• Star Trek: Discovery Boldly Going…Into F-Bombs

    by  • October 16, 2017 • CBS, Profanity, Streaming • 41 Comments

    Star Trek Discovery

    The CBS All Access series betrays the franchise’s family-friendly roots. 


    Star Trek is a global phenomenon of science-fiction. The classic 1960s TV series became an American icon though constant reruns, and sparked not only more than a dozen theatrical movies, but also multiple sequel TV series, from Star Trek: The Next Generation through Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. In fact, from 1987 through 2005, there was at least one Star Trek series airing original episodes on American TV.

    Now, after a decade-plus absence, Star Trek is back on the small screen…but it’s a far cry from the family-friendly program of years past. While produced by CBS, the new series Star Trek: Discovery is not airing on the CBS broadcast network. Rather, the network is using the series to push its own new streaming service, CBS All Access…a new first for the time-honored franchise.

    But using extortion for faithful Trekkies to get their fix is not Discovery’s only innovation. In addition to introducing yet another alternate timeline (after that of the previous TV series’, and the one introduced in the recent theatrical movie “reboot”), one including yet another new look for the Klingons and different uniforms and technology for Starfleet, Discovery is also journeying where no Star Trek has gone before – the use of the f-word.

    On the new series’ fifth episode, “Choose Your Pain,” a  nervous new cadet on her first mission blurts, “This is so f**ing cool!” Her superior officer replies, “It IS f**king cool.”

    Even worse than the utterly gratuitous, inappropriate, and meaningless use of harsh profanity were the sanctimonious comments made by Discovery’s co-showrunner Aaron Harberts afterward. After his program made a mockery of Star Trek’s fifty-year record of family-friendly TV, Harberts claimed that “What’s important to the creative team is the legacy of the show, which is passed down from mother to daughter, from father to son, from brother to brother. We want to make sure we’re not creating a show that fans can’t share with their families. You have to honor what the franchise is.”

    On classic Star Trek, when Captain Kirk demanded more power from the Enterprise’s engines, Scotty didn’t snarl, “I’m givin’ ye all I f***in’ can!” Nor, when confronted with an alien phenomenon, did Mr. Spock arch his eyebrow and softly exclaim, “F***king fascinating!”

    But apparently, Aaron Harberts and his allegedly “creative” team believe they should have…because to them, showing Star Trek characters spewing the f-word is “honoring what the franchise is” and demonstrating “the legacy of the show, passed down from mother to daughter.”

    It is beyond tragic that the Star Trek franchise – which over the years has given so many children their first exposure to science-fiction, and which literally three generations of families have been able to share together – has now declared itself off-limits to kids, earning its TV-MA rating by choosing to revel in explicit profanity and darker-than-dark storylines (all while having the temerity to charge people to watch it).

    A much better bet for sci-fi-loving families is Seth MacFarlane’s Trek-inspired series on Fox, The Orville — which, while not 100% ideal for kids, is much closer to the tone, sensibility, and storytelling of classic Trek than Discovery’s pathetic attempts at being “edgy” and “adult.”

    Yes, you read that right: a series by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is cleaner and safer for children than an episode of the new Star Trek.

    How the mighty have fallen.



    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    41 Responses to Star Trek: Discovery Boldly Going…Into F-Bombs

    1. Frank Foster
      October 21, 2017 at 11:30 am

      No profanity, please. F-bombs: definitely never.

    2. David Upton
      October 21, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Will NOT be paying for this service, this show or this flith. The “creators” of thus show have defamed the franchise and insulted the fans. True fans of Star Trek are disappointed in SO many ways! Click the X, turn it off America!

    3. David Dunmore
      October 21, 2017 at 10:09 am

      After all the years of Star Trek being a show where you weren’t subjected to profanity it now appears that the franchise is giving in to the crudeness of the culture. Instead of inspiring people to a higher level they are sinking to a lower level right along with the culture. I don’t think that Gene Roddenberry would be pleased. I know I am not. This may be the final nail in the coffin of Star Trek and may end their journey into the “final frontier”.

    4. kathy cox
      October 21, 2017 at 9:47 am

      Foul language is just that, foul, and I don’t appreciate it. It’s inappropriate and unnecessary to get a point across. Let alone all the other negative effects it has.

    5. moax429
      October 21, 2017 at 9:35 am

      Thanks very much for the warning.

