My name is Jake and I am completely addicted to Star Trek. From the age of 6 or 7 I have always found the franchise fascinating. I have watched every episode of every season of every incarnation of Star Trek multiple times over (the same goes for the movies), and now I want to do it all over again (for what is probably the 5th or 6th time) and include you all in it! My goal is to review every single episode ever made, the good, the bad, and the amazing (I refuse to admit that any episode could truly be ugly, even bad is a term I use extremely sparingly, so yes, these will be fairly biased reviews). However, even though there might be a few duds out there, I have to believe that even those have some redeeming quality, however small, and I will do my best to show them to you 🙂
So, a little about me. I have just recently graduated from the University of Florida with my B.S. in Psychology, I will be attending graduate school starting Fall 2013 for my Masters in Exercise and Sport Sciences with a concentration in Sports Psychology. I love sports, my favorite sport is surfing and I have been doing it since the 1st grade (so if I ever use some surfer slang here please forgive me). I knew coming into my undergrad that I wanted to have a profession in psychology, I just didn’t know what. During my time at UF I worked for the RecSports division and my love for sports grew even greater there until I realized that I would love to work with athletes who are struggling with their performance due to psychological issues. I also have a lovely girlfriend Monica who I am currently introducing to Star Trek. She watched some as a kid, mostly The Next Generation, but I recently had her watch all the movies with me in preparation for the new one coming out in theaters and we are currently making our way through The Original Series. You may see her give her opinion as a guest blogger on some episodes I review. She has her own movie blog, so I think she can definitely offer a different and valuable perspective when she joins in!
Now, as for how I got into Star Trek, it probably all starts with my father. He is a NASA employee, who has worked on many of their different projects. He worked on various payloads that went up into space during the space shuttle era, has put in a lot of work with experiments that have gone up into the International Space Station, and his latest project is working on the ORION Capsule which will be the multi-purpose crew vehicle that will be part of the next wave of space exploration to the Moon, asteroids, and Mars. I think that my initial fascination with space in general came from him and from learning as a child what he was doing. We lived close to the Kennedy Space Center, and so my dad and mom would always take me out to see the shuttle launches and rocket launches which happened all the time. It naturally followed that when I learned that there was a show all about people exploring space that I was almost immediately a die-hard fan.
My father was a fan of The Original Series when he was younger, and he watched The Next Generation quite frequently when I was a child, so this was the first series that I was introduced to. I named my blog “Where No One Has Gone Before” not because of the introduction to the themes of TOS and TNG, but actually because it is the title of the first Star Trek: The Next Generation episode that I remember watching. The episode came out in ’87, but I did not see it until probably ’96 or ’97 as a rerun. I have such a vivid memory of this episode mainly because I was traumatically forced to stop watching and go to bed by the very man who claimed he was a Trekkie, my father. Why was this traumatic you may ask? Well, it was traumatic because I saw this, and then had the television rudely turned off and was forced to (try) to go to sleep. Can you imagine?? The Enterprise is thrown through space, past (admittedly horrible looking) stars and planets (which, in the 90’s, and to a kid looked extraordinary) and they have no idea where they are. Yet, even in the face of danger and in the midst of worry about if they can ever get back, the crew are completely in awe of what has happened and what they have discovered. If you look at Data’s face at the end of the clip, I think that is probably how I looked when I was watching. This short clip completely captures that sense of wonder and excitement surrounding the exploration of something new, and that is a major part of what Star Trek is all about. To this day, I still get goosebumps when I see this episode.
So to wrap up, I love Star Trek for multiple reasons. There is the eternal optimism about the future of humanity that Gene Roddenberry had. Through his franchise he showed us that he truly believed that humanity would not destroy itself, that we would rise above our faults and failings, and that eventually everyone would be treated with the respect they deserve. There is also the sense of wonder that I mentioned before. No matter what happens in the Star Trek universe, there are always moments where you can truly see the characters appreciating the incredible situations in which they are involved. Finally, Star Trek is centered on the search for what it truly means to be human. that constant endeavor to understand our humanity and to try to live by the set of ethics it gives us, while at the same time standing up to those who would try to lessen it or even try to take it away.
There are man other reasons, but I can’t give them all away here, you will have to read some posts to truly understand why Star Trek is one of the greatest series ever. Enjoy!