Star Trek: The Menagerie

Just finished watching a two-part episode of classic Star Trek. I know all the old episodes backwards and forwards, since as a kid I made audiocassette tapes of the after-school reruns, and listened to them over and over. (The writers were never confident that the special effects would be any good, so a character always says, “Captain, the enemy vessel is approaching,” narrating whatever is supposed to be happening. With…


Proto iPads and Paper Coexist in Classic Star Trek

Rewatching the classic Trek episode “The Conscience of the King,” which features a Shakespearean acting troupe. In one scene, McCoy writes a report on a wedge proto-iPad… …but in the very next scene Kirk scrawls on a piece of paper. This episode also features characters doing computer searches, using an exposition-friendly voice interface to call up photographs of individuals and compare their biographies, which must have seemed very futuristic back…


In Space as on Earth

A thoughtful reflection on religion in Star Trek. While Humans aren’t depicted as participating in any form of organized religion (there is a reference to a Christmas party here, a nod to monotheism there), the series also includes a distrust of science and technology, regularly depicting mad scientists, societies over-dependent on technology, etc.) that insists there is more to humanity than science and logic and knowledge can satisfy. There are…