Red State America Wants Their Star Trek Series ‘Rough and Tumble’

A recent poll of Red State America, conservatives who either vote GOP or TEA, has confirmed the excitement that producers of the new Star Trek Series, Star Trek: Reckoning, hoped would be there.  The poll also scared the socks off them, one insider says.  The poll–pondering the success of a Star Trek run by conservatives, with the real, honest to gosh, Sarah Palin playing Captain Nalia Fergus of the USS Steadfast–garnered a stunning 76% of TV viewers.  These are viewers who may not have ever watched a Star Trek Series in their lives—they wouldn’t know a Klingon from a Ferengi, but they know Sarah Palin and they remember Captain Kirk.  And somewhere that all makes sense with them.

Shawn Gust, The Coeur d'Alene Press/APRarely have TV shows done polls before they even start filming the series, but producers of ST: RECK, as it’s being called, wanted to be sure where they were going.  “We didn’t want to wait for a Nielsen Rating confirmation.  We needed to know who was out there.”  Understand, they only polled Conservatives.  All us liberal, compassionate Democrats have not been polled.  They’re assuming that any Star Trek series will be embraced by the fans.  (So soon forgetting Enterprise?)

Our insider, though, has gone on to reveal to us what else the Poll says–and this is what scared producers:   Those conservatives polled wanted to dismantle the Exploration side of the Federation, get rid of the Prime Directive, and see a healthier number of “Americans” on board the ships.  Follow up questions revealed that by “Americans,” conservatives meant “white people”.  Most didn’t know that Sisko or Uhura or Tuvok were black, or that Sulu or Kim were Asian.  When told, many reported that “those people” could stay, but new ships should reflect more of a “middle America” profile.  

“They definitely wanted us to put Montana in space…,” said one of the writers.  

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Is Star Trek Reckoning Real?

This question “Is Star Trek Reckoning Real?” was googled by someone and led to my website.   There’s really another question that’s implicit, I think and that is “Would the Creators Really Want to Screw Up Star Trek by letting Conservatives wreak havoc in the Star Trek Universe?”  

Yes.

We love it when our favorite stories take a turn for the worse–where our complacency is shaken, our values are threatened, adversity gets the upper hand, only to show us how much we truly have taken things for granted.  

Fiction is all about making it bad for your heroes.  And making them fight hard–because it gives us strength to fight hard.

We need to see a few seasons where the “good” of Star Trek has to fight to regain balance.  The Federation has gotten the upper hand.  Chances with Enterprise were lost to play with a universe without the Federation.  Oh, in Star Trek series, we had a few episodes from the Mirror Universe, but even that slowly spoiled because each episode in the  Mirror Universe actually redeemed a character or two who were going to be pivotal in turning the “dark” parts–the disorder– to order once again.  And then the mirror universe would be just like us…ho hum.  What if we lingered in that disorder?  This is what Reckoning explores.

Oh there have been times when good guys rebel against the Federation.  Why is it that the “good” Star Trek characters sneak around and are able to commandeer vessels (Kirk, Scotty, Picard), disobey orders (everyone), grab things they aren’t supposed to have (Chakotay, Riker, Janeway) and go off and do something illegal for a greater good (which no one in the Federation knows about)?  Why is Starfleet so easy to outwit?

The “order” in Star Trek relies on the shared concept of the “honor system”— but when good characters want to steal things, disobey, etc. they seem to be able to do it because no one in Star Trek is ready for that.  And secondly, because the plot calls for it.  We need Janeway to steal the time machine doo-hickey, or Kirk to steal the Enterprise….  because otherwise we don’t have an episode.  

Fergus, the D’Mi, the whole grouping of conservative captains who no longer have faith in the Federation’s president–who see themselves as vigilantes, or martyrs, or heroes—determined to save the Universe, or their values, at any cost— these people are interesting.  Villains are far more interesting, at times, than heroes who can be painted too “good.”   Next Generation characters weren’t very complex, or if they were unstable, they were restored by episode’s end (except DS9–which was by far the riskiest ST)  Star Trek hit the reset button every episode (or at the very least, at the end of every two -parter).  Star Trek, by JJ Abrams, did us a favor and did not hit the reset button, thank God.  

Now we have a series that shows that the “values” of Star Trek can be hijacked by well-meaning people who believe they are on a mission.  I think this is a logical next step for Star Trek.  Reckoning will show how easy it is to believe what you have been told, it would give a believable “other side” to all the issues.  Instead of showing us what is right by demonstration— it would show us what is right by having to fight for it, and failing.  

Captains modeled on Palin, Gingrich, Limbaugh, Beck would be interesting–if only to see what they would do with something like the Federation.  How would they operate within it?  When would they dismantle it?  When would they circumvent it?  Would the Federation be able to squelch them?  The Maquis was a great subplot, and I wish they had done more there… certainly Tom Riker (one of my favorite characters) would have been interesting to follow.  But the Maquis had one goal–not a whole different ideology.  I want to see that people in the Federation don’t all think alike….  they don’t all get along.  

