Star Trek: The road not travelled

I wonder whether the people who put the original Star Trek series together had any inkling that, nearly 43 years after the first episode aired, humanity would have travelled such a great distance in depicting wide-scale human space travel — and such a paltry distance in achieving it. JJ Abrams’ new movie uses digital imaging technology that didn’t exist last summer. The U.S. space-shuttle fleet has been substantially spiffed up in its cockpits, but the thrust technology has not seriously improved since the prototype — and remember what that was called? — flew its first test landings in 1977. Before many readers of this blog were born. When I think of that, it’s hard to enjoy a science fiction movie properly, because the underlying message is that we’ve become far better at kidding ourselves.

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