Before I start this, I just want to say that I am a BIG Star Trek fan, and I've apparently spent way too much time thinking about the flaws in a number of episodes and movies. In light of the new movie coming out in May, I thought I'd share with you my list of Star Trek's biggest mistakes and wrong turns. And now my top 10 things I'd love to change about Star Trek:
1. In the original series, they successfully steal a Romulan cloaking device and integrate it into the ship's systems well enough to cloak the enterprise. Then they NEVER use it again! Not in the original series, not in any series following either. Wouldn't you think they'd have replicated the technology and made it standard issue by the time Next Gen came around? What was Star Fleet thinking?
2. The Starship Excelsior is equipped with Trans-Warp drive in "Star Trek III The Search For Spock". This technology is also NEVER used again on a Star Fleet vessel. It is, however, used by the Borg and is the holy grail of transportation in Star Trek Voyager since Trans-Warp drive would enable them to return home in a matter of months instead of decades. If Star Fleet had that technology decades earlier, why was it never used again except by their enemies? Makes no sense to me!
3. Deep Space Nine. WTF? An entire series stuck in an a futuristic airport. Did they forget that half the name of the franchise was Trek? That implies movement, travel, and seeing new things, exploring. That's a little hard to do when you're standing still!
4. Star Trek First Contact is one of my favorite movies, but it too has it's problems. Most notably developing and testing warp drive technology in Montana. There are several Star Trek books that have been written about the perils of using a warp drive anywhere near a large gravity well like a planet or star. Yet this movie decided to make warp travel pioneers land based probably because it would be cheaper to shoot. I once read a terrific book on the subject and it was set on multiple timelines using both original and Next-Gen crews which told a much better tale of how warp drive technology was developed, but it took weeks of slow acceleration due to achieve it until the Inertial Dampeners were invented. It was full of political intrigue, time travel and multiple factions all trying gain control of this new technology. It would have made a far superior movie to this one, but they came up with their own story instead which was good, but could have been so much more!
5. Which brings me to my next point--ignoring the books that have really kept the franchise going and expanded upon the rich universe Gene Rodenberry created. A lot of them would make terrific movies, but they are completely ignored when script time comes around for the next movie. Instead of some really great adventures there have been a few flops in the franchise such as "The Final Frontier", "The Undiscovered Country", and "Generations" with it's plot holes large enough to drive trucks through.
6. Star Trek Enterprise. This poor show started out being written by the producers for the first couple of seasons and it sucked MAJOR. By the time the third and fourth seasons came around and they actually started using noted Star Trek Authors to write the show it was too late. It had failed to gain an audience in the first couple of critical years and that was the end of that. Seasons three and four were really terrific and if the show had started out like that it might have been a big hit. Just remember, Producers do NOT equal Writers!
7. Time Travel Paradoxes. Here's a quick rule. If A lead to B and B Leads to C which prevents A from happening, don't leave your characters at C discussing how they just did it. They should be back at A with no memory of this happening since it wouldn't have happened. Star Trek has gotten this right a few times, but they've also gotten it wrong on more than a few occasions too. Case in point: Star Trek Voyager: Future's End Pt II.
8. Robert Beltran's butt. Why, of all the men they could have stripped down for a little gratuitous nudity on Star Trek Voyager, was Chakotay the one they chose? See #9 for my choice, but Tom Paris would have been nice too.
9. Lieutenant Ayala is the strikingly handsome ex-maquis bridge officer that is seen standing in the background of nearly every episode from the pilot to the finale and only speaks exactly once. He's probably the hottest cast member on the show, but is just not put to any use (although the actor does end up playing many stunt related parts throughout the show including Satan's Robot). I do hope someone on that ship was tapping that when no one was looking!
10. And now for my biggest change: Wesley Crusher--bye bye! I know there's a huge fan base for this one, but he was really nothing more than annoying and needy. Maybe I'm reacting to all of the posts and buzz that were around on-line (pre-internet) about this one, but I just never thought he added much to the show besides being a complete dork and sucking up to the captain every chance he got. Fortunately, he did eventually go Star Fleet Academy and was off the show for most of the run from there.
There you have it, my list of changes that I would make to Star Trek if I could go back in time and change the scripts, casting and other events to make the various incarnations as perfect as they could be.
What would you change?