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Sun, Jun 30, 2019, 4:25am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

I have done it! After so many years of wanting to see Star Trek: The Next Generation again, I have finally seen it again. I have decided instead of commenting through the series to leave my thoughts to the end, so this is a summary of my feeling of the series of a whole and not just of the last episode.
May I say a special thanks to Jammer and all those who have commented on the website. I have found them, as Spock would say, “fascinating”.
Worst Part: Season One
The start of TNG was horrible. It reminded me of going to that type of party where the music is lame, the food unappetizing and everyone wants to be somewhere else. Watching Worf and Data at the beginning felt more like watching a parody rather than the characters I came to grow and love in the middle seasons. Too many stories were lame and uninspiring. How it got to have a 2nd season is beyond me.
Best Part: Liquid Gold
What makes a good show? I do not really know, other than an emotional connection is important to me. I want shows to made to laugh, to cry, to think, to be inspired. At it’s best, TNG does this.
The menace of “The Best of Both Worlds”.
The malevolence in “Chain of Command.”
Worf’s vindication in “ Redemption”
The bitter sweetness of “Lower Decks”.
The interesting concepts brought up by “The Measure of a Man.”
Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful. They make tv watching worthwhile.

The Disappointing Part: The World View
I love the show to bits, but I am not blind to several problems with the show
Let me explain:
1) There is poor explanation how this sort of world would work
It is fairly obvious that a guiding premise of Star Trek is that atheism is true and a humanistic outlook in life is to be desired. However, this premise has holes in it.
Religion in general and Christianity in particular has been a driving force for good in our society.
It was their faith in God that inspired scientists like Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler (my scientific hero) and Louis Pasteur.
It was faith in God that drove social reformers like William Wilberforce, Francis Nightingale and the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury.
It was faith in God that drove thinkers like Martin Luther King, Sir Francis Bacon, Soren Kierkeggard.

I also note that while there have been plenty noble atheists, there also have been more than enough mass murdering atheistic despots around. Therefore, it would be a stretch to say that the world will be automatically better off when it is run by scientific atheists. Don’t presume it-Prove it.
So, how would an atheistic world improve itself if there are no religious influences to drive progress? It is really not good enough to ditch all this and say bland statements like: “The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity.” What does this really mean? How does that differ from many ways of living today that could say the same thing?
What should have happened?
I really wish that the show addressed religion reasonably, looking at both the good and bad it has done. I really wish that it showed more of how the societies are motivated to improve. The show would have been deeper, richer and more interesting. This is one of the reasons why I love DS9. I am not sure that DS9 got it right, but at least they made a brave attempt to look at religion and how it effects society.

2) Its portrayal of society is anemic and unrealistic.
I get that Star Trek wants to show the humans can get along with everyone in a mature way. I am grateful for its positive vision of the future. The reality though is that there are problems in the world of Star Trek. We even see this in episodes like “The First Duty” and “The Drumhead”. We see this in the poor or problematical relationships the crew have with their families. But instead of admitting this and dealing with it, the show just seems to pretend all is ok. The result are characters that feel plastic and shows that are filled with hollow arrogance. Episodes like “Times arrow”, “Q Who”, “Who Watches the Watchers” and “The Neutral Zone” all have examples of this.
What should have happened?
I really wish that the show had investigated the underbelly of society more. It would have made the program feel more real and authentic. Again, this is one of the reasons I love DS9, where “all the problems haven't been solved yet” and “those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people will become as nasty and violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon.”

3) Its lack of vision
Star Trek loves to see itself as progressive and challenging society’s boundaries. However, when it comes to the portrayal of women, TNG lets down the game. Compare the roles and characterization of Troi and Crusher on TNG to Dax and Kira in DS9 and Janeway and Torres on Voyager. Troi and Crusher lesser characters. They have little power and are not essential to many of the main story lines.
What should have happened?
How about Crusher taking charge of missions more often. How does a female Doctor run a starship? What mistakes do inexperienced bridge officers make and how do they improve? Now that would be interesting!
Why not make Troi an expert at going into hostile environments and using her interpersonal skills and wits to complete her missions? Why not allow her to use her intuition to find creative solutions that the Data’s of the world cannot discover? Now that be interesting!

Thanks again everyone. Live long and prosper
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