STAR TREK Turns 45!
Yup, 45 years ago today audiences across the country had their first taste of “Star Trek”. The episode was “The Man Trap”. Nope, it wasn’t the first episode made. But it was the first to air. Here’s the first words they heard:
Captains Log: Star date 1513.1. Our position: Orbiting the planet M-113.
And the first person they saw sitting in the captain’s chair was not Kirk, but Spock. Still image of that is above. The first image of Kirk was a long shot of him materializing via transporter on the planet with McCoy and another crew member. And the phrase “beam down” is used for the first time. Shatner doesn’t get his first close-up (below) until over two minutes into the episode.
And so began the show that wouldn’t die. The show Variety said “won’t work”. Well, work it did. After an initial three years on NBC, where it got low ratings but critical acclaim, the show found its real popularity in syndication. This popularity led to 11 movies (with a 12th on the way), four spin-off series, and an animated series. Not to mention countless toys, games, and endless parodies, jokes and so on.
It introduced many of us to Science Fiction. And to writers like Harlan Ellison, Robert Bloch, Norman Spinrad, and Theodore Sturgeon. All accomplished writers who contributed episodes to the series. It also introduced us to many scientific, political, social and historical concepts. Yup, it thrilled us with action and adventure. But it also captivated our thoughts and imaginations. “Star Trek” was a show that has a big reputation. And deserves it. Happy 45th Birthday, Star Trek. And here’s to another 45!