I watched Star Trek: Nemesis a few nights ago on video. The greatest fun was counting the cliches as they went by: a love scene with Riker and Troi, the personal heart-to-heart chat between Picard and Crusher, Data questing to discover what it means to be human, the obligatory final-desperate-act in the middle of a space battle (which in most recent Star Trek movies seems to mean ramming the Enterprise into some large object, either deliberately or accidently, it certainly gives the special effects artists something to do).
But there was something even more intersting I realized after the movie was done and after my last entry on liberals and children. Of the four TNG movies that have been made, three of them (the fourth one I don’t remember well enough) have had a character or plot device that focuses on aging and death. In the first Generations movie it was Kirk and Picard in the matrix or whatever it was called, you know the magical area where you lived inside of an eternal dream of bliss, free from aging and death. Then in Insurrection there was the evil bad guy who was trying to monopolize the immortality secret of the people on the plot planet du jour. Finally, the main nemesis of Nemesis is a genetic clone of Picard who is raised on Romulus and wants to drink Picard’s blood in order to prevent his clone body from decaying into old age before he can destroy Earth.
Just what the hell is going on here? I don’t remember the TV series being nearly as obsessed with aging as the feature films have been. Is this an indication that the writing staff is getting older? I mean the cliches within the Star Trek franchise have become more important than anything else since the series went into permanent production in the early 1990s. Maybe this is some kind of hidden unconcious realiziation that the whole Star Trek universe is entering its doddage.