Star Trek Kids

I'll start with Star Trek: Next Generation since Star Trek: Original did not have an ongoing child star (unless one counts Chekhov). Wesley: Wesley was supposed to be the brilliant genius boy of the show. Hence, he immediately became the recipient of all the loathing people feel towards "I can fix the warp engine in six easy steps" type characters.

This was a pity since the actor (Wil Wheaton) was a somewhat better actor than he was given credit for. Not a great actor. Just better than the aura of genius-child led viewers to believe.

Out of the Next Generation children, I myself far preferred Alexander, and I thought the Worf-Alexander episodes were some of the best Next Gen did. Alexander is Worf's kid and a small bundle of constant and opinionated motion.

Overall, however, I credit Deep Space Nine with the best children: Jake and Nog. The wonderful thing about Jake and Nog is that neither of them was expected to be part of the operations on the space station. Secondly, Jake especially was a downright likable kid, being decent without being either overly Pollyanish or overly bratty.

The nice thing about Nog was that he pushed beyond the assumptions of his culture but didn't become too human. This was true, actually, for the entire House of Quark, wherein Quark (who lives far from his home world) remains wholly himself while expanding beyond his culture's expectations. (This was to an extent one of the themes of the show; Odo and Garak also experience separation from their homelands and are thereby required to adjust and adapt against their wishes.)

On Voyager, interestingly enough, most of the children were seen in relationship to 7-of-9: Naomi Wildman and Icheb. I thought the Icheb character especially effective. In his case, the bright boy of Starfleet persona was somewhat more believable than with Wesley. You feel that this isn't a little adult but a somewhat gawky yet kind teenager who just happens to be bright. He was also a good counterfoil to 7-of-9, and I count it a point in the actor's favor that a (tepid) sexual tension existed between Icheb and 7-of-9; a 17 year old boy, no matter how long he was kept in stasis, would have to deaf, dumb and comotose NOT to react to 7-of-9.

As I understand it, Enterprise had no children. Archer does have a dog which brings one back around to Next Gen and Data's cat, Spot. Not that children and animals are necessarily equated, but I did grow very fond of Spot. (I enjoyed Data's poetry on the subject). I would have liked to see Data get a kid. Like Voyager's Doctor, Data could always supply good fodder for the plot mill.


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