Sometimes it can seem that fans don’t have much of a say in the world of their favorite fandoms. Amazing shows get cancelled after one season, a “remastered” version comes out that implies someone else shot first, or our favorite characters are killed off at the worst possible moments. Being a fan can feel rough, but one thing is certain: fans can have a huge impact on the shows they love, even if it doesn’t always seem that way. One fan in particular, Bjo Trimble, show us that you can not only have an impact on one fandom, but geek culture in general.
Trimble did so much for the geek community at large by reviving organizations like the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society back in the fifties. Not only that, she put together a futuristic fashion show at a sci-fi convention in the late fifties and the late sixties, launched one of the first modern art conventions called Project Art Show, and, along with her husband, had a large part in a campaign petitioning NASA to name one of their first space shuttles the Enterprise.
But even more than that, she managed to help save Star Trek from the dreaded Big Bad of television–cancellation. Upon learning that Star Trek‘s journey through the final frontier was cancelled after just two seasons, Trimble became highly involved in a campaign to save the show. Trimble set up a grassroots letter writing campaign to petition NBC to allow Star Trek another season, and she was successful. Star Trek got a third season, and while it ultimately was cancelled after that third season, the show had enough episodes to enter syndication. The Star Trek television series quickly became a huge fan favorite and launched films (which are still being made to this day) and numerous television spin-offs that are beloved by fans all over the globe. Trimble herself would go on to create the Star Trek Concordance, which would serve to be one of the only references Paramount used in the 70s as they created new Star Trek adventures for fans.
Trimble didn’t manage to simply save a television show. Trimble showed that fans who really love something, and are really motivated, can make a lasting change. Despite its cult following in the early years, you’ll be hard pressed to encounter someone who has never heard of Star Trek today. She showed fans that they could take an active part in creating geek culture, be it by starting a club, hosting an event at a con, or working to save a beloved show. She showed geeks and fans everywhere that you can take an active role in your favorite show, and if you work hard enough, you can actually be heard.
One woman’s passion for Star Trek helped make the fandom what it is today–just by using those resources to which she had access, letter-writing. Fans make a huge impact on their favorite movies, shows, and fandoms, and it can be easy to forget that. However, with pioneers like Bjo Trimble leading the way, showing us that our voices not only matter, but are heard by those running our faves, it can inspire all of us to make our own mark on our favorite fandoms just like Bjo.
What ways do you try to impact your favorite fandom? Has Bjo Trimble inspired you to do something for your favorite fandom? If so, tell me about it in the comments!
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