I’m a Trekkie: The Next Generation

Star Trek - revenge of the redshirts?!

There are many things I like about Star Trek, which is why I decided to write a second blog post about it. The first can be found here [Click me to read it!]. In fact I’m watching it while I’m writing this post!

But here I’m going to outline the things that Star Trek does well.

Mystery – They have it in spades. But how do you build mystery? Well, first you have to have a beginning and an end. The middle is the creative part where you put in as many subtle hints, tiny answers to a bigger puzzle and a focus on the investigation.

Characters – Star Trek has a vast selection of characters that appear regularly among the series, each with their own idiosyncrasies and personalities. It’s actually refreshing having so many different perspectives at the same time. Given that each race has its own set of quirks and values, it’s simply intriguing having so many unique conflicting and complementing each other. It creates a lot of drama overall.

The crew of DS9 - quite a bunch!

Scientific babble – As with all Sci-Fi series (well, not every, but a lot of them), scientific explanations are always used to explain either technologies and phenomena. Most of it is based upon existing scientific principles within the time of the creation of the series. Overall though, the basis of the content is the story. The science speak usually fills in the how of what is happening – it’s rarely used as a plot point in of itself. In other words, it wields science but is not controlled by it.

Good Will – Throughout the entirety of the Star Trek universe, there has always been one philosophy – peace. Despite the numerous battles and wars fought in the series, it’s essentially about peace – making it and sustaining it. It remembers the violent past – even among other species, but overall starfleet wants intergalactic co-operation.

Motivations – The general motivation for people in starfleet is the gratification of exploration and doing a good job. Bearing in mind, unlike many other Sci-Fi series, starfleet isn’t like the military. They’re not there to keep the peace in hostile territories, nor are they there to force others to do things. The Prime Directive in Star Trek prevents it’s officers from interfering with other cultures and peoples. Sometimes for the best, sometimes for the worst. Not to mention the lack of money, and I pin this down to one thing: replicators. With replicators around, any rations, and luxuries, and physical materials (well, most) can be created, therefore removing a lot of the reason for currency.

Replicators in Star Trek would put an end to currency

Exploring the unknown – Whether it be though simply expanding outwards, through a wormhole or from the other side of the galaxy, Star Trek is mostly about exploring “strange new worlds”. Even then, there’s plenty of room for what happens while doing so.

The Mythology – The universe of Star Trek is incredibly rich. From the designs of the starships themselves, to the cultures and peoples of other planets, each one coming back time and again in new ways. It even has it’s own history, with Zephram Cochran as the first person to achieve warp travel. No matter how much of a fan of Star Trek you think you are, there’s always something that you missed – some detail that links to an earlier episode. There must be some board out there that list all of the events and aliens and history and such, in order to achieve a comtinuum (rather than having writers contradicting each other).

So, what do I think should happen to Star Trek? Well, good question!

There’s a lot the can be done with the universe, including following the new universe set out by JJ Abrams. Although I would prefer more love for the original universe (note, not the original series) – what I would love to see is a series about the Corps of Engineers. So, Paramount, if you’re listening (and more importantly, if you hold the license still, please more Star Trek! Pretty please!!

A novel of Corps of Engineers, just one book of many

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