47. Star Trek

Creator: Gene Roddenberry
Years: 1966-1969

This is a tough show to rank for me and I probably ranked it too high. It was an incredible accomplishment, inspirational and a lot of fun. I love Roddenberry’s vision. Most science fiction centers on the awfulness of humanity. Even today we’re swamped with post-apocalyptic stories. They’re fine, but I also love the vision here where humans are good to one another and have overcome our deepest flaws. This vision does unfortunately require stronger writing if you’re going to eliminate human-to-human conflict. And frankly, this show didn’t always have it. Suspense is minimal given that the color of an officer’s shirt determines whether or not they’ll live. The actual science fiction was often good despite the terrible special effects of the 1960’s.

But the characters themselves are thinly drawn. Kirk is a womanizing dictator and resolves too many plots using sex. And while he’s improved some over the years, Shatner has never been anyone’s idea of a strong actor. It’s also nice having a female in an important position, but Uhura wears short skirts and is a glorified secretary.

Roddenberry had some serious cajones. A Russian bridge officer during the cold war. The first interracial kiss on television. And he was pretty good at exploring the human condition. I’m glad he came back for one more show before he died to improve upon his first go-round here.

2 thoughts on “47. Star Trek”

  1. Not too long ago, I watched the “cornucopia of doom” episode. It holds up remarkably well. I agree that most of them don’t, but if you take the top ten episodes or so, you’ve got a very worthy group of episodes.

    This show was definitely hit and cold, though, and the temp was at to “cold” a lot more often than “hot”.

  2. I watched this with a friend in college. That is, the entire series in a couple of weeks. We played the Star Trek card game a lot after that, which was probably the best thing about it. It was all too focused on the three while some great characters went unexplored, but I had a decent amount of fun.

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