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January 1999, Week 4


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mon, 25 Jan 1999 10:42:23 -0600
TEXT/PLAIN (82 lines)
In response to John Dougill:

> some Trekkie
> questions first:
> - The Star Trek crew is multicultural, bigendered and even
> interspecies.  Is there a member with a physical disability too - I
> haven't really been watching for some years.  Is the guy wearing a
> funny thing round his eyes supposed to be blind?  Was there any
> significance in gettng a British actor to be leader of the new
> Enterprise crew (all the rest are Americans, aren't they)?  What
> happens with babies - do any of the Trekkies ever get pregnant and if
> so, what do they do about it?  And could anyone give me the correct
> wording of the mission statement - 'to boldly go where no man/one ? has
> been before'.  Thanks......

Physical disability: Geordie LaForge, the engineer in NEXT GENERATION,
is blind and wears a (painful) prosthetic visor that allows him to see
beyond the visual light spectrum.  (He recently had the visor
replaced--and even, apparently temporarily, regained his "real" vision
in STAR TREK: INSURRECTION.) In a recent episode of DEEP SPACE NINE,
the Ferengi Nog lost a leg in battle that has been replaced by a
prosthesis (which it took him some time to adjust to psychologically).

Patrick Stewart does command the Enterprise on NEXT GENERATION (he
speaks with a British accent but his character is of French ancestry).
But the "nationality" of many of his crew is indeterminate (although
some, like Chief O'Brien, are clearly marked).  Cpt. Janeway on VOYAGER
is a woman, and Cpt. Sisko on DEEP SPACE 9 is black. From time to time,
other officers have been shown from a range of earth ethnicities (eg.,
Sulu from the original series finally got his own command) and of alien
species.  One major character on VOYAGER is Native American.  Major
characters on DEEP SPACE NINE include a genetically-enhanced earthling
and five aliens of different species (Dax--both versions, Kira, Odo,
Whorf, and Quark). And, of course, Data on NEXT GENERATION is an
android and the Doctor on VOYAGER is a hologram.  Note that
African-American actors, as well as others, often play aliens on these

There have been several episodes, especially in NEXT GENERATION and
DEEP SPACE NINE involving pregnancy--usually resulting in some tragedy:
Troi on NEXT GENERATION and Kira on DEEP SPACE NINE (and even Janeway?)
among others.

The "nine-year" mission of the original series was " . . . to boldly go
where no man has gone before."  The "ongoing mission" of NEXT
GENERATION was " . . . to boldly go where no one has gone before."

> <bold>Unit One - Historical change - the 1960s and 1970s</bold>.
> Any suggestions for films showing the social changes of the early 1960s
> and the clash of attitudes between the refusal to accept differences
> and the youth movement or rights movement?
If you can get access to them, documentaries like THE WAR AT HOME and
BERKELY IN THE 60S could be very useful.  I don't know how accessible
ALICE'S RESTAURANT or ZABRISKIE POINT might be to non-Americans (or
Americans, for that matter), but they distilled a lot of attitudes more
clearly than many films that are "better" in form.
> <bold>Unit Two - The Black experience
I don't know well these translate to other cultures (including

Don Larsson

Donald Larsson
Minnesota State U, Mankato
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