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Friday, May 10, 2013

Influences: Star Trek

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do was to watch reruns of Star Trek* (the original) with my dad.  Sometimes we would stay up late, waiting for a special episode to came on after the ten o'clock news, sometimes we'd find one broadcast on a Saturday afternoon, but regardless of when, for that hour I was a TV zombie.  I couldn't take my eyes from the screen.

And naturally, I daydreamed about it all later.

Except, I always had a small problem with the whole Star Trek mythology.  Well, maybe not so small.

You see, I never identified with the female characters.

I wanted to be HIM^.
Now, don't misunderstand, I liked Uhura.  And I thought being a communications officer on a starship could actually be a fun job.  But seriously, she never got an adequate amount of screen time nor an acceptable amount of adventure. As for Nurse Chappell, well, she kind of annoyed me, so I didn't want to be her.

And then there was some lady with blond basket-weave hair that was on from time to time, but I can't even remember her name...Janice? Maybe?  I am going to google blond basket weave hair lady from Star Trek and see what comes up.  Give  me a moment.


Whooop!  There is is!  I found her.  Google, you are amazing.
Seriously she wasn't on that often, and if you wanted to go adventuring across galaxies, then that hair would take way too much upkeep.  (Remember, these were my thoughts as a ten year-old...and I was not far off the mark!)

See, if you wanted to go "where no one** was gone before" then the character you HAD to be was Captain Kirk.  I loved him.  Not in a "I have a crush on you" kind of way, but in an "I want to be you" kind of way.  I mean, he always seemed like he had a plan, even when he didn't.  And he lived for adventure.  

(I didn't pick up in his jerky womanizer tendencies as a kid. I suppose that made him a flawed, multi-dimensional character, who knows? Regardless, I am glad my dad didn't tell me I should be identifying with basket weave head. She didn't  get to do much of ANYTHING!)

But oh, the adventurous Kirk!! 

This need for adventure has influenced my stories greatly.  My characters need to go somewhere, do something within their tales for me to be able to follow their stories to the end.  Every one of my characters has a teeny bit of James T. Kirk living inside of them.   (However, NONE OF THEM ARE JERKY WOMANIZERS!)  

Yes, I am dying for the next Star Trek movie, in case you were wondering.

Is there a childhood show or book that influence your writing?


*I always had to explain to my friends that it was Star TREK, not Star TRACK.  Sheesh.  Didn't their dads stay up late to watch it with them?

**Yeah, yeah, I know, on the old series he always said, "Where no MAN has gone before."  So glad when they changed it for NEXT GENERATION.  I'll have to post another time with all of my love for Captain Picard!!  Love you, Jean-Luc!!


Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I loved Star Trek too. The quirky characters and crazy adventures were wonderful.

Ms. Yingling said...

I think that Star Trek was very important for a whole generation of somewhat geeky students. Will not even discuss the Lite Brite "console" I had in my room ...

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I just saw Star Trek Into Darkness movie and LOVED it--had action, characterization and emotional impact. (The girls had more screen time and actual influence, too!)