I’ve been a Star Trek fan for as long as I can remember... which goes back to at least the age of 3. One of my first memories is watching the live airing of a Star Trek The Next Generation (STTNG) episode in which a parasitic alien race, very much like the Goa’uld that come much later in Stargate, tries to take over Star Fleet.
I’ve religiously watched STTNG, Deep Space 9 (DS9), and Voyager through the years, and quit at that point with much animosity towards Enterprise and Star Trek: Nemesis.
Anyways, let’s get to the point of this post. I have recently started watching the 3 seasons of The Original Star Trek (TOS). My only impressions before this had been made up by seeing a random episode or two over the years, which screamed campiness to me. I can honestly now say though, after getting through a number of episodes, it’s still, after so many years, quite fun. And that’s saying something, as old stuff usually seems crappy unless you have nostalgia towards it.
The 2 things I respected most about STTNG and future co-spinoffs, for as long as they held it... was that they TRIED to maintain a proper continuity starting with STTNG. At the beginning, it was rare that they ever contradicted themselves, but as the legacy grew, the inconsistencies started becoming ridiculous. This has been my opinion for many years, and now that I am watching through TOS, I can finally see how bad it can really get (well, to be honest, I think Enterprise went way beyond anything in this regard, but I didn’t watch enough of it to talk about it in an informed manner. I will only talk about thing’s I’ve seen enough of to bash, and yes, I have gone through a lot of crap purposely for this reason...). It is actually quite good, however, that STTNG disregarded quite a bit of the original canon because it would have ruined the universe in a manner.
For example, in one of the first episodes of TOS, they traveled back in time by no special means other than pushing their engines faster than warp X. There was another early episode where they had fully functioning androids and the (slightly abused) machinery that created them (contradicting Data of STTNG). These are just two of many other “large” cans of worms they opened up by being too “open ended”. However, the producers made the right decision, IMO, and scrapped all the canon from TOS that they wanted and only made reference to it when they felt like it, starting the true canon of the Star Trek universe with Jean-Luk and his crew all the way through the end of DS9 and Voyager.
I am still very anxious to continue watching TOS but time has been very constrained lately and my multitasking abilities have diminished significantly over the years... a large part I’m sure from medications I take (such as for ADD or whatnot...).
On another random point about the Star Trek universe, while watching TOS, I found myself really enjoying the short costumes on all the female characters. I myself am quite the feminist, so this would usually go against my views, but for some reason, it fits real well and makes it more of a... shall I put it... fun/less serious atmosphere ^_^;. They tried to carry this legacy over to STTNG with Diana Troy in her “relatively skimpy” outfit(s), but they really did not do a good job of it. It just did not fit, at all. There was a specific episode were Picard is forced to leave the ship (to find some Romulan device that he has specific knowledge of due to a senior thesis or something), and another captain takes over. It raised my eyebrow when he harshly ordered Diana to put on a proper uniform, but he was completely right in doing so. I believe this might have been the producers/directors attempt at commenting on the issue.
The final thing I noticed that I wanted to comment on was just a little giggle for me. In the very first episode of TOS (with Shatner, not counting “The Cage” pilot with Pike) in which a crewman gains god-like powers, he creates/materializes a grave for Kirk, which reads “James R. Kirk” - which as we all know, Kirk was given the middle name of “Tiberius”, as he is often cited as “James T. Kirk” .... Just one of those minor continuity things that you wonder why they hadn’t caught it at the time... or maybe they decided to ignore it and still go with “Tiberius” as it is a pretty cool middle name.
Anyways, Star Trek (OST, STTNG, DS9, Voyager) & Star Gate (Seasons 1-7) are all very good stuff that do not date too badly on social issues. For anyone open to checking out new stuff who hasn’t tried watching either of these (is that possible that anyone hasn’t ever been exposed to at least one Star Trek series?), they are well worth it.