Man as an explorere: Gene Roddenberry and the worlds of Star Trek

Introduction

1. Background

2. History and Myth

    a. The Myth before the Myth: The Original Series and Beyond

3. Society

a. The crews as microcosms of society

b. The Women

c. The Social Outcasts

d. Homosexuality and Lesbianism

e. Inter-Racial Relationships

4. Forms of Government

a. Democracies

b. Dictatorships

c. Utopias/Dystopias

d. Other Forms

5. Politics and International Relations

a. Overview

b. Treaties and Conventions

6. Law and Order through Time and Space

a. Traditional ways of settling legal disputes and reaching verdicts

b. About the contemporary legal system

c. Examples of contemporary Legal Dilemmas

Protection of Privacy

Genetic Engineering/Cloning

Freedom of Information

        d. About the futuristic legal system

The Prime Directive

Time Travel and Time Machines

Birth Control

Genetic Engineering

The use of Telepathy and Telekinesis

Criminal Law

Nanotechnology

Cryonics

Definition and Rights of Intelligent Life

Laws of Robotics

Corporate Laws

The Internet and Control of Information

Election Laws and Procedures

7. Technology

Summary

 

Man as an explorere: Gene Roddenberry and the worlds of Star Trek

 

Introduction

 

Eugene Wesley "Gene" Roddenbery was, among other things, a pilot, a policeman, and a science fiction fan since childhood. He identified himself as a Secular Humanist" and was a Member of CSICOP and the Council for Secular Humanism, just like Sagan and Asimov. When he decided to pursue a career in writing, he wrote books and TV scripts unrelated to Science Fiction. As fate would have it, it was the heyday of the space race and between United States to USSR in his record, and so, after several abortive attempts, the pilot of the first TV series to be known by the name Star Trek was born.

Thought Roddenberry is the person most identified with a creation of Star Trek, his actual role in the creative process is stile debatable. Roddenberry and his co-producer, Gene L. Coon, along with consultant D C. Fontana, rewrote a lot of works by many known authors who contributed scripts to the show, Among them are Robert Bloch (Wolf in the Fold), Richard Matheson (The Enemy Within), Harlan Ellison (who contributed the story to the episode considered one of the very best, The City on the of edge Forever); David Jerrold, author of "the Trouble with Tribbles", considered one of the most favorite episodes received many homages, including TNG's "Trials and tribble-ations", and probably the Stargate-SG-1's 8th season episode entitled Zero Hour, in which an apparently innocent plant is brought into the Stargate Command and overruns it (see the Little Shop of Horrors…), and Theodore Sturgeon (Amok Time, Shore Leave), who is also credited with the idea of the Prime Directive.

Therefore it is not surprising that Roddenberry‘s partners accused him of taking too much credit for himself, apparently motivated by a desire to be recognized also as a serious author, and their anger was so great that did they not even come to his funeral. He did, however, have an asteroid named after him, Roddenberry 4659. His second wife-widow-successor is former actress Magel Barrett Roddenberry, who became known mainly as Lwaxana Troy, Councellor Diana Troi's Betazoid mother, and the voice of the computer, but also played other minor roles in the different spin offs of the show.

Roddenberry died in 1991, but his spirit continues to hover over us (his body was cremated and his ashes were scattered in space…)

Both in his lifetime and after his death countless books were written (and are being written) about the Star Trek universe, but almost all of them are based on the series, and not vice versa.

And let's not to forget that the creators of Star Trek chose to use marine and shipping terminology, which in turn became space exploration terminology, in some form of a closure.

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

1. Background

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

2. History and Myth

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

a. The Myth before the Myth: The Original Series and Beyond

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

The Paradines are referred to both as evolved Vedrans and the first race of sentient beings in the galaxy. According to Trance Gemini, they may have had a "hand in its [the universes'] creation". They are described as beings who are ever present, especially at crucial times in galactic history (such as the fall of the Systems Commonwealth). According to Vedran legend, the Fall of the Systems Commonwealth was foretold, as was the coming of the Spirit of the Abyss and its legions of Magog. A threat of this magnitude spelled doom for all sentient species in the universe, unless they united.

 

3. Society

 

The creators of Star Trek always took great pride in the ideals of social equality (between sexes and races), justice and ethics that they tried to incorporate into the shows, and won many awards for this. One of the reasons was the diversified ethnic composition of the crews, combined of representatives of different races and species, human and non-human, all living in peace and harmony. An ideal picture Indeed. Or is it?

In the Star Trek Universe there are many kinds of societies, peoples and races. Some of them are extremely stereotyped (The Ferengi = greed, the Borg = resistance is futile), but some of them have a well-developed history (and mythology). Here are several examples.

Vulcan

Nietzschean

Ferengi

Klingon

Cardassian

Romulan

See also:

 

Romulan

Bajoran

Borg

Cardassian

Ferengi

And note how a representative of the biggest foe of one show, who turned friend, is always select to join the next show's cast (see Voyager's 7 of 9)...

