Cool your jets, man. This has been old news for quite some time.
I own Shatner's Star Trek: Movie Memories
, which goes into behind the scenes detail about every entry in the series up until they decided to reshoot Kirk's death in Generations
(the book was published in 1994) and he literally talks about this in the chapters leading up to his entry for TMP
Roddenberry was an insanely liberal dude for his time and this is more than evident given some of the episodes that Trek produced. He was pro-gay rights (according to George Takei himself), got women and minorities more mainstream exposure on television than ever before in bigger and more important roles, proliferated a non-capitalist society in the Trek series that he personally ran, and was, by all accounts, at the very least, an agnostic given some of the episodes that Trek produced ("Who Watches the Watchers?" anyone?"), So, it should be by no means a surprise that he wanted to take a shot at organized religion in some form.
Shatner, on the other hand, claims to have been inspired by televangelists (namely Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker), and their legions of followers as he was working on his idea for V
. And there was
blowback from Roddenberry about possible plagiarism.@Gay Sulu:
I mean, it's cool that they've finally gotten around to doing something like this (and not aborted it with Neil McDonough's character in First Contact
)...but I'm kinda with Takei here in that it just feels shoehorned in there.
Personally, I'm WAY more excited for the new TV series, seeing as how they were able to get Bryan Fuller and Nick Meyer(!) involved.
When you have one of the more successful showrunners of the last 10 years (who began his career writing for DS9 and Voyager) and the guy who arguably penned and directed the best of the Trek films (wrote & directed II and VI, co-wrote IV), my formally low expectations for this series are now jacked up significantly.