Several months ago, I was reminded that K’Ehleyr from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Marshall’s mom on How I Met Your Mother were both played by Suzi Plakson. Fanfiction happened. Nuchtchas was kind enough to read it for me.
“Arch!” Again, her commands were spoken too quietly for him to hear, but the temperature dropped rapidly as the jungle was supplanted by a frozen pond surrounded by jagged peaks of snow and ice. “Take this,” she said, tossing him a long wooden stick that curved into a soft L-shape at the end.
“This is a hockey stick!”
“You know hockey? Good, that will help.” Again, with the purring. Why did she insist upon making that sound? Did she know how it got to him?
In which the Bathtub Mermaid talks about Star Trek‘s enduring message of hope.
And now it’s 2016, and every social, every cultural step we’ve moved forward seems, at times, to be counter-balanced by a step back. Darkness encroaches upon our lives through politics, through economics, and through civil unrest. Our media – especially our fiction – is filled with heroes and villains who seem to be locked in never-ending battles or filled with zombies, vampires and demons.
Don’t get me wrong; I love fictional horror as much as anyone, but when the darkness, both real and fictional, gets too intense, Star Trek is my safe space (and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this). Sure, I’ve seen every episode at least twice at this point, but every time, I find some new nuance in a performance, some new detail in the script, that adds depth.
If macaroni and cheese is comfort food, Star Trek is comfort-viewing, as much because of the familiarity I have with it as because of that message of hope.