Prime Directive

It should come as little surprise to anybody that knows me even a tiny bit, that I am a major Star Trek dork. Now, when I use the term “dork”, I do not wish to assume the mantle of a proper nerd, because I am not. A nerd is somebody who stays overtime after classes at school just to make sure he gets perfect grades in his academics. I was never this person. I only ever aimed for decent, passing grades, so I can get the heck out of class to go to either a music rehearsal, or a theatre rehearsal. So, when I use the term “dork”, it really means the committed, and slightly cool, sci-fi afficionado that I am.

Just recently, I have completed a year-long marathon of the television series “Star Trek: Voyager”. Very briefly, for those who have no clue what this is about, it’s the one with the female captain, Kathryn Janeway, majestically played by Kate Mulgrew. Echoes of my all-time favourite actress, Katharine Hepburn, abound in Janeway. The hair, the cheekbones, the metallic, authoritative voice – all Hepburnesque. No wonder Miss Mulgrew played Hepburn on Broadway in the play “Tea At Five”, eh? Coming back to the show itself, I kindof like “Voyager” the best out of all the Star Trek TV series. Even though I grew up with the Picard one. I like “Voyager” the best because, to my mind, it best exemplifies the core values and themes of “Star Trek”. One lone ship, on its very first mission, with a crew that is only just getting to know one another, is suddenly and irreversibly thrown on the other side of the galaxy. And, by getting to know one another, and learning to work together, they set out on the long journey home. A journey which lasts for 7 magnificent seasons, and which makes you feel, by the final episode, like you were a member of the crew along for this ride.

The metaphor of “Voyager” is universal, and transcends the sci-fi context of the show, and in so doing, applies to life in general. Voyager, the starship, is life itself. The journey is our journey through life. And we all have to work with others, and interact with others to get to where we want to be in life. The captain is each of us, as we have to each be in control of our own “ship” and learn how to navigate through life. And, philosophical ramblings aside, it’s damn great entertainment! Go and watch a few episodes!

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