Rik Carranza is a Star Trek fan. Still. The title of this touching, heartfelt show rather gives that away, which is why it's initially a surprise when he tells us how at one point he boxed up all his Star Trek memorabilia and donated it to a charity shop. And then went on to become a football fan, because he wanted to be "normal". Yet the team he chose happened to wear red-shirts—coincidence?
Carranza's a genuinely funny, amiable and honest performer.
Carranza’s show may, on the surface, be about how he became a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation (through its terrestrial BBC2 broadcasts on Wednesdays at 6pm, the BBC's "geek slot" during the 1990s, and also home to Thunderbirds, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and old Doctor Who re-runs). However, on a more fundamental level – and why you should consider seeing this show even if you don't self-identify as a "geek" or "fan" of anything, let alone Star Trek – it's about him finding a place in the world, and a family and community he can call "home".
Carranza grew up in Edinburgh's Granton area, son of a Filipino father and Scottish mother. He offers some interesting perspectives on the different emotional cultures they came from, and how they reacted to the verbal and physical bullying that was a regular part of his life while at school. He also explains how Star Trek – with its multi-racial casts, occasionally profound ideas and less profound phaser-blasting space-battles – became an imaginative safe space. Except when it wasn't: a revealing moment is when he explains how Depression could turn even Star Trek's iconic "Live long and prosper" against him.
Spoiler: it sort of all worked out in the end. Well, that's pretty obvious given that Carranza is standing on the stage in front of us, in fine spirits and with a Trek-loving girlfriend (sorry boys) in his life. That's good news for us, though: Carranza's a genuinely funny, amiable and honest performer, and his skill in teasing out the wider social implications of his own experiences ensures an entertaining hour in his company.