Best Star Trek Series? #StarTrek #BestStarTrekSeries

this post was originally published in 2018, hence the lack of in-text reference to Star Trek: Picard

It’s truly the Great Aunty Edith of the Star Trek family

I’m a big Star Trek fan. So I’ve been massively excited by the new Star Trek TV series, Discovery,  and couldn’t wait to see the first episode on Netflix! Will it be a hit or a flop? Only time will tell, though most of my non-Trek friends are surprised to hear there’s a new series. Either way, it raises the question: which Star Trek series is best?

The Original Series (1966-1969)

Okay, so I grew up in the 80s and 90s. Therefore, this show was always hopelessly dated for me. I like the themes, and I am thankful it gave us the Trek franchise, and yes, some of the films featuring the original cast were pretty good. But sorry: the series is naff and painful. It’s truly the Great Aunty Edith of the Star Trek family; there’s no doubting the depth of affection for her, we just don’t want to ever see her again because she is an out-of-date embarrassment.

The Next Generation (1987-1994)

So this is what got me into Trek. I saw my first episode around 1995. To today’s kids, this must look as naff and dated at the original series looked to me when I was a kid (The Original Series was 25-ish years old when I got into The Next Generation, and The Next Generation is now about 25 years old itself). Asides from the early episodes which were very campy and involved soon to be jettisoned stuff like Troy’s bizarre accent and Picard’s peculiar Frenchness, the series was fairly solid with a lot of great episodes.

Deep Space Nine (1993-1999)

For me, this is the best Trek by far. It’s where the franchise decided to bravely seek out new worlds that Star Trek could go. It straddles the old world of rose-tinted optimism and 22 episode seasons of random adventures, and the new post-Battlestar Galactica world of tense, tightly plotted, ten episode seasons, where the world is shades of grey, not a simple good versus evil. From the start of the Dominion War arc, DS9 also foresaw the tight central plot arc and went to dark places not explored before or since in Trek.

Voyager (1995-2001)

Too much, too soon. Next Gen was just winding up, and DS9 had barely begun let alone found its groove. Voyager would have benefitted from a couple of extra years development. Yes, the concept was good: a squabbling crew thrown together on a Federation starship hurled roughly 70 years from home. A female captain was much appreciated. And the show features one of my favourite Trek characters of all time: the Doctor, who was the Emergency Medical Holographic backup program which was forced to run full-time when the actual doctor got killed. A great spin on the non-human coming to terms with and trying to become human (see Data in Next GenOdo in DS9). Sadly, most characters were crap, and it took about four years to even get going.

Enterprise (2001-2005)

Brilliant costume and set design, a real gritty and primitive edge, wonderful developments of the early Federation: earth is barely united, and the Vulcans are very much senior partners. Great characters, great acting. Yes, it also took a while to get going. Not helped by the name, “Enterprise” as opposed to “Star Trek: Enterprise”, even the program-makers realised their error and re-inserted the “Star Trek” branding in the fourth season. But by then the damage was done. Premature cancellation in season four makes this show a somewhat frustrating, what-could-have-been.

Discovery (2017-??)

Hardly fair to judge it on the first season alone. And Star Trek is notorious for slow-starting series which only gear up after a few seasons. None-the-less, Discovery has great design and some lovely characters. There were some shocking twists, yet never for the sake of it. I can’t say it was perfect. I think 7/10 is a fair rating. Never-the-less, this might be the best first season of a Trek ever.

In Summary

Which Star Trek series do you think is the best?

© 2017-2018, 2022 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Covid-19 Therapy Blog 3: Mask Mandates II #COVID19 #COVID19THERAPYBLOG #LIBERTARIANISM

This series of posts might serve as a bit of therapy for me and help me work stuff out.

Me, December 2021

Introduction to this series of posts
Link to all posts in this series

Introduction

In my first post on this Covid-19 Therapy Blog, I talked about my Libertarian instincts and why I think mask-wearing should be a personal choice, not something mandated by the State. Here I explore this a bit more (in this short* post).

For your own good?

We let people engage in all sorts of risky behaviour, even behaviour that can harm others. For example, we don’t enforce mask-wearing for those who have a cold or other sicknesses, nor in my opinion should we.

But okay, let’s say for argument’s sake that this virus is sufficiently lethal that we needed to be told to mask up at threat of criminal sanction, the question remains: for how long, and at what cost?

