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The Trek Nation - Asking & Observing

Asking & Observing

By Fred Shedian
Posted at February 14, 2000 - 6:00 AM GMT

"Where the world ceases to be the scene of our personal hopes and wishes, where we face it as free beings admiring, asking and observing, there we enter the realm of Art and Science"--Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein has been praised for being one of the smartest people ever to live on the surface of our planet. His influence spans across many fields of study, something most already know. The above quote was made many years ago, before the majority of Star Trek fans were even an idea in the mind of a parent. Although it does carry age, the above quote also carries a lot of wisdom. How so, one might ask? Let's consider this.

The recent episode Tsunkatse, one I personally like to call "The 'T' Episode," was given negative promotion by most Trek columnists and observers. The attacks came from all directions, some justified and others simply silly. Yet, once the episode aired, I must say I was very happy with the final product. Not being a fan of the World Wrestling Federation, I knew nothing about "The Rock," beyond the fact his real name is Duane. The acting in this episode was excellent, somehow keeping it apart from being "another Seven of Nine episode." How did this all happen? Why didn't an episode many believed was only designed for ratings actually turn into a quality episode? I refer to Professor Einstein.

Star Trek, and any other science-fiction show, is at it's best when it does not attempt to deal/attack the qualities present in our society in a direct manner. Attempting to shove social complaint down on us achieves nothing. However, as Mr. Einstein stated in the quote above, if we look at everything from another perspective...many times a chord is struck within the human spirit.

Since August, we have seen quite quality writing and horrible writing. As Voyager moves on to it's next episode, at it's roots dealing with outcasts and unwanted children, I still hold the positive attitude I first displayed many months ago. Although it has taken longer in the Delta Quadrant than it did in the Alpha Quadrant, I believe this show is finally beginning to come into focus. Although I can still see the "stress" and "bickering" onscreen that Ron Moore mentioned occurring behind the scenes, as a whole I find myself wishing Season 6 was actually Season 2.

With any luck, the writers of Voyager will keep us "asking and observing" the band of Maquis, Federation and Borg on their way across the galaxy. Before now, I never really seemed to care if these "Lost In Space" pioneers ever made it home. Sometimes I hopped they didn't. But now...here in February 2000, I find myself beginning to grow an attachment. As these character's finally start to develop in the way's we've been waiting for during the last six years, I actually start to think I might miss them in two years.

So in closing, to answer to a question a reader asked me back in September: "I've changed my mind....I do care if they don't make it home. Although I still think Jeri Ryan should stay in Cargo Bay 2 more often, I think I can deal with a direct meeting between Janeway and Admiral Paris. At least now I think she's competent to command."

Until next time...

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Fred Shedian writes a weekly 'A Take On Trek' column for the Trek Nation.