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Feb 11 2013

William Shatner hates Free Speech!

Captain Kirk always was willing to violate the Prime Directive when it suited him. He went on Reddit to do an IAmA, and guess what he did? Shatner dissed Reddit and the whole idea of irresponsible speech!

shatner

Now watch: I’m going to immediately derail the whole comment thread by starting a real nerd war: This just confirms that Star Trek TOS was the very best of all the Star Treks.

206 comments

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  1. 1
    glodson

    Mr Dr Prof Myers, I have been a long time reader but I cannot allow this attack on the pillar of the entire human internets civilization go uncontested. This is the final straw and I cannot let you do this to mankind. The Original Star Trek was not the best.

  2. 2
    sqlrob

    I’m going to immediately derail the whole comment thread by starting a real nerd war: This just confirms that Star Trek TOS was the very best of all the Star Treks.

    You call that a nerdwar? Babylon 5 is better than Trek.

    /me goes back to Android programming. It’s a twofer!

  3. 3
    glodson

    Oh, actual post: I think that Shatner is right. While anyone has the legal right to say whatever stupid thing they want, the people running a space have some responsibility when people take that right to use as a weapon against others. Which seems to be what some think Free Speech means, that they have the right to be a vile as they wish and we just need to shut up and let them act like assholes.

  4. 4
    Chuck

    TOS was, is, and always will be the best Star Trek. No one can touch the heights of overacting reached by The Shat. Ricardo Montalban came close, but he died from overacting. Shatner will probably live forever.

  5. 5
    unbound

    The best Star Trek was Galaxy Quest.

  6. 6
    hawkbox

    TOS was the best. And Shatner never ceases to impress me.

  7. 7
    Eric O

    My roommate, at this very moment, is watching William Shatner’s Weird or What? (were those mysterious lights in the sky airplanes… or extraterrestrials? Oooooh!) so just minutes ago, I was feeling rather annoyed with Shatner. Now I like him again! I’m fickle like that.

  8. 8
    hillaryrettig

    the best part of that quote was “in my humble opinion”

    and Babylon 5 will always rule.

  9. 9
    Marshall

    Reddit is a great tool if you ignore the “big popular” subs and instead subscribe solely to ones that best inform your interests. The rest, I agree, is pretty much all time-wasting crap.

  10. 10
    laurentweppe

    Babylon 5 is better than Trek.

    You mean the series where the protagonist pull a coup and become a de facto millitary dictator married to a religious zealot who also becomes a millitaru dictator before pulling a Chavez and becoming the duly elected president for life of the universe before becoming Space Jesus while his predecessor came back in time to become Space Muhammad?

  11. 11
    iknklast

    As far as I’m concerned, TOS was the only Star Trek. The rest were just Johnny-come-lately wannabes.

  12. 12
    Trebuchet

    What’s a reddit?

    And “The Empire Strikes Back” was clearly the best!

  13. 13
    skephtic

    Star Trek Terms of Service? I think I missed that one :-)

  14. 14
    bradleybetts

    I never really got into Star Trek. And generally speaking I find Shatner irritating. *shrug*

    Agree with Shatner on this point though. Whenever I go onto places like Redditt or 4Chan (not often) I spend the entire time cringing and wondering:
    a) how these people live with themselves and
    b) where the fuck are the moderators?

  15. 15
    Dhorvath, OM

    Good on him.

  16. 16
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Sometimes Shatner seems all right.

  17. 17
    Matt Penfold

    Oh, actual post: I think that Shatner is right. While anyone has the legal right to say whatever stupid thing they want, the people running a space have some responsibility when people take that right to use as a weapon against others. Which seems to be what some think Free Speech means, that they have the right to be a vile as they wish and we just need to shut up and let them act like assholes.

    Well to some at Reddit (and other places) it is censorship to say that whilst you may have the right to say obnoxious things, it reflects badly on the person who does so.

  18. 18
    ChasCPeterson

    This just confirms that Star Trek TOS was the very best of all the Star Treks.

    Right, on, Space Brother!
    *clenched-tentacle salute!*

    You cannot talk about Shatner outside of the context of the angel & devil on his shoulders, Spock and McCoy. All the sequels just plain lack that crucial chemistry. (I mean, they tried hard to replicate it for Enterprise but they picked an annoying space-frart-douche for one shoulder.)

    Of course, I have the context of seeing all of them unfold in reallife realtime and believe me, the impact of that show in the mid-sixties was like nothing since.

  19. 19
    erikschepers

    TOS is indeed the best of Star Trek.

    That is a fact, just like Doctor Who having ended with Survival, and Tom Baker wasn’t the best doctor as that was Jon Pertwee.

  20. 20
    ChasCPeterson

    shoulda been ‘frat’ but I guess ‘fart’ works OK too.

  21. 21
    atheist

    No, you’re all wrong, Tom Baker was the best doctor!

  22. 22
    Vall

    Kirk is by far the best Star Fleet captain. I think his security force needed some training, and that reflects badly on his command, but I’d still rather be on his ship. Picard would be a close second, but he would always be driving on the wrong side of the road, and mis-pronouncing words.

  23. 23
    atheist

    Shatner always seemed cool to me, even when he was being a dick. Now that he’s calling out assholes and creeps, I like him even better.

    Plus, who can forget?! Nobody else can overact quite like this.

  24. 24
    glodson

    Well to some at Reddit (and other places) it is censorship to say that whilst you may have the right to say obnoxious things, it reflects badly on the person who does so.

    I have a place in my cold and dead heart for people who feel I’m entitled to their opinion, but get all mad when I call them a stupid fuck. Which I rarely do unless the person proves to be a stupid fuck by saying things a stupid fuck would say.

    I think it is funny that some are so concerned about their free speech that they have to make sure any attempt to address what makes what they said objectionable be silenced with harassment and threats. Seems to be quite a contingent of the assholes.

  25. 25
    Caveat Imperator

    While anyone has the legal right to say whatever stupid thing they want, the people running a space have some responsibility when people take that right to use as a weapon against others. Which seems to be what some think Free Speech means, that they have the right to be a vile as they wish and we just need to shut up and let them act like assholes.

    This is what annoys me about libertarians, especially Internet libertarians. They almost never make moral or ethical arguments. They associate the legal right to do something with the moral right to do it, instead of saying, “instead of morality imposed by the government, we need to come up with another system.”
     
    In turn, this is one of the reasons why I admire the social justice strain of atheism. Broadly speaking, we say “when we reject religion, we reject all of the baggage associated with it, including the fucked-up ethical systems and social organizations. Let’s think of something better.”

  26. 26
    Sastra

    “… debase and degrade people based on race, religion, ethnicity or sexual preference…”

    Debasing and degrading people is wrong in and of itself, of course — but we hold different standards on what’s allowed when the group is based on beliefs as opposed to identity. You can be bigoted against Republicans, say, by refusing to let them eat at your restaurant or castigating them all as heartless, inhuman monsters. But arguing that Republican policies are heartless and inhuman is not like debasing and degrading people themselves and being a bigot. We’re trying to get people to change their views, not their basic identity. That matters.

    Which is why the list above — a very popular list — bothers me a bit and makes me hear strains of Sesame Street’s “One of these things is not like the others” running through my head. Religion is not like race, ethnicity, or sexual preference. It’s more like politics, science, or social theory. There’s a right and a wrong, and it’s okay to consider issues and change your mind and go from one to the other. Which means the level of tone and argument can be different.

    Ok, I know this has all been brought up before and I’m not specifically going after Shatner on this. Nor am I suggesting that anything goes when we insult the religious, no holds barred. I’m going after the blithe and easy cultural assumption that our religious views shouldn’t be challenged because they represent who-we-are. No. They don’t. And shouldn’t.

    I hate it when ‘religion’ is snuck into lists like this.

  27. 27
    Brett McCoy

    Star Trek TOS was *always* the best one

  28. 28
    glodson

    In turn, this is one of the reasons why I admire the social justice strain of atheism. Broadly speaking, we say “when we reject religion, we reject all of the baggage associated with it, including the fucked-up ethical systems and social organizations. Let’s think of something better.”

