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CzechOut

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Things under-rated in Star Trek (in no particular order)

  • Gene Roddenberry, as a show-runner. The man had a talent for staffing, and for writing a series bible.
  • D.C. Fontana. She put the human in "the Human Adventure". And the Klingon in Worf. And the Trill in Dax. And the Vulcan-Human in Spock. And the Romulan in Kirk. And the Continuum in Q. And the LCARS in the Enterprise-D.
  • A good, long teaser. Perhaps the biggest functional problem of Enterprise was that the short runtime generally resulted in teasers so brief that they didn't, well, tease. As a result, viewers were often given little cause to return after the credits.
  • Ferengi. Stop dismissin' 'em. Now.
  • The original theme song and title sequence for Enterprise. Best titles for any Star Trek show. Sadly, the whole thing was thrown out of synch by the 1970s remix of the theme in seasons 3 and 4.
  • Jeffrey Combs. Probably not under-appreciated by Star Trek fans, but it's sad that the general public doesn't know him more. One of the greatest character actors ever. He never puts a note wrong.
  • Leonard Nimoy, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton and Roxann Dawson as directors. Except in the cases of Nimoy and Burton, I don't think it's a stretch to say that their best contributions to Star Trek were from behind the camera.
  • William Shatner. Even at his hammiest, you can't . . . . stop . . . watching him.
  • Ezri Dax. She got more character definition in one season than most supporting regulars get during a full run on a Trek series.
  • Uhura, even though Hoshi Sato, as an Ensign, ran circles around Uhura, as a Commander. (Compare Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country with "Broken Bow"). Still, Uhura's skills likely got rusty because of how freakin' little she was given to do. What few character beats we did get with her made her the most appealing supporting regular on TOS.
  • Kathryn Janeway. Too bad about the show you were on, babe.
  • Enterprise, Season 1. Could it have been better? Ironically, I think it probably would have been had Berman gotten his wish to have the whole first season be the run-up to the launch of the NX-01. Certainly, that would've made for a better start to the second season. But, still, there's something quite appealing about the spirit of exploration in the first season. Its repetition of ideas seen before is mostly annoying only if you were a Voyager fan in the first place.
  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek: Insurrection. Never understood the "odd-numbered movies suck" rule.


Things over-rated in Star Trek (in no particular order)

  • Gene Roddenberry, as a writer. Most of the best things about Star Trek have been done without his influence. Most of the more confusing things about Star Trek are directly due to him. Most of the characterization in Star Trek was someone else's idea.
  • TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever". Great story. But hardly deserves its hype as the best episode of TOS. And I'm so sick of hearing how Harlan Ellison was "wronged" by the production staff. Dude, welcome to television.
  • Data. Spiner's a great actor, but in the vast majority of episodes, Data's just so . . . boring, dramatically.
  • Jean-Luc Picard. Now, I don't wanna suggest the character's bad. Far from it. I love the character. But he's not the be-all, end-all of starship captains. Perfection doesn't always result in the best drama. Frankly, I prefer Janeway and Sisko to him, because of their flaws.
  • The wedding of William T. Riker and Deanna Troi. What a yawner. Honestly, did anyone care that they got married?
  • Oh, what the hell. The whole freakin' cast of TNG — except those played by actors of African-American descent. They're a masterly study of being "reliably okay". On the whole, I'd have been happier with Worf as captain, Geordi as first officer, and everyone else out on the street.
  • The need for a starship-based series.
  • The Borg. They're good, but they're overdone.
  • The Miles O'Brien/Julian Bashir friendship. Sometimes it was done well, but often it was just a cliché of male bonding. On the whole, I'd rather be watching a Ferengi episode.
  • Technobabble. Throwing made-up words at a problem don't do diddly for drama.



Worst-executed ideas in Star Trek history

  • The Prime Directive. It's really more of a Situationally Important Suggestion. (But I did enjoy the Archer/T'Pol/Tucker conversations on the subject.)
  • Romulan Star Empire. Every apperance makes them worse. Without using non-canon sources, explain them to me. Please. So far I've got: pseudo-Roman, emotional Vulcans with a penchant for espionage. But they're willing to give away their cloaking technology to their historic enemies for a kiss and a promise. And they have these vampirical cousins from a "twin world", who were their slaves, but no one from the Federation saw for the first 200 years of contact. Even though Spock lived on Romulus for a time, and Remans were seen on Romulus as early as the time of the NX-01. Seriously, we're done here. Never use these guys again. Don't even mention them. At this point, I simply do not care about the Romulan-Federation war, reunification with the Vulcans, or anything that might have at one time been interesting about the Romulans.
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Roddenberry makes Lucas look like a master of characterization.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. What a waste of a (mostly) great cast. How can a concept with so much inherent conflict be so boring, so often? Oh, I know: because technobabble is easier to write than Federation-Maquis mistrust.
  • The creepy Uhura-Scotty implied romance in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Talk about your final frontiers...
  • Harry Kim. Such a girl.
  • Anyone named Riker doing just about anything, in just about any story.
  • Anyone named Crusher doing just about anything, in just about any story.
  • Chakotay. An obvious attempt to make Riker seem, by comparison, "the fun one".
  • Ocampa. Just when they started to show promise, Jennifer Lien left.
  • Spock talking through his own brain surgery.
  • The Temporal Cold War. Seriously, what the hell was that?
  • Deanna Troi. I'm all about inter-species mating, but is there anything more useless than a half-empath? Oh, wait, there is. Ilia. An intensely sexual being who's forced into celibacy. Where's the IDIC in that, Roddenberry?
  • Chekov. Sorry, Koenig. You're a nice guy, but your character's all about the Russian shtick. Oh, and you shouldn't have been promoted to first officer before Sulu or Uhura in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.


The very best things about Star Trek


The best episodes (and films) of Star Trek


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