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September 1996, Week 1


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 4 Sep 1996 10:07:44 -0600
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Sorry--I should have retitled this header: Perhaps STAR TREK NG AND AUTHORITY.
Lang Thompson observes:
"(And for the politically minded among you, this episode is one of the
best illustrations of my thesis that STTNG is primarily a series about
the proper exercise of authority.  To resolve the problem requires some
actual reordering of the Enterprise's command--i'm trying not to give
away anything--when it would be far simpler and no less "moral" to not
do so.)"
This is an astute observation.  Much more than the original series, STNG
again and again returns to questions about the appropriate use of authority
and the proper behavior of commanders.  Almost every one of major characters
in the series took at least one turn at the helm of the Enterprise or another
ship and had to discover how how to cope with demands of the job.  While
B. Crusher and Troi managed to cope, it is interesting that the demands seem
more stressful to the female characters than to the male ones (including
the synthetic male Data), while youngsters like W Crusher learn that they
still have a lot to learn!
(And of course, despite the much more marked roles for women on STNG, the major
characters--Crusher, Troi, and Guinan--are still in what are basically
nurturing roles: doctor, counsellor, unofficial advisor.  DS9 and VOYAGER
have tried to move beyond that--but the results are still mixed, at best.)
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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