The most outrageous specimen of cheerful oddball fandom we meet in Trekkies is a short, intense woman named Barbara Adams who wears her Starfleet uniform all day long. She wears it at home, she wears it at the office, she wears it while serving as an alternate juror for the Whitewater trial in Little Rock. At work, Barbara is referred to as ”Commander,” and the extraordinary thing about her is that she truly appears to believe she IS the commander. Most of the Trekkies don’t go that far, yet a lot of them flirt with a kind of benign derangement, crossing the line from fanhood to madly literal identification.
My one reservation going into Trekkies was that I knew it was released by Paramount, home to the various Star Trek series and films, and so I thought it might soft-pedal the eccentricity of this ultimate fan club of pop dweebs. I needn’t have worried: Trekkies is hilarious, fascinating, and, at times, almost scary. A decade or two ago, these get-a-life obsessives, with their conventions and memorabilia, their houses done up as virtual Star Trek showrooms, looked as if they were on a planet of their own. Today, with the Internet threatening to turn everyone into a drooling cultist of minutiae, it often seems as if we’re living in a universe built for Trekkies. Maybe they saw the future after all. A-