Star Trek doesn't have to have filler episodes even with longer seasons

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The short seasons for newer Star Trek shows has been a bone of contention with viewers. Ten episodes isn't that much time to get involved in a story, and usually, we want more once those ten episodes are up. The old saying "leave them wanting more" is true, but, on the other hand, producing only ten episodes a year is asking fans to wait almost ten months for new material. Not all fans want to do that and will move on to other things.

Alex Kurtzman, in an interview with CinemaBlend [via Trekmovie], pointed out that the writers of the older Star Trek series said there were a "bunch of filler episodes" in the seasons as they were "trying to make it to 22." And while some of the episodes did fail to reach expectation levels, that doesn't automatically mean it has to happen now.

Adding more episodes to a season doesn't require filler episodes, and fans are certainly not asking for twenty-two episodes a season as we know that's not likely to happen with a streaming channel. However, we would like more than ten episodes, especially since the wait in between seasons is so long. And, honestly, we don't think that's too much to ask for being devoted fans.

If the writers knew they were expected to write fifteen episodes a season, especially the writers that are currently working with Star Trek now, they are good enough to produce quality material that could never be labeled as filler. And thought Kurtzman believes shorter seasons provides the impetus to making sure every moment of every episode counts, that was done just as much in the longer seasons of Trek.

"“I think what’s lovely about that is—it’s funny, you can talk to old writers of old Trek series, and they’re like, ‘Man, there’s a bunch of filler episodes in there. We are just trying to get to 22 a season,’ you know, and we all know which of those episodes were [filler], we know the ones that were truly stellar from the ones that felt like they were kind of spinning their wheels. And so I think what ten episodes a season forces you to do is really make sure that every story counts as much as it possibly can. And I like that… I like what that affords us now.”"

Alex Kurtzman

There's no doubt producing more than ten episodes a season would be expensive, but if the fans are there to watch them, isn't that the entire purpose of producing the shows? While more isn't always better, in the instance of Star Trek, it is. Star Trek: PIcard's final season, for instance, could have gone on for a few more episodes to fully flesh out the storyline and the characters that were brought in. Fans aren't asking for longer seasons only because we want more Trek (we do), but we're also asking because the stories are good enough to warrant more episodes. That's something the powers-that-be should appreciate rather than try to explain away.

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