Netflixing: The Final Frontier
We all know how much I like to binge watch shows on Netflix, and lately that has been a certain long running blast from the past. While I haven’t had enough time to paint or read lately, it turns out that making time to watch an episode or two while unpacking a box is easy enough to fit into a busy schedule.
For the last couple months I have been steadily plowing through one of my childhood favorites, and though it is completely different than I remember it, in some ways it has held up exceedingly well for twenty years.
The thing I remember most about the weekly episodes of the voyages of the starship Enterprise besides the fact that it was on across from my fathers perennial favorite, Jeopardy, was how futuristic it was. When I was young I remember thinking how the science part of the science fiction was so consistent and impeccable.
Watching it again a decade later that was the first illusion to go. There are science related plot holes on a very regular basis, and now that I’m an armchair everything (just like everyone else on the internet) I could point them out to you at length, but I wouldn’t enjoy writing that post, and you certainly wouldn’t enjoy reading it. That’s okay, because Star Trek TNG isn’t about science in any real sense.
The theme that this classic show explore every episode is what it means to be human, and where we fit into a larger and wierder world than we could ever imagine. The borg may have grabbed the ratings, and years later the android Lt Commander or the holodeck might be the thing you reminisce fondly about, but those are all just props. Like the show’s namesake there are just vehicles to carry the story forward.
This, along with the fact that my tablet computers are significantly better than Captain Picard’s were the biggest surprises. I had forgotten how many episodes dealt with Mr. Clarke’s old saw about science and magic, but I never realized how many of the episodes were just about developing characters.
I will never love this show as much as I have come to love Farscape, but it was certainly an important piece of my childhood that was worth exploring again. Maybe when things calm down I’ll check out the rest of the franchise a second time and see what other details I’ve missed.
What about the rest of you? Am I just being sucked into the Nostalgia, or do you think that behind the dated special effects there are still stories to be told?