I grew up with Star Trek, but I didn't like it. When I was really young, Star Trek was my dad's thing, and the start of my teen phase meant that whatever my dad liked was lame. Well, except Knight Rider, because that had a talking car. And Quantum Leap was alright, I guess. Oh, and Ice Road Truckers was pretty neat because people almost kicked it.
But Star Trek was never my thing. I knew about it, but I didn't care about it. Then the pandemic happened, I ruined my hands and couldn't play video games, and I had a lot of time on my hands. So, at the behest of Netflix's constant recommendation, I got to watching the iconic sci-fi series, starting with The Original Series.
The Original Series is a real mixed bag
For the 1960s, OG Trek was no doubt a momentous piece of television. It was the start of colour TV, evident by the thick, glamorous makeup on every actor. Trek had fantastic special effects. It was also progressive with minority characters in major roles, ethical stories and the first televised interracial kiss. If it released today, sweaty losers would call it “woke” and “the future leftists want”.
However, through the lens of a dude approaching his mid-20s, it ain't great. There’s some fantastic stories — A Taste of Armageddon, The Trouble with Tribbles and Mirror, Mirror being my personal highlights. However, there's also a lot of rough stories, especially throughout Season 3.
Despite this, I did finish The Original Series, and despite some burnout at the end of the third season, I was excited to jump into the movies. And that's when I actually fell in love with the entire franchise.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture completely sold me on the series
When starting up the first Star Trek movie, I didn't have much hope. Over the years, I'd heard terrible things about the entire original movie series. From what I'd heard, The Motion Picture was horrendously boring and only the even-numbered movies were any good. However, I don't believe that — The Motion Picture isn't boring, and all of the original films are actually pretty great.
My mind was sold almost immediately. Despite not outright enjoying all of The Original Series, seeing the original cast age and move on felt smart and interesting. The bombastic Captain Kirk is a pencil-pushing Admiral who craves to be back in the action; Spock is a teacher; Bones is now Disco Bones.
But the scene that truly sold me on the movie was the reintroduction of the USS Enterprise. The 5-minute long scene feels nostalgic, even to someone who finished watching the show mere hours before. The sweeping sequence celebrates the ship, shows you every detail of the exterior, and it’s honestly awe-inspiring.
Much like Kirk, you feel lucky and excited to see the Enterprise again. You savour every second, excited to see the inside but also wanting to stay outside just a little bit longer. Somehow, it's not too long and it's not too short — it's just long enough.
I don't know exactly why this one scene had such an impact on me. However, that one scene made me properly fall in love with Trek, and solidified that specific version of the Enterprise as my favourite. It's amazing what films can do to you.