Friday, May 8, 2009

Star Trekking

We went to see the new Star Trek film last night and we loved it. I went with few expectations, because I had pretty much given up the series years ago. It's a fun ride and did remind me of how I felt when I first saw it on television (in beautiful black and white at my house) 40-some years ago.

Yes, I am among the people who were fans in first-run, not the johnny-come-latelys that discovered Star Trek in syndication. I wrote letters to NBC to save the series, which did help twice. I attended the second Star Trek Convention in New York, in February 1973 at a hotel near Grand Central Station (the Commodore?) and the much bigger one the following winter at the Americana Hotel up around 57th Street. I photographed David Gerrold, writer of the ever-popular "The Trouble with Tribbles" episode at the 1973 convention and bid $75 for a hour of his time in 1974. I lost to a couple of girls who pooled their resources. My then-fiance, now ex-husband, wouldn't front me the money to up my bid.

I met and photographed Gene Roddenberry for the Stanford Daily around March of 1975. Because of a bomb threat, presumably made by someone who didn't get into the theatre for his speech, those of us in the press group were ushered into a room where we were told tales by Gene for over an hour while there was a sweep done of the venue. When Gene finally got back on stage, he told the audience of plans for resurecting the series with a Major Motion Picture. We usually refer to that as Star Trek: The Motionless Picture. Boring.

There were better films in the franchise, fortunately, but I did lose any enthusiasm for them after ST 4. I entirely missed seeing 5 and the only subsequent one I'm sure I saw in a theatre was ST: First Contact. Until last night.

Many of us have thought that Star Fleet Academy was what Paramount needed to do to bring back the television franchise. While that may or may not be in the plans, a good script, a good director, and the best genetic casting of a talented group of actors may have just rebooted the series for the big screen. I'm planning to pay to see it again, which is not what I was expecting.


Grey Horse Matters said...

You're more into Star Trek than I am. I used to watch it on TV and have seen some of the movies, don't know if I'll actually see this one.

Flying Lily said...

You have a fascinating history with Star Trek. Glad you liked the latest.

M. C. Valada said...

Oh, Lily, I didn't even scratch the surface. David Gerrold actually introduced me to my husband of the last 17+ years in 1989. Len wrote comic books based on Star Trek during his career. I used my initials, rather than my given name, when I worked as a photographer because of D.C. Fontana, now a frequent guest at our home. My friend Melinda Snodgrass, who bred my Arabian Prince, wrote "The Measure of a Man" for ST:TNG. Many of my friends have written Trek tie-in novels (although I've only actually read a few of them) and a number of others wrote for one or another of the various television incarnations. My friend Rob Burnett co-wrote and directed "Free Enterprise." And let us not forget "rock, paper, sissors, lizard, Spock," made famous on "The Big Bang Theory," created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, whom I've had dinner with recently.

This is the fun part of my life.