In a recent interview with Star Trek Magazine, Brannon Braga once again raised the mysterious disease known as "Star Trek Fatigue" which he and Rick Berman believe has infected millions of Star Trek fans.
"Each one of them had an explosively popular pilot episode and then the ratings steadily went down. We have this charted out. Each show got a little less ratings than the show before it. What can you attribute that to? Is it the quality of the shows? I don't think so."
Is there some rare form of myopia that only affects those in the TV and movie industry? Let me break it down:
- There is a HUGE Star Trek fanbase, evidenced by continuing sales of books, comics, DVDs and other merchandise.
- These fans are very hungry for "new Trek".
- Although the movies have gotten progressively worse (Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: Nemesis) as well as the TV version (Star Trek: Voyager), fans somehow still hold out hope that the next incarnation will be better and will satisfy their hunger.
- A new announcement is made of an upcoming cutting edge/groundbreaking/amazing/whatever new series.
- Fans eagerly tune in to the pilot hoping for something great.
- It's not *terrible* and Trek has a history of taking a while to get in it's groove, so fans keep watching for a while.
- Turns out the show isn't that well done, hopes disappear and most viewers tune out. A few hardcore fans hang in there, but ratings drop.
Now is this viewer fatigue or is it the fact that instead of sticking with the premise (I'm speaking of Enterprise of course) of showing the foundation of Starfleet and the Federation that they took us to some far-flung part of the galaxy on a mission that involved zero continuity with established Trek history?
Could it be that the characters were written in such a way that after 4 years I still didn't know them all by name (or care)?
And then just when Star Trek: Enterprise starts to get interesting with the infusion of a fresh writer/producer (Manny Coto) and they start to reference known events and characters, the network pulls the plug. This time no fan campaign can save the show, even with some significant amount of money raised in an effort to help finance the show (well enough to pay for one episode, but it showed the level of commitment to the show).
Now you tell me... is *that* a sign of viewer fatigue? Or is it a sign that *now* that the show finally was reaching some level of quality that fans embraced it and wanted to see *more* Star Trek?
(Image from Trek Bits)