When and how did you become a Star Trek fan?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Lance, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. TribbleFeeder

    TribbleFeeder The Real Kim Cardassian Premium Member

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    Wow. That was so interesting.

    Totally made me realize that being a millennial and having everything on Netflix is definitely something I take advantage of.
     
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  2. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    Not just being able to stream, mind you, but also having information at your fingertips.

    As I mentioned, I distinguished between TOS and TNG by the two writers of tie-in material I knew of. I distinctly remember, when the shows were released on VHS (yes, VHS) back in the early 90s, I wrote a wishlist for a birthday asking for us renting a VHS of "Raumschiff Enterprise", either by John Vornholt or, if the video store'd have them, by James Blish.

    I didn't know that one was the "sequel" of the other, I didn't know they shared the same universe. I just took it like two different adaptations of Robin Hood, or Tarzan.
    Same goes for when I learned about the movies, I just thought they'd take place around the same time as the TV show, it just looked a bit different.

    I don't quite remember when I learned the proper connections and timelines.
     
  3. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    It was a different era all right. I still remember spending an entire weekend searching NYC for a VHS copy of "The Counter-Clock Incident" that I wanted to watch for research purposes. Finally located a copy in a rental place in the East Village after pounding the pavement for hours.

    And it wasn't just TREK. As a kid, I remember being tormented by references to old black-and-white horror movies that were never shown on TV anymore, which meant that there was no way to ever see them. And you couldn't watch your favorite movies whenever you felt like it; you had to wait until (hopefully) they showed up on the Late Late Show some night. Picture Little Greg begging his parents to be allowed to stay up until 1 AM to see Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man on "Nightmare Theater," since of course you couldn't tape movies off TV to watch later until the eighties or so. And I remember my poor Dad driving me to revival houses all around Seattle because that might be my ONLY chance to ever see The Old Dark House with Boris Karloff or Mark of the Vampire with Bela Lugosi.

    The idea that nowadays I can just throw Curse of the Cat People into the Blu-Ray player whenever I feel like it would have boggled Little Greg's mind. :)
     
  4. TribbleFeeder

    TribbleFeeder The Real Kim Cardassian Premium Member

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    Haha awwwww “Little Greg” that’s too cute!

    I am happy to be born in a time where I have access to so much amazing entertainment/media at my fingertips. It makes me wonder if non millennialis have of a greater appreciation for it, not just the accessibility but the content too. Since it was such a scarcity when you were young, do you see Trek differently than me?

    The world of TV and Movies are just so watered down these days. Programs are released every other day from all different sources. Hulu and Netflix make their own shows now. Sci-fi alone is a massive universe. Does it affect the quality of what’s released? Maybe. Does it make us more critical of everything? For sure. We appreciate what we see less because there is sooo much to compare it to. I wonder if fans tore apart TOS like they are Discovery (I’ve just given up on the acronym for that one :lol:). Fans who like the show are so critical! Let alone those who dislike it. Even I’m a little critical.

    Just a babbling rant, I’m done now :)
     
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  5. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    I think that one definitely has a stronger appreciation for TOS if one is old enough to remember when that show simply was Star Trek...which continued into the pre-TNG movie era. The TOS movies were a spin-off, the original show was still the meat and potatoes of the franchise.
     
  6. TribbleFeeder

    TribbleFeeder The Real Kim Cardassian Premium Member

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    I agree.

    I think TOS stands the test of time because it really encompasses the whole essence of Star Trek. It’s so much about the story telling. I used to not understand why there wasn’t much of a story arc for the whole series, then I started to see it in a different way. For me, it’s the individual episodes that really matter. It wasn’t as much about the character development as it was about their experiences with alien species. Their “encounters”. It took me a while to see it that way, I used to be so frustrated that you can put the episodes in any order and not be able to tell the difference.

    I kind of wish we had a series that went back to this style where we focus on the exploration and the new species more than what’s going on aboard the ship.
     
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  7. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    Also, when Trek was released on VHS in the 90s, it was a massive thing. TV shows weren't released in their entirety (except for some European TV shows with few episodes to begin with), certainly not a whole franchise of multiple shows. Hell, only a couple shows got any VHS releases at all, and those would mostly consist with themed compilations with two, three, maybe four episodes per cassette, which then would be sold individually. People who got all of the Trek cassettes had to spend a shitload of money and had to have enough space to store them all. It really is a testament to just how big Star Trek was in the 90s.

