Tag: Star Trek

Star Trek Discovery, Some Thoughts

Star Trek Discovery, Some Thoughts

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So I’ve watched the first two episodes of Discovery twice now, and I’ll catch the third episode as soon as the rest of my schedule allows, but I’m not entirely convinced yet that it’s Star Trek.

Oh, it’s supposed to be set in the Star Trek prime universe (which makes the Klingon redesign really annoying, and rather stupid), but that doesn’t necessarily make it Star Trek. Witness the reboot movies in the past few years. Only the third one comes close. The first two are just action movies in Star Trek wrapping. But let’s not rehash that now.

It’s beautiful. Cinematic. Grand in an almost space opera way. They could have gone with slight variations on the classic aesthetic, but it’s a new show and I get wanting to show off new tech and new FX to bring your work to a wider audience, so things look like a reimagining of that original era, and I’m okay with that, the detail that’s been put in.

So it looks good, and it sounds good, and they’ve put a bunch of potentially good characters and actors together, and I’m guessing a lot of people have worked hard to make it an experience Trekkies will want to savour and remember. For that, my thanks, and my eyeballs to give it probably a more than fair chance.

Of course, putting most of the story behind a paywall is going to be self-defeating. Oh, a few dedicated souls will buy the All Access subscription, and a few will hack it to make the show available for illegal download. In Canada, we’ll be able to get it on Space, and in other jurisdictions, CBS has cut deals with Netflix, but the company has to consider the primary audience to be American, which means their own streaming service, and I worry that’s going to kill the show after one season regardless of how good it is.

And so far, I feel like it’s good science fiction, but I’m not ready to grant that it’s good Star Trek yet.

Star Trek, at its heart, is about two things: characters and ideas. I think the characters have some potential here, the ones who survived the first two episodes and who actually have names, that is, and not all of them fit into both camps, but I’m struggling with the ideas.

At its best, Star Trek makes us think and reconsider, it holds up a mirror for us to look at ourselves in without necessarily realizing it’s us that we’re seeing. Star Trek is supposed to push boundaries and make us look at issues and things in new ways. I can’t say that Discovery is doing that yet. So far, it’s a descent into war story and while it’s presenting things that need to be considered in a good war story—motivations and misunderstandings on both sides, characters making tough decisions who aren’t really ready to, and fallout from those decisions—I’m not sure anything I’ve seen so far needed to be science fiction, much less specifically Star Trek.

But I’ve only seen the prologue so far. The main story doesn’t start until episode 3. This is like watching the last few days of Kirk’s previous assignment before he stepped on board as captain of the Enterprise, if that had gone far worse and he’d started a war. It’s background information, stuff that, in a novel, you’d sprinkle in bits of later and just get to the real story. It’s an interesting choice, and whether or not it works depends on the story that follows.

I still have hope, and I have hope that my hope for the show won’t be crushed too soon.

Two completely unrelated points. First, if I add things up correctly, Sarek took in a human ward just after his half-human son left for the Academy? You know, the son he didn’t talk to for a couple of decades because he was too human and wanted to find his own way against his Vulcan father’s wishes? Second, why do the Klingons have to talk so slowly?

Live long and prosper, everyone.

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Book Review: Star Trek Movie Memories

Book Review: Star Trek Movie Memories

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Having read Star Trek Memories, I almost immediately moved to its sequel, published the following year, which I suddenly realized was more than twenty years in the past. Movie Memories, written just a couple of years after Star Trek VI finished production, would have covered a longer time period, at least calendrically if not in terms of actual production time, but most of it would certainly have been fresher in Shatner’s mind.

I say almost because I decided I didn’t want to overdose, so I let a couple of months go by before picking up the sequel volume. A couple like nine or ten.

This isn’t the same kind of book as the first volume. Well, it is still a memoir, but this time Shatner presents the memories much more chronologically, in a very linear fashion moving from one movie to the next. There are still plenty of anecdotes, and he’s still going to other people for bits and pieces of Trek history he didn’t know.

