Star Trek is mainly space junk: FACT

Some of the random arguments for Trek being a God-Awful franchise that we ought to best forget:

(This is based on a question put to me in Lynn Lamb's wonderful interview here.)



People are revisiting Star Trek on Netflix lately, or geeking up for the first time. I am recommending that you don't squander your lives. I am a Trekkie. But I won't defend the faults that give me a dose of the rageface, unlike this pair of happy Carols.
I argue here mainly about the incarnations of Trek that come after The Original Series, and all views are free to be challenged.  



I do recommend The Original Series as a cultural cornerstone.


But TNG coasted along for three execrable seasons under the Trek name before improving slightly for its latter four. It really milked the cistern. System? As a new show, it would never have made it out of the gate without the Star Trek banner.

DS9's final season - which thrilled fans at the time - actually descended into fricken Dynasty, with Kai Winn as Alexis Colby! The same soapy nonsense undermined the villainous Xindi scenes in certain episodes of Star Trek Enterprise. But I think Deep Space 9’s the best series in the franchise, and Enterprise is second best. Voyager is by far the worst.

My favourite Trek movie is IV, second fave, First Contact. I love the time travel stuff, actually. 

My arguments about Trek being complete crap (for the most part) are that their writers have been - historically speaking - imaginatively challenged.  

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, as Mr Spock might say.  But how many Irish-American admirals are there in the Trek universe? Because two is too many for me - and there are about five per series.

These are the leaders in the military wing of a Federation of interstellar planets - including humanity - with multiples of its population of seven billion today - and it's full of O'Learys. This is a pool of humans drawn from the entire planet and its colonies.


IT'S NOT A PHWACKIN PLANNING CONFERENCE FOR THE GRAND MARSHALS OF THE SAINT PATRICK'S DAY PARADES OF AMERICA!

Not only should we asking "Where are the Betazoid admirals? The Vulcans? The Andorians?

We should be asking "Where the fuck are the MEXICANS? The JAPANESE? The NIGERIANS???"

Look at TNG: There are eps that are more sexist, racist and homophobic than - than I am! 

The one with the ignorant turbanned People of Color where it's flip-reversed to show how women hold the power. They're still pig-ignorant, and dressed to look like Aladdin in a fricken pantomime.

The one where Riker has his affair with the Gen'i person, and she's arrested, hauled off, and reconditioned to remove the gay out of her! DID THEY PRAY IT OUT???

Another with Ladies' man Riker getting involved with the blonde matriarch in a matriarchal society. Velvet and velour. There is too much velour - the Futurama team have that spot on.

In the 60s, the TOS writers deemed it an acceptable rule that women were not fit to captain starships. (It led to a lot of resentment from a psychotic bint whom Kirk had to take on.) That is ridiculous.

Back to TNG: Look at Tasha Yar's death episode - terrible! Speaking of Tasha Yar, she was originally meant to be called Macha Hernandez, but then the writers discovered that Macha sort of meant "butch lesbian" in Spanish.

Writers and creators doing a show blessed by Paramount, and every one of them is too dumb to have enough Spanish to know this? It's not even about these people being dunderheads:
T
he continuity errors in Trek are HORRIFIC.

If Trekkies can spot glaring incongruities, and there isn’t a single writer on the staff in a given MONTH - seeing as production of an episode takes so long - who says “This can’t happen because XYZ” then they’re not earning their money when handing in and reviewing their scripts.


I believe ST: Enterprise hired showrunners and writers of far greater talent and insider knowledge towards the end of its run – some of the continuity issues were even addressed with humour and style. And I don’t think, qualitatively, Enterprise caused Enterprise's cancellation: Voyager did.


Speaking of Voyager:
The best thing about the worst episode ever: Michael McKean as a clown. Watch that for 44 minutes and then get physically sick due to the crapness. Similar in its abject awfulness to the Tasha death ep. But Michael's great.


On ST: Enterprise, Capt Jonathan Archer tortures his enemies for information! Oh, coz war? Not in my name! And this isn't some mirror universe Archer - this is the real deal! Develop a level head, yeh fricken lunatic!

I recall some critical anger about Voyager, and Chakotay's representation of Native American culture.

Yes, there are some great eps, great ideas and great arcs, but a great episode of any Trek franchise suffers by comparison with poor episodes of other tv shows.

Have you watched that Dark Matter yet? I like that one.

And Now, A Potted History of Capt Jean-Luc Picard:

Jean-Luc Picard has been cloned, assimilated, and he's even lived a completely different existence over the course of a few hours that felt like an entire flute-playing, sun-gazing lifetime to him. (And they're the less ludicrous things that have befallen the chap.)  

One time, a disease that spread through the Enterprise turned him into a kind of a mouse.
"Captain - will you join me for a cup of tea?"
"I'll decline. The Earl Grey hasn't tasted the same on my palate since I transformed into a shrew for a few hours last year." 
"O-kayyyy."

At least it wasn't as ugly as when Captain Janeway became an iguana when she broke the Warp 10 barrier, eh? 


Another time, a transporter malfunction turned Picard into a teenager.
"Cast your mind back to when you were a boy, Picard!"
"Eh - do you mean last Wednesday?"

A typical conversation in the Trek universe could go like this



Nothing in the TV incarnations of Trek compare favorably to Game of Thrones, say, or Dr Who (when it came back) or The Sopranos, or LA Law or Hill Street Blues or The West Wing or Lost or Thirtysomething or Twin Peaks (whether these shows are sci fi or not). The big network and cable shows it competed against were always superior. 
As a progenitor for much of the sci fi to come, TOS Trek deserves all the plaudits it got. And my own limited knowledge of actual science is influenced massively by the Trek universe. It is owed a huge debt, culturally. But enough already. Draw a line under the original universe, and watch the new stuff.

THE LINE IS DRAWN HERE! to paraphrase Picard. NO FURTHER!