My daughter is three. She has never known a normal world. We used to laugh at the East Asian fetish for the mask. Let’s get sick, let’s build our immune system! That’s what we used to say. But yes, let’s look after our vulnerable so they are not at undue risk (by keeping them at home, for example). This is the way it always was: humane, free, but responsible.

We also used to scorn the niqab and other garments which veil a person’s face and take away their humanity. Yet now those who don’t mask up are seen as scum. Worse, they will be fined or arrested.

My daughter

What effect will it have on my daughter not growing up seeing people’s faces? This thing has gone on for two years. Two years is nothing. But for my daughter, two years is her whole world. I’m thirty-seven. It’s no exaggeration to say that her last two years are equal to my last thirty-six; it’s all she’s ever known. I fear for my beautiful girl and what this normalising of not seeing people’s faces, what this fetishisation for a lack of germs, is doing to her.

*My personal definition of “short” is less than 300 words, maximum; more than that, and a blog posts starts to feel like an essay.

**The Wikipedia page on Libertarianism which I linked you to says this: Libertarianism is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association.

© 2021-2022 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Covid-19 Therapy Blog 2: What Is “Libertarianism”? #Covid19 #Covid19TherapyBlog #Libertarianism

Introduction to this series of posts
Link to all posts in this series

In the first article in this Covid-19 Therapy Blog, I talked briefly about why wearing face masks can be good and why it can be bad. I also mentioned my instincts coming at things from a “libertarian” approach.

Yes, I am a “libertarian”, but what does that even mean? It’s becoming a much-maligned term, especially slandered by those on the left as uncaring fat cat capitalism, but also sometimes by those on the right as “libertinism”.

Given that my libertarian instincts inform most of my thoughts on this current Covid-19 situation, I thought it might be a good idea to attempt a brief definition of what Libertarianism actually is for my readers.

The Wikipedia article which I linked you to in the previous posts starts by summing it up pretty well:

Libertarianism is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association.

We believe that respecting individual rights in this way is the only moral way to live. Sadly, when there is a public panic, people often lose their minds, and many unfair and illiberal things become law… Surely, “my body, my choice” still holds, does it not?

© 2021 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image taken from https://www.fsb.org.uk/static/351a084c-3d5f-4d75-8dfabfa5f0c5d993/COVID19-Header-Image.jpg

Covid-19 Therapy Blog 1: Mask Mandates #Covid19 #MaskMandate

This series of posts might serve as a bit of therapy for me and help me work stuff out.

Introduction

I’m trying not to do too many political posts on this blog anymore, but I feel I want to record some of my thoughts here on a current issue which is vexing me greatly. This series of posts might serve as a bit of therapy for me and help me work stuff out. If it’s a good read for you, too, then all the better.

I will try to keep this series of posts short* and non-polemical. Let’s see if I can resist the urge to rant(!)

Mask Mandates

We can all understand the logic of wearing masks. It more-or-less stops a virus spreading in much the same way that wearing a rubber johnny stops one getting pregnant or getting an STD; it’s not perfect, and it depends on how well you use it, but it is essentially effective.

On the downside, we don’t get exposure to sicknesses which we need to in order to build and maintain a strong immune system. This is an especially big deal for young kids, and being the father of a young child, this is something I am constantly aware of.

Conclusion

As a libertarian**, my feeling is that the wearing of masks should be entirely up to the individual in public spaces and up to businesses / landlords in privately-owned spaces such as shops. A virus that has a low percentage of killing you — and I absolutely do not belittle the many millions of awful deaths that we have suffered, but the fact remains that the percentage is fairly low*** compared to, say, the Black Death**** — I feel should leave the mask-wearing up to us.

My daughter is three. She has never known a world where she can see people’s faces. God knows what psychological effect that will have on her in the long run.

Notes:

*My personal definition of “short” is less than 300 words, maximum; more than that, and a blog posts starts to feel like an essay.

**The Wikipedia page on Libertarianism which I linked you to says this: Libertarianism is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association.

***About 2%; see here.

****30-75%; see here.

© 2021 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image taken from https://www.fsb.org.uk/static/351a084c-3d5f-4d75-8dfabfa5f0c5d993/COVID19-Header-Image.jpg