Last night I finished the second season of Star Trek, and there are a lot of things I had forgotten about.
To be fair, I have not completely watched the original series through since I was 12, so it has been about a decade and I have grown up a lot in that decade.
Here are three things I noticed:
1) More Phasers
Starfleet is an exploration and peacekeeping organization. That uses weapons. We are just gonna sit here and think about this for a few moments. I understand that at times to keep peace, you need to be able to enforce that peace. But almost every episode features the threat of death by phaser or some kind of violent altercation.
2) Patriotic/Nationalistic episodes
This happens far more than I remember. There’s the episode with the gangster culture, the episode with the Yangs and the Kohms (the Yangs are Yankees, the Kohms are communists) and a number of others. Each time it is a chance for Kirk to show pride in how far humanity has made it. Yet not only does he show pride, he offers a chance for those others to get to that place too. It is more than just that story, it is a chance to bring a nation together in a challenging time.
3) Episodic Television
While I love serial television as much as the next guy, it is so great to see a show where one episode does not leave you questioning the next. Where a story happens and is wrapped up and over. There is nothing ongoing – besides their exploration of new life and new civilizations. There is little building on previous episodes – what we know from one episode does not impact our ability to understand or appreciate another. I think modern television could take a lesson from this.