James bond, for instance, has a leg up in the race with the cinematic franchise of "Star Trek" for confronting the burning social issues of the time, because of the larger number of episodes, as is evident mainly in the changes that took place in the portrayal of the villains over the years, inspired by the historical developments; it should also be noted that Fleming's Bond started out as a chauvinist pig and a right-wing extremist who hated the Beatles, as proven by the following quote from "Goldfinger":

 

"My dear girl, there are some things that just aren't done. Such as drinking Dom Perignon ´53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That's as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs."

 

But don't worry, he grew over it and became politically correct to a fault. He has no problem accepting a female commanding officer and he even allows her to mother him. I'm not sure Flemming would approve, though.

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

a. The crews as microcosms of society

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

• Scott Bakula as Capt. Jonathan Archer

• Jolene Blalock as Subcommander T'Pol

• John Billingsley as Dr. Phlox

• Dominic Keating as Lt. Malcolm Reed

• Anthony "A.T." Montgomery as Ensign Travis Mayweather

• Linda Park as Ensign Hoshi Sato

• Connor Trinneer as Cmdr. Charlie "Trip" Tucker

 

ST-TOS

 

The crew of the original series is comprised of Mr. Spock (Vulcan father, Human mother), A Scotsman (Scott), a Japanese (Sulu) and an African-American (Uhura, her kiss with Kirk was the first inter-racial kiss ever seen on American TV) and a Russian. (Chechov, during the peak of the cold war and the space race). What could be more idyllic? Oh, yes, the Commander is a white American.

 

ST-TNG

 

The TNG crew is comprised of Data the Android (Spock's replacement as the Voice of Reason), Worf (the first Klingon officer in Starfleet), Geordie Laforge (both black and blind) and counselor Troi; The Commander is a Human American Starfleet officer, though of European descent (apparently considered more privileged in the 25th century), at a time when most of the villains in James Bond Movies, for example, were European.

The Vulcans, incidentally, disappeared. In the new Movie (2009), which takes place at the time of the original series, we find out that their home world was destroyed and they became extinct.

 

ST-DS9

 

DS9 is an ex-Cardassian space station controlled by the Federation.

A mixed crew, commanded by a human Starfleet officer.

• Avery Brooks as Cmdr./Capt. Benjamin Sisko

• Rene Auberjonois as Odo

• Nana Visitor as Maj./Col. Kira Nerys

• Alexander Siddig as Dr. Julian Bashir

• Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O'Brien

• Armin Shimerman as Quark

• Terry Farrell as Lt. Jadzia Dax [ 1-6 ]

• Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko

• Michael Dorn as Lt. Cmdr. Worf [ 4-7 ]

• Nicole deBoer as Lt. Ezri Dax [ 7 ]

 

ST-Voyager

 

• Kate Mulgrew as Capt. Kathryn Janeway

• Robert Beltran as Cmdr. Chakotay

• Roxann (Biggs-) Dawson as Lt. B'Elanna Torres

• Robert Duncan McNeill as Lt. (later Ensign) Thomas Eugene Paris

• Ethan Phillips as Neelix

• Robert Picardo as the Doctor

• Tim Russ as Lt. Tuvok

• Garrett Wang as Ensign Harry Kim

• Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine [ 4-7 ]

• Jennifer Lien as Kes [ 1-3 ]

• Majel Barrett as the Voice of the Computer

 

ST-Andromeda

 

The crew of the Andromeda, which is also a part of Roddenberry's legacy but takes place in a more distant future, is also ethnically varied – two white Americans, one Android played by a Philipino actress, one Magog and one undefined, but the commander id still… yes, you've guessed it, a white American (Correction – allegedly he is of mixed origin, since his mother was a Heavy-Worlder (descended from a race of superhumans genetically engineered to live on the harsh and hostile environments of high-gravity alien planets. Later on we find out that he is part Paradine, which technically makes him the only Captain in the Star Trek Universe who is not entirely Human).

• Kevin Sorbo as Capt. Dylan Hunt

• Lisa Ryder as Beka Valentine

• Gordon Woolvett as Seamus Harper

• Lexa Doig as Andromeda / Rommie

• Laura Bertram as Trance Gemini

• Keith Hamilton Cobb as Tyr Anasazi [ 1-3 ]

• Steve Bacic as Telemachus Rhade [ 4-5 ]

• Brent Stait as Rev Bem [ 1 ]

• Brandy Ledford as Doyle [ 5 ]

 

b. The Women

 

The Female characters in the different spin offs of Star Trek made long strides from ornaments in mini skirts saying "Yes, Captain" and "no, Captain" (yes, even Uhura, who was both female and black, and Troi were no more than that) to the strong opinionated characters like Kira, Dax's two incarnations, Janeway and T'pol.

