Wednesday, May 20, 2009

SPACE, THE FINAL FRONTIER


I’ve been a Star Trek fan since the first episode in 1966. I still remember putting my TV dinner into the oven in anticipation, snapping the top onto the legs of my metal TV tray, and getting in my pajamas. By the time the time Captain Kirk started his famous “Space the Final Frontier” voice-over, I would be sitting cross-legged on my sofa within reaching distance of the TV dial. When the opening theme had finished, I was peeling back the aluminum foil from my dinner where a meat, a veggie, and a dessert awaited my consumption. Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Bones, Sulu, Uhura, Chekov, Scotty, and assorted others faithfully kept me company once a week.

For one hour, my imagination soared while my dinner grew cold. For three years, the first two on a school night, I stayed up past my bedtime and traveled to “strange new worlds” with the crew and boldly went where no ten-year-old girl had ever gone before. The Star Ship Enterprise represented a world where good conquered evil, a world where new things could always be discovered, and a world where a strong moral code prevailed. All things that didn’t exist in my small corner of the world.

After the third season my favorite show was cancelled. Heartbroken, I stayed faithful with each new incarnation. But, except for Star Trek: The Next Generation, nothing really gave me that same sense of awe and wonder. Nothing really grabbed my imagination in quite the same way. Nothing, that is, until today.

Today I went to the movies with my buddy and blog sister, Sandy. We saw the new Star Trek movie and suddenly I was ten-years-old again. When the movie ended, I was ready to go again, thrilled that J.J. Abrams captured the adventure again for me.

Now, I must confess. I will see the movie again. At least once. Okay, maybe more. I'm a fan. However, for the record, I do draw the line at my son-in-law's request to name the new baby Spock!

What about you? Are you a Trek fan? Or was there some other TV show or movie that captured your imagination as a child?

29 comments:

Sandy Elzie said...

Good morning,

Okay, I'll admit to being a Trekie, but not so far as to dress up like an alien and go to a convention. I tried my best to never miss the weekly show and even faithfully watched reruns hoping to pick up any I had let slip by. I was disappointed with the new crew in generations...the over-the-top confidence and swagger of Kirk was missing, that is, until yesterday. The swagger was back! They picked a young Kirk who is not only handsome, but they had him almost drive a Vet over the side of a canyon and arrive at cadet school on a motorcycle...just like Richard Gere in Officer and A Gentleman.
Oh be still my heart.

And he KNEW he could save the world...oh, the hubris of the young.

Great movie...if you like that sort of good vs evil where the good guys ALWAYS win over extreme obstacles.

Sandy

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Debbie,

Beautifully written post, and, yes, I adored the movie. I watched a little Voyager in college, but it was the original series that captured my imagination. Each afternoon it was sandwiched between the Thundercats and The Monkees--talk about a weird afternoon line-up.

I really liked the new Kirk and the new Spock, and the way they set up all of the possibilities for new voyages without harming the backstory was brilliant.

As for other shows/movies that have captured my imagination, I loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel and now watch How I Met Your Mother and Castle religiously. The last movie that I remember leaving with that same satisfied feeling was Pirates of the Caribbean.

Marilyn Baron said...

I love your post. I was not a "Trekkie" but I did like the Star Trek series. I saw the first movie and then never went to see the rest. And, like Sandy, I wasn't motivated enough to attend a convention in costume or not. But Star Trek was part of my culture, part of our generation's collective shared experience.

My husband, daughter and I saw the prequel Sunday and I loved it. It boldly went where no Star Trek movie had gone before.

In almost every scene I would turn to my husband and smile over this nuance or that or the way the characters resembled the original cast, when the old "real" Spock returned as himself, etc.

But my daughter couldn't relate Every time my husand and I exchanged glances, I would lean over and explain to her why we reacted the way we did. Of course, she'd heard of Star Trek but she had no idea what the fuss was all about. She hadn't seen the movies and wasn't familiar with the TV series. She enjoyed the movie because it was action packed and anyone could enjoy it on that level, but she didn't "get it."

