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The Illogic of the Vulcan Vision:
A Rant Against the New Vulcans on "Enterprise"... and Their Creators
Rev. Antonio Hernández, O.M.D.
Berman and Braga, contrary to their arrogant boasting, are going where too many have gone before.

Star Trek 'Enterprise'

Some time back I offered a real-life explanation and examples of the philosophy followed by "Star Trek’s" Vulcans. It seems, though, that another Vulcan subject must be tackled to the ground. Hopefully I shall do it logically.
It makes very little difference to me what critics and other small-minded folk think. The new "Star Trek" series offering, "Enterprise"-- which airs Wednesdays on the tiny little network UPN-- is not all that bad.
I’m not raving about it, not saying it’s great or even really good; just not bad. However, I do have one sore spot. The idiots who are in charge of this series, a two-man team called Rick Berman (producer) and Brannon Braga (writer and producer-pretender), are totally responsible for this sore spot.
They have demolished the Vulcan race.

Being an original generation Trekkie, I can offer a bit of insight into what Gene Roddenberry had in mind when he created "Star Trek" and Mr. Spock. He wanted to show some bit of racial tension, expressed metaphorically by the way most humans reacted to Mr. Spock. He wanted to point up social problems by featuring the Earthlings’ attitude toward the Vulcans in general.
So he made a Vulcan who was half human– after all, a bit of each of us resides in each other. Mr. Spock seemed to have faced a mightier struggle than most Vulcans: his pesky humanity. It was pointing to a much larger issue, that of "racial mixing" and racism in general. Yet Spock was the beloved friend of Capt. Kirk and Dr. McCoy– he even managed to return that love, and allowed himself the occasional smile.

He also had a totally hot human lusting after him.
We admire Spock’s peace, his calm, his strength in the face of self-doubt and ridicule. Leonard Nimoy, who single-handedly created Roddenberry’s Vulcan vision on the television screen, is a genius for that accomplishment alone. The late Mark Lenard certainly earned great kudos, playing Ambassador Sarek, Spock’s intrepid father.

We admired both the characters these men brought to life on the screen, for their power, their discipline, their superancient culture. Personally, they gave me a hope I would never again feel from any fictional character. Now Berman, an obnoxious baby-boomer, and Braga, a snotty Gen-X brat, have destroyed all that hard work.

In the almost 40 episodes, two seasons, of "Enterprise" that have aired since its premier last September, the Vulcans have shown themselves to be petty, nasty liars with a penchant for figuratively spitting in the Earthling government’s face.

They have been shown throwing tantrums, issuing one whack-a-doodle ultimatum after another, and behaving irrationally– and these are just the cardboard cut-out characters.
Jolene Blalock, who is for some reason the most hated actress ever to appear in any "Star Trek" film, plays Enterprise’s Vulcan shipmate T’Pol. Now, I admit that in her ever-present catsuit she looks like a sullen 14-year-old boy with breasts, but she acts passably well... and she’s improving.
People who are too young to remember are unaware that a number of the original fans didn’t like Nimoy’s Spock until he fleshed out the character. Jolene Blalock is working on that, herself. She has to because T’Pol is the only regular, serious Vulcan character on "Enterprise".
Some horrid creatures never liked the Spock character. Same thing with the T’Pol character, unfortunately.

Typical of the dummies behind the series, T’Pol is represented as being incredibly and inexplicably weak. In the recent episode "The Seventh", she has to ask the captain to accompany her on a secret Vulcan mission–- so that he’ll help her keep ahold of herself! At the end of the episode, she’s practically on her knees thanking the captain for helping her "maintain".

Meanwhile the incidental Vulcans look and act like a cross between Romulans and Klingons. All humans despise the meddling, oppressive Vulcans, especially the Enterprise’s Captain Jonathan Archer. What is going on here? Are Berman and Braga out of their minds?
(By the way, Scott Bakula as Capt. Archer is not so bad... or have we forgotten how lousy William Shatner could be at times? Hey, it’s a tradition to have bad, hammy actors for captains. Even Patrick Stewart needed two years to find his "space legs".)

Certainly everyone involved with "Enterprise" deserves tremendous credit; they are the first people to attempt a truly fresh crack at the "Star Trek" universe. They seem to be deliberately seeking the conditions and troubles that beset the original series, for authenticity.

Yet I cannot imagine for a second that Leonard Nimoy or the late Mark Lenard would have countenanced these ersatz Vulcan pretenders, or "Enterprise’s" lousy writing. Berman and Braga, contrary to their arrogant boasting, are going where too many have gone before.
Vulcans were given a saying by Rodenberry, eloquently rumbled in a silky baritone by Nimoy’s Spock: "I am a Vulcan, bred to peace." Apparently in "Enterprise" they are bred to fall to pieces.

Gene Roddenberry had a sort of dream he wanted to communicate with the Vulcans– a dream of understanding and tolerance, coming hot on the heels of racial unrest and discrimination in the real world. That’s why he created the Vulcan social ideology, IDIC: "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations". That’s why he made them logical, which we are usually not, and in full mastery of their emotions, which we are most definitely not. Gene Roddenberry was trying to tell us something with the creation of the Vulcan race. Now Roddenberry’s Vulcan Dream is decimated.

I long to hear Dr. McCoy’s voice saying, "They’re all dead, Jim", over the decimated corpses of all these hard-nosed so-called Vulcans on "Enterprise".
They had better shape up or ship out-- damn it, Jim!! We need PROPER Vulcans!
This article is dedicated to the memories of Gene Roddenberry and Mark Lenard.

© Rev Antonio Hernandez. OMD December 2002
email: "Antonio. Hernandez"

Nirvana: The True Emotions
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