    I think my own atheism strengthen my resolve for social justice. When I was Christian, I could tell myself that there was something better for people through god or some nonsense. I was relying on an answer that came, in part, through magical thinking by believing in stupid sky magic. Don’t get me wrong, I was one of those Liberal Cafeteria Christians, but there was this idea that everything would work out because god.

    Abandoning that and accepting that this life is all I get, all any of us get, I feel I have a moral obligation to make this life better for everyone, to the best of my abilities. The need for social justice grew because I knew there was no god to make this happen, it was just us. My way of thinking has linked my atheism with social justice strongly.

  29. 29
    Martin Wagner

    Yes, everyone has freeze peach! It doesn’t mean you are free from accountability or criticism from the things you say.

  30. 30
    michaeld

    Good for shatner. Not wading into the scifi shows thing. The ones I like are good and bad in their own ways not going to try to distill any concept of good out of them.

  31. 31
    shouldbeworking

    ToS rules, Voyager drools.
    John Pertwee is the best doctor.

  32. 32
    A Hermit

    unbound @ %

    The best Star Trek was Galaxy Quest.

    By Grabthar’s hammer! You have won the internet!

  33. 33
    Steve LaBonne

    Shatner was misquoted. He actually said, ” The FACT…….. that someone could come HERE………..debase and degrade people BASED……on race, religion, ethnicity OR……sexual preference…..” etc.

  34. 34
    wytchy

    I just love Shatner. :) And of course, TOS is the best. It’s been mentioned, but Trek has yet to recreate that perfect chemistry between Bones, Spock and Jim.

  35. 35
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    @laurentweppe #10:

    Babylon 5 is better than Trek.

    You mean the series where the protagonist pulls a coup and become a de facto millitary dictator married to a religious zealot who also becomes a millitary dictator before pulling a Chavez and becoming the duly elected president for life of the universe before becoming Space Jesus while his predecessor came back in time to become Space Muhammad?

    I thought G’Kar was Space Muhammad.

    Also yes.

  36. 36
    Rob Grigjanis

    Laurent @10: “You mean the series where the protagonist pull a coup…”

    Yes, that’s the one. Still the best sci-fi series ever, IMO.

  37. 37
    Argle Bargle

    Star Trek TOS? Bah! The best Shatner series was T.J. Hooker.

  38. 38
    Thy Goddess

    I just wish this wasn’t coming from the guy hosting Weird or What…

  39. 39
    yubal

    TOS > TNG
    but
    Picard > Kirk

  40. 40
    Jackie

    I’m with Yubal.
    But, good for The Shat. I’m impressed.

  41. 41
    robinjohnson

    The fact that none of you are acknowledging Deep Space 9′s rightful place as the definitive Star Trek is counterproductive, and probably hurting this site.

  42. 42
    Shplane, Spess Alium

    Now, while I do agree that most places need moderating, and that Reddit is a low-rent 4Chan full of whiny idiots who want “free speech” for themselves and no one else, I do think that there’s value to be had in truly unmoderated, free-for-all internet spaces, just as there’s value in having dedicated safe spaces. It’s useful to have a space where the most vitriolic, racist conservative and the most virtuous, tolerant liberal can talk to one another directly, and in the starkest of terms. Some people legitimately do only change their mind when told how shitty they are in a way that pulls absolutely no punches. Some people need a space that allows them to put forth their ideas and have them seriously refuted in a way that isn’t quite possible in a moderated space.

    Reddit does a poor job of this, honestly, because unlike 4Chan it does not allow for pure anonymity. If people are posting without a name, only the ideas themselves can be properly critiqued. No one takes personal insults seriously when no one knows anything personal to insult, and no one can dredge up personal history when that personal history simply can’t be matched to current statements.

    The problem is that many of the proponents of these sorts of communities do not recognize the value of other sorts of communities. I can have conversations on 4Chan that I can’t have anywhere else, yes, but I can also have conversations on the A+ forums that I can’t have anywhere else. It is valuable both to have basic arguments about the bare minimums of moral ideology, just as it is valuable to discuss the loftier aspects derived from those basic premises. It is valuable both to have spaces where I can talk to people from Stormfront on even footing, and where I can talk to like-minded individuals without having to deal with the Stormfrontiers. Reddit, however, mostly tends to put together communities of like-minded shitheads, then shout down true dissent. This is not true of spaces like 4Chan, which give all comments an even platform, unburdened by names or self-insulating upvote/downvote systems.

    I think I’m rambling a bit due to hunger, and have probably repeated myself a few times, but to summarize: Places like 4Chan are good because they allow people with absolutely opposed ideologies to interact directly, allow ideas to stand on their own merit by minimizing personal social history, and have no mechanism by which any ideas are given preference over another. Normally moderated areas and safe spaces are valuable because they do the exact opposite, which allows for completely different types of discussion. While I don’t blame anyone for preferring to stick with one or the other, both are worth having around. The worst thing about places like Reddit are all the people who refuse to accept that fact.

    Enterprise was the best series, though honestly Trek was almost always garbage. Good sci-fi almost always comes in book form. The best I can say about any Trek series is that a few of Data’s “WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN?” style episodes remind one of much better works, and that at least it isn’t Star Wars.

    Fuck Star Wars.

  43. 43
    Shplane, Spess Alium

    Woops, meant TNG. I don’t remember names for things I don’t like.

  44. 44
    Shplane, Spess Alium

    By which I meant “I meant that The Next Generation is the best series, because Enterprise was utter dreck.”

    I am going to go get food now, so that my brain will work.

  45. 45
    Dee Phlat

    “Star Trek: Terms of Service?”

  46. 46
    mareap

    Yubal has passed the first stage of the room mate quiz; there are two more.

  47. 47
    Caveat Imperator

    @Shplane, Spess Alium,

    And even 4chan has its unpleasant and pleasant parts. I’m not fond of the no-holds-barred nature of most of 4chan, so I exclusively post on /tg, one of tamer boards.

  48. 48
    bradleybetts

    @Jackiepaper

    “The Shat”? BWAhahahaha! Was that on purpose? Awesome, either way.

  49. 49
    mothra

    TOS had more great episodes, TNG had a few greater than great episodes.
    Great episodes: Savage Curtain, Balance of Terror, Trouble with Tribbles, A Taste of Armageddon. Greater than great episodes: The Making of a Man, Chain of Command, and Yesterday’s Enterprise.

    As for (over) acting, Picard’s milquetoast “I need you” to Q, hardly compares to Kirk’s “AN- TE- BO- DES.”

  50. 50
    remyporter

    In Reddit’s defense, its filtering system is fairly excellent. I’ve recently started using it to mine for articles regarding IT horror stories. Thus far, I haven’t run across anything offensive. I recognize that the broader site itself is full of plenty of offensive things. As an agreggator, it’s outstanding. Unfortunately, what it aggregates is not always great.

  51. 51
    Bronze Dog

    Definitely agree with Shatner. There are way too many Freeze Peach fans out there who are oblivious to the realities of freedom, the nature of criticism, the role of platforms, and social consequences.


    I’m a Next Gen/Niner, overall. It took me a while to “get” Kirk, but I’ve come around to see him as a worthy captain.

    B5: Loved it. I wish it wasn’t shown opposite DS9 when I was growing up.

    The Doctor: I’m limited to the new series, so David Tennant is my current favorite. One of these days, I’m going to binge on the classic series on Netflix.

  52. 52
    congaboy

    I’ve always like Shatner. He seems to have a great sense of humor and he is not afraid to be self-deprecating. I didn’t know that he was as accepting and liberal as his statement appears, because 1) I never did any research into his personal beliefs and 2) he comes from a generation of macho actors that tend to adopt a more conservative and judgmental attitude towards people not in the actors’ privileged group.

    Star Trek ToS is the best, because it dealt with a lot of issues that were very progressive for its time (it didn’t get everything correct, but it certainly tried). It paved the road for television SciFi as a vehicle for social commentary (twilight zone tried at times, but it didn’t always have the Shat to really ham it up and drive the point home).