But, covering seven movies across fifteen years, this memoir proceeds at breakneck speed to get everything done. I learned things about each of the movies, and Shatners feelings about the process, production, and many things connected to each of them. I would have like to learn more. And, in fact, it actually covers a larger time period than that, giving us a glimpse of the harder times between the series and the movies, and Shatner’s work and work ethic getting through them.

For me, I feel like the most interesting parts of the book were his reminiscences around Star Trek V, a film considered disappointing by so many fans, and Star Trek: Generations.

For me, Star Trek V is not a bad movie, though it’s not a particularly good Star Trek movie. I can find things to enjoy in it even as I find things that disappoint me. Shatner spelled out his own disappointments in the way production went and all of the compromises he and the production team had to make to get the job done. The initial vision had been so much grander, but events and budget restrictions, and artificial time constraints conspired against the film.

Star Trek: Generations brought us the death of Captain Kirk. (Should there have been a spoiler alert there? It’s been 23 years.) I really enjoyed Shatner’s discussions on how he felt about that, and all the things he experienced and felt running up to it. This book was released on the heels of the movie and death of a character he’d played for more than 25 years must still have been fresh and raw.

But his memories of both of those films, along with all of the others, went by too quick.

Overall rating: 4 stars. I finished my review of Star Trek Memories with two sentences. I just wish it was a lot longer. Although there is a sequel. I think I’d like to echo that for this one. I wish it was a long longer. I also wish there was another sequel.

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Star Trek Discovery is Coming – Really

Star Trek Discovery is Coming – Really

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I want to be excited about Star Trek: Discovery.

You know, the new Star Trek TV show that was going to premier in January of 2017?

Yeah, that one.

Delayed multiple times, depending on which news you read. Writing and directorial issues, same. Harry Mudd, sigh. Sarek, again, sigh.

Now there are two variations of an actual trailer to give us a look at what we’re finally going to get in the fall.

I’m not going to do an exhaustive, frame by frame analysis. There are plenty of those already and the trailers only released the day before yesterday. I’m just going to throw out some impressions. Sparing no expense on the cinematography. Cool new ship, tech, toys, uniforms, aliens. Apparently inclusive crew. Retconning the Klingons… again.

I want it to work. There hasn’t been new Trek on TV for a long time. But in order for it to work, they’re going to have to tell new stories, relevant stories, important stories. They can’t just rehash the same ground or produce painfully derivative adventure tales like the reboot movies have done. CBS Paramount is going to have to give us Star Trek, and they’re going to have to do it right out of the gate, because the entertainment climate doesn’t allow for a lot of second chances anymore.

I want it to work, but I’m reserving judgement until there’s something more than a trailer to judge.

Be well, everyone.

 

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Paramount’s Last Chance at a Star Trek Movie

Paramount’s Last Chance at a Star Trek Movie

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maxresdefaultSo it’s actually been several weeks since I watched Star Trek Beyond, and I know everyone is dying to know what I thought of the movie beyond (ha, ha) the brief Facebook post I made after getting home from the theatre with my 17-year-old son. I have a few basic thoughts overall.

First, all of the things that I actually liked about first two movies in the rebooted, alternate timeline sequence stand. The casting is generally awesome, and I think even Chris Pine was a better Kirk this time. The design aesthetic is beautiful, visuals are breathtaking at times, and the soundscape really adds to things.

Second, there were a few weird things here, things that didn’t entirely make sense to me, and three of these spring to mind:

  1. The chain lightning gun that exactly one of the bad guy soldiers used when boarding the Enterprise and took five people out in one shot with. This should clearly have been standard issue, and the boarding action would have been over a lot faster.
  2. The sheer size and scope of Starbase Yorktown was ridiculous. Your biggest and most advanced Starbase, with a population of a couple of million Federation citizens, just completed and on the edge of explored space, is the size of a small moon. Never mind it was commanded by only a Commodore (which seems like outranks an Admiral, for some reason). Yes, it was some pretty impressive CGI, but really, Starbase Yorktown was only that giant so they could have a starship chase scene run through it.
  3. Why was there a motorcycle on a 100-year-old wrecked starship on the edge of explored space? And why did that motorcycle still work?

