Jason Isaacs had some interesting words for both Star Trek fans and franchise royalty earlier this month. Were they taken out of context?
Earlier this month, Jason Isaacs (who plays Captain Gabriel Lorca on Star Trek: Discovery) spoke to the gossip section of the New York Daily News. Some of the comments he made caught both fans and Trek royalty off guard, but were they taken out of context by the publication or perhaps even misleading?
According to Isaacs himself, maybe so.
"“I don’t mean to sound irreverent when I say I don’t care about the die-hard Trek fans,” he told us at an event in Los Angeles. “I only ‘don’t care’ about them in the sense that I know they’re all going to watch anyway. I look forward to having the fun of them being outraged, so they can sit up all night and talk about it with each other.”"
First off, this doesn’t sound nearly as bad as Star Trek fans think. Unlike when in the 1960’s and even the 1990’s where the end goal of every episode of many shows (including this very franchise) was for everything to work out for the main cast and go back to normal, that’s not going to fly on Discovery.
Characters will die. There will be disputes and conflict aboard Starfleet ships. Some things will happen that upset fans, and that’s part of the fantastic storytelling that we enjoy in modern television writing.
So, Isaacs isn’t that far off here.
However, what is more disturbing is a comment which appeared with no attribution regarding the legacies of captains gone by:
"Isaacs, 54, said the new show will throw away the legacy of William Shatner and Patrick Stewart – and expects it to upset die hard Trekkies."
Understandably, that drew a reaction from William Shatner on Twitter, to which Isaacs himself responded.
If you click the thread of Isaacs tweets, he elaborated somewhat further, but in language we dare not post on the fine pages of this website.
It looks like we have a case of quotes taken out of context and perhaps taken liberties with. As for Isaacs’ comment about diehard fans, this makes more sense than anything previously speculated. Dismissing Star Trek’s past and legacy wouldn’t make much sense for a new show, and it’s incongruous with virtually everything that writers and producers have said about its vision and approach to fans.
However, Isaacs is right. A new Star Trek show doesn’t have to worry about attracting die hard fans, the name and the brand will do that. What they do have to worry about is retaining them and not driving them away, particularly before the show even launches, and nothing Isaacs said here should do that.