I've come across some complaints that ST-Discovery is "too woke", with stuff like a genderqueer character coming out and being accepted as such. To me, this fits in nicely with a proud Star Trek tradition of making progressive political points throughout the decades (eg first Black/White kiss in TOS, Picard's rant against religion above Mintaka, a Black guy in command on DS9).

But when I thought back about ST:Enterprise, I couldn't remember a good example there. Did I miss something?

What I mean is anything that would feel particularly progressive to a contemporary audience. Conservative reviewers complaining about the show's political stance would be good evidence.

  • 2
    @gnasher729 Do you mean Lieutenant Uhura in TOS?
    – Arno
    Nov 6, 2022 at 22:19
  • 1
    I don't think your impression is wrong. Well, I don't know whether ranting against religion is really so progressive—it may not be conservative, but it was probably more a consequence of Roddenberry's well-known dislike of religion (and anti-Semitism, by the by). But in any case, TNG did have genuinely progressive touches.
    – Adamant
    Nov 6, 2022 at 22:50
  • 2
    I mean, the last story arc of season four is about domestic (to Earth, that is) terrorists trying to keep Earth for humans, an isolationist mindset that continues to remain relevant, unfortunately. However, season three's Xindi storyline felt like a direct response to 9/11, and that season opened with Archer torturing prisoners, so... It's a mixed bag. Nov 6, 2022 at 23:00
  • 1
    @Arno - Well, if just showing the existence of a Black man in command in DS9 could be conceived as progressive, which it could be, it's not completely unreasonable to suggest that just showing the existence of non-binary genders—even through the old standby of using aliens as a metaphor so as not to awaken the wrath of the moral guardians—could be as well. I am certain that "Cogenitor" annoyed many conservative viewers, by the by, if that is your criterion.
    – Adamant
    Nov 6, 2022 at 23:05
  • 2
    They did have a story arc about Vulcan AIDS and why shunning people over a disease is bad.
    – Cadence
    Nov 6, 2022 at 23:14

1 Answer 1


Well, the "Breaking the Ice", as one example, showed how Archer was slowly overcoming his racism regarding Vulcans. And it was racism: sure, he had an explanation as to why his dislike was "justified", but so does every racist. "Civilization" was about a more advanced civilization exploiting resources on native lands and polluting it. "Stigma" was about the ostracism of people with an incurable (at the time) disease, ie Vulcan AIDS. "Canamar" is all about the issue of false imprisonment of innocent people. "The Breach" is another Trek episode about the stupidity of racism, as is "Home". And, of course, the racist terrorists of "Demons" and "Terra Prime".

So it's there. Perhaps not so blatant as happened in other Trek series.

  • In my view Discovery makes the "progressivism" the core of the whole story, and I dare say some of the points it keeps and keeps and keeps making are no longer "controversial". If the point was to shock viewer, then The Orville makes it better and with more taste. And more fun, too.
    – AcePL
    Nov 8, 2022 at 8:55
  • 1
    Given that a recent election in the US featured a candidates running on promises to roll back gay rights and using blatant homophobic and transphobic rhetoric, combined with a justice of the Supreme Court stating that the rights for same-sex marriage was in line to be ruled against, I would assert your blithe assertion that there's no need to drop those anvils any more is tad optimistic. Nov 11, 2022 at 3:56
  • Given that "justice of the Supreme Court stating that the rights for same-sex marriage was in line to be ruled against" statement is blatantly misleading, is there any reason to treat everything else in your comment with any degree of seriousness?? Because what mentioned justice meant was that rulings about those rights you listed, AS WELL AS, for example, mixed race marriages and some other advances were issued with disregard of the US Constitution. Same reason why Roe vs. Wade was "rolled back". And, for example, why Brown vs BOE was made, too. Or you want to defend Dred Scott ruling, too?
    – AcePL
    Nov 12, 2022 at 17:02
  • Do you have any particular reason why I should treat someone who believes mixed race marriages are not a basic right with any seriousness? Nov 14, 2022 at 18:03
  • Do you have any particular reason to not use your brain before asking questions? No one said interracial marriages are wrong and not allowed. What was said was SCOTUS DECISION ON THIS AND MANY OTHER ISSUES WERE OR ARE DEFECTIVE LEGALLY. Right decision for the wrong reasons is still better than wrong decision, but judicially it means those decisions can be questioned. And, of course, there are also wrong decisions for the wrong reasons, like Roe vs. Wade, Dred Scott and ACA, for example. And yes, I lumped them together on purpose. For they are a fruit of same poisoned tree... politics over law.
    – AcePL
    Nov 15, 2022 at 8:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.