Sunday, May 24, 2009

Star Trek

I'll admit to having had some ambivalence about the new Star Trek movie. While I've never attended a Star Trek convention or laid claim to the title of "Trekkie," I've harbored a surprising reverence for the original television series.

Watching the original series (TOS) again and again has been something of a family tradition. My three brothers and I rarely agree, but all of us loved TOS. Years after we were all grown, a favorite triva game was to do a round-robin, naming all the episodes. As each of us failed to name one, we lost our turn and dropped out of the game.

I never watched any of the numerous television spinoffs of TOS. I did go to see Movies 1, 2, and 4, but then swore off the films, too. It was just too painful to watch my favorite characters growing old, bald and fat.

The fourth film debuted in 1986, so it's been twenty-three years since I've developed any new Star Trek memories. But I was happy to have the reruns. Just for fun, as I wrote this, I cruised the regular network channels and discovered The Devil in the Dark was playing on Channel 52 in Dallas. That episode from the first season was one of my favorites: with the mother Horta fighting to protect her eggs from miners.

Today we went to see the new Star Trek movie. To my complete surprise, I loved it! The film is bold and imaginative while still great fun and respectful of the original canon. The young cast is superb, especially Zachary Quinto as Spock and Simon Pegg as Scotty.

My favorite parts were those paying homage to the original series and to the early movies (one of the best parts was the telling of how cadet Kirk beat the Kobayashi Maru test devised for Starfleet recruits and first described in the second movie The Wrath of Khan.

Among the other fun moments:
  • How McCoy got the nickname "Bones."
  • A nod to Sulu's love of fencing (mentioned in the first season episode of TOS called Shore Leave)
  • The trilling of a tribble in the background when we meet Scotty on a Starfleet base.

Run to your nearest theatre to see Star Trek. I promise you won't regret it.


Gina Black said...

I flagged this and waited to read it until after I saw the movie--which I finally did on Sunday.

Loved it, loved it. Want to see it on IMAX.

They didn't miss a thing, punctuating the movie at regular intervals with those little bits that mean so much to we who grew up on this fare: the Spock eyebrow, the Kirk fight, the dead redshirt, "fascinating," "I'm a doctor . . . "

I can't believe you never watched The Next Generation?? It was more brilliant than the first IMHO. You might try it some time.

Maya Reynolds said...

Gina: I agree. The dead redshirt made me laugh.

I guess I'm just a purist. I never had an interest in any of the spinoffs. Maybe some day . . .

Gina Black said...

I was never interested in any of them either, in fact was slightly outraged that they made them and people who had never seen TOS were saying TNG was so good.

And then one day I came home from work and the eight-year old daughter and hub were watching and telling me how good it was. The DH especially felt it was full of hope and therefore a wonderful show for our daughter to have glommed on to. Reluctantly, I sat down to watch.

I like TNG's treatment of women better than TOS, and also the extended cast of characters that would appear now and then over the seven year run. (Majel Barret as a betazoid mother is to die for.)

Certainly TOS was a more groundbreaking series, but TNG was stronger overall IMHO.

LL&P ;)

The Belle in Blue said...

I loved TOS and never watched a spinoff either, Maya. Of course, being the precociously romantic child I was, I entertained myself with fantasies about being the one woman (although I was only 11 at the time) who could steal James T. Kirk from his first love, the Enterprise.

I agree about the movie too. My three kids took me to see it for Mother's Day. Loved it!