On the other hand, female Admirals were seen in all the spin-offs of the show, even though there were hardly any women in the middle levels of command, except maybe Tasha Yar, the Chief Security Officer who preceded Worf, and Dr. Beverly Crusher, who to the best of my recollection was the only woman in the Enterprise's chain of command who actually got to command the vessel, if only for a short time. In Enterprise too we saw in one of the episodes a sister ship of the Enterprise which was commanded by a woman.

All of this makes you wonder how all those female Admirals reached their lofty positions, and explains, perhaps, some of the many cases in which Kirk, Picard, Sisko, and also Enterprise's Jonathan Archer and Andromeda's Dylan Hunt from refused to obey orders which they considered morally unjustified or illegal, and they got in a lot of trouble for this (until, of course, they were vindicated).

In the Star Trek motion pictures, women did get assigned to command positions (Kirstie Alley in one of her first roles, and Persis Khambatta who disappeared since and passed away) and in Nemesis, we are informed that Janeway was promoted. Truth be told, she deserved it. It seems to me that she is the only female Admiral in the Star Trek universe whose climb up the chain of command is well documented. She orders Picard around and he obeys. Incidentally, in the latest Star Trek motion picture Uhura's position received a serious upgrade (accompanied by a change of wardrob) and they even gave her a love affair with Spock.

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

Both the Klingon warrior society and the spiritual Bajoran society are described as being more egalitarian towards women. The former is a Matriarchal society in which women control the family and fight as equals alongside the men; in the latter, they can become a supreme spiritual leader, or Kai, both for good (Opaka) and for bad (Winn).

 

ST-Voyager

 

See Captain (later Admiral) Kathryn Janeway, the captain of the USS Voyager and the only senior female officer in the Star Trek universe whose climb up the chain of command is well documented.

 

In Nemesis, we are informed that Janeway was promoted to Admiral. Truth be told, she deserved it. She orders Picard around and he obeys.

 

And by the way, why wasn't Picard promoted to Admiral? This question continues to haunt Star Trek Fans to this very day…

 

ST-Andromeda

 

We see three strong female characters – Rommie-Andromeda, Trans Gemini and Becca Valentine, who can each wrap Dylan Hunt around her little finger, not necessarily un minimal dress.

 

c. The Social Outcasts

 

In the Star Trek universe, the attitude towards the social outcast (which, as we know, is one of the main characteristics of the true nature of a society) is really not as different as we would like to think from the prevalent attitude in the real world, and not just in human societies.

Ostensibly, the only society that can take all the outcasts in is human society, and more accurately the harsh framework of Starfleet, but most of them cannot find their place there and are forced to deal again and again with dilemmas of conflicting loyalties.

 

ST-Enterprise

 

In the episode Stigma, T'pol is diagnosed with Pa'nar syndrome - a rare syndrome, which could lead to her being ostracized by Vulcan society and losing her position on Enterprise because of the social stigma it carries.

 

ST-TOS

 

Mr. Spock, the ultimate Vulcan, is a social misfit among his people; His mother was Human and he joined Starfleet against his father's wishes.

 

ST-TNG

 

Klingon Worf is considered a traitor for not following the acceptable Laws of Honor of his people, but even when put to the test, his loyalty to Picard and to Starfleet has never been questioned.

 

ST-DS9

 

An entire Fernegi family, each of its members being a misfit and suffering because of it. Ishka, the Matriarch, is a warring feminist with an acute business sense, and the financial brain behind two Grand Naguses in a society where women are not even allowed to wear clothes; Her son Rom is considered weak and inferior because his greed is not developed enough, however he proves to be an excellent mechanic and ends up becoming Grand Nagus; his brother Quark, the epitome of greed, fights an ongoing battle against his urges; whereas the grandson, Nog, is the first the Ferengi officer in Starfleet.

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

Nietzschean Tyr Anasazi is considered an outcast for failing to act according to the accepted code of honor of his people.

 

d. Homosexuality and Lesbianism

 

The issue never comes up explicitly, not in the TV franchise and not in the cinematic franchise.

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

In The Outcast, the J'naii are a race of gender neutral people. At one time the species had a male and female gender, but now virtually everyone is neuter. Riker works closely with Soren, one of the J'naii, and eventually a warm affection between the two engenders romantic sparks. Soren confesses to Riker that there are a limited number of exceptions among her people who feel drawn to one gender over another. She is one such individual. Riker returns Soren's feelings, but then Soren is recalled, or rather abducted, by her people and "treated." Riker, in direct contravention of the Prime Directive, but with the loyal assistance of Lieutenant Worf, attempts a rescue, but is too late.

Jonathan Frakes, the director of this episode, wanted the character to be played by a male actor…

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

e. Inter-Racial Relationships

 

In the different spin offs of the show there were quite a few half-breeds, but in spite of the alleged openness and the enlightenment of the show, in most cases fate hadn't been kind the mixed couples or to their half-breed children.

