Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Trek anniversary, or, The glommer that ate my Tribbles tape

Well, we booked the restaurant for ten people but, by the time the rainy weather, pizza deliveries, baby(!) deliveries and work committments started slashing away at our numbers, only five brave souls (and one late-comer) made it through the Sydney celebration of 40 Years of Star Trek.

I arrived - ten minutes late, a little damp and bedraggled, but proudly wearing my Captain Proton shirt - at the appointed Cohi Bar in Darling Harbour, only to find just one other of our party waiting there. I explained to Joel that my mobile had been running hot with cancellations during my trip into the city on the train, including one from our intrepid organiser, who had to visit with friends who'd just had their first child (a worthy excuse!) - and we then realized that neither of us had brought contact details for the (nameless, secret) host who was supposed to be inviting us to our all-night viewing of "Star Trek" episodes. Oh well, time to grab a light beer and wait it out.

During a quick search of the bar next door, which had been a meeting point for several other such events in recent years, I discovered SJ and the_real_adamj arriving, only to see SJ quickly set upon by the bouncer demanding to see her photo ID. That gave us a good chuckle, but then he asked Adam for his photo ID. I wasn't sure whether to be miffed that I didn't get asked, or help SJ and Adam to find the corner with the box of picture books, jigsaw puzzles and Lego blocks. Actually, the bouncer thought I was their Dad. (Sigh...) In any case, Joel was still next door, so we quickly departed and reunited with him.

Soon after, our DVD host did turn up and we began our stroll across the old Pyrmont Bridge to Cockle Bay and the Baia San Marco restaurant. Halfway across the bridge, the rain again begain to pelt down. Sydney's such a pretty city... when it's not raining. (But in these days of prolonged drought, we aren't supposed to even infer things like that.) The restaurant was busy, and the waiters were pleased that we only had half the people we anticipated, because they needed the larger table for another group. The food was excellent - we all had room for dessert - and most of the night's discussion had a fun "Star Trek" influence to it.


Finally, we were trekking back to Pyrmont for a full evening of DVD viewing, to celebrate 40 years of "Star Trek". We were joined by Nick, who'd finished delivering pizzas - and the entertainment began. There wasn't too much pre-planning or bickering about what was shown. It all sorta flowed. Here's what we managed to cram in before breakfast:

"The Man Trap" (TOS) - The very episode that launched a phenomenon in the USA. We argued a bit about the pale avocado-green coloured velour uniform shirts that have always managed to appear gold on film. (When everyone else had gone home, the host and I realized that he had both an avocado green and a gold cushion sitting right there on the lounge! They actually illustrated my point wonderfully. Ah, well. Next time...)

"In a Mirror, Darkly" (ENT two-parter) - The prequel TV series, "Enterprise", had two episodes set wholly within the Mirror Universe. The first part has a great Tholian cameo; the second has a nasty Gorn it it. Both beings are upgraded from their TOS origins with new CGI.

"Trials and Tribble-ations" (DS9) - The hilarious DS9 homage to TOS, done Forrest Gump bluescreen style!

"The Trouble With Tribbles" (TOS) - The original comedy Trek - and I spent quite some time trying to identify exactly which onscreen tribble is mine. (I own a genuine TV prop tribble from TOS. He's a bi-colour brown/brown, size medium; but then, so are hundreds of others!)

"More Tribbles, More Troubles" (TAS) - Which we didn't actually get to see last night - because the host's VHS player turned carnivorous and ate my tape! I'd be very upset, only TAS comes out on DVD verysoonnow. A shame we couldn't play the episode, because I was looking forward to SJ, Joel and Adam's reaction to seeing giant, fairyfloss pink tribbles roaming the Enterprise - and the bizarre little hungry, hungry glommer (ie. a tribble predator).

"The Tholian Web" (TOS) - Just to check out the original guest Tholian, I guess. It was funny to remember how argumentative Spock and McCoy could get with each other, especially with no Kirk around.

"Far Beyond the Stars" (DS9) - 'Cos it's always so good. And unique: Captain Sisko as 20th Century pro writer Benny Russell, creator of a set of science fiction tales called "Deep Space Nine".

"Parallels" (TNG) - 'Cos it's kinda fun seeing Worf think he's going crazy.

"The Pegasus" (TNG) - Oooh, it's been a very long time since I've seen that one - and I forgot that John Locke (Terry O'Quinn), from JJ Abram's "Lost", had been in TNG. Very cool and, of course, it now has a sequel of sorts: ENT's "These are the Voyages..." Hopefully, "The Pegasus" put us in a good frame of mind as to what JJ Abrams has planned for the eleventh "Star Trek" movie project.

"These are the Voyages..." (ENT finale, and the most recent instalment of modern Trek) - 'Cos SJ and Adam hadn't seen it yet. And because the tag at the end sums up 18 years of modern day Trek (and the 40th anniversary) perfectly, even if so few fans actually like the episode itself.

Thanks to all who organised, hosted and attended. See you for the 80th anniversary? :)


Anonymous said...

Great summary! But you should mention that, seeing we started with "The Man Trap", we - quite appropriately - ended the night with "These are the Voyages", the last Trek episode aired.

Also, in retrospect, it's a shame that we didn't fit in a VOYAGER instalment as that way (TAS misadventure notwithstanding) we would have had tastings of each of the Trek TV series. Ah well. Maybe for the 50th.

Therin of Andor said...

"Voyager"? That's why I wore the Captain Proton shirt.