Doctor Who (2005) isn't called a reboot. It is called a continuation of the old series. This was made possible by that regeneration ju-ju and stuff.

On the other hand, Star Trek 2009 reincarnation is often called a reboot. Nobody dared call it continuation. I don't think I need to do citation because it's common.

Now, if we actually go into the details:

  • The new universe contains two Spock. One is from the original timeline. The Spock Prime even gives data from the original timeline like trans-warp equation, Khan etc.

  • We see other past data from before the timeline diverged. For example, Scott told that he transwarped Admiral Archer's dog. "Archer's dog" existed in Star Trek: Enterprise TV series.

So, why didn't the legacy survive in-universe? Why isn't it considered a continuation of the old Star Trek TV shows and movies?

Or, is the reboot word used by mistaken fans and media only?

After the release of Star Trek: Beyond (2016), this is no longer a confusion as the movie showed a photo from original timeline.

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  • 1
    In computing, a reboot doesn't generally wipe the work that has been done (particularly these days), it just starts things fresh. So the use of the word matches what happened. It's not like BSG, which was a reimagining where nothing from the original series exists in the new.
    – Tony Meyer
    Nov 9, 2015 at 11:09
  • 2
    "You will absolutely love being with him.... None of us is talking about a reboot, it's the same old Doctor Who. I want the Doctor, at least one companion, whose name is probably Rose Tyler. I want the TARDIS, I want it to look like a Police Box, and I want them to fly through the universe and all its history, facing death and danger and braving it out with a fast and funny fighting spirit. That's Doctor Who, isn't it?"" - doctorwhonews.net/2003/11/russell-t-davies-interviews_19.html
    – Valorum
    Nov 9, 2015 at 11:15
  • It may be called a "reboot" by the press and fans but can you show any examples of the film's cast or crew doing so? ex-astris-scientia.org/inconsistencies/stxi_continuity.htm
    – Valorum
    Nov 9, 2015 at 11:34
  • @TonyMeyer Except BSG itself. Nov 9, 2015 at 15:53
  • 1
    'Cause they booted out all the good parts of Star Trek and substituted 3D animation, action, and lens flares in place of good, thought provoking stories.
    – JRE
    Dec 14, 2017 at 18:44

3 Answers 3


This actually seems to be a label applied by fans and media. The writers do not consider it a reboot.

Back in 2009, they did this interview, where they said,

"We couldn't imagine not having this movie somehow fall within some degree of continuity. We don't accept the word reboot. Reboot does not actually describe the fact that this movie would not be possible without the 10 movies that came prior to it. The very events of the movie themselves are caused by Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock and his story, which picks up essentially after the last movie, Star Trek 10 [Nemesis]. ... So our movie is both a prequel and a sequel. It's a sequel if you're a fan, and a prequel if you're not."

  • 2
    Good quote and I understand the reasoning of Orci and Kurtzman, but if the fans and press all call it a reboot, it's a reboot. Fans > Writers/Producers/Directors
    – BBlake
    Nov 9, 2015 at 13:11
  • Still searching, but I've been unable to find any instance of Abrams or the studio saying or acknowledging the word "reboot".
    – phantom42
    Nov 9, 2015 at 13:11
  • 6
    Despite being the "word of god", this is so wrong... There is nothing in any of the other movies that supports anything that happened in ST2009. They may have used Nimoy to play a character named Spock, but Spock wasn't directly relevant to four of the ten movies so that statement falls down flat. It's not even a continuation of The Original Series.; they changed so many plot elements (and created many lackluster new ones) that it can't be anything but a reboot.
    – T.J.L.
    Nov 9, 2015 at 13:41
  • 3
    If you guys just want to discuss whether Orci/Kurtzman are correct in their labeling, please take it to chat.
    – phantom42
    Nov 9, 2015 at 13:45
  • @phantom42: I do see the danger of the respective information leading to a discussion (and actually, this is a shortcoming of the question that is not clearly answerable in an undisputed way to begin with). However, the question says "not talking about the Abrams' statement" and wonders whether the word "reboot" is based upon statements by "mistaken fans and media". As such, an answer with a fact-based analysis of what is shown and what speaks for and against considering the Abramsverse a reboot (not a comment-discussion!) seems to be just as valid an answer as this quote of the word of god. Nov 10, 2015 at 11:12

Doctor Who in 2005 sort of continued where the classic series left off.

