Tag Archives: Roddenberry
Sci-fi and fantasy fans have traditionally been marginalized by society. Outcasts and nerds – mocked in TV and high school. Eventually, they started conventions and message boards where they could gather and marginalize each other.
Now, not only are nerds not marginalized, they run the show. Who would have thought that, other than a romantic comedy about a sinking ship, all of the top grossing films in the world are nerd centric. They feature aliens, robots, pirates, witches, wonderlands, and Batman. As mentioned above, though, we can’t all just get along.
There’s no more iconic a nerd division than the idea that there are Star Wars fans and Star Trek fans and that’s that. If you like one, you can’t possibly like the other. In fact, you have to hate the other. And, at first glance, I can understand why. Star Wars features a galaxy where everything is dirty, and mismatched, and the bad guys are a crisp, regimented government. Star Trek is about guys who work in a crisp, clean government who try to bring order to various gritty dirty aliens. But, just like it’s possible to like baseball and hockey, it’s pretty easy to like both. (For one thing, in this day and age, who doesn’t like Star Wars?) Where you can actually find some serious, blood thirsty, extra crispy divisions is within Trek fandom.
A brief history lesson – Gene Roddenberry begat Star Trek, and it was good. Kirk, Spock and the rest of the crew traveled from planet to planet meeting babes, fighting Klingons, and dealing with metaphors for all of the problems from the sixties. There was a short-lived animated series, the less said about it the better. After a break of a decade or so, we were introduced to The Next Generation who had a weak start, but ended up providing some of the greatest hours of sci-fi on television. Spinning out of that came something unique in Star Trek lore, a serialized space-opera set on the space station Deep Space Nine. Next, we joined the first lady captain who took us on a long slog through the Delta Quadrant. And, finally, they Quantum Leaped us back in time to the very first ship with the name Enterprise.
How these five (six) shows are ranked determines whether one Trekkie will get along with another. To the layperson, this must seem very silly. I mean, they are all so closely tied together that three of them feature ships named Enterprise. Even when the show doesn’t have an Enterprise, there’s some sort of Enterprise cameo. (DS9 literally had the Enterprise-D appear in it, and Voyager had appearances by Geordi, Troi, Riker and Barclay from Next Generation and Sulu and Janice Rand from The Original Series.) But, unless you really watch them, you can’t appreciate just how different they all are.
Now, I’d love to say something like, “Why can’t we all just get along!?” But, I can’t do it. Like a true Trekkie, I have my own ranking. I’m a little trepidatious to actually reveal it, because I don’t want to alienate any Trekkie readers I might have who feel differently, but here goes.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- Star Trek
- Star Trek: Voyager
I’ll get into the reasons in the next week or two, but I will say this – I haven’t seen that much of Enterprise. I tried to get into it when it started, and I just couldn’t do it. So, if you think there are some episodes that I should watch to change these rankings, post them in the comments.
Graham Becksted has been watching a lot of Star Trek lately and he’s got a lot to say. He is the author of Graham’s Grumbles the second blog by that name that is listed in Google results when you search for Graham’s Grumbles. If you would like to be his 62nd follower (thank you, bots), he can be followed on Twitter @GrahamBecksted.