Sometimes I come across scriptwriting that is so exemplary that I believe reviewing the scene can be highly instructive for those seeking education and moral instruction. The following are some of the best examples from Star Trek: The Next Generation, one of the most lavishly written dramatic shows even though it is now over 30 years old.
The science fiction setting of the show also provides unique opportunities for especially advanced and sophisticated topics to be discussed in a serious manner. Over a decade of reading and studying excellent writing and I’ve yet to find anything quite like this. Before each video is a short summary of the dramatic stage:
Discussion between two decision makers on the justifications, real and imagined, and possible consequences of an unauthorized preemptive strike on a potentially hostile adversary.
Reprimand to the second in command immediately after a high intensity situation in the context of a preexisting friendship – handled maturely!
Brief discussion on the appropriateness of beneficial trans-human modifications for legitimate purposes, with the ranking representative of the proposing organization and said trans-human, and balancing such advantages with the desire of sentient beings for self-determination
Negotiation between two emissaries of neutral polities for the immediate establishment of an alliance, one emissary stalling with ambiguous motives and the other requesting access to the leader while preserving their advantageous position – in a diplomatic manner!
It is noteworthy that when the fictional stakes are explained fully that the intensity of these situations are far beyond what is considered normal nowadays in any broadcast show. The science fictional guise and late 1980’s environment combined gave far greater freedom it seems for scriptwriters.
Since this show went on for many seasons there are several dozen more noteworthy scenes that may be of interest. Let me know which scenes are your favourite!