Like Japanese animated films and TV shows, the music of Star Trek is a key to its success. Even the short tune that Mr. Stewart plays on the flute in the Katan and later when he meets the piano/weather girl episodes is quite a masterpiece in itself. I love playing it from memory on my clarinet and flute.
One of the best episodes I have seen is definitely the episode when Sisco (Mr. Brooks) gets trapped in some sort of anomaly and Jake (Mr. Lofton) must live his life dealing with his fathers disappearance. Like some good Abarenbo Shogun (a Japanese show) episodes, it brought tears to my eyes.
Star Trek and later Deep Space 9, and even more recently Voyager, but especially Deep Space 9 I have a large debt to. Deep Space 9 helped me both as the only show (and ST:TNG too) I watched while away in college. It was an escape from classes. A chance to relax and see physics in action, besides just in the laboratories. A chance to put to use my knowledge of literature, and deal with real issues hidden in a great series like racism, politics, war, love, hate, anger, religion, and all sorts of stuff. Also helps pass all those grueling Engineering Physics tests by giving me answers and by letting me relax.
The "Bald people are people too" message is cool too, but I am not bald.
A chance for a role model in Jake Sisco (Cirroc Lofton) who like me had trouble deciding what to do with his life. He chooses to start out in Literature and imagination. In my favorite episode he also does physics. This contrasts with me who started out in physics and will probably one day end up writing novels (in Japanese?).
Also I am very grateful to the character of Cpt. Janeway for loving Quantum Mechanics and not being afraid to show it. COME OUT OF THE CLOSET, ALL YOU Q.M. LOVERS. And to the actor who plays Neelix for finally getting a chance to use all the techno babble and liking it. Actually that babble is often REAL PHYSICS TERMS! Not made up. There are anyons, neutrinos, Z particles, and theoretical tachyons (well maybe), and they are useful. Z particles are very very interesting! (They can be looked at as part photon, part something else well..., oh well I won't explain it any further)
I have noticed that a few years ago everyone said how bad Deep Space 9 was and how great Voyager was. At the time, I would say I liked Deep Space 9 better. But now I hold them about equally in my esteem.
Suddenly this year (1997) I return to America, and everyone loves Deep Space 9 and hates Voyager. What happened while I was in Japan. Back in 1996 (and before that) I used to be the only one watching Deep Space 9, while Voyager drew crowds. Now I am alone when I watch Voyager and in a crowd when I watch Deep Space 9. This is a mystery to me!
Two 1997 episodes deserve special citation. There was a Voyager episode which brought out the power of thought in a telepathic society. Keeping a hold on ones thoughts is just as important in our society which contains but few people who have learned to use thier telepathic abilities, as in a fully telepathic society.
The other episode was one where Dr. Bashir gets to party with other genetically engineered people. I wish I had a bunch of people who thought like me to party with. But everyone is usually too slow or on another wavelength, or they are just close minded, its always one of the three. That show also brought out how it is impossible to predict every outcome because in real life there are many unknown variables.
Last Updated: July 20,1999.