Boldly Going: Firewater’s Star Trek project

Today I embarked on an incredible new voyage, one where few men and women have gone before…

Okay, that was a bit over-dramatic. However, I did begin a new project today, one which will take me years to complete. If I can ever complete it, given that my lifetime is finite, of course.

Here’s my plan. I am going to watch every single episode of every Star Trek-related television show that currently exists. Along the way, I will probably also watch the new series, Star Trek: Discovery, after it comes out. No, scratch that: not probably; I will watch it, I’m certain.

This television-watching agenda will include every episode of the following series: Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS); Star Trek: The Animated Series (TAS); Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG); Star Trek: Voyager (STV); Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (DS9); Enterprise (ENT); and, eventually, the unfortunately-titled (and abbreviated) Star Trek: Discovery (STD).

There is some Internet disagreement over how many episodes this actually represents—and I don’t feel like counting them—but it’s safe to say it’s over 700 episodes of television. If I watch five episodes a week, that’s more than 120 weeks of viewing ahead of me, or just shy of two-and-a-half years. I’m going to commit to five individual episodes, across all of the shows, per week, but I accept the reality that it may sometimes be less and, conversely, sometimes more. And, if the new series is an on-going one, I may never complete this quest.

I’m going to be watching the different shows during the same time frame, rather than watching an entire run before moving on to the next. I believe that binge-watching a single series would grow tiresome before long. Also, I have watched all of the original series episodes at least once before, and most of the TNG shows and the animated series. I may have seen a couple of episodes of the other series, but not enough to even know their characters or major events. The majority of STV, DS9 and ENT I will be experiencing for the first time, which is exciting and interesting to me, while TOS and TNG (and, to a lesser extent, TAS) will be like revisiting old acquaintances.

The plan does not include, at this time, watching any of the motion pictures again. I’ve seen all of them, including the reboots, at least once. I may revisit them 3 years from now (and I can’t imagine not watching any new Trek movies that may come out between now and then) but the immediate goal is to watch the television shows exclusively.

Why in the name of the Great Bird of the Galaxy would I take on this project in the first place?

You probably have no reason to doubt that I’m a fan of Star Trek. I don’t know that I would call myself a Trekkie or a Trekker, or whatever label is currently fashionable, and I’ve never engaged in cosplay or attended conventions. I’m not that sort of über-fan, although I may qualify after completing this project. But, I’ve always loved Star Trek and the fictional reality it created around itself. I’ve always wanted to watch the various other incarnations of Star Trek but never seemed to have the time or the means. Now, thanks to Netflix and other streaming services, these shows are all available on-demand. So, I’ve decided to demand them now. And I’ll make the time to watch them, an average of less than one episode a day. That, I can do.

Basically, I’m doing this because I now have both the motivation and opportunity to do so. During this process, I’m also going to write about the shows I watch. Not every episode, but certainly ones that I consider to be important or otherwise remarkable. And these will not be dry academic critiques, because I lack the necessary skills or desire to treat them in this fashion. No, if the past is a predictor of the future, my essays will be rambling, personal and biased.

Today, I began this project with a re-watch of the first episodes of TNG, episodes 1.1 and 1.2, “Encounter at Farpoint, Parts 1 & 2.” First episodes are both important and remarkable, and these will be the subject of my next Star Trek blog. Why start with the Next Gen instead of the original series? I don’t know. I will watch the original series I initially fell in love with, but I’m not beginning it yet. I’ll start working them in as I go along.

Until next time. Let’s see what’s out there. Engage.

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