Losing Your Star Trek Virginity

Geek Culture

Master Situation MonitorMaster Situation Monitor

Master Situation Monitor. Photo: Alistair McMillan, via Flickr.com

A little while back I tweeted a few #geekconfessions—by which I meant confessing areas where I lack Geek Cred—including the fact that I’d never watched Star Trek: The Next Generation. I expected to get some flak from my fellow GeekDad writers, who seem united in their unabashed affection for Wil Wheaton. (Hey, I’ll admit Wil seems like a great guy and I’ve enjoyed his appearances in Leverage and The Big Bang Theory, but I didn’t grow up with Wesley Crusher and so I really don’t have that sort of a crush on him) What I hadn’t expected was my wife’s reaction of surprise and disbelief. I should point out that my wife is not an ubergeek: we do share certain geeky interests but there are a lot of my obsessions that she just doesn’t get. However, she did watch ST:TNG and was a big fan.

So for Father’s Day, my wife gave me the gift of knowledge: Season One of ST:TNG.

This journey I’m embarking on might not be as epic as Matt Blum’s Great Bacon Odyssey—I’m boldly going where many have gone before—but I’ll try to record at least a few impressions of my Continuing Geek Education. So far, we’ve just watched the first episode, “Encounter at Far Point.” My wife, without irony, giggled and clapped and cooed throughout the episode.

Spoiler Alerts! For the three of you out there who haven’t seen it already.

I encountered Q (“Hey, look! A space pirate!”), discovered that the Enterprise’s saucer could detach, and compared the courtroom scene to something from a Terry Gilliam movie. I hadn’t realized that Commander Riker didn’t have a beard in the first season, and marveled at Wesley Crusher’s enormous green sweater. Oh, and that guy in the Starfleet skirt. My wife remarked that it was pretty gutsy, putting the crew on trial for the crimes of humanity in the very first episode. Oh, and the giant space jellyfish? Didn’t see that one coming.

So, one episode down, seven seasons to go. After we finish this, maybe I’ll try Doctor Who.

Jonathan Liu slept through the 80s, but got it all on tape.

Image credit: Alistair McMillan via Flickr.com

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