Third, I stand behind agreeing with my son’s succinct judgment of the film as we walked out: aggressively mediocre. The pacing was okay, the writing was okay (and, honestly, I expected better from Simon Pegg), the overall plot was okay. No opening credits for titles, which I finally stopped waiting for, and not many standout moments. As a matter of fact, I’m not really sure there were any stand out moments. Oh, there were a cute one-liners, and nice characterizations by actors who have learned to live in the roles, but a lot of the good stuff in the film is more tribute, even though the tributes were seamlessly woven in for the most part. And there was a lot of tribute, a lot of call backs. That’s cool. Star Trek has, when this movie released, closing in on 51 years of history, if you count “The Cage”. We are rapidly closing in, next week actually, on the 50th anniversary of the first airing of the show on network television.

Now, if it sounds like I’m not terribly impressed so far, you’re reading things they way I’ve written them, but my last point is the key one: in a way that neither of the first two Abrams films were, this is a Star Trek film.

Some very basic Star Trek themes are built into this movie. There are three points I want to think about here, too.

  1. Inclusiveness, and not wanting to spoil the film if you haven’t seen it, I’ll leave it at saying that inclusiveness in the crew is greater than it’s ever been before, and the theme goes beyond just Starfleet personnel.
  2. Strive to be better than you are, and help the people around you be better than they are. This has always been a big Star Trek theme, and I’m glad to see it return from the ashes of the poorly written action movies we’ve tolerated in the past two releases.
  3. Find the place you make a big difference, and then do everything you can to make as big a difference as you can. In other words, it’s everyone’s job to make the universe a better place.

So, while Star Trek Beyond wasn’t a great film, or even a particularly good one, and while I stand by the “aggressively mediocre” summary, that summary is only that. I’ve seen every Star Trek movie in the theatre, and I said before I saw this one that, based on the last two staggering disappointments, this was Paramount’s last chance for me in the theatre. I wasn’t impressed and I wasn’t thrilled, but they gave me a Star Trek movie. On the strength of that, the franchise gets another shot.

Live long and prosper, everyone.

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Nine Things I Think About Star Trek: Discovery

Nine Things I Think About Star Trek: Discovery

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1031Discovery(Note: I drafted this before the announcement this week that Discovery will take place ten years before TOS in the Prime Universe. I didn’t get around to finishing the edit/polish until this morning. I also saw Beyond a few nights ago, contrary to the following text, and I’ll write about that soon.)

 

 

Nine Things I Think About Star Trek: Discovery

So I know everyone is probably desperate to hear what I think about the idea of Star Trek: Discovery.

Yes, I said Star Trek: Discovery. I haven’t seen Beyond yet, but I have time booked with my son to see it tonight. And I have higher hopes for the film than I would have under the previous writing team.

But this is about Discovery.

So, here’s what I think at the moment:

