Most people I know always hated Star Trek. As spin-offs of the show have come out, they hate them too. I didn’t, and don’t – I’m a sucker for sci-fi at its worst, and Star Trek isn’t even close to the worst.
Both Star Trek and the subsequent Star Trek: TNG purported to explore space, but both shows have always been far ahead of their time on exploring the thorniest social issues of the times. The original ’60s version with the comically over-acting William Shatner explored interracial relationships.
The Next Generation was particularly rooted in exploring issues of law and justice, and the script certainly stands the test of time. In this particular episode, the theme would stand the test of any time – from the Salem witch trials, to World War II internment camps, to the McCarthy hearings, to the current Patriot Act…and to the “next generation” of fear-based mistakes we haven’t made yet.
Keep in mind that this episode aired almost 20 years ago. It’s just as relevant today. Maybe more so.