Saturday, July 7, 2012

[Caitlin] Where No Nerd Has Gone Before AKA Caitlin Watches Star Trek for the First Time and Blogs About it

[JT's note:  Alrighty.  It's time for another introduction.  This time around I have the great pleasure of introducing my best friend in the whole world: Caitlin (a.k.a. piccplayr).  She is a nerd in every sense of the word and fits in perfectly here at NerdPop.  I approached her a few days ago about writing for NP, and she had an amazing idea.  So we are actually starting off a brand new series just for Caitlin.  Hope you enjoy!]

It comes as a shock to many who have known me for a while that I have never seen Star Trek, especially given the fact that my first forays into nerdom as a child were through YA Science Fiction novels like Animorphs [JT's note:  I knew there was a reason we were friends!]. There was really no reason for me not to watch it except that I don’t like to start any kind of series, book or television, in the middle. I recently decided (mainly out of boredom) to start watching Star Trek from start to finish. I hope that you will join me on my journey as I watch, give reactions and review the series as I go.

I have, so far, watched the first six episodes of the original series. Being the nerd that I am, I have begun to note some parallels to series like Doctor Who and the Twilight Zone that I hope to delve into in more detail later on.

One problem that I have so far with the series is that there is nothing that ties the episodes to each other, and while this allows them to stand on their own, it makes it difficult for me to form connections with the characters. I am hoping this will change in later seasons, but I can’t help but note that other television shows from this era and before also tend to have this flaw.

That being said, I rather like the show so far. I love how each episode deals with some kind of ethical dilemma. I believe that these types of issues are universal, and are the reason that shows like the Twilight Zone, Doctor Who, and Star Trek are able to stand the test of time. They do not put so much emphasis on the futuristic setting or technologies, and instead use the removal from our own time to delve into issues that would be inappropriate in a contemporary setting with aliens and space travel being merely props.

As a History buff, I can and do appreciate the strides that this show takes simply given the political climate into which it premiered and the choices in casting and characters. Represented on the bridge of the Enterprise are members of several nationalities, and even women, in important positions. This was just beginning to be an accepted occurrence in the American workplace in 1966, but it would be almost unheard of to have so many minority groups represented in one place. Projecting this new idea of multiculturalism in the workplace into the space age is a way of validating the change as the way of the future, which people of the late 1960’s were obsessed with (when not contemplating the end of the world and nuclear war that is). Now don’t get me wrong, there are still many things wrong with how the future has been depicted, especially given the portrayal of women on the show, but that is a whole other post entirely.

Ok, so those are some of my initial reactions. I am not quite sure what shape this series will take. I’m sure I will do some episode reviews, some reactions, parallels and the like; really just whatever I feel like at the time. I will aim to do these posts pretty regularly, but it will depend on how much I watch. I do tend to get over excited about new things, so I might go a little crazy about this series at first until the real world of Grad school comes calling. Anyway, that’s all for now.


[JT's Final Note: Hope you all enjoyed the first showing of NerdPop's newest author.  We've had some great ideas about what she'll cover, so you'll be seeing her a lot.  I'll leave this with a small heads up: look forward to a post doing a bit more in depth intro to all the authors here, both that you have already met and maybe a few that you haven't yet. See you all next time!]

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