 

ST-Enterprise

 

From the start, the romantic situation between Archer and T'pol is unclear; neither is the situation between Charlie "Trip" Tucker and T'pol. 

 

ST-TOS

 

The above-mentioned Mr. Spock (Vulkan father, Human mother).

 

ST-TNG

 

Adorable Councellor Troi (Human father, Betazoid mother, Human husband);

 

Klingon Worf (who for some reason cannot find an appropriate Klingon bride…) marries Jadzia, a Trill, and they both have to undergo extensive gene therapy in order to be able to produce children;

 

Alexander Rozhenko, Worf's son by a Human woman;

Why can’t a Klingon and a Trill interbreed, while a Klingon and a human can? Unclear…

And what happens among the humans? Irishman Miles O'Brien is married to Japanese Keiko, and they are the happiest (or at least the most stable) couple in the show. In order to maintain this delicate balance, they gave him both a cute Japanese girl and a cute Irish red headed baby;

 

ST-DS9

 

Tora Ziyal (daughter of Cardassian Gul Dukat by a Bajoran woman);

 

Ferengi Rom is married to Bajoran Leeta (they have no children, thank God… his first wife, a Ferengi, Nog's mother, left him for a richer man);

 

His brother Quark was married to a Klingon woman, though for a short while;

 

Bajoran Kira Nerys had to carry Human Keiko O'Brien's baby in her womb for a short while.

Both of Sisko's objects of love, however, were black. Could it be that Avery Brooks was one of the black actors who refused flat out to be caught on screen having an affair with a woman who isn't black?

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

Not a single steady relationship – Hunt is too loyal to the memory of his dead wife and too busy reconstructing the Systems' Commonwealth, Becca is too busy with family affairs, Rommie and Trans Gemini are not human and Seamus Zelazny Harper is just horny…

 

4. Forms of Government

 

Is the Separation of Powers Maintained?

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

a. Democracies

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

The establishment of the United Federation of Planets

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

One of the only examples in which we actually see what happens after a successful rebellion is DS9, since the story unfolds from the exact point in time when the Bajorans rid themselves of the occupying Cardassians (assisted by the benevolent Federation), and as we remember, the picture is not exactly idyllic.

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

b. Dictatorships

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

c. Utopias/Dystopias

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

The Systems Commonwealth was a huge Utopian civilization, spanning three major galaxies of the Local Group. It was founded by Vedrans, the first race to discover slipstream.

 

d. Other Forms

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

1. Hives

The Borg

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

1. Hives

The Magog, even thought there was an identifiable individual, Rev Bem

 

5. Politics and International Relations

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

(Image 3e, mine)

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

a. Overview

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

b. Treaties and Conventions

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

The convention establishing the United Federation of Planets

 

ST-TNG

 

The Khitomer Accords

 

ST-DS9

 

The Temporal Accords of the 29th Century

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

The New Commonwealth Charter

 

6. Law and Order through Time and Space

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

a. Traditional ways of settling legal disputes and reaching verdicts

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

b. About the contemporary legal system

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

c. Examples of contemporary Legal Dilemmas

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

Protection of Privacy

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

Genetic Engineering/Cloning

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

In Doctor Bashir, I Presume?, Bashir’s father agrees to plead guilty to illegal genetic engineering so that his son can stay in Starfleet and keep his medical practice. This is how he explains his decision:

Two hundred years ago we tried to improve the species through DNA resequencing, and what did we get for our trouble? The Eugenics Wars. For every Julian Bashir that can be created, there's a Khan Singh waiting in the wings. A superhuman whose ambition and thirst for power have been enhanced along with his intellect.

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

Freedom of Information

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

d. About the futuristic legal system

 

So how would futuristic legal system look like?

Formal Vs. informal;

Rights of the accused;

Choice of Law and Jurisdiction;

On the need for lawyers (and other officers of the court);

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

The Prime Directive

 

The introduction of the Prime Directive concept into the Star Trek universe is generally credited to screenwriter Gene L. Coon. According to other sources, Science Fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon was the first to come up with the idea, in an unused script he wrote for the original series, but in fact, the Prime Directive appears fully-formed almost two decades earlier in Robert A. Heinlein's 1948 novel Space Cadet, which describes a military organization bearing a very close resemblance to Star Trek's Starfleet.

In the philosophical view of Star Trek (as expressed in an interview with Gene Roddenberry in the April/May 1991 edition of 'The Humanist' magazine, where he implied that Christian Missionaries were interfering with other cultures – a position which had its roots in his secular- humanistic ideology,) no matter how well intentioned the more advanced people are, interaction between advanced technology and a more primitive society is invariably destructive.

For our purposes, the definition of "Pre-warp" is any culture which has not yet attained warp drive technology. Starfleet allows scientific missions to investigate and secretly move amongst pre-warp civilizations as long as no advanced technology is left behind, and there is no interference with events or no revelation of their identity. This usually requires the use of hidden observation posts, but Federation personnel may disguise themselves as local sentient life and interact with them.