  1. I think that Star Trek, much as I’ve enjoyed some, even most, of the movies, needs to be on television. Common wisdom holds that the theater audiences don’t have the patience for exploration of ideas and concepts but only want action and excitement from their science fiction. I happen to disagree, but I’m not in charge of Hollywood, or even tiny part of it. I do get to vote for what I like with my wallet or my eyeballs. On TV, you have the opportunity to explore ideas and characters in far more detail, and those have always been at the heart of Star Trek. And it’s been off the air for far too long. Syndication doesn’t count.
  2. I think that someone looked at some of the original concept art for Star Trek Phase 2 and updated it pretty heavily, producing what from the teaser (the real teaser, not the one with vague promises and a new logo) is actually a pretty cool looking ship. The design is still clearly Starfleet, still clearly Star Trek, but it’s old and new at the same time.
  3. I think that there has been a lot of misinformation and speculation, and some of them are designed to deliberately muddy the waters and keep us speculating and in suspense. I’m okay with that. Talking about it is fun.
  4. I think the most likely time frame for Discovery is before the original series but long after Enterprise. I’m not a purist, exactly, but it’s my general understanding that hull numbers go up the further into the federation’s history you go. The original Enterprise had a hull number of 1701. The Discovery’s hull number is 1031. If the tiny scene we are seeing is a freshly commission starship, logic dictates that it is taking place before the original series. To geek out a bit for a moment, it was built not too long after the first Constellation class cruisers were built, of which the Enterprise was one. I offer as evidence the episode “The Doomsday Machine”, where we see the near wreck of the USS Constellation, numbered NCC–1017.
  5. I think the second most likely setting is sometime just after The Motion Picture timeframe, probably within a few years. For this, I have no direct reference, only consider that the hall and engine nacelles are a bit of a departure from the original series (although perhaps a little Klingon-like). Consider that the Enterprise herself had a colossal, and keel up refit ending as The Motion Picture began, and she looked the more or less the same, but quite a bit different. In universe, I’d expect other ships had similar upgrades over the coming years. Potentially cheaper for Starfleet then building entirely new vessels, though I expect there was a lot of that to.
  6. I think that discovery will continue the Star Trek tradition of broadening the definition of normal. We will likely see something very close to gender parity in the crew, representations we haven’t had before, and likely some alien crew members as well.
  7. I think will also continue to Star Trek traditions of dealing with the issues of the day in disguised form, where the crew of the Discovery stands in for us.
  8. I think it’s likely that this will not be the traditional 22 to 26 episode television season, but will be more along the lines of the Netflix model (which is a knock off of the European model) of probably 12 to 15 episodes.
  9. I think there’s a good chance that, in keeping with other modern, popular genre shows, the new Star Trek will be less episodic than is traditional. There will probably be only one major story arc. This is both limiting and broadening, and we’ll see how well they do it.

 

Additional Thoughts

Before I say anything else, I will say that I want to be excited. I know I didn’t get excited when I posted a few months ago about the teeny tiny supposed teaser trailer. The reason being that it really wasn’t a teaser or a trailer. It was a logo unveiling with a vague promise. Nothing to get excited about.

Now there might be something to be excited about, and I want to be. I haven’t done an exhaustive analysis of the trailer. I’m not going to. Other people have done that in far more detail than I would ever want to, and there is a very, very deep rabbit hole you can go down speculating on every little detail you might find in one minute of video. I’m sure there’s information in the trailer that can support it every bit of guesswork that someone has done somewhere. Some of it will eventually be proved right, and most of it wrong, and that’s how it works. It will be what it will be, and there is absolutely nothing I can do to affect what will be. I’ve done everything I can to, and I’ve done that by being a fan of Star Trek my entire life through every incarnation.

(Yes, I know I haven’t been a vocal proponent of the reboot universe–kind of the opposite, really–but that’s been solely due to the writing. The acting, the aesthetic, the design, the sound effects, the music are awesome. The writing sucked, and it’s just that simple for me. Mediocre action movies with Star Trek trappings and enough technobabble to try to make the connections. But it has brought people into the Star Trek universe, and that’s a good thing.)

I grew up on The Original Series, watching every episode in syndication every chance I got and eventually being able to quote most of the dialogue and identify the episode by any random line thrown at me (non-generic ones, at least). I love every episode, even the bad ones.

The Next Generation came when I was teenager it became my second Star Trek love, with a brighter future, a longer run, and a broader set of characters and stories. It came when I needed it, and it’s still there when I still do.

I had a harder time with Deep Space Nine, and maybe partly because rumors at the time, subsequently somewhat verified, suggested that TNG ended prematurely to give DS9 a greater viewer base, which didn’t work. But later seasons, with a bigger story arc and an intergalactic war, did get me back to the show in a smaller way.

