Do you miss the 24th century?

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    A quick glance at the wayback machine on the Episode Guides page today reveals that, by a coincidence that owes more to the scheduling of American television “seasons” and their finales than to cunning deliberate scheduling, both Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager aired their series finales on this date, in 1994 and 2001 respectively.

    William Riker: the 24th century’s equivalent to chicken. He’s ubiquitous.

    So here’s the question: do you miss the 24th century millieu of the Star Trek universe? Combadges, Okudragrams, nicely carpeted ships with lots of fluorescent lights and touchscreens, Cardassians, the Dominion, the Borg?

    TNG was on at a time when I needed something really engrossing in my life to keep me from doing stupid things when my home life was rudderless. It also meant that, when Doctor Who got cancelled at the end of its 1989 season, there was something to take over in the engrossing department. It was a show with a strict code of honor that, for lack of any better guidance at home, appealed to me and probably kept me out of a lot of trouble.

    And I did – and do – love the Okudagrams. A quick refresher:

    And yet, at the same time, I realize and acknowledge that the people running the show(s) had really run out of steam. Voyager never quite reached the heights, or story depth, of DS9. A shakeup was needed, I’m just not sure it should’ve been a rewind to a century before Kirk and Spock. I’m very fond of the 24th century, and yet so much history and backstory had been tightly wrapped around that time period that it’s hard to figure out what the next step would have/should have been.

    And that’s not an easy question to answer: the 24th century continues on in comics, novels (which have taken on a dark, dreary, BSG-wanna-be tone – I’ve given up, frankly) and games, along with a few fan films (Star Trek: Hidden Frontier and its spinoffs, Odyssey and Helena Chronicles, and the Voyager-era Scottish fan series Star Trek: Intrepid). None of them gel with each other. Everyone’s got different ideas on where things should’ve gone from there.

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