It’s October 12, my birthday, if you hadn’t circled it on your calendar, and TIFF Bell Lightbox will be my birthday starbase today apparently.
First up, at 6:30 this evening is the first of the fantastic sounding Trek Talks programs, this evening’s topic, An Astronaut’s Voyage to the Final Frontier. Presented by Lt. Col. Jeremy Hanson, Canadian astronaut, and the voice of Capcom, the communications link between the ISS and ground control, there will be a discussion of space exploration, developments in propulsion, and a sharing of wonder and excitement as we draw closer and closer to leaving the confines of our earthly cradle and thrusting ourselves to the stars, boldly going where no one has gone before.
I’m very excited.
Then, at 8:45pm, it’s a screening of the Director’s Cut of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, with introduction by Nicholas Meyer. Trek II has been hailed as the best of the cinematic adventures of the U.S.S. Enterprise, and it remains one of my favourites.
When this one was first released in 1982, I had been allowed, previously to attend matinee screenings at the base theatre in Borden, but by the time this one was released, I was living in Kingston.
After much discussion, I and one of my friends, were given permission by our respective parents to be dropped off at the Capitol Theatre, and attend an evening screening of Star Trek II. This was a first for me, I was allowed later in the year to see another few films without parental accompaniment, but Trek II was a milestone for me because of that.
It also was important for tying in directly with the Original Series, serving as a sequel to the episode Space Seed, and the film’s story took it’s toll on the crew of the Enterprise and the viewing audience.
I remember there were people crying by the film’s end. I was upset, stunned, in fact, because I had gone into the film with next to no knowledge of the plot (remember those days?). I just knew Khan (Ricardo Montalban) was back and that Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), McCoy (DeForest Kelley) and the crew of the Enterprise were tasked with stopping him.
Meyer brought a maritime feeling of exploration to the film, a sense of Horatio Hornblower (augmented wonderfully by James Horner’s stirring score), contributing to the screenplay by Jack B. Sowards, which in turn was based on a story by Sowards and producer Harve Bennett
The film, no doubt, revitalised the franchise, showing that not only could Trek translate in an epic way to the big screen, but that it could continue the storytelling of the series while meeting both critical and fan acclaim .
It’s hard to believe that, much like Star Trek: The Motion Picture, I haven’t seen this one on the big screen since I was a kid, though I have seen it countless times…
So while Kirk celebrates his birthday on screen, ruminating about growing older, I’ll be doing the same in my theatre seat as I watch the Enterprise take on Khan, and listen to how Trek has influenced the times we live in.
Check out their full schedule here! There is still so much to see, because The Human Adventure is just beginning…