Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Where No Man Has Gone Before

From Trektoday:

By Michelle
August 29, 2006 - 9:06 PM

An Australian student has earned a PhD degree with a prize-winning thesis on the mythology of Star Trek.

The dissertation of Dr. Djoymi Baker, entitled Broadcast Space: TV Culture, Myth and Star Trek, has won a chancellor's prize for excellence at Melbourne University, according to The Age. For research, Baker watched 624 advertisement-free hours of Star Trek episodes dating from 1966 to 2005.

Baker's 90,000-word analysis of the series compares the characters and their adventures with stories from ancient mythology, including Homer's Odyssey. "I was interested in where myths turn up in less obvious forms, and there wasn't much work on the early years of television and its relation to myth," said Baker, who admitted to being a fan. "I don't think just because a study is serious and that I'm connecting Star Trek to a broader history of TV and ancient myths that it means there is not also a fun side - I can see the fun side as well."

She noted that while some of Kirk's monologues were inspired by John F. Kennedy's speeches exhorting humans to reach for the moon and deeper into space, the roles were reversed decades later when NASA scientists made guest appearances on Star Trek to gain support and funding. Baker is in the process of turning the thesis into a published book.

Now for some witty banter...

So this is what our friend the Pedantic Protestant has really been up to for the past year! :~)
I mean, did he really have to go to all this trouble to learn that Picard is superior to Kirk, but Spock is superior to Data? Everybody knows that Odo is much more interesting than Phlox, but by the same token, it's a toss-up as to whether or not Quark or Neelix is more annoying. DS9 is far superior to TOS, TNG, or Voyager, so I'm not so sure that'd make for great dissertation material. The less said about Enterprise the better. On the other hand, perhaps this would make for an interesting dissertation on the Femme Fatale motif. We all know Seven of Nine rescued Voyager, and who can argue that Lt. Uhura was ahead of her time? Take that T'Pol!

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