  53. 53
    Argle Bargle

    Kirk vs Picard?

    Which picture is more magnificent?

    Kirk sans shirt

    Picard as Locutus

  54. 54
    mikeconley

    This just confirms that Star Trek TOS was the very best of all the Star Treks.

    The best? The only.

    And thou shalt have no other Captains before Kirk.

  55. 55
    myeck waters

    I like this thread, because I now have fewer Bible Prophecy ads and more Star Trek ads.

  56. 56
    Gregory Greenwood

    Nall @ 22;

    Picard would be a close second, but he would always be driving on the wrong side of the road, and mis-pronouncing words.

    It is worse than that for you colonials – it is just possible, contrary to appearances, that human civilisation in centuries to come as depicted in Star Trek does not in fact form one giant future United States of America *gasp!*.

    ;-P

  57. 57
    Gregory Greenwood

    To get back on topic, Shatner is right on the money when it comes to the likes of the denizens of Reddit and their obsession with Freeze Peach.

  58. 58
    harvardmba

    “William Shatner hates Free Speech!”

    I guess PZ still doesn’t understand the blogotubes nor the constitution. Posting on Reddit is not protected free speech. Shatner was merely saying having moderating the vile comments is better. Of course, leave it to PZ to translate that to “William Shatner hates Free Speech!” — intimating he hates the First Amendment.

    Typical PZ. No surprise there.

  59. 59
    Marcus Ranum

    By the way, Shatner’s solo album “Has Been” is kinda good. Just FYI.

    And Henry Rollins does a great spoken word ranty thing about what it’s like to become part of the Shatner cult, on “Talk is Cheap, Vol IV” (I can’t get behind that)

  60. 60
    Gregory Greenwood

    harvardmba @ 58;

    You should probably read more than the title of the post before commenting.

    If you did read the entire post, then I really think you need to take your sarcasm detector in for a tune up – PZ’s tagline was clearly humourous.

  61. 61
    michaelbusch

    [brews Earl Grey]
    [sits back to read trekkie fight]

  62. 62
    Michael Zeora

    See, I really don’t think you can compare TOS to TNG at best you could maybe compare Voyager to TOS and obvious we all know who’s the winner there.

    TOS and TNG were nearly a century apart. That’s like comparing say… Presidents of the United States to one another. Let’s see… Teddy Rosevelt verses George W. Bush. past the white male republican parts there really is little simularities and very different battles each had to contend with at the time.

    Kirk was an explorer. Picard was a scientist. Does this make Kirk better than Picard? I don’t know for me it’s comparing apples and oranges.

  63. 63
    Balstrome

    Well maybe he should go back to his own blog, where he can control who says what about whatever. Seems that is the correct way to do things, am I right?

  64. 64
    moarscienceplz

    The best Shatner series was T.J. Hooker

    You are WRONG, Camelbreath! The best Shatner series was Boston Legal.

  65. 65
    subbie

    mothra@49, how in the name of the Great Bird of the Galaxy can you put together a supposed list of great Original Series Episodes and leave out The City on the Edge of Forever and A Piece of the Action? Did you suffer from some shock that wiped your memory, leaving you thinking you belong to some misplaced Native American tribe?

  66. 66
    Amphiox

    It is so amusing watching how harvardmba and others like him charge in at the slightest pretense to criticize PZ, and invariably make a total fool of themselves.

    And I too favor B5. That frisson of cognitive dissonance you get when you stop and think about what the characters you’ve gotten emotionally invested in have actually done is part of the appeal.

  67. 67
    subbie

    Furthermore, mothra, a list of greater than great TNG episodes that doesn’t include The Inner Light? You’re just trolling here, aren’t you?

  68. 68
    b. - Order of Lagomorpha

    Quoth Sqlrob:

    You call that a nerdwar? Babylon 5 is better than Trek.

    /me goes back to Android programming. It’s a twofer!

    *snaps suspenders and checks big, bushy, glued-on-beard in mirror* Pfft. Using “Android” and “nerd” in the same comment? Surely, you jest. *waves 13 pound Unix manual in mildly threatening manner, but decides to withhold the “Get offa my lawn!” in reserve for another day.*

    Original TOS for the win and well-played, Mr. Shatner; well-played, indeed.

  69. 69
    w00dview

    Which seems to be what some think Free Speech means, that they have the right to be a vile as they wish and we just need to shut up and let them act like assholes.

    This is the huge irony of the FREEZE PEACH types. Their behaviour actually shows them to be nasty, abusive authoritarian assholes who delight in bullying and silencing those they deem below them. They are what they pretend to oppose.

    Fuck Star Wars.

    Hells yes.

  70. 70
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    I think the first part of this quote is very similar to phrasing used when negating the idea that having harassment policies at conventions will be a net negative in terms of attendance. Or that attaching social progressiveness to atheism will cause some people to abandon ‘the cause’. So what. Good riddance to them.

    I’m still not able to parse the second part.

  71. 71
    magistramarla

    Bill Shatner is a wise man! I’ve always liked him.
    I love each and every version of Star Trek, even the new films. I’ve also read many of the novels and I love them, too.
    Science fiction is the best thing on television, and always has a message that is relevant to the time that it airs. There is something to admire in each version.
    I’ve also always loved Dr. Who. Tom Baker was my favorite Doctor for many years, but David Tenant is my new favorite for the re-boot of the series.
    That said, Richard Dean Anderson of MacGyver and Stargate is the one sci-fi star who could quite easily convince me to cheat on my dear hubby!

  72. 72
    myeck waters

    Fuck Star Wars?

    But…Star Wars is now owned by Disney, which also owns Pixar and the Muppets, right?

    So we could have a new Star Wars movie featuring Buzz Lightyear and Pigs In Space?

    Or better yet, a Special Edition of the prequel trilogy in which Jar Jar has been replaced by Beaker?

  73. 73
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    Well maybe he should go back to his own blog, where he can control who says what about whatever. Seems that is the correct way to do things, am I right?

    You missed the point, which was that reddit’s permissive commenting policy is having a negative effect socially. I take it you won’t make any suggestions yourself to any site which you see as doing harm to society because it’s not yours to control. Bzzt, wrong. Speak up, you control your voice, and such is part of the free speech.

    I also do see where you’re trying to go with this. Please proceed, Governor.

  74. 74
    Rob Grigjanis

    Subbie @67: “The Inner Light”

    Agreed. The only TNG episode which moved me.

  75. 75
    w00dview

    @myeck waters

    Heh, speaking of Pixar, WALL-E was a far superior effort at sci-fi and storytelling in general than Star Wars ever was IMO. But yeah, Beaker and Buzz would definitely improve those movies.

  76. 76
    cyberCMDR

    @myeck waters

    But…Star Wars is now owned by Disney, which also owns Pixar and the Muppets, right?
    So we could have a new Star Wars movie featuring Buzz Lightyear and Pigs In Space?
    Or better yet, a Special Edition of the prequel trilogy in which Jar Jar has been replaced by Beaker?

    They did that. It was called Farscape.

  77. 77
    Shplane, Spess Alium

    @Caveat Imperator

    Not gonna lie: I almost exclusively post on /tg/ myself. Occasionally I troll /x/, or check to see if /co/ is talking about something worthwhile for once, but mostly it’s /tg/.

    I also agree that there’s plenty of utterly terrible shit that goes on there, and absolutely don’t hold it against anyone who doesn’t want to deal with it. That is, however, the nature of mostly unmoderated, anonymous spaces. Like everything else, it’s a mixed bag, and as much as I like being able to call racists names and comment without anyone remembering that time I said that thing that was dumb, I also recognize that those things aren’t the best option for every community.

    @w00dview

    WALL-E was miracles in my brain, and came a lot closer to being legitimately good sci-fi than the vast majority of film or television.

  78. 78
    SallyStrange

    They did that. It was called Farscape.

    LOL! You win the internet today, cyberCMDR.