So when is interference forbidden? And when is it acceptable and even necessary, and under which circumstances?

The Prime Directive has been considered as an attitude of moral cowardice by some of the critics, because it can be (and often is) used as an excuse not to act. It has also been criticized for its inconsistency in application, depending on the strategic importance of the planet involved, the circumstances in which a starship crew finds itself, or need to achieve a Federation objective, noting that by 2364, Starfleet had allowed six races to die out. The supporters of the Prime Directive, on the other hand, claim that no one has the right to impose their own standards on others and it is hardly moral cowardice to stick by a difficult, yet ultimately beneficial principle in the face of temptation.

Many accidental violations of the directive have been known to occur when a Federation starship or vessel crashed on a planet that has a pre-warp civilization, and the survivors or the wreckage were collected by the natives, which influenced their society, especially when Federation technology was recovered and added to the planet's technology.

The Prime Directive has also been broken, ignored or slighted intentionally and unintentionally on many occasions, by all the captains - Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, Archer and Hunt (see also Stargate's O'Neill, Shepard and Ford and Crusade's Gideon, to name but a few).

Still, it's interesting to point out that at least in the Star Trek universe, in spite of the many cases in which humans were prosecuted for violations of the Prime Directive (if I'm not mistaken, Picard holds the record), no conviction of a human for this grievous offence has ever been documented.

The Prime Directive is known to be superseded by only one other directive, the Omega Directive, and there are two special cases in which the Prime Directive does not apply: General Order 24, in which a captain for whatever reason has to destroy an entire inhabited planet's surface, and the Omega Directive, in which a captain is authorized to take any means to destroy Omega Particles upon detection.

The prevailing opinion is that the Vulcans were the ones who initiated the First Contact with mankind, in direct violation of their own Prime Directive (See the Minbari of Babylon 5). In the Movie "First Contact", as we all know, the crew went back in time in order to encourage Zefram Cochran, the inventor of the Warp Drive, to complete his invention (and save Earth from being overrun by the Borg). Cochran's historic maiden voyage attracted the attention of the pointed-eared and sharp-minded Vulcans, and they decided to make contact. This was apparently a very illogical decision on their part, in light of our (and their) knowledge of the history of First Contacts, but go figure a Vulcan mind…

Incidentally, in the episode In A Mirror, Darkly (1), taking place in an Alternate Universe, the unfortunate Vulcan emissary who cto Earth bearing his greeting of Live long and prosper us murdered by Zefram Cochran…

In the episode Carbon Creek, T'pol tells a surprised Archer the story of an earlier encounter between Vulcans and mankind, which occurred in the 1960' (that is, before the historical encounter with Zefram Cochran and after "Little Green Men"). According to T'pol, a Vulcan vessel crash-landed on Earth near a little remote town (where else) and the three survivors assimilated themselves among the inhabitants of the town, hiding their real identities. One of them even became the Town Hero when he rescued miners trapped in a mine (in spite of the warnings against intervention and "cultural contamination"), and when a Vulcan rescue vessel finally came to pick them up, he decided to stay behind, and if he hasn't died (after all, Vulcans are known for their longevity), then he lives happily ever after on Earth to this very day…

See also here.

**Link to F C in Conspiracy**

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ST-Enterprise

 

The prevailing opinion is that the Vulcans were the ones who initiated the First Contact with mankind, in direct violation of their own Prime Directive (See the Minbari of Babylon 5). In the Movie "First Contact", as we all know, the crew went back in time in order to encourage Zefram Cochran, the inventor of the Warp Drive, to complete his invention (and save Earth from being overrun by the Borg). Cochran's historic maiden voyage attracted the attention of the pointed-eared and sharp-minded Vulcans, and they decided to make contact. This was apparently a very illogical decision on their part, in light of our (and their) knowledge of the history of First Contacts, but go figure a Vulcan mind…

Incidentally, in the episode In A Mirror, Darkly (1), taking place in an Alternate Universe, the unfortunate Vulcan emissary who comes to Earth bearing his greeting of Live long and prosper is murdered by Zefram Cochran…

In the episode Carbon Creek, T'pol tells a surprised Archer the story of an earlier encounter between Vulcans and mankind, which occurred in the 1960' (that is, before the historical encounter with Zefram Cochran and after "Little Green Men"). According to T'pol, a Vulcan vessel crash-landed on Earth near a little remote town (where else) and the three survivors assimilated themselves among the inhabitants of the town, hiding their real identities. One of them even became the Town Hero when he rescued miners trapped in a mine (in spite of the warnings against intervention and "cultural contamination"), and when a Vulcan rescue vessel finally came to pick them up, he decided to stay behind, and if he hasn't died (after all, Vulcans are known for their longevity), then he lives happily ever after on Earth to this very day…

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

By the 24th Century, the Directive was extended to include purposeful efforts to improve or change in any way the natural course of such a society, even if that change is well intentioned and kept completely secret. Later on the Prime Directive was extended to apply not only to pre-warp civilizations, but to any culture with whom Starfleet comes into contact. In such situations, the Prime Directive forbids any involvement with a civilization without the expressed consent or invitation of the lawful leaders, and absolutely forbids any involvement whatsoever in internal politics

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

The Temporal Prime Directive was formally created by the 29th Century in order to prevent travelers from interfering in the natural development of a timeline. It was enforced by an agency of Starfleet called the Temporal Integrity Commission, charged with the monitoring and the restriction of deviations from the natural flow of history.

