by Joshua Packard, Fullness of Happy
I have just finished watching the final episode of the "Star Trek" spinoff, "Enterprise". With the exception of possibly a few "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episodes, I can now say that I have watched every Star Trek episode and movie made to this date. With the advent of entire seasons of television shows on DVD and streaming websites like Netflix and Hulu, there is an expansion of the phenomenon known as "binge watching". I have been binge watching all the episodes of "Star Trek" and its spinoffs for a while now. I jokingly call "The Next Generation", "Deep Space Nine", and "Voyager the "synoptic Star Treks" because they all take place in relatively the same timespan in the future, and they are very similar looking and feeling. With "Enterprise", the show has a very different feel from all the previous incarnations of the sci fi franchise. The series takes place about 100 years before the events of the original classic series of "Star Trek". "Enterprise" goes into a lot of the origins of various events, institutions, technologies and other things that appear in the earlier series.
In this Star Trek, transporters are a new technology, the Federation does not yet exist, and the starship Enterprise is the first Earth Starfleet warp 5 ship. Enterprise is the first human vessel to explore deep space. It is captained by Jonathan Archer, the son of a scientist who pushed for the creation of faster warp vessels and the exploration of space by humans. A lot of the episodes elaborate on the relationships of humanity to other species such as the Vulcans, Andorians, Klingons, and others in the galaxy. There is a lot of emphasis on how different cultures interact, and whether it is a good idea to form alliances with other planets and share technology and interact. A lot of people blame the Vulcans from holding humans back from developing new technologies, claiming they believe we are not ready for such technologies. The origins of the future doctrine known as the Prime Directive has its seeds explained in the course of many"Enterprise" episodes. In later episodes the wisdom of interaction between species is explored more in depth, I think possibly as a metaphor for the existence of racism today, which in "Enterprise" has been eliminated on Earth.
In Enterprise, there is more continuity throughout the series than in earlier Star Trek spinoffs. Especially in the second and third seasons, there is a long arching plot-line throughout, as Enterprise and her crew seek to prevent the destruction of Earth by an alien coalition which is being manipulated by time traveling transdimensional species, who see human beings and the future creation of the Federation as a a threat to their existence. Many of the episodes focus on Captain Archer and the crews attempts to seek out the species determined to destroy them and stop the elimination of humanity. It is a race to find the alien species and stop their weapon, which will be capable of destroying earth and eradicating human beings from existence. Many of the episodes are based on time travel, and I found them interesting.
In most of "Star Trek", the most interesting aspects of the stories are the characters. Each Star Trek series had their own unique characters. Enterprise has some interesting and likeable characters as well, who excel in their fields of vocation and in their possession and practice of heroic virtue. There are also some villains and other characters who are interesting as well. One of my favorite characters was actually the Andorian, Commander Shran, played by Star Trek regular Jeffrey Combs, who can be somewhat of a bastard, but possesses a sense of morality and honor which leads him to practice heroic acts in helping the Enterprise crew and humanity. At first it took me a while to get used to the new characters, but eventually the viewer gets to know and like them very well. The two alien characters on the ship, Vulcan first officer T'Pol, and Denobulan doctor Phlox, are very interesting and likeable. One thing I disagree with is that Vulcans suppress their emotions. To me, Vulcans are almost always pissed off and annoyed at everyone. That is my own observation, and I think it amusing to notice how pissed off the Vulcan characters constantly seem to be. Maybe I am wrong. Decide for yourself.
Overall, I think I liked this spin off of Star Trek more than the others. I recommend checking it out if you have the time, and I hope you enjoy it as well.
Read more of Joshua's work on his blog, Fullness of Happy.
Stories in Focus: "Star Trek"
by Joshua Packard, Fullness of Happy
I plan on writing some short column pieces under the title "Stories in Focus". One of my great passions is studying and thinking about great stories. I even occasionally like poor stories. But stories are very important to cultures and to individuals. Being able to tell, or appreciate and learn from our own stories and the stories of others, is something very valuable. There is something about a good story that can inspire, educate, revive, and uplift a person.
