R rated Star Trek would be another CBS blunder


CBS says an R rated Star Trek series might be something they consider, which shows that CBS still doesn’t understand the Star Trek franchise.

CBS Interactive CEO Jim Lanzone, on the Recode Media with Peter Kafka podcast said that it’s not out of the question that nudity or cursing could appear on a future Star Trek show. While I’m not against nudity or cursing I think putting it in Star Trek would be a huge mistake.

I’m not someone who shies away from a show because it has nudity or cursing. I enjoy Game of Thrones and have recently started to really enjoy Westworld. There are also some great classic science fiction shows where cursing and nudity would fit in just fine, Battlestar Galactica. The problem is that those elements aren’t going to fit into Star Trek well. If an R rated Star Trek series is made, nudity and cursing would only be there as obvious ploys for viewers.

Think about how awkward and ridiculous the Star Trek: Enterprise decontamination gel scenes were, then ramp that up to a thousand.

Game of Thrones isn’t great because it has nudity, cursing, and graphic violence, it’s great because it’s fantastic storytelling, and those things fit in the world constructed by that storytelling. The graphic violence doesn’t take you out of the world of Game of Thrones, it makes you feel like you’re in it.

The problem with those elements in Star Trek is that they are going to seem forced. Star Trek is about a world where we’ve advanced as a species though science. If you introduce a lot of graphic violence or cursing it’s going to diminish the feeling. It’s not that there won’t be cursing or nudity in the future of course, but the fact that these things aren’t there is one of the things that separates the Trek future from today.

I’m honestly not just another Star Trek fan afraid of change, I know Trek needs to evolve to stay current. I just worry that CBS doesn’t understand the franchise and is going to really end up hurting Trek, while not getting much out of it for themselves. CBS has already made numerous mistakes with Star Trek: Discovery, it would be a shame for them to make even more.

There are so many dystopian future science fiction stories out there, I really hope they aren’t going to try to turn Star Trek into one as well. Star Trek isn’t Game of Thrones, and that’s ok.

I’m not at all against using R rated material in world building, I am against using R rated material as a cheap hook just to try to get a few more viewers at the expense of the franchise.

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