HomeSerious Star Trek PodcastAn Open Letter to Dave Blass

An Open Letter to Dave Blass

Dear Dave:

Dude, you’re 54 years old. You should know better. I’m sorry it has come to this.

First, a little context. We all know you, of course. Lotta process junkies amongst the Star Trek fans. We sure did appreciate all the BTS pics you posted of chairs and the curved LCARS wall and the bits of 21st century rubylith or whatever they call acetate now that the art department can make animated visual interest backgrounds out of whatever. That crap was awesome. I’m not as big a fan of you posting new ships because whatever I may personally think of them aesthetically, so what? I’m just a guy who watched TOS third season first-run while you were busy dragging your ass being born. But boy are all them naming conventions precious at best and insulting at worst. The Intrepid is a “Duderstadt” class? You guys should all be ashamed of yourselves. The difference between a sly wink and an avalanche of reference stupidity is well-known to most creatives but it seems you guys can’t help yourselves.

But I’m sure you get enough of that nonsense from well-informed enthusiasts. I’m here to talk to you about your social media exploits.

Some context for you: I’m an award-winning writer and publisher. I worked in marketing and promotions and advertising (running community management for Arbuthnot Advertising whose only social media client was Wizards of the Coast, back when that was a big thing), for sixteen or seventeen years in the trenches before I started my company with the critically-acclaimed graphic novel series Astronauts in Trouble. It’s a cute little confection, obviously not on the scale of Star Trek, but even you have probably heard of The Walking Dead, which was a gig Charlie got from Kirkman based on his work on my sweets. And Hawkeye’s Matt Fraction first published work was our book Last of the Independents. Published all kinds of stuff from The Boys‘ Darick Robertson. Twenty percent of the stuff we published was optioned and a couple things produced; I only bring this up as a bit of context for you; that the guy writing this has some small level of expertise in creative, dealing with a recalcitrant audience, and a proven decades-long record of having good commercial instincts in a small pop culture pond. I understand what you’re having to deal with, even if I can’t feel the much larger scale of it.

The hero Dr. John Price, PhD, got the honor of being blocked by Terry Matalas, who, understandably, has a little angst about the reception of his passion. He’s the showrunner; I get how he has to take the shots because he’s the one sticking his head above the parapet. John’s wearing that one as a badge of honor because it’s hilarious when smart people speak perceived truth to perceived power and the “power” loses their shit like a little bitch. Oooo; I buried the lede there, a little, with all my “As a certified dive instructor…” contextualization, but I’ve never interacted with you. Of course I’ve seen your name in the credits, because I follow that stuff. Nice job on Justified. But I’m here to tell you I’m not sure why you go after fans on Twitter.

Somebody who is on Twitter posts your responses to fans in context, so my read of your social media presence, while not exhaustive, per se, is informed. I particularly like the March 26 exchange you had with Jack Beers where he was unfailingly polite to you and you were an asshole. An asshole, Dave, and that’s me saying that. I’m a little hard to get along with; a little rough around the edges. I’m a goddamn acquired taste, me. I’ll make a joke at somebody else’s expense to make everybody else laugh, but everybody gets a turn in my barrel, so nobody really gets mad. But, you, Dave? On March 17 you took a shit on Armin Shimerman, for some reason. A legacy Star Trek actor. March 14, you went off on the holodeck issue some fans had with the narrative. If you ever needed proof that you p’taghs need some Kahless, this is it. If you know you know something important that the audience needs to know, WRITE A FUCKING LINE.

“Captain? Internal sensors indicate the holodeck is running…?”

“Its dedicated power is separate from the ship for safety reasons; the systems are incompatible. We can’t rob Peter to pay Paul, ensign. Admiral Janeway ran into this several times in the Gamma Quadrant.”


But the hilarious thing to me is, I get me talking about the narrative. I’m a writer, like I said up-top, awards, and everything. The shout-out I got in the 14th Annual Best Science Fiction and Horror for Astronauts in Trouble: Space 1959 remains an absolute fave, personally. What I don’t understand is why you are talking about narrative in a tone of authority. Sure, you worked on the show. Absolutely, you’re a talented production designer. I mean, you’re no Pat Roig, but I’m all about set dressing, myself. I’m sure you think you’re helping, but, man, when has treating the audience like assholes ever been anything other than punching down? And, if you’re going to do it, that’s Terry’s job, not yours. He’s the face of the production, not you. As fans, even crazy, psycho, long-time fans who have researched every flaw, explained every discrepancy, know the Naval Construction Contract numbers of Connies backwards and forwards, we all know Star Trek better than you by definition. There’s just no earthly way a guy who so singularly wanted to be in film production he’s winning Reader’s Digest film contests with a Students Against Drunk Driving film in tenth grade or whatever is putting in Trekkie-level amounts of conversations daily with fellow nerds. And not in Ashland, Massachusetts in 1983 which I know for an actual fact because I was in college in Worcester in 1983, studying narrative. I mean, you might have had a buddy or two but, just the baseball practices alone, Dave. No tidal waves of Trekkies in Ashland then.

Thanks for reading, Dave. I don’t know how or why you are searching out kids on Twitter who are talking about the show you worked on because they love Star Trek and they have some opinions on the current iteration and you crap on them for it. It’s not your place as a creative and it isn’t your job as production designer and I don’t know why CBS/Paramount is letting you shit on the paying customers. You’re 54, Dave. You’ve been doing this a long time, and your skin should be oh so very much thicker than it is. The last one I saw was you mining some guy whose Twitter handle is The Nerdporeal Lifeform for the twelve times he wrote “mystery box” because that offended you somehow. What the hell, Dave? That’s just some guy talking about ST. He didn’t tag you, and you straight-up bullied him. Bullied him, Dave. But that guy doesn’t need my help; I only brought it up because that guy destroyed you. Destroyed you, Dave.

“My dissatisfaction with this series is not your concern.” That’s really the end of it. How is any of this your concern? You may be a fantastic production designer, but you are failing Social Media 101.

Why would anybody with a franchise golden egg-laying goose similar to Trek hire you, going forward, since antagonizing the audience is such a PR embarrassment? Everybody knows 90% of Hollywood is unemployed, on a good day, and with this crappy economy and tenuous global situation, I’m sure you’re sitting at home looking for a fight with nobodies with no consequences because who cares if you bully some Trekkies for only wanting to talk about Star Trek? I mean, that’s the only joy some of us have in our lives. William Shatner recovered from that “Get a life!” SNL sketch, but hurt feelings heal. He’s the Captain; he’s going to get hired. He’s 92 and he’s still doing shoots.

You’re a PR liability.

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Larry Young
Larry Young
Larry Young is a writer: non-fiction, graphic novels, and pop culture criticism. His work has appeared in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, VARIETY, and THE YEAR’S BEST SCIENCE FICTION. A frequent guest on the video podcasts MILLION DOLLAR MAILBOX and WORD BALLOONS, he’s also co-host of SERIOUS STAR TREK and the sister YouTube channel of this website.


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