I ended up watching the 2 documentaries ‘Trekkies’ and ‘Trekkies 2’ recently and I felt the need to address my own feelings about this TV show.
I grew up watching ‘The Next Generation’ - I remember how each week I was stuck at that screen watching those episodes, loving every minute of it. I don’t know if shows like that makes you feel a little like a nerd or if they simply appeal more than anything else to people who are already nerds in some larger or smaller sense. Anyway, I’ve always been a bit of a nerd and not at all ashamed of it. Although I’m not sure exactly what the definition of a nerd is! On one hand it seems a negative thing, a word used to describe people who are eccentric, only have few friends, are ‘weak’ physically and who have strange interests like collecting coins or stamps and who don’t go out much.
On the other hand it seems positive, because a nerd is a person who knows a lot about the particular subject, theme or thing he or she is ‘into’- has researched it, discussed it and really put thought into each and every detail.
Anyway, I might actually be a bit of both myself. I often preferred my own company when I was younger, having fantasy friends, day dreams and was definitely living in my own little world where I could decide how things went, how people (and creatures) were and no one there could hurt me or do things I didn’t want them to do.
But enough about that! I loved the show! Loved it a lot! I think it took me a while to even realize that there was an ‘original’ show as well. I probably assumed that ‘The Next Generation’ was the original show. To anyone who has no clue about what I’m talking about the first, original Star Trek show started sometime in the 60’s and in the late 80’s ‘The Next Generation’ came around and not long after 2 more Star Trek shows: ‘Voyager’ and ”Deep Space Nine” developed. Later a short lived series, “Enterprise” came and went and to my knowledge there are no shows being produced today. However, with the recent new Star Trek movies happening I could certainly easily imagine another show forming in the near future! “The Third Generation” sounds good to me.
That was a little bit about the different shows for any ‘outsiders’. Now that I look back on it I see the positive effect the show had on me, being very different from lots of other sci-fi films and shows it focused on the good use of technology, the peace between peoples and species and the evolving to better yourself and to help. Technology didn’t take over, didn’t start killing everyone and everyone wasn’t just out to do harm, destroy and pillage. And if they were, the enterprise crew would try to understand why that was the case, educate others and help them see other sides to life.
Naturally I didn’t think about it like that back then, I just thought it was an awesome show. But now I can definitely see it and though I probably assumes I would think it was outdated by now the values and ethics of the show are still valid today, just as I can still watch it anytime. It’s so much more than just a TV show! It’s a philosophy and a mythology that you can explore and when you’re a kid with a healthy imagination it’s certainly something you can spend a lot of time on. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve imagine being beamed somewhere or played around with a faser! Being a technology freak also helps. Star Trek is fascinating in the way that the show always tried to think ahead to what technology would be used in the future and a lot of the things they’ve imagined have already been invented. It must have been a fantastic job on the show, having to think up technology and what they imagined would happen in the future. But the all round feeling of the show and its way of thinking is positive, and that’s probably what I was attracted to then as I still am today. It’s not just good and evil! It’s complex, interesting, fascinating and not always so easy to explain. It’s real relations and though it takes place in a distant future it still deals with the issues we have today, had many years ago and will probably always have! Basic human issues and situations that we struggle with no matter what century we live in.
Watching the documentaries also taught me about the profound impact the show(s) have had on, of course, the fans (Trekkies or Trekkers I think they’re called) but also on the people behind the show and the cast.
Am I a Trekkie or a trekker? I don’t think I’m really worthy of calling myself that. I’d say I am a fan of the show but a real Trekkie would be more actively involved in it with conventions, collectibles and costumes. I’m certainly not there so it would almost be unfair to call myself a Trekkie. I do respect them a lot and though you could probably argue that some of these people need to ‘get a life’ this IS life for them and while others escape with movies, sports, alcohol, etc this is their way of going to a different place away from the daily lives and it’s not really that different. What I admire most about them is that they’re always friendly! Though discussions can often get heated I’m sure, you never hear about violent Star Trek fans or any aggressive behavior (unless it’s Klingon and then it’s perfectly normal). There are conventions all over the world every week and its been going on for over 30 years! It’s pretty amazing and it looks like it’ll never end. It’s a form of role play, a community, and more than anything, having this show in common with others makes you feel accepted and that you are a part of something that has never judged others on appearance, size, religion, beliefs etc etc. the diversity of the Star Trek universe will always inspire and join people and that’s what I think is the most amazing thing about it. Live long and prosper!