Think of what happened to the West Wing when the Republicans got in power….  

So, creators of Star Trek, when will we have a Reckoning?  When will we see what we loved threatened? Will you create people who will fight to re-balance it?  In the same vein as BSG—a show that allowed characters to be less than perfect, and which allowed the bad guys to have the upper hand–can you show us a universe where it will take us seven seasons to get it back on track again?  

Please, finally, let the Dragon out and let us see what the Federation will do!  🙂

Is Star Trek Reckoning for real or not?  Confirm this series.

Palin cites New Star Trek Series in Gun Rights Decision: “Everyone Had a Phaser”

Star Trek is enough reason for justifying the Supreme Court decision today, according to once VP nominee Sarah Palin.  Poised to become the new captain of the USS Steadfast (in UPN and Fox’s new Star Trek Series–see past entries here and here), Palin gave a speech today where she cited as precedent the popular science fiction series, aired between 1966-1969.  “Sidearms protected everyone.  Everyone had a phaser.  This is the future.  So, we thank the judges for remembering not only where we’ve been but where we’re heading,” she said today outside her Alaska home.  She showed the crowd her own handgun, which she claims has stopped fourteen robberies, six alone by her next door neighbor, writer Joe McGinniss.

Palin excited the gun rights lobby (which is near frothing already for Palin) by endorsing the Supreme Court decision and by linking it to popular culture.  Seventeen unidentified men and women held up their iPhone 4s after having googled “shooting death” to show how many gun death entries are in the news for just today, June 28th.   “Those really effective background checks keep guns out of the hands of crazy people!” one of them shouted at Palin’s abrupt press conference.  [The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, an advocate for sensible gun laws, cite more than 100,000 people a year are the victims of a shooting]

Palin countered, “If it’s good enough for Star Trek, it’s good enough for the country that will be Star Trek one day.  After all, these are Americans in space.”

Bloggers have tried to explain the Federation of Planets to Ms. Palin (as she’s about to become a captain on the new series).   She twitters politely, “All captains of the series were American, everyone spoke English, and the military was in charge of ‘exploration.’  This makes it an American ship in space.  How much more American can you get than U.S.S.?”

The writers, once thrilled at writing the conservative adventures of rogue captains, were shocked at Ms. Palin’s link-up between Roddenberry’s vision of peace and her own gun-toting agenda.  “She’s obviously not familiar with the ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’ alternate timeline.  Sidearms on the bridge crew were a sign that things had gone bad—not good.”

Palin is certainly a rogue Trek actor for the writers.  She has cajoled the writers into scripting outright sedition on the bridge.  “This is how real, honest people would talk if their President was a weak-kneed, educated liberal facing this kind of disaster.”  She refers to the Reckoning–that portentious, ominous, apocalyptic thing hurtling towards Earth–that is the tension backbone of the new series, Star Trek: Reckoning.

Writers have committed to one season.  My inside man in this writing group says, “I don’t think the fans could sustain the series past one season.  Just seeing how a conservative rogue group would f**k up the whole Federation would make them cry out for the Reckoning just to clean house.”

Another writer says, “We’re treating it as comedy.  And the best thing is that Sarah [Palin] is taking it dead seriously.”

The team of producers and the director, Chris Berman, want it that way.  “I think Palin, Gingrich, Cheney, Limbaugh–they’ll be able to pull it off because they believe in their beliefs so much.  It won’t even have to be acting.  And yeah, I agree with the sentiment of the writers— fans will be torn between which is worse for the Federation–conservatives or a giant meteor, wave, whatever coming to wipe out human civilization.  Both alternatives wipe out civilization.  It’s really the lady or the tiger, isn’t it?”

About the Trek reference in today’s speech, Berman says, “Any reference to Trek in popular culture helps the show.  When we air this series, Palin and the others will have done a huge favor to us by just being themselves and by mentioning the series.  We’re trying to give them as much creative control in this as possible.  Since we know nothing about what conservatives would actually DO with a starship, we’re learning from them how to go about creating these characters.  We’re looking at this as a cultural and creative exchange.”

He added, “Nothing is more alien to us than the Tea Party.”

Note: all content is intended as parody.  That said, Star Trek: Reckoning would be very interesting indeed.  References to Joe McGinniss in no way implies he is guilty of robbery, only implying that Sarah Palin would think he was.  

For NY Times editorial on how wrong the courts were.  

Palin Eyes Role in New Star Trek Series

Fresh from her announcement that she’s accepting a position on Fox comes bigger leaked news.  Former governor Sarah Palin is in negotiations for a lead role on a new Star Trek series, tentatively titled Star Trek: Reckoning, going into production this fall, ready to be aired on both Paramount and Fox in the Fall of 2011.  

