I just saw an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise that I had never seen before – and it was really good. Even though it was a very ST:The Next Generation storyline, it fit well into the whole “figuring out what interacting with alien planets and cultures is all about” theme that should have been the primary focus of Enterprise.
Briefly, the story was about meeting a species that had three genders, and the third gender, a “cogenitor” that they referred to as ‘it,’ was treated as a third class citizen in the the alien culture even though it had just as much “potential” as the other genders. So Trip starts to teach it to read and whatnot behind the backs of the other aliens and eventually it requests sanctuary on Enterprise (more or less). Even though the episode ended pretty much perfectly as a self-contained story in this series, I personally thought “wouldn’t it be cool if they had taken this character into the roster and we could all watch the characters shake it out.” But no, we’re stuck with the same old wooden whitebread personalities (Dr Phlox excepted of course). I felt the same way in the episode where the crew had to rescue Captain Archer from the Klingon penal colony Rura Penthe (yes the same one from Star Trek VI) and they offered to take along the Klingon lawyer who was sentenced along with Archer. But of course the Klingon refused with some halfassed reason.