I had to tell her that she would know Captain Kirk now as the Priceline.com spokesman or Denny Crane on "Boston Legal."

Which is another way of saying, there really is a generation gap. But, I agree with you. It was a great movie and it really took me back. It exceeded my expectations.

Marilyn Baron

Debbie Kaufman said...

Morning Sandy and Sally:
Sandy, I have to agree about the over-the top confidence and swagger missing from later captains. Picard was a more cerebral kind of guy.

Sally, yes, love the possibilities fo the new voyages now! Brilliant way to revamp the plot line.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Hey Marilyn:
It definitely exceeded my expectations too. As a writer, I was thrilled with the way they took the plot and opened up the possibilites. How sad, that your daughter and that generation can't appreciate the nuances! Personally, I loved Bone's "Damit Jim and Scotty's "I'm giving it all I got."

Anonymous said...

Debbie,

My husband and I are bigggg Trekkies. When the original show was in re-runs, we'd have a contest to see which one of us could guess the story line in 10 seconds.

I enjoyed the Next Generation, but you're right, the other spin offs lacked the same appeal as the original. Although, I did like Enterprise.

As far as J.J. Abrams version, loved it! Did I say loved it?! Kirk was good, but I fell in love with the young Spock, and I never found Nimoy's character attractive. But the vunerability in the younger Spock and that love interest with Uhura well it was hot.

Connie Gillam

Debbie Kaufman said...

Hi Connie:
I can't wait to see if the Spock/Uhura relationship will continue. Spock definitely becomes a more interesting character in Abrams version. Thanks for stopping by today!

Anonymous said...

Debbie, I could never get into Spock and his buddies, but I could actually go back with you when you told the story and seeing that beautiful little girl, with her feet under her, her tv dinner in her lap, and eyes wide open, When you write, you take us there! Now however, I loved Bananza, Little JOe, Hoss, Adam annd Papa Ben Cartwright, couldn't wait for Sunday nights to roll around. What sweet and fun memories you just brought back to me. Beautifully written Debbie!

Barbara Goss

Anonymous said...

Mom,

I found myself tearing up reading the begginning of your blog. I know it wasn't meant to do that, I just thought of you as a little girl, and was glad that you had that escape. I remember moaning and groaning as you watched re-runs during my childhood. But I get it now :)
I loved the movie! I went to spend time with my hubby (huge fan!) and left so excited to have seen something that great on the big screen!
And I promise, we won't name the baby Mr. Spock...Matt says that is is now Noah Spock.
Love,
Caroline Z.

Cyrano said...

AGgggggg,
I haven't seen the movie yet and now I know that Spock and Uhura like each other. Damn why did I read the previous comments!!!
I'm one of those people who as a child, even though I knew where my mother had hidden our Christmas presents I never peeked. I also hate it when my critique partners (Connie Gilam is one) tell me where their story is going before I get there.
Oh well.
I'm looking so forward to seeing the new Star Trek movie. It looks amazing and supposedly it doesn't dissapoint.
Now I never cared for the series. Not sure why, because I love things along that line. I used to watch Buck Rogers religously. Even as a kid I thought Gil Gerard was hot in those white jump suits. And I also like Battle Star Galactica.
But as a young adult I concur with Ms. Sally. Huge, huge, HUGE, Buffy and Angel fan. I still watch Angel every morning on TNT reruns while I pull out my hair trying to get my teenage daughter off to school on time. Hearing david Boreanaz's voice in the backround soothes me.
I have a few favorites today too. I love Life on Mars, and I absolutely adored Pushing Daisies. Now that show has been cancelled and I actually signed an online petition to get it back on the air. I think we thousands of fans had a bit of an impact because they're bringing it back on May 30 for a three week run!!! Yippy
Wow, Debbie, thought provoking post. I nearly wrote a novel here. Sorry.
Have a wonderfully, gorgeous 72 degree, brezzy morning,
Tamara

Maxine Davis said...

