William Shatner has found another way to extend his career with the Chaos on the Bridge documentary.
As everyone knows, TNG had a shaky start. As everyone also knows, everyone involved hated Gene Roddenberry.
Fine. Roddenberry was by many accounts an ass. By many accounts most of those taking shots at Roddenberry, including Shatner, were also asses who were difficult to work with.
We’ve had the myth that Roddenberry didn’t have much to do with the success of TOS. And of course he didn’t have much to do with the success of TNG.
So why is it that no one else has been able to make a successful Star Trek series?
All those amazing TNG veterans. The guys who really made it work flamed out with three spinoff shows, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise alienated fans, went into the ratings basement and have mostly been forgotten except by niche cults.
We’re still talking about TNG. Is anyone going to be doing a documentary about DS9’s first season or Voyager’s last season or what the hell happened on Enterprise? Maybe Tim Russ will get around to it.
Roddenberry wasn’t a good writer. But he was a good showrunner. Some of his ideas were stupid, but he could put together a Star Trek show that would talk to people and still be popular long after it went off the air.
Rick Berman, Ira Steven Behr, Ronald D. Moore, Brannon Braga couldn’t make a Star Trek series that would do what TOS and TNG did. Maybe one day someone else will, but right now the franchise’s TOS legacy is being milked by Abrams. And when that’s done, it’ll be back to square one with a franchise no one knows how to move forward.
But if Gene Roddenberry were here and younger, he would have.
Roddenberry had his faults, but he wouldn’t be sitting on his ass making documentaries about how everyone else sucks.