Trekkies

on May 21, 1999 by Francesca Dinglasan
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   An uproariously funny look at the phenomenon born from the "Star Trek" saga, "Trekkies" explores the world of what is arguably the most devoted group of fans of any given television and/or movie series. Hosted by Denise Crosby, best known for her role as Tasha Yar on TV's "Star Trek: The Next Generation," the documentary mishmashes days in the ordinary lives of "Star Trek" devotees with footage from Trek conventions and anecdotes shared by actors and actresses who are or have been a part of the now legendary franchise.
   Among the most memorable cast of true-life characters showcasing their full-time immersion in a Trek existence are Barbara Adams, the Whitewater trial juror who gained national attention by showing up at the proceedings garbed in her Starfleet commanding officer's uniform; Gabriel Koerner, who in his short 14 years has attended 28 conventions and is planning to make his own "Star Trek" movie with members of his "Star Trek" club; Dr. Denis Bourguignon, whose medical office, Starbase Dental, features a staff dressed in "Star Trek" costumes; and Anne Murphy, whose frightening ardor for "Star Trek: The Next Generation" cast member Brent Spiner has inspired her self-dubbed title, "Spiner Femme."
   Despite what might seem to be a simple mocking of extreme and, at times, obsessive behavior, director Roger Nygard displays a conscientious effort to respect the subjects of his documentary; largely doing so by allowing them, as well as their friends, families and co-workers, to convey the good-hearted and rather likeable qualities of each Trekkie. It is also Nygard's deft directorial touch, such as panning to a Radio Shack clerk's expression when the local Trekkie regular comes in to buy parts for his latest "Star Trek"-inspired mechanism, which keeps the humor seamlessly flowing throughout the film.
   As for the Trekkies (or Trekkers--a debate that is loosely touched on in the film) themselves, their comfort level with the on-screen depictions will depend on whether they feel unfairly stereotyped or able-to-laugh-at-oneself amused by some of the excessive cases of Trekmania. However, as pointed out by many "Trekkie" interviewees, the valuable lesson of "Star Trek" has always been about acceptance, and accepting even the most beset fanatic seems like the most natural tribute to the generation-spanning television series.    Starring Denise Crosby. Directed by Roger Nygard. Produced by W.K. Border. A Paramount release. Documentary. Rated PG for mild sexual references. Running time: 86 min.
Tags: Denise Crosby, Roger Nygard, W.K. Border, Paramount, Documentary, star trek
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