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Re: The (ugh!) "Voyager" dino-show...

On Thu, 1 May 1997 dunn1@IDT.NET wrote:

> This is true.  Television is stupid no matter how you slice it, being 
> engineered for the lowest common denominator

Ah, but that's the beauty of the Star Trek empire, even including it's
nadir, Voyager: it is _not_ geared to the lowest common denominator. It's
multi-generational success is due to the fact that it is one of the more
thoughtful shows television has ever produced. In fact, those of us who
dislike Voyager do so because it is the _least_ thoughtful of the Star

> in order to sell 
> products (that is, of course, the only reason (American) television 
> is on the air).

You would prefer the socialist pablum of extortion-funded "public
television," perhaps?

Anyway... the Voyager episode drew as large a parallel to the Scopes
Monkey Trials as to Galileo. ("We ain't related to no mammals!") And the
"Doctrine" refuted by the scientist's discoveries wasn't just religious,
but governmental authority as well--making the end result a cross between
nazism ("we are Saurian [Aryan]!") and theocracy ("we are the first [God's
Chosen]!"). The writer/s may not have intended all of these parallels, but
many of them are unaviodable when a piece of knowledge is the government's
to try, convict and punish.

And though the show had some technical errors, it certainly was more
positive than negative. It upheld reason and science against irrationalism
and statism. And it did so in the context of paleontology. Some writer
knew enough to go back to the late Paleozoic and (attempt to) find a
common ancestor. It's always tempting to find errors in someone's
treatment of our field, but if we want better paleo scripts, we should be
submitting them to Paramount.