In today's edition, three pieces from Wired regarding Star Trek:
* The first is an e-mail interview between the magazine and Michael Dorn, who of course played Worf on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. Prominent in the discussion is the optimism for which Star Trek has so often been assailed - but by which Dorn stands, and which he feels we could use more of.
* The second is an interview with Ronald Moore - whose association with Star Trek seems ironic, given that the show for which he is now best-known, the remake of Battlestar Galactica, has become the template for American television's "anti-Treks," in substance as much as style given the ultraconservative anti-humanism that characterized its premise, stories and characters. Disappointingly, the intellectual shift in gears between one franchise and the other is unaddressed in this piece (just as it doesn't seem to have been adequately addressed in any other I've come across), the issues of philosophy and politics actually discussed much more in the Dorn interview. However, Moore does have some interesting comments about the history of The Next Generation, and the science fiction television market in which he has spent his career.
* The third is "The Best and Worst of Star Trek: The Next Generation's Sci-Fi Optimism," taking a look at the series' best and worst episodes. The picks under the heading of "best" unsurprisingly tend to involve Q ("Encounter at Farpoint," "All Good Things . . ."), Data ("Data's Day"), Spock ("Unification"), the Borg ("The Best of Both Worlds"), "temporal disturbances" ("Yesterday's Enterprise"), reality games ("The Inner Light," "Frame of Mind"), and the darker political plots ("Chain of Command," "Conspiracy"), while most of the picks for the "worst" come from that famously criticized first season (like "Code of Honor," incidentally the episode Dorn mentions liking least). All in all it's a fair list, though I can think of a number of other episodes worthy of at least a passing mention in the discussion given not just their interest (to me, anyway), but their thematically having much in common with the episiodes that did get named (the time shifts of "The Neutral Zone," "A Matter of Time," and "Time's Arrow," for instance, or the admittedly milder reality games of "Ship in a Bottle" and "Hollow Pursuits"), while it seems noteworthy that the Data-centered stories aside, few of the more humorous episodes (like "A Matter of Time," like "Hollow Pursuits") are included.
The Anti-Humanism of Battlestar Galactica
On Star Trek Bashing