Skeptical Discovery fans aren’t a bad thing


It’s reasonable to be a skeptic with Star Trek: Discovery bringing the Trek franchise back to the small screen, and it’s not a bad thing.

There seems to be a bit of confusion in many of the discussions happening around social media. A few fans have taken to thinking that even a moderate amount of skepticism indicates a complete lack of “true” fandom, or understanding of what the Star Trek universe stands for. Nothing could be further from the truth. Skeptics are better equated with being neutral toward an idea.

Much like the range of species in the Star Trek universe, or a spectrum of colors in a rainbow, there is a wide array of fans and feelings about the new series. Some of the more negative tend to be something close to “I hate it. I’m never going to watch, no matter what you say.” While the most positive and excited opinions are more akin to “Star Trek on TV!? I’m ready! Sign me up!”

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Somewhere between these two extremes, perhaps exactly in the middle, are the skeptics. Skepticism is defined as a methodology that starts from a neutral standpoint and aims to acquire certainty though scientific or logical observation. And keep in mind, one of the most beloved characters, Spock, never ceased in his admiration and exercise of logic and science.

Many of the more optimistic fans are quite upset about the negativity they’ve seen coming from hard-core Discovery haters, and with good reason. However, skeptics have a tendency to counter their excitement with the realities involved in the production of a television show, the business of Hollywood, and the overall feel of promotional material. This, apparently, is what leads excited fans to seemingly lump skeptics in with the pessimists, or “haters”, when this is most often the exact opposite of reality.

I count myself as a skeptic. I am hopeful that Discovery can not only meet the expectations that so many long-time or first time fans may have, but I truly wish them success in exceeding those expectations. But, like the much beloved exiled former member of the Obsidian Order, Garak, “I always hope for the best. Experience, unfortunately, has taught me to expect the worst.”

And yes, I expect the worst. This may seem counterintuitive, but I guarantee anyone reading this, that I will be the most pleased if I am disappointed. Skeptics are often pleasantly surprised to have their doubts washed away by the beauty of what unfolds. That doesn’t mean that we can ever not be skeptical.

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If anyone wants to come over on the 24th and watch with measured skepticism and a rational outlook on how the show is made, character development, special effects, writing, overall feel, etc. I’ll be making 4 different kinds of dip and bite-sized steak tips as hors d’oeuvres. Until then, let’s all have our opinions and share them respectfully.