Some of the best episodes in Star Trek's history are "filler" and the franchise needs them

Star Trek head Alex Kurtzman is happy they no longer make filler episodes, and we disagree.
"Star Trek: Discovery" | SXSW Featured Session | The Trailblazing Journey To The Fifth And Final
"Star Trek: Discovery" | SXSW Featured Session | The Trailblazing Journey To The Fifth And Final / Daniel Boczarski/GettyImages

Nothing good has truly come from streaming. Let's just be upfront about that. Binge-watching is a scourge, it costs more than cable, and there's an overabundance of new content to such a degree that no one is watching anything the streaming industry as a whole is on the verge of collapse. It's not been great. What's been worse, however, is that legacy franchises like Star Trek have been forced to change.

Gone are the 20+ episode seasons of shows we adored, and in its place is 10, if we're lucky, finely curated episodes. This is the case for Star Trek in most cases. Strange New Worlds, for instance, only has 10 episodes a season. Most of them are really good, but we only get 10.

I for one would rather go back to 20 per season, even if it meant a drop in production value because I never watched Star Trek for the special effects. I watched for the grand stories they told. Most of which featured outside of the main storyline. Or, as we call them, filler episodes.

Alex Kurtzman, easily the worst thing to happen to Star Trek since the concept of a lens flare, continues to prove he doesn't get the brand, even as he approaches 15 years with the franchise. In a recent interview, Kurtzman talked about the positives (ha) of streaming, highlighting that they no longer have to make filler episodes.

You know, the episodes that were the bedrock and foundation of many great series.

Filler episodes add color to the characters that we don't get to see otherwise. They add value by showing us the world we want to live in isn't always so rosy or is far more entertaining than we could ever hope for. Filler episodes are among the best episodes Star Trek has in their library. It is far easier to find a filler episode to watch and enjoy from the golden era than it is to watch through the modern product and find an episode to watch.

I'm not a fan of this one but think about The Next Generation's episode "Darmok", where Jean-Luc Picard has to work with another captain to survive on an alien planet, despite not being able to communicate. Deep Space Nine had "Trials and Tribble-ations", a beautiful callback to the original series. Voyager had "Ex Post Facto", a showcase of how memories can be our worst enemy. And not to mention Enterprise's "Shuttlepod One", a tour de force that shows two different characters dealing with a near-impossible survivor scenario.

Filler episodes define Star Trek, and it's beyond clear that Kurtzman just doesn't get it and will never get it. That's why it's time for him to move on to something new.

We want our fillers back.