 

ST-Andromeda

 

Paradines can also step through time and space, both literally and figuratively. However, these powers are not often used because according to a Paradine, there is too much at stake whenever steps are made (meaning they can interfere in order to help and save but they choose not to do so).

 

Time Travel and Time Machines

 

Long before Enterprise was ever written, naturally Jene Roddenberry himself tried to explain how Stardates were calculated in the following words, quoted from Wikipedia :

"This time system adjusts for shifts in relative time which occur due to the vessel's speed and space warp capability. It has little relationship to Earth's time as we know it. One hour aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise at different times may equal as little as three Earth hours. The stardates specified in the log entry must be computed against the speed of the vessel, the space warp, and its position within our galaxy, in order to give a meaningful reading.

It would seem that Roddenberry (by his own admission) did not understand Einstein's Theory of Relativity fully.

For more detail click here.

In all the spin-offs of this show there were many episodes dealing with varied time travel scenarios. In most cases the trip wasn't premeditated, and the destination was random. Needless to say, in the Star Trek universe there are no technological, physical or logical obstacles to time travel.

In all the spin-offs of this show there were recurring plot lines of traveling across parallel universes. In the parallel universe, the good become bad and the bad repent and help the good…

Incidentally, the passage between the universes is usually accidental and caused by some unexplained astrophysical phenomenon not any (a thunderstorm, a radiation anomaly, etc'…)

Before the 29th century, there was no law against the construction and the use of time machine (even if there was, no self-respecting Starfleet Captain would have obeyed it); Still, the prohibition against interference and change was well established (see First Contact, Prime Directive), and the results of such change are usually disastrous. There is also a strict prohibition against a "meeting with self" (either younger or older), although when such an encounter does take place, usually it causes no change, catastrophic or other. The Law against time travel was enacted only in the 29th century, but allowed time travel for historical research purposes. Yet, the human race was not the only one dealing with the issue of outlawing the building of time machine and their use.

For more detail click here.

ST-Enterprise

 

The Vulcan Science Directorate was the head scientific authority of the Vulcan High Command, well known for its reluctance to embrace unorthodox ideas.

The Vulcan Science Directorate has studied the question of time travel in great detail. By the mid-22nd century, they found no evidence that it exists or that it can exist, ultimately believing that its concept was "illogical". However, the Directorate had no trouble accepting the existence of time travel, micro-singularities or the notion that regions of space in the Delphic Expanse fail to conform to the laws of physics.

In the first 3 seasons of the show there is a recurring plot line involving time travel and traveling across parallel universes, and the Vulcan Science Council's statement that time travel is impossible is mentioned more than once; However, this statement contradicts the fact that both in the "real" world (even according to Einstein's Theory of relativity) and in all of the Star Trek shows, every trip through hyper space (or any other form of FTL travel) is necessarily a trip through time. But was the Vulcan's denial of time travel motivated by other considerations, or maybe the writers were just confused?

The Vulcans, by the way, have other methods of communicating across time, so they have no need for time machines (see "the Vulcan Trilogy").

 

ST-TOS

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

In this Star Trek spin-off, set in a time centuries after the "Voyager", period, of the theme of crossing between parallel universes (and time travel) appears in almost every episode, and every trip through time is also a trip through space, and vice versa ...

After the entire High Guard is surprised at first battle of the Nietzschean uprising, Captain Hunt is forced to evacuate his ship, the Andromeda, but the ship is trapped at the edge of an event horizon of a black hole and it frozen in time.

303 years later, the crew of the rescue ship "Eureka Maru" finds Hunt's ship. When Hunt discovers that the entire Systems Commonwealth and the High Guard have fallen during the centuries in which he was frozen in time, with the beginning of the period known as "the Long Night", he enlists the rescue ship's crew to join him in an attempt to restore the Systems Commonwealth and "rekindle the light of Civilization"

 

Birth Control

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

Genetic Engineering

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

The Eugenics War

Date: 1990s

Location: Earth (focused in Asia)

Result: "Supermen" defeated

Combatants: Governments of many world powers including the United States of America Genetically engineered "Supermen"

Strength: Unknown:

Casualties: 37 million, near complete destruction excluding small group in suspended animation on the starship Botany Bay (named after the famous penal colony in Australia?)

