For as long as I can remember the Star Trek universe has been going. I grew up with the original series frequently repeated (as I’m too young to have seen it when it originally came out before any of you cheeky lot ask) and liking but not really understanding what Star Trek was all about. Move on to my late teens and into my twenties and the Next Generation. This for me was required viewing, especially for a sci fi geek like myself and don’t get me wrong I like it a lot, it’s clever and there’s lots of great concepts turning into interesting story lines.
But looking at it in detail there are some big issues and it’s all based around the concept of reality and the compromise that comes with it. Firstly, not wishing to state the obvious, they live on a space ship or space station. But really you wouldn’t realise it in many ways. Apart from the odd window with stars outside it’s a city in space, there’s no drawback to living on a spaceship. No area’s of zero G, no health drawbacks, no limits on how long the ship can function without running out of food or air.
This slips nicely into the second point which is kind of the same but different. Life is really easy. I mean for the crew they get up, have a coffee (or tea, earl grey – hot), drag themselves to their station, do their job fighting Klingons for a bit or re-aligning some pattern buffers and then back for tea and bed after having a laugh with some fellow crew members. Basically, everything is run from electricity, run by the reactor core which needs the good old dilithium crystals.
This also leads nicely onto my next thing, they solve problems really easily. In the Martian you really got the sense that Watney was always minutes from dying. But get the Enterprise near a Black Hole – the most powerful force in the universe and despite no one ever having survived such a scenario before a quick realignment of warp coils and tinkering with some pattern buffers and all is good.
Now lets get onto the real nitty gritty – fuel. In spacecraft the fuel takes up 90% of the volume of a space vehicle. But on on – not the Enterprise. Sure the warp core can be relatively small but the tiny fuel tank is meant to hold enough fuel to last the ship six years if used right. Seriously – I don’t think so.
As I said before – Star Trek has been really clever in what it’s brought to the world over the years. But I think if a little more real life compromise and all is brought into it there there’s another level of possibility. What do you Sci Fi fans out there think? Are there any Star Trek or other franchises that wind you up?
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