One of the Greatest Pluses of Star Trek
Sci-Fi buffs used to spend hours
discussing science and gizmos.
Concepts and special effects.
Then came Star Trek.
This was the only show that
ever took the time to go from
an Alien Whatsit which was
just there, to portraying actual exo-cultures;
Star Trek didn't just give you a guy with a rubber head, it gave you an entire culture.
It went into the bits and pieces so that just as an anthropologist can discuss the
practices and belief of the Yanomano of South America, we can discuss the Klingon
love for Opera or the Bajorian religion or how the Ferengi have elevated Capitalism
to an all consuming ethic.
The effort put into creating full cultures is what will keep Star Trek alive for
No longer can an author toss in an Alien Whatsit and focus on the humans as if Aliens just attack for no reason.
Since Star Trek took our imaginations, we don't just accept 'Others'. We need to know
who and how and what why the Alien does/thinks/believes. For as is evident, an Alien Whatsit doesn't see itself as an Alient Whatsit.
Previous to the Star Trek Universe, Aliens were 'Monsters from the Id'.
Think of the movies Alien(s) in which the Whatsit could only be Nuked; no discussion,
no treaty, no co-existence.
The creators of that show saw Aliens something like Cockroaches
or scorpions; beyond the ability of reason.
Humans were running around, in panic, fighting, dying, things were being destroyed and
it was just mindless. War of The Worlds, for example.
Sure it was easier and more politically correct to have people fighting non-Terrans but
what was the point? Special Effects?
Star Trek started with one 'Vulcan'. .
Yes, a half-breed, but enough of an Alien to keep us 'fascinated' to coin a term.
By the time STNG (Star Trek ; Next Generation) aired an exo-Terran would be introduced
and the culture would be exposed so that it made sense.
Brain over Body
There is no question that the Science of Star Trek was far more precocious than any before or since. From out computers to our cell phones, now to the development of Tricoders...the minds behind the tech of Trek were just that many steps ahead to be genius.
The reason that right now any Trek developed on the same principles as the previous; and I'm focusing on Deep Space 9 which was probably the best Trek, will gain views. Not because we need to see another planet blow up or ship fly through a worm hole, but because of the inter-play of characters.