Nathan's Laserium - Star Trek Memories

I’ve been enjoying Alan’s quick survey of the Star Trek universe in his Weekly Picks. I’m a very fickle Star Trek fan, for reasons I can’t really adequately explain. When I was little, I watched TOS with my mom, who was a big fan. I liked them too. Except not that one where Spock crashes the Galileo shuttle on the planet with the sasquatch monsters. Too scary!

Also those earworms that Khan stuck in Chekov and Terrell’s brains in Wrath of Khan freaked me out too. Maybe that’s the source of my ambivalence towards Trek- I’m just not much of a horror fan.

Yes. I said it. Star Trek is horror.

It pretends to be Utopian science fiction, which is why it is so diabolical.

Alright I kid, a little.

The whole first season of The Next Generation was a little horrifying, you have to admit. I had high hopes, as a 12yo, and it almost ruined Trek for me forever. It was so bad! And not just in hindsight, either. In sight. Normal sight that you could see at the time. No hinds required. But I remember watching the reruns after school almost every day and loving it from about season 4 or so onwards. The one with the Enterprise-B? Kind of want to watch it right now.

Come to think of it, I saw the first seven Trek movies in theaters. Was First Contact the 8th? If so I saw the first eight, and my streak was broken with Nemesis. The VampireNomad herself introduced me to Nemesis, and the glory that is Tom Hardy, back when we lived together. I . . . might not have immediately seen Tom’s appeal, though I have since definitely come around. I guess it’s true that a lot of great actors get their start in horror franchises.

The year we lived together was really the last time I watched any Star Trek. I remember we bought season 5 of TNG on DVD, for the astonishingly bad price of $107. But we needed our fix. Here, let me dig out a little salient something from my archives:

Lately my Room-mate (ie the VampireNomad) and I have been watching Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes for supper. Well, not for supper, since they provide no real nutritional value, but during supper. Anyways, it's been really fun going back to them- it's been years since I had any real interest in Trek. Watching them now, I am surprised at how good they are, and my love for TNG is rekindled.

Wait, let me back up a bit and dissect that sentence. "How good they are." Hmm.

We have watched episodes where the Enterprise gives birth to a rubick's cube that commandeers the holodeck in order to run a train simulation for some reason;

where we discover that Jean-Luc had an ancestor named Javier Picard;

where Worf's future adult son comes back in time (after meeting "someone"- just some guy, apparently- who had the power to control time) and tries to kill his younger self;

where Dr. Beverly Crusher falls in love with a ghost who can reanimate the corpse of her dead grandmother;

where Troi turns into a frog, Worf a spiky alien, Riker a caveman and Data's cat devolves into an iguana.

Hmm. Ok- "good" may not be the best term to use. Incredibly entertaining, though, especially watching them with someone as versed in Trek lore as my room-mate. And the episode we watched last night, called "Lower Decks," was in fact very well-written and engrossing. And "Genesis", the last one in that list, was actually really cool, despite (or because of) its wonky evolutionary science that claims that cats are descended from iguanas.

- Nathan Waddell