,” Verba told Thomas in the article. “And a lot of them think that if it isn’t well-received, it will reflect badly on the new movies.”
This all might sound familiar to fans of “Star Trek: Discovery,” or “Picard,” or “Strange New Worlds.” Meaning, that fans of the previous versions of Trek do not care for the newer takes on the franchise.
‘I Get It’
Recently, in an interview with the RadioTimes, the star of “Discovery” acknowledged that some fans might not like her show or the current version of “Star Trek.”
“So, because of that, their voices deserve to be heard, and we appreciate their voices, even if they are in disagreement with us,” said Martin-Green in the July 2022 interview. “Even if they’re criticizing, it’s like, ‘I get where you’re coming from though – it’s because this means a lot to you.’”
Many fans have taken to social media to express their opinion on the shows — including on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. But one creator on YouTube continues to strike a nerve with his compilation videos. The mysterious Major Grin posts about “Star Trek” regularly, and most of the time, he (or she) is critical of the new shows.
‘Men are the New Redshirts’
In his latest video, the Major suggests that only male characters die in the new shows. In a carefully crafted series of moments from “Discovery,” “Picard,” and “Strange New Worlds,” the Major serves up scene after scene of male characters dying or getting beaten up. By presenting this footage, the Major suggests that male characters are the equivalent to the Red Shirts from “The Original Series,” which were essential expendable personnel.
The Red Shirts would die in the episode to heighten tension, so Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy, and the other established characters could live on.
Major Grin’s selection does show male characters dying. Still, there have been notable female character deaths on the shows as well. That includes the death of Osyraa (Janet Kidder) at the end of “Discovery,” Season 3. Airium, the Discovery bridge crew member, played by Hannah Cheesman and Sara Mitich, also died. The original Captain Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) died and was replaced by her Mirror Universe counterpart. Admiral Cornwell (Jayne Brook) sacrificed herself to save Captain Pike (Anson Mount) and the rest of the Enterprise crew. Commander Landry (Rekha Sharma) was ripped to shreds by a giant tardigrade in “Discovery,” Season 1.
Based on the list above, it is fair to surmise that Major Grim might be wrong regarding “males being the new Red Shirts.” The Major might actually be correct in the video that followed, which argues that “all leaders are females” on NuTrek.
That is entirely true if one ignores Admiral Picard (Patrick Stewart), Captain Rios (Santiago Cabrera), Captain Pike, Doctor M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun), Admiral Vance (Oded Fehr), and a few other characters.
However, it is important to note that the “Red Shirts Always Die” theory was proven false in 2013, thanks to research done by statistician Matthew Barsalou. He stated that being a Red Shirt was actually quite safe, as long as the crew member was not serving in a security detail.
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