|Just seeing this title screen brings back the warm|
fuzzier of nostalgia.
That said, I honestly don't remember the very first time I saw an episode or a movie. I just seemed to always know who Captain Kirk was. I knew Mr. Spock was logical and calm. I knew that McCoy was a doctor dammit! I know I must have seen some episodes of the original series before I saw Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan, because Spock's death upset me. I suppose I could blame the emotion on James Horner's excellent score and the performances, but I had an idea who these characters were.
I know I saw Star Trek: The Motion Picture in the theaters in 1979, but I honestly don't remember seeing it. I have more vivid memories of the Happy Meal carton with The Real McCoy match game on the side and the Starfleet iron ons that came with it. I may have watched the film on VHS a couple times before 1982. At that point in my childhood I was watching anything and everything with spaceships and aliens (Battle Beyond the Stars and The Black Hole were definitely on the VHS rotation).
|Space and Greek Gods! Sign 8 year old me up!|
The reason that episode really caught my attention is because it combined two things I loved: spaceships and Greek mythology. In that episode the crew of the Enterprise runs into the Greek god Apollo. He turns out to be a real jerk, and of course Kirk is about to outwit him. That always disappointed me a bit, because I really like the concept of the Greek gods and heroes. I lay the blame firmly at the feet of Clash of the Titans for that.
|Seriously this was a real episode? I thought it was|
some kind of candy fueled fever dream from the 80s.
As a kid what stuck out to me were the strange aliens, bright colors and spaceships zipping around. I really didn't remember much about the plots or the themes of the episodes. I mean I remembered Kirk and the Gorn wandering around in the desert trying to kill each other, but I didn't remember why.
What I did remember was the music. Obviously there was the main theme, which pretty much anyone who's seen an episode of the original series remembers all too well. But I also remembered certain cues that were used time and again. On of the most distinctive was the music from Amok Time composed by Gerald Fried. I always associated it with Kirk fighting (since I think it was used in many Kirk fight scenes after it's first appearance here). I don't think I ever saw Amok Time until many years later, so this music will always be Kirk's Fighting Music. I remember laughing my butt off during an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 when Joel and the bots suddenly break out into an a cappella version of this music during a fight scene in Hercules Against the Moon Men.
Another distinctive piece was for the episode The Doomsday Machine. Composer Sol Kaplan provided this memorable theme and again it was reused throughout the series, usually when something intense was occurring. it just stuck in my memory and when I revisited this episode in the late 2000s, the score brought back a slew of memories about my grandmother and hanging out watching Star Trek.
For the rest of the 1980s the original crew of the enterprise were always around in the theater. I loved that Spock came back in the spoiler-rific title The Search for Spock. Just like everyone else in 1986 I thought The Voyage Home was a ton of fun, feeling most like some of the classic episodes I remembered watching. I remember thinking The Final Frontier was Ok at the time. But I also remember Batman being a lot more entertaining that same year. By the time The Undiscovered Country rolled around in 1991, I was losing interest in Star Trek, but still though the movie was good. Any movie that had David Warner in it and surrounded by floating Klingon blood is a good movie.
|Every few years in the 1980s you could count on a Star Trek|
film to hit theaters.
I also remember watching a few episodes of the original series on VHS around this time. I tried to watch them in some kind of order following the VHS releases that had two episodes per cassette. I didn't get very far into them. I think I saw The Squire of Gothos episode and it was so goofy that I decided to just stick with the movies.
I eventually came back to Star Trek because of a friend, who was very much a Trekkie, got talking about the classic series. I mentioned the fond memories I had of the show and also that I hadn't seen it in years. Well he had the newly released box sets on DVD that came out around 2008 or so. He generously let me borrow them.
|The colors on the remastered Trek are so vivid|
Mr. Spock needs shades.
I still revisit the series from time to time. It has a lot of nostalgia for me, and now I can enjoy some of the really excellent episodes the original series had to offer. Mr. Spock is still my favorite character, but I've grown to really like Dr. McCoy as well.
|The Enterprise never looked this good on my 80s|
So Star Trek was always around, especially when it came to Kirk and the crew. But I have a whole different set of memories when it comes to The Next Generation and all the series that followed. Stay tuned for part 2 of this nostalgic trip through space... the final frontier.