I first discovered Star Trek when I was in kindergarten via reruns of the original series. Later, I enjoyed the subsequent movies chronicling the further exploits of Kirk, Spock, et al. However, when Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered—I was in 6th grade at the time, I believe—it was like lightning out of the blue and I became as big a Star Trek geek as you could imagine.
How big, you ask? Well, for example, my friends and I would often get into discussions—in physics class, natch—over the nature and structure of dilithium crystals. We were completely talking out of our butts, of course, but it was great fun to have something that inspired us so much. It was, in some ways I suppose, a nearly religious experience, my first forays into true geek culture.
But notice I said “was”. Subsequent years took their toll on the once mighty franchise as well as my impressions of it. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was great, but with its darker tone and murkier political and religious plotlines, it felt like it was cut from a different franchise. Star Trek: Voyager had its moments, but after awhile, I just lost interest. The crew never galvanized me the way that Kirk’s or Picard’s had, nor did their plight. I couldn’t drum up any enthusiasm for Star Trek: Enterprise. It, along with the later films, felt like desperate attempts to simply bleed a turnip, to wring just a little more cash from the franchise.