Poor Star Trek Fans. I used to think fans of Firefly were the worst case of abuse by their show’s corporate owners. This tale makes me think twice.
For those that don’t know, A year or so before Discovery went into production a group of people who wanted to make a Star Trek fan film launched a kickstarter for a production called Axanar. These weren’t exactly normal fans. Many of them were heavily involved in the production of the 90’s Star Trek shows, TNG, Voyager, DS9, Enterprise. The Kickstarter made over half a million dollars. 6 times what they were asking for. So on one hand you have the fans who want a 90s style Star Trek show so badly they are willing to pay for it up front. On the other hand you have the production team of those shows ready and willing to start production.
Now what do you think CBS did about it? Did they ask the Axanar production team if they wanted to form a partnership? Did they ask them for a royalty payment? Nope. They spent over a year suing the fanbase and then produced a show nobody wanted.
That would be messed up enough on it’s own but here is the real kicker. You can’t even watch it. It’s not even going to be aired on TV yet they are using it to launch a Netflix style streaming service. Star Trek fans are going to be forced to pay a subscription to see a show they never asked for while the one they already paid for through kickstarter is stuck in the court system. Sorry CBS but network TV is failing, Your business model is increasingly irrelevant and this desperation move will only tare down your company that much sooner.