I am a spiritual Trekkie. Never been to a convention. Once dressed in Star Fleet uniform at Universal Studios 20 some years ago. When Star Trek debuted on this day in 1966, I was almost 8 years old. I was fascinated with the motley crew of beings from all over the universe and imagined being on board the Enterprise as they were off ‘to boldly go’.
At first, I was drawn to musing about the technological advances that were awaiting our arrival in the future. So many of them have come to be here and now realities.
As I matured and began to understand relationship dynamics, I appreciated the genius of Gene Roddenberry whose characters and storylines heralded a time of cooperation in the midst of conflict. It showed that beings from various cultures could love each other. Not sure I totally agree with The Prime Directive, about non-interference … busy-body who likes to fix what is broken, rather than leaving people to their own devices.
I related to the go-for-the-gusto Kirk, the hybrid Human-Vulcan Spock, the unshakeable universal communicator Uhura, the can do, fix anything Scotty, the deadpan Dr. McCoy, the cool as a cucumber Sulu, the emotional Chekov, and the lusting- after- Spock, Nurse Chapel. Each had qualities that I admired. It also showed the first inter-racial smooch, between Capt. Kirk and Lt. Uhura. Revolutionary for its time.
It was when the spin-off from the original series called The Next Generation debuted that I truly resonated with a character. Being an empath myself, I could see myself as Counselor Deanna Troi who was the advisor to Capt. Picard and had the hots for First Officer Will Riker and eventually the Klingon, Worf.
Watching the original series with my father was one of our bonding rituals. I could tell you the plot line of every episode back then. Now it might take a little longer.
The show had a push-pull relationship with the budding feminism of the day; with strong female characters scarce and most of them were women clothed in skimpy garb, for that zip of sex appeal.
It also, despite the aforementioned multi-cultural cast, had an undercurrent of racism. Much of the banter between McCoy and Spock had the former insulting the latter by referring to his pointy ears and green blood.
Since the show came of age during the Viet Nam war, it addressed the issues of military encounters as the Enterprise found itself at odds with Klingons, Romulans, The Borg and a host of other baddies who were determined to take over as much of the galaxy as possible.
I will always love the original for its campy over the top acting and the subsequent show spin offs and movies for taking us on way more than a five-year mission.
Live long and prosper, y’all.