This Trekification was originally imagined as a ten month project, covering March to December of 2016 as I rectified my complete and utter lack of Star Trek knowledge before Star Trek: Discovery (though the show’s title was unknown when I started) premiered in January of 2017.
Nearly a year of Star Trek. Nearly a year of soaking in as much of this wonderful, groundbreaking, progressive franchise as I possibly could so I could go into the newest installment knowing what the hell was going on.
Unfortunately, as I’m sure you’ve heard or read by this point, Discovery has been delayed and is now set to premier in May of 2017. The reasons are good ones – the creators want to take the time to ensure the show is as good as it possibly can be and lives up to the Star Trek name. But it does mean that perfect plan of a twelve month process followed by the show starting in January is kaput.
After wrestling back and forth with the idea of continuing this series for a further four months, I’ve finally decided that I will still be concluding my Trekification in December. I have come to love Star Trek in its myriad forms these past few months but a year of reporting on one franchise is more than enough, no matter how good it is! I’m still hoping to finish TOS and TNG by the end of December and will continue watching Trek shows beyond that point (I’m particularly eager to dive into Deep Space Nine). I will likely do some kind of update on my progress and thoughts and feels sometime in May.
But in the meantime…let’s talk about September!
So I stumbled a wee bit on my Trekification this month. I hoped to finish both the second season of the Original Series and the fifth season of Next Generation, putting me in a good position to finish both by the end of the year. I managed to meet my goal for TOS but I only made it halfway through TNG season five.
TOS continues on as usual. It is optimistic, pulpy science fiction goodness that, fairly frequently, hits upon something profound. But you still get the terrible fight choreography (I mean it’s wonderful and I love it but its not good quality) and Kirk’s shirt is always getting ripped and many of the characters remain set dressing most of the time. Kirk is the centerpoint of this show – most episodes focus on him and even when one ostensibly revolves around someone else (it’ll probably be Spock, MAYBE Bones) Kirk is still intrinsically involved. No one else really gets a chance to shine.
I thoroughly enjoyed season two though I struggled somewhat with the back half because I don’t tend to love the episodes that basically break down to: The Enterprise discovers a planet whose culture miraculously resembles a very specific period of Earth’s history! And the second half of season two had THREE of these (one for 1920s prohibition, one for Nazi Germany and one for the Roman Empire). But! Pretty much all was forgiven when the final episode of the season, Assignment: Earth! featured Teri Garr!
Over on TNG season five continues the show’s track record of improving with every passing season. The introduction of Ro Laren (played by the always spectacular Michelle Forbes) and the return of Denise Crosby as Sela alongside the one and only Leonard Nimoy as Spock in the excellent two parter, “Unification” were particular highlights. Though the moment that actually made me cheer came in the episode “Violations” where Troi was (once again) telepathically violated. Except this time she slugs the dude straight in the face, knees him, smashes him either side of the head AND grabs an object off the desk to brain him with as well. I cheered my head off. Her evolution has been slower than almost anything else on this show, but it seems in season five Deanna Troi is finally becoming more than the woman who can feel feelings and serve as a telepathic victim a couple times every season.
As TNG ages it has retained it optimistic outlook but also reached a point it’s willing to go to darker, more complex places with its narratives. It’s constantly evolving and improving and that is incredibly satisfying to observe.
And now, the tally!
Original Pilot: “The Cage” COMPLETE!
Star Trek: The Original Series: Seasons 1 – 2.
Star Trek: The Animated Series: Seasons 1 – 2. COMPLETE!
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 1 – 5.13
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Pilot
Star Trek: Voyager: Pilot
Movies (TOS): Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Star Trek IV: Voyage Home. Star Trek V: Final Frontier. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. COMPLETE!
Movies (TNG): Star Trek Generations. Star Trek: First Contact. Star Trek: Insurrection.
Movies (Reboot): Star Trek. Star Trek Into Darkness. Star Trek Beyond. COMPLETE (for now…)!
I will be back at the end of October with my next update! I’m going to go a bit easier on myself this month so that I can hopefully exceed expectations rather than fall short of them. For TOS, I’d like to get halfway through the third and final season, which would require twelve episodes. For TNG, I want to finish season five and at least watch the first episode of season six so I get both halves of “Time’s Arrow”. That’s my minimum goal but I’m hoping to blast through more!