"Trekkies." The word alone conjures up images of pairs of prosthetic-pointed ears and strange people repeating the mantra 'Beam me up, Scotty.' Every week, somewhere in the world, there is a 'Star Trek' convention taking place and seemingly more than enough "Trekkies" to fill the house. As appealing as a 'beam up' may indeed sound, what is it about the 'Star Trek' phenomenon that evokes such passion (and, in many cases, obsession) from these loyal adherents to the ways of the Federation?
The documentary Trekkies attempts to answer these questions and many more that you would not even think to ask. Hosted by Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar of 'The Next Generation' fame), Roger Nygard's film takes us deep down into the 'Star Trek' underworld of collectors and fanatics, revealing to us a sometimes fascinating, often frightening, society of people who appear to live and breathe as Vulcans, Klingons and even the occasional Borg do.
Hardly what you would consider the biggest 'Star Trek' fan, (in fact, I've never actually seen an entire episode), I found Trekkies to be a thoroughly interesting look at the 'Trek' phenomenon and those who made it just that. Featuring interviews with cast members from the various incarnations of 'Star Trek' alongside individual pieces on some of their more dedicated fans, Trekkies serves to educate the outsider or casual viewer to the subtleties and intricacies of the world of "Trekkies" (or "Trekkers," as some prefer to be called.)
Much like the Borg creatures they hold so dear, 'Star Trek' has infiltrated society at every level. Groups of fans have formed their own local "starships," complete with ranking officers. There are classes taught in the Klingon language. Even the Bible and the works of William Shakespeare have been translated into Klingon. There was even a juror in the Whitewater case, Barbara Adams, who showed up to court every day in full Federation regalia. She reminds us that she is "an officer of the Federation 24 hours a day" and recalls walking past the clamor of reporters outside of the courthouse with 'a Vulcan-like stoicism.'
While there are certainly moments where you have to laugh at the absurdity of some of this, Trekkies maintains an underlying appreciation of the fans who have elevated 'Star Trek' from television show to a staple of our popular culture. One comedian notes that if they were "boldly going where no one had gone before," how come they always managed to meet up with so many other people? While some questions may never be answered, Trekkies serves as a funny and insightful glimpse into the world of that strangest creature of all--the 'Star Trek' fan.