By: Eugene Novikov
Doing a six-movie (Kirk-and-Spock) Star Trek marathon in a weekend can shed a lot of light on Stockholm Syndrome. I did a great deal of laughing and scoffing and eye-rolling, which I insist is the proper response for any reasonable person watching these films for the first time today. And yet, as the final credits rolled for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country-- fashioned in the style of the cast members' signatures -- I found myself wiping back tears.
As I explained in this motivating post last Friday, my goal was to bone up on my Star Trek in anticipation of J.J. Abrams' reboot, due May 8th. I had seen the last four films, plus most of The Next Generation and all of Voyager (which I love, damn you), but virtually nothing from the original series. The Castro Theatre in San Francisco was screening all six of the original-series films over one weekend. This seemed perfect -- if arduous. I committed (publicly, no less) to the full complement.
I should clarify that the amount of eye-rolling I did wasn't uniform throughout the marathon. The conventional wisdom is correct about the even-numbered films faring far better than the odd-numbered ones, and I enjoyed the gleefully hammy Wrath of Khan, the witty and lovable Voyage Home, and the thoughtful, vaguely Hitchcockian Undiscovered Country. But gee, I thought: Kirk is awfully one-dimensional, isn't he? Aside from Spock, the crew doesn't have much to do besides stare at Kirk in slack-jawed admiration. And I didn't know Uhura was basically a glorified receptionist.