Star Trek 2009 is basically rewriting the Star Trek history. Instead of a complete reboot Abrams split the timelines. In one of the Universes the 1960 episodes of Star Trek never happened.

  • 8
    Sure — Star Trek 2009 is telling a similar story (Kirk/Spock/Bones/the Enterprise) in a different way (MOAR LENS FLAR). Doctor Who 2005 is continuing, rather than re-telling, the same story. Nov 9, 2015 at 11:57
  • 1
    Yeah, on the "instead of a complete reboot" part, I've heard the Kelvin reboot called a "soft reboot" due to it being caused by the original timeline, as opposed to a "hard reboot" such as The Amazing Spider-Man movies which had nothing to do with the prior Spider-Man movies.
    – Izkata
    Oct 8, 2017 at 18:34

Despite what the writers might claim, it is a reboot because they pretty much rewrote the history of Star Trek to suit how they felt they would like to make their movie, rather than fitting it into existing canon.

They attempt to justify it in-universe alright through a little bit of plot, time-travel and having the "original" Spock appear, but that doesn't make it any less a reboot in terms of the intentions of the film-makers.

They wanted to "start again", write their own story and not have to worry about all the prior series' and movies' established canon. That's what makes it a reboot.

BTW, inserting small references like Archer's Dog and a photo from the original timeline does not change this (unless they affect the plot in a major way), any more than the Battlestar Galactica reboot including a scene with the cylons from the original series tied those two together did. These are just homages and call-backs, and are common little pieces of artistic licence in works that reference unrelated material.

  • I'm not sure I agree with this. Generally a "reboot" means you start over from scratch with some of the original story elements and tell a different story. The problem is Abrams chose to avoid a true reboot and instead went the route of "Well, time has been altered". So all the original series and movies happened, but then there's Abram's changes so his stuff happens in a different timeline. Ironically, Abram's desire to pay homage lead to one of the worst decisions of his franchise: the poor take-off of Star Trek II (which annoyed long time fans). A true reboot could have avoided that.
    – Machavity
    Dec 14, 2017 at 14:28
  • 1
    @Machavity - what you're describing is the in-universe justification I was talking about, but the intention is clear. They wanted to make a different Star Trek and ignore all the existing canon, except maybe the odd homage to it, so in effect it's a reboot. He wasn't making a time-travel story, he was just using the time-travel incident as an excuse to change everything and make the movies he wanted to make. You still have all the main characters getting together, even the poor take-off of Star Trek II, etc. all are signs of a reboot rather than a time-travel/parallel universe story.
    – komodosp
    Jul 5, 2018 at 10:24
  • But they didn't ignore all the existing canon, did they? So Star Trek: Enterprise still happened. They changed time for Kirk and crew, but they're saying that this other stuff still happened. So it's not a real reboot, it's, at best, a half-baked reboot.
    – Machavity
    Jul 5, 2018 at 13:38
  • It "still happened" only by pure happenstance because they wanted to make a movie about Kirk and his crew which occurs after the events of Enterprise, not because of any love of the writers for the original timeline. (SPOILER: ) I mean: the Vulcan home-world was destroyed. But the original Spock appeared, and two more films were made, and there was never any talk of restoring the original timeline to save the planet. Clearly the film-makers just wanted to do their own thing without getting bogged down with what happened in T entire OS, that's what makes it a reboot.
    – komodosp
    Jan 17, 2023 at 10:12

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