Thursday, 27 October 2011

Top Five Annoying Things About Star Trek

Some people love it, some people hate it, but no one can deny the impact Star Trek has had on the entertainment world. I personally like it, but even as a fan I certainly can't claim that it doesn't have faults. Here are five that I always notice when I watch the show:

5 - Failure to introduce new characters...

One of the appealing things about Star Trek is the group of main characters. Each incarnation of the show has a distinctive and varied bunch and many of the sub-plots involve their interaction with each other, but the group of characters that starts the series is invariably the group that finishes it too. Okay, there's a few exceptions, more often than not brought on by actors leaving suddenly or something like that (such as Denise Crosby), but how many major characters are introduced mid-way through a show's run? Again, there are a few exceptions but would it really hurt to add a decent amount of new blood? And yes, I remember Seven of Nine but adding a blonde with big knockers because the ratings are falling isn't really the same thing, is it? One of my favourite almost-new characters was Ensign Gomez (played by Lycia Naff who you might remember as the hoe with three boobies in Total Recall) who appeared in a couple of episodes of Next Generation. She and many like her should've received prolonged runs in their respective shows. Listen to me dammit!

4 - Most aliens look human...

Yes, yes, I know - The Next Generation conveniently explained this curious phenomenon by revealing that most sentient races through the galaxy evolved from a single, ancient race trillions of years ago or some such waffle. The real reason? Simply because they couldn't afford/be bothered (delete as appropriate) to put in more effort. TNG was a particularly memorable offender in this regard. Most episodes featured some new minor race and nearly all of them looked just like us except for some small facial difference like ridges or patterns on the head or even just a weird hair-do. Some other 'races' don't even have any physical differences and are merely given some wacky clothes or something like that! Again, there are exceptions, particularly when we got to Voyager, but it happened too often. Sorry Paramount, but it's lazy and not terribly convincing. If little old Babylon 5 can do it, surely Trek can do it?

3 - All spatial anomalies are dangerous...

Aside from the many, many alien races that populate it, almost all of whom are aggressive or have some sort of sinister agenda of course, the galaxy is filled with many sights of staggering beauty and wonder. Indeed, even today our telescopes have taken many thousands of amazing photos of strange gaseous formations of all sorts of shapes and sizes. However, why is it that every time a Federation ship encounters an 'anomaly', it's always of an unknown type, and it always ends up trapping the ship somehow, containing (or even being) a malevolent, non-corporeal being, or causing some sort of major catastrophe which a resourceful crew member will just about manage to avert at the last second, allowing the ship to be the first one ever to escape? To Star Trek writers: sometimes nebulae are just clouds of colourful gas!

2 - Any stranger on an away mission is in trouble...

Exploring the galaxy and delving head-first into the unknown is a tricky and dangerous business so when one arrives at a unknown planet and is detecting some sort of signal or power-source, sending all your main bridge officers down to investigate could be considered foolhardy at best. This of course happened routinely on the Original Series with Kirk usually ending up fighting, scoring, or both. It continued with TNG and Voyager except this time the respective Captains remained on board most of the time while everyone else goes to scope out the area. However, something that remained true throughout all incarnations of the show is - if a crew member who isn't a known character joins an away mission, there's going to be some trouble, and he or she will almost certainly be severely injured or, more usually, killed outright. I think the 'Black Box' pic above sums it up better than I ever could though!

1 - The Federation and its ships are stupid...

I've already touched on this subject in the 'Top Five Star Trek Ships' post but it's something that I really dislike about the entire Star Trek franchise - why are Humans such pussies? The Federation meekly go about their business exploring the galaxy, trying to make friends and not offend anyone. Of course, intentionally causing trouble isn't the best idea but I'm willing to bet that most starship captains are afraid of getting into a fight simply because their ships suck so much arse! Yes, I can understand the design of the Enterprise for the Original Series - it was after all the 60's when the 'flying saucer' craze was at its height. As has been pointed out to me - it's a classic design, but when the show was reborn in the late 80's it was the perfect opportunity to create a fleet of sleek, sexy, arse-kicking warships to show those stupid Romulan monkey-spanks who the boss really is, but noooo... Oh well, least we have the USS Defiant...


  1. But these things are what make ST warm, welcoming and familiar! :D

    I always liken Star Trek to watching a soap designed for geeks. The wafer thin characters, the identikit plots, the cheap sets/props and tight deadlines resulting in poor takes making the cut. But I still love it. All the flaws just give it character.

    I even liked Voyager.

  2. Yeah, you're right of course, I was just messing around really. I also forgot to mention the mostly-horrible Holodeck episodes when it usually goes wrong as well, of course! I liked Voyager a lot, I watched it all the way through a few months back. It has perhaps the most satisfying of Trek final episodes too :)

  3. Good post. I like Star Trek too, I kind of agree. These are both annoying things but also kind of essential things that Star Trek couldn`t do without. If they had a revolving door cast it would make things a bit more interesting, but we`d loose that sense of continuity and attachment to the characters that having them almost never change provides.

    I actually quite like the Federation ships from the original series and the 80s movies with the original cast. Ironically I think they have stood the test of time much better than the Next Generation (and more recent) ones have.

  4. Thanks Sean :) I'm just joking really, most of the bad things about Star Trek are part of what makes the show unique. I think the only one that genuinely annoys me is that the Federation are such a bunch of wussies. All the other races are always pulling some sort of sneaky crap, why don't we just kick their arse?! :P

  5. Although I agree the design of the various ships in Star Trek are not great but come on - The original movie era Enterprise is sooooooooo sexy! 32 years old, and it still looks awesome! :o)

    Few things I totally hate about TNG era.

    - Everyone only listens to classical music. Anything else is frowned upon (ie. Season 4 - Suddenly Human)
    - Holodeck stories - seriously, if the holodeck is that dangerous, I'm sure Starfleet would ban it!
    - Some of the awful child actors they had during the shows run. Really irritating.

    Oh well... that's my addition to your list!

  6. Haha, some very good points Stuart! :) I usually just skip the holodeck episodes when I'm watching Trek on DVD these days, there's very few good ones. I agree that the original Enterprise looks pretty nice but it's not very practical and can barely stand its ground against an enemy shuttle! :P

  7. HA! So true, on all points. Good ol' redshirts.

  8. lol i just saw this si, great post, funny even more if you like star trek.

  9. Cheers JD :) I like Star Trek very much but I find some things, especially #1, really irksome sometimes. Just shoot the crap out of them! Sometimes, violence IS the answer :)

  10. Hey I like the ships! originality is the key word here. I just hate how most Star Trek shows and films look shit, mostly. Star Wars completely wiped the floor with Star Trek and it came out way before!.

  11. If you don't count the original Trek series, yes ;)