Ask me if I’m a Trekkie and I’ll deny it. Yes, I own copies of the Star Trek The Next Generation: Technical Manual, the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual and The Klingon Dictionary, but these are only rational items for a wannabe sci-fi writer. They sit neatly alongside a copy of “The Space Colonist’s Handbook” and a couple dozen volumes on actual space adventures. My Mr. Spock bobble-head and the two seasons of the Original Series that sit on my shelf are, however, a bit more difficult to explain.
I can clarify my possession of the first by explaining that a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… (oops, wrong movie), Mr. Spock was my first crush. I’m not sure whether it was the pointy ears or the cool logic that attracted me (or the fact that science officers wore blue uniforms and blue is my favorite color), but I quickly fell in love. He would be my fictional character of choice until Han Solo appeared on the scene.
As to why I own two seasons of the Original Series, all I can say is that I was just on the verge of purchasing the third when someone decided to “re-master” everything and update the special effects. Yes, the phaser beams were hokey and the transporter looked a lot like sugar stirred into a glass of water, bit I really didn’t care. Classic Trek should not be altered. Unless…
I’ll admit that I was nervous when Paramount announced its intention to bring Classic Trek back to the big screen. So much of the series is dated: from the sexist mini-skirts to the quirky sounds made by the Enterprise. Our culture has advanced since the sixties and I had every right to fear that a newer, modern version of Trek would lose many of the unique features which made it so ground-breaking at the time. This didn’t, however, keep me away from the theatre.
With great delight, I exited the cinema, my head in the clouds. The new movie was, in my opinion, perfect. The actors hadn’t sought to “make the characters their own,” but had mimicked the performance of the original cast. From Spock’s enigmatic look to McCoy’s hand gestures, everything had been just as it was in the Original Series. (Despite, of course, that little bit about the altered time-line.) The mini-skirts had been given an acceptably modern flair and the Enterprise still beeped and hummed. It had me longing for more.
Needless to say, my fiancé and I were some of the first in line when “Into Darkness” was released. I was totally revved up and ready for another installment of what some said was the prequel to a revival of the series. There was some serious discussion about whether it was appropriate to rewrite “The Wrath of Khan,” but as my sister pointed out, the occurrence of the crew’s encounter so early in their mission combined with the absence of the Genesis Project does leave things open to some creative twists in the future. How can I argue with logic like that?
Perhaps the oddest part of my adventure, however, wasn’t the movie, but my fiance’s reaction to it. Upon exiting the theatre he immediately announced that 1) He did not feel threatened by Mr. Spock and 2) He was interested in seeing more Trek. We spent the remainder of the afternoon watching old episodes of The Next Generation (I tried to show him some other series, but to no avail) and I found myself slowly reliving all of the wonder that I felt when I first discovered Trek.
The humor, the adventure, the scientific wonder are all still there. And, while I wouldn’t class myself with those who attend the big conventions (I am, after all, only thinking about purchasing a Starfleet uniform), I still feel a deep affinity for the show and for the creativity which it inspires. Perhaps I am just a bit of a Trekkie after all!