Trek Nation

I loved–still love–Star Trek. So today, when I learned that in celebration of Star Trek’s 45th Anniversary, the Science Channel will broadcast Trek Nation, a tribute to Gene Roddenberry by his son, Rod, you could have beamed me to Trekkie heaven.

The two-hour documentary explores the impact of Roddenberry’s unique vision for the future and will be broadcast at 7:00 p.m. CST.

As a child, I looked forward to it every week, ready to leave my house on Coolidge Street for space, the final frontier; excited to see what strange creatures might enter my living room. I’ll even admit to some sort of subliminal attraction to Captain James T. Kirk, though as a little girl, I didn’t really understand why. And perhaps because I was often discouraged from showing too much emotion, I also liked Spock, figuring if the always logical Spock could show emotion, certainly so could I.

As an adult, I looked forward to nightly reruns of Star Trek, and came to understand that my attraction to Kirk was based in large part on his “other side,” his human, imperfect, “non-captain” side. Oh, okay, he also exuded sexuality, whether implied or not. I realize my fondness for Star Trek is quite different from other Trekkies, but for me, beyond the sci-fi magic of the series, the multi-faceted characters were the appeal.

Now that I write, I look back and can see several techniques that made Star Trek a success. Each episode revolved around the conflict of one or more characters. The protagonists and antagonists were three-dimensional — not all good and not all bad. The settings were unique and interesting.

My favorite eposides? It’s a toss-up between The Trouble with Tribbles and The Menagerie. How could anyone resist the cute, fuzzy, purring creatures called Tribbles? As a child, I slipped on my fuzzy slippers and pretended I had Tribbles following me around.

Though I haven’t seen The Menagerie for many years, I remember being saddened by the image of the burned Christopher Pike, touched by Spock’s loyalty, and teary-eyed at the conclusion, when Pike is finally beamed to Talos.

Who was your favorite character? Favorite episode? Will you be watching the Science Channel at 7:00 tonight?

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This entry was posted in Gene Roddenberry, Kirk, Science, Spock, Star Trek, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Trek Nation

  1. Jack LaBloom says:

    I loved Star Trek. My favorite character was the Chief Engineer, Scotty.

  2. Jan Morrill says:

    @Jack LaBloom – I liked Scotty, too. I always liked the tension he brought to the battle scenes. "She's not gonna hold much longer, Captain." πŸ™‚

  3. I never really watched the original Star Trek because I always associated it with my older brother. He'd come home from school, beat me up and turn the channel so he could watch Star Trek. What a jerk. Anyway, when I got married, I lived in a remote village in Alaska with no cable TV. On Saturday nights the state operated station would play Star Trek Voyager and Deep Space Nine. I became addicted. I still haven't seen many of the original episodes, but I'd have to say Uhura and Bones are my favorite. Uhura was both hot and smart and very confident. McCoy because no one ever delivered the line, "He's dead, Jim," better!

  4. I've loved Star Trek since it first aired when I was in the sixth grade. My favorite character was Spock. And The Trouble With Tribbles was my favorite episode. Spock had some great comedic lines in that one. I also loved City On the Edge of Forever.

  5. Ruth says:

    I love Star Trek. Captain Kirk was hot! There was (or is?) alot of truth and spiritiality in the Star Trek's stories. I've seen all the movies and was sad when the Enterprise got destroyed! My favorite line in all the shows and movies belongs to Kirk when he says to this Crew "First star to the right and stright on till morning."

  6. Jan Morrill says:

    @clairecroxton – you know, there's story material in that memory of your brother. πŸ™‚ I loved Star Trek Voyager, too. Patrick Stewart! Woohoo!@Susan Macatee – I think it was Spock's dry sense of humor that set the bar for what kind of humor I like.@Ruth – I knew you'd agree with me about the "hotness" of Captain Kirk. πŸ™‚

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