When we were nippers, Star Trek was one of the highlights of the televisual week. Kirk’s speech patterns, like a speak-your-weight machine reciting a nursery rhyme. Spock and his logical ears. Scotty’s dilithium crystals, Bones and his Senecan cynicism, Uhuru’s smouldering presence on the bridge before everyone was thrown about like rag-dolls by the wicked Klingons. Happy days.
Nowadays, however, like every other franchise, Star Trek is woke. As the intergalactic saga rumbles on, and Patrick Stewart is executive director on something called Picard – the name of the fictional captain Stewart portrays on screen – the grand old thespian has been doing the interview rounds, and spoke to Variety magazine about the new production.
Now, it bears pointing out that Stewart is a respected Shakespearean actor and obviously a master of his craft but, as always, where there’s a luvvie there’s a Lefty. He told the Hollywood rag that his decision to return to going boldly where no man had gone before was ‘me responding to Brexit and Trump and feeling, “Why hasn’t the Federation changed? Why hasn’t Starfleet changed?” Maybe they’re not as reliable and trustworthy as we all thought’.
Just a note for the captain’s log, Mr. Stewart. We didn’t all think they were reliable and trustworthy because there are those of us who can distinguish fantasy from reality. It’s a trick we learned at school. We asked our resident psychology expert here at the BI clinic if there was a condition which described Mr. Stewart's inability to separate real life from science fiction characters gallivanting about the cosmos. He put down his sherry schooner, wearily laid aside his Sobranie Black Russian cigarette and picked up a book, the cover of which he wordlessly showed us. It was Stanislavsky’s An Actor Prepares.
Of course! Stewart’s malady is the same as that which afflicts all actors; they are actors. That’s the problem. They are absolutely unable to countenance the fact that reality is not a script which can be altered to accommodate their wishes.
Stewart had previously stated, after the historic Brexit vote, that he was ‘embarrassed to be British’ and that the outcome of the vote was a ‘disgrace’. You don’t have to scratch the veneer of the entertainment business too deeply to reveal the utter contempt these prancing marionettes have both for democracy and for ordinary people, the type of people who probably watch their endless reboots, sequels and prequels. He also opines that the UK is ‘fucked’, not a term we can find in our collected Shakespeare, not even in the saucy bits.
He is applying for American citizenship, says the Starfleet captain, ‘because all of my friends in Washington said, “There is one thing you can do. Fight, fight. Oppose, oppose”. But I can’t do that because I’m not a citizen’. Surely a well-aimed burst of phaser fire or a photon torpedo could take out Trump, we would have thought. What is true is that Stewart will require an aeroplane the size of the USS Enterprise to contain his fat head.
Beam us up. Please.