No One Has Gone Into Darkness Before, EVER!
From: Marc Thomas
Hi Trek TV Friends Roddenberry did an interview in '86 where he admitted that Wesley was his Mary Sue, was supposed to be a suped up version of himself, a nurdy superboy, awe struck by what he saw. In real life Wee Willie Wheaton is, famously, a trekkie and techie by temperament. By the time TNG was on the tube, it was possible to have trekkies starring in Trek. How meta, speaking of which, find Chris Hardwicks Nurdist podcast and his downloadables with Wheaton. They are former roommates. Also, the audiobook of John Scalzy's Hugo nominated Red Shirts, Wheaters reads it and its massive funny bone action. The best send up of trek conventions since Galaxy Quest. Kim Stanley Robinson's 2012 should win the prize though, just saying. Where No One Has Gone Before is good Trek, mind expanding Sci Fi for smart people. Even if the central conceit, the conflation of reality and mind, veers closely to the unsubstantiated beliefs of magical thinkers whose philosophy encourages generation after generation of well meaning individuals to reject the demonstrable truth. Where No Man has Gone Before, TOS' pilot number two, was good as well and also made presumptions about psychic mumbo jumbo, but suffers from a fear based view of the unknown while here we get a nod to wonder. This is where TNG starts to get really good, despite the prerequisite plot holes and science fail-moments, because it is about what author David Brin describes as a civilization which values curiosity. Read his Existence, best sci fi novel of the year not a hugo nominee, but way shoulda been so. For sci fi in the YA genre, which this weeks TNG and most Wesley centric 'sodes epitomize, somewhat to their detriment, I'd say go for an oldie, Heinlein's Star Beast. Once again, I loved Kaelin on the show. Im sure we all did. But why must we choose between her and Jared? One is 'cake' the other is 'eat it too' and we want them both. What greedy spoiled fucks we are, how can we live with our selves? Well, somehow we manage. I enjoyed "Where No One's Gone Before" more than Kaelin although I do favor her side in the debate over the viability of the Cartisian view of reality, which is to say its bullshit. Most neurologists and physicsits agree as far as I can tell. Philosophy doesn't labor under the burden of proof that science does. It's interesting to contrast this episode with Star Trek Into Darkness. While I enjoyed the latest and possibly last JJ take on the Trek universe he certainly lacks the abstract introspection and appreciation for the grand sweep of reality which Roddenberry sought to explore. There are hints that this could change next time as his score composer suggested by allowing the magisterial strains of the great Alexander Courage fan fare to, at last, unfold toward toward the end of the film. Every Star Trek feature needn't be a macho revenge fantasy. I'm eager to hear your discussion on this topic, I imagine your fresh and in depth familiarity with the legacy of the series, which has enhanced your and our viewing of TNG will serve you equally as well in evaluating this latest installment. Another wonderful and fun time, double t and v, thank you from all of me…and them!!!