Synopsis of Class: January 14, 1999

trek ship image

Today's class concerned itself with the issue of temporal sequentiality and, thus, with the concerns and parameters of narrative form. Science fiction often tests the limits of time and space (the elements of a diegetic universe) and, so, often raises questions about narrative. The Star Trek: TNG episode, "Cause and Effect," is a perfect example of how science fiction can help us better to understand how we order our lives on a day-to-day basis. I began by showing the opening scene of the episode. What we see is an enterprise that appears to be partly on fire and in dire straits. After a command from Jean-Luc Picard to abandon ship, we see the ship blow up, followed by the opening credits. The question is: what is wrong with this narrative? Why can't we stop here? What is interesting about this beginning?

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