Voyager came at a time when I didn’t have enough time or inclination to be into television, but I made up for that later, not quite catching up to seeing all the episodes by the time the series ended, but I watched both the first and the last episode the first time they aired.

Enterprise was harder to like, especially the first season, and didn’t find its feet fast enough as an early 21st century television show. I came back to it sometime late in the third season, and enjoying a lot of the fourth, when the writing actually started to get good, actually very good near the end of things, about when the notification came that it had been cancelled.

I have seen every Star Trek movie in the theater, though the case The Motion Picture, not first run, but in a small theater many years later. I’ve found things to like, in all of them, but to different degrees. If I’m not all that fond of the reboot universe, that’s mainly due to what I see as major weaknesses in the writing. But we talked about that already.

But it comes down to the fact that Star Trek needs to be on television. Discovery is the next television incarnation, coming to an Internet or streaming service near you in January 2017.

Works for me. And I want to be excited. So, a shout out to everyone involved in Discovery, if you want me to be excited, promise big and deliver bigger. Promise me Star Trek.

Be well, everyone.

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Star Trek Beyond: A New Trailer

Star Trek Beyond: A New Trailer

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So I’ve watched the new trailer for Star Trek: Beyond several times now, and I’m still coming away with a far better impression than from the first. The presentation, at least, gives the vision of something more than a mediocre action adventure movie with Star Trek trappings that rips off previous plots without making enough sense to avoid a WTF was that reaction.

I’m not going to do a frame by frame analysis. I’m sure there are a dozen or more of those available already, and the trailer only released 8 or 9 hours ago. But I will make a few general points.

The movie seems to be trying to re-establish the Kirk-Spock-Bones dynamic in a real way, beyond simple off hand comments and cheap laugh jokes.

It looks like we’re getting more emotional depth from the principal characters (though Chekov was notably absent from the trailer, and Sulu had only two very brief flashes of screen time).

Our new enemy isn’t just a mindless big, bad, but seems to have a purpose of some kind that isn’t clear in the trailer.

Kirk has some philosophical conflict, and his bartender, I mean doctor, needs to point out the obvious to remind him of what things are really about.

Spock might just be a little more Vulcan again and trying to figure out humans, in spite of continuing his relationship with Uhura, which I suspect is due at least partially to persistence on her part.

Kirk doesn’t appear to be banging any hot alien babes as a throwaway comment. Corollary: the female lead isn’t someone for him to get into bed, though it won’t surprise me if there’s some flirting going on.

The crew may be coming together as a unit rather than just acting as an extension of Kirk’s will.

In short, it seems just possible that we’re getting a Star Trek movie this time around. I’m more hopeful than I was before discovering the trailer over breakfast, and I’ll probably have lots more to say as the release date gets closer. Actually, I think I’m at the point where I think there’s a possibility I’ll want to see this one more than once, and that’ll be a first in the reboot universe.

Check the trailer out. Maybe you’ll have a little hope too.

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And CBS said, “Let there be Star Trek!”

And CBS said, “Let there be Star Trek!”

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And there was much tentative rejoicing.

I’ve been thinking about this whole new Star Trek show thing for a while now, ever since the announcement first hit, and I’ve been trying to decide exactly how I feel.

On the one hand, I think the time is right. By the time the show actually hits the air and Internet, Enterprise will have been out of production for a dozen years or so. I think that’s long enough to lie fallow, and I been saying, at least privately, for a while that Star Trek needs to be back on television. Episodic television, not watching the movies.

On the other hand, when I have to consider the atrocities committed by first two movies in the new franchise, I worry that they’ll screw it up completely. (For reference, both of the reboot movies had good moments, but both of them went from good to dreck in the second act and failed to improve. But I’ve made that argument, and in a lot of detail, before.)

But Star Trek needs to be on TV, so don’t we have to take that chance sooner or later?

