Last Saturday night at the Plenary in Melbourne’s Convention Centre, I was one of countless lucky Star Trek fans to experience Abrams vision of the franchise come to life. Always one to rush on new cinematic experiences, I couldn’t resist the lure of this novelty: Star Trek (2009), the film, played live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra performing Michael Giacchino’s evocative score. I expected something dramatic and different; I got something stunning, inspiring and magical.

To say that the Orchestra complemented the film is to wildly understate the impact of this multi-sensory story experience. I have no musical abilities, nor do I possess any fancy terminology for describing the Orchestra, but I’ll relay what I can as a fan. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. During the entire opening battle scene in the USS Kelvin, where George Kirk dies and our hero, Jim is born, the audience seemed to be holding their breath. At times, I forgot to watch the film, the score was so demanding. When the title credits finally shimmered into view, the score culminated in an epic crescendo that honestly took me out of place. The audience bellowed and applauded, it seemed involuntarily. The score was nothing short of commanding. When I say I was taken out of place I mean, I was no longer a patron in the audience. I was in the Star Trek universe itself. The Orchestra enveloped me and I was helpless to resist. The world was made bold, if you’ll pardon the pun. The live score gave it a texture that I could not have imagined possible had I not been in the universe itself.

I would describe the remainder of the film, but to be honest, there aren’t enough adjectives for me to convey the drama. Needless to say, I am still gushing. When it ended, the audience remained seated throughout the entire end credits, where the score really shines. This was a different experience, because we were able to appreciate the Orchestra on its own; credits aren’t exactly visually stimulating. I won’t say that the experience was dulled, but it was changed. The shift was perceptible to me as transitioning from being in art to observing or experiencing art. I was able to appreciate the form for what it was in isolation and it was beautiful. As a final treat, the Orchestra performed the opening theme music to the original Star Trek series and Next Gen, also possibly Deep Space Nine, but my memory is fuzzy on that one. Before exiting the stage, the Conductor, Nicholas Buc, tapped a StarFleet pin on his chest as a sign of camaraderie with the fans in the audience. I got the impression that the experience had meant as much to him as it had to us, and more, given his proximity to the action. Finally, the audience was teased with the promise of the next instalment of “MSO does pop culture”: Back To The Future, with a live Orchestra of course. There was much hooting and hollering, I can tell you.

After all of that excitement, I was inspired to watch the second of Abram’s instalment of Star Trek, Into Darkness (2013). The experience wasn’t quite the same and I spent most of the movie gushing over Benedict Cumberbatch and Zachary Quinto, imagining what our babies would look like, and then imagining what their babies would look like, if you catch my drift. I pencilled in a date with myself to either read or write some serious Khan/Spock fanfic, or maybe just some Cumberbatch/Quinto fanfic, whatever.

And on that note, I leave you with this, the most amazing Star Trek fanfic video I’ve ever seen. Rated M for: erotic themes, adult language and graphic over-acting (NSFW).

Live long and prosper, nerds.