Sunday, September 11, 2016


The Vulcan brain: a puzzle wrapped inside an enigma, housed inside a cranium.
--The Doctor, Star Trek: Voyager
Happy 50th to my fellow Trekkers, Trekkies, and Trek nerds at all levels. What'd you watch?

I enjoyed The Drumhead and Half a Life last week, and lat night watched Me TV's airing of The Man Trap and The Cage, with bonus animated ep. Fun! Today, it's been Voyager - Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy, Alice, and Riddles.

Crossing the years, crossing the series - anyone who reads here much knows I am not the biggest Next Generation fan; but Jean Simmons in The Drumhead, up against Patrick Stewart - it does make for classic Trek viewing. The philosophy, the artful production and performance, even the costuming (Simmons is perfectly garbed) are all there. But, for my money, it is Majel Barrett and David Ogden Stiers who exemplify - across all of the Trekverse, across all of the series, across all of the movies and the animated show and novels - the BEST of Trek. The reason we are fans. The exploration, the presentation of another culture, which actually seems and looks and feels like another culture (albeit, of course, and typically of TNG's general pattern entirely presented by white people). It is the sole episode of the show in which a single-hour's romance actually resonates, feels authentic. Barrett is redeemed, here, from the role of a pathetic joke about middle-aged feminine sexuality. Stiers is what makes me weep. He has a moment of such complete, genuine feeling it has stuck with me since the first airing, and makes me grateful for Trek every time I see it again. He is a revelation.

Half a Life is the episode I wish I could share with my brother, my mother; to make them understand what Trek *is*, what it strives to be and so often fails or falters or makes too easy. It's hard, and it's stunningly beautiful. I love it.

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