So here’s what I want:

First off, I don’t care what time frame they put it in, or whether it’s on a ship or a starbase or on a planet or some combination of the three. My preference is for a ship, really, but whatever.

I want there to be stories, and for those stories to be about characters. Star Trek, good Star Trek, has always been about people and ideas. The story has to be good, and I have to care about the characters. It’s fine if I don’t care about all the characters right away, if some of them take a little time to grow on me. That’s fine.

And I want it to be inclusive. Actually, it’s not just a matter of what I want here. It has to be.

Every series has worked to expand the inclusiveness of the Star Trek universe, working with the times but also pushing them, to expand the diversity of the people who crewed the ship or the station.

You don’t think so?

Star Trek, The Original Series had a half alien first officer, a Russian on the bridge deep in the cold war, and a representation in the main cast of skin tones that weren’t variations of pink.

Next Generation stepped away from just having pretty people in the service, having a middle-aged bald guy as the captain. It also gave us three major female characters (at least for a while), and a former enemy, a Klingon.

Deep Space Nine made the lead character, the captain, black. It upped the ante on the aliens and it put strong women in the cast, as much or more than TNG.

Voyager gave us our first female captain (as more than a bit part), a black Vulcan, a half-Klingon chief engineer (who happened to be a woman),

Enterprise gave us a dog. Okay, that’s not fair, but if it didn’t work quite as hard as it could have at pushing the diversity boundaries, it didn’t take any steps back either, with lots of diversity in both the primary cast and the background actors.

I’m simplifying, but all I want from my Star Trek is those three things: ideas, people, stories, diversity.

I don’t want an action movie on a smaller screen. I want Star Trek.

Don’t screw it up, CBS.

Be well, everyone.

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Farewell, Grandpa Leonard

Farewell, Grandpa Leonard

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20130723-204137Typing this, I learned a few minutes ago that Leonard Nimoy has left us.

This morning in his California home, from “end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease”. Diagnosed last year, and attributed by him to a long habit of smoking, though he gave it up several decades ago.

Family man, actor, musician, photographer, writer, and many other things. I’ve enjoyed his work my entire life, and will continue to do so, but it might be a little while before I can watch him on screen and not be a bit wistful about it. I was privileged to get to see him last year at Ottawa Comic Con, though it was only by Skype, and wish I’d taken advantage of those rare occasions he came to Toronto when I was younger and living there.

I haven’t been too active on Twitter in the last few weeks/months, but two tweets catch my attention today.

First, Mr. Nimoy’s last tweet, on Feb 23rd: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP”

A few moments ago, from William Shatner: “I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love.”

I don’t think I can add anything to either of those.

Resisting all temptation to slightly modify any famous quotes, I’m simply going to say farewell, Grandpa Leonard. You will be missed by many.

Be well, everyone.

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2016: The Year of Star Trek

2016: The Year of Star Trek

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Warning!

The 8th of September, 2016 will be the fiftieth anniversary of the first time Star Trek was broadcast on television.

This makes 2016 a special year. Fifty years of Star Trek.

Unfortunately, the only thing Paramount has announced so far is the third in the mediocre reboot movies. (Yes, mediocre. At best. Discussion for another day.) I hope for more, and I’m sure there will be a flurry of books, mostly with subjects we’ve seen before, but some new stuff mixed in. A little original fiction would be nice, too.

But I feel like it’s unlikely to be enough to pay tribute to the show that started a revolution in science fiction, that pushed boundaries, and that presented big ideas, and that has inspired several generations of scientists, engineers, and fans.

Fortunately, I’m willing to bet that the fan community will step up and provide more content in the Star Trek universe than ever before.

There is far more Star Trek fan fiction than any other kind, and a surprising amount of it is good. Video, audio, animation, graphic storytelling, it’s all out there. And I think there’s a lot more coming, and a lot of it to celebrate.