Debbie,

I loved your post. Wasn't a real Trekkie myself. My husband was. Me? I was cowboy-crazy. Any western was my idea of the perfect show.

OK, I plan to see the movie so, we'll see.

Berta said...

I loved Star Trek, and it was a big part of my life when I was a young girl. I liked Next Generation, followed Deep Space Nine, then lost interest. The movies were meh. I've become a Buffy fan through DVD's, because when it was first run my then husband hated it, and currently I have lots of favorites. Tamara mentioned Life on Mars and Pushing Daisies, both big faves of mine and now sadly gone, along with Journeyman. Castle's great, and I enjoy Medium and SVU. But nothing thrills like the opening of the first Star Trek... I remember crying with happiness when Nichelle Nichols helped christen the space shuttle Enterprise. It was as if my favorite show was coming to life!

Debbie Kaufman said...

Oh Barbara! Bonanza was my other major favorite as a child. I constantly imagined myself in various scenarios with the Cartwrights. I still love Westerns!

Hey baby girl: Obviously you know more than others about that time period for me! Funny, it wasn't the sadness I remembered though, it was just the soaring imagination. Noah Spock? He's got it half right :)

Debbie Kaufman said...

Oh, Tamara. Sorry! Was trying not to include any spoilers. Obviously I slipped. But hurry and go see, girl!

Maxine, I remember watching Westerns with my Dad. To this day, Louis Lamour is still one of my favorite authors. I LOVE westerns!

Berta, it does seem like the world of Star Trek is becoming more real, especially since the space shuttle. Oh, and I too am a Buffy fan.

Anna Steffl said...

I was sitting in the room with you, Debbie!

Love Trek. Stuck with Next Gen until I stopped watching TV.

I'm undecided about going to the new movie. Part of me is a purist. I don't want "other" versions of Trek mucking things up for me. Maybe...I'm just not hot on how the new Kirk looks. Shallow, huh? I should probably give his acting a chance.

Carol Burnside said...

Both my hubby and I are Star Trek fans,enough that we've decided to go see the new movie this weekend in an actual theatre instead of waiting for the DVD as we usually do.

I can't believe no one has mentioned Firefly movie and series by Joss Whedon. Really? If you haven't seen it, you should rent the DVD's from Netflix or Blockbuster. It's a brilliant and weird cross between outer space and American Western frontier. And it has Nathan Fillion. What's not to like?

Marilyn Baron said...

Here I am again. I was pleasantly surprised by the Spock and Uhura connection. That wasn't in previous shows/movies was it?

I loved Bonanza too. It was one of my favorites.

Anna,

Run, don't walk to see this movie. It will not disappoint.

I loved Life on Mars too. It was a great show. Too bad they cancelled it, but then the ending wound everything up.

I also love Chuck and I got my daughter hooked on Chuck. Now she keeps watching old episodes and we both went to Subway to sign a petition to keep the show alive and we're thrilled that they are going to "Save Chuck."

And there are so many other shows I like, 24, The Unit, The Mentalist,NCIS (can you tell I watch a lot of TV)

Marilyn Baron

Debbie Kaufman said...

Anna, I will be very surprised if you feel this mucks up Star Trek for you. No spoilers, though!

Marilyn: Love the Mentalist and Lie to me! I consider it research for writing :)

Tami Brothers said...

YAY!!!!! I just read Marilyn's post that they are going to save "Chuck"!!! That is my favorite TV show and the only one I really allow myself to watch with all the other craziness going on!!!! Wow. Having a tough time thinking now...

Hhmmmm. Oh yeah, Debbie, I totally missed the Trek phase. My parents weren't into that kind of thing and never allowed us to watch them. I did however watch all the Star Wars shows when the new ones came out and loved them. My son is jumping up and down to see the new movie, so I think I'll be taking him (don't want to be like my parents in that area...grin...).

