Star Trek has seen an uptick in specifical effects budgets, stylized re-designs, and a focus to make things ‘sleek’, but is that how ‘Trek should look?
Star Trek always had a specific style to it. A style that was implemented by people like Rick Berman, Ronald D. Moore, and the late Michael Piller. It was a look that reduced the exterior noise, kept the interiors simple and kept things from being too noticeable. It used minimal colors while utilizing the light just right to make every scene be about the actors.
It was a style that was so iconic that it’s been used in other shows, like Hulu’s The Orville and the SyFy classic Battlestar Galactica. Both shows tend to follow the tone set by Berman and Piller with the long extended hallway shots, the “everyone dive to the left” bridge shake sequence, and of course the focus on practicality over special effects.
CBS’s Star Trek does not feature much if any of that. Opting to paint over the past with lens flares, bright lights, and colorful explosions. It has its own style, and it’s own fans, so let’s not take away from that. It is every bit it’s own thing, it’s just a different thing.
For good or bad, that’s up to the individual, but it can’t be argued since Berman was fired from the franchise after the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise, the entire shift of aesthetic has changed. Gone are the hallway conversations that set the episode tone and the state of each character’s mind for the entire episode, and instead in are Kirk and Spock running through a rotating hallway as the Enterprise plummets to the Earth below.
Different, but not necessarily bad. The question is frankly about how much splash and pizazz should Star Trek have? It was built as a DIY type of show and now it’s super corporate. The feeling has changed, again, for better or worse.
This writer for one misses that style, but thankfully there are reruns and nearly 30-odd seasons of various shows that embraced this style to help sooth that sorrow.