Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Trek should be on TV

OPINION
 
We are getting closer and closer to the airing of the new Star Trek series, Discovery. It is an exciting thing for Trek lovers and sci-fi enthusiasts. Trek has not been on TV for a while now. But as much as I love Star Trek, I'm not sure I'll be tuning in because I don't see the point. After the premier episode, I'll have to subscribe to CBS's streaming service to catch the rest. Netflix will also be getting Star Trek: Discovery, but only for international streaming. Not that I am a Netflix subscriber. I suppose this is all well and good in the modern era of streaming series and movies, but it is a major departure from how people grew up with Star Trek. You used to be able to watch it for free over the air. Okay, some people caught the various series when they were rerun on various cable stations.

So my main concern, well more like personal feeling, is that Star Trek has always been  something for the general public, especially with it's message of inclusiveness and hope. It has always been a beacon of diversity on television that was easy to access for people with and without the money to afford cable. But CBS is asking fans for more. To pay for the privilege of watching something they have always been able to get for free. It makes sense from a business standpoint. There is a loyal fan base who will pay for the privilege. And having Star Trek as an anchor for a streaming service is good business too. But it is not in the spirit of Star Trek in my opinion. Star Trek has always shown a hopeful and diverse future for humanity that you didn't have to pay for monthly. It had it's moments of dark and edgy, but the core of the series is was always hope. It might make good business sense to charge for Star Trek. After all, the property does belong to a company that needs to make money to survive. But it is the right thing to to. The new ways of delivering entertainment are great. But delivering a vision of the future never needed a paid subscription. With all the other content CBS has, does Star Trek really need to be online only?

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