BBKN Conventional Thinking: All I Want For Christmas
Written By: Randy Hall
Published: Issue 35
Sorry I wasn't around last issue, but the holiday rush and a computer glitch or two made me miss the deadline. However, as I write this column, it's January 7, 2001, or put another way, 1/7/01. Could that be a good sign for the new year ... and the new millennium as well?
Still, it wasn't that long ago I was spending the holidays at my home in northeastern Pennsylvania with my family. I was where I wanted to be and spent the time with the people I wanted to spend it with. Nevertheless, everywhere I turned, it seemed I kept being reminded of ... Captain James T. Kirk.
Maybe it was the fact that we got the Christmas tree up later in the holiday season than we usually do. Whenever it's time for each of us to select which ornaments to put on the tree, I always choose my favorite trio: Hallmark's miniature replicas of Captain Kirk, Mister Spock, and Doctor McCoy. It's not always easy, but I find a way to position all three in the same area. And I'm always fascinated to examine the Kirk ornament, which has the captain sitting thoughtfully in his chair ... as if he's still on the bridge of the Enterprise, still boldly going where no man has gone before.
Or it could have been the latest issue of Cinescape, which I bought while shopping at the local mall. The editorial in this issue (which has Anthony Hopkins muzzled on the cover in a reference to his upcoming sequel to the film, Silence of the Lambs) starts off with this statement: "Captain James T. Kirk was a tyrant." The rest of the editorial was about how the magazine is undergoing changes on its way to becoming a "kinder, gentler" version of itself, in the same way that Picard was different from Kirk.
And by the way, Kirk was not a tyrant, just the best captain in science-fiction history. You'd think editors in sci-fi media magazines could tell the difference.
Still, it might have been the appearance of Kevin Sorbo on a recent episode of The Tonight Show. When host Jay Leno asked how he was handling the transition from the lead in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys to Captain Dylan Hunt in the new hit series, Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, Sorbo replied that he had gone from "Herc to Kirk." [Ed. Note: He also stated this same line in his appearance last year (2000) on Late Night With Conan O'Brien.)
I don't know how many of you have seen an episode of Andromeda, but it's a very good show, and the comparison of Hunt to Kirk is something I thought of the first time I heard about the new series. The captain of the flagship of the Federa-I mean, Systems Commonwealth, gets trapped in suspended animation for 300 years. When he comes out of stasis, the quadrant is in chaos, and the captain decides to use his ship and a rag-tag crew to rebuild what's been lost.
Does anyone else see the idealism of the original Trek and Captain Kirk in that premise? I sure do! And would you believe that Andromeda is the top-rated action hour in syndication? So there's no more interest in Kirk, eh?
By the way, has anyone else noticed all the "Kirks" around in sci-fi TV and movies lately? Kevin Sorbo in Andromeda. Tim Allen in Galaxy Quest. Richard Dean Anderson in Stargate SG-1. And even though Ben Browder doesn't play a "captain" in Farscape, he sure can quote Classic Trek with the best of them. How come Paramount is the only studio that can't do Star Trek?
Well, the big holidays have both passed (happily for all, I hope), and we've already started a freshly minted year. And I hope we all have the same resolution: that by next Christmas, we can finally put the bad taste left by Generations out of our mouths with the return of Star Trek's first, best captain, James T. Kirk. With Voyager coming to an end and no fifth series in sight, as well as a strike probably grinding work on the "35th anniversary" movie to a halt, Trek needs him now more than ever!
Did anyone make it to either of the Creation cons held this past weekend? If not, there'll be another get-together in Las Vegas, Nevada, the weekend of January 20-21, and among the featured guests will be Grace Lee Whitney (Rand). There'll also be a bevy of other Classic Trek guests, including Victor Lundin (one of the original Klingons), Judson Scott (Joachim in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), Michael Forest (Apollo in "Who Mourns for Adonais?"), Lawrence Montaigne (Stonn in "Amok Time") and a whole host of others. For more information, drop me an email to the address listed below or turn your Web browser to http://web.archive.org/web/20011108093347/http://www.creationent.com/.