>Thank you for your response. A few things I could mention...
>There is much in this post to agree with, and much to disagree with.
>First, to say that TOS was good for it's era...just like the other shows were good for theirs is completely inaccurate.
>Not entirely, because what it means/meant is that of course the originals have the lasting cultural impact, but at the same time can't be entirely transplanted into the modern era. It remains good to watch, but doubtful that an identical series would be successful now
. The same remains true of TNG, which although also still good entertainment, is still very much a product of its time. Our cultural sensibilities and expectations have changed so dramatically over the decades since both were released == I was never meaning to say that they have lost their relevance; but rather that a show in the '90s for instance would naturally have to adapt to the sensibilities of that time.
>You can't compare the cultural impact and classic nature of TOS to ANY of the other series, whether your own personal preference for the more modern works tells you otherwise or not.
>...Which has never been my intention. If anything, I would argue that -- as a product of a different time -- the nature of TOS, TNG, and Enterprise (for example) does make them resistant to objective comparison in many ways, favourable and
>Second, I find it fascinating (and telling) that your primary examples of "good characters" in the spin-off series are all alien characters, and primarily secondary characters (with the exception of Phlox).
>Merely an example -- which could just as easily have been Sisko, Bashir, or Trip Tucker. I found it equally telling that the OP chose
deliberately to use unpopular character/s (Wesley) as his example.
>The bottom line is that Star Trek in it's purest sense is supposed to be an exploration of the human condition, and the building of the HUMAN characters, with an occasional alien foil thrown in (Spock, Data, Odo, etc) to act as a unique mirror for humanity is the way to accomplish that best. Having to rely on alien characters in the spin-off series diminished what the original show did so well.
Not disagreeing with you about the human exploration -- but I would disagree that the shift to alien characters somehow lessened the drama of the originals. I would say rather that it was a natural progression, and when you really think about it, the non-humans of later series (as was Spock in the original) and their cultures and daily dramas were still very human-like
>I agree with servalanfan about the attitude toward the enemies in the original Star Trek as well. I find the sickly-sweet, overly self-righteous approach that the 24th Century series took (particularly TNG) to be insulting to our intelligence and completely unentertaining. The lack of conflict and the "avoid it at all costs" attitude is not realistic. It's MUCH more entertaining and dramatic to see an imperfect character like Kirk struggle against his prejudices and hatred than it is to have someone like Picard simply preach at everyone about how humanity has outgrown such childish behavior. Ok...so it's "philosphical and evolved," but it sure as heck isn't dramatic or entertaining.
Ok-- I do like Picard as a character (it was refreshing to have an intellectual sci-fi hero as opposed to the usual grunts -- by "grunts" I'm really not necessarily referring to Star Trek here at all, mind you... But he did make a nice change from the Flash-Gordon-Han-Solo types that usually get the central roles in Space Opera.)
>But I don't disagree with you there. One of the reasons I am (and no doubt you know this by now) such a DS9 fan is precisely because
of the shades of grey treatment of allies and enemies, shades of grey, and flawed characters who aren't always right in the same way that Picard seems to be. Not so sure about "not dramatic and entertaining", because there are still some quite dramatic moments in TNG (not the preachy bits, necessarily, but certainly some of the narrative elements.)
>This point, however, is where we may be coming to some consensus. The deconstruction of humanity's "evolution" beyond the "flaws" of its ancestors is far more interesting than "evolved humanity" itself.
>The one thing I will agree with is that we cannot say what is "true" Star Trek. Star Trek has been an evolving entity over the last 4 decades...and it will continue to evolve. No one vision is any less "true" than the others. Less entertaining? Yes. Less culturally relevant? Certainly. Less unique, creative and original? Yes, without a doubt.
To say that one thing is less or more entertaining than another would really depend a lot on the question: Are you, or am I, or is Granny Harriet who lives down the road, more or less entertained? The answer may yet be different in every instance.
>But not less "true."
>Like many of you, I have been a fan of the Original Series since it first aired, but I also accept the later shows as "part of the family"
>Well said by Desdinova (above) methinks. I would think that rather than becoming less true to itself with the inclusion of later shows, their influence has broadened what Star Trek is, and added facets to the story, making it richer more than they ever took away from the original "core".