  79. 79
    davehooke

    Reddit is a pit of sexism, rape jokes, and casual homophobia. The average Redditor’s excuse is that they “don’t really” mean it, as if that made it better.

  80. 80
    Gerard Farell

    I agree with William Shatner. There is a huge difference between free speach and hate speach.

  81. 81
    Moggie

    Without TOS, would we have experienced the awesomeness that is George Takei?

  82. 82
    Gerard Farell

    Typo! I meant “speech.”

  83. 83
    Anisopteran

    Folks, I’m sorry but you have it all wrong. Picard was FRENCH, therefore he and Kirk would both drive on the wrong side of the road. And the best Star Trek was Blake’s Seven. So there.

  84. 84
    DLC

    [Sir Alec Guinness voice] “Reddit. . . a wretched hive of scum and villainy . . . [/Sir Alec Guinness voice]

  85. 85
  86. 86
    Hank_Says

    Shatner for President!

    Of everything!

  87. 87
    ednaz

    Star Trek TOS was and still is the best.
    -

    OT: Well done, Mr. Shatner!
    -

    Boston Legal – a great series. Like Star Trek TOS, can be watched time and time again.

  88. 88
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Meh. Each Trek series is kind of its own thing. You can’t really compare Kirk-era Trek to, say, Janeway-era Trek because — while based on the same premise — they are very different shows.

  89. 89
    AlexanderZ

    PZ:

    This just confirms that Star Trek TOS was the very best of all the Star Treks.

    Now that’s proper trolling! Slimepitters should take note.

    BTW, Patrick Stewart is also a smart and decent human being. Those ST captain are really made from the right stuff!

  90. 90
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    This just confirms that Star Trek TOS was the very best of all the Star Treks.

    BLASTPHERMER!!! that’s it. I’m never reading this blog again, you echochamberbullisefreezepeachdenier!!

    P.S. Captain Picard rules all. Sisko comes in second.

  91. 91
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    P.P.S Anyone ever seen The Captians?

    or Trek Nation?

  92. 92
    Trebuchet

    #58 has just confirmed my long-held opinion of the Harvard Business School.

  93. 93
    Shon McLean

    I always knew you guys were nuts but this solidifies it.
    Captain Jean Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise is by far the best captain of all the Treks and pretty much every pop culture or sci fi entertainment in history, not including Optimus Prime.
    For this context, Kirk cannot beat Picard in terms of morality, justice, duty, intelligence, loyalty, multi-talents, and leadership.
    Kirk has shown many times that he actually likes being a bit of a lone wolf, and sexist, and a space version of James Bond, rather than the epic commanding officer that took control of the fleet during the battle against the Borg, who uses teamwork and his crew’s advice to foster and drive needed to be an ambassador of peace and justice in Starfleet.

  94. 94
    Gem Newman

    [Brews Earl Grey.]
    As much as I love Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner, Deep Space Nine was clearly the best.
    [Continues to watch the fight.]

  95. 95
    michaelpowers

    Sorry, I”m not gonna pick one. I liked Kirk and Picard. They both had different styles, is all. As to Shatner’s statement, it proves that the man is as honorable as the character he played. That, and I can’t help but respect those who don’t take themselves too seriously.

  96. 96
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    I’m sorry, but Joel Robinson was clearly the best captain.

    As for what Shat said, it’s only logical. It’s a website, dammit, not the government.

  97. 97
    robertwilson

    There’s like one vote for DS9 so far? Maybe two mentions of it?

    I’ll concede that ToS is the… well… Trekkiest of Treks. But as for the best TV series? DS9 is far and away the winner there in my book. It’s a sort of precursor to the serialized dramas we get today, a transitional form if you will away from episodic series where everything resets each week (or might as well reset – TNG is still in that episodic vein) and towards the outstanding writing we see on TV today.

    It also has far more interesting characters and doesn’t rely on gimmicks for drama – something Trek sort of required since Rodenberry had a utopic vision going for the Federation. (As I said before ToS was the Trekkiest and I think this is a big reason along with the 60s, the utopia of the vision and the commentary + the overacting).

    As for the real topic: Agree with Shatner and the separation of moral vs. legal considerations talked about above.

  98. 98
    Olav

    Unbound #5:

    The best Star Trek was Galaxy Quest.

    +1

    I like your way of thinking, Unbound.

    Another reason that Galaxy Quest is so good is that Sigourney Weaver is in it. She is perhaps the closest thing humankind has to an actual Goddess. Of course she has done quite a lot even better roles in her career.

  99. 99
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Thank you, Shon McLean. You are correct.

    And, yes, Sisko does rock.

    What? I’ve got a thing for bald men.

    My issue with DS9 was the gawdamn bajoran religion. Ick. It is a great series but that whole emmissary crap just funks up the perfectly pristine secualr humanist Trek universe.

  100. 100
    unclefrogy

    You know I think there is a place where anyone can say anything and it is “safer” to do that on line because often the person who wants to say just any thing often uses “fighting words” and if he said them face to face might end up with a broken nose. I am glad that that place is not here however a place that is moderated to this degree is fine with me.

    I liked Star trek saw it first in black and white in re-runs. I like all of the Star Trek series each had good episodes great episodes and crap episodes . all praise the Cisco
    I have seen many DR. Who’s and they were all good and all different and the same. Liked the fact that the show does not depend on the macho hero solution to solve the problems.
    I also have a special place in my memory for Blake 7 a truly amazing story.
    I do get lost in the overly complicated plots in things like Babylon 5 it looked great but I could not seem to care what was gong to happen next.

    uncle frogy

  101. 101
    sqlrob

    *snaps suspenders and checks big, bushy, glued-on-beard in mirror* Pfft. Using “Android” and “nerd” in the same comment? Surely, you jest. *waves 13 pound Unix manual in mildly threatening manner, but decides to withhold the “Get offa my lawn!” in reserve for another day.*

    Given that I’m knee deep in ARM assembly, Dalvik assembly and kernel source code, what jest? :-P

    And if you’re yelling get off my lawn at me, there’s a good chance you’ve got dinosaurs on your lawn. And 13 pound manual? Last time I saw an official Unix manual it was a lot heavier than 13 pounds. Heck, that would only cover part of one of the shelves.

  102. 102
    slowdjinn

    Kirk has shown many times that he actually likes being a bit of a lone wolf, and sexist, and a space version of James Bond

    Picard had Riker to do that for him though.

  103. 103
    Moggie

    Olav:

    Another reason that Galaxy Quest is so good is that Sigourney Weaver is in it. She is perhaps the closest thing humankind has to an actual Goddess.

    Technically, Zuul is only a demigod.

  104. 104
    myeck waters

    For this context, Kirk cannot beat Picard in terms of morality, justice, duty, intelligence, loyalty, multi-talents, and leadership.

    Which is precisely why Kirk is the better captain.

  105. 105
    thetalkingstove

    As an overall series, DS9 was definitely best. There was actual character development!
    TOS has the more iconic episodes, and TNG perhaps some of the more interesting ones. But definitely DS9 as an overall package.

    Voyager meanwhile…huge disappointment. Could have been a very cool premise, and they blew it.

    But Shatner is the best Captain. And I second the recommendation for his album (nearly all originals rather than the hokey covers) ‘Has Been’, produced by Ben Folds.

  106. 106
    patterson

    Space 1999, if only for the sideburns.

    Also I’m a sucker for british dystopian sci-fi weirdness in general

  107. 107
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    God, I ♥ nerd fights.

  108. 108
    dragon

    If we are including best TOS episodes, Patterns of Force must be in the list.

    And TOSis the best Trek version for the originality and social commentary that was way ahead of its time.

    However, the best SciFi television series, bar none, is Firefly. The dynamic among the crew beats Kirk/Spock/McCoy every day of the week.

  109. 109
    erikschepers

    Blake’s 7 still puzzles me until this very day.

    You had Roj Blake, Kerr Avon, Vila, Gan, Jenna and Cally. That’s only six. And assuming Blake’s 7 didn’t include Blake himself, that would mean only five. So who was/where the other one/two? Surely not Zen and Orac?

