Star Trek Captains, the Great Debate


Did you know that Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen are BFF? :heart:


Yes! It’s one of the few beautiful things in this crazy world :heart_eyes:


I might agree about B5 compared with TNG, but DS9 and Voyager both got pretty dark and gritty. (My fave Trek is DS9, but after rewatching all of Voyager it went way up in my regard; Janeway is really fantastic (for all the reasons Ryan cites).)

I’m a bit sympathetic about Ryan’s concerns about DS9’s betrayal of Gene’s original vision, but I feel like the whole utopian everything-works-out, we can negotiate almost anything TNG world doesn’t feel as real as DS9 or Voyager. [Ryan might say that”s the point.]

I’m also a huge fan of Iain Banks’s Culture books, where you have a civilization that’s a lot like the Federation, but more advanced, and they keep bumping up against other peoples with different opinions about how to live, and sometimes those cultural clashes lead to violence or insanely costly wars. We get glimpses of what life is like for ordinary Culture citizens, and it’s all quite nice, but the books focus on the Contact and Special Circumstances (or non-Culture citizens) because that’s where all the sfnal action is. Presumably you could have a Culture story with only ordinary citizens, but it would probably be indistinguishable from a soap opera about very privileged people; similarly, a safe and happy utopian Federation (not Star Fleet) story would be much the same.


I forgot another thing that I really like about DS9, which is the whole Bajoran situation, including their religion.

Bajor, even in TNG, feels like a major screw-up by the Federation, as does the whole Cardassian–Federation settlement. Not only did all our enlightened Federation folks stand by and let the Cardassians enslave the Bajorans, but after a nasty war we don’t know that much about (in canon), they sign an agreement that screws over a bunch of Federation citizens (e.g., the Native American colony the Enterprise is sent to evict), which leads to the Maquis, a rebellion that Star Fleet is sent in to suppress. Sisko learns a bunch of hard lessons while fighting the Maquis, and we see several good Star Fleet officers aiding the Maquis and even resigning their commissions to join the Maquis after being exposed because as well-trained Star Fleet officers, they can’t support the Federation’s position on the Maquis. In DS9 we get the Dominion as a separate threat, until they do a deal with the Cardassians and the struggle to suppress the Maquis is sidelined (and then dropped as the Cardassians take advantage of the Dominion to wipe out most of the Maquis). If the Dominion hadn’t come along, I can imagine Sisko or some of his officers changing their minds about the Maquis, too.

On the religion front, I think we get some interesting insight into the Federation’s discomfort with the Bajoran religion and Sisko’s status as the Emissary, because the Bajoran gods—the “wormhole aliens”—are real, which conflicts with the general atheistic worldview of the Federation. There are various points in all the series where we see Star Fleet having to deal with religious cultures, and in most of those cases they can fall back on the Arthur C. Clarke explanation (advanced technology being seen in religious terms), but with the Bajorans, that explanation doesn’t work. I would have enjoyed seeing more of that (and more about Bajor in general), and one of my big disappointments is that we never got a DS9 movie or two that might have explored things more.


We both are disappointed, but DS9 and Voyager were never popular enough to justify that move. :weary:


I was there in the room when Stewart made the announcement, and it was quite exciting. The room of thousands of Star Trek nerds erupted into the most effusive, protracted standing ovation. They haven’t finalized any details, but it sounds like this new show will be a portrait of a late-life Picard who is no longer captaining a starship, which I think would be fascinating. I’ve always yearned to see a more detailed picture of what life on 24th century earth would look like. Think of a show that is more like “Family” than “Best of Both Worlds.”


Having in mind I never expected to see Picard on screen again, and then this happened, I guess there is still a chance for Half Life 3 before I die.


Yeah, I am necro’ing this thread. Lorca, even with what happened.


My God, you guys have way too much free time on your hands.
That said, I love this “Great Debate”