As Star Trek: Discovery makes its UK TV debut on e4, it’s no bad time to revisit the most modern take on Gene Roddenberry’s vision.
When it first launched in 2017, the flashy follow-up to series like The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine faced criticism from some viewers who claimed to be turned off by the series' inclusive, social justice-focused message – but according to star Jason Isaacs, who played Captain Gabriel Lorca in the series, a lot of these concerns weren’t from genuine fans of the series.
Rather, a lot of the negativity was coming from a different source entirely…
“Initially when we launched Star Trek there were a bunch of voices pretending to be Star Trek fans online, complaining that we were social justice warriors, and that it was all too right-on, the MeToo generation, that we had a young black woman lead,” Isaacs told RadioTimes.com.
“And they were exposed very quickly as a bunch of non-Star Trek fans, racist right-wing lunatics - because the real fans took to them as soon as the show started running.”
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“That's not what Star Trek fans think,” he continued. “It was people who were jumping on the bandwagon to espouse these disgusting views thinking that they had a platform for it.
“And very quickly they were drowned out by people telling them... if they thought the makers of Star Trek were social justice warriors, they were absolutely right! Because that's what it's all about. They had a Russian on deck right at the heart of the Cold War. And they had the first interracial kiss!”
“I think that the idea of justice and diversity and indivisibility, these truths are at the heart of the Star Trek franchise in general and these truths that the show was built upon in the very beginning, in the 60s,” agreed Sonequa Martin-Green, who plays lead character Commander Burnham in the series.
“It was a big part of the conversation in the beginning because this was a reintroduction of this franchise and it was the attempt to bring these truths to today and to bring Star Trek to this new generation, continue its legacy.”
Of course, not everyone unsure about Discovery’s first series was an angry troll, Isaacs admits – but he thinks that for the most part the cast won over the doubters.
“There was an odd thing that went on when we first started, there were a lot of people saying negative stuff,” he told us.
“Because there was the Star Trek that they love, that they grew up with, and we weren't that. I was a bit disappointed that they faded away so quickly, because I know Next Generation had a couple of seasons worth of resistance. The fans seemed to like this very quickly.”
And now, Isaacs is hoping a whole new group of fans can discover the series on UK TV – assuming they’ve managed to avoid the spoilers so far…
“Everyone I know in the world has seen it, but I presume there are people yet who haven't, or people who want to watch it again!” he said. “It's nice that it's reaching an audience, it's also nice to tell stories that aren't solely in a vacuum.
“It's nice that more people get to see it. It's a show that's done a storm already, and for those people that don't subscribe to whatever streaming service it was on, they finally can watch it.
“So enjoy the ride,” he concluded – “and don't go online and spoil it for yourself!”
Star Trek Discovery season one begins airing on E4 from Sunday 15th December at 8pm