I have been re-watching the Star Trek series over the last year and a half/two years now. Because some of my perspectives have changed, I was ready to write about it on September 8th; Star Trek Day, but I got distracted and almost completely missed Star Trek Day altogether.
Those of you that know me know that I have been a Star Trek fan from the time that the very first episode aired of the Original Series. Way before it was “cool” (I’m old).
The was and still is nothing not to love about the Original – nothing.
And….. Captain Kirk was a coffee drinker…
“Yeoman, is that coffee available or have those circuits been damaged as well?”
I remember when The Next Generation was being advertised. I was outraged that anyone would try to create a new Star Trek even if the person creating it was Gene Roddenberry himself. How Dare He?!!! My boyfriend at the time, knowing how much I loved Star Trek taped it and brought it to my house for me to watch. I flatly refused. I would NEVER watch a “fake” Star Trek, Never!
I had seen each incarnation of Star Trek until Star Trek Enterprise came out and every single movie, more than once
until the 2009 release of Star Trek the updated prequel. It was there that I stopped. Nothing against the movie or the actors. I’m sure it was and they were just wonderful. I just did not want to see new actors playing the parts of my favorite characters. ~ Me 2015
I had been finding it difficult getting into any new shows so instead of going back to my “happy shows” that I have no problem watching over and over and over again (The West Wing, Eureka, Parks and Recreation, Angel and the Gilmore Girls), I thought that since I really have not seen an episode of any of the series in the Star Trek franchise in many years; why not try one or all of them? A trip down memory lane would be fun.
You have to remember that when most of these series originally aired; specifically TOS, TNG and DS9, we were able to see them in first run and maybe if we were lucky we would catch a re-run from time to time. Movies were just beginning to be released on video but television series were not. When the Original Series ran, back in the old days of getting up to change between the three network channels and maybe a 4th UHF channel if you moved the antenna in just the right way – video was not even a thought. By the time The Next Generation hit the airwaves, we did have the capability of recording shows from the TV set to VHS, but it would be another few years before I figured out how to do that (more than a few years, if I am honest). So for many of these series, I saw them once when they aired and really never again other than a random re-run here and there.
DEEP SPACE 9
I have always had an affinity to Deep Space 9 but it aired at odd times, like Sunday at 5:00pm or some odd, not in prime-time slot that seemed to change often. I was able to catch enough episodes to know most of the characters and keep up with some of the story lines.
I started my quest to re-watch all of the series with DS9. I was not disappointed. Deep Space 9 has now been added to the list of television shows that I can and will watch over and over again. It was different but there was no mistaking that it was still Star Trek. Although Deep Space 9 is a permanent space station there was quite a lot of action and travel on the Defiant once the war with the Dominion broke out. I liked the way the characters evolved and changed from the beginning of the series (even the Ferengi’s), in a way that I did not really see in Next Gen. I particularly LOVED the relationship between Chief O’Brien and Dr. Bashir. Watching the characters move from just tolerating each other to best friends spending almost all of their time together was just adorable. Jake and Nog come in a close second in “adorable best friends” category.
Then there is Captain Sisko……
Commander, Captain…. Emissary of the Prophets – trapped between the two different and often-times conflicting worlds of The Federation and the Bajoran people. By far, my favorite captain.
Deep Space 9 is a little bit darker than most of the other Star Trek series but I think that just makes it better and less predictable.
The series is available on Netflix. If you are a Star Trek fan (even if you are not) I would recommend it highly. Do not give up after the pilot episode. There is something odd about it. I can not put my finger on it. I do not know if it is the way it was shot or what, but everyone seems to be over acting as if they were over compensating for sound effects that were to be added later but never were.
If you watch nothing else, please watch Trials and Tribble-ations in season 5, where the crew goes back in time to the Original Series The Trouble with Tribbles episode. So cleverly done!
There is even a funny little call out/acknowledgement to the difference between the Klingons of the past and the Klingons of the present.
Although Raktajino was the “coffee” of choice by most of the DS9 world, one could always count on Chief O’Brien to go old school with his order of “coffee. black, double sweet”.
I can forgive Commander (later Captain) Sisko for his Raktajino addiction as Raktajino is “techinally” coffee; Klingon coffee.
