Everyone’s a critic.

Bridge set from Star Trek: Original Series Set Tour in Ticonderoga, NY (startrektour.com)

Stardate 70230.1

One of the things that makes Star Trek such an institution is the relationship fans have with the franchise. It was Star Trek fans who rescued the original show from cancellation in 1967 and it was fans who organized the first conventions and demanded reruns on local TV stations across the country in the 1970’s.

Star Trek fan influence was so significant that even NASA took notice and named the first space shuttle orbiter Enterprise following an organized letter-writing campaign. Last month, Mashable wrote an article about how NASA is now run by a bunch of Star Trek-loving “nerds.”

In fact, you can read an in-depth explanation of Star Trek’s fan culture and what makes it unique by Prof. Daryl Frazetti here.  Another fascinating overview of Trek’s cultural influence can be found here.

But maybe the most interesting aspect of the fan-franchise relationship comes in the form of artistic expression fans use when it comes to demonstrating their love of Star Trek. Fan films series like Star Trek: Continues and Star Trek: New Voyages demonstrate their passion in the exacting detail of their props, costumes and sets – in fact, you can now tour the soundstage for ST:New Voyages in Ticonderoga, NY (and for those who don’t want to travel to Ticonderoga, here’s a set tour with comedian Tom Kelly).

Watch the Generic Ensign review ST:TNG episodes at myyearofstartrek.com
Watch the Generic Ensign review ST:TNG episodes at myyearofstartrek.com

I particularly enjoy the reviews of episodes produced by fans which range from the hilarious (I loved the TOS episode reviews at the Agony Booth Blog back in the day) to creative re-interpretations of existing episodes told from a fresh perspective (this review of The Next Generation’s epsiode “Data’s Day” by the Generic Ensign – a.k.a. Ashley Rose Sullivan – is really fun).  It’s kind of meta to watch a review of a story which is told from the perspective of someone not in the command chair from the perspective of someone even further down the command food chain.

And just for fun, compare that review to any of the Agony Booth’s TOS reviews (warning, this could be a major time-waster).

So, what’s your favorite Star Trek review site? Post it in the comments section below and I’ll start adding them to the Blogroll in the right-hand side bar.


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