Saturday, December 08, 2007


by William S. Kowinski


The original Star Trek crew has remained an enduring presence in Trekdom not only for their work on television and their feature film series, but for what they’ve done and who they have been, after and beyond those stories on the screen.

Fan enthusiasm provided the opportunity, but it was primarily these actors—and other participants in creating Trek stories—who defined the positive shape of the Trek phenomenon for the past several decades. It was especially true in the 10 years when there was no new Star Trek on any screen, and so it shouldn’t be too surprising that in this latest hiatus, they’re doing so again.

They helped define Trekdom—and their important place in it-- through sensitive and persistent interaction with fans, through their commitment to the Trek vision and its relevance to the ongoing world, and by their subsequent work and how they conduct themselves. Having once played explorers beyond the final frontier, they have each explored new worlds in their lives and careers—and continue to do so. They’ve each honored the Star Trek vision in individual and admirable ways.

This is particularly true of the “supporting players,” who performed the necessary but tedious functions that kept the ship—and the story—moving forward, while maintaining the ability and focus to turn a line, a gesture, even a reaction into one of those enduring Star Trek “moments” that DeForest Kelley said were the essence of Trek’s appeal. It may be true, as Walter Koenig says in the following interview, that there are a thousand actors who could bring each of those characters to life, but how many could have nurtured the phenomenon of Star Trek, or kept inspiring and renewing the faith of fans in new ways?
[please continue reading after photos...]

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