Its a bank holiday here in the UK, so its time to relax and enjoy a free day off from work. My thoughts definitely go out to those working today, especially those involved in the election counting and reporting. Its a big time for elections here right now, but I’ll blog about that another time – bank holidays are meant for relaxing! What I want to blog about today is Star Trek.
Star Trek is one of those things with the Marmite effect. It divides people, even amongst geekier circles. I’ll say it now though, I have always been something of a trekkie from childhood.
I used the opening credits from the latest Star Trek movies from J J Abrams as the first picture for this blog on purpose. Star Trek is back as a franchise, with a massive movie reboot that looks set to continue for years to come. Not bad for a franchise that looked in real trouble after the pretty universally despised Star Trek: Enterprise prequel TV series in the early 2000s.
Star Trek is now cool. Well, thats probably an overstatement too far. It’s at least not something you hide any longer. Simon Pegg, adored British comedian and the actor who plays Scotty in the latest film reboots is a self confessed Trekkie. Thats the kind of statement no public figure could make and still remain popular a decade ago.
If you’re not a Star Trek fan I apologise.
I was a trekkie from my childhood when I would happily watch episodes of The Next Generation on the television. Something about that series in particular captivated me as child, and continues to do so. I think its the exploration. Picard’s Enterprise is a ship of exploration quite literally “going boldly where no one has gone before”.
Picard is also a special Captain. The Shakespearian background of Sir Patrick Stewart shines brightly through in Picard’s character – more a scientist and philosopher than a military commander. Honestly, as a kid, I wanted to be Picard, or at least a member of his crew.
Thats the joy of Star Trek to me, its the kind of aspirational television and film we need a little more of. Aspirational media is often seen as something hollow. Charlie Brooker sums it up far better than I:
Star Trek offers up a positive image of the future. Picard tells a trio of cryogenically frozen 21st Century relics in an episode of the Next Generation’s first series that in the 24th Century there is no material possession, that hunger no longer exists and that there is no such thing as substance abuse.
We have a world suffering with all those things, a world falling apart in many ways. Star Trek reminds us that we are able to find a way through it, and reminds you that humans have the capacity to be uniquely ingenious – we have just been incredibly lazy with using our talents to good purposes.
This bank holiday I have been watching episodes from my box set of the Next Generation and really enjoying them. I enjoy the world of Star Trek, and I’m glad that the film reboots are having such success.
I think Star Trek, whether you love or hate it, promotes such an enticingly positive message that maybe we should all want to be a little bit more like Captain Picard. After all, no one will ever surpass the fantastic reaction gif he spawned. Stand up and be proud of being a trekkie!
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