True, but my point is that this "extra layer" and the "other stuff" are not mutually exclusive. If TOS could balance big ideas and vivid characters with plenty of cheap thrills, eye-popping SFX, fight scenes, romance, and explosions, why can't modern TREK? I mean, it's not like the bridge wasn't blowing up every other episode or so. I'm sure Roddenbery would have thrown in a lot more bang for the buck if he could've afforded it way back when, so I'm not sure why people now seem to regard that "other stuff" as somehow suspect and beneath the standards of what they think TREK "should" be. As opposed to what it actually was. P.S. When did "populist" become a bad thing? As I've written before, TREK was never meant to be some elitist, cult thing intended only for the chosen few. It was a prime-time show on NBC, for pete's sake. It's supposed to be smart, fun, mass-market entertainment with appeal to everyone, not just the fannish cognoscenti.