    BTW, Wall-E is extraplusgood because of Peter Gabriel’s contribution to the soundtrack.

  110. 110
    cyberCMDR

    One bit of trivia about TOS that I bet few remember. Women were ineligible to become ship’s captains. That’s +1 for the following series (sans Enterprise).

  111. 111
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    myeck that is illogical

  112. 112
    myeck waters

    Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers that smell bad.

  113. 113
    cswella

    Took until 108 for someone to bring up Firefly? For shame…

  114. 114
    Vall

    It was pointed out above that Picard is French, so he would drive normally. I had forgotten that. It could be argued that he is a better officer, but I agree with Myeck Waters @104, that is why Kirk is better.

    T’Pol was the best Vulcan.

  115. 115
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    You know, I know a guy who knows a guy that used to be a set dresser on ST:TNG. He said the woman who played Troi was a nasty piece of work.

    And you know, that almost makes me respect her pathetic, riker-chasing, whiny character a little bit. Cuz, that’s some acting! if what he said is true, of course.

  116. 116
    eclipsse, boojuming again

    @Dragon
    Seconded for Firefly

    @erikschepers – the seventh was liberator/Zen – for the first series, then it got a bit more innacurate as a title – sorry – inner geek just jumped out for a second there!

    original topic – good for Shatner.

  117. 117
    rorschach

    It was pointed out above that Picard is French, so he would drive normally.

    That sentence does not make immediate sense to me, can someone explain?
    And I guess it depends on what you grew up with, I’m firmly in the TOS camp because I watched it since I was 5 or 6(that reminds me, time to indoctrinate my son), and when I first watched TNG it looked like some farcical comic book version, but the thing grew on over the years, mainly because of some really good storylines and the development of the Data character.

    As to reddit, Shatner is of course right, too many libertarian net warriors there and elsewhere confuse the right to free speech with a right to hate speech, and good on him for saying it out loud.

  118. 118
    michaeld

    Yeah Myeck if you want to bash Picard a bit follow up on some of that morality. Compare Kirk’s handling of Yonada (for the world is hollow and i have touched the sky) to Picard’s handling of Drema IV (pen pals). Kirk knew right away he had to save these people where as Picard had to be talked into saving people. Picard also once told Riker that he was right to let a little girl die without even trying to save her (hide and Q).

    Not to say Kirk has no glaring flaws but Picard has his share as well.

  119. 119
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    michald – an excellent point. There’s also his dealings with the borg (I, Borg) wherein, inexplicably, he’s reticient to enact the plan of the borg-destroying virus. But, in The Last Outpost, when Crusher tells him she’s left her FOURTEEN YEAR OLD SON to die alone in his quarters, Picard assures her this is good parenting.

    I love Picard’s character, but gawddamn he made some really stupid decisions.

  120. 120
    erikschepers

    @eclipsse – Ah, so Blake was one of the seven, as was Zen. I did notice the Blake’s 7 part becoming even more innacurate as the series progresses, especially after the end of series 2. I’m not saying anymore on the subject as I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t had the privilege of watching it yet.

    Back on topic – Lots of people (including those in Holland) seem to confuse the right to free speech with an obligation or duty. Because they can say almost anything they have to. The positive thing is that it’s usually a pretty good indication of who you don’t want to associate with.

  121. 121
    Caveat Imperator

    @Shplane, Spess Alium #77,

    Point taken. It may be tamER than the rest of 4chan, but /tg can be wild and rude at times.
    However, it’s the wild and rude I can sometimes accept in moderation. For example, I consider the Dumpshock forums to be worse than /tg. Mainly because they are a somewhat specific type of wretched hive of scum and villainy. They’re the No True Scotsmen nerds, a group I have absolutely despised in almost any fandom. People like that tend to get mocked on /tg. Unless you’re a Matt Ward fan, then /tg will eat you alive. :P

  122. 122
    Denverly

    An entire thread about William Shatner and no Nightmare at 20,000 Feet reference? Geek fail. Oh, and Picard any day of the week. At least his Enterprise crew realized that you never put all of the ranking officers of a starship on one shuttlecraft.

    Duh.

  123. 123
    laurentweppe

    I thought G’Kar was Space Muhammad.

    Naaah, G’Kar is more like Space Maimonides

  124. 124
    Vall

    Rorschach, “That sentence does not make immediate sense to me, can someone explain?”

    My lame attempt at humor. He speaks with a British accent, so in my mind he drove on the left. I forgot he was French, the Jean-Luc part wasn’t clear enough for me.

  125. 125
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    @Denverly Picard should have told Sisko that. There’s that one DS9 ep where the Defiant goes down, and they meet a group of their own descendants – the decendants of basically the ENTIRE top tier command of DS9.

    I mean, yeah, the Defiant was a badass ship, but REALLY, Benjamin?

  126. 126
    b. - Order of Lagomorpha

    Sqlrob spake thusly:

    Given that I’m knee deep in ARM assembly, Dalvik assembly and kernel source code, what jest? :-P

    And if you’re yelling get off my lawn at me, there’s a good chance you’ve got dinosaurs on your lawn. And 13 pound manual? Last time I saw an official Unix manual it was a lot heavier than 13 pounds. Heck, that would only cover part of one of the shelves.

    Alas and alack…nary a dinosaur. *sad face* Of course, there isn’t any lawn, either, so it all works out. Unix manuals travel in flocks, but a single volume is all I can heft these days. I shall let you get back to laboring over ARM assembler and, honestly? I read “Dalvik assembly” as “Dalek assembly” the first time. Now that would be a fun language to learn! *smacks forehead over previously typing “original TOS”; like saying “ATM machine”, that is.*

  127. 127
    sumdum

    If Shatner hates free speech because he thinks a little moderation might be called for, then what about FTB where there’s also moderation in place and you can get banned for saying stuff that the asshats on Reddit would say ? Pot, meet kettle.
    I’m not getting into the Star/Trek wars, it’s silly geek tribalism.

  128. 128
    Rob Grigjanis

    michaeld @118: “Picard had to be talked into saving people”

    Picard can’t take all the blame. That was the sociopathic policy the Prime Directive had evolved into. It was nauseating watching him and some of his officers argue the “morality” of letting people die, but they didn’t make it up.

  129. 129
    robertwilson

    Now we’re really getting into the theology of Trek. :D See this is mythology I enjoy talking about.

    And again, DS9 wins if you’re talking about the better moral compass, even if sometimes it was not Rodenberry-esque.

  130. 130
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    congrats on being the second person in this thread to completely miss the point, sumdum. But hey, you got some FTB hate in so, you know, hooray for incompetent trolling! Apropos name, btw.

  131. 131
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    @Rob Grigjanis True, but then how do we explain his rather quick dismissal of the PD in other episodes, i.e. Justice? Where, he’s completely willing to ignore the PD to save Wesley Crusher’s life.

    or, for that matter, how the ENTIRE crew deals with Worf as a parent. For all their “we don’t get involved” crap, they certainly waste no time telling him his Klingnon parenting is wrong and to do it the human way.

  132. 132
    spamamander, internet amphibian

    Patrick Stewart can come “make it so” any day of the week. Just sayin’.

  133. 133
    eddyline

    The Shat covers “Common People” by Pulp….

  134. 134
    Argle Bargle

    Dragon #108

    However, the best SciFi television series, bar none, is Firefly.

    That’s a given. However the topic of discussion was Star Drek.

  135. 135
    laurentweppe

    the best SciFi television series, bar none, is Firefly.

    Firefly is the Palin of Scifi series: it was broadcasted by Fox and quit halfway through

  136. 136
    rorschach

    Firefly is the Palin of Scifi series: it was broadcasted by Fox and quit halfway through

    FTW!!!

  137. 137
    eclipsse, boojuming again

    @laurentweppe

    Go wash your mind out- RIGHT NOW!
    Equating Palin and the science-fiction lovliness (not sure that is actually a word, but oh well) that is Firefly, which was cut down in its prime by the eeevil Fox network.

