Star Trek and Nostalgia


I’ve been working my way through the original series of Star Trek, which I have always adored. My family watched it together when I was a child. It was our Friday night ritual. We’d have cheese pizza (being good Catholics, so no meat on Fridays in the late 1960s) and watch first a series called “The Name of the Game” and then “Star Trek,” if memory serves. The early “Mission: Impossible” figured in somewhere, but I can’t recall if that was the same night or a different night. At any rate, I was brought up on Star Trek, and science fiction  has always been in my blood. This past Christmas I received the boxed set of the full original series, and have been pacing myself, working through those three delicious seasons. Of course over the years, when it was in re-runs, I’d catch it whenever possible, so I’ve seen all the episodes many times. That doesn’t dull their appeal for me.

And now, in the internet age, I can watch the show and simultaneously look up the actors’ biographies on IMDB.com to learn about them.

Mostly I look at their dates of birth. My parents were roughly the same age as many of the actors on the show. I note the ones who were born around the same time as my parents to see if they’re still alive, and if so, how old they are now. I count off the years, and feel a strange sense of injustice at the ones who outlived my parents, who maybe were born within a year or so of when my parents were. I feel so cheated to have lost my father far too soon (aged 62) and even my mother at the age of 83. But when I see actors who died much younger I mourn for them, for their lives cut short. There is no fairness in life, I know. There’s no one to be angry at for their deaths, no one and nothing to rage at. Dad’s been gone more than thirty years, Mom eleven this May. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t wish they were here. Dad would have loved seeing the advances in science and technology, and to see his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and Mom mostly for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Technology baffled her at times. She had a vague understanding of the internet, but  never really used it. She was amazed by it and in awe of me using it.

In the Star Trek:ToS,  S3:Ep23, “All Our Yesterdays,” Kirk, McCoy and Spock visit a planet called Sarpeidon whose sun is about to go nova and destroy it. All the people have fled into some past era on their world. McCoy and Spock accidentally pass through to the planet’s ice age, where they meet a woman named Zarabeth (played by Mariette Hartley). Spock begins to revert to a more primitive state and falls for Zarabeth. When he and McCoy find their way back to their own time again, he observes, “Yes it did happen. That was 5000 years ago, and she is dead now. Dead and buried, long ago.”

Mariette Hartley Zarabeth

Mariette Hartley as Zarabeth in Star Trek

And so she is, from where he stands, even if he was with her only moments ago by his reckoning.  (Mariette Hartley is still with us, happily.) His memories of her will always be a part of him, and the fact of her existence will live on in him, just as my parents live on in my memories, and in my heart.

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4 thoughts on “Star Trek and Nostalgia

  1. gunnerslaw says:

    What beautiful memories you have! For me, it was Walt Disney night on Sundays, when we would be allowed to eat dinner in the living room…all four of us lined up on our knees at the coffee table, with Mom and Dad on the couch behind us. They were taken too soon, too. Dad at 53 (23 years ago), and Mom at 63 (coincidentally to you, 11 years ago). Enjoy your Star Trek…and hugs. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • D. D. Syrdal says:

      Thanks, Gunnerslaw. I am so sorry you lost your parents so young, There’s never a good age, but it hurts especially when we’re still young enough to need them so much (and even today I wish they were there to talk to and seek their advice). Hugs to you, too.

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  2. startingoveringermany says:

    Big hugs my dear. I know how it feels like to lose a parent. My father died at age 45. He died before meeting my husband. He had sugar, high blood pressure, and kidney failure. He did not have enough money to always go to dialysis. He used to asked me to send him money. But me being a teenager raised up by a single mother. My attitude was you are married and taking care of a woman with 3 grown daughters and mom is taking care of me and my brothers alone. Tell your wife to find a job. Many days I think about this. If I would send him money monthly would it helped him lived longer or would it go to his wife and her adult children. Death is a cruel thing but no one can escape it. So big hugs to you my dear. I am too a Star Trek fan. I love the original “The Enterprise” and “The First Generation”. I can watch them a million times and never bored. The others that followed I never cared for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • D. D. Syrdal says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that about your father. It’s wrong to burden a child with taking care of a parent. You were right to think his wife should have helped him, or her kids, since I assume they were living with him. I doubt any money you might have been able to send him would have been enough to change things. You were a child. He should have been taking care of you. XOXO

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