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(io9)   It's time to ask: Was Star Trek ever really intelligent science-fiction?   (io9.com) divider line 197
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3050 clicks; posted to Geek » on 17 Apr 2014 at 7:50 AM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-17 06:57:12 AM  
Each series had its moments.

Of course, for every intelligent episode, there was a Spock's Brain, or Code of Honor, or Threshold to bring the average down.
 
2014-04-17 07:06:27 AM  
In the original series, Gene Roddenberry mandated that the series should be a series of morality plays illustrating a science fiction parable of contemporary American culture of the 1960s. Racism, discrimination, war - those were all dealt with in the original series.

So, yes, I think Star Trek was intelligent science fiction at least at some point.
 
2014-04-17 07:10:38 AM  

RexTalionis: In the original series, Gene Roddenberry mandated that the series should be a series of morality plays illustrating a science fiction parable of contemporary American culture of the 1960s. Racism, discrimination, war - those were all dealt with in the original series.

So, yes, I think Star Trek was intelligent science fiction at least at some point.


Yeah when they dealt with topics like racism it often ended up like this:

www.standupamericaus.org
 
2014-04-17 07:20:12 AM  
True. Science Fiction is what Cosmos is.
 
2014-04-17 07:21:50 AM  

Confabulat: RexTalionis: In the original series, Gene Roddenberry mandated that the series should be a series of morality plays illustrating a science fiction parable of contemporary American culture of the 1960s. Racism, discrimination, war - those were all dealt with in the original series.

So, yes, I think Star Trek was intelligent science fiction at least at some point.

Yeah when they dealt with topics like racism it often ended up like this:

[www.standupamericaus.org image 320x240]


They look exactly the same.
 
2014-04-17 07:31:02 AM  
At times it was, it dealt intelligently with racism, bigotry (the episode in the photo here), homophobia, right to assisted suicide, drug addiction.

breakfastwithspock.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-04-17 07:39:18 AM  

dittybopper: They look exactly the same.


OMG that's what Kirk taught them at the end!
 
2014-04-17 07:40:27 AM  

dittybopper: They look exactly the same.


If you're really unfamiliar with the episode, they hate each other because each one has their white and black faces on the opposite sides.
 
2014-04-17 07:55:39 AM  
WTF was that? TFA was... a collection of a few posts from a thread somewhere else?

Lame.
 
2014-04-17 07:56:37 AM  

FirstNationalBastard: Each series had its moments.

Of course, for every intelligent episode, there was a Spock's Brain, or Code of Honor, or Threshold to bring the average down.


Damn I would have gone with the old standard of "Sub Rosa" but perhaps that's from me intentionally scrubbing most of TNG season 1 from my brain. I guess I don't consider that POS "Code of Honor" canon, even if I'll still acknowledge "Sub Rosa" or most of the episodes of DS9 with Moogie.
 
2014-04-17 07:58:30 AM  

Confabulat: dittybopper: They look exactly the same.

OMG that's what Kirk taught them at the end!


Failed to teach them anyway.

No one ever said old school Trek was subtle.
 
2014-04-17 07:58:47 AM  

Barfmaker: At times it was, it dealt intelligently with racism, bigotry (the episode in the photo here), homophobia, right to assisted suicide, drug addiction.

[breakfastwithspock.files.wordpress.com image 260x195]


Almost a shot for shot remake of: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050356/ 
... That episode is about the terror of submarine warfare.. read in to it as you wish.
 
2014-04-17 08:04:01 AM  

Crotchrocket Slim: FirstNationalBastard: Each series had its moments.

Of course, for every intelligent episode, there was a Spock's Brain, or Code of Honor, or Threshold to bring the average down.

Damn I would have gone with the old standard of "Sub Rosa" but perhaps that's from me intentionally scrubbing most of TNG season 1 from my brain. I guess I don't consider that POS "Code of Honor" canon, even if I'll still acknowledge "Sub Rosa" or most of the episodes of DS9 with Moogie.


at least Sub Rosa had Crusher rubbing one out.

/TNG S7 was a real mixed bag. It also had that shiatty warp 5 speed limit episode.
 
2014-04-17 08:04:11 AM  

Confabulat: RexTalionis: In the original series, Gene Roddenberry mandated that the series should be a series of morality plays illustrating a science fiction parable of contemporary American culture of the 1960s. Racism, discrimination, war - those were all dealt with in the original series.