Thanks for the recommendation.

Tami

PS I'm also one of those western people. Saw every John Wayne movie out there. I haven't seen very many since I've "grown up" but I might have to start looking for those. I kind of miss them now that I think of it...

Cat Schield said...

I'm a HUGE Star Trek fan. In all its incarnations. I agree with Carol, for those of you who haven't seen Firefly, you're missing out big time. Another suggestion is Babylon 5. Talk about characters on that show. You get a lot of aliens and tons of great moments. And the new Battlestar Galactica.

As for non-space shows, ALIAS, anything by Whedon, Bones, Grace Under Fire, Leverage, and The Closer the last 3 on TNT.

Yeah, okay, I watch too much TV.

jilljames said...

I didn't get to see Star Trek until it was syndicated as reruns. I fell in love with the adventure. I loved Gene Roddenberry's vision of a united Earth and traveling into space to explore new worlds and new civilizations. Every episode had me dreaming of a great future for mankind.

Nicki Salcedo said...

I was born into a family of Trekkies. I was forced to do all sorts of lame things like sleep in lines for Star Trek movies when I was too young to care or know better.

I love Star Trek (TOS - The Original Series and TNG - The Next Generation). I also loved westerns growing up. Again the blame goes to my sisters. Big Valley was one of my favorites. I think I went to school in California so I could be out west. Firefly was a great "space western." There's a reason I don't like reality tv. No horses or show downs, no space flights or explosions.

Debbie, Noah Spock has a wonderful ring to it! And I believe there was romantic tension between Spock and Uhura in the orginal show. I've posted the youtube clips on my facebook page. :) I'll email them to you if you ask nicely.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Gosh Nicki, I always thought Uhura had an unrequited thing for Kirk in the original.

Jill, me too! I've never gotten over that united world vision thing.

Yes, Cat. Anything by Josh Whedon!

Tami: I can't believe no one reported your parents to children's services! :)

Dianna Love said...

I am soooo thrilled to hear that movie is good. I wanted to go see it but debated about spending the time right now. We love movies so it looks like we have a movie date coming up this weekend as soon as Karl gets back. :)

I can't believe some of the shows you younger ones remember like Big Valley. Does that mean someone would remember High Chapparral? LOL.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Dianna, I hope you're not calling me one of the younger ones! I'm older than dirt. I had hopes of having three sons named Nick, Jarrod, Heath, and of course a beautiful daughter named Audra. I would be the kick a$$ mom. A girl can (and does) dream.

Dianna Love said...

hahahahaha...you so don't get to call yourself old yet, Nicki. Love the idea of naming the kids after favorite characters, but then that's what I do with my saltwater fish. ;)

I got a kick out of seeing those programs mentioned.

Linsey Lanier said...

Star Trek is definitely part of the culture, though I'm not really a Trekkie, and sadly, hubby doesn't take to sci-fi. Maybe this new movie will convince him it's worth a shot once in a while. It sounds great.

For my money, like Tami, I love Star Wars - the first three anyway. Lost interest after those. And best of all is the Terminator series. "I'll be back."

A fun post. I liked the image of the TV dinner, too. :)

Linsey

Debbie Kaufman said...

Hi guys: Went to spinning class. Back home now. Unfortunately my wireless is taking frequent coffee breaks. Heavy Sigh!


Hi Dianna: Let's not forget Wagon Train!

Nicki: Those of us who are grandmas find the fact that you are "older than dirt" pretty funny.

Hey Linsey: I am a Star Wars fan too, but have to say that the new Trek is leaving it in the dust.

Star Trek said...

The film ends with the crew preparing for their next adventure and the sound of the twinkling hope of the original series’ musical introduction and monologue. It looks like Star Trek will live long, and prosper.