    *eclipsse stomps off and plans a Firefly all-nighter*

  138. 138
    dragon

    @eclipsse

    ‘…science-fiction lovliness…’

    The proper term is, of course, ‘Shiny’. Spoken with the same inflection as Kaywinnet Lee Frye.
    The quotes from Firefly are a match for the quotes from Princess Bride.
    e.g. “Well, my sister’s a ship. We had a complicated childhood.”

    And in the world of evidence Fox’s ill-advised cancelling of Firefly is even worse than their hiring of Bill O, Hannity, or Palin.

    Back to the OP, Great for Shatner.

  139. 139
    mirror

    Asolutely agree with PZ. TOS was the best. Furthermore, Next Generation was the unwatchable insufferable worst. Very much enjoyed the other two quite a bit in their day.

  140. 140
    mirror

    … except for the cat poem.

  141. 141
    Rob Grigjanis

    Fans of Patrick Stewart and David Tennant should look for a 2009 television RSC production of Hamlet, with Tennant as Hamlet and Stewart as Claudius. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Tennant could do more than dash around with his eyebrows raised.

  142. 142
    mothra

    @ Subbie (#65) You are absolutely right, my inexcusible bad. Especially so in that the reason I like both ‘Balance of Terror’ and ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’ is that they are thematically related to ‘City on the Edge of Forever’ which is a masterwork.

  143. 143
    mark23

    Well, once more PZ Myers reveals his blatant ignorance about really everything, his intellatucal laziness, his dishonesty, his disrespect… and I AM SO HATING RIGHT NOW. Well, we ALL know that Captain Kirk was more advanced on an intuitive level. But that’s not to say that you can compare him to Picard and make a decision based on only Kirk’s stengths. Can you compare Beethoven to Mozart? Einstein to Newton? The Sidney funnel-web spider to the Brazilian banana spider? I mean, COME ON!

    Picard’s strength is his intellect. And who else could you count on to link to a scientific study declaring right-wingers batsh*t crazy than Captain Picard? :

    https://twitter.com/SirPatStew/status/288006029319475200

    See!?!?!?

    Also, too, note how PZ Myers lacks tact when he shows absolutely no consideration for Captain Picards latest, uhm, health problems? I mean, alcohol is a beast:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0FkIPXM6lI

    So, I urgently ask PZ Myers to retract his statement about TOS, at least as far as it is based on such faulty evidence as presented in this blogpost. As a scientist he should either substantiate his assertion or correct it altogether, now that he knows Teh Facts.

  144. 144
    mirror

    Ooops. Forgot about Enterprise. How did that go so wrong?

    So, by the viewable “other two”, I mean Deep Space 9 and Voyager.

    More on NG: the whole lot of them incite my deepest paranoia of insufferable passive aggressives.

  145. 145
    mothra

    I also forgot ‘Darmok’ for TNG.

  146. 146
    Rob Grigjanis

    mark23 @143: It’s always sad to see a Yorkshireman do a Cockney accent.

  147. 147
    eclipsse, boojuming again

    @dragon – fair point, should have been shinyness (not sure that is a word either but…) blame it on the fact that it is after 1am here and my brain is somewhere in the black. And on the topic of the Princess Bride…
    “So! You use Bertolucci’s defence against me? Hah!” Oh… I love that film. Best. Swordfight.Ever.

    OP – I was actually surprised at Shatner’s take on this – however thinking about it, many of his roles have hmmm… not been exactly role models – my bad for equating the characters and the man.

  148. 148
    mark23

    Rob Grigjanis @146: Well, I am French, so I am not really that sad about whatever it means that you are saying :)

  149. 149
    bovarchist

    You realize Shatner is including Ken Ham in his list of people you can’t be abusive to, right? Dissitive coggosance…

  150. 150
    kylemorrissey

    I disagree with the spirit with which this was written. I politely and quietly await the ban hammer.

  151. 151
    Silentbob

    @ 110 cyberCMDR

    One bit of trivia about TOS that I bet few remember. Women were ineligible to become ship’s captains. That’s +1 for the following series (sans Enterprise).

    I see your trivia and raise you.
    In the original Star Trek pilot, the second in command was a woman, Number One. Captain Pike was captured by aliens, so Number One assumed command of the ship. So for most of the very first Star Trek story, the Enterprise was, in fact, under the command of a woman.

  152. 152
    SallyStrange

    I was pleasantly surprised to see that Tennant could do more than dash around with his eyebrows raised.

    Then you might want to check out the BBC’s recently begun series, The Spies of Warsaw. It’s an adaptation of the novel by Alan Furst. Tennant is the spy who’s in Warsaw right before the beginning of WWII. I watched the first part and thought it was quite good. You can watch for free on the BBC if you’re in the UK, and if you’re not you can always use TunnelBear or something like that.

  153. 153
    SallyStrange

    David Tennant also has comic chops. I love this bit, I can watch it over and over again (and I generally hate watching things more than once). (Warning: it’s only funny if you’ve been watching the Doctor Who reboot.)

    Sorry, I’ve become a bit of a Tennant fangirl.

  154. 154
    Therrin

    There is no captain but Picard and Data was his proandroid.

  155. 155
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Sorry, I’ve become a bit of a Tennant fangirl.

    Those are so rare.

    SallyStrange, just in case you never seen this, here is David Tennant as a singing cop.

  156. 156
    SallyStrange

    Janine, I ♥ you.

  157. 157
    SallyStrange

    And David Morrissey too! ♥ ♥ ♥

  158. 158
    Jafafa Hots

    ToS is best because:
    1. It didn’t take itself too seriously. All of the others did.
    2. The colors and sets and overacting made the each episode tell a completely different story, or several different stories, when under the influence of certain chemical substances. Endless rewatchability as long as you have some remaining semi-functional brain cells. Six seconds of Spock screaming “the pain!” is like an entire melodramatic movie. All about his parenting or a bad relationship breakup or something.

  159. 159
    Rob Grigjanis

    David Tennant also has comic chops

    Tate’s no slouch either. Excellent stuff.

  160. 160
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Jafafa Hots

    TOS is 100% ham and cheese (if you know what I mean), and it is delicious ham and cheese.

  161. 161
    Eristae

    104/ myeck waters

    For this context, Kirk cannot beat Picard in terms of morality, justice, duty, intelligence, loyalty, multi-talents, and leadership.

    Which is precisely why Kirk is the better captain.

    This is a wonderful statement :D

  162. 162
    Snivelling Little Ratfaced Git

    “frart” is right up there with “sniny”. thanks – I’m going to use it well.

  163. 163
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    @laurentweppe #10:

    We could use more religious zealots who are pro-union.

  164. 164
    Jafafa Hots

    TOS is 100% ham and cheese (if you know what I mean), and it is delicious ham and cheese.

    Yeah. The other series’ were catered prosciutto and asiago finger sandwiches that had gone stale on the tray and which got you your hand slapped over if you dared say “hey! ham and cheese!”

  165. 165
    yubal

    TNG had the Data character I can relate to very much, but TOS had more adventurous scripts. [And magnetic tape rotating on the bridge :) ]

    mareap, nobody wants to argue with Dr.Cooper.

  166. 166
    Jake Hamby

    And if you’re yelling get off my lawn at me, there’s a good chance you’ve got dinosaurs on your lawn. And 13 pound manual? Last time I saw an official Unix manual it was a lot heavier than 13 pounds. Heck, that would only cover part of one of the shelves.

    The minicomputer OS with the most extensive and impressive set of documentation that I’ve ever seen would have to be VMS from DEC (now OpenVMS from HP). It’s like UNIX from a parallel universe where people cared about the manuals, only it’s a hell of a lot quirkier. All the important docs are available for free as PDFs, and the interesting bit is that hobbyists can get license keys to use the OS and all the compilers and add-ons for free (the OS costs thousands of dollars to license for anyone else). Oh, and it doesn’t run on regular PCs. It only runs on DEC Alphas and HP Itanium systems.

