Welcome to June’s Quotes and Trivia Gems.
Each month, I reach into my treasure trove of quotes and pull out my favourite gems and personal stories that inspired them.
On becoming a Trekkie.
June 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the airing of the last episode of the original Star Trek series. That’s right, 50 years!
I first began my journey of becoming a Star Trek fan when I was thirteen.
Of course, I couldn’t know that I would become a full-fledged Trekkie until much later. Only after the original Star Trek series was killed then resurrected through reruns did it become a worldwide cult favourite.
When I was ten, I was a dutiful member of our local Wolf Cubs Pack. Three years later, when Star Trek hit the airwaves, I was caught in a moral dilemma that Captain Kirk would appreciate. Star Trek was on at the same time as my Wolf Cubs meetings. Long story short, Star Trek won out!
Star Trek lasted only three seasons (79 episodes) and yet it went on to spawn a franchise of six television series, thirteen features films, numerous books, games and toys. It’s now widely considered one of the most popular and influential television series of all time.
Star Trek – a pioneering TV show.
Surprisingly, Star Trek almost didn’t make it to air. Its first pilot was turned down by NBC who criticized the show as “too cerebral”. However, the second pilot succeeded in making it to air. It included many of the same cast members who would go on to complete the entire run of the show, including Nichelle Nichols who played Lt. Nyota Uhura, the first African-American woman to hold such an important role in an American television series.
My favourite episode was the infamous The Trouble with Tribbles.
As with most Star Trek episodes, it contained a moral. This one, the dangers of upsetting the natural order by introducing foreign fauna – you know, like rabbits in in 18th century Australia or Asian Carp in the ’60s and ’70s.
“Live long and prosper.”
I was particularly intrigued by the Vulcan mind meld, and inspired by the opening mission statement:
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
The American moon landings ushered in a feeling of positivity and hope in during the political and social upheavals of the time. Everything seemed possible – including intergalactic travel.
Because Captain James T. Kirk was played by Canadian actor, William Shatner, the show was even more special.
Not only were we both Canadian, but we were also both Montrealers. So I figured if Montreal could produce the future Captain of the Starfleet, who knows what strange new worlds would be open to me.
For a thirteen-year-old, the idea of discovering new civilizations in far-off galaxies was an analogy for discovering other cultures and countries here on planet earth.
Travelling is an exhilarating blend of new experiences:
- observing how other cultures live, love, eat and celebrate.
- gaining insights into what they care about and how they care for each other.
- Experiencing how they express themselves in art, music and literature.
Star Trek planted the curiosity seed in my thirteen-year-old brain and the mission to explore strange new worlds has been growing there ever since.
I’d like to leave you with one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite artists.
“The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.” ― John Lennon
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In case you missed last month’s Gems, you can check it out here: Your Monthly Quotes and Trivia Gems for May