Second Time Around
This started for me a long time ago. I’m not old enough to have been alive when the original Star Trek aired on network television. But that didn’t stop me from seeing pretty much every episode. For a long time, one of the channels played the episodes in syndication and I recorded them while I watched them. The trick of course was to catch them just right so I could edit out the commercials. I ended up with a decent number of tapes holding all the shows.
Wouldn’t you know that after all that I never actually watched the tapes. And for the life of me I don’t even know what ever happened to them. Mind you, we don’t even own a VCR anymore so I wouldn’t be able to view them even if I wanted to.
In case you were wondering, the thoughts of the day are going to circle out and back again. I don’t even know if there is a point to all the rambling we are about to stumble through.
Anyway, it was a short time after all this taping that The Next Generation started. I made it a point to watch them as they aired and all that. I mean, this is history in the making and all. How can you miss an experience like this? I can tell you how.
It wasn’t long after TNG started that I ended up in the Marines. All the information I had about the show stemmed from the episodes I was able to see before I joined. The next four years brought me a bit of the books. I read a couple, even remember a plot line to one of them. But I don’t remember the name to any of the ones I read or anything of any importance.
And here’s the thing. I remember a conversation I had with someone a few years out of the Marines. We were talking about some of the shows we liked. She was a Star Trek fan but hated Star Wars. I liked both. And at the time, I didn’t realize or understand how lacking my knowledge of TNG had become.
To make matters worse, Deep Space Nine came out, my favorite series out of all of them. But a new problem came to be. See, for a good part of the past 20 some odd years, I worked second shift. And for those of us old enough to understand what this means for TV viewing, I missed quite a bit of what was going on in primetime. Short of buying entire seasons of shows, there was little chance of catching anything missed in that time (well, except for the rare syndication episodes when they became available).
So now, with a bunch of background out of the way, we come to where I might have actually thought to make a point. I started watching DS9 on Netflix again. This will be, maybe, my second run through, at least on Netflix. We have been cord cutters for so long now I don’t even really remember what regular television is like anymore.
There have been times when I felt like I knew this series about as well as the original series. Hell, there have been times in my life when I owned all the original movies on VHS (yeah, Wrath of Khan is still one of the best ever made). But I digress…
So I am on episode 4 now and of course, everything is coming back and I am getting to a point where I feel like I am with old friends. But I noticed something. It never struck me in any of the other times I have seen this series.
The first episode where Rom is introduced, he appears much more intelligent and put together than in any other episode he appears in. It struck me as a bit odd, and then I noticed a bit more of the other characters. Quite a few of them were a bit stiff and not yet attached to the roles they were in. They really weren’t the people that we become attached to by the later parts of the series.
Now, I understand that they were new to their roles and what not. I mean seriously, you have to expect character growth and all that through a number of years of an actor playing their part. It just threw me for a loop is all.
It was a moment where it felt like old friends weren’t quite the people you expect them to be. Of course, I think it was the next episode where another character refers to Rom as an idiot. Without knowing the character arc the comment would have had no base for reference because it didn’t come across the first time we saw him. While at the same time it is a bit of foreshadowing to what we can expect from the character in the future.
When I reflect on the characters and the storyline for DS9 overall, I think this is a big reason why it remains my favorite of all the series. They stepped away from the usual plotlines of individual shows only affecting the outcomes of individual shows. The contiguous storyline for DS9 set new ground where there was a much bigger plotline that tied the entire series together while also going through the daily lives of the characters involved. Everything they did and the people they became were in direct relation to how the story played out as a whole.
Yeah, I get it, I am not really talking new ground here for anyone who has watched the shows and explored the same things I am exploring here. I just thought it interesting that I am finding new things within the series even now after I have seen through it a time or two before.
Which brings us back to the beginning a bit. I had been wanting to get back into DS9 for a bit, but I wanted to finish out TNG before I did it. Yeah, that one surprised me. It’s only taken somewhere over 20 years or something to that effect, but I noticed the other day that I had finished the last of TNG and hadn’t even realized it. Yep, I finally made it all the way through.
Now maybe in a year or so, I can pick up again with episode one and start that whole process over again. Maybe I will even find somethings I didn’t notice the first time around.
If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.