Tracer Bullet wrote:
Of course it's relevant. It's one of the key things that makes Trek different from so much other science fiction and space opera--the idea that the future will be better that the present, that technology is not something scary but can be friendly and free humanity from the drudgery of working just to survive. If that goes away, then I don't really know what makes Trek anything special at all.
I recall reading someplace Roddenberry wanted to illustrate a humanist utopian society with Next Generation. That meant no tensions between the characters.
Which was actually true of TOS as well because there really wasn't any tension between the characters there as well. Sure, Spock and McCoy occasionally got into disagreements and traded barbs with one another, but it wasn't like they hated one another.
The only real difference with the TNG characters was that their disagreements were more civil and didn't resort to name-calling.
But with both TOS and TNG, the main conflicts involved characters who weren't members of the crew (the sometimes referred to "conflict from outside").