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11/11/13 @ 12:36 am   
Speak Not To Me Of Picard, Or Janeway
location: Where No Man Has Gone Before
Current mood: Intrepid
Music: "Maiden Wine"

ook; I'm a Star Trek fan. Don't talk to me about Picard or Janeway or Archer or whoever. Even the movies barely qualify as Star Trek, and they have the original cast. I'm not talking about some chick flick where they spend more time talking about feelings than getting into swashbuckling adventures with fearsome aliens on what was supposed to be a routine planetary survey of Gamma Hydra IV***. I saw an entire episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" where Picard did nothing but drink cosmopolitans and gossip with Charlotte and Miranda. I bet he's never even been cloned against his will by a scientist whose very humanity was lost when he transferred his mind into an eternal, physically perfect android body in a cavern lit by creepy red and purple klieg lights. So why would I want to even watch that crap?

Gene Roddenberry accomplished what few people ever have: he imbued an entire generation of kids with his personal morals. Then, in the 80s, he made a sci-fi chick flick that ran for 7 seasons. Ooh, let's let Wesley Crusher solve the case again! Poor Worf, he's conflicted over his father!

Kirk was a hero of mythic proportions. Spock, Bones, and the rest were a pantheon. They had extraordinary strengths and extraordinary failings, like Greek gods. In TNG, the ship's psychiatrist sits next to the captain in the bridge. Riker makes a pretty good poker face, and that's about as close to an honest-to-god dramatic tension as that show came in 7 entire seasons. Oh, the alien race speaks only in visual metaphors! What a clever stand-in for actually being intellectually provocative! A major villain on Star Trek is, "Vol teaches the villagers to smash the the crew's skulls". A major villain on TNG is, "This bent over old retired admiral is threatening to act like Sen. Joseph McCarthy, until another admiral tells her to stop."

Star Trek had Richard Matheson, Harlan Ellison, D. C. Fontana, John D. F. Black. TNG barely even had Gene Roddenberry. That's why in the original series you had spine-tingling dialogue like Apollo going "Zeus, Hermes, Hera, Aphrodite! You were right! Athena, you were right. The time has passed. There is no room for gods. Forgive me, my old friends. Take me. Take me!" Meanwhile in the new series you have.... I don't know. I've watched the entire series from start to finish and there's not a single speech that sticks in my mind, just Picard prattling on about this or that at the end of an episode, like some old guy who got left in a library too long.

Spock is not herbert. He reaches. Data is totally herbert. Good for a winking laugh when he tries to write poetry... and that's it. So: from a deeply conflicted (and artistically talented) character based on the Devil, to a soulless and passionless machine trying to pretend to be human. Pretty good analogy for the original series vs TNG.

Janeway is ok, but I liked her better in "On Golden Pond" with Henry Fonda.

(***Yes, I know damn well that Gamma Hydra IV is the planet from "The Deadly Years", I was being funny. What do you take me for?)
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