Eugenics Wars argument: an argument against the contemporary or near-future genetic engineering of human beings, based upon the fear that it may lead to the return of coercive state-sponsored genetic discrimination and human rights violations such as compulsory sterilization of persons with genetic defects, the killing of the institutionalized and, specifically, segregation from, and genocide of, "races" perceived as inferior.

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

Dr. Bashir and the arguments for and against genetic enhancement of Humans

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

The use of Telepathy and Telekinesis

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

Criminal Law

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

In the cold logical world of the Vulcans, is there any nececciy for lawyers? Or is using them and needing them contrary to the laws of logic?

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

A quick lesson in Cardassian "Justice":

You are denied knowledge of what you are accused of until your trial.

You can never know who your accusers are - for "security" reasons.

Trials are a show for the public, to explain how the guilt was determined, not to find a verdict.

The verdict is always predetermined- guilty.

The duty of your Consort is get you to accept the charges and execution.

So how would a Cardassian lawyer look like?

See one possible example in the DS9 episode Tribunal, in which Miles O'Brien is charged with aiding the Maquis, the Bajoran anti-Cardassian underground, in a Cardassian court, and gets some first-hand experience with the Cardassian Justice system

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

Nanotechnology

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

Cryonics

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

Definition and Rights of Intelligent Life

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

In The Measure of a Man, Data is ordered to report to Commander Maddox for experimentation. He wants to disassemble Data in an attempt to reproduce him for a variety of usage in the Federation and Starfleet. Data decides to fight the transfer but is informed he has no such right. His next choice is to resign from Starfleet, and from there the battle is joined. Captain Phillipa Louvois of the Judge Advocate General's Office orders a hearing on whether Data is a sentient being, at liberty to resign from Starfleet. Picard is designated to defend Data, and Riker is unwillingly drafted to prosecute and must show Data is not human. In his opening speech, Captain Picard admits that Riker has proven Data to be a machine, but argues that humans too are machines. This concession, according to Picard, does not answer the larger question of whether Data is property. Picard questions Maddox about the qualifications for sentience: intelligence, self-awareness and consciousness. Maddox concedes Data has at least intelligence and self-awareness, while the third criterion remains in question. "Are we ready to consign an entire race of Datas to the status of disenfranchised property?" Picard asks rhetorically. Captain Louvois acknowledges that the question they are all "dancing around" is whether Data has a soul. Louvois admits she does not know and does not, in fact, even know whether she herself possesses a soul. In the absence of proof to the contrary, she declares herself unwilling to find Data soulless, and therefore proper. She finds in Data's favor, and the android formally rejects Maddox's request

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

Laws of Robotics

 

Is there room for Asimov's Laws of Robotics in the Star Trek Universe? See the following quote from the TNG episode Datalore:

GEORDI: Doctor Noonien Soong, my friend, just happens to have been Earth's foremost robotics scientist!

TASHA: Until he tried to make Asimov's dream of a positronic brain come true.

RIKER: The positronic brain. He promised it would do so much. When it failed completely, Doctor Soong disappeared

According to this short dialogue, it seems that the creators of Star Trek the show locked onto the "positronic" aspect of robotics as if that were the key quality to Asimov's robots. Asimov's view was exactly the opposite -- his robots are "positronic" because positrons had just been discovered when he started writing robot stories and the word had a nice science-fictiony ring to it. The use of positrons was just an engineering detail and relatively unimportant to him.

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

Data of Star Trek is one of the best-known Androids in Cinema and TV.

On Data as an Asimovian robot click here.

Data has 100,000 terabytes of memory (equiv to 100,000,000 one-GB hard drives). When on trial, he stated that he had a storage capacity of 800 quadrillion bits (100 quadrillion bytes). Data processes 60 trillion computations per second. If you'd like to compare Data's 100,000 terabytes of storage capacity to something real-world, someone mentioned a chart that set the maximum storage capacity of the human brain to approximately 3 teraBITS, which would mean that Data's brain could contain everything from over 260,000 human brains.

ST-DS9

 

The Borg of Star Trek From Locutus to Hugh to Seven of 9 via the Borg Queen (see Picard's assimilation by the Borg).

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

Corporate Laws

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

Why elaborate when you can simply quote?

