I was struck by an something from an io9 post on Star Trek episodes:
A lot of these killer Trek episodes seem to take place in alternate universes. It’s like when the conventions of being outside the nicey-nice Federation are gone—everybody suddenly goes all Dirty Harry. ...
Kirk is able to pretend to be a tyrant. .... Uhura gets to almost knife somebody, Spock looks super dangerous with a beard, and everybody is carrying around little things called “Agonizers.”
I loved Star Trek TOS as a kid, enjoyed TNG as a thirty-something, thought DS9 was okay, and never got into either Voyager or Enterprise. Part of the reason, I suppose, was that as I got older and more conservative, the politics of the people who make Star Trek shows got ever more annoying. Another part, however, was a developing preference for darker themes and more complex heroes than the binary good/evil options of Star Trek or Star Wars. Think Elric versus Frodo, for example.
So if they ever bring Star Trek back to TV, I'd love to see a series set in one of those Dirty Harry alternate universes. And how about a Star Wars Episode 7 in which Thrawn beats the crap out of the Jedi, while we're at it? Or a version of the LotR in which Sauron is the good guy?
Hey, wait a minute. We already have that last one. But that's the next post.