The LIEF Erikson

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Resonance of Trek

I go to the movies to be entertained. If I want to intellectually stimulated I'll usually turn to a book. I'm rarely the one who chooses the movies we watch on video. Movies that stay with me, like Blade Runner, Spirited Away or The Last Samurai, they strike a chord inside me, like a frequency or a harmony. When you see something of the same genre afterwards it sets off a resonance, an echo - not the same but similar.

The Next Generation had that resonance, sang to a similar tune to the Original Series. However with each succeeding series that special quality that TOS & TNG had was diluted more and more. Deep Space Nine had the trek chord running through counter-points and discords, the Bajorans, the Cardassians, the Dominion war. With Voyager the Trek chord was a faded background like muzak or elevator music only superficially reminding you of the previous harmony.

Enterprise attempted to be something different, at once a precursor and successor to Trek, and by trying to be different lost the tune altogether! It was only in the third season when they put some oomph behind it that it stopped being *like* Trek and approached the real thing. In the last season, - so I'm told, I'll not download it - Mannie Cato found the key. He went back to the established icons (eugenics, Vulcans) and started to explore the gaps between the Canon, he added to the established Trek Mythology with reasoned, credible plots.

Then, just as it was hitting it's stride, they gave it the chop.

The worst thing, as I've said, was the lost potential, the stories that would not get told, the characters who would not be allowed to be fleshed out for us. Dude, I want to know what Archer did in the Romulan War. How could even Manny Cato pull off a whole war where the protagonists did not see each other? And what would that say about the dehumanisation of modern warfare when enemies kill anonymously, at great distances, at the press of a button?

[This Blog should get me taken out and shot by the style police for muddling multiple metaphors! I can't take credit for the conceit of resonance, I first saw this used by Liz Metcalfe]


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