Friday 14 April 2017

I've just read a rather excellent article on Strange Horizons, having discovered it via Alistair Reynolds's blog. It's entitled "Kirk Drift" and is written by Erin Horakova, who takes some time to dissect the cultural shorthand of Captain Kirk and the original Star Trek in general, and see how different it is to what was actually presented.

It's a long piece but worth reading through. As she goes, Horakova takes a look at representation in media and gender expectancy, but it's fundamentally about how Kirk is far from the brash womaniser that he is commonly remembered to be. In fairness, I think there are times where Kirk acted rashly or in quite unpleasant ways in the original series, although generally with a nobler goal. Horakova goes into some depth here on those times and not always in ways I fully agree with, but on the whole I think she's absolutely spot on. In particular I like her attack on the modern reboot franchise, which I am a fan of, but can see has a wealth of flaws. Certainly, I'm no big fan of Star Trek Into Darkness, which I dislike considerably more now than when I first saw it in the cinema. I'm struck by how Kirk's character in these films is markedly different to how he was described during his Academy years in TOS. Clearly, George Kirk had a significant influence on his son in the original timeline. At the risk of letting this be taken as a criticism of Millennials (I am one, just about), there's a clear difference between the original idea of a respectful, studious man making his way up the ladder and an arrogant jock who's rewarded the captaincy because he gets bloody lucky and just sort of deserves it, and it's one that reflects our expectations of life in the early 21st.

Anyway, you can read it here. It's worth a few minutes.

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