11.12.2008

Star Trek: My First Experience

Star Trek original logoWith all the hype surrounding the new Star Trek movie, I thought I would take a moment to reflect on how I was first exposed to Star Trek.  I don’t consider myself to be a Trekkie or Trekker, just a fairly knowledgeable fan of some of the incarnations of Star Trek.  I’m happy to say that the first Star Trek show I was exposed to is still one of the best.

My pre-teen years were spent in a typical early-80’s middle class suburban home.  Two parents, four children, a dog, and a swimming pool.  My dad was the general manager for a local television station, while my mom worked part-time and did the majority of the child rearing.  Each night while mom made dinner, it was the kids’ job to stay out of dad’s way.  After all he’d had a long day at work and needed time to unwind.  He’d come home, drink a cocktail, watch the news, and gobble down a pack of Rolaids in just a few hours.  Since the kids interacted primarily with mom, it was a big deal when dad got involved.  When dad said he wanted something done, you jumped.

And there came a day unlike any other when my eyes were truly opened for the first time.  I was about nine years old at the time.  I happened to stroll into our family room where my dad was watching television.  He looked at me, looked back to the television, and then looked back at me.  He sort of squinted, like he was sizing me up for a fight.  Then he spoke those words I’ll never forget, “Boy, sit down.  Watch this.  It’s important.”  Knowing my place in the household, I did exactly what my dad told me to.  I sat down and spent the next hour watching this TV show that he seemed to think was important.

Kirk versus the GornThe show featured strange new words that I was unfamiliar with, like “Stardate”, “Enterprise”, “Warp Factor”, and … “Gorn”. That’s right, it was the episode entitled “Arena” from the first season of the original Star Trek television series.  That’s the one where some powerful entities force Captain Kirk to battle the Gorn unarmed.  Great stuff!  I was hooked from then on.  I mean, c’mon, I didn’t stand a chance.  Kirk versus the Gorn?  What a fantastic way to get introduced to the franchise!

Soon afterward my dad took me to see “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” in the theatre.  Even as a kid, I could tell that movie was just plain awesome.  So I guess I’ve got my dad to thank for my lifelong connection to Star Trek.  I’ve continued to dabble in the various Star Trek incarnations since those early years, but nothing will ever beat discovering it for the first time.

Come back tomorrow for a little more on Trek.

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4 Responses to “Star Trek: My First Experience”

  1. 44 Says:

    yeah, you never forget your first…

  2. lessthan12parsecs Says:

    I had a cousin who was a trekkie and I was exposed to it early. But my mother took me to see Star Wars first. My mother and cousin would get into which was better…Star Wars or Star Trek. Of course, I sided with the Star Wars faction. I remember watching some Star Trek, but I was waaaay more fascinated by Doctor Who on PBS One kid in our neighborhood wanted to take a fridge box and make it the Enterprise. I got to it first and made it the TARDIS. Sweet!

  3. Erika Says:

    I totally respect what Star Trek represents, but I think I missed the boat/starship early on. Since I saw Star Wars first, almost everything else seemed lame by comparison. I was too young to appreciate the fact that Star Trek got there first and had all kinds of cool themes about humanity and race relations. I’m really looking forward to the new movie.

  4. Stuart Renton Says:

    My first memories of Star Trek:

    1. Trying to predict (with a finger) exactly where the Enterprise would appear during the opening credits (I bet you ALL did it!).
    2. The groovy music.
    3. The black and gold carpet we had in our living room (hey, it was the ’70s).

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