Golden Era of Star Trek streaming may be over with new cancelation - The UpStream

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Golden Era of Star Trek streaming may be over with new cancelation

posted Sunday Apr 14, 2024 by Scott Ertz

Over the past few years, Star Trek has seen a renaissance of sorts. This has been the first time since the late 1990s that there have been so many active projects within the Star Trek Universe. But, there has been a fear that, like any bubble, it would eventually pop. The past year has seen the end of several projects, and confusion over one, leading to fears that the burst might happen soon. This week, during Paramount's CinemaCon presentation, it was revealed that fan-favorite Star Trek: Lower Decks will end after its upcoming 5th season.

Star Trek: Lower Decks reception

Before the launch of Star Trek: Lower Decks, the series was met with a mix of anticipation and skepticism. The show was announced as an animated comedy, a departure from the traditional Star Trek format, which led to some uncertainty among the franchise's fanbase. Despite this, the series built a strong fan loyalty during its streaming of the fourth season. The creator, Mike McMahan, even called on fans to help keep the show from facing the same fate as Prodigy, another Star Trek series. The announcement of a fifth season, six months before the fourth season debuted, was met with enthusiasm.

After its premiere, Star Trek: Lower Decks received mixed reviews. While some critics praised its light but faithful take on Gene Roddenberry's mythos, others felt that some of the humor didn't quite land. However, most negative reviews did not call the series a total bomb. Over time, the series became a beloved favorite among franchise fans. Despite the mixed initial reception, the series was successful enough to run for five seasons. The announcement of its conclusion after the fifth season was met with disappointment by the fans. McMahan said to fans,

We wanted to let you know that this fall will be the fifth and final season of Star Trek: Lower Decks. While five seasons of any series these days seems like a miracle, it's no exaggeration to say that every second we've spent making this show has been a dream come true. Our incredible cast, crew and artists have given you everything they have because they love the characters they play, they love the world we've built, and more than anything we all love love love Star Trek. We're excited for the world to see our hilarious fifth season which we're working on right now, and the good news is that all previous episodes will remain on Paramount+ so there is still so much to look forward to as we celebrate the Cerritos crew with a big send-off.

I was among the many skeptics of the series before it premiered. Star Trek animation did not have a strong history at the time, and the premise had a lot of possibility for failure. I had also been a critic of the first resurgence series, Star Trek: Discovery. However, within the first few episodes, I became a believer - the comedy was what I had hoped for, and the series showcased an aspect of the ships that, outside of Star Trek: Voyager's few episodes, we've never really gotten a good view of - the junior officers and their activities keeping the ship running.

The end of the road?

There was once a time, within the past 18 months, where Star Trek content was unstoppable. However, with this cancelation, the Star Trek Universe has shrunk back down. Star Trek: Picard is over. Star Trek: Discovery is over. Star Trek: Lower Decks is coming to an end. Star Trek: Prodigy is in a nebulous state. This leaves us with Star Trek: Strange New World in active production, and the possibility of the Starfleet Academy-based series in the future, plus a few movies theoretically in development.

If this presentation is to be believed, there could be a new generation of exciting new Star Trek in our future. However, if this was an advertisement for Paramount's IP with the goal of a corporate sale, which some speculate that it was, then this could possibly be the end of the Star Trek renaissance.


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