Blogs > Liberty and Power > Happy Birthday to an old friend

Sep 8, 2006 9:33 am

Happy Birthday to an old friend

40 years ago today, Star Trek premiered. I don't have time to write the long appreciation that it deserves (Amy? Roderick?), but at its best, it was great science fiction television. When I was watching it as a kid growing up, I learned a lot from it about optimism, and human potential, and diversity (IDIC!), and so on. I can still answer trivia questions and recite dialogue, without cheating with the internet. I confess I never warmed up to the overly PC (and frequently derivative) Next Gen, or any of the subsequent spinoffs, and was underwhelmed by all the films. And the original show had it's share of silliness, most often in the third season. But it was great stuff. Perhaps next week I'll have a chance to write more, but I couldn't let the anniversary slip by unnoticed. Comments welcome, but I'd really prefer not to get into flamey arguments about Next Gen etc. UPDATE: This, however, is surely a bad idea. Assassins!!

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Amy H. Sturgis - 9/11/2006

David Brin has an excellent defense of Trek as a libertarian tale in the 2006 book Star Wars on Trial. Insightful work.

Steven Horwitz - 9/8/2006

No flames. But you are wrong. ST:TNG produced some of the finest hours of dramatic television in the last 20 years. I don't know how anyone can watch the episode entitled "The Inner Light" and not be moved. It's an absolutely beautiful hour of television, exquisitely written with great performances, esp. by Patrick Stewart.

Yes, TNG got preachy at times, although I wouldn't say "PC." Still, I think Picard as a leader had many qualities that would serve real world leaders (including business ones) well. And I also think that it dealt with some issues in ways that I found to have enough intellectual heft to make it much more interesting TV than almost anything else on contemporaneously.

I remain a fan of TOS, but TNG's best was better than the best of TOS, and I think, on average, they were comparable.