Thursday, September 8, 2016
Star Trek at 50
Right, so I was just a hair under 5 months old when this theme first sounded, when the U.S.S. Enterprise first flashed across the screen. As a result of which, I grew up in a world where Star Trek set my expectations for science fiction storytelling. In law, there is a phrase "a time beyond which the memory of man [sorry!] runneth not." That's Star Trek time for me--I don't remember first viewing it, just that it was always part of my psychic horizon.
And I am grateful.
Was it sometimes hokey, clumsy, condescending in its liberal verities?
But Star Trek's heart was always in the right place. It taught us children that bigots were wrong, that the arc of the moral universe is long but bends towards justice. Star Trek could often be laughably sexist, but in its very first iteration presented a woman in command as a given:
Gene Roddenberry successfully disguised his character-driven moral anthology as "Wagon Train to the Stars", owing more to Bradbury than to Asimov.
Of course, it also gave us this: