Kevin Miller ponders the fate of The Suliban, while the rest of us ponder what the heck a Suliban is.

The Enterprise Docks at
By Kevin Miller

The fate of the Suliban...

So many things have to go into consideration for a new Star Trek series. The premise must be something the audience wants to watch. The ship has to be cool. The characters need to be compelling. The ship has to be really cool. And most importantly, there has to be the perfect archenemy.

Every Star Trek show has had its nemesis. Back in the day, Kirk and crew fought the legendary, now cuddly, Klingons. The Next Generation faced off against the Borg. And Deep Space Nine went to war against the Dominion. Of course all these shows had other villains, different species to fight, but each show ended up with one great enemy.

As we look forward to the fifth installment in the Star Trek mythos, premiering this Wednesday at 8 p.m. on UPN, we also look toward a brand new arch-nemesis: The Suliban. Nothing is known about the Suliban to date, and fans are hungry to learn.

But don't get too attached. Our Star Trek history tells us that the Sulibans will be washed out within a few seasons. As the show comes into its own, the first thing to go is the arch-villain.

Every S.T. show went through this growing pain, starting with the original. The Enterprise of the 23rd century first battled the Romulans, originally physically the duplicates of the Vulcans. But it was the Klingons that really took hold of the imagination. Maybe it was something about the uniform goatees.

The Next Generation began their voyages fearing the inhuman, and terribly sinisterů Ferangi! With ideals grounded in greed, power, and hate, the Ferangi were to be the exact opposite of the Federation. As we learned very quickly the orange freaks were more laughable than striking, and by season three the 24th century Enterprise had moved onto a more admirable foe - the Borg.

By Deep Space Nine the creators of Star Trek spin-offs thought they had it figured out, and set up the long detailed history of the Cardassians. We learned, thanks to The Next Generation, that the Federation had been at war with the Cardies for years, and by the time DS9 hit the air waves Trekkers and Trekkies were already familiar with the new villain. But the constant pokes from the pestering neighbors became tiresome, and by the second season the seeds had been planted for the discovery of their true nemesis, The Dominion.

Even Voyager began with their "Klingons of the Delta quadrant" - the Kazon. The various sects continued to attack Janeway and crew each week. That is until the Voyager flew threw the necram expanse, leaving the boring part of the galaxy behind. Then every season they encountered a new arch-nemesis (but its no secret they rested heavily on the Borg - those uncreative Voyager writers - BOO).

All of these changes were totally necessary. Where would the franchise be without the Klingons? The Borg desire to assimilate is far more captivating then the Ferangi's need to accumulate. And the Dominion, with their changeling leaders and genetically enslaved subcultures, sparked six years worth of stories. Um, and Voyager met some interesting people along the way home (making a total mockery of The Borg -- BOO).

Granted, the Romulans, Ferangi, Cardassians and Kazon were never forgotten. (The Kazon no more so than Voyager itself, anyway.) They just weren't the featured villains.

So I look forward to meeting the Suliban, and finding out why in 35 years of Star Trek history their names have never been spoken. But I'm more interested in seeing who will replace them in the next two years, to become the true Klingons of the 22nd century Enterprise.

As long as it's not The Borg -- BOO.

Kevin of Nine

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