I became a sci-fi freak the moment I watched the first episode of Star Trek — the original low-rated television series, not the movie. From the moment the opening billboard introduced me to a five-year mission to “boldly go where no man has gone before,” I was hooked like a tuna. Never before had I seen such boldness created for the small screen. After all, this was 1966 and I was taken on a ride I’ve enjoyed for more than four decades.
The genius of Gene Roddenberry’s unparalleled concept was a presentation of an amalgamation of ethnicity which traveled faster than the speed of light, and which spoke in a manner that would make Shakespeare sit up and take notice. A new word, warp, was added to my vocabulary. And with the intervention of an advanced alien race, our frailties as a human species were explored expertly. Thereby, I was entertained by the fantasy of a distant time while learning more about contemporary cultural realities. This show made me want to reacquaint myself with civics, world history, science and, especially, the dictionary. Oftentimes, the words did not appear until years later.
Spock has always been my favorite, that philosophical half-human always struggling between logic and human emotion. Leonard Nimoy brought reality and dedication to the role. After his fellow cast members left for the day, Nimoy still hung around the set. It took makeup artists at least thirty minutes to remove those sexy prosthetic ears. Yes, I identified with those pointy ears as anyone who has seen me in person will understand.
Star Trek, may you continue to live long and prosper!