Admiral Shran wrote:
The political atmosphere of these episodes, and this one in particular, are what makes for great Trek. I've always thought that Trek was at it's best when dealing with the politics of its universe (Journey to Babel, The Defector, just about any political episode of DS9, the Vulcan Trilogy in ENT).
My only complaint is that they should have delved into politics more deeply and more often than they already did.
I agree. Such episodes show a confidence in the setting, and the writers' comfort with their established races and characters. I suppose the reason such episodes are often so memorable is because they don't simply showcase characters or nations but tell genuine stories with them, which also implies the writers actually understand what they're doing, which is naturally a plus.
This is also, in my opinion, why DS9 is the strongest Trek show - it isn't just based in the Trek universe, there's a sense of real familiarity and comfort with the setting, enough for the writers to be daring and inventive. To stir things up while thickening the brew. That's the true spirit of exploration - not "strange new worlds" but familiar ones and how they interact. The "infinite combinations" aspect of IDIC. I guess what I'm saying is that DS9 embodies the spirit of Trek at its best more successfully than the other shows, and I find it a little amusing that some fans dislike it for "going nowhere" or having little exploration in the usual sense. It's interesting that you mention the Vulcan trilogy of ENT, because I think season four of Enterprise
also achieved that level of comfort with its setting, and was by far the show's strongest because of it. A shame it took them so long to get there.