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Star Trek: 'I love the idealism and humanity coming together as one federation'

To a non-Trekkie, Star Trek might raise Spock-like eyebrows. Yet this is a show that inspires such dedication that its fans have kept it alive through the years. Roddenberry’s vision of a utopian future is a big part of its success, writes Alan O’Shea.

Alan O'Shea Commanding Officer USS Cuchulain

“SPACE THE FINAL frontier, these are the voyages of…” This is probably the most famous opening, and it is synonymous with Star Trek across the planet.

I am a lifelong Star Trek fan who happens to be in a privileged position. I’m currently serving as Captain of the USS Cuchulain Star Trek Fan Club based in Dublin, first Chapter of Starfleet International Fan Association in Ireland and now the largest ship in Starfleet International, the global Star Trek Fan Association.

We are a diverse group of fans of all ages, and from all backgrounds that come together for the love of one show that has many parts. Star Trek ranges from the original series under Captain Kirk, to Star Trek the Next Generation under Captain Jean Luc Picard, and Deep Space Nine, commanded by Captain Benjamin Sisko (my personal favourite).

A new adventure

We are now on the cusp of a new adventure of “Discovery” beaming onto our devices, starring Michelle Yeoh as Captain Georgiou and Anthony Rapp as LT Stamets. Our resident alien crew member is Doug Jones as LT Saru. What a time it is to be a Star Trek and sci-fi fan.

With all new Star Trek and sci-fi there is much debate among the core fans about whether or not the show will be true to The Great Bird of the Galaxy Gene Roddenberry’s vision of Star Trek. Or to put it another way, will it be canon?

The latest show was beset with problems during production, including delays in securing the central character Sonequa Martin-Green, but these delays and issues worked in Sonequa Martin-Green’s favour to land her the main role.

Centering around the life of the female first officer

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY Michelle Yeoh as Captain Philippa Georgiou; Sonequa Martin-Green as First Officer Michael Burnham. Star Trek: Discovery. Photo Cr: Jan Thijs © 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved. Source: Jan Thijs

This is a somewhat new departure for Star Trek shows as usually the main character happens to be the Captain, but in this case Star Trek Discovery centres around the life and decisions of the female first officer, Michael Burnham.

Other debates are centred around how Discovery looks and feels about our much-loved or loathed Klingons. Discovery gives the Klingons a new look as it shines a light into the secretive and what appears to be very spiritual life of the Klingon race, a side rarely seen in Trek so far, apart from some references to various Klingon rituals.

Indeed, the USS Cuchulain Star Trek Fan Cub with its diverse crew have diverse opinions about this. We have had conversations on the merits of what we know of the show so far in our Cuchulain Cast podcast.

I have, for the most part, steered clear of any pre to air reviews etc to give the new Star Trek show a chance, and to revel in the fact that we have a new Star Trek series out which is fantastic as a Star Trek fan.

Vision of humanity coming together

I am drawn to Star Trek because of the idealism of what the show portrays, humanity coming together as one in one large federation, no poverty, a sense of collective purpose and vision. Basically it is the spirit of the Vulcan IDIC, or infinite diversity in infinite combinations.

I cannot wait to view the new show and am not overly concerned as to the way the show might peer into the life of the Klingons. This is just another aspect of what is possible through the guise of Star Trek and there are many more journeys of discovery to be had.

Hopefully this will not be the last series we see of Star Trek coming to our devices in the future. Let’s embrace it and give it a chance in the true spirit of Genes’ vision of discovery, to seek out new life and new civilisations, to boldly go where no Star Trek show has gone before.

The USS Cuchulain loves to explore ways to be Star Trek and Sci-fi fans and offer many and varied activities in a fun loving Star Trek and sci fi community.

They are hosting a very special 40s night on the Holodeck, Blitz party on 7 October. You don’t have to be members of the club to enjoy the activities, simply come along and have fun, but they are always on the lookout for new members. Find them at www.usscuchulain.org.

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About the author:

Alan O'Shea  / Commanding Officer USS Cuchulain

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