    So, as a hobbyist with an eccentric taste in this quirky platform, I’ve naturally acquired a few DEC Alphas, and most recently a set of 3 Itanium rx2620 servers, to run OpenVMS and also FreeBSD, which I’m also inordinately fond of. Photographic proof. :)

  167. 167
    unclefrogy

    why has no one Futurama

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AOfbnGkuGc

    uncle frogy

  168. 168
    unclefrogy

    mentioned left out
    that was an excerpt from one of the greatest sify programs of all time

    uncle frogy

  169. 169
    EigenSprocketUK

    Is no-one going to challenge Illuminata GitBB on the spiteful nonsense spewed out in comment 115?

    I know a guy who knows a guy that used to be a set dresser on ST:TNG. He said the woman who played Troi was a nasty piece of work.

    No? No-one? It’s been a few hours now….

    Well I’ll de-lurk to say, Illuminata, that your comment was off-topic, irrelevant even to the entertaining side-discussions going on, and your evasive “if what he said was true” was beneath you. An apology while the brain fart is only a few hours old would be a start. Or produce evidence, of course.

    What your friend-of-a-friend said might conceivably be true, but I can think of a dozen more likely reasons why your friend-of-a-friend might be lying. And that your friend and you have have joined in the hating.

    Oh, and the best Star Trek was the Blake’s 7 in my head. Probably not the real thing, so I’ll refrain from watching a re-run just in case it was awful.

  170. 170
    Anri

    Unf.

    I quit watching Trek when they couldn’t figure out how to deal with the Borg.
    Let’s see, we’ve got multiple shuttlecraft engines powered by – what was it again – oh yes antimatter, and the capacity to teleport objects literally right into the bowels of our enemy’s spacecraft.

    …better send out a boarding party!

    *DERP*

    (Failing that, they have matter replication, decent technicians and a very complete encyclopedia.)

  171. 171
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Is #169 taking the piss? I geniuinely can’t tell.

  172. 172
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    If they’re taking the piss I hope they’re taking it against the direction of the wind.

  173. 173
    dobbshead

    TOS sucks. I mean, have any of you watched it recently? The acting is crap, and the message is silly and weak. TNG, on the other hand, spent way too much time moralizing and showing off Picard as THE PILLAR OF INTEGRITY. DS9 took 2 season to get off the ground.

    No, the best Star Trek is Voyager and the best captain is Janeway. Why?

    1) Janeway has real grit. She actually puts people in their place when they step out of line. Like a Captain.

    2) Janeway has tough choices. When Picard chooses the prime directive, everything works out. When Janeway does, her crew gets screwed. And she STILL makes the right choice and makes it work.

    3) The characters are actually fleshed out. None of this ‘excuse me mister redshirt, time to die’ or ‘let’s watch Worf get his butt kicked’.

    4) Janeway is an actual badass. When Janeway’s ship is taken, she goes commando and TAKES IT BACK. Picard gets first graders to do it for him.

    5) She does it all without Federation support.

    It goes Voyager > DS9 > TNG >> TOS

    Also I’ll never forgive Shatner for being a misogynistic asshole to Kate Mulgrew in the Captains documentary. Although, denouncing reddit is a start.

  174. 174
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    As I noted above, that’s not true re: Picard. He does a quite a few questionable or outright stupid things. Especially after he’s abducted and altered by the Borg. By the time First Contact came out, he’s a raging ball of vengeance that completely loses his moral center, for a time.

    Granted, during the show, he was very preachy-speechy. But, personally, that’s part of what made the character of Q such a perfect villain – his repeated mockery of Picard’s loquaciousness.

    It seems like this is mostly a generational divide, doesn’t it? If you were around when TOS came out, chances are that’s the one you prefer. I was 9 when TNG started – the perfect age to be sucked into Trekkiedom, so that’s the one I prefer. Since DS9 is largely concurrent with TNG, I like that one too.

    I’ve never seen any Voyager or Enterprise, but they’re bookmarked in my Netflix queue. Based upon this breakdown of Janeway, I’m interested in watching it.

  175. 175
    dobbshead

    To be honest, Voyager takes about a season to hit its stride. But that’s pretty par for the course for the Start Treks.

    6) Also, Janeway drinks her coffee black. Like a BOSS.

  176. 176
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    Only made it to the Doctor Who section of this thread an I have to say, David Tennant is The Doctor.

    That is all, you may now return to you ST Flame War.

  177. 177
    dsmwiener

    TOS was the best because it was original. The others, while mostly good, were derivative.

    Its why Alien will always be better than Aliens

  178. 178
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Its why Alien will always be better than Aliens

    Ok ay now, them’s fightin’ words. Put up your dukes!!

  179. 179
    dobbshead

    TOS was the best because it was original.

    Which is why the model-T is better than a BMW M5.

  180. 180
    myeck waters

    Can a beamer be started by turning a crank? Can a beamer be driven into a brick wall at 10 mph and look the same afterwards?

    I rest my case.

  181. 181
    Rob Grigjanis

    dsmwiener @177: “Its why Alien will always be better than Aliens”

    Alien was a brilliant horror film. Aliens was a brilliant action film. Apples and oranges. To me, Ridley Scott is always preferable to James Cameron, but mileage varies, etc.

  182. 182
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Se, i thought the proper director’s cut of Aliens was ridiculously creepy/scary. It’s really long though.

  183. 183
    fifthdentist

    Yay, I have a life. I have no idea what TOS is. Or Babylon 5, to tell the truth.

  184. 184
    Amphiox

    I have no idea what TOS is. Or Babylon 5, to tell the truth.

    You have my profoundest sympathy.

  185. 185
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    No, you’re all wrong, Tom Baker was the best doctor!

    I once directed Tom for a voice recording. One of the more uncomfortable hours of my life. He was… difficult. And it’s really not nice when he shouts at you.

    Never meet your heroes, is my advice.

  186. 186
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    Only made it to the Doctor Who section of this thread an I have to say, David Tennant is The Doctor.

    No. MY Doctor is Patrick Troughton.

  187. 187
    ChasCPeterson

    Voyager > DS9 > TNG >> TOS

    so, so wrong that it’s hard to even…I mean, what the fuck?

    Yay, I have a life. I have no idea what TOS is. Or Babylon 5, to tell the truth.

    So good of you to drop in to let everyone know that because some people enjoy something you’ve never heard of, you’re superior.

  188. 188
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    Aliens was a brilliant action film.

    I’m very fond of it.

  189. 189
    Rob Grigjanis

    @186: “MY Doctor is Patrick Troughton.”

    Finally, some sanity. Hartnell was THE Doctor, but Troughton will do. Peter Cushing always deserves mention for film versions (best Sherlock Holmes ever, IMO).

    I am not old.

  190. 190
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    Having been through the TOS/TNG arguments over the ages, I have concluded that TOS is the original and best.

    My reasoning is mostly to do with the flaw at the heart of The Next Generation. Roddenberry is on record as disliking the tone of the original series, but what he seems to have done is make The Next Generation a no-conflict show in which the central cast of characters have no fall-outs.

    The pattern is there to see in the first season of TNG. The template for many episodes appears to be:

    (1) The Enterprise encounters a problem.
    (2) The crew watch from the sidelines while the problem resolves itself.
    (3) The crew smile and spout vapid homilies before they warp off into the sunset.

    The smug superiority of it all makes my teeth itch

    It’s notable that it took until season 2 until script editors such as Melinda Snodgrass were able to wrest enough control away from Roddenberry to start doing some more interesting stories. Eventually we had some friction, but it was all pretty tepid stuff. By the time you get to the peak of the show, around seasons 3 and 4, the awful congeniality had been locked-in, and though there are some watchable episodes (yes, I concede that The Best of Both Worlds is pretty ace) it never gets compelling in the way that, say, the Battlestar Galactica reboot was. (I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Ron Moore flowered once he’d left the Trek franchise.)

    TNG is comforting TV; emollient and soothing. But ultimately dull in places.

    Worse yet, the template was passed on to the show’s children. Voyager provides a prime example. The set-up is intriguing: a crew of political dissidents is thrown together with a Starfleet crew. But by episode 2 they were all best pals. What gives?

