I'm not trying to match modern Trek, though. I mean, to be fair, I don't know if I'm trying to make any sociopolitical statements, either, but I don't feel constrained by the economic or PR concerns of Paramount in the mid-90s.Diverball wrote:Except that modern Trek doesn't. TOS may have been radical, but even it's radicalism was constrained - Chekov was Russian, but he wasn't a Communist, and his nationalism was portrayed as Atavistic; Uhura was a black woman, but she was in a relatively lowly post. Sisko and Janeway weren't ahead of their time, but lagging behind it, and both characters had issues. Trek still has not managed to deal with homosexuality. Modern Trek has far too much commercial baggage behind it for it to be truly radical any more.
He was never explicitly identified as such, but Dr. Bashir had an Arab name and was played by an Arab actor. To my knowledge, his religion never came up.I could see Trek introducing a main character of Arab descent, but it's questionable whether you could play up the Muslim aspect without clashing with the secular humanist values that have dominated Trek for the last 25 year. One thing that I don't think that Trek has ever really done is deal with a major and consistent clash of values between main characters.
I'm an atheist and a secular humanist myself, so given the opportunity to run a Trek series, I doubt I'd try to roll back the "secularism won, and we're all better off for it" vision of the future that was created for TNG. On the other hand, I think introducing more intellectual diversity to a Trek crew would be worthwhile, and I definitely think part of why Voyager seemed so stale was that that diversity didn't exist; even characters who explicitly rejected Starfleet subscribed to its ideals. I did notice that the explicitly religious protagonists on canonical DS9 and VOY tended to be either Bajoran (Major Kira) or Maquis (Chakotay, Torres), and at one point I actually toyed with the idea of playing that up, but I think there's too much religious diversity for the Maquis as an implicitly or explicitly religious organization to really work (just among my characters, Seska worships the Prophets, A'sha is Muslim, Torres believes in the Klingon warrior-honor cult even if she's not practicing, and Chakotay probably practices some syncretic fusion of traditional Mayan beliefs and Roman Catholicism, though I haven't ruled out making him a member of a breakaway group which attempted to purge the European elements and practice a "pure" form of the religion; at any rate, I don't know nearly enough about Mayan religion to write sensibly about it, so I largely plan to avoid the issue in "Caretaker"). It would also be potentially problematic, I think, to take "Trek's" first practicing Muslim character and make her an insurgent with religious motivation.