Printed 2017/07/28 12:56AM

The Future Looks Old

By Steve Jones, 2009/01/09

I grew up watching the syndicated version of Star Trek every evening as a kid, 12-14 and dreamed of being on a spaceship. The idea of communicators in your hand, beaming up, and more were still futuristic and amazing in the late 70s to me. It seems silly now, but at that time few houses had cordless phones much less cell phones.

As I grew up, I moved on to other shows and interests so by the time that Star Trek: The Next Generation came out I wasn’t watching a lot of TV at night and wasn’t that interested in the show. When it was released, we shared on TV in our college apartment and studies, girls, and beer were much more interesting than TV. Come to think of it, I didn’t even watch a lot of sports then.

However lately as my 10-year old has gotten interested in some science fiction, and I’ve been reading a few (I recommended Dauntless and Red Thunder to a few friends, including Andy Warren), I wondered what I’d missed. I might have seen 3 or 4 episodes of The Next Generation over the years, but that was it.

I mentioned this to my wife and lo and behold, Santa brought me Season One of The Next Generation. I finished off the movie I was watching and then plugged Disc 1 into the DVD player the next time I went running. I run every day and for about 15-20 minutes, so I watch a bit of a movie or TV show at a time. In this case I get through an episode and a half each week.

The show started in 1987, so at this point it’s 21+ years old, but it feels out of date. I enjoy the characters and it’s an interesting evolution of the original series, but it still feels old. Watching them communicate by tapping their insignia seems silly when we have bluetooth headsets that we do that with now. Shouldn’t the communications be embedded?

There are a lot of those futuristic things that seems outdated now, given the progress that we’ve made in 20 years since this was written and produced. I’m still enjoying it and I know that predicting the future is something that can’t last forever. It just seems dated, beyond the production work that went into it. Slightly disappointed, but Season One should get me through quite a few weeks of running.

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