Thanksgiving is coming up this Thursday, and like most of you, I’m thinking about what I’m thankful for this year. And, in a world that’s getting scarier and more infuriating by the day, one of the things I’m most thankful for is all the fun stuff that offers a bit of escape. Which is why this week I’m talking about the Monkees, That Thing You Do!, Adam Schlesinger, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
I’m going to make a confession this week. One that, even by geek standards, is pretty geeky.
For years now, I’ve been writing fictional timelines.
Hang on. Put that straitjacket away. Let me explain.
THE WEST WING and STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION are essentially the same show. They’re both optimistic at heart, filled with good people sincerely trying to do their best. No doubt about it, they have a lot in common. But the REALLY fun part is finding parallels between the characters.
It’s Halloween today, but instead, I’m going to talk about another October holiday, one that means as much to me as Halloween, because it’s one that I invented: Munch Week.
Munch Week is the week where we celebrate the character of John Munch and all that he has done for us. John Munch, in case you don’t know, is the character played by the great Richard Belzer on Homicide: Life On The Street and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for an unbroken run of 22 consecutive seasons. He’s also TV’s crossover king.
I’m a second generation of Trek fan, one of the ones who first saw it in syndication in the 70s. Even today, I’m still an Original Series fan first and foremost. Which is why I’ve been celebrating all year. And this past Saturday, I decided to top off my 2016 Trek celebrations by taking a road trip to see Star Trek: The Original Series Set Tour. These sets were originally built for the fan film series ‘Star Trek: New Voyages’ (later known as Phase II) by TOS superfan James Cawley.
When I was a kid, comic books would recap Batman’s or Superman’s origin every once in a while. In comic strips, you’d get an annual Sunday page of The Phantom’s origin “for those who came in late”, but the rest of the time, you could count on the Ghost Who Walks fighting evil as usual. On TV, syndicated reruns of shows like Batman and Star Trek would give you a throwaway line at best. But now, origin stories are everywhere.
Don’t worry, folks — we’re not disrupting our schedule in our second week. Greg Hatcher’s column will be up later today. In the meantime, I thought I’d give you a morning …