1. Once you have their money, you never give it back (from: DS9: The Nagus).

3. Never spend more for an acquisition that you have to (from: DS9: The Maquis, Part II).

6. Never allow family to stand in the way of opportunity (from: DS9: The Nagus).

7. Keep your ears open (from: DS9: In the Hands of the Prophets).

9. Opportunity plus instinct equals profit (from: DS9: The Storyteller).

10. Greed is eternal (from: DS9: Prophet Motiv).

16. A deal is a deal until a better one comes along (from: DS9: Melora).

17. A contract is a contract is a contract but only between Ferengi (from: DS9: Body Parts).

18. A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all (from: DS9: Heart of Stone).

21. Never place friendship above profit (from: DS9: Rules of Acquisition).

22. A wise man can hear profit in the wind (from: DS9: Rules of Acquisition).

23. Nothing is more important than your health except for your money (from: ENT: Acquisition).

31. Never make fun of a Ferengi's mother (from: DS9: The Siege).

33. It never hurts to suck up to the boss (from: DS9: Rules of Acquisition).

34. War is good for business (from: DS9: Destiny).

35. Peace is good for business (from: DS9: Destiny).

45. Expand of die (from: ENT: Acquisition).

47. Don't trust a man wearing a better suit than your own (from: DS9: Rivals).

48. The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife (from: DS9: Rules of Acquisition).

57. Good customers are as rare as latinum, treasure them (from: DS9: Armageddon Game).

59. Free advice is seldom cheap (from: DS9: Rules of Acquisition).

62. The riskier the road, the greater the profit (from: DS9: Rules of Acquisition).

74. Knowledge equals profit (from: VOY: Inside Man).

75. Home is where the heart is, but the stars are made of latinum (from: DS9: Civil Defense).

76. Every once in a while, declare peace, it confuses the hell out of your enemies (from: DS9: The Homecoming).

94. Females and finances don't mix (from: DS9: Ferengi Love Songs).

95. Expand or die (from: DS9: False Profits).

98. Every man has his price (from: DS9: In the Pale Moonlight).

102. Nature decays, but latinum lasts forever (from: DS9: The Jem'Hadar).

103. Sleep can interfere with... (interrupted) (from: DS9: Rules of Acquisition).

109. Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack (from: DS9: Rivals).

111. Treat people in your debt like family: exploit them (from: DS9: Past Tense, Part I, The Darkness and the Light).

112. Never have sex with the boss's sister (from: DS9: Playing God).

125. You can't make a deal if you're dead (from: DS9: The Siege of AR-558).

139. Wives serve, brothers inherit (from: DS9: Necessary Evil).

168. Whisper your way to success (from: DS9: Treachery, Faith, and the Great River).

190. Hear all, trust nothing (from: DS9: Call to Arms).

194. It's always good to know about new customers before they walk in your door (from: DS9: Whispers).

203. New customers are like razor-toothed greeworms, they can be succulent, but sometimes they bite back (from: DS9: Little Green Men).

208. Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than the question is an answer (from: DS9: Ferengi Love Songs).

211. Employees are the rungs on the ladder to success, don't hesitate to step on them (from: DS9: Bar Association).

214. Never begin a business negotiation on an empty stomach (from: DS9: The Maquis, Part I).

217. You can't free a fish from water (from: DS9: Past Tense, Part I).

229. Latinum lasts longer than lust (from: DS9: Ferengi Love Songs).

239. Never be afraid to mislabel a product (from: DS9: Body Parts).

263. Never allow doubt to tarnish your lust for latinum (from: DS9: Bar Association).

285. No good deed ever goes unpunished (from: DS9: The Collaborator).

For more details click here.

And how do you settle labor disputes according to Ferengi law? See what happens when the employees of Quark's Bar go on strike and form a Union in the DS9 episode the Bar Association...

So how do you think a Ferengi Lawyer would look like?

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

The Internet and Control of Information

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

Election Laws and Procedures

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

The new Systems Commonwealth is ruled by a Triumvirate – a government of three rulers modeled after the Roman Empire (where it failed). It us also unclear why when a Triumvir retires, she is replaced by her sister and there are no general. Free and democratic elections for the office.

 

7. Technology

 

It is interesting to compare the cinematic franchise of "Star Trek" with the only other cinematic franchise that outlived it, which is "James Bond". Many of the gadgets invented by Q (who reverted to the use of his full title, Quartermaster, instead of his nickname in the last few Movies), and his successor R, were in the realm of science fiction when they were first introduced in the Movies, but they were based on developments which were already in advanced stages of application, and most of them were already in some use, and sometimes their introduction in a Movie expedited the process. In Star Trek we saw for the first time on screen (among other things) wireless communication devices, hand-held computers (PDA's) and computers speaking in a human voice and responding to vocal commands - technologies which are all commonly used nowadays. And yes, James Bond did fly to space (in "Moonraker").

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

 

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

 

 

Summary

 

 

 

ST-Enterprise

 

 

 

ST-TOS

 

 

 

ST-TNG

 

 

 

ST-DS9

 

And on a trivial note, the famous USSS Enterprise never docked in DS9 after the first episode (and to the best of my knowledge, was never even mentioned again for the duration of the show). Anyone who has information to the contrary is more than welcome to share.

For Captain Benjamin Sisko's Journey click here.

 

ST-Voyager

 

 

 

ST-Andromeda

 

Now that the final curtain went down on Enterprise, for the first time in nearly 4 decades there is no new TV show taking place in the Star Trek universe. James bond, however, is still alive and kicking and invincible…