    So, thanks for making this 33 year old feel like an old fart. ;)
     
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  8. Admiral Archer

    Admiral Archer Captain Captain

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    I've often wondered about that, actually. So you guys see the classic TOS movies the same way I see the JJ Abrams films: amazing entertainment, and true to what Star Trek is, but only up to a point, and not substantial enough to keep the franchise fully afloat. I guess Discovery is my generation's "Next Generation", huh? :)
     
  9. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Well, I will say "yes." I'm not saying for better or worse, but unquestionably different. And here's a long story as to why I say that:

    I didn't know what Star Trek (TOS) episodes existed until my mid-teens, when I'd been watching the show for around 10 years. I knew there were a lot I had basically memorized, and some I'd seen only once or twice. I had The Making of Star Trek, which only covered the first two seasons. There was a book I would get from the library called The Star Trek Concordance that had a lot of information, but most of the season/episode info had been on a pasteboard wheel in the front cover, any my library had removed that to put it in a hard binding! And that book was hard to get at the library, too, it was always checked out. So I would see names of episodes that I didn't recognize, and I would wonder what they must be like. "'That Which Survives'... Must be about the crew surviving somewhere..." I would go over these titles in my imagination. It was killing me that there were Star Trek episodes out there I hadn't seen.

    When I was 16 I bought this book, $9.95 cover price:
    st_compend.png

    So now I knew for sure what episodes I had not seen, there were a handful, all third season. And I read the synopses in the book. Now the hard part was trying to see them. My local station played Star Trek reruns constantly in the '80s, and I found they were playing them in production order for the most part. But they moved the time slot at least once a year. And when they did that, they would usually start the order over at some earlier point, and you'd have to work your way forward toward season three again. I had a VCR at home by this time, and was set up to tape the missing eps, but I'd think I was getting close and then, nope, we're back to season one. So this went on and on, trying to catch the last few episodes, and finally about two years later I saw the last unseen episode, "The Lights of Zetar." (The episodes were starting to come out on VHS then, but the rental stores only had a few, and even the record stores [which were the most specialized place to buy home video at the time] didn't have the ones I needed, plus they were out of my price range anyway).

    So here's my point: At that time, I had basically been a fan of a show for two-thirds of my life before I was able to see all of it. And for almost half of my life, I knew there was more of the show out there, totally new to me; I just couldn't see it. And thinking about that, imagining what it must be like, wondering what new things I would find out about the characters, what new models and props and sets and costumes I might see, planning and looking forward and being disappointed... All these feelings and thoughts had such an effect on my mind that even today, 30 years later, once a year or so I will have a dream that I am seeing a new, unseen Star Trek episode for the first time. And it's a euphoric feeling, in the dream. It's like flying in a dream, I wish it would happen more.

    Probably not, but who would know? It's not really the same world. In the '70s and '80s, you probably had a couple of friends at school that you could talk about the show with, or less likely at work (adults didn't get too far into that sort of entertainment much back then). If you were on a higher fan level maybe you joined a local club with one or two dozen members. If you were really plugged in you subscribed to a fan club newsletter. You could read letters to Starlog magazine that were months behind or articles in The Best of Trek that were years behind. But for most people being a fan was a very small-scale thing, they didn't have "communities" where they could trade ideas. Or complaints.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
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  10. TribbleFeeder

    TribbleFeeder The Real Kim Cardassian Premium Member

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    I’m sorry! We’re around the same age, I’m 28. I didn’t get into Trek until I was 18, well into the digital age. If I were to get into it earlier in life I would have had the same problem with VHS and cable. I was a bit of a late starter :confused:
     
  11. TribbleFeeder

    TribbleFeeder The Real Kim Cardassian Premium Member

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    This is kind of what I always felt like I was missing. Kind of a bittersweet thing, and I’m sure you appreciate having that experience.

    I always wanted to feel that anticipation of the next episode for 7 days. I remember that feeling as a kid when I would watch TV, it was always kind of a bummer but I would get so excited for the next show to air. It’s kind of sucky that I never got to experience that with Star Trek. Maybe I’ll get there with Discovery, but right now I’m only half way through the first season.
     
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  12. Velocity

    Velocity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was in junior high when TOS was first broadcast. My mother ruled the tv (we only had the one) but let me watch ST, even though she heartily disliked "that dumb stuff". I loved that show even though NBC was pretty snowy on our dinky tv. I didn't watch any of the TOS movies but I have watched and enjoyed all the subsequent ST series (except Discovery) and most movies.
     
  13. Anji

    Anji Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I watched TOS in its original run with my dad. I couldn't have been anymore than 5 years old. I thought Spock was weird, Kirk was a jerk, but Uhura was beautiful. I knew then that I wanted to grow up to be just like her. I followed TOS re-runs through the 70s, the movies in the 80s along with TNG. DS9 was horrible and I stopped there. Tried again with ENT but God, those scripts were horrible! Now that I'm older I can appreciate Kirk and Spock (Uhura is still awesome) and am THRILLED about a Patrick Stewart comeback. I have lived and will die a Trekkie PROUDLY. Always go boldy, my friends!
     
  14. seigezunt

    seigezunt Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have vague memories of being bored or scared by TOS when it was first on and early syndication, having been born in 1965.

    I have less vague memories of friends in the schoolyard playing Star Trek, some time around 1970 - 72, and they wanted me to be Bones and I wanted to be my preferred choice, a monster.

