C.E. Evans wrote:
Berman has always truthful to the basic parameters that Roddenberry set up. So the majority of Trek simply is Roddenberryian.
No one was more a supporter of Roddenberry's "vision" than Berman--he basically went around with a "What would Gene do?" card during his tenure, IMO. Some could even say that he may have taken it too far at times...
I catch crap for this often enough, but: I think we owe Berman a thank you for keeping the franchise alive. If it wasn't for him, I honestly believe TNG would have died aroudn Season 2 or 3 and stunted Trek for years after with its failure.
The Roddenberry vision goes beyond "did Spock etc act like the historical character." I'm now realizing the Trek Purity Test is character heavy but that's easy to evaluate.
What makes Roddenberry's vision unique beyond other fiction was something heavily discussed in Why Trekkies hated the 2009 movie.
The short answer is this: Roddenberry didn't want the future to be another damn dystopia. He felt progress means progress of not only technology but that of social progress too. (This is why there's no Caveman fiction about them developing nukes to wipe out a neighboring tribe: it's impossible to do without some social maturity too.)
This is a very big idea! JJ Abrams is doing a "fall from utopia" which honestly is a lot easier to write as there's conflict everywhere. So if you're lazy, you just turn that around 180degrees and you can churn out tons of conflict where writing about a utopia with few problems, your going to work a lot harder to find a good conflict.
(Like all the pseudo-historical war movies set in ancient China. It's easy to write because there's upheaval happening everywhere.)
This is what made Roddenberry's Trek unique and these new films are now very well done action films, AKA cheats. :-) And I'll of course watch and enjoy them and hope that it'll score a 6 of 11 because if it can't do ANYTHING that made Trek unique, then we're just going to be watching another Space Opera (Star Wars).
So do you write off DS9? We didn't see a lot of it on screen, but the Dominon War fucked up the Federation and Starfleet something awful. Then Section 31 tried to wipe out the Founders with biological weapon. On average they more or less did the fall from utopia storyline in DS9.
The whole Utopian Vision thing is more a construct of TNG Era Roddenberry than anything that was laid as a groundwork in TOS.