If she accepts, Palin would play Captain Nalia Fergus of the USS Steadfast, one of the ships convinced of an upcoming battle which the Federation won’t take seriously.  Unlike past series, this series concentrates on multiple ships and the Federation–so some political intrigue.  Palin, of course, has to be a “rogue” captain! [I love it!]  

The series takes place after Voyager, with an expansive Federation, a bit more difficult to govern, a bit too relaxed.  The title, Reckoning, refers to an Armageddon-like disaster predicted by the D’mi, a culture that sees dreams as predictions of the future.  They’ve had a collective, planet-wide dream that involves the whole Federation, but very few are listening.  The show is about their attempts to convince the Federation to do something about an impending attack that could destroy multiple sectors.  In the premiere and first season, they are able to convince three ships, who will work tirelessly through the series to undermine the current administration, all while trying to create alliances with other ships through deception, manipulation and controlling the media.

The President of the Federation, a very powerfully-minded, but peaceful, Betazed, is unphased by a dreaming culture predicting doom.  Fergus, believing D’mi predictions, forms an underground alliance with two other ships (writers are arguing over names like the USS Sun Tzu, USS Pearl Harbor, and the USS Buchanan) to protect Section 001, Earth.  This show will be about a bit of infighting in the Federation.  

“They’ve done it before,” says one of the writers.  “The TNG episode, Conspiracy, the Maquis, and the Dominion, and even the threats of Species 8472–but these were mostly alien attacks, people posing as humans.  The Maquis sequence really opened up the door to talking about multiple sides within the Federation–or even political parties,” say writers who want to remain anonymous till Paramount’s April announcement. 

Still they’re excited about the series.  And about these rogue captains.  “They really distrust the President.  He’s too peaceful.  He can read their minds–which they hate.  He’s a negotiator, a diplomat, at a time when they feel like war is coming. The constant question on the table will be–are the D’mi’s dreams really accurate, do they have a political agenda, and at what moment do you take matters into your own hands?”  

One of them quipped, “It’s kind of like writing a series in the Mirror Universe, except this one is bad.”

The coolest thing is that Fergus’ first officer is Commander Nuuk, a walking, talking polar bear from some ice planet.  Earth apparently dropped off its Arctic species on this planet (yeah, climate change wiped them out on Earth) and they mixed with the indigenous life there–very similar–so you get a polar bear.  Fergus used to hunt bears.  Nuuk doesn’t know that, so this is going to be a source of tension, as she doesn’t want to admit it, but thinks of him as a trophy first officer.  She’s gonna have a D’mi onboard too–who has these waking dreams–who’s living in both reality and fantasy all the time, but can’t tell the difference.  

These are three ships full of conservatives.  I do think that a ship of conservatives gives the writers what they’ve always waited for–the ability to write in closeted gay characters.  There won’t be much open romantic intrigue because everyone’s uptight, not wanting to be revealed.  

Palin has expressed interest, according to one former aide in Alaska.  “She likes the character.  It’s so much like her–bold, aggressive hunting woman, now commanding a starship of conservatives, who move with her every command.  They fight for Earth, and they seek to protect the planet from its own bad judgment.”  

Palin is reportedly brushing up on Federation policies, which like Kirk, she will ignore and bend at will, and she’s learning Klingon–just in case.  She does have some concerns.  She’s asked to be written in as a mother, with small children on board the ship.  She wants to be assured of a four year gig (no death in season two).  She also wants to have her own ghost writer write in folksy things she would normally say, but now in a command-sort of way.”  

Paramount and Fox want to give her as much latitude as possible.  “We’ve never been able to pick up this demographic.  Usually we just get intelligent, science-oriented, techno geeks with a liberal, compassionate viewpoint.  We have the potential to scoop Red State America–the O’Reilly viewers,” says one assistant producer.  “We wouldn’t just have a fan base–we’d have an electorate!” 

McCain, a trekkie since William Shatner was a child, has said he’d always wondered how the Earth in Star Trek ever resolved pluralistic ideas.  “Never made sense to me why everyone agreed on Earth.  What happened to pluralism?”  And he has a point.  How did this series eliminate differences of opinions?  Where did the all Israeli ship go?  Or the Chinese ships?  Where were the rivals to get spaceships into space?   Did they sabotage each other?  Surely there was more fighting before we conquered space.  This series, McCain indicates, will “bring back the lipstick in realistic.”  No one knows exactly what he means.  

It does bring up interesting possibilities for the writers.  Could they keep the Star Trek fan base intact–those rooting for the Federation?  But those fans just might like a quirky, folksy rogue captain–plucky enough to cause a conservative revolution.  

Palin as Captain of her own ship?  What do you think?  She does wear red well.

 

 Shatner giving Palin the baton, the formal written permission to be as “rogue as she wants to be.”

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(this is, of course, a parody.  A wink to Sarah Palin.)

 

For more on the new Star Trek Series, don’t miss these entries:  Gingrich as D’mi, and Palin citing Star Trek to promote Gun Rights  and Red State America Wants Their Star Trek