Amusingly, this weekend proved enlightening when a celebrity from the past helped solve one of THE biggest questions in my life.
First though, a memory…
I can still remember 1987. Sitting in my Grandparents living room. The green sofa and chairs dotted around the room, the electric fire in the centre of the room, turned off as the sun’s rays beamed through the lace curtains.
I’d arrived with the parents for a visit. Talking, the subject had come up about the relaunch of a TV phenomenon. With a whole new cast, set in a whole new time, this show would become implanted in my brain, still sitting there 28 years later. This show was the latest incarnation of one of the greatest brands of all time. This brand was Star Trek, and the show was The Next Generation.
I remember lying on their carpet, flicking through the latest RadioTimes, reading about the cast and crew (well, mainly looking at the photos). I remember seeing Pat Stewart’s bald head for the first time, I remember seeing Klingon Officer Worf (a character without real role/purpose until becoming Head of Security later in season 1) and thinking “this show has aliens”. I remember much more.
Sitting on the floor, resting my back against my Gran’s chair, I settled in with the family as the show began. Stewart walking through the ship, his opening monologue, eventually ending up on bridge with Denise Crosby’s Tasha Yar (I also remember the episode where she died, but that’s another story). The story would progress, I’d hear the theme tune for the first time and fall instantly in love. I remember thinking Troi was a wet excuse for a character (still true), I remember hating Wesley Crusher (he’s grown on me a little over the years, but the series was still better without him), I remember the early friendship between Riker & La Forge, I remember it like it was yesterday.
I also remember Wesley Crusher’s mother. The magnificent Gates McFadden.
I was young at the time, and let’s be honest, none of us can remember when certain things kick in during our lives. All I know is that all these years later, I still can’t see a Redhead without her catching my attention. It’s weird, like a strange addiction.
Fast forward now to May 2015 and 4am in the morning. I’ve been for a few beers with friends. Sitting at home, I’d decided to continue working through a SkyBox filled with the adventures of the Crew of the USS Enterprise NCC1701-D, I found myself compelled to post a solitary tweet.
— Toby Bonney (@TheNorthMonkee) May 25, 2015
This would’ve been the end of it. I thought it jokey. Perhaps it was the good Doctor’s fault all along. The following day’s response was wonderful however…
I am willing to take full responsibility https://t.co/7ny5P0mxyZ
— Gates McFadden (@gates_mcfadden) May 25, 2015
Star Trek has had a massive effect on me over the years. Many life lessons, memories, you name it. Has it left a psychological imprint on my mind regarding women too? I honestly don’t know. What I do know though is that when Twitter works, it works so, so well.
Gates, whether you are at fault for this or not, I do not know. A legend you are though, and for that, thank you.