My year-long Star Trek journey

For most of the human race, 2016 was a complete dumpster fire. For me, however, there was a shining beacon of light that kept me from going completely insane: Star Trek.

For the entirety of my life, I have been a Star Trek fan. So large, in fact, that the majority owners (CBS) felt that I was worthy enough to be hired to work within the licensing and product development realm of the franchise. My office also doubles as the official archive and we house some pretty cool stuff there. 2016 was an incredibly busy year for us with it being the 50th anniversary of the airing of The Original Series. We had a lot planned, from conventions and music tours to art galleries and a new film. I took the year off from Nerd Reactor to focus on my responsibilities to the Star Trek brand. I also took on a seemingly impossible personal challenge: Watch all 726 episodes and all 13 films in the span of one year. Sound difficult? It was. But it was also incredibly rewarding.

My plan to watch the entire canon of Star Trek started innocently enough. I came across this chart somewhere on Twitter in late 2015:

I don’t recall where exactly I found it and I have no idea who made it, but I thought it’d be fun to try to follow it. I quickly discovered that the spans of time in which I was supposed to be watching the episodes were a bit off mathematically. There was often an extra day and since 2016 was a leap year, that made for an extra day as well. I used those extra days to watch the films. I watched the first six films, which features the original crew, after I completed The Animated Series. I watched the four films featuring the crew from The Next Generation after completing that series. And the newest Kelvin Timeline films I placed at the end of the year after I completed the Enterprise series. I kept a calendar of my journey as well, recording the episodes daily to make sure I was on track.

I started the year by tweeting which episodes I would be watching that night and that was basically it. For most of The Original Series and The Animated Series, it was just the episode titles in my tweets. Then I started tweeting comments as I got into The Next Generation (my favorite series). At some point in the run of The Next Generation, I started tweeting random facts about the episodes in addition to my personal comments. Not surprisingly, I know a great deal about the franchise; random tidbits of information I’ve picked up throughout my life and my career. The factoid tweets started getting a lot of really wonderful feedback and I had droves of new followers daily, so I continued the fact tweets for each remaining episode. At that point, my project had become something I hadn’t planned on: A nightly lesson in Star Trek for my followers. Sometimes, that was exhausting. There’d be days in which I would be at the office all day, working on something Star Trek related in-depth and then I’d go home and watch and live tweet about Star Trek. Some evenings it felt like homework; more of an obligation than entertainment. But I was committed, I wanted to finish what I had started, and I was also learning some new facts about each series along the way.

Obviously there were times in which I fell behind. I do have a life and obligations outside of Star Trek, so some evenings I would have to watch more than two episodes to make up for a night out on the town with friends or for an absence because of a trip (I traveled to San Diego, Las Vegas, and New York last year, all for Star Trek duties as it were, so perhaps I don’t really have a life outside of it after all). Sometimes, I’d be at a friend’s place or my parents’ home and essentially force them to watch that day’s episodes with me. Luckily, most of my friends and my parents are Star Trek fans as well, so they were always happy to indulge me.

I started having people ask me if I was going to archive my tweets at year’s end. After talking to a couple friends, including one who had worked for Twitter, about how exactly I could go about doing that, I figured that a collection of my tweets was something I could manage to do when I was done with everything. Turns out, that was easier said than done.

Tweetdeck has a Collections function, something that is exclusive to them. I got as far back as November, banking my episodic tweets into a Collection before the functionality decided to completely stop working. I couldn’t see any tweets I had added before November 20th and, after restarting the application numerous times and even waiting a day or so to see if it would catch up with itself, I gave up. Luckily, a follower (Eric Scull, @spielerman), suggested that I request my archive directly from Twitter, something you can do in the settings area via a web browser. Upon request, Twitter will send you an Excel spreadsheet of every. single. tweet. you have ever sent out since you opened your account. For my uses, that spreadsheet is also editable. Hooray!

Now, a little bit about this document: First off, it’s not perfect. I used emojis in my tweets. A lot. Those show up in Excel as random characters, so /shrug. The direct link to each tweet is included if you really want to see those emojis. Additionally, I often tweeted screen grabs as reference for some of the factoids. Those photos don’t show up on the document either, but, again, the direct link to the tweet itself and the photo does, so those can be used to identify what the corresponding tweet was about. It’s in backwards chronological order (but it’s downloadable if you prefer to reverse the order) and I managed to edit out everything before/after 2016 and anything within 2016 that was not related to my watch-through, including conversations with followers during episodes (there wasn’t really any context within the spreadsheet itself for those anyway). At least, I think I managed to do that. Apologies if you find some random tweet not pertaining to the project. My eyes started to go cross at one point editing that document late in the evening. There are two instances in which I left tweets in that were not directly related to my schedule: My First Contact viewing on April 5th and all the really wonderful 50th anniversary tweets and retweets about Star Trek on September 8th.

@hollyamos22’s Archived #ST50 Tweets!

For those of you that followed me, tweeted me, encouraged me, and thanked me for doing this, thank you. I’m so delighted that so many of you enjoyed my tweets, learned something new, or otherwise used it as a joyous escape from the real world. In the grand scheme of things, deciding to spend an entire year watching the entirety of a 50-year-old science fiction franchise is about the least important thing in the world. However, I’m really freaking proud of myself for having committed to it and having actually finished it on time. I don’t disagree with those of you who have told me that it was an impressive feat. It was. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Live long and prosper.

Facebook Comments

About author

Holly Amos
Holly Amos 125 posts

Pro Trekspert. Sherlockian. Tolkienist. Movie/TV freak. Music lover. Sports enthusiast. Cosplayer. Fangirl/geek extraordinaire.