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Wednesday, 3 October, 2001, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK
New Star Trek plays with science
Star Trek: Enterprise Paramount
Back to the future with the new Enterprise
The new series of Star Trek may be only 150 years away from our time, but many of the technologies will probably still be some way off - and perhaps never achievable.

So says Lawrence Krauss, an American scientist who has applied the laws of physics to the popular science-fiction series.

"The transporter is definitely not possible," he told the BBC's Go Digital programme.

"The holodeck might be possible in a kind of entertainment role," he said. "But the kind of entertainment it provides would probably not be the kind of entertainment we watch on Star Trek."

Space pioneers

The new series, Star Trek: Enterprise, is set in the year 2151, about 100 years before the original journey of Captain Kirk.

It follows the adventures of Captain Jonathan Archer and his crew in the pioneering days of space exploration.

Star Trek Paramount
New series predates original Star Trek
Professor Krauss watched the first episode which aired on US television last week with interest.

"I particularly enjoyed the fact that the transporter was an experimental technology and the captain of the ship was afraid to use it," said the author of The Physics of Star Trek.

This is one of the key elements of the new series, with viewers watching as the crew get to grips with the technology that is crucial to their existence in outer space. In the later Star Trek series, the crew always seem to find a technological solution to their problems.

New life

"I enjoy the fact that it is closer to today because that means that the stories will depend less on technological fixes and more on good plots," said Professor Krauss

Lawrence Krauss
Krauss: Likes the human element
But for him, it was not the technology that felt out of place.

"The thing I found most surprising was how nearly 100 years from now, we are already in contact with all of these aliens," he said. "It's a little unrealistic to expect that we will be having alien cooks and doctors on Earth in 100 years."

Paramount, which produces and owns the rights to the Star Trek saga, is hoping the new series will breathe new life into an otherwise flagging sci-fi franchise.

See also:

27 Sep 01 | Reviews
New Star Trek blasts off
26 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
Star Trek: One man's passion
28 Sep 01 | Reviews
Your views: Star Trek
02 Oct 01 | Sci/Tech
Trekkies venture into story-telling
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