Star Trek: The Next Frontier

With a dark, gritty new spin-off, the futuristic cult series moves into uncharted territory

The setting, while not exactly Blade Runner territory, is a desolate space station -- a decidedly hostile environment. It includes a promenade with a space-age cash machine and a holographic brothel. Through it passes a contentious assortment of humans and aliens. Station Commander Benjamin Sisko, while as courageous and honorable as U.S.S. Enterprise captains James Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard, openly expresses his discontent with his hardship assignment.

What's going on here? Can this dark, gritty show really be the latest spin- off in the Star Trek saga -- that seemingly never-ending cult series about a Utopian future in which knowledge and...

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