Kevin Atkinson, 1995
There are very few TV shows that stand out as unique and special. Star Trek The Next Generation (TNG) is one of those. TNG is a science fiction show that attract non scifi buffs and sci-fi buffs alike. In the series the starship Enterprise explores the galaxy with a very special captain and crew. The crew belongs to an inter-planetary organization known as The Federation of Planets.
TNG is a show about people, not just science fiction; it is a show about interpersonal relationships. The Enterprise crew is more than a crew. It is a family of individuals working successfully together to get through what seems to be the universe's toughest problems. It shows how different societies and races can retain all of their customs yet peacefully coexist on one ship. One good example of this is with the Klingons and the Vulcans, two drastically different races. The show deals with the trouble love can get one into even in the 24th century. One good example of this is when Riker, the second in command, falls in love with a being that is suppose to be sexless but is actually female. The show defines how life's problems will always occur no matter how advanced a society may be.
TNG is a show about true moral values. The show constantly deals with moral values and lessons in a way no other show seems to do. The laws of the Federation itself, the Prime Directive deal with the moral implications of being able to instantly and massively affect another civilization. The Prime Directive states that no members of the federation may interfere with pre-warp civilizations (civilizations that have not developed faster-than-light travel). It is a very good law indeed if it is though out carefully. The show also deals with artificial life and the true definition of life itself. In one of the episodes, John Like Picard fights for the right of androids as true living beings. He successfully proves that androids do live and thus they deserve all the rights of any other segment of society. The show even defines intelligent life itself. Whether it is organic or not, something is an intelligent lifeform if it can make decisions for itself. The series also deals with the definition of humanity. For example, Q, a pesky creature that would best be classified as a god with attitude problem, is constantly testing Picard about the crimes of humanity. In these battles Picard always proves himself victories. Picard points out that what makes humans so unique is their inability to discipline themselves and their constant urge to explore the unknown and forbidden.
Nevertheless the show does have a lot of science fiction in it. The TNG series deals with the fact that absolutely anything is possible. The fact that much of the science in the show is fictitious means nothing to its educational value. The warp drive and transporters are far fetched, but using the idea of anti-matter as a fuel source seams plausible. TNG opens the mind to advanced theories in relativity and quantum mechanics. Many of the predicaments the crew gets in, like being stuck in a time well, deal with the bending of space time-a plausible theory.
Star Trek The Next Generation is a very unique show which will most definitely become a classic, just like Shakespeare, because it combines advanced science-fiction with advanced ideas in mortality and it defines the true definition of life itself.
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Copyright 1995 by Kevin Atkinson. You may NOT copy this file off this web site except for your own private use with out the permission of me, Kevin Atkinson. No exceptions. However fell free to link to it.
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