Class M planet

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In the fictional Star Trek universe, a Class M planet is the classification used to refer to a planet that is suitable for supporting life. They usually have oxygen/nitrogen atmospheres, suitable surface temperatures and plenty of water necessary for life to evolve and survive. Earth is considered a textbook example of a Class M planet.

Aside from Earth, a few other well known Class M planets in the Star Trek series are: Qo'noS, Cardassia Prime and Bajor.

On the series Enterprise, Sub-commander T'Pol suggests that Class M stands for Minshara-Class, originally a Vulcan term.

Criticism

Many viewers of Star Trek have complained about how often planets visited in the show are Class M and that the characters rarely go to more bizarre worlds. The reason for this is simply one of the television show budget. Scenes taking place on an Earth-like planet are more easily filmed right here on Earth. Otherworldly planets would need detailed sets made in studios or expensive computer generated effects.

Another reason for the numerous "Earth-looking" worlds in the show would be the idea that humanoid life would better evolve on worlds similar to Earth. It has also been mentioned in the series that an advanced Precursor race of aliens "seeded" humans on many Earth-like worlds hundreds of thousands of years ago which resulted in most sentient races looking more or less like Earth humans.

Some newly produced sci-fi television shows with higher budgets, (like Farscape for example), have attempted to design and dress worlds to look as vastly different from Earth as possible, sometimes even getting into more esoteric backdrops like those seen on Lexx.

See Also

Star Trek planet classifications A list of other Star Trek planet classifications.

External links

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