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I'm a writer, a freelancer, a crafter, a nail polish mixatrix, a tea drinker, an unconventional life-liver, a journaling junkie, an introvert, a chronic-pain-sufferer, an idealist, a geek, a TV-lover. Welcome to my corner of the web!

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Happy 46th, Star Trek!

Today is the 46th anniversary of Star Trek: The Original Series! Google has a thing. Go see it.
When I was a kid living overseas, and there was only one Star Trek, we used to watch reruns. It was my first clear memory of science fiction, and my first attempts at writing SF were pretty rippy-offy. When there were typhoons in Japan, the on-base TV station would show hours and hours of ST, all night long, and we'd stay up in the living room with my dad, watching, while the storms raged outside.

Later, when were in Scotland, the Next Generation started. I hated the first episode, but by the time it was a few weeks in, I was hooked. We would watch it during dinner while Mom and Dad were playing darts at the pub and the babysitter was talking on the phone to her boyfriend. It was like the old show, but they'd (for some reason) flipped the red and gold uniforms (though the expendables were still red, of course), replaced the Vulcan with an android, given us Q and later the Borg, and Wesley and his horrible sweaters, and kept on going. I rooted for Troi and Riker almost as much as I rooted for Crusher and Picard.

When we were back in the states, there was Voyager, which is better than people think, though just as cheezy as you remember, and Deep Space Nine, which is better-acted than any of them, though seems to be mostly ignored.

And when I went to college, there was Enterprise, which I sort of gave up on.

But I still love the series--the optimistic idea that we can still be around hundreds of years from now, that aliens exist and like us, that we can explore and survive and increase the knowledge for everyone everywhere.

Because of Star Trek's original, uphill-battle run, we have:
  • The first multiracial kiss on TV
  • Hundreds of episodes, more than a dozen movies*, and hundreds of books and comics and crossovers in the world
  • The term 'redshirt'
  • The idea of 'beaming up', 'translators', 'mind melds', 'hyposprays' and medical devices that don't require cutting, hand-held devices that do everything, ubiquitous internet, friendly AI, personal space travel, 'warp speed', and so on
  • Tons of the space things that came after, whether reactions to or refinements of, including Firefly, which is a 'western in space' like ST was originally envisioned, only moreso
  • Generations of family bonding
  • Generations of kids growing up to invent what they saw on their favorite show
  • A visual and accessible platform for lots of the big-picture ideas that SF is so good at attacking
  • All the spoofs! Galaxy Quest, parts of Spaceballs, that weird Scandinavian fan film I saw once, dozens and dozens of momentary references...
  • Wil Wheton
  • And slashfic:

What are your opinions of the series? Do you have fond memories, or were you one of those who avoided it? What's your favorite episode--or which are your favorite episodes, if you're like me and you can't narrow it down to one?

*Lets see if I can remember them all: The Motion Picture, The Wrath of Kahn, The Search for Spock, The One With the Whales / The One With the "Newkyler Wessels" / The Journey Home, The Undiscovered Country, The Final Frontier, Generations, First Contact, Nemesis, Insurrection, JJ's reboot Star Trek and Star Trek 2... Ha! Got them all, though not quite in the right order...


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