Tuesday, July 5, 2011

RemembeRED: TV shows

Prompt: TV is something that people either watch a lot of or have definite feelings about. This week, we want you to think about a tv show from your past. Maybe you watched it, maybe you didn't and it was just something that everyone else talked about.

What feelings does the show evoke? What memories does it trigger?

Growing up, watching television was something that my family did together. I can remember watching Gunsmoke, and all of us rooting for Marshall Dillon to save the day. I can remember Charlie's Angels, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Bionic Woman.

But the show I remember loving best is the original Star Trek. I was four when the show first went on the air, and I don't remember that, of course. However, we went to Germany when I was 8, and the only channel we had to watch that was in English was the one the military piped in. That channel showed reruns of Star Trek. I could hardly wait to hear the intro.

"Space: The final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before."

I loved Captain Kirk. He was smart, he was bold, he was decisive, and he got the job done, even if he had to break the rules sometimes. Captain Kirk was born to lead--you could see it in his body language, his voice, his expressions. Captain Kirk believed in himself and his abilities; he had healthy self-esteem, the psychologists would say. I guess that one would have to have good self-esteem, to believe in yourself, in order to lead a bunch of people into uncharted space, but that hadn't occurred to me as a child.

But I had an affinity for Spock. I wanted to be more like him, with his unemotional view of the situations the crew encountered. Personality-wise, I was probably more like Dr. McCoy, passionate and caring, but I wanted to be Spock. Even back then, however, I noticed that Kirk usually made decisions that fell between the viewpoints of his two colleagues. A leader does have to listen to the opinions of his crew, I learned, but he also has to make his own decisions, because he's the leader.

I can remember watching episodes of Star Trek and being scared. The episode with the Horta, a creature that melted rock, gave me a nightmare or two. I can also remember wanting a tribble, and laughing at the sight of Kirk being bombarded with tribbles from a grain storage unit. In all those episodes, I felt that I was a bona fide member of the Enterprise.

In some ways, I still do.

When I was in college as an undergrad, my friends and I would go to a boy's dorm to watch the original Star Trek; a station played reruns every weekday at 4pm.

My answering machine, once upon a time, was the intro to Star Trek. People often called me just to hear it.

One of the reasons I became interested in my husband was his love of all things Star Trek, although he is more of a Next Generation fan than I am.

And my husband sits with my son these days and watches remastered Star Trek episodes on our Blu-ray player. When I can, I watch them as well.

I want to see my son, as an adult, to explore, to seek, and to boldly go toward whatever life has to offer him.

Lesson learned, Captain Kirk.


  1. I am really going to date myself, but my favorite shows were Bonanza and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. I loved Little Joe and Ilya Kuryakin. Readers will just have to research who they really were...but most probably have at least heard of Little Joe!

  2. Love me some Capitain Kirk...loved him even more on boston legal

  3. LOVED Star Trek! I never saw the original but as you pointed out someone somewhere was always re-running them. In college when we were home for the summer my brother and I would stay up all night watching. Fun memory.

  4. I have never been much for the space ship shows, Star Trek or otherwise, though I do enjoy the original Star Wars movies. I love the direction you went with this prompt though.

    My writing blog is here: http://frommywriteside.wordpress.com

  5. It fascinates me how many people wanted to emulate Spock, of all the characters. I loved every incarnation of the series, and I even volunteer on a fan film now!

  6. I am a few years older than you, so watched the original shows as they came out. And yes, it was love at first sight that turned abiding, and has continued down through the generations (as it were). Star Trek. Sigh.

    It's so wonderful you mentioned the episode with the Horta, because that was one of my all-time favorites as a kid, in spite of it being a wee bit scary, too.

    I'm still a sci-fi geek girl, today. If I hadn't picked the strange and surreal "The Cube" to write my TRDC post about? It would most certainly have been Star Trek.... although I was way too fond of Lost in Space as a child, too.

  7. I'll just come right out and say I'm a real McCoy. Only the 2009 version. And being a kid I wanted to be a tribble, so obviously you have great tastes.
    Now that I'v just lampooned myself I'll exit quietly.

    Though ....Spock was cooler than Kirk. The man was so easily side-tracked by an exotic blue Andorian in a leopard bikini, or those trampy, three breasted Caitians.

    Did I say lampoon? I meant "completely assigned myself to the geeks table for life."

  8. It's sure nice to see that so many of us are Star Trek Fans!!

  9. I love the full circle of this- your dad and you, your husband and your son.

    My dad, too., watched Star Trek and the theme music always reminds me of him

    Loved the "Lesson learned, Captain Kirk."- Very well played. :)

  10. I come from a family of Trekkies. It was a family experience and we all have our own very definite opinions about each incarnation of the show, favourite episodes, characters, movies, etc.

    Like Galit, the last line tied it up for me!


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