I adore Science Fiction. So much so, I even studied it at Uni as part of my degree. Bug-eyed Monsters, The Green Lantern and Bladerunner all have a special place in my heart. Now before you get completely the wrong idea, I’m not quite ready to don lycra and attend conventions as a warrior queen from the planet Zorg. Still, it’s fair to say this intergalactic love affair started young.
When I was a kid, Betamax and VHS were vying for supremacy, but for those of us whose parents hadn’t quite got round to getting a video machine, there was always cine film. I’m not quite sure whether Star Trek was the only thing you could hire during the cultural boycotts of the apartheid years, or if my dad was secretly modelling himself on Captain Kirk…, but one thing I do know.
My sisters and I always looked forward to Saturday, because this would mean a trip to our local corner shop, for crisps and a cooldrink, a weekend treat. Then….’un-bear-able’ excitement as my dad picked up the hire projector and ‘shorts’, and turned our lounge into a cinema. We would help to move the Tretchikoff picture off the wall, and arrange ourselves neatly in front of the sofa. Anticipation mounted. And as the projector began whirring, Gene Roddenberry would transport us to a world of space age heroics and alien encounters.
Like me, Star Trek made its debut 43 years ago. Roddenberry wanted his series to show mankind what it might develop into, if only it would learn from the lessons of the past, most specifically by ending violence. Of course, this was lost on me at the time, but it makes sense now. Star Trek was fairly progressive – many of the original episodes were allegories for the issues of the time in which it was made.
These cinematic adventures made a lasting impression. As far as I was concerned Star Trek had it all – a racially diverse cast of strong alien and human characters, diabolical villains and groovy music. And let’s not forget my ultimate favourite gadget – a transporter! Gotta have me one of those. Just so you know… I’ll be first in line if they ever invent a safe way to beam me to another dimension. Now, where did I put that light sabre…?