Michelle Yeoh believes Star Trek: Section 31 will be different than the rest of the series.
If you were to ask the regular Star Trek fan who isn’t a fan of what they’re seeing from the series recently, they may tell you that it’s due to the shows being far too different than the ones they really enjoyed in the past. That’s not an unfair criticism, as the way the show itself is shot is stylistically different. That alone can turn people off. Some believe the shows are too dark, and the creators have even acknowledged the tone issues, promising to get them back in line with more traditional Trek.
Yet, when Michelle Yeoh said her (potential) upcoming show, Star Trek: Section 31, is going to be even more different than the already different Trek shows, I don’t think she meant it as a bad thing but that’s exactly how some, including myself, took it.
Talking to Entertainment Weekly, when asked about the show, Yeoh said;
"Section 31 is that [Star Trek] universe but different… It’s like Mission: Impossible meets Guardians of the Galaxy in space."
Star Trek needs less “different” and more of the magical formula that made it successful.
M*A*S*H lasted for 11 seasons, want to know why? They knew what worked. Star Trek lasted for two decades, with well over 500 episodes from 1987 to 2005. Why? They knew what worked. They were able to keep the series going and if the UPN/WB merger happened sooner, who knows if Enterprise would’ve been canceled. Unlike every show, other than Voyager, every other show got a huge up-front guarantee of episodes.
Why did Star Trek last so long? Because it was a brand. Brands sell well when consumers know what they’re getting. The problem with a lot of the Nu Trek is that it’s fundamentally different than what fans got 20 years ago.
Not better, not worse, just different. The effects are the priority, not the acting or writing. The series is truncated, so they can be binged, not made in masse so they can be turned into syndicated airings.
The new shows have one continuous story arc, making it more of a movie in parts than an episodic affair like Trek used to be.
These are all things that have hindered the new shows in the eyes of some fans. Yeoh promising to go even more different is not what a majority of fans want to see. Star Trek is Star Trek, it shouldn’t have to turn itself into Guardians of the Galaxy. Trying to pretend to be a different IP never works in the long run. It’s a short-sighted idea, designed to cater to the casuals, who may or may not latch onto a show.
So far that isn’t for the really out there shows, like Lower Decks. It was designed to occupy the Rick & Morty space with fans, and since Rick and & Morty usually takes several years to finish a season, there’s space for alternatives. Yet, no one talks about Lower Decks as if it were Rick & Morty.
There are Trek fans who love Lower Decks, that’s not in dispute, but it didn’t do the job of catering to that adult, cartoon-loving, fanbase.
So if Lower Decks isn’t garnering a huge influx of new fans, then what would make people think Section 31, a show already maligned by many (not all) on the web, is going to do anything different other than upset even more fans?