Star Trek. (Real Star Trek).


We’ve begun to introduce the boy and the girl to the original Star Trek, because: Tradition! And they have to know their roots! And like that!

And when I say “we,” I mean “I,” because the husband could probably go the rest of his life without seeing another episode and be just as happy. Happier, maybe.

The thing is, he was never into Trek to begin with, and only kind of got into it with Next Gen. He’s both four years younger than me (nearly a generation, in pop-culture terms), and not American-born, so though he is for-sure-and-for-certain a geek — with all the Douglas Adams/Whovian/Babylon 5/LOTR/Game of Thrones/oh-and-he’s-a-software-engineer bona fides to prove it — he has no real working knowledge of just how unusual Trek was in its day, how many gates it opened, how hard they tried with what little they had. All he can see is the corny scripts and the ridiculous old-school FX, and William Shatner’s teeth, doing too much of his acting for him.

But he loves me (and you know. He doesn’t hate it!), and so for my birthday, he found a list of Top Ten TOS Episodes, and figured out how we could start catching the kids up (it involves Amazon Prime and my son’s brand-spanking-new-for-his-bar-mitzvah-PlayStation3), and off and on since my birthday (the 21st, since you’re asking, and I’m 48, since you’re quietly not asking), and with much fanfare (and literal clapping of hands and squealing [again, literal]) on my part, we began the journey!

We’re working our way through the top ten list (by airdate, since I know you know that matters), and the kids are digging it! Kinda. I mean, they’re enjoying it, but let’s face it — it’s a little old-school. And their actual introduction to Trek was the movie reboot, and honest to blog, it is simply hard to top JJ Abrams, even if you’re Gene Roddenberry. So one night, I took the trouble to assure them that it’s ok if they don’t love Mommy’s “favorite TV show ever,” and the husband almost visibly blanched.

“Oh c’mon,” he said in a tone of some horror. “Your favorite? Even you say that you like Next Gen more!”

And it’s true, reader, I do. I like Next Gen more.

But Star Trek has been, and always shall be, my favorite TV show. Ever.

Because their is no Next Gen without it. There’s no Picard, there’s no Data, there’s not even Wesley’s sweaters without it. There’s no Abrams reboot, there’s no Galaxy Quest, there might not even be any Star Wars. There’s no “live long and prosper,” there’s no “the needs of the many outweigh…” “…the needs of the few.” “Or of the one,” there’s no “I have been and always shall be your friend” (and if you’re noticing a pattern as to the source of my favorite Trek quotes, you get to go to the head of the class).

And I don’t care what you think or say: William Shatner can ding-dang act. Sometimes, he just got a little carried away, is all. It was 1966, for God’s sake. Everybody was acting with their teeth.

So yes: My favorite TV show. Ever. Possibly my favorite pop culture artifact, across all the years and all the genres. Ever.

When we’re done with the Top Ten of the Original Series, we’ll move on to somebody’s Top Ten (or, I don’t know: Twenty? It lasted a lot longer!) of Next Gen. And then maybe The Wrath of Khan. And then the reboot again. If the kids’ spirits flag, we’ll spread it out a little! Just because I was clapping my hands and squealing doesn’t mean they have to, too. And we’ll squeeze Galaxy Quest in, too, while we’re at it.

But if I share nothing else of my internal world with them, I have to share this. Because it really kind of is who I am.



PS Just a reminder: Another Jewish holiday will be underway as soon as the sun sets here in Middle America, so I won’t be posting on Monday, and if your comment gets caught in moderation, I’ll fish it out as soon as I can. A happy and healthy Sukkot/Monday to one and all!





  1. Ah, TOS, where the rocks were obviously papier mache and the Klingons looked like John Boehner (bad tans, no horseshoe crab foreheads). TOS was, and always shall be, the touchstone of my relationship with my husband of 40 years. I remember so well the evening in 1972 when we were watching TOS reruns on a southern Illinois TV channel and they played an episode I HAD NEVER SEEN!!! (It was the one with NOMAD.) I keep hoping to repeat that experience, but sadly I know it will never happen again. We passed an appreciation (if not love) for TOS on to our daughters, and happily their spouses are of the same persuasion. Soon it will be time to pass it on to our grandchildren. Live long and prosper.

  2. I’ve been a Trek fan not so much because of the TV shows (growing up with parents whose idea of a TV was a bookshelf in every room) but some of the novels, especially Diane Duane’s–see if you can get hold of some of hers, I bet your boy would like them. (Words on paper also spares you the teeth effect.)

  3. Darth Thulhu

     /  September 30, 2012

    So you’re saying you want Zac Efron stunt-cast in the new Trek movie, showing his teeth and making Spock quotes?


    You have the finest taste in nerdculture, of course. You like Trek at least in part for what Rod was trying to do: model utopia and make it look natural. That makes up for a lot of bad teeth-acting, in my book.

  4. No Data without TOS… very true. Data is one of my favorite characters from any television show. Plus it had the first interracial kiss in tv history between Kirk and Uhura (which apparently was supposed to happen between Spock and Uhura in the original script)

  5. Bookwoman

     /  October 1, 2012

    I’m so old that I watched TOS when it first appeared (I was a kid). My father loved science fiction, and the two of us spent many happy hours in front of the TV watching Star Trek, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, etc. When I was a teenager TOS was in constant reruns, and I became a complete Spock fanatic. It’s the best!

  6. watson42

     /  October 1, 2012

    I love TOS. It was probably my favorite show growing up. My baby sister – who is 12 years younger than I – never really watched it since it wasn’t on reruns when she was young. Lately she’s been watching the episodes on Netflix and has become a convert. 🙂 She also says she finally gets some of the quotes her older siblings toss around.

    I recently caught the episode “The Omega Glory” on a local channel. I remember it being cheesy beyond belief. The whole bit where Kirk is talking about the Constitution – where he says that it has to apply to everyone, or else it is meaningless….What in the 1960s & 70s was so self-evident that was completely cheesy is considered radical today.

  7. Oh man, I was terrified by “The Wrath of Khan” when I first watched it as a kid. Those ear leeches are just gross.

    • caoil

       /  October 1, 2012

      I was terrified for weeks after seeing that! Slept with my hair pulled tightly around my ears every night.

      • You make an excellent point! Perhaps we’ll wait awhile to watch that – or I’ll just tell the kids when to close their eyes, and close my eyes right along with them.

        :: shudder ::

  8. Neocortex

     /  October 3, 2012

    I am so glad that IGN list put “City on the Edge of Forever” as the top pick. IMO, it’s the runaway best episode in TOS.

    I’m a DS9 fan, myself. The Federation and its utopianism badly needed some deconstructing, especially after the liberal imperialism of TNG (a show that I also like) and the characters feel more real to me than the ones in TOS or TNG.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  October 3, 2012

      Love DS9. Definitely my favorite of the runs. Religion and politics and bigotry and compromised perfection everywhere.

  9. Lise

     /  October 5, 2012

    Oh, DANG! How did you write your name like that?! You WIN! Star Trek (THE Original Series) was terrifying and fascinating when we were in grade school. Remember that episode with the science aliens with the giant heads with bulging veins and Tesla spheres who imprisoned Kirk and did experiments… actually I don’t remember what happened, but the images are burned in my memory and linked inextricably with the word “science”. When I was up in the middle of the night with a gallstone attack 5 years ago, JCP turned on the TV and there was Kirk, clambering over papiér mache boulders and shooting his phaser at a gargantuan iguana. They distracted me, and I will forever love him for it. Thank you for assuring that my nephew and niece’s education are complete.