Our Future in Space
by Regina Pipelinni
Space, the final frontier. Last month the Scholars and I were sitting around, drinking port and talking about movies, Star Trek, that sort of thing. I was showing the guys this really cute corset I bought and we got onto the topic of what we all thought was the best episode of Star Trek. Of course, it goes without saying that we were talking about original Star Trek. All of the cheap imitators suck. They aren’t the least bit interesting and this political correctness thing is getting kind of boring.
Anyhow, I won the debate because anyone with a brain knows that Balance of Terror was the best episode of Star Trek. Naturally there is always one goofball in every group who insists on awarding that distinction to City on the Edge of Forever.
City on the Edge of Forever was a good episode of Star Trek but certainly not the best for 2 reasons. First of all, the speech Edith Keeler made to all of the derelicts and alcoholics about the world of the future was absolutely nauseating. “Don’t give up hope because in the world of the future we’ll be able to harness the power of the atom and travel to distant planets.” Yeah, whatever. If I had been one of those old guys I think I would have smacked her around.
Secondly, the writers of the episode totally muddled up their concept of time. The main aspect of the plot was that Edith had to die, even though Kirk was in love with her and was in a position to save her. Kirk obviously didn’t want Edith to die and had to be convinced by Spock that she had to die. Where the writers erred was in giving Kirk the option of saving Edith and changing history (allowing the Germans to win the war). This, as we all know, is impossible. That would be like saying the I could go back to 1938 and kill Hitler, thus preventing the Second World War. Would that mean that all of the books in the world with references to Hitler and WW II would suddenly be full of blank pages? Of course not. In a later episode of Star Trek, Spock summed it up nicely when he said, “We cannot change history as we know it.” We know for a fact that Hitler existed and WW II happened. Therefore it cannot be changed.
Lets examine this subject in a little more depth. Suppose you knew someone died in 1945, for example, Hitler. If you were capable of time travel, you could be the person who killed Hitler, in 1945, the year we all know Hitler died. The time line is maintained and history is not changed. Simple.
This may seem like a picayune point, but if you don’t understand time, don’t write a story for a science fiction show where time is a central theme. After all, your average science fiction fan is far more intelligent than most people and will obsessively pick apart any inconsistencies or inaccuracies.
Anyhow, I’m way off topic. I was supposed to be talking about our future in space. I guess we’ll build some big space station then maybe go to Mars. Maybe we’ll build a base on the Moon.
Until next time, keep your pecker up.