STAR TREK SEASON ONE IN REVIEW:
And so ends both the first month and first season of TREK-A-DAY! So far I’m having a fantastic time and I hope you are too. This season held some of the most iconic episodes in all of Star Trek: the appearance of Khan, the Gorn Captain, City on the Edge of Forever, the first Klingons and Romulans, and a host of other fun moments. The show grew a lot over the season and is already well on its way to finding balance with its characters (I joke about it a lot, but the Yeoman Rand subplot really did limit the story options for Kirk quite considerably; and let’s face it, a Kirk in a relationship on board the Enterprise would be weak storytelling. He’s already in a great relationship with Spock and McCoy, why complicate it?). The show is also mixing the more adventurous sci-fi (like that time McCoy got jousted to death by a knight) with more hard sci-fi (like City of the Edge of Forever‘s tragic time travel plot).
It’s a fantastic mix, the performances are great, the scripts at best wonderful or at worst interesting conceptually (there has yet to be an episode that has truly seemed like a terrible idea. I know we’ll get there, but so far so good) and there is a sense of optimism that must have been refreshing in the 60’s (and a spirit of adventure and exploration that sadly is refreshing now.)
Neil Gaiman recently tweeted that though he does not support Newt Gingrich’s politics, he found the general derision of his talk of space colonization to be disappointing. There’s a sense of cynicism and defeat about space now, with NASA’s shuttle program ended and a variety of large scale mistakes and failures that have resulted in massive wastes of resources (like all those probes that just crashed and burned) have turned public opinion against space exploration. It’s odd, but the next great resurgence will likely be once galactic tourism actually kicks into gear with Virgin Galactic. Perhaps tourist and commercial dollars are what will finally lead to real headway into space…
In any case, the dream Roddenberry has just begun to introduce to us is a glorious one. In the 60s, it signalled equality between genders, races, and ideals, moving past the fear and paranoia of the Cold War toward the betterment of humanity. For us, it signals, sadly, some of those same things, but also the dream of science fiction: where our flights of fancy become science fact. Shatner is fond of commenting on how the president of Bombardier got into aerospace because of Star Trek. This show is a real beacon of hope, even today. And a constant reminder that it is worth dreaming; for even if it remains a dream for us, you never know when someone’s imagination will be ignited by that dream and make it a reality.
If you need proof of this, look at your phone.
Coming up tomorrow: Star Trek Season Two!