Thursday, 16 April 2009

Beam me up Scotty...

How do we end recession, how do we cure incurable diseases, why is the third world still in poverty, who was the best captain of the USS Enterprise?

The burning questions of the day to which I have no solution but plenty of opinions. I am a bit of a closet Trekkie; I don't dress up as a Klingon nor do I keep Tribbles as pets, but I do enjoy the escapism of zooming across the universe meeting friendly and not so friendly species. If you were to be able to do the same, who would your captain have been? I am really looking forward to the new film to be released in May which takes us back to the academy days of the now famous James T Kirk.

I think we should discount the badly disfigured Captain Pike who featured in the pilot of the opening series of Start Trek TOS - (The Original Series) and move swiftly on to the charismatic Captain James T Kirk. A macho man with some humour and one clearly for the ladies. His muscle bound bravery and his ability to bluff out most situations with the help of his intelligent and always logical side kick, science officer Mr Spock. Of course one of the enduring relationship in this series was with Dr Leonard McCoy and the diametrically opposed views they often held on reaching solutions. A great team and Kirk gets 8/10 from me.

We move on next to the great diplomat (and bald) Frenchman, Jean-Luc Picard played by an Englishman popped up in Star Trek TNG (The Next Generation). A controversial but inspired choice non-the-less by producer Gene Roddenberry. Here was a thinker, a strategist, humanist but uncomfortable in forming anything but professional relationships with women unlike his predecessor Kirk who would jump into bed at the slightest opportunity with any good looking alien woman! Picard had a great team behind him and produced not only humour of the funniest and most subtle kind but also great emotions that you might expect from a Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) trained actor. 10/10 for this compassionate great leader and manager of people.

Slightly out of sync came Captain Jonathon Archer who fills in the time before Kirk at the very start of stellar exploration. This series, Star Trek: Enterprise lacked the sophistication and humour seen in previous series with the atmosphere (as you perhaps would expect) usually tense and uncomfortable in these ground breaking days of early manned space travel. For me the character showed leadership in difficult situations but there was a militaristic edge to his adventures rather then the explorer and balancing positive experiences with the dangerous situations he usually ended up in. The series didn't last too long because I don't think it gave fans what they wanted. Not the fault of the actor so much as the scripts, but only 5/10 for me.

So there we have it - congratulations to Patrick Stewart - my favourite Captain of the United Federation of Planets Starship, USS Enterprise.

As was their habit, Spock and Kirk go camping in the famous Yellowstone National Park. One night, after retiring, Kirk woke the sleeping Spock and said, "Spock, when you look up, what do you see?"

Spock pondered for a few seconds and said, "Astronomically speaking Jim, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and billions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Time-wise, it appears to be approximately twenty seven minutes past three. Theologically, it's evident the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow with light south, south westerly winds and 21 degrees Celsius. What does it tell you?"

"It tells me that someone has pinched the bl00dy tent!"

Chat soon


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