This week’s prompt from The Red Dress Club:
TV is something that people either watch a lot of or have definite feelings about. This week, we want you to think about tv show from your past. Maybe you watched it, maybe you didn’t and it was just something that everyone else talked about.
What feelings does the show evoke? What memories does it trigger?
Keep it to 600 words and come back to link up on Tuesday, July 5th.
“I’ll use my hour of television for Johnny Quest and Batman if you promise to use your hour for Star Trek.”
Such were the deals made after my parents decided their children needed limits on boob tube time. Star Trek was one of the only things in life my sister and I agreed on. I was not even alive when the original series aired. How strange that it should be such a constant in my life.
I love the idea of a positive future. As a child, I had no idea that the late great bird of the galaxy, Gene Roddenberry, was thinly veiling a commentary on the social, political, and cultural situations of his time. I had no idea how big a deal it was that Nichelle Nichols, a black woman, was portraying a character of strength and authority. I just knew I loved it.
“Jean Luc Lives!” was the refrain years later. Showing a bit too much cleavage in my Betazoid persona, I ran through the Holiday Inn convention center, having my picture taken with Daleks and letting at least one Romulan kiss me. I was the character of strength and authority then. I was the leader of the fan club and the organizer of convention trips. We slept en masse either on the floor of various parents’ houses, or as a slightly illegal mass of bodies in one hotel room. It was such a sense of camaraderie to sit in a room packed with hundreds of other fans, watching the premier of The Best of Both Worlds: Part Two, cheering raucously as the away team rescued their captain from the clutches of the evil Borg.
Hubby likes to say he married me because I’m a Trekkie. Most of our first dates were spent playing Dungeons and Dragons. We went to a Star Trek convention on our honeymoon. Knowing that someone else loves Star Trek as much as you do means that person gets something about you. It means you connect in ways SciFi Gentiles can not understand.
The advent of old TV available on DVD was a revelation. I used to worry about missing an episode, and for a while I taped my favorite SciFi and stored them on bulky VHS tapes. The internet made all things Trek even more available.
As adults, we’ve found a whole new level to take our love of Trek. The technology we have on our desktops is far better than what Gene Roddenberry had at his disposal in the 1960’s. Fans have started to make their own Trek, and the best is undeniably Star Trek Phase II, filmed in Port Henry, NY. A group of fans led by James Cawley continues the original series as if the 5 year mission was continuing on as planned. They take great care to make sure the look and feel of 1960’s Trek is replicated in every way. Hubby works on electrical stuff during the shoots, and I help out in various ways. We’re hanging out with other adults, from the young ones who are barely 18 to the older set who were already grown up when the original series aired. It’s an amazing feeling being in this great group of people. Everyone is there because they absolutely love Trek. No one is making money off this. In fact, people spend their vacation time and money just to travel to New York for the filming. Other professionals donate their time and skill in post production all over the country.
When I was bargaining with my sister for Trek TV time back in the seventies, I had no idea that a mere television show would grow to play such a large part in my life. The role has evolved, and now as a writer of science fiction, that role is as important and enriching as ever.
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