Remember when Thomas Disch wrote (in The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of) that in SF, about the singular importance of fashion in SFnal (and other pop entertainment) media? About the “pajamas” of Trek as singularly important to viewers, communicative of a kind of harmonious conformity that is especially resonant to those discovering Trek at an early age?
I find it interesting that “spoilers” could even exist for clothing in a film, but look at this: Star Trek Movie Uniform Spoilers.
And what you might not know is: I used to watch Original Series Trek as a kid in Lac La Ronge, Saskatchewan, but partly just because there was no other choice on Saturday mornings. It was Smurfs, Mighty Hercules, The Twilight Zone, and then Star Trek. My favorite was Twilight Zone, to be honest, but I usually hung around for Trek too. When it switched to The Lone Ranger, I could hang with it. When it switched to some other western TV series (which one, I can’t remember), I was outta there.
But while I never really got “into” Trek like some people I knew — I only watched Star Trek: The Next Generation sporadically (and for that matter only ever caught a few epiodes of Babylon 5, which I remember as being roughly contemporaneous), but was much more interested in The X-Files. I don’t think I’ve even seen anything from the later Star Trek series.Not because I hated them, I was just not into the franchise, and had other stuff I was doing, and, well, you know how it goes.
I am finding the original series more interesting now, since I’m looking at it with a critical, analystical, er, academic eye. In grad school, I used to resent how cultural studies people and lit scholars I encountered in print who even deigned to discuss SF were always spent their time looking at ST:TOS or The Day the Earth Stood Still, and never seemed to have much to say about more recent SF books or media. I was reading the wrong books, probably, but I think also maybe they were looking at stuff they’d enjoyed — and that had resonated profoundly for them — when they were young. And, looking back into Trek, I find it more and more interesting how the contemporary or even the retrogressive melds with the progressive, while being so utterly palatable, and such an effective reincarnation of the naval adventure genre (with great dollops of romantic heroism thrown in) that hordes of teenagers of both sexes could find hours of fun in it.
Anyway, for those out of the loop, like me, there seems to be a new Trek on the way. I’m note really expecting a chance to see it in theaters, but I will check Scribblings of the Metropolitician closer to the release date. If anyone’s gonna be on top of figuring out where to see it, it’ll be Michael. (Here’s his post/podcast on the reception (or lack thereof) of Star Trek in Korea. I disagree with some of his analysis, but it’s still interesting, and indicative of some of the issues that got me interested in the SF scene here — or, the falsely apparent lack thereof.)