Let’s take a moment and look at what made Trek great. Well, many things. It was a great space adventure show, it had cool aliens, cool technology, interesting characters and it offered an interesting view on the future. That special future is what I want to explore here. One of the things Trek was famous for was providing a positive view of humanity while being modeled on our own society. Let’s face it, Trek often dealt with current events and used science-fiction to criticize them.
A new Trek show would need to do that, so here’s my top 10 list of how the crew of a new enterprise should mirror our own society. Simple points that would show the viewers a future they can relate to and hope for.
1. A multi-religious crew. Let’s face it, religious tolerance isn’t at its best these days. Religious terrorists in the Middle East advocate violence against non-believers, redneck preachers in the
2. Sexual openness. Let’s face it, our society is often plain scared of openly talking about sex, so instead, we get movies and tv shows exploiting it. I believe that in the Trek utopia, people would be free to talk about sexual topics and respect each others in the process. Yes, people use the holodeck for sexual fantasies. Everyone suspected it, and it was confirmed in DS9. Let’s show that yes it is natural and people shouldn’t be ashamed of their own sexuality. People should also respect themselves in the process.
3.Homosexuality. We had crewmembers of various races, a blind pilot who later became an engineer, a female captain and various aliens. I think it’s time we got a gay couple on the bridge.
4. Technology and privacy. This is a subject that I believe should be tackled. We live in a society where teenagers live out their lives on social networks and the like, where we share our private thoughts on google, thoughts that are later used for targeted advertising. Some people, myself included, worry about this and take active steps to protect online privacy. Let’s show a future where this is true. Where the captain just doesn’t have access to what crewmembers do in their quarters, where transport inhibiters are placed inside private homes, where you just can’t enter the holodeck during someone else’s private session. Trek, after all, is all about the positive uses of technology, and that means it should be shown as used responsibly.
5.meaningful entertainment. This is something where I feel Trek often failed very hard. Let’s face it; characters in Trek always were interested in antiquated stories and characters. I have no problem with the idea of characters like Sherlock Holmes still being popular in the future, but the Trek universe always felt stagnant in it’s literature to me. Voyager tackled the issue a bit with that one episode where the Doctor writes a holonovel. We need more of that. Let’s see creators taking their role seriously, aka providing meaningful entertainment while offering criticism of society and making the audience think. You know, what Trek should be doing in the first place.
6.The Captain’s power is not absolute. Starfleet isn’t a military institution. Forget what DS9 said, Roddenberry was against the militarization of Starfleet and I happen to agree with him. In fact, we should use the enterprise as a way to mirror our own professional lives and relationship with our superiors. Let’s not show the ship as a dictatorship, but as a place where crewmembers can question the captain’s order when not in a crisis situation. The TNG episode “lower decks” touched the issue of the little guys on a spaceship. Let’s get further into that and show the equivalent of a lower deck union with the power to change certain ship policies that might not be fair to common crewmembers.
7.Copyright issues. This issue was also tackles a bit in “Author, author”, the Voyager episode I mentioned earlier. Let’s face it, copyright issues are an important subject nowadays. Not only the rights authors have regarding their work, but the rights of distributors and customers too. Should works of art belong to everyone? Well, in a moneyless society, piracy isn’t a problem anymore, and that would be a good way of showing artists and authors who create not for profit but to share ideas. We could also see works of art parodied, even modified, and explore the social implications. In fact, I think the crew of a new enterprise would need at least one non-starfleet holodeck program creator, just so we can touch issues like that.
8.Free healthcare. Nothing new here, this was explored in every single episode involving the Ferengi and sick bay. Still, wouldn’t hurt to remind watchers that essential services such as healthcare are free in the future and that a doctor will treat every patient with respect and dignity.
9.Command transparency. Here’s an idea. On a regular basis, the captain and senior staff members have to declassify their official log entries for the crew to review. Crewmembers would then be allowed to criticize their superiors. A recent study showed that 75% of red shirt deaths are avoided if the Captain has to account for his actions at the end of the month.
10.Crazy, out of this world technology. Trek was always about technology. Let’s show amazing medical advancements, new AI technologies, basically any tech that would captivate the audience’s imagination. One important note here, it’s about technology that’s truly revolutionary, not technology that just looks great.
Those are my ideas. I definitely think a new Trek show would be possible, but not under producers that worry more about ratings and copyrights then telling a good story. So I’m looking at you, fanfic writers. Let the people know good Trek can still be done. If you wrote or worked on a trek story in any form, or if you just know of a good one, leave a comment.