Cole’s Trekification: How Much Can He Watch Before January?

In Which Cole Attempts to Rectify his biggest Geek Blindspot!

HI! Hi. Welcome to the beginning of a great endeavor.

Previously for the site, I have written a fair amount about Star Wars. There was my reaction to The Force Awakens and my Thoughts & Feels piece on the rise, fall and the resurrection of my fandom for Star Wars.

If there is a strong beating heart at the center of my nerdom, it is in a galaxy far, far away.

BUT WAIT, you say (and I’m sure that’s what you’re saying), the title of this piece is about Star Trek, not Star Wars.

And yes, observant reader that is true. You might have noticed my ‘Geek Blindspot’ on my profile is Star Trek. You see, I was not raised with Star Trek. I was in my twenties before I saw any of it (and then it was the 2009 reboot movie).

I know. I KNOW.

But! Clarice did grow up with Star Trek and a few months ago decided to start what has now been termed my Trekification. She started me off with First Contact. Since then I’ve several other movies, an episode of the Original Series, one and half seasons of Next Generation and the pilots of both Deep Space Nine and Voyager.

And the result?

Well, I’ve really, really enjoyed what little I’ve seen of the Star Trek universe so far. I may be late to the party, but I am here now, with pomp, with circumstance and the level of nerd excitement that sends me rushing to all the corners of the internet to learn every little scrap of information I can find about the world, the behind the scenes, the EVERYTHING.

If you haven’t already heard: a new Star Trek show airs on CBS All Access in January 2017! Personally, I’m hoping for Angela Bassett and Rosario Dawson as a captain/first officer combo. My goal is to get through as much Star Trek as I can between now and when the new show airs.

So join me!

What’s that? Oh. Opinions thoughts etc from a non-nostalgic, newcomer perspective? Well.

First off: Patrick Stewart is a beautiful man and he holds what I’ve seen so far of Next Generation together almost single handedly. That being said: DR. CRUSHER IS EVERYTHING. When I learned that she is not in season two I was truly devastated. It might be why I’ve been struggling to get through it now that I think of it…

I did genuinely enjoyed First Contact. Though…it being my intro into Star Trek I believe I did pepper Clarice with a bunch of questions: “So…wait…she looks completely human but is actually an empathic alien?” “Why aren’t the Borg attacking them?” “Is that Alice Krige?!”

I can pretty much leave the new movies though I’m eager to watch more of the films featuring the Original Series cast, particularly the one with the whales! In regards to the movies with the Next Generation cast I’ve heard I probably don’t need to rush on the one with Tom Hardy in it…

Overall what I’ve seen so far is often shaky. The writing is frequently not great, the plots of many episodes may have had progressive tones at the time they were produced but with modern eyes they fall somewhat short of the mark. The acting often leaves much to be desired and many characters that could be incredibly interesting with a little bit of attention and development are relegated to the background. Many relationships are not chased or explored, most likely due to the nature of network television of the time where the status quo needed to be reestablished by episode’s end.

HOWEVER.

Star Trek, in all its incarnations that I’ve seen has heart. It has something that lifts lacking material into something engaging and something that endures. It’s a particular brand of charm that, from conversations I’ve had, seems to be fairly particular to Star Trek in all its forms. When looking at season one of Next Generation, for instance, from purely a writerly or editorial perspective there is a lot that needs fixing. And yet. Over the course of season one I fell in love with the universe – a universe I had no knowledge or reason to love or defend going in. That’s something unique and if that’s what a relatively weak first season can manage I am thrilled to see what comes next in later seasons and shows.

So, here’s a helpful breakdown of what I’ve seen so far:

Original Series: Season 1, Episode 22 (“Space Seed’)

Next Generation: Season 1. Season 2 (Episode 1 – Episode 13)

Deep Space Nine: Pilot

Voyager: Pilot

Movies (The Original Series): The Wrath of Khan

Movies (Next Generation): Generations, First Contact, Insurrection

Movies (Reboot): Star Trek, Into Darkness

I’ll be updating my progress at the end of every month as we roll on towards January. Check back to see how I do!

EDIT: Read the April update here