    I got hooked through the first run of TAS, which competed with Land of the Lost and cheesy monster movies as my preferred Saturday morning viewing.

    Eventually I gave TOS another try in 1974, and something clicked. Much thanks goes to WPIX-11, the NYC station that we were able to pick up in Western Massachusetts, and which aired TOS basically every day throughout the 70s and 80s.

    I fell hard, eating up anything I could get. I think that in some ways ended up making me more chill with the whole idea of continuity, despite the stereotype of TOS generation fans. Before VCRs it was books and comic books, and stuff that was all over the place ... Scotty with red hair in "Spock, Messiah," and white Uhura, black Sulu in the Power Records books. I remember reading five of the James Blish books in a court lobby over a morning, waiting for my parents to get out of divorce court. Nothing traumatic, but the world-building of Trek was a very helpful comfort during a less-than-wonderful childhood.

    The AMT models. The Mego dolls and related toys. Blueprints. Spock ears from the Federation Trading Post. Too young for conventions, but the fanzines kept me in touch with people. And then the pinnacle: Oct. 13, 1976, William Shatner brought his one-man show to our local community college.

    I'm solidly a TOS fan, and everything else since then has been an enjoyment, but I enjoy them on a different level. At various points college and work and other hobbies sidetrack me. The pattern generally was I would watch about a season of the later shows, give up, and come back later. TNG I caught up with when Best of Both Worlds made its first return in reruns. I build a couple of the TNG AMT models. I attended some conventions through the 90s, but stopped as they became more commercial.

    Voyager was the only one I didn't even bother watching when it first aired.

    I would religiously go to each of the movies on opening night, though my interest dropped with the TNG films. Nemesis was the only one I didn't bother see in the theaters.

    During the lead up to the 2009 film, my fandom exploded. After not having read any Trek novels since the 90s, I read the amazing Crucible series, which resulted in my doing a massive watch of all the shows, ending with Voyager. I stepped away from online fandom for a while because of the nastiness from some fans, but resumed in recent years. And then I resumed going to conventions, especially the wonderful Trekonderoga, where I've found a home as a TOS fan.

    I will admit that I especially like the new stuff because of it proximity to TOS. TOS is my mythology and dreamscape.
     
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  15. T'Boggan

    T'Boggan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The first run in the UK on an old Black and White tv. It was still unlike anything that we had seen before. God I feel old!
     
  16. seigezunt

    seigezunt Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Having grown up with just the TOS reruns, having to wait a week for new TNG felt a little odd. Especially when it was the first season and ... "I waited a week for Code of Honor??" lol

    The worst was having a season-ending cliffhanger on TNG.

    No, scratch that. The worst was in 1982 and for about a year following that, where it was just assumed that Spock was going to stay dead.
     
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  17. TribbleFeeder

    TribbleFeeder The Real Kim Cardassian Premium Member

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    Haha actually you’re right, that does sound like a bummer! I would have been miserable when Spock “died” :wah:
     
  18. Gary7

    Gary7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Star Trek TOS was my very first "sci-fi" experience. I didn't even know what sci-fi was back then, when I was 4. I'm quite sure I was that age, because we moved when I was 5 and our TV was larger and in a different room.

    So in the old house, there was one fateful evening where the TV was on and my parents got busy with something. So I was alone, watching it. Then Star Trek came on. I have a very distinct memory of 2 faces -- Kirk and Spock. And the ship. The landing party beaming onto a planet. The phasers, tricorders, and communicators. I was... completely fascinated. I don't remember the episode, but it must have been the 1st season. I didn't know the name of the show, and had no idea when I'd see it again. But after we moved, and I was a little older, I was able to find it. Star Trek the original series.

    We didn't have VHS recorders then. In time, I had an audio cassette recorder, so I'd tape episodes then take them with me to summer camp where I could listen and play them back for other kids or just listen on my own. I never bought the action figures, but I did buy the books and the blueprints. I was so taken with the hand phaser, I wanted one for myself. The AMT Star Trek Explorer Set sucked--it was so obvious the size and design elements were all so extremely off. So I tried to make my own out of clay.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I have an "earlier" version that looks pretty silly (it was before I had the "Making of Star Trek" book as a guide) and the phaser II pistol. So yeah... if a kid is so compelled to make a hand phaser out of clay, must be a pretty serious fan. ;)
     
  19. Gary7

    Gary7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ah, found photos of the other phasers... these are pretty hilarious. :D

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Refuge

    Refuge Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Some of these memories are much like mine. Most of us remember being kids when we first saw Trek. I remember seeing Doctor Who and being more frightened of it but both shows seemed to be always there on some TV channel. I think it has influenced me into differentiating between American TV and British TV. Definitely two styles.

    As for being an actual 'fan' that happened well into adulthood. I would call myself a loyal viewer of "Voyager". I just like it.