AOH :: STNGVIEW.TXT|
Magazine article about STTNG. From Mother
Mother Jones, September/October 1991
Where No *One* Has Gone Before
It's hard to say goodbye to the emotional process of 'thirtysomething', the old
guard of 'L.A. Law', and the obtuse mood music of 'Twin Peaks'. But you can get
away from the mezzo-vanilla offerings of the new fall television lineup to a
place that no enlightened viewer has gone before. I'm talking about 'Star Trek:
The Next Generation', which is now entering its fifth season.
I know; you probably think that all fans of the show wear thick-lensed glasses
with foam-ball antennae attached. But check it out. "Next Trek" offers a
comforting, albeit fantastical, vision of a planetary future where all of our
socially conscious dreams come true: a twenty-fourth century where earth manages
to survive toxic pollution, nuclear proliferation, and the Reagan-Bush syndrome.
Forget about the world order, filled with racism, sexism, capitalism, imperial-
ism, AIDS, and painful dentistry. In Next Trek, we Terrans are now part of a new
Next Trek takes place some eighty-five years after the reactionary Dr "Bones"
McCoy called Mr. Spock a "pointy-eared Vulcan," and what a difference a few
decades make. On this new multicultural Enterprise, the bridge crew includes a
Kligon (Lt. Worf), a betazoid (Deanna Troi), an android (Data), and a different-
ly abled, blind humanoid (Geordi La Forge). No more salt and pepper shaker props
big-hair bad wigs, or riduclously impractical micro-miniskirts for the women of
the crew. The original Trek's Captain James T. Kirk proved his mettle through
hand-to-hand combat, but Next Trek's Captain Jean-Luc Picard rarely force or
physical violence. Instead he employs sophisticated analytical skills and
diplomacy. As for Kirk's shameless womanizing, who has time for such things when
there's a seductive new frontier to explore?
Because of its futuristic setting, Next Trek can examine our contemporary social
dilemmas without fundamentalist backlash. While the show has been endorsed by
Viewers for Quality TV, a group that honors wholesome programming, recent
episodes have dealt cleverly with touchy subjects like political witch-hunts,
terrorism, and same-sex attraction. The new season begins with Next Trek's 101st
episode, the finale to June's cliff-hanger focusing on Lt. Worf's bicultural
conflicts. All the "oids" will be back, including Whoopi Goldberg as the
eyebrowless humanois bartender, Guinan.
Visualize Peace, use Star Fleet's Primne Directive as your mantra (It is wrong
to interfere with the development of other cultures), then give Star Trek: The
Next Generation a shot. U.S. out of Central America? No War in the Persian Gulf?
How about Picard for president!
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