So, yes, I think Star Trek was intelligent science fiction at least at some point.

Yeah when they dealt with topics like racism it often ended up like this:

[www.standupamericaus.org image 320x240]


s23.postimg.org

This blew the mind of many a conservative.
 
2014-04-17 08:04:46 AM  
All I know is that in '77, it was an awesome flick that was damned entertaining.
 
2014-04-17 08:07:03 AM  
It wanted to be, but there was a lot of crap in there too.
 
2014-04-17 08:10:01 AM  

Confabulat: dittybopper: They look exactly the same.

If you're really unfamiliar with the episode, they hate each other because each one has their white and black faces on the opposite sides.


Gee, I wonder where I could have gotten the idea that they look exactly the same....

"You're black on one side and white on the other."
"I am black on the right side."
"I fail to see the significant difference."
"Lokai is white on the right side. All of his people are white on the right side."
- Kirk and Bele
 
2014-04-17 08:10:22 AM  

basemetal: All I know is that in '77, it was an awesome flick that was damned entertaining.


warosu.org
img.4plebs.org
 
2014-04-17 08:11:32 AM  

basemetal: All I know is that in '77, it was an awesome flick TV series that was damned entertaining.


FTFY.
 
2014-04-17 08:15:49 AM  

Cheron: Confabulat: RexTalionis: In the original series, Gene Roddenberry mandated that the series should be a series of morality plays illustrating a science fiction parable of contemporary American culture of the 1960s. Racism, discrimination, war - those were all dealt with in the original series.

So, yes, I think Star Trek was intelligent science fiction at least at some point.

Yeah when they dealt with topics like racism it often ended up like this:

[www.standupamericaus.org image 320x240]

[s23.postimg.org image 500x376]

This blew the mindload of many a conservative.


FTF hypocrites
 
2014-04-17 08:16:32 AM  

RexTalionis: In the original series, Gene Roddenberry mandated that the series should be a series of morality plays illustrating a science fiction parable of contemporary American culture of the 1960s. Racism, discrimination, war - those were all dealt with in the original series.

So, yes, I think Star Trek was intelligent science fiction at least at some point.


He did well to us as a people.
Created popular conversation and discussion which, in turn, created change.
Positive change.
With out Trek, you think Sulu would be a popular meme as he is now?
Maybe, but not as farking awesome.
 
2014-04-17 08:17:10 AM  
Star Trek was science fiction like....well like Dr. Who.  Oh, you can't go faster than light?  Let's create the warp drive.  Problem solved.  Oh we need special space guns.  Lets call them Phasers and they do everything...heat rocks, disentegrate, stun....yes, we know there is no such science as "phaser".  Teleporter?  Sure...why not.

The science in Star Trek is silly.

The morality plays are perfect.  Especially set in the 60s of the Cold War and Civil Rights Movement.
 
2014-04-17 08:18:36 AM  
TOS wasn't science fiction more than it was social commentary.
They used the setting to skirt around prickly issues like race rights, religion, and war.

TNG and the other heaped on the sci-fi, but mostly to their detriment.
By the time voyager came around it was nothing but a pile of incomprehensible technical garble.
 
2014-04-17 08:18:49 AM  
As a young boy I certainly found it to be thought provoking.


croobal.com 4.bp.blogspot.com


i275.photobucket.com

 
2014-04-17 08:21:31 AM  
Compared to what?
 
2014-04-17 08:23:23 AM  

whereisian: Compared to what?


2001 A Drug Fueled Psychodelic Journey...at least for the final 20 minutes.
 
2014-04-17 08:24:31 AM  

dittybopper: Gee, I wonder where I could have gotten the idea that they look exactly the same....


Don't act so haughty. I doubt most people in 2014 have ever seen an episode of real Star Trek.
 
2014-04-17 08:25:03 AM  

Tr0mBoNe: True. Science Fiction is what Cosmos is.


Science evangelism maybe but I haven't seen anything fictional.
 
2014-04-17 08:35:12 AM  

way south: TOS wasn't science fiction more than it was social commentary.
They used the setting to skirt around prickly issues like race rights, religion, and war.

