Star Trek and Me

Monday, 6 April 2015

Whenever I tell someone that I am a fan of Star Trek, they always seem taken aback and shocked that "someone like me" would be interested in such a thing. Someone like me? What does that even mean? I encounter this reaction an awful lot with things that I'm interested in, and it's not limited to Star Trek. But let me let you in on a little secret, how I stumbled upon Star Trek is even more of a conumdrum for 'someone like me'. This is how I became a Star Trek fan.

I first became interested in Star Trek when I was 11 years old. It was during the summer between Primary 7 and starting my first year at my Grammar School. For years, I had been an avid fan of WWE, yes, the wrestling programme. In the year 2000, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnsson was to guest star in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager. WWE covered this cameo and I watched the Behind-the-Scenes featurette that they aired. I've always loved behind-the-scenes programmes and from this I was intrigued. When it came time for the episode to air here in the UK, I sat down with my brother and we watched it.
I had ZERO clue as to who was who in the episode or what was even going on. All I was interested in was when The Rock would show up. Eventually he did and laid the smack down on character Seven of Nine and that was it. We watched to the end of the episode and neither of us thought anything more of it.
That was the Monday and on the Friday of that same week (I believe), my cousin came down to our house and mentioned that Voyager was on. I thought that it was a repeat of the episode The Rock was in - btw, it's called Tsunkatse. Alas, it wasn't a repeat but it was an episode called 'One' from a previous season. I sat thinking that The Rock would show up but he didn't, yet something with the show stuck with me. It then lead me to watching another episode another evening because Sky One were having a Star Trek week at the time with special episodes being shown at 8pm.
That was only the beginning.

From then on, my brother and I would watch Voyager every day after school at 5pm. At the time I didn't know how many seasons were airing or had aired. I didn't know anything of Star Trek beyond 'Live Long and Prosper' and a smattering of names (Kirk, Scotty, Spock and Uhura etc). I thought that the episodes that I was watching at the time were close to the Tsunkatse episode that I watched. Tsuntakse is in season 6. I was actually watching from the beginning of season 1 as I later found out.
That lead me to start watching the other incarnations, The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. Every Monday night I would sit impatiently with my heart beating wildly in my chest for the new episode of Voyager to begin on Sky One and then on BBC2 on a Tuesday for a previous season. I even had a subscription to the Star Trek Monthly magazine and I would impatiently wait for the next issue to come through my door.
With the different incarnations came different characters and situations and I fell in love with them all. They were my escape. I would count down the minutes until the end of school when I knew that a new episode was waiting for me - well, new to me. From those episodes, I progressed to the movies and the books and fanfiction. I remember buying a Voyager book in a shop while on holiday in Menorca. Menorca!  

In school, there was nobody I knew that watched Star Trek or knew anyone that would even admit that they did. When I tried to discuss it with anybody they would simply roll their eyes at me and just give me that look that would wordlessly tell me to shut up. I still receive that look to this very day.

When I was an active member of Livejournal, I found a lot of like-minded people. I found fellow sci-fi fans and I could speak my mind freely without risking that inevitable eye-roll. I made friends by being a fan of the different incarnations and by extension the cast. Being a fan of Kate Mulgrew, who played Captain Kathryn Janeway on Voyager, (she was the first character I felt drawn to), I gained two friends who are both like sisters to me. They are my confidants and I have known one for over ten years and another for over six. Star Trek brought me my closest friends and for that, I will be eternally grateful.
At the base of it, Star Trek brings me extreme joy. I have had some very dark moments in my life that when I look back I see nothing but darkness. During those times, Star Trek was my constant. I may not have watched it every single day, but when I found an episode randomly airing on TV or pulled out a DVD and watched it, it would make me so happy for 40 minutes, 60 minutes or 100 odd minutes. I remember watching Star Trek: Insurrection and being so hyper that I couldn't sleep afterwards. It made me so happy.
I've read countless books on my iPad and a number of paperbacks. Over the past few weeks, when I haven't been working or blogging or stressing about lighting cues, I have been reading the books. I've been devouring them like crazy. Once I finish one, I feel like I have to start the next one.

We all have judgements about Star Trek fans. Most people think they're crazy fanatics that walk around in replica costumes while grocery shopping, or have decorated rooms of their houses like the actual sets and have merchanise filling up spare bedrooms and whatnot. It's also a kind of basis for how much of a fan someone is about someone - a kind display of their dedication. I don't have a uniform hanging in my wardrobe. The closest I've got to a costume is a commbadge. I don't have models decorating every inch of my house. I only have a miniature model of Voyager on the top of my ALEX drawers that I bought with a magazine (I accidentally broke one of its nacelles). I have the complete DVD series of Voyager and 3 seasons of The Next Generation. I have all of the movies (thanks to my ex-boyfriend for buying me a collector's box of the first 10 movies). I may not be the most avid of fans with all the merchandise and such, but it does mean the world to me and it has been a part of my life for nearly fifteen years.
Here are a few of my favourites from Star Trek:
Ship - Voyager
Captain - Kathryn Janeway
First Officer - William T. Riker
Tactical Officer - Worf
Helsman - Tom Paris
Operations Officer - Data
Medical Officer - Counselor Deanna Troi (she's in the Science department and she's a shrink.)
Engineer - B'Elanna Torres
Series - Voyager [purely because it was the first one I knew and I know it so much better than the others)
Movie - Star Trek: First Contact
Uniform - The grey uniform with department stripes. Late DS9 and First Contact through Nemesis
Moment - When Deanna is drunk in First Contact
The Next Generation
     Male - William T. Riker
     Female - Deanna Troi
Deep Space Nine
     Male - Miles O'Brien
     Female - Kira Nerys
     Male - Chakotay
     Female - Kathryn Janeway
     Male - Charles 'Trip' Tucker III
     Female - Erika Hernandez

That concludes my story about how Star Trek became an integral part of my life. Had I not become a fan of Star Trek, I never would have met the people that I know today because it opened up the Internet to me as I wanted to know more and more. I spent so much of my life hiding that passion and I don't intend to continue like that. I won't ever apologise for being a nerd or a geek or Trekkie whatever noun you want to assign to it. So buckle up, kids, because Star Trek will appear again on this blog after this week is over.
Live long and prosper.

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