      I was about to consider shelling out some money just to see this new version of “Star Trek,” but now that it’s going to be ruined by profanity like that, I’ll save said money to pay bills.

      What’s next, “Hollyweird?”

    6. Cindy von Coellnb
      October 21, 2017 at 9:29 am

      Absolutely NOT!! Profanity is offensive and disgusting especially with shows being viewed by out children and grandchildren. It’s soooo TOTALLY unnecessary because it adds nothing to a TV show or movie. It actually takes away from it for those families who are working hard to raise decent young men and women who will go on to be good role models for their families.

    7. Anne
      October 21, 2017 at 7:36 am

      Using filthy language and profanity in TV and movies is unnecessary and disgusting. If you have to depend on it to put a point across, you aren’t much of a writer.

    8. Travis Watson
      October 21, 2017 at 4:51 am

      Never. It doesn’t add to the entertainment value of a movie. It cheapens it a bit, indicating that the writers can’t come up with a better way to express themselves.

    9. William Lee Kohler
      October 21, 2017 at 4:26 am

      I’m completely DISGUSTED and outraged! Not only has Star Trek been removed from FREE TV where it always has been and always should be but now the foul language of so much of hollywood has been allowed to invade our beloved franchise.

    10. NeversideFaerie
      October 21, 2017 at 4:25 am

      I was going to watch the new series of Star Trek…until I heard that it had a more adult rating than the previous incarnations. They only had mild swearing and dark themes which the producers of the new show could have quite easily limited themselves to, but they just had to jump on the “edgy” bandwagon, didn’t they? I would imagine it’s as well-written as all the other Trek series, but if it isn’t suitable for a twelve-year-old, I doubt it would be suitable for me.

    11. Kathy Sampson
      October 20, 2017 at 9:51 pm

      Keep that trash talk off the tv!!!

    12. Kenneth Klohn
      October 20, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      Disgusting. It would seem to be completely “out of character” as I remember the original series.

    13. James Decker
      October 20, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      For a science-fiction series that should have its viewers actually thinking, Star Trek has sunk into the mire of cheap entertainment and shock factor. This is totally inappropriate, and absolutely unnecessary. Somehow, none of the original Star Trek series had to resort to profanity. Not only will I not be watching, but I will strongly suggest to family and friends that this is not the Star Trek we grew up with, and don’t waste your time.

    14. carol
      October 20, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      I have followed star trek for 20 years, this year that journey stops!!!

      You are following the same old tired path of profanity thinking that will enhance your ratings….think again!!!!

      Every mommy in my group will be advised of your demise!!!

      Watch your ratings plummet!!!!

    15. John Sposato
      October 20, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      Well, that’s a shame. It’s another show I won’t be watching or streaming into my house. Why does the entertainment industry mock and laugh at our values by producing this stuff?

    16. Darlene marsh
      October 20, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      DISGUSTING. How they figure using bad language enhances or adds anything worthwhile to the program is beyond me. It is just another bad sign of the times

    17. Kathleen Gannon
      October 20, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      TV programming is so disgustng now. The producers/directors seem to believe competition is ‘who can make their program the dirtiest’. Sitcoms are now sexcoms. It is hard to find decent programs any more. Why must Startrek now be ruined with filth! I won’t watch it if they ruin it. Sponsors, you might do better if you insist on cleaner programs.

    18. Kathleen Gannon
      October 20, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      TV programming is so disgustng now. The producers/directors seem to believe competition is ‘who can make their program the dirtiest’. Sitcoms are now sexcoms. It is hard to find decent programs any more. Why must Startrek now be ruined with filth!

    19. Wardell
      October 20, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      An English teacher once told me, that profanity is what you resort to when you aren’t educated enough to find the proper words.

    20. Karen Greer
      October 20, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      Absolutely not!!! I feel that no cursing or profanity should be allowed it definitely doesn’t add anything to a movie.

      • Cathy
        October 20, 2017 at 1:45 pm

        what are you thinking?? Better yet, it is obvious that you are not thinking about your TV audience!!

      • Bob
        October 20, 2017 at 2:26 pm

        I am a Star Trek fan , but will not be watching Discovery.

      • David Parham
        October 20, 2017 at 6:57 pm

        Absolutely disgusting.

      • David Parham
        October 22, 2017 at 12:25 pm

        Please stop this.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *