msmith537 gives his $0.02 regarding all things Trek

First a little about me:
I’m not a huge Star Trek fan…or even a small Trek fan really, but I can tolerate the show on if there’s nothing else on and over the years, I think I’ve basically seen about every episode of every series in syndication. I never watched Voyager until Jeri Ryan joined the cast “hmmm…hot Borg chick…let’s see where they go with this.”. IOW, I don’t eagerly seek it out but it’s perfect to watch at oddball times like Saturdays before I go out or late weeknights before bed.

Here is what I’ve concluded:
-Somewhere between the Kirk years and the Picard years, the Federation became the most evil empire in the universe. Starfleet (which for all intensive purposes is a military organization) is so insideously ingrained in Federation culture and government that there is little disctinction between military and civilian. IMHO, they rank somewhere between the Imperials from Star Wars and the Sebatian Peacekeepers from Farscape.

-Federation foreign policy consists of 2 strategies - selective Laisez Faire (AKA The Prime Directive) and gunboat diplomacy (as evident by the proliferation of heavily armed starships).

-The Galaxy class starship is the Ford Pinto of starships due to the ease with which they explode.

-It was never clear to me what business the Federation had in the Delta(?) quadrant. Probably after WMD or something.

-All aliens are one dimensional stereotypical embodiments of human characteristics - arrogant Romulans, angry Klingons, shifty avarous Ferengi, etc.

-All aliens are esentially humans with odd coloring or some wierd feature like an ass on their forehead.

-The most powerful offensive weapon in the Federation arsenal is SWEET IRONIC JUSTICE, not the photon torpedos!!!

-The most powerful defensive weapon is not the deflector shield but RADIENT CLOAK OF MORAL SUPERIORITY!!

-The only diseases in the future are alien “retro-viruses” that change people into baboons.

-Federation starships, for all their technology and crew, are extremely easy to board and take over with a small band of armed amature commandos.

-Judging by the frequency of Holideck and Transporter malfunctions, product based lawsuits are a thing of the past.

-All women in the future are hot, quick-tempered and kick ass.

-All men are quiet warrior/intellectuals or dorky wanabe Han Solos.

-Lessons and best practices are not passed from one ships crew to another since the same incidents seem to happen on every ship

pandas. Don’t Forget The Pandas.

I’m going to assume you just weren’t looking at what you were typing.

Mostly, some good criticisms. Not much in the various incarnations of Star Trek holds up well logically.

Good catch, Baldwin. Can’t believe I missed that.

msmith, you’re not one of my students, are you? :smiley:

A being that called itself the “caretaker” put Voyager in the Delta quadrant. The ship’s crew spent years trying to get back home.

Yeah that bugs me too.

You have some valid criticisms. And not to contradict you per se, but here are some responses.

Do you think maybe part of this is because the shows are set on Starfleet ships?

Aliens are like that at first, but they only lay down the ground rules so that they can break them later. Non-stereotypical Romulans, Klingons, and Ferengi have all been shown.

As for aliens having minimal makeup, this was to save on production costs, so I see it as something you sort of have to forgive. Remember what would happen in the Original Series when they tried to do something more complex, like the Tholians or the Horta or that guy from the Corbomite Maneuver? They looked horrible!

I suggest you watch some more DS9, msmith. It has things like real character arcs, conflicts, political intrigue, and interesting aliens (especially Garak, Dukat, Weyoun and Kai Winn.)

It’s my favorite Trek series by far, and I am a big fan.

I suggest you watch some more DS9, msmith. It has things like real character arcs, conflicts, political intrigue, and interesting aliens (especially Garak, Dukat, Weyoun and Kai Winn.)


I’ll second this. msmith, the Ferengi on DS9 were very well developed as characters, with a lot of dimension. Give it a chance.

To reiterate what **Achernar ** said, this is easily explained by the show being about Starfleet characters and set on Starfleet vessels. You’re basing your perceptions of a society of billions of life forms on what you’ve seen of six of its military installations and five dozen of its citizens.

Starfleet, despite what Picard and crew try to say, is a military organization. Would you rather they defend their borders with the interstellar equivalent of Greenpeace barges?

I can only think of three particular instances in which a Galaxy Class starship exploded. Two of those were because they were under attack. Are you including timeloops and alt-universes or something?

They were essentially kidnapped and were trying to make their way home.

Yes, and to Americans, all French are ill tempered and ill smelling snobs whereas all Germans are hardworking stoics and all Mexicans are shiftless thieves. We’re never going to outgrow stereotypes.

The aliens need to be essentially humanoid, otherwise the audience will not be as interested in humans’ dealings with them. Also, you can only do so much with a limited TV budget.

See Species 8472, Gomaatu, the Horta, the Tholians, the Crystalline entity, and numerous others for exceptions though.

Touche. Thankfully, DS9 is rarely guilty of this whereas most of the other four are dripping with it.

