Jewish World Review March 28, 2003 / 24 Adar II, 5763
Space: The Penultimate Frontier
Now that LAW AND ORDER spin-offs occupy all spaces on the teevee dial
not occupied by "reality" programs, I confess that I feel a pang of
nostalgia for STAR TREK. STAR TREK spin-offs, some of you might recall,
used to occupy those spaces on the teevee dial not occupied by stand-up
comics wearing sports coats with rolled-up sleeves, telling jokes about
bad airplane food. STAR TREK is a relic of the distant past, a mere
ghost of its former self.
Some of the STAR TREK spin-offs are still out there, of course, as well
as the original, but they are few and far between. The latest knock-off,
ENTERPRISE, is a prequel to the rest of them, and doesn't seem to have
generated the same heat the others did. Sure, STAR TREK has also spawned
movies and merchandise. There is no LAW AND ORDER movie in the works, as
far as I know, and no Jerry Orbach action figures. LAW AND ORDER also
lacks aliens, especially super-intelligent pointy-eared ones, although I
suppose Vincent Donofrio might be said to fill that gap.
If America's non-reality teevee taste runs more towards the antics of
forensic pathologists than earnest space people, that could change in a
heartbeat. We re fickle, you know. Nothing stays on teevee forever.
That's why I think America not only needs, but would eagerly sit down to
watch a combination of LAW AND ORDER and STAR TREK. We could call it,
let's see --- how about LAW AND ORDER: STAR TREK?
Each show will open with generic crew members wandering around on a
previously unexplored planet and talking idly about basketball when they
stumble across a dead alien life form or fellow generic crew member,
deceased. Then two cops show up, a Vulcan and a Klingon, who figure out
who did it for the first half of the show, and then in the second half,
two lawyers, a Romulan and a Cardassian or something, who try to
convince Federation judges of the suspect's guilt.
I think this is a great idea. There's room for phasers, final arguments,
plea-bargains, the Vulcan mind meld as interrogation technique, warp
speed trials - Aliens as perps. Lawyers in space! How great is that?
So once, again, Hollywood, send your checks to me. I'll knock out a
couple scripts for you, and if the check is fat enough, I'll tell you
what to do about the Borg, not just what to do about the Borg, but what
to do about the Borg when they demand their phone call. There is nothing
in this universe more terrifying than a lawyered-up Borg.
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JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.
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© 2001, Ian Shoales