40. Capt. James T. Kirk
This is a really rough post for me to write. It’s personally incriminating. I’m really opening up my soul here and expressing my number one weakness –
Star Trek: The Original Series.
IT IS SO GOOD. So good. I don’t know what to say. So, to put some order to my thoughts, I’ll start talking rectangular relevance.
I recently bought this poster on Ebay:
This way Captain Kirk can protect me as I sleep. There is no one who I would rather trust with my life and wellbeing. He can handle anything. Really, anything. But let’s back up here.
Star Trek is a cultural phenom that we have all heard of. There is no denying that. The Original Series has drawn me in because it is just so beautifully hokey.
There are three major characters:
Dr. McCoy: A down-home doctor from down-home Kentucky who can fix pretty much anything. He is always reliable, although sometimes overly emotional. McCoy’s weakness is that he can get too focused on the humanity of the situation, instead of looking at the Big Picture.
Mr. Spock: Raised on the planet Vulcan, Spock was trained in the philosophy of Logic. However, he is half human (on his mother’s side), so he sometimes slips into minor emotional struggles. Usually his weakness is that he’s too rational, too logical, and doesn’t account for things that are emotionally based. Because of this, he also often misses the Big Picture. But he’s a great counterpart to Captain Kirk, because he is completely competent and knows everything.
Captain Kirk: The valiant Captain of the USS Enterprise, Kirk can solve any problem. He can do it all. He is intuitive and smart, and – with Spock’s impeccable logic as a counterpart to his humanity – he always wins out. Kirk is in love with his ship, loyal to his people, and always willing to sacrifice his own life or happiness for others. He is the Big Picture man in the situation, balancing out his two BFF’s and gittin’ it done.
The Original Series, which ran for three wonderful seasons, relies heavily on character tropes and low-budget sets. Every episode has pretty much the same format: there is a conflict on a planet, the crew of the Enterprise must solve it, they get embroiled in the situation and then escape at the last minute to safety and success.
It’s absolutely wonderful. It’s silly and sweet and sometimes even a little bit stressful. And Captain Kirk is just about the most wonderful person in the world. I am in love with him. Seriously. This is where I get embarrassed.
In my recent research on the show and its actors, I discovered something beautiful.
Leonard Nimoy, who plays Spock, is a Jew. AND SO IS WILLIAM SHATNER.
CAPTAIN. KIRK. IS. A. JEW.
Which means, if I married the 1966 version of Mr. Shatner, Pop-Pop would approve.