Star Trek: The Original Series – Initial Impressions
I have now seen the first 10 episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series. The obsessive geek in me loves it! I think it’s really funny, and also very creative (for its time). I love the dorky costumes, make-up, and sets, and the way they portray the technology of the future. As for the characters… Spock is everything I hoped he would be. He’s intelligent, complex, no-nonsense, multi-talented, wry, strong, loyal, and cool in a nerdy way. Vulcans are downright awesome. Captain Kirk is really growing on me. I appreciate his ability to remain calm in tough situations. He’s a good communicator – he knows how to talk to adults and children and crewmen and crazed madmen alike. And he cares about his crew. He’s misogynistic, but I have to forgive him for that. McCoy is growing on me, too, even though he can be a pain in the rear. He’s emotional, pessimistic, and set-in-his-ways, making him a perfect foil for both Kirk’s optimism and Spock’s pragmatism. Harumph.
I care about strong character development and intimate partnerships in TV shows, so naturally my favorite aspect of the series is the relationship between Kirk and Spock (and McCoy to a lesser extent). I’m beginning to see why Kirk/Spock is the most enduring slash fanfic partnership of all time. You can definitely superimpose a sexual relationship between the two on top of the show, if you wish – it really works. Even without the slash, the intimate partnership/friendship is endearing and provides for lots of funny/awkward moments.
Watching TOS gives me a completely different perspective on the new Star Trek film. Now I can see why Uhura snogging on Spock is such a huge change! It messes up all the Kirk/Spock fun, and it means that Spock has other priorities besides the ship and his Captain. Both Uhura and Spock have different personalities in the film than they do in TOS. Leonard Nimoy’s spock is so incredibly placid and self-assured, but Zachary Quinto’s Spock has a darker, brooding undertone and more obvious inner conflict. It’s a little bit hard for me to imagine Quinto’s Spock eventually turning into Nimoy’s Spock. I can more easily imagine Chris Pine’s and Karl Urban’s versions of Kirk and Bones turning into their TOS selves. (Chris pine looks a lot like Shatner, too!) Of course, the brilliant ‘alternate reality’ plotline means that changes in history have brought out different aspects of the characters personalities. This makes it fairly easy to reconcile the film with TOS. Thus, I can appreciate both versions. I’m really looking forward to the next Star Trek film (which should come out in 2011!)