Monday, July 25, 2016


H&I (Heroes and Icons, a network I never heard of until recently) now has the rights to all five Trek shows and began showing them last night in what they have dubbed "All Star Trek". They showed every first episode of every Trek show back to back (and will continue showing all five shows daily). And while everything past TOS will require two nights to complete the first episode showing due to their two-part nature, it was nonetheless an amazing experience that I just happened onto. I was channel surfing when I came across the opening of "Man Trap" in all its 60's over-saturated-color-goodness. I started watching and didn't stop for five hours!

There were so many things that struck me as I went from one era of Trek to the next (yes, I even watched Voyager and Enterprise!). An almost overwhelming sense of nostalgia hit me with every new show until I hit Enterprise. I think it's just too recent to evoke those types of feelings. The older the show, the stronger the emotions were. A sense of time and place swept over me with each version. With TOS I was suddenly a young teen discovering Trek in syndication like millions of others. TNG came along a year before my son was born and Farpoint evoked strong feelings of that point in my life. I remembered waiting for it in high anticipation. DS9 came along the year I went into business. Voyager (which I've never been connected to) was simply a twenty-year-old show and so still evoked feelings of that era. It was a shock to me when I made the realization that it actually started in 1995. I had never thought about it being that old. Enterprise was simply Enterprise.

The main take-away I got from the experience was something I always knew but never understood with such razor-sharp certainty: TOS was the best-realized of all the shows from the get-go. All the others chose to do the "origin" thing where we see the crew meeting each other for the first time and getting to know each other in a gradual way as we the viewers did. But TOS started out – amazingly! – with fully-realized characters. They were in the midst of their five year mission and everyone already knew everyone and were comfortable with each other's abilities. There was an instant familiarity from the very first scene and it informed the show from then on. BTW, I realize "Man Trap" wasn't the first show shot (it was the third if you include the pilot). But even so, with just those two other stories under their belt, Star Trek was fully-realized almost instantly.

It's long been my opinion that the first two seasons of every show thereafter were the weakest of the their respective runs. I gave up on Voyager and Enterprise after their first two season because, for me at least, they were just too mediocre. What struck me about seeing both Farpoint and Emissary was the power of the leads. Without Patrick Stewart and Avery Brooks, I can't help but wonder if those two shows would have survived, let alone flourish. Stewart especially had the power to take ho-hum stuff and make it interesting. Without that strong hand at the helm (pun intended) I think the shows would have floundered given the mediocrity of their writing in the early going. To this day I still can't watch "Code of Honor" or "Justice" (or ten others I could name!) even with Patrick Stewart!

It's a fascinating experience to move through forty years worth of Star Trek in one sitting. I highly recommend it! Check out the details at H&I's website:

All Star Trek



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