Wholesome TrekBy Fred Shedian
Posted at August 16, 1999 - 5:00 AM GMT
One of the items that keep writers of the Star Trek Franchise in check is the detail and consistency viewers demand. We, as fans, look at every panel and every word to make sure it makes sense in the world of Star Trek. This situation holds true when a person talks about the technology we see portrayed each week. Technical manuals and technobabble fill out minds almost every week. It is this avenue I will explore briefly in attempts to raise a question.
Recently, brief technical data has been released for the often seen Akira Class. For those who are not aware, this ship looks like a Galaxy Class vessel tossed into a trash compactor. Information about this vessel is routine, detailing crew size and the maximum available speed. However, I was stunned to learn this vessel has more weapons than any other ship before it, including the Defiant Class. Total, this vessel has over fifteen photon torpedo launchers. Why would an organization who is proud of the fact they are a peace oriented group create such a weapon? Is this an image of the dark side of the Star Trek force?
Rick Berman was quoted saying, "Our goal with Deep Space Nine is to help portray the dark side of this universe. We want to bring it down to earth." Looking at the legacy the show left behind, I have to say they were successful in their goal. Furthermore, as I have mentioned in previous weeks, they proceeded to turn Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets into a corrupt organization. The introduction of Section 31, the military takeover of Earth, and the creation of such destructive ships as the Akira were successful in removing the innocence we had seen in the Original Series, Next Generation, and even to a point on Voyager.
I enjoyed Deep Space Nine and thought it was an excellent production. However, I must raise an eyebrow as to the direction the leaders of the franchise have taken. Has the Dominion War done more harm than anyone could have anticipated? Have fans lost the respect we held for this fictional governmental structure?
I cannot answer the question, it is something every person must contemplate for themselves. However, during this time, I ask you to consider what happened during the show's run and be true to your feelings. When TNG said farewell to the small screen, the United Federation of Planets and the Star Trek Universe as a whole was seen as a pretty decent place to live. We were inspired and said to ourselves this was a place we wanted to be. Yet, by the end of DS9, the same organization is shown to be flawed, corrupt, and has had enough holes punched into it as to create doubt if the 24th Century is all it's cracked up to be.
The above remarks may create anger in many folks, something I honestly expect. I understand many people disagree with what I have said and I respect your opinion. However, I have said the above because I think we all need to be honest about what lasting effects and damage recent events have taken on the universe we all wanted to be a part of.
I sincerely hope that the above will stick with people when considering plot developments for Voyager, a new series, or a new movie. Although I am positive many found what Rick Berman and company did during the run of DS9 an excellent change, I believe there are also quite a few people who are looking for the wholesomeness to be returned.
Fred Shedian writes a weekly 'A Take On Trek' column for the Trek Nation.