Monday, November 4, 2013

Voyager: Pathfinder

Tonight I watched (yet another) of my favorite Voyagers--Pathfinder. In this one, Reginald Barclay is working to create a wormhole with which to communicate with the Voyager crew. He's become obsessed with Voyager and created holodeck versions of everyone onboard (with a few failed attempts at crew uniforms etc.) He plays cards with them, takes meals with them, even has a holographic set of quarters where he can catch some shuteye before going back to work. Months have gone by and it's all he thinks about, all he talks about, all he can work on. Everyone around him wonders if this obsession has gone too far. Is he really doing any good? Is he making a difference or just piddling around in the holodeck?

I'm officially in the eleventh month of My Year Of Star Trek. I started this project because of a lifelong interest in a TV show and its various spinoffs. I hoped it would teach me something about writing and pop culture and bring me to a better understanding of why I and so many others feel such an attachment to Trek.

A few days ago I was talking to a friend (via the internet because I'm not a heathen) about how my interpretation of Star Trek has changed in subtle ways. My fandom may actually have cooled slightly but my appreciation for it has deepened. That seems like an oxymoron but it's not. It's sort of like a relationship. When you meet someone, you become BFF, you're excited about them--excited that they even exist. Even if you know them for years, you don't really appreciate them the same way that you would if they moved into your house and started eating your food and using up the hot water or, alternately, tucking you in at night and wiping your tears away after a bad day. Star Trek has always been something I knew I could rely upon to make me feel better but it seems, after all these months, that I know it better, that I appreciate it more for its good qualities and its failings. Sometimes it's brilliant (City on the Edge of Forever, The Inner Light, Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy) and sometimes it's goofy and lame (I'm lookin' at you Threshold) but it's always there and I appreciate that.

I'm sure it's possible that people may look at this project and wonder why anyone would invest a year into watching a TV show. I'm sure it seems like I'm wasting hours upon hours that might be spent in less hollow pursuits. But, after ten months, I feel that I've started down the path I hoped I'd be on by this point. I don't regret a thing and I, in fact, I'm dreading the moment when the ball drops on New Year's Eve and my long-time friend has suddenly moved across the hall--I'll still see them, just not quite as much.

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