See previous statement. DS9 is my favorite for a reason.


Sadly true.

Or they just don’t have the time to cross reference all past incidences to see if this had been dealt with in the past. There’s only so much computer space and some of it has to go to life support and other essential functions.

Valid criticisms but nothing that’s unique to Star Trek nor anything we haven’t heard before.

Aes : Unabashed Trek Apologist

No…just ig’nant.
cityboy916, maybe I have the wrong “quadrant”. Where did that wormhole in DS9 lead?

The Gamma Quadrant.

They were there to explore since that’s what the whole point of Star Trek and Starfleet is.

I think one of my favorite parts of DS9 was how a fair percentage of the Gamma quadrant aliens wanted fuck-all to do with Starfleet. I’ve only seen about eight episodes recently, but take for example the “Move Along Home” guys who just want to see the games, or the “Vortex” aliens that clearly state their lack of interest in any further contact.

DS9, for me, worked because it was less about Starfleet. The station (as Terok Nor) was in place before Sisko and crew showed up, and already had a lot of traffic that had nothing to do with the Federation, plus a functioning crew. In many cases, the Starfleet officers were impediments to the normal workings of the station, or their “by the book” style was inappropriate to the looser workings of that population.

The Voyager was in the Delta Quadrant. The Bajoran Wormhole gave the Federation access to the Gamma Quadrant.

Oops. :smack: Nevermind, Aesiron, I misread your post and corrected a mistake you didn’t make.

What about those shifty shelliac?

If this is a thread where we can complain about things Trek, please please please let me name a few.

Voyager - How many shuttle craft did that thing have? Before I stopped watching it, at least every third episode had to do with them losing a shuttle craft.

ST:TNG - At which number of malfunctions do you decide that Data has serious problems and take him/it apart? How many episodes had Data doing something bad because of some internal and/or external cause? Frankly, if I were captain he would have been shot out the airlock around episode 5 at the latest.

Also, as mentioned in the OP, what the heck is the deal with the Holodecks? I’d never set foot in one the way they malfunction. That said, if I were somehow convinced that they were safe, I’d be having orgies, not some Sherlock Holmes mystery. In fact, I would probably be kicked off the ship for never leaving the Holodeck.

Enterprise is a “Galaxy class” starship, best the federation has. The best ship usually takes two or three hits and loses shields, the panels explode and other badness ensues. Note to federation engineer: make better ships. Your ships suck.

In all Trek series and movies, when talking about the human race in the past, make sure to be derogatory because everyone who lived before you was a complete idiot. How did the human race manage to survive long enough to create the federation?

Anyone with the first episode of ST:TNG please check something for me. Wesley and Data are in the Holodeck and Data is explaining how everything is digital and doesn’t really exist. Weasley falls into water and Data pulls him out. If I remember correctly, Wesley runs out of the holodeck soaking wet. So in the first episode they couldn’t keep it straight. I might be remembering this wrong and if so, sorry.

Speaking of Wesley, oh my god, could any character on any show be more annoying? Episode 1, Wesley would have gone out the airlock.

I was devoted Trekkie until about the end of the first seasons of DS-9. I simply could not stand how bad the series had become. After the horror of Voyager, Babylon 5 made me a believer that a good sci-fi series could still be produced.

Gamma… I see Aesiron beat me to it.

CadburyAngel, I noticed that too but always wondered what business the Federation had interfering with the Bajorans and the Cardassians. It’s my understanding that neither one is a member of Starfleet, so wouldn’t DS9 be in violation of the Prime Directive?

To be fair, Barclay sorta did this. :slight_smile:

To defend the concept on this particular point, what sense does it make for people to interact with holographic snow (which I think it may have been) or water? How can they give the realistic sensations that are required for an immersive experience? I always thought/assumed that the holodeck used replicators to make stuff like food and drink and rain for verisimilitude, and so the designers wouldn’t have to worry about what would happen after someone left a holodeck after eating virtual food for five days.

Ouch, see, that is a logical argument. Don’t do that. Please don’t make me start injecting logic into things Trek cause I’d soon be insane. They didn’t need money and could produce any food or drink they wanted by asking a machine but they had bartenders? Who wants to be a bartender for free and have your life’s work be repeating peoples orders to a machine and then carrying the orders back? Pleeeeeeeeeease, my head hurts.

The ship cleans itself. Oh yeah, no wonder everything is so clean in the future, the ship cleans itself!!! We can make a ship that cleans itself but we can’t design panels that don’t explode!

I forgot my biggest complaint about the series: When you run out of ideas, throw in the Borg. Oh dear sweet Mexican jumpin beans, did they overuse the Borg by only 10,000% or 100,000,000%?

The Prime Directive only applied to people who have not yet developed warp drive. If they have advanced beyond this point, you can jump right in and enjoy all sorts of hijinks.