“What a difference a year makes – 24 single hours”
If I may borrow a phrase from that well known song “What a difference a day makes – 24 single hours”, we can almost certainly rephrase it as “What a difference a year makes – 26 single hours” when we view it in context of Charles “Trip” Tucker III’s first year in space.
At the beginning of the mission , we have “Trip” -- a man filled with pride for his ship, humanity’s first Warp 5 achievement; a true friend loyal to a fault, a rock you could depend upon in your hour of need; naïve in his knowledge of other species and cultures (“I’ve only been to one other planet, there was nothing there be dust balls and ticks”). Yet he exudes enthusiasm about the adventure that lies beyond, geared up for the challenge of what is about to be thrust upon him. Deep down though, there is a small sense of trepidation which has a tendency to bubble up near the surface. Lastly – prejudice, maybe, or is it just hidden anger from an adverse opinion formed beforehand against those whom he viewed as “holding us back”?
He’s gone on to endure many unforeseen trials during this year, all of which have been forced upon his person – he has been held hostage, frozen near to death, ensnared by a mucus-like mind reading blob, suffered heat stroke in the deadly desert, been mugged by two “don’t forget they were gorgeous” alien shape shifters, suffering a concussion in the final episode and above all the embarrassment of being the first human male to become pregnant. He has managed to bear up well; possessing many of those enduring traits he set off with, which has slowly but surely drawn people to him like bees to honey.
At the end of the year, he’s still overtly proud of this “new wonder”, grasping every opportunity he can find to show off this marvel; his loyalty to his friends is still unwavering, whether it be offering help and advice about a problem or risking his life to save a colleague in danger; he’s certainly not naïve anymore with respect to other species and cultures they have encountered along their travels; whether the experience has been a good one or bad one, it doesn’t seem to have dented his enthusiasm for the challenges that lie beyond;.
Surprisingly though, his prejudice is the one area where he has made the greatest leaps, making friends with those he had considered adversaries in the past, maybe hoping to extend that friendship with one such person in particular…
With regard to the future, one hopes these unfortunate trials will not seem quite so frequent for this charming young explorer who has quite eloquently captured our hearts, although if it does happen, he will no doubt ultimately take it all in stride and continue on with the style, charm, and wit we have all come to admire.