Despite William Shatner’s confidence in his declaration that Paramount’s post-Enterprise Star Trek television endeavors would have franchise creator Gene Roddenberry “turning in his grave”, it seems the iconic sci-fi creator’s son Rod disagrees, as he believes that his father would have been “very proud” of the work being done with Strange New Worlds.
Shatner originally offered his opinion on Alex Kurtzman’s Star Trek productions during an hour-long panel dedicated to the actor’s life, appropriately titled Shatner on Shatner at the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con.
Asked by a fan if he had seen any series made during this latest era of the franchise, such as Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks and Strange New Worlds, and if so whether he thought any of them compared to his own, Shatner straightforwardly asserted, “None of them”.
“I got to know [Star Trek creator] Gene Roddenberry in three years fairly well,” recalled Shatner, speaking to his time on the set of The Original Series. “He’d be turning in his grave at some of this stuff.”
However, according to Rod, who presently serves as on the aforementioned Paramount series through his position as the current CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment, his father would have held a significantly different outlook towards NuTrek – a colloquial term used amongst fans to refer to all Star Trek projects produced since J.J. Abrams’ brought the franchise to widespread attention in 2009.
Speaking with Screen Rant following Shatner’s SDCC appearance, Rod pushed back against the actor’s claim regarding Gene, conversely speculating, “I think he’d be very proud of it.”
“I think something that surprised me a bit is the uniqueness of each episode of Strange New Worlds,” he elaborated. “I’m impressed that they’re doing that. It kind of shocked me at first, because we’ve got some comedic episodes – or at least, certainly some comedic moments. And these things I would initially say when reading scripts that I don’t know how this is going to play out. I don’t know how the audience is going to receive this.”
Regardless, Rod ultimately concluded that Kurtzman and his team have “nailed it” with their latest series.
“And fans are going crazy for it,” he continued. “And I’m so proud of all the creators. They’ve done an incredible job with Strange New Worlds. And I’m thrilled for them.”
Paramount’s next Star Trek release, the third season of Lower Decks, is set to premiere on August 25th on Paramount Plus.