Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Trekkies (1997)

Trekkies ventures just about where you'd expect a documentary about Star Trek's fans to go.

For added marks, the film's host is Denise Crosby, or Tasha Yar on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Some fans praise the landmark 1960s television series for motivating them to study in the sciences. Hurray for them.

Others thank show conventions for offering them the chance to make long-lasting friendships. That's great.

Then, there's the diehards who change their names to show characters, dress as Star Trek characters in public, want to be addressed by their rank in the workplace and are willing to pay big bucks for show props. Yikes.

Trekkies overwhelms viewers with many, many brief clips from Star Trek fans who attend conventions. Still, most of the film concentrates on a handful of fans including Gabriel Koerner, a very well-spoken 15-year-old who plans to shoot a Star Trek inspired film with other fans.

Viewers meet Dr. Denis Bourguignon, who operates Starbase Dental in Orlando, Flo. This man's office is jammed with Star Trek gear. His wife and two children appear on camera with him in their Star Trek uniforms.

There's a woman who takes lots and lots of photos of Brent Spiner, from Star Trek: The Next Generation, when he speaks at conventions. When she's feeling low she looks towards the mountain Spiner lives on the other side of (I think) and feels better.

Many of the cast members from Star Trek and Next Generation are interviewed. It's especially interesting to hear George Takei talk about the first gathering of fans in 1972 and how he was floored by the huge turnout.

There's just a wee bit of footage of William Shatner, and no mention of his famous appearance on Saturday Night Live where he exhorts the show's fans to "Get a life."

The movie notes Trekkies is the only fan term to make its way into the dictionary. This film demonstrates why the short-lived television series continues to live long and prosper.

RATING: 7/10

FUN FACTS: Gabriel Koerner is now working in the entertainment industry. He has more than two-dozen film and television credits including Shutter Island, Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek: Enterprise.

Trekkies features the last on-screen appearance of DeForest Kelley, Bones from Star Trek. He voiced a character in 1998's The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars before his death in 1999. He was 79.

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