I recently came across an interesting-looking documentary movie made by William Shatner called Chaos on the Bridge. (It’s only available on YouTube so I can’t embed it.) It is about how Star Trek: The Next Generation got started and all of the trouble that was involved during its first season when it had no idea what it should be. I’ve gotten a little bit of the way into it and it does seem interesting, though not gripping. Has anyone watched it? Is it worth watching the whole thing?
As a side note, I find it curious that I have never learned anything about Gene Roddenberry which made me think better of him. I suppose that that may be related to him starting off, for me, as a great genius visionary who created Star Trek, so the only direction he could go was down. But boy, did he go in that direction. This is a thing to be careful about, of course, because it’s all too easy to be interested in things about a person that are none of one’s business; calumny and detraction are real problems. At the same time, there is a practical value in knowing some things about a creator because they forearm you against dangers in their work. I do not mean, by the way, that drug abuse and sexual licentiousness will be simply championed, but rather that there is a world view which goes with approving of those things, and one must be careful of that world view, especially when its unsavory conclusions are not displayed. When their bad consequences are not obvious are when bad world views are most seductive.
2 thoughts on “Chaos on the Bridge?”
I saw it and it is fairly enjoyable.
As for Roddenberry, yes IMO he is the source for the problematic elements of later Star Trek (not all of them but he started the process).
Yet, the thing is that Original Series Star Trek was his last success. He had a few later pilots for TV series but none of them became series.
For many years, his only apparent source of income were from his appearances at Star Trek conventions. And there nobody was willing to tell him that his ideas about the Federation were crazy.
No, I don’t like his idiot ideas but I sort of feel sorry for him.
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That’s encouraging to find the time to watch the rest of it, thanks!
And I agree about feeling sorry for him. It’s an important distinction to draw – the man responsible for things to watch out for (especially as I introduce my children to star trek) and the human being with a soul who went through a lot of difficult things.