In the Christmas of 1979, as I raced from school to watch Star Trek: The Motion Picture, I didn't set out to spend 33 years watching and waiting for each new chapter in a film saga. Who does? Though in retrospect the signs were there.
In the early 70s, my first taste of 'completist viewing was Star Trek, largely because even on a black and white set in a pre-DVD/VHS/Blu-Ray era, with the exception of the lower-budget but equally-loved Dr Who, it was quite unlike anything else on the box.
And that was the point. James T Kirk and company boldly going where no man has gone before.
So, in 1979, the lure of post-Star Wars, big budget, big screen Trek was too good to resist, and though Paramount suits winced at the final bill for their 1979 tent pole epic, once the box office returns came in, they breathed a little easier and greenlit sequels. Lots of them.
However, despite growing up a couple of miles from the Molineux football ground, I never felt the urge to buy a Wolves shirt and pretend to be Kirk. I'm not one of those obsessive fans like The Simpsons' Comic Book Guy, though I would agree with his summation of The Final Frontier: 'Worst. Trek. Film. Ever.'
For me, Trek, like Bond, Star Wars and Dr Who, has been that thread that stitches together the random decades of my life. It's a memory of family around the TV, or at the movies; of the warp speed transition from wide-eyed kid making phaser noises in the playground with a two-finger gun (we've all been there), through high school, college and occasionally writing about Trek ¬ and getting paid for it.
For me, Trek, like Bond, Star Wars and Dr Who, has been that thread that stitches together the random decades of my life."
Inevitably, when I finally got to chat to William Shatner for work, or other assorted series veterans such as Next Generation’s Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis, those decades of Trek movies all 11 of them at the cinema – came flooding back.
Alas, after 2002’s Nemesis, it seemed the world had fallen out of love with Paramount’s money-making enterprise. The films 'ended' not with a bang but a whimper, and for seven years the film saga seemed lost in space. As TV shows such as Voyager and Enterprise dried up, for the first time since 1979, Trek lingered in suspended animation.
When JJ Abrams was hired to reboot the saga in the late Noughties, it was too much to hope that he'd manage to juggle all the separate elements needed to recapture the magic of my youth.
Remarkably he did a far better job than I, or many fans, could have hoped. A tear-jerking intro, thrilling pace and most importantly, the spirit of the original Trek. Boldly going indeed.
So the fact he's now teamed up with Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch for Star Trek Into Darkness (colons are so 90s) is a tantalising prospect.
Yes I can see it in IMAX, 3D, D-Box colour with hi-def photography, but if I had to watch it on the 70s black and white TV of my youth, that wouldn't be such a bad prospect either.
For me, what's most important for any revamp, reboot, rejig or whatever you want to call it is making middle-aged fans recapture that feeling of running around the playground with phaser fingers. (In retrospect, my best man’s gift of a toy phaser gun for my stag do was an inspired choice.)
Even my wife, who can't usually stand Trek, is keen to see Into Darkness. Cumberbatch is one reason, but I’d like to think it’s also because after weeks of my nagging, she finally gave in, watched and begrudgingly enjoyed JJ’s first Trek outing.
Probably because it’s not about spaceships and phaser guns, as cool as they are. You can have the best special effects in the world, but without great heroes and villains, great chemistry between characters, scenes to make you laugh, cry, and leave you perched on the edge of your seat, the result can be as engaging as a wet weekend.
Let's hope as director of Star Wars: Episode VII, Abrams can also work his magic on that galaxy far, far away as well.
But that's another story for another time.
Roger Crow has spent 22 years writing film and TV features for the world's press, and 33 years watching Star Trek films.