    Compared to TNG’s crew of affable middle-managers, Kirk, Spock and company are far more businesslike. Theirs is the camaraderie of a band of brothers, rather than the country-retreat group-huggery of the Enterprise-D crew.

    So, yay for Kirk. And yah boo sucks to Picard.

  191. 191
    coffeehound

    Harvar DuMBAss, (I’m sorry, I don’t see anything else when this moniker comes up),

    Typical PZ. No surprise there.

    Wow. Thanks for clearing PZ’s misconception up. No, really.

  192. 192
    Rob Grigjanis

    myself @189: “Finally, some sanity.”

    Lazy and thoughtless. I should have said “Finally, some knowledge, perspective and taste”.

    @190: Spot-on.

  193. 193
    michaelolsen

    The two first Alien movies mirror the two first Terminator movies.
    The first ones of each we’re creepy horror sci-fi. The second of each was more all out action.

  194. 194
    Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff

    What is the difference between Kirk and Picard?

    Situation: A planet is threatened. The Enterprise must face off the entity.

    Picard Storyline

    PICKARD: Evil entity, you must retreat, or I will fire on a count of three!

    PICKARD: One!

    PICKARD: Two!

    PICKARD: Two and half!

    PICKARD: Two and three quarters

    PICKARD: Two and seven eighths!

    PICKARD: Two and fifteen sixteenths!

    (Repeat)

    Kirk Storyline

    KIRK: Evil entity, you must retreat, or I will fire on a count of three!

    KIRK: One!

    KIRK Two!

    KIRK: Fire!

    * * * *

    The other reason TOS is better is because it was far more groundbreaking for its time. Mind-control, power, the utility of emotion, the power of logic, the utter stupidity of racism, the possibility of peace and plenty in the future, these and many other topics were expressed radically for its time. When TNG was first broadcast I watched it eagerly . . . . . and was disappointed. TNG needed to be as radical for its time as TOS was for the ’60′s. That is what would have made TNG much better. So much excellent set-dressing, special effects, and acting, all in the pursuit of middlebrow wimpiness.

  195. 195
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    It’s interesting to contrast the politics of the two Trek shows.

    In many ways TNG is much closer to our ideals. It’s set in a Federation where our social justice aims have been achieved. But that is in some ways a flaw in that it removes any conflicts between the crew that might drive some of the drama. One of my favourite TNG episodes is Yesterday’s Enterprise, but in part that’s because we get a glimpse of an edgy Enterprise-D where everyone is snarling at each other. I’d loved to have watched more of that. Instead, the threats to order are all external, with the result that Picard and Co. get to deliver high-handed lectures on liberalism.

    Now, I identify as a liberal, but I recognise that it can come with a certain amount of preachy smug-gittery (of which I am often guilty, oh the irony!). I’m not sure if I want that in a grown-up drama.

    TOS, ostensibly set in the same universe, wore its liberalism on its sleeve. Its credentials are impeccable, what with Martin Luther King(!) persuading Nichelle Nichols to stay on the show. It too could preach. But it was also from an era of activism, and I think that’s an important difference between the shows. Yes, Kirk could be a two-fisted, paternalistic dolt, but he also intervened, got engaged and involved. Resolved things with deeds as well as words. He was a product of that activist milieu.

    And TOS even had its own moments of activism, what with Kirk and Uhura’s kiss. That was a moment of genuine cultural import. Compare that with David Gerrold’s fruitless fights to get gay characters into TNG. There’s something mealy-mouthed about the way Gerrold was treated over his Blood and Fire script. Both shows are products of their eras, but one stumbled where the other did not.

  196. 196
    ronjaaddams-moring

    michaelolsen@193
    The two first Alien movies mirror the two first Terminator movies.
    The first ones of each we’re creepy horror sci-fi. The second of each was more all out action.

    Quoted For Truth

  197. 197
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    @33:
    You are right. Shatner was misquoted. He really said:
    “Guys, don’t do that.”

  198. 198
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Fifthdentist @183:
    Do you imagine in your smugness that everyone in this thread discussing shows they like somehow do not have lives?
    In what reality is having and enjoying a form of entertainment synonymous with having no life?
    Moreover, apparently you must think people who enjoy a television show do nothing all day, every day except discuss the show.
    Cupcake, the door is —–>

  199. 199
    John Morales

    [ObMusic]

    Star Trekkin’

  200. 200
    bradleybetts

    @Fifthdentist #183

    Yay, I have a life. I have no idea what TOS is. Or Babylon 5, to tell the truth.

    Me neither, but you don’t see me leaping with joy while I tell everyone else that they have no Life™, do you? No, I simply refrained from offering an opinion I don’t have.

  201. 201
    eclipsse, boojuming again

    @Fifthdentist

    So you don’t like Sci-fi? OK, no problem. Some of us do, however, and sometimes enjoy debating it.

    Anyone could make exactly the same comment about any TV genre – I personally do not watch soap operas or any reality TV – but wouldn’t post a snarky, stereotype-reinforcing comment about other people’s opinions and preferences on a thread about such shows.

    I suspect that a lot of Pharyngula commenters are not interested in trek/sci-fi, but took the same view of bradleybetts, above, and chose not to participate. Which, to me, is a nicer way to behave.

    Just sayin’.

  202. 202
    eclipsse, boojuming again

    @John Morales

    cheers for that – now firmly embedded in brain! Probably a good job I am not at work today!

    *eclipsse wanders off, singing that *beep* song to self*

  203. 203
    Deen

    Can’t believe this hasn’t been brought up yet:
    Voltaire’s “USS make sh t up”.
    *ducks and hides*

    Seriously, though, while I do like TNG and Voyager in general, I did end up slowly losing interest in TNG and Voyager towards their end because of this effect. If you know there’s always some magic science stuff that can be improvised to save the day at the last second, where’s the suspense? Exactly the reason I don’t like Superman – he’s too powerful to be exciting (for a whole different flame war).

    It’s why I was hopeful for the Enterprise series, with Scott Bakula, which plays before the TOS timeline, and it was pretty good at first – until they decided to make that whole show a big metaphor for the post 9/11 war on terror – what a turnoff.

    TOS is good too, but face it, it’s mostly due to its nostalgia factor by this point.

    As to Shatner’s comments about Reddit, he’s right to be worried about the message Reddit is sending. I don’t think it’s necessarily hurting Reddit, though, because there is clearly a large niche market for places where people can spout bigotry without consequence. Or is that market large enough to no longer be considered “niche”?

  204. 204
    ChasCPeterson

    Yeah, Enterprise was largely a missed opportunity. Even though they did some things right and tried to others right but fell a little short, they did some stupid shit too. I just can’t get past the stupid puppy. And I white-heat-hated Trip Tucker from the get-go. Plus the entire engine is apparently made of ‘relays’. Relays, coils, and those hypervulnerable ‘intake manifolds’.

  205. 205
    ck

    fifthdentist@183

    Yay, I have a life. I have no idea what TOS is. Or Babylon 5, to tell the truth.

    Because watching 1 hour (or less) of TV a week for 13-25 weeks of the year completely precludes the possibility of having a life outside of that hour.

  206. 206
    Chris Clarke

    As it happens, Annette and I are rewatching TOS in order of original broadcast.

    ToS was incredibly groundbreaking in certain respects — Uhura always gets mentioned, fifth in line in command and all, but check out, say, The Galileo Seven, with a non-recurring character played by an African American man, who is really smart, has a bit of an attitude, challenges Spock rather pointedly and angrily, and survives the episode. Does that even happen in current SF TV, 50 years later?

    TOS’s sexual politics are harder to stomach, obviously. And the writing was so incredibly erratic. I think a lot of the reason some folks revere TOS so is that some episodes just don’t get rewatched. The Conscience Of The King, anyone?

    DS9 clearly had the best approach to writing of any of the series. I liked TNG just fine, though it would have been a better series if they’d discovered early on that holodecks caused space cancer.

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