Robert Beltran Speaks Trek Hard Truths

Star Trek’s Robert Beltran: The Prime Directive is ‘fascist crap’

Excellent timing that this appeared today. I was just thinking about the implications of the Prime Directive last night (yes, I am serious).

“The idea of leaving any species to die in its own filth when you have the ability to help them, just because you wanna let them get through their normal evolutionary processes is bunk — it’s a bunch of fascist crap,” he said. “I much prefer the Cub Scout motto.” (The Cub Scout motto, by the way, is about doing your best and helping others.)

But what’s most interesting is how he slammed the factory-like template writing all of Star Trek has fallen into since The Original Series.

I kept telling the writers, ‘If you can just take three minutes off a bridge scene and write another scene with human beings talking, the show is going to be much better.’

And it would have! All of them would have! Hell, the marionettes in Gerry Anderson’s Supermarionation TV series were often more human than most post-TOS Star Trek characters!

And this, especially this:

I liked episodes where we weren’t on the bridge a lot and pretending we might die: “Captain, the shields are down to 12 percent.” And the audience is going, “What, where is the drama in that?” You know it’s all manufactured. We’re going to get through it, right? So why ask the audience to sit through it?

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Such dialogue and scenes should be banned forever.

More realistic would be:

Number One: Wow. After that battle, what’s the remaining shield power percentage?

Captain: What the fuck does it matter? We’re still alive! Engineering will recharge that shit. Let’s go get a drink. A big drink.

Or along those lines.

Beltran probably wouldn’t be surprised that I bailed on Voyager just after a few episodes. It was all templated. There was nothing new there to see.

Good for him for speaking up. I hope people — especially writers — will listen!

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