Following on from yesterday where I dipped my toe into one nerd culture by learning Elvish, today I decided to celebrate Star Trek Day (the anniversary of the first time the show aired in 1966) by finally watching an episode.
My husband has been trying to get me to watch Star Trek for years – something I have always refused to do. I’m more of a Star Wars fan, but more for the drama than anything space-related. As soon as thing start getting a bit serious and “spacey” I mentally clock out. My only exposure to Star Trek so far has been flicking through channels in the nineties and always coming across po-faced Patrick Stewart talking sincerely to an angry alien. It all looked so silly to me because it was so serious.
In the spirit of my challenge though I finally made my husband’s dreams come true, and agreed to watch one of the classic episodes from the sixties. In my imagination, these were a lot more fun and didn’t take themselves too seriously. I was half right.
We decided to watch the best-ranked episode of the original series, The City On The Edge of Forever – an episode I had no idea about before pressing play. I have to be honest, one of my first thoughts was how good-looking everyone was – I actually said “Wow, I didn’t know George Takei was so fit!” within about 30 seconds. Once I calmed down, I became a little confused with what was going on. There was some sort of space madness, which led to some time-travelling, which took Captain Kirk and Mr Spock to Earth in 1930. This, however, I found a lot more interesting.
The episode then became like something out of The Twilight Zone – the Captain and Dr had to look for a way to correct time so that the German’s don’t win World War II, leading the Captain to struggle with a difficult moral decision. I really enjoyed this part of it, the human dilemma, the time travel consequences – I found it really enthralling. It still had its fun moments as I’d expected, but it was a lot more grounded. As the credits rolled, my husband nervously looked over at me, convinced I was furious with him for making me watch it, only to be pleasantly surprised when the opposite was true.
I definitely enjoyed watching a Star Trek episode more than I thought I would, but I think only because it was one rooted in human drama, rather than some planet or alien of the week. I could appreciate the craft and storytelling, but it didn’t make me want to explore the series any more. I’ll still avoid all things Star Trek (sorry James!) but at least I gave it a try.