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Reflecting humanity


Reflecting Humanity  

19 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of these characters, all of them aliens studying humanity, gave a better reflection on it?

    • Spock (The Original Series)
    • Data (The Next Generation)
    • Odo (Deep Space Nine)
    • Seven of Nine (Voyager)
    • The Doctor (yes, also Voyager)
    • T’Pol (Enterprise)

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Star Trek has given us lots of things over the years, including five series, with their own ship, and their own crew. And there were many things common to all of these crews, but one particular thing was worth noticing. Each of them had a character alien to humanity, on a personal quest to either understand or become more similar to one of us.

While this was their personal objective in the series, their roles for all of us were different. They allowed us, or even forced, to look at ourselves from a different perspective. To review all of those behaviours that we give for granted, as part of our own nature, and look at them from the eyes of an alien with a different way of understanding the world.

For us, these characters were a mirror on which we could see our own reflection, and maybe look at ourselves with a new light. Now we ask, from all those characters, which do you feel better accomplished this job? Which gave us a better, deeper reflection on humanity?

Here you go with a new General Trek question, where we discuss the series and their characters.

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T'Pol and Odo are the only true aliens on this list. Spock is half human, Data is a creation of a human designed to be as human as possible. The Doctor is a program made by humans and Seven IS a human so their studies of humanity is a bit bias considering they are all products of humanity.

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I'm surprised there are no votes for Spock. I agree he is half human, but his character archetype is the 'outsider' design to give an outside view on humanity and, perhaps more importantly, lean from it.

Every Star Trek show since has had a "Spock", as this list shows. I've voted for Data as he took what Spock started and expended upon it, making it more obvious. In many ways, he was more Spock than Spock, which I'm sure they both would have found "fascinating."

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Voted for Spock, honestly. I liked Data a lot (who didn't?) but I personally found  a lot of Spock's struggles more poignant and sympathetic. That said if I could vote for both I would - they're both interesting viewpoints, and in a way, they contrast each other nicely.

I think my only disappointment with Data was that they never really had a consistent and well-written 'no, be more of a machine' character on the show; it'd have been interesting to have Trek explore more of Data's nonhuman side from a non-negative perspective. Dr Pulanski was interesting, but overall wasn't handled well.  

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