Some of my earliest and fondest memories of my father and I are of he and I watching Star Trek. He's the one who got me into it, I suppose. He's the one who explained to his five-year-old daughter what a phaser was, what the transporter did, all the basics. Every time he would sit down to watch it, I was there too. My father always encouraged my love of Star Trek once it blossomed. My huge collection of Star Trek technical guides, episode companions and blue prints, etc, is mostly due to him. I think in his heart, he really wanted me to become a scientist, and that's why he really was very supportive of it, hoping it would bring out the engineer or science major in me. Boys often say they could always talk to their fathers about sports...but I could always talk to my dad about Star Trek.
It wasn't just me and my father who watched Star Trek though. My whole family gathered around the television every Saturday night to see the newest episode. In a time when we were all starting to really drift apart, we could always share Star Trek.
I've made many a close friend on the basis of Star Trek as a common starting ground. Being the living Star Trek dictionary may have seemed incredibly dorky to some, but it also impressed others. It got a conversation started, and from then on, becoming friends was usually a matter of time. Believe it or not, knowing how to say hello in Klingon can be a people skill, heh. It continues to help me make friends to this day.
Star Trek: The Next Generation ran from 1987 to 1994. When it went off the air, it had been on for more than half of my life. The characters really did mean a lot to me. Looking though all these episodes reminds me of all the wonderful things I saw in those people, fictional or not. I cried when it went off the air in seveth grade for me, because it truly was like saying good-bye to old friends. It also reminds me what was going on at that point in my life, usually fond memories. I have no negative memories of Star Trek, or anything I did dealing with it.
Sure, it was a TV show. But Star Trek: TNG stands out in my mind not only because it was a good show, with an uplifting and interesting look at what could be the future, but because of all the good things I associate it with in my life. Being a Trekkie isn't about nit-picking details of each episode or understanding all the science of it, but about all the fun and good times I've had thanks to it as well as watching it.
And now, to boldly go back to trying to find that episode...