TNG and the other heaped on the sci-fi, but mostly to their detriment.
By the time voyager came around it was nothing but a pile of incomprehensible technical garble.


It was both.  I think many people are disounting the science fiction aspect because today it seems cheesey.  Back in the 60's for a weekly TV sereis it was very cool  and there are many articles on how TOS has inspired real world technology.

Hell, the fact that 50 years later we are still discussing it, and the franchise survies in one form or another is proof.
 
2014-04-17 08:36:59 AM  

Confabulat: dittybopper: Gee, I wonder where I could have gotten the idea that they look exactly the same....

Don't act so haughty. I doubt most people in 2014 have ever seen an episode of real Star Trek.


My mom went into labor while my father was watching one of the original episodes when it was first broadcast.

I've only ever seen them in re-runs, and now on Netflix.
 
2014-04-17 08:37:11 AM  
More intelligent than Star Wars, anyway.
 
2014-04-17 08:39:15 AM  
Don't forget the one with the space hippies.
 
2014-04-17 08:40:54 AM  
The Next Generation, unquestionably. The original series, here and there.
 
2014-04-17 08:43:18 AM  

Confabulat: RexTalionis: In the original series, Gene Roddenberry mandated that the series should be a series of morality plays illustrating a science fiction parable of contemporary American culture of the 1960s. Racism, discrimination, war - those were all dealt with in the original series.

So, yes, I think Star Trek was intelligent science fiction at least at some point.

Yeah when they dealt with topics like racism it often ended up like this:


It seems overly simple NOW, but keep in mind that this episode was aired when a lot of people openly held on to the belief that blacks were an inferior subspecies.
 
2014-04-17 08:43:34 AM  

turboke: Cheron: Confabulat: RexTalionis: In the original series, Gene Roddenberry mandated that the series should be a series of morality plays illustrating a science fiction parable of contemporary American culture of the 1960s. Racism, discrimination, war - those were all dealt with in the original series.

So, yes, I think Star Trek was intelligent science fiction at least at some point.

Yeah when they dealt with topics like racism it often ended up like this:

[www.standupamericaus.org image 320x240]

[s23.postimg.org image 500x376]

This blew the mindload of many a conservative.

FTF hypocrites


Shatner has written in, I think, one of his Star Trek Memoirs that many years after the airing of the episode, a man came up to him and said that he didn't support the mixing of the races. That same man, after a beat, added that if he had a woman like Uhura in his arms, he would've done the same thing.
 
2014-04-17 08:47:14 AM  

Egoy3k: Tr0mBoNe: True. Science Fiction is what Cosmos is.

Science evangelism maybe but I haven't seen anything fictional.


It goes into alot of theory at points, which is what the whole ship of the imagination thing is about.
Science readily admits not everything can be known, proven, or experienced directly.

"Lets pretend we know what's going on, Have some CGI".
img.fark.net

/The "black holes inside black holes" thing alone was amazingly speculative.
/For all we know this universe is a black hole on the back of a giant turtle, inside a black hole on top of another turtle.
 
2014-04-17 08:47:30 AM  
Star Trek TOS was a morality play science fiction, as was TNG (sometimes). The Animated Series, what I've seen of it, also shares in the morality play science fiction pedigree. DS9 was a story about people during a time of war set in space. Not quite the same thing and it never pressed the same buttons as TOS and TNG, but it was still good because it had something to say about stuff (for example, dealing with war trauma, PTSD, etc.).

Voyager was just fantasy in science fiction trappings. And much of it poorly written fantasy at that.

Enterprise was an action series in science fiction trappings.
 
2014-04-17 08:47:52 AM  
img.fark.net

I haz a smrt!!
 
2014-04-17 08:50:55 AM  
I agree with what everyone is saying regarding morality plays and social commentary in the context of the 1960s.

As for the "science" of the show, I think far too many people forget what the word "fiction" means in the phrase "science fiction."  It doesn't mean potential, feasibility, realistic expectation, or anything like that. It means imaginary, doesn't it?
 
2014-04-17 08:52:01 AM  

way south: For all we know this universe is a black hole on the back of a giant turtle, inside a black hole on top of another turtle.


Yeah, but that's where your theory breaks down. What's that turtle sitting on top of?
 
