Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How William Shatner ruined Everything

I was watching "How William Shatner Changed The World" today - the title says it all - and I was struck by how the script portrays the difference between DS9 and TNG. Basically, the ide is that DS9 on failed because of their negative take on technology and the utopian future.

A few counterarguments.

First, Roddenberry's "utopia" as concieved in classic trek is far from paradise for many Trekkies. Yes, we have eliminated poverty, disease, and war, but we still have criminals running amok, ecological disasters - and more planets to put them on - and it seems that every probe we put into space has woken up and now wants to kill us. Also, we have deadbeat dads - McCoy - and prejudice against aliens, we see evidence that religion - something that even science suggests we need - is taboo, and the Federation doesn't like to let people go, so they can't just leave and do their own thing.

Second problem : the assertion that TNG showed technology as benign, or helpful. Holodeck, anyone? TNG is a seven-year cautionary tale.

Third : DS9 is dark, you're right. But that doesn't make it contrary to the vision. Yes, it took us to an uncomfortable place, with the war and the religion. DS9 may be my favorite just because that utopian ideal is sustained throughout, but it is very clear that it is still a goal - the writers, without Gene, were free to admit they hadn't reached it yet.

Shatner's treatment of Voyager and Enterprise is so laughable I'm too tired to deal with it, except to say i's more of the same. Implying that Star Trek is dead, that Voyager and DS9 were faliures (I'll grant him Enterprise), and pretending Gene accomplished what he set out to do - it's silly.

But really not surprising in the slightest.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5