This actually started out as a reply to a thread on Facebook, but I thought I’d record it here. Maybe some day I’ll expand it. But it’s a little recap of my past love of Star Trek. It’s mostly just rambling, but I liked recording it here.
I got into Trek via TNG. I was eight. It was on Saturdays at 10:30pm during the first season. The episode was the first one with the Ferengi, so it was very near the start of the season. My mom let me stay up to watch since she was a fan of TOS. Funnily enough, this is the same age (and same late night timeslot, except on Fridays) where I discovered Doctor Who, as well.
The only place that had the Galoob TNG figures was about half an hour away. It was a little variety store called G.L. Perry in Napanee, IN. But I managed to get Riker and Picard. My 8th birthday, my parents surprised me by getting me all the rest of the crew, the diecast Enterprise and the phaser. I loved those things. I can’t tell you how many Bridge playsets I made out of cardboard and LEGO for those!
TNG time was sort of sacred. No matter where I was, whether at my Aunt’s house or at home or whatever, when 6pm Saturday came around (as it eventually moved to) it was TNG time. Everyone knew. I still love those stories, and that crew. There’s just something really special about what they accomplished there. Even when the stories were so-so, the characters really carried the show, much like with TOS. Funnily enough, I had just moved to a new town when I got my TNG toys, and I was zooming the Enterprise-D around in the air while riding my bike when a neighbor boy saw me, and said he liked Trek too.
This was the ONLY friend I ever had as a kid who liked Trek as much as I did! We watched all the TOS films (1-4 at the time) in his basement on his parent’s big TV. My mom brought boxes home so we could make a full-scale bridge out of them. The Bridge was destroyed nearly every time we played. Sadly, we only stayed in that town for about a year before my parents got divorced a second time and I moved away. But I still am happy to have had that Trek friend when I did at that time, to introduce me to all the TOS movies.
My mom and I saw Star Trek V-First Contact together. It was kind of a tradition until we went off to college. As much as Star Trek V gets maligned, it was special to me because it was my first big screen Trek. I still have the cup I got from the theater. And I still wish I’d gotten a marshmelon dispenser! I read that collector magazine for it back to front so many times.
I attended a very small convention in South Bend when I was a kid. John De Lancie was there. I got his autograph, and he told amazing stories! It’s the only Star Trek con I’ve ever attended, but it was a blast. It was in one little conference room of a hotel, so it was an intimate affair.
I watched DS9 with much excitement, and I came to really enjoy those characters, although they weren’t quite the same as my TNG “family.” and I never felt quite the same connection. I admired DS9 a lot. It could be slow, but I still watched every new episode with the same attention I did TNG. And in season 4 I think they really kicked the storytelling up a notch.
Voyager really got me excited, though, as the premise was so great and I was happy to be back on a starship exploring the universe again. I still think the two best things about Voyager are Kate Mulgrew as Captain Janeway and that title sequence. I feel like the show never quite lived up to the wonder and majesty of the title sequence. I enjoyed the crew of the show, but I will say it never quite reached the heights of TNG or DS9 for me. In some ways I found it more exciting than DS9, and I liked when Seven of Nine came on board. But I was getting older and there was a sense that maybe they were running out of ideas.
When Enterprise came on, I remember being really excited about Scott Bakula as I was a Quantum Leap fan, and it felt like setting it back before the original series might bring something new to it. I enjoyed Enterprise, but I have to say at some point I just got a little bored with it. I ended up just not watching it past season 3. I watched the finale, which was not great, but I’ve still yet to go back and watch the last two seasons.
And that was about it with me and Trek. I was crazy excited the first time I saw the Playmates figures. I remember I was on a field trip and we stopped by the mall and I saw the first wave of TNG Figures at KB toys. This was before the internet so they were a complete surprise for me. I had no money to buy any then and there, but tried to get some that weekend. I ended up with a LOT of them. The playsets in particular were fantastic. I had so much fun playing with those.
Now, my Trek collection consists of the Diamond ships (I have all the Enteprises released so far), the DST movie figures and the new DST Trek figures, although I’m not sure those are going anywhere. I did buy heavily into the Playmates JJ Trek line when it came out, but got rid of most of that in annoyance after they didn’t finish the Bridge. I did keep the Enterprise, the phaser, and the 12’’ figures.
I enjoyed the JJ movie a lot. The second one less so, and the third one kind of bored me. It’s weird to feel so disconnected from Trek. I have loved going back and watching the restored blu rays of TNG. I need to finish those at some point. I am hopeful for Discovery, but I do wonder if Trek can still inspire in me the same love and passion that it used to.