2014-04-17 08:53:11 AM  

way south: Egoy3k: Tr0mBoNe: True. Science Fiction is what Cosmos is.

Science evangelism maybe but I haven't seen anything fictional.

It goes into alot of theory at points, which is what the whole ship of the imagination thing is about.
Science readily admits not everything can be known, proven, or experienced directly.

"Lets pretend we know what's going on, Have some CGI".
[img.fark.net image 265x200]

/The "black holes inside black holes" thing alone was amazingly speculative.
/For all we know this universe is a black hole on the back of a giant turtle, inside a black hole on top of another turtle.


Speculative science != fiction

Putting quotes around something that isn't a quote makes you seem dishonest.
 
2014-04-17 08:53:17 AM  

Dingleberry Dickwad: basemetal: All I know is that in '77, it was an awesome flick that was damned entertaining.

[warosu.org image 300x250]
[img.4plebs.org image 301x221]


Maybe it's just me, but I enjoyed The Motion Picture.
 
2014-04-17 08:55:58 AM  

Danger Mouse: way south: TOS wasn't science fiction more than it was social commentary.
They used the setting to skirt around prickly issues like race rights, religion, and war.

TNG and the other heaped on the sci-fi, but mostly to their detriment.
By the time voyager came around it was nothing but a pile of incomprehensible technical garble.

It was both.  I think many people are disounting the science fiction aspect because today it seems cheesey.  Back in the 60's for a weekly TV sereis it was very cool  and there are many articles on how TOS has inspired real world technology.

Hell, the fact that 50 years later we are still discussing it, and the franchise survies in one form or another is proof.

img.fark.net
Lots of things fans love and discuss will never resurface. 
Trek survives because TV executives still believe they can make money from it.

Some elements, like the transporter, were yanked out of Roddenberry's posterior with no scientific justification until decades after the fact. Others were production decisions, like why most aliens were humanoid, that later series tried to retcon or explain in very sloppy ways.

Then as now people cared about the social issues more than the scientific voodoo of how phasers worked. At the time they were just rayguns and widgets named differently. "Wagon train to the stars" would have worked well enough without the gizmos.
 
Skr
2014-04-17 08:57:45 AM  
I think it was a decent extrapolation of the future, for its time.
 
2014-04-17 08:58:58 AM  

way south: Others were production decisions, like why most aliens were humanoid, that later series tried to retcon or explain in very sloppy ways.


It should be noted that, as envisioned, Star Trek originally was supposed to have no sound in space. The reason there is sound in space in the show was because the edict came from down high that the soundless space sequences were boring and uninteresting and that Roddenberry must have sound in space.
 
2014-04-17 09:03:18 AM  

batlock666: Don't forget the one with the space hippies.


HERBERT!
 
2014-04-17 09:05:59 AM  
Let's just agree that there were ups and downs. . .

img.trekmovie.com


img1.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-04-17 09:07:00 AM  

Barfmaker: drug addiction.


If by that you mean Lt. Yar's heartfelt "just say no" speech to young Wesley Crusher, then yes that was good science fiction.
 
2014-04-17 09:08:34 AM  

WinoRhino: way south: For all we know this universe is a black hole on the back of a giant turtle, inside a black hole on top of another turtle.

Yeah, but that's where your theory breaks down. What's that turtle sitting on top of?


Another turtle.  It's turtles all the way down.

At the end of infinity, the last turtle sits atop the first.


Egoy3k: Speculative science != fiction

Putting quotes around something that isn't a quote makes you seem dishonest.


img.fark.net

I shall abuse the quotation marks as I see fit!

...and "Realistic speculation" is still speculation.
Yea the man's got a PHD, but he can't prove his hole in a hole theory any more than I can prove universal turtles.   What's inside a black hole is pretty much unprovable with present day science.

One day man shall stand atop the final wall and fire an arrow, and when it hits a turtle all hell breaks loose.
 
2014-04-17 09:09:42 AM  

way south: Lots of things fans love and discuss will never resurface.


One of the really, really, *REALLY* nice things about the whole Firefly/Serenity series is that there is no faster-than-light travel.

One of the bad things is that they still violate physics by having essentially zero delay between when you send a "wave" and you get an answer back, and you even have real-time discussions with people who must be several light minutes away from you at a minimum (and perhaps many light-days away).
 
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