TV HAS LAUNCHED a new fall season, and something's missing. For the first time in 18 years, there's no new "Star Trek"-related show on the air.
I miss it — not because the most recent incarnation of "Trek" was terrific (it wasn't) but because "Trek" wove itself into the fabric of my life.
Somehow, in the early '90s, when I needed it, "Star Trek" found me.
The local Fox affiliate broadcast reruns of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" every weekday afternoon at 5. My sister and I watched it together.
I loved the replicators. I drank it in when Capt. Jean-Luc Picard explained that 24th-century Earth no longer had hunger or want. And the ideas, the wonders of science and anthropology and bravery and leadership and diplomacy, captivated me.
Then "Star Trek: The Next Generation" ended. I left middle school, turned 13 and lost my favorite show all at once. I called it "my midlife crisis" to the people at my bus stop who might have cared. They were all guys, and we could talk about "Trek" every morning while we squashed ants with our shoes.