Let this be a lesson to those who wish to tell a story over several decades:
I turned on the television this evening to find Channel 9 out of New York broadcasting the Star Trek series Enterprise. The show’s characters were running through hallways, blasting everyone they saw with their phasers. Concurrently, the Enterprise was firing away on the same alien ship that contained the firefight. Ten minutes of warfare—almost no dialogue. The end of the show consisted of a few grim-voiced lines of dialogue about a Vulcan struggling with emotion. Don’t they all?
Immediately after this, the station aired the motion picture Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and the difference in tone is astonishing.
If Enterprise and The Voyage Home didn’t have transporters and pointy ears in common you would never guess that they were part of the same “timeline”. After an endless gun battle, it was refreshing to see only one firearm discharged in Star Trek IV. (And even that was used to melt a door lock.)
And while the original Star Trek’s Spock learns (repeatedly) that a little human emotion can be a good thing, Enterprise leaves us huddled in the dark along with its resident Vulcan, fearing the encroachment of old-fashioned feelings.
I’m sure you could show the original Star Trek crew living in a universe of guns and fear, but why? Isn’t Star Trek about more than macho posturing? Admit it: isn’t Star Trek goofy? And shouldn’t it be proud of it?
You can keep your guns. I’d much rather watch Scotty trying to use a Macintosh any day.