Hmm, aren't those futuristic adventures pretty much the same? Most people are familiar with the many incarnations of Star Trek, and they have something in common. Star Trek shows us a future that is remarkably tolerant and inclusive. Different species and races of human beings, along with others who are sufficiently humanoid to live and work in the environment of a star ship, get to have careers that suit their abilities. Star Fleet Academy accepts candidates regardless of their backgrounds.
But while the Buck Rogers series looks much the same, it has a dark side. We must admit that, somewhere in the Star Trek universe, there must be backward areas and warlike races, but they don't come a lot into the stories, outside of the Klingons and the sad story of the Bejorans and the Cardassians. But the Buck Rogers series has a definite dark side, and it is part of the story right on Planet Earth.
In the Rogers narrative, as you probably know, Astronaut Rogers gets lost in time while on a mission. He comes to understand that he has "returned" to Earth in his own remote future. As a result of that knowledge, he wants to find and visit the graves of his family.
Rogers is strongly advised against attempting to do this, for an interesting reason. It seems that while his return has conveyed him to the sparkling city of New Chicago, there is still an Old Chicago out there. That city is the remains of the Chicago that we know today. It has missed out on all the technology and advancements; its people are savages who are known to attack and kill outsiders. Rogers has his predictable run-in with them when he ignores the advice of his new friends and goes outside of the complex they all live in.
So I wonder what our future will look like. Will we have the Star Trek future that takes everyone in, or at least offers it? Or will we have the Buck Rogers future that places the favored few of society inside a gigantic sheltered complex, and leaves the rest of the world outside? Mention is made in the Rogers series about the many new versions of our present cities; it seems that as technology advanced, the original communities were abandoned and those who remained have to fend for themselves.
In fact, it bears a resemblance to the book Fahrenheit 451, in which the main characters discover that they can escape from the huge dystopian metropolis by following abandoned train tracks in reverse, away from the city and into freedom (and obscurity). There they would no longer attract the attention of the "superior" culture.
I need hardly add that I view the Star Trek future as the generic Democratic approach to daily life, while the special privileges of a favored few--and to hell with everyone else--seems to mirror the Republican ambition. That is to say, it is the Republican ambition to place yourself among the favored few at any cost.
And it is sad to notice that as far as Earthlings are concerned, there is no mention of any religion at all--not Christianity, nor Judaism, nor Islam, nothing. We see in some of the Star Trek episodes some attention on the religion of the Vulcans, but no earth-born character ever discusses their futuristic version of Christianity. Perhaps there isn't one. Perhaps by that star date, Christianity will have imploded, along with other earthly faiths, as our church-watchers are predicting today.
And I wonder what New Tucson will look like, or if there will be one. Perhaps this Old Pueblo will be abandoned and its inhabitants will have to head to New Phoenix, and the devil take the hindmost.