Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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Cellular Peptides with Mint Frosting

Although I had a fervent love when I was much younger for the original Star Trek, I never really got heavily into The Next Generation. I found the latter seasons of Deep Space Nine my favorite Star Trek production, having been quite disgusted with Voyager and never checking out Enterprise at all. So the truth is that I have seen very few episodes of TNG.

I was closing out my job on my laptop as my co-worker Pete had left the television on when he left for his job. I happened to get hooked on a very surreal Next Generation episode in which Data starts having nightmares. The show is really interesting until Beverly figures out what's causing them. She has to work out a voluminous textbook's worth of technobabble bullshit, and the episode takes a severe downturn.

My biggest problem with TNG has always been the fact that it relies so heavily on technobabble; drama is about characters and emotions. Puzzles and science exists to create an environment for them, they should not be the point of your storyline.

This episode illustrates exactly why I never warmed up to the show. It is going in such an interesting direction, and I thought it would have been interesting if the odd dreams were a glitch in the dream program that was revealing elements of Data's conciousness that he was previously unaware of, but instead it becomes an external threat, one that can be dealt with by a series of technical hurdles that have no emotional resonance, and one that can easily be wrapped up within forty-two minutes with commercials.

I like science-fiction, and I read a lot of hard science fiction. Sometimes the science will overshadow the drama in a novel, but that can work if the science itself is thought through. That sort of thing doesn't work on the television screen, however, and the fact that anything they ever do on Star Trek has nothing to do with any actual known physics just makes the writing appear consistently lazy.

On the other hand, it has Data playing with Spot extensively with Spot. Show me a cat and I'm entertained for hours.

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