I have recently been delving into my past and re-watching Star Trek from the beginning (hell yeah!, Netflix) and two nearly solid weeks (sleep happens on occasion) later and I have to say that I'm probably enjoying the show at least as much as I used to and I can certainly appreciate how the show was put together much better now than when I was a kid. I haven't gotten all the way through Star Trek the Next Generation yet and I have decided that through all the story holes and weird inconsistencies there are a couple of things that almost destroy my suspension of disbelief.
We are expected to invest in and believe that this ship is the culmination of 24th century Star Fleet technology. The flagship, the most advanced piece of single technology in all of the Federation, the Enterprise 1701-D, the latest in a long line of legendary ships crewed by legendary people and yet the startling geniuses who created this technological wonder couldn't seem to figure out fucking seat belts and Oxygen masks.
Think about it for a second. Seat belts, available in every car for decades, even when the damn original series was being made, some how got lost in time and didn't make it to the 24th century (or the 23rd for that matter). What do we have to replace them? Judging by the shows, flailing and being thrown around like rag dolls. Hell, you'd think after the sixth or seventh time of being jolted around on the nerd version of a bull ride that someone might have thought, "you know, I really think that maybe some sort of restraint a wide piece of synthleather or hell a cord around my damn waist tied to the fucking chair and maybe I won't have to deal with broken limbs and a bruised ass anymore." But no, in the Utopian future no matter how many times you're jerked around, using a seat belt would be like giving in and admitting that bad things happen to good people.
Oxygen masks something everyone who takes a commercial flight gets an introduction and demonstration of, seems to also be beyond the comprehension of our descendants. The sheer ridiculousness of having vast unused space on the Enterprise and not devoting a few small pockets to the storage of a simple device that would save peoples lives in the all too damn common case of life support going out? Granted that would have destroyed the sense of danger in far too many episodes but you know what? I could have lived with that.
I still love the show and as of right now I still believe that Star Trek: the Next Generation is the best Star Trek. That could change as I watch the other shows a bit more continuously than before but I'm not gonna hold my breath. The lack of seat belts and oxygen (air) masks just means I pause the show, rant like a crazy person until my husband reminds me it's a TV show.
I really hate it when he does that.
I know it's a TV show. I am well aware. I just have a hard time understanding how people who write Science Fiction, you know, the people who come up with all the bad things that happen out in space, could just not think of all the bad things that happen out in space.
Maybe I'm looking at it wrong. Maybe I should just ooh and ahh at the special effects like a good girl, but it bothers me when a show overlooks the obvious. I don't know anything about astrophysics, and I haven't a fucking clue about how theoretical gravitational distortions would effect the surrounding space, but I know what a damn seat belt is and I know how to use an oxygen mask (thank you Delta Airlines flight attendants), maybe if they would just fucking listen for a second, I mean it's not like I don't shout, "Choking on an unknown gas? Try OXYGEN, IN A MASK! Landing on the floor uncomfortable? Try fucking SEAT BELTS!" I'm just not getting through.
Of course, I don't have the appropriate time distortion to go back and time and gently remind the people who wrote and designed the show about these common life saving devices. Even if I did, I would probably use it in some other, much more fun way. Lottery numbers and pranking my exes comes to mind.
I can't really even trust myself to go to conventions it bothers me so badly. I would wind up going to see some of the amazing actors that brought the show to life and while in the middle of telling them how awesome they are, my voice would be taken over and in some sort of uncontrollable nerd rage I would shout, "WHERE THE FUCK ARE ALL THE SEAT BELTS AND AIR MASKS?" This would probably be a really bad idea. I don't know if I could live down being escorted from a Star Trek convention. I can be unintentionally scary and don't dress like a Klingon, I would probably confuse people. As you can see, staying home is probably best.
Maybe I'm just too practical for the Star Trek universe. Back to watching more episodes.
A Big Fat Nerd