Sunday, September 10

Shatner, Nimoy on Star Trek's 40th Anniversary...or not!

As many of my close friends know, I have been a fan of Star Trek since before I understood what being a Star Trek fan really was. When I was young, I used to watch the episodes with my mother - wondering about the stories that were being told, and the excitement of the adventures that Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Doctor McCoy would have on their next adventure. I collected books (still have the original Bio Trimble Concordance with the gold fastners keeping the pages together), fanzines, programs from the first set of *real* conferences - I met every character and got them to sign photos of themselves (my favorite was DeForest Kelley, when he signed his own song).

I was witness to the games that Paramount played when they killed off Spock (I even wrote a hand-written letter to Mr. Nimoy imploring him not to kill off the character) and brought him back, how they have been somewhat successful, and then negatively impact the energies of a terrific vision. I made my first two UNIX accounts related to Star Trek (ncc1701 and ncc1701a) - and even maintain the original URL from my Stanford account. And I remember when I decided to stop watching the series (soon after DS9 came out and seemed to have lost its way). I watched Voyager periodicly, Enterprise (had a good opening premise, then seemed to think we needed some form of soap opera drama, which completely lost the thread), and have the entire collection of Next Generation on old video tapes that I then threw away in 2000 when DVDs began to appear.

Color me amused when I log onto CNN Entertainment and see Shatner and Nimoy amusing themselves at the expense of a CNN reporter regarding the gravity of the 40th Anniversary. After what must be thousands of interviews (and from their perspective, the same questions cast in a different light), they decide to have a day with this hapless reporter. The reporter does his best in asking the questions he must have been asked to give, but Shatner and Nimoy will have none of this. They take over the interview and imbue it with a character all its own.

It is funny - after watching the years of these two men - with their negative interactions when Spock was getting the attection during and after the show, then Shatner being a ham after the second movie, and the spat regarding the directing of movies, to their reconciliation over the years afterward (I saw their first appearance together at a convention and had me cracking up then) - it is interesting to think that these two men, along with the other characters/actors/actresses who have discovered that their live is now immortalized with the stamp of Star Trek, can now enjoy the impact they have had.

I saw Shatner on the Discovery Channel narrating a two-hour show regarding the technology that has been inspired by Star Trek (I was at Motorola at the time they were building the StarTac), Nimoy is brought in to discuss with gravitas the issues of diplomacy and scientific knowledge, Doohan was always an engineers' favorite speaking on the impact of Star Trek and the many people who became engineers because of his character (I admit, I was inspired myself).

But, the post is about these two men, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. They have a great sense of humor - and, I used to hold Nimoy on such a pedastal and Shatner was such a ham - but age has also made me realize - they were two men who had a very fortunate opportunity to play roles that were inspirational to a great number of people. And for their fortunate happenstance, and their continued embodiment of their characters, I thank them.

And...I laugh with them as well. Here is to the MOTs - and their continued impact.

FYI: the videos are extremely funny.

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