Re: the merits of Star Trek and Babylon 5...

Technotranscendence (
Sun, 5 Dec 1999 22:14:16 -0800

Sorry for the lag in response time!

On Monday, November 22, 1999 1:15 PM john grigg wrote:
> >One thing in favor of "Babylon 5": at least it wasn't "Star Trek.":)
> Hey, now I realize that "Star Trek" has been accused of growing stale but
> has alot going for it! "Star Trek" has shown not just this nation but the
> globe a vision of the world where humanity lives in harmony with itself
> many other species with the goal of peaceful exploration. This show has
> broken racial stereotypes in terms of tv and inspired many young people to
> pursue careers in science.

So. I nowhere deny its influence, but this does not mean it's a great show or that I have to like it.

> And frankly while I am not the biggest fan of "Voyager" I did love "Deep
> Space Nine" and really enjoyed the final season even if some called it
> war two in space. I got to really care about the characters and did not
> find them to be cardboard like with some science-fiction programs.

Maybe so, though a lot of the stuff was only just above cardboard.

> I do love "Babylon Five" and in some ways found it superior. The aliens
> were certainly generally more alien! Though the Narn and the Centauri
> as "human" as Klingons and Romulans. Also, sadly it is possible that B5
> a more realistic take on what the future may be life for humanity. We may
> not have a benevolent "Federation" to govern and protect us. Humans may
> very well not be dominant "big shot" race as as they appear to be in "Star
> Trek."

I agree. I didn't like, however, that humans appeared for the most part to be the peacemakers of the galaxy. My bet would be if anything close to the B5 universe existed -- and I highly doubt this; I like Sagan think any contact between different sentient beings will not be between anything close to the equality of B5, ST, Battlestar Galaxative -- I think humans would be just another species. Nothing special. Unique in some respects, but not a big deal to galactic culture and politics.

We might perhaps start a thread on best portrayals of aliens in science fiction. My vote would probably go to some of Stanislaw Lem's novels. Any other Lem fans here? (See my site for more on Lem.)

> To end my post I will make this statement...
> "One thing in favor of "Star Trek, at least it wasn't "Battlestar
> Galactica!" :)

Good comments, but none of this makes me like "Star Trek.":) Frankly, TV science fiction as a whole is pretty lame. I guess I shouldn't expect much, as I have my tastes and chances are others who have similar tastes are just not a big enough block for producers to take notice.

(We should also be careful here. A lot of science fiction in print -- aside from TV and film -- is garbage. This should not be surprising. This is so with most things, I believe. The good old 80/20 rule, I reckon.:/)


Daniel Ust