For a long time, stories were oral traditions, and storytellers would have to memorize long elaborate tales for passing from generation to generation. When written language was developed, people had more reliable ways of recording and handing down stories. But for a long time, most people were illiterate. With better methods of printing and making print stories available, more and more people learning to read and write, and were able to study and write and disseminate stories on their own.
Eventually, stories were presentable in different formats with the advent of radio, audio recording, videos, and movies for example. Today we have multiple formats for listening to, reading, viewing, or even participating in stories. There is now a great focus in the field of video games that is based on playing a game while developing a great story. I personally most value games that have a good story, and would one day like to be able to produce and design a game that not only is fun and challenging, but also presents a great story and great characters.
But I would like to talk about certain stories, and "story franchises" in these blog posts entitled "Stories in Focus". Lately, I have been focusing on watching the series that belong to the "Star Trek" franchise, which already has 5 television series, 12 movies, countless books and has more movies and a new television series due in the future. For me, "Star Trek" was my first introduction to storytelling. The stories were interesting and exciting and the characters were believable and inspiring. I first was a viewer of the spinoff "The Next Generation", and actually wrote book reports on books involving the characters of the shows. Recently, I have watched the entire series of spinoffs "Deep Space Nine" and "Voyager" over the last several months. You can watch practically everything "Star Trek" related on Netflix. I started watching these shows again in thinking about my Uncle Nathaniel, who was very much into "Star Trek" and similar Science Fiction storytelling. I finally have finished watching "Voyager" and have begun to watch the fifth series "Enterprise" which is a prequel to all the other series, including the original.
"Star Trek" is supposed to inspire hope for people, I think, because it portrays a future where humanity has overcome many terrible things, such as war, poverty, racism, etc. and has used science and technology to explore the galaxy and build relationships with alien species and improve the conditions of life for all people. The show is a bit too socialistic I believe, where everything is focused on the state. The Federation is a very statist organization in my opinion. I think the economics of "Star Trek" is very much fantasy. It would be nice to have technology like replicators to produce as much food as we need. But the economic philosophy of "Star Trek" is not something I think I would support. I don't believe there will ever be a time where money is no longer needed or used. Money is a good tool for organizing the distribution of labor and determining the price of goods. There will never be a lack of scarcity of certain resources. I do think technology and free markets will enable a greater extension of wealth, health, and well being to all people, including the most poor. The rich will get richer, and the poor will get richer too. But the economics of "Star Trek" is a fantasy, and one that is too socialistic or Communistic in my belief.
Another thing that bothered me about Star Trek, Voyager in particular, was the repetitive portrayal of machines and computer programs as being individuals with rights and minds of their own. It is a story but, still, there is no way to create a technology that can do anything resembling thought. Machines cannot, will not, and never will be able to think. Nothing we can do, will ever be able to give cognition or thinking abilities to mechanical devices. Data and the Doctor (or EMH), are not possible. Computers and machine technology can overtime be made to do many things, and possibly even approximate human action to a great degree, but never will they be able to think, or make judgments, or take free actions of their own. No machine will ever be a conscious being. I believe that only God is capable of creating a mind.
The creators and contributors to the various "Star Trek" series and movies have done a great job of creating compelling alien species and especially the villains. The Borg, and the Dominion are two of the most hate-able villains in all of storytelling. When I was watching the episodes of Deep Space Nine developing the characters of the Dominion and the Founders and Jem Hadar, I really did not like them. I thought the Borg were the most fearsome and detestable villains, but the Dominion came close to being worse than them.
I am looking forward to watching the rest of "Enterprise", which has a much different feel than all the previous television series. I will perhaps write another "Stories in Focus" entry when I have finished watching those episodes.
Read more of Joshua's work on his blog, Fullness of Happy.
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
Lyn is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! While rescuing civilians from boring business practices and energy vampires, this awesomely crazy family conquers evil and creates change.
They live among tigers, dragons, mermaids, unicorns, and other fantastic energies, teaching others to claim their own power and do the same.
By supporting us, you support a dedicated parent, healer, and minority small business that donates to several causes. Profits from our all-inclusive store, Intent-sive Nature support these causes and our beautiful family!
HIRE OR SHOP WITH LYN | CONTACT LYN