Why Star Trek? Why Indeed.

Hey Everyone! Hope this day/night/evening/solstice or whenever finds you well. Well, while I’ve no specific news on upcoming books, I couldn’t just let my blog set there with no updates, and I need to write about something. So I thought I’d talk about something I’ve had an interest in for years. Star Trek.

Why Star Trek, you may ask, as some do? Well, as there are no less than five different series that include that name(six if one counts the animated series that lasted I think for one season) we should first narrow it down to which one I watch the most. That would be The Original Series, heretofore known as TOS. That would be the one with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy from the mid-sixties. The classic, as it were. Now the other series are just as good, some are even better, but as they say(and is often the case) the original is always the best. Maybe it only seems that way because nostalgia is such a powerful force, but regardless, the first always holds a special place in our hearts. So too is it with Star Trek.

Much has been made of the starry-eyed future in which these series take place. Its a hopeful time. Mankind has left behind his wars, his famine’s, his plagues, and moved forward into a bright future where all is well on Earth. As much as I’d like to believe that such a future is indeed possible, these forty-plus years that I’ve been here have demonstrated that it seems highly unlikely. Even if a stranger from outer-space does indeed come down from the heavens(which in the lore of Star Trek is one of the catalysts of mankind’s finally pulling together) I’m uncharacteristically pessimistic that it would unite us. But it’s at least remotely possible, and it’s that strained hope that Star Trek shoots for.

But it’s not the hopefulness, or the ships, or the time really that keeps me turning Netflix back on to watch a favorite episode. It’s the actors, playing their characters to perfection in the wild and incredibly varied, yet still familiar, settings. Kirk and Spock go to the Roman plant. Kirk and Spock go to the Wild West planet. Kick and Spock go to the gangster planet, man that’s a great one. Spock in a three-piece suit. One of my favorite lines in the entire series comes from the one where Kirk and Spock go the Nazi Planet. They’re trying to get some uniforms so they can pass undetected. They finally get a uniform and Spock says to Kirk, “You should make a very convincing Nazi.” LOL:) Kirk doesn’t say anything, he just shoots Spock a dirty look. Awesome. It’s moment’s like those that make the whole show. The actors just nailing their roles in show after show.

Now I’ll be the first to admit the show has a lot of cheesy moments, and the, uh, “special” effects aren’t really all that special anymore. Acute observers will notice that some of these effects were redone with more modern equipment in recent years. It’s great, but there are a lot of things that just can’t be redone. But, at least for me, those don’t detract from the series as a whole. Now I want to give every actor who played a role their due, James Doohan as Scotty, Nichelle as Uhura, Takei and Keoning, they all did great jobs. But it was the trifecta of Shatner, Nimoy and Kelly, playing Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy that made that show work as well as it did.

While I’m here I’d like to put my two cents in where the new movies are concerned. New actors playing the old roles. It reminds me of when The Next Generation was announced way back in ’85, or ’86. Star Trek without the original actors?! In their original roles?! How dare they? But, in the end this new crew did a great job and made a terrific show. But these new movies are really a different beast, so to speak. These aren’t entirely new characters, they’re old characters being portrayed by new actors. And in new capacities. The new movie(2009) changed the whole Star Trek universe, warping the timeline and what not. I’m still not entirely convinced the producers of this new Star Trek didn’t do this out a kind of laziness, so they wouldn’t have to learn a lot of Star Trek canon, and then have their imaginations restricted by having to adhere to those guidelines. That’s not to say that they didn’t come up with an entertaining movie, they did, and have, and there’ll most likely be at least one or two more movies along this line, if not more. But I find a small part of me wishing they hadn’t distorted the original storyline as much as they have. But that’s they way of things. Change.

Anywho, if you’ve never watched Star Trek, and you have Netflix, it’s worth a look. There are some great TV moments in that show that aren’t to be missed. I’ll leave you here with a short list of some of my favorite episodes. ‘Til next time!

The Trouble with Tribbles

Balance of Terror

Spectre of the Gun (Takes place in Tombstone 1880-whatever it was, and in this one the Earps are made out to be bad guys, an interesting twist I thought.)

A Piece of the Action

Bread and Circuses


See You in the Future,

J.S. Eaton