I’m intending to produce some myself. Actually, not intending. I’ve already started. Yes, 2016 is still a year and a half away, but I’ve got a lot on the go (most of us do) so I’m starting early. I’m not going to spoil anything at this point, but I’ve got a lot planned. If I can manage even half of it, I’ll be thrilled to add my own tiny bit to the universe.

The original series holds a special place in my geeky little heart, and since it’s really the fiftieth anniversary of that we’ll be celebrating, that’s the era I intend to work in exclusively. Yes, it’s been mined extensively, but there’s always room for another story and there are characters who haven’t had the attention they deserve. There will probably be a separate blog to avoid confusion on anyone’s part and to be clear that I’m not interested in making any money from whatever Trek endeavors I launch.

To be clear, it’s going to be fun. If you’re a Star Trek fan, I hope you tune in.

More as it becomes needed.

Be well, everyone.

 

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Star Trek Re-Watch

Star Trek Re-Watch

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As part of the Days of Geek podcast (which, yes, I know I’m supposed to release an episode of today, but I’m not nearly finished editing it yet), I’m doing a Star Trek re-watch. The Original Series. As in, the series that originally ran before I was born.

I grew up watching Trek. One of my earliest memories is sitting in my father’s lap in that old green chair watching “The Immunity Syndrome”. As a three-year-old, the idea of a giant space amoeba eating whole planets was hard to wrap my mind around, but it was pretty cool. I watched every episode of the show over and over as a kid. As a teenager, it came on about 5 minutes after I got home from school for most of my high school years. That started to shift after The Next Generation kicked in, but it didn’t make the move to only early Saturday mornings until just before my first year of university. I kept watching.

As an adult, with cable and a science fiction network, I made it my mission to capture all of the episodes in order on VHS (a mission I’d later extend to TNG as well).

With the exception of the very first one, I’ve seen all of the feature films first run in the theatre. I have seen Star Trek: the Motion Picture on the big screen, but it was many years later in a review theatre.

You might figure out that I love the show. Honestly, Star Trek was a huge influence in my watching and reading habits as a kid and teenager, and is certainly the reason I’m a geek. It’s also at least part of the reason I developed a brain as a teenager when a lot of people around me seemed to be actively trying to avoid using theirs.

I’ve never tried to force feed my own kids the things I love. There’s a lot of variety and I want them free to choose their own path in all things, and that has always included what to watch. I’ve been far more likely to watch what they’re into than watch what I want.

My son thinks I should have made him watch more Star Trek as a kid. However, he’s seen every Trek movie in the theatre that’s released in his lifetime. And he’s watching a fair bit with me lately.

My oldest daughter claims it’s too late. She likes Fantasy better than Science Fiction. But she’ll sit through episodes if we’re watching as a family.

My youngest doesn’t mind and is happy to watch with me. She likes some of the episodes and rolls her eyes at others. I think she likes TNG better.

Thinking about getting my daughters into Star Trek, I’m a little wary of the lack of strong women in the original series. They’re there, but only one on the regular cast and she’s underused a lot of the time. It’s better in TNG and Voyager. I should give DS9 another chance for the same reason. (Never got as far into it. I felt a lot of what was being done on the show, Babylon 5 covered better. With a little time and perspective, now I think I might have missed some good storytelling, especially in the later seasons.)

But if all of my kids aren’t Trekkies, they’ve all caught the spirit of Trek: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, and a bright future for the human race. What more could a dad hope for?

But the re-watch. That’s where I started, right? I’m less than half way through Season One watching things in order, but I’ve also handpicked episodes for the family to watch for Spocktoberfest. My success rate is high for those. That said, my son has requested “Spock’s Brain”.

Okay, so there are a few not so good episodes (although “Spock’s Brain” is interesting in its own way), but you can learn a lot from them too. Negative examples are still examples. But the good examples from the series tend to be really good, even 47 years on.

It’s all about the stories and the characters. Star Trek, The Original Series, did both of those very well.

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