After finishing DS9, I decided to give Enterprise a try. This is the series I had never seen. I watched one episode….. Nope. The theme song…. Nope.
Voyager turned out to be another series that was better than I remembered. After getting over (or used to) the Katherine Hepburn impersonation which was not as noticeable watching it once a week as it was binge watching, I really enjoyed it. The first female captain and an avid/can’t start the day without, coffee drinker to boot.
“Listen to me very closely because I’m only going to say this once. Coffee. Black.”
Again, I enjoyed the evolution of the characters and the friendships that developed; my favorite being Seven of Nine and Naomi Wildman. The added suspense of the “will they or won’t they” was enjoyably different. They picked up strays along the way and made them part of their crew. Everyone was welcome; the Marquis, Aliens and even The Borg.
There was so much there that I did not remember from watching it the first time through all those years ago. It was very much worth the re-watch.
THE NEXT GENERATION
There is a case to be made about leaving well enough alone. There are some series, LOST and Mad Men to name a couple, that I absolutely loved, loved, loved obsessively but never had the desire to go back and watch again. I wanted to leave them where and how I remembered them. Not to in any way diminish my love for my “happy shows”; they are just different in my mind.
This is where I should have left The Next Generation. I should have left it in my memory as one of the most popular series of the franchise. But….. NOooooo, I had to go and watch it again. Turns out that the memory of it rated much higher than the reality of it.
Although there are characters that still measure up with those from my memory; Geordi, Data, Wesley and Guinan, I am really struggling with each and every episode.
I remember really liking this series, but I found it extremely boring and ridiculously predictable after the first couple of seasons. I do not feel any attachment to any of the other characters. I find myself fast forwarding through scenes of characters that I once thought were fantastic. Commander Riker, who was thought to be the Kirk-like ladies man, now just strikes me as creepy. Even Captain Picard does not measure up to my memory of him. Mr. Worf ? I liked the character much better once he transferred to DS9. It is funny how looking at something with older eyes can change your perspective this much.
And let me just say……. Earl Grey.. (sigh)
I began trying to watch TNG in August of last year (maybe even before that) and 11 months later, I am finally into the 7th season (while alternating with DS9 for the second time). I am so positively bored by it that I went back to try Enterprise one more time. I am now on the 10th episode. It is holding my attention this time around (fast forwarding through the theme song, of course). Maybe the sheer boredom of the Next Generation made Enterprise more watchable for me. We will see….
THE RE-BOOT MOVIES
I had round two of oral surgery on the 8th which is what distracted me from remembering Star Trek Day ahead of time. Round one happened in July. So yes, I am not only old, but a walking disaster. Round one was just brutal so I was home…. a lot.. . I gave in to pressure and decided to give the reboots a chance.
I really did enjoy all of them. I was happy to see Leonard Nimoy. No matter how many re-boots and new series they make, Mr Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy will always and forever be my favorite character in the Star Trek Universe.
I went into the first one with a bad attitude and was pleasantly surprised. The movie reverts back to previous characters and stories from the Original Series and then they give it all a twist. Everything is different but still somewhat the same. Karl Urban was the perfect choice to play Dr. McCoy. One can see a young DeForest Kelley and imagine him behaving and looking exactly like this in his early Star Fleet days. He absolutely nailed the McCoy character, in my opinion.
The two biggest observations/questions that I have about the re-boots are:
- Were Star Fleet officers and personnel not trained in the art of holding on to one’s phaser in the early days? Mere seconds into every fight scene the phaser is knocked out of their hand! Every Time!!!!
- Why, Oh, Why would anyone cast Idris Elba in ANYTHING and not show his face until very close to the end?????
As for Next Generation; I am determined to finish watching it. Maybe once I am finished, I will feel differently. I will continue to kick myself for not just leaving it in my memory as a show that I once loved.
Happy Belated Star Trek Day!
Photos: From The Star Trek Experience at the Hilton in Las Vegas 2007
Star Trek Missions – NYC 2016
Star Fleet at the Interpid – NYC 2016
More on Star Trek
And while you are still here, please check out two more posts from friends of mine:
Thank you Mr. Nimoy – from Autism Mom
RIP Mr. Nimoy – from SSirica