Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Re-Discovering Star Trek

It is interesting to have watched a show and then stop for a few years only to pick up watching again. This has happened to me with Star Trek:The Next Generation. You may wonder if a geek such as myself could have ever stopped watching Star Trek, after all I did watch the JJ Abrams movie, and found simply the greatest. I don't know if I would say it's the greatest Star Trek movie, but certainly it is one of the best ones and did an incredible job re-starting the franchise. Let's face it, Star Trek Nemesis was basically a bust and besides it was all dark and dingy. The new movie had that new starship smell to it, it was bright, shiny and totally new.

By the way, the movie is coming to DVD on the 17th of November, start saving those pennies.

So, what about the Next Gen? It was an amazing series when you get right down to it. I've watched two episodes, the first being: "I, Borg" and the second "Inner Light". Both are amazing in they look at themes and ideas, which was one of the hallmarks of the franchise, Gene Roddenberry believed in concepts and ideas, and he expressed some very controversial topics through the Starship Enterprise.

The first episode considered the idea of individuality and how that may be the greatest weapon against the hive mentality. The crewmembers, just in case you don't know, come to the scene of a wrecked Borg vessel, most of the crew is dead but they rescue one, a rather younger Borg. They at first want to use him as a weapon by introducing a virus into his central processing unit. The hope is to infect the entire collective and thus destroy the Borg. Since the Federation is at war with the Borg, it makes for a good tactical plan. However, through encountering the crew, the Borg begins to develop a personality and an individuality, apart from the Collective. He learns that resistence is not always useless and there is something more.

Another Borg vessel is spotted and Hugh, as he is now called, is returned to the crash site, he is assimilated back to the crew, but just before, he looks at Geordi. The result of his encounter is played out in another episode.

The second episode is "The Inner Light". To be honest there are not enough superlatives for this episode. It is considered one of the highest rated of all the episodes of all the series. It won a Hugo Award, the highest award in science fiction. the Enterprise comes across a probe which sends a signal to Picard, he ends up fainting into a coma. In the coma he lives the life of a citizen of a planet that launched the probe. He becomes part of the society, raises a family and realizes the planet is dying. The members of the planet wanted to live, not by leaving their world, but becmoing part of Picard's memory. In the probe there is a flute, which Picard plays. To many the theme is remarkable and strikes a chord with many viewers.

As I said, it's amazing how great the writing and acting was in the series. Was every episode good? No of course not, there were some serious clunkers, but so what you take the good with the bad.

I'm planning to continue to watch and enjoy.

Live Long and Prosper

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