SFX Issue 17

October 1996


David Gerrold On The State Of Star Trek

“I think that Star Trek has become far more conservative in many ways than it needs to be. It’s become the establishment. In fact, it’s become the McDonald’s of science fiction. You know what you’re going to get: you’re going to get a Big Mac. And you don’t want to find a worm in your Big Mac. Now if you go into a Japanese restaurant, you expect to find raw fish and squiggly eels and funny bits that you have no idea what they are. But that’s when you go to a Japanese restaurant. When you go to McDonald’s you want a Big Mac exactly like every other Big Mac you’ve had. And I think Star Trek has put itself in the position of delivering Big Macs.”

Which raises the question, could Gerrold do any better in Star Trek’s newest incarnations – DS9 or Voyager? The prospect doesn’t even seem to interest him...

“At the moment I can’t think of a single story I would want to write for Star Trek. They’ve just about done everything there is to do in the Star Trek universe. They’ve worn it out. Half the problem they have over there is they can’t do anything without it being a repeat of something they’ve already done. I think if Paramount came to me, I’d say, ‘Let’s invent something; let’s do a new show.’

“I think it’s time to retire Star Trek. There’s nothing wrong with it and I know the audience could watch it forever, but I think it’s time to let it rest. Wait for a few years, then come back and invent a brand new Star Trek with different actors and different people behind the scenes. Writers and creators wear out when they’re doing the same thing over and over again.”