May 1994. Graduation day for the senior class during my sophomore year at high school. My best friend and I cried. Not only because we were truly going to miss all of our senior friends (who honestly were the best of the best) but because we had found out that there would be no more new episodes of Star trek the next generation. We moaned and complained for days, and if I remember correctly, my friend wrote a stirring song about our agony.
Okay, let me back track here for a bit. I grew up in a house with a TV controlling dad. I learned early that monster movies or western were par for the course, and if I didn't like it, I could leave. I watched everything science fiction or John Wayne, and mostly ignored them, resented them, or whatever. Saturday afternoons I remember watching battlestar galactica, and buck Rogers. And of course star trek. With captain Kirk. So it made sense that in the year 1987, when "the next generation" came into being, my dad started watching, and thus I started watching. Sunday dinners with everyone over always revolved around the kitchen TV, and the adventures of the Enterprise. However I was too ashamed of my actual enjoyment of these programs to ever mention outside of my family, anything to do with star trek.
until my best friend and I admitted one day, that we both enjoyed it. She really was cool, so it would be okay if I liked something previously thought to be geeky! So we talked about Jean Luc, Deanna, and Riker. We enjoyed going to conventions and meeting a few actors, buying star trek t shirts and making fun of people who bought more toys than us. We got our own communicator badges, and my friend, got herself a uniform. Then came the life size cutout of captain picard. He was a cameo in several movies that we made, including the one that lost me the Student Body President election (wonder why??).
So when they announced that "next generation" was ending, our hearts were broken. Yes we still had the reruns, and there was supposed to be movies, but nothing new in the area of fine TV, great storylines, and a running commentary on the world we live in.
Eventually we overcame our sadness and recognized that at least the world was a better place for having HAD STTNG!
November 1996, college. I was in the theatre department and working at the local library. I was doing shows, going to work, and back for rehearsals. I was lucky to be home in time for the late night reruns of TNG. I was cast into a scene that I hadn't auditioned for, the directing class' scenes. I remember NOT auditioning for the simple reason that I felt I was too busy, and my work schedule looked down on the fact that I couldn't work nights much. But to turn down a part is to commit suicide for a thespian in college. So I went to the second rehearsal, having missed the first. Not only was I cast in a show that I knew nothing about, directed by the biggest nerd I hadn't met, I was also cast as a 50 year old black woman. Was 18. I could probably pass for Hispanic, maybe Asian in dim lighting. I met this guy that had cast me into this roll, and the only thing that lifted my spirits was a star trek TNG communicator pin on his backpack. Okay, he must be alright.
Well the scene was over, and we were sitting watching the other scenes and we started a conversation about star trek. And that was it, the rest I guess is history.
So now, almost 10 years after that first meeting, here we are. We stay up late watching old episodes of star trek. Don't get me wrong, we are poor and cheap, so we don't have cable, we get our star trek fix on TV that big d taped in the year 1995. You got it, we watch old tapes. I'm hoping that some day we will come into some money so I can buy him seasons 1-7 on DVD.