As I write this, and as you read it, there is an episode of Star Trek playing in a hundred different places in the world, and that’s how it should be. I grew up in the 1970s, where you were never more than a week away from an episode, and it forms some of my earliest televisual memories. I’m not a Trekkie by any means, but I have a deep and abiding love for the original series, partly from familiarity, but mainly because it’s just fantastic telly.
I’m just watching the third and final season now, and enjoying it enormously. The characters are so familiar at this stage that you can see what they’re thinking and the format established enough that it can be stretched and mutated and psychedelic optical effects can be inserted at regular intervals. Even the obvious budget cuts of this last series work in its favour, making it tighter and more reliant on sets, creating an occasionally surreal world of light and shadow, flat studio walls and fibreglass rocks. If some of the messages are a little heavy handed then that’s how Star Trek rolls, baby, and these were heavy times.
I humbly present some snapshots from the first few episodes of Season 3, a simple parade of images that particularly appealed to me. I’ll be back with more analysis – perhaps – the world isn’t exactly short of this sort of thing, after all.