Big Screen vs. Small Screen, a Trekkie Perspective by Meredith Jones

CinemaOne of my local cinema distribution agencies has the motto “It’s always better on the big screen”. This got me to wondering… is it really true?

Who doesn’t enjoy feeling the surround sound from thirty speakers reverberating right through ones body, jiggling up the mandatory fruity-flavoured slushy drink and bucketful of highly salted popcorn already taking up plenty of space inside? What can rival the visually stunning 3-D effects experienced through nerdy spectacles, and ones eyes dancing around their sockets, struggling to follow all the action from the enormous movie screen? And where is a better place to hear the people sitting behind you as they chat to their friends on their mobiles, despite the less-than-subtly placed “switch off your mobile phone” advert at the start of the movie?

Of course the big screen experience has all this to offer, and can’t be rivalled… or can it?

I believe it most certainly can be; let me explain my own brand of Vulcan logic.

When it comes to the Big Screen, it is sad to say that some of the Star Trek movies did leave a rather disappointing aftertaste in my mouth, and if left only to the realm of the Hollywood movie, I do believe that the courageous crew of the USS Enterprise may have given up their quest to seek out new life and new civilisations after V-Ger threw the proverbial spanner into the warp core of the franchise. All I can say is well done for persevering through the good times and bad, and giving us your latest offering “Into Darkness”, which in my opinion was well worth the wait, and an even bigger well done to the fans for never giving up hope.

I have had my fair share of cinema experiences, and despite coming home raving to one and all about the sheer awesomeness of the film I have just seen, the enjoyment of the experience fades far too quickly. It becomes very much “out of sight, out of mind”. This is where the small screen comes into its own. I refer of course to the box of moving pictures in your home, be it a little old black and white television set or a state-of-the-art 72inch plasma screen.

Star Trek TOSMy love of Star Trek came entirely from the television series. Starting at the very beginning with The Original Series; I had my mind prised open and all the possibilities of the universe, space travel, alien worlds and adventure poured in, my brain soaking it up like a gaping black hole. As I followed the stories of the steadfast captains and their courageous crew members as they ventured forth into the unknown, the characters filled my home and my heart and became my friends, my weekdays passing woefully until the adventures would continue the next Saturday evening.

Whilst each of the television series has its own merits, yes, even Enterprise, which gave us Porthos as a worthy companion, my favourite is most definitely Voyager, its Captain, Kathryn Janeway and her crew. Captain Janeway in my opinion is the epitome of a true leader, ready to make the tough decisions and yet compassionate enough to listen. Whilst the decision to face uncertainty in the Delta Quadrant may not appear to be wholly terrible, as compared to battling a Warbird for instance, I do believe the personal pain and feelings of loss each of the crew members must have felt at never seeing their loved ones or beloved homes again would far outweigh a quick death. Despite the consequences of Captain Janeway’s decision to destroy the Caretaker’s Array and thus strand her crew in the Delta Quadrant, she chose to protect the innocent, rather than take the easy way out. Her strength of character is truly admirable.


If I had to have one complaint it would be that it really is time to make and release another series, I’m not convinced that the current trend of releasing a new movie every couple of years is truly satisfying to the many fans out there.

On the plus side, in these modern times I can now gaze happily into my DVD cabinet and see my Star Trek collection. Choose which of my friends I want to catch up with, without having to wait until next weekend. This is where the small screen surpasses the movie experience in its entirety. I turn on my television set and pop a disc into my DVD player. As I slide down into my comfy chair with a take-out pizza and press “play” on my remote, the small screen flickers into life and all the wonderful characters who I have grown to love, continue to inspire me, taking me light years across space and opening up a universe of possibilities.

Marc Stamper

Author: Marc Stamper

Trek geek extrordinaire and the TrekMate tech wizard. Always liked Trek but when TNG started here in the UK I fell in love and have not looked back since. Podcaster since January 2012

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1 Comment

  1. This is excellent work, and a very fun read! I agree with you. Star Trek’s home should definitely be the small screen, with the movies as extras, as it was in what I’d call Star Trek’s Golden Age, from the late 80’s through late 90’s. I hope we get a new Star Trek TV series very soon!

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