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?