I thought this might deserve its own discussion.
Has there ever been a detailed analysis of what was added to the novelized versions of the animated series of Star Trek? I haven't gotten the chance to read them and I would love to hear how the stories were expanded upon, since the show was only a half an hour.
They're a lot better than some of the TOS novels, many of the TNG novels, and they have something that the vast majority of other Star Trek novels lack - humor.
Why does it seem that much of post-1980's sci-fi is so bleak and humorless? I ask this as a ST:TOS fan. You could see the beginnings of this trend in ST:TNG with the characters taking themselves oh-so-seriously, but at least there was the occasional glint of humor or an appearance from Q to deflate their pomposity.
Compare the new Battlestar Galactica with the original. I can enjoy something that is "dark," but there's no need to be humorless. Doctor Who has its dark and serious moments, but it's equally funny. Firefly certainly got dark, but the humor was there too. Why is it missing in some other shows?
Are we seeing the work of former fanboys who were a bit too obsessed as adolescents, cringed at every comical robot or cute Ewok, and grimly vowed that if they
ever made sci-fi, things would be different? Could they never lighten up?
I guess humorless sci-fi must appeal to some people, but I'm not one who would keep coming back for that. "Realism" is just fine, even "grittiness" (whatever that really is), but with no levity it's not even realistic because humor is part of human nature.