After 10 years in rerun wilderness, Star Trek: The Motion Picture rolled out in the winter of 1979. I saw the TV commercials, and I was ready to take the conn with old crew and newly engaged engines. But the reviews were bad, and when my brother asked me to go see it, I declined. I eventually saw TMP on TV—save a bit too much gasping at the gas cloud—I absolutely loved it. So the omission became a lifelong regret that I didn’t see it in the theaters, and when 40 years triggered a new theatrical release, I knew what I had to do. As it turns out, that decision may have been in error.
The Short Treks format proved successful in its first run, with four short adventures that tied into Discovery. Of these, three were really very good, with only the opener “Runaway” seeming rather throwaway, and even that turned out to be surprisingly important for the resolution of Discovery's second season. The far future setting of “Calypso” laid hints for the finale of the second season and will doubtless tie in to the third, while “The Brightest Star” acted as a prequel to very important developments for Lt. Saru. Only the Harry Mudd episode “The Escape Artist” seem to be a completely standalone adventure, and even that may turn out to be more important later on.
Classically, Star Trek has been reserved for Geeks, Dweebs, Nerds, Squares, Squints, and any other goofy, unpopular type you can think of. However, recently it has gained traction like never before, with a movie reboot with an alternate timeline.
The Borg aren’t Swedish. Nope. Not even a parsec close. Sorry, Lily, as much as they sound as if they’re working for IKEA, slinging Swedish meatballs in the food market cafe, those dangerous cyborgs don’t hail from Stockholm. Just ask Locutus—call him Jean-Luc Picard if you’re feeling sweetly nostalgic before his fabled Borgification.
Star Trek: The Next Generation warps a careful path through complex challenges of overwhelming artificial intelligence. Indeed. If Captain Jean-Luc Picard learned one important thing from his Starfleet Academy training—or by reading Captain’s Logs of his predecessor, James T. Kirk—it’s the subtle intricacies of effectively dealing with synthetic smarts.
Star Trek deals deliriously in deadly, dangerous artificial intelligence. Yeah, that’s quite a dizzying mouthful. Prefer abbreviations? Call it hostile A.I. for the trendy, discerning sci-fi guy. Whichever term you prefer, bad machines plague Starfleet crews for decades.
Star Trek fills the sly sci-fi bill for assembling a colorful, iconic cast of Trekkers. Gene Roddenberry’s entertainment legacy is chock full of memorable characters. Household names like Mister Spock, Uhura, or Captain Kirk prompt a friendly smile and fun reaction from most everybody around. We all know the bad boy and girl Klingons. It’s even been said some of the most primitive world cultures recognize actors such as William Shatner as a global science fiction icon. Data and Captain Jean-Luc Picard hailing from Next Generation remain well known by even the most casual Trekkie.
I wrote for Star Trek: The Next Generation. It's a good thing to establish that fact right off the bat. Fans can offer their passionate opinion on all things Trek, but as writer of a TNG episode, I helped to shape one of Star Trek's most beloved incarnations.
Hello, and welcome back to The Great Debates where I settle pop culture's biggest scores, and this time I've got phasers ready.
One of the things that has made Star Trek endure is the duking it out that takes place between Kirk and Spock at the end. The successful formula always had the two giants trying to gain the upper hand in the interpretation of events. So in case you hadn't noticed, the winner usually lands Kirk in the win column, while Spock can't figure out why he's left licking his wounds.
If you were the Traveler, who could you shapeshift into and remain undetected? Or, if you don’t want to be that sinister, who could you replace on the team and the effect not be felt? Well, let’s run through the contenders.