The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Monday, September 12, 2011

Happy 45th Anniversary Star Trek!

Original Enterprise model from the 1970s
Hard to believe it's been 45 years since Star Trek (the original series ... or TOS to Trekkers [i.e. former Trekkies who are too old and dignified for that title]) took to the airwaves. I was a wee bit too young for the original run of the show, but caught up with it in syndication as a teen in the 1970s. Back then, I watched the show at home on a tiny Sony portable TV as our color set wouldn't pick up the UHF station that was rerunning the show. This was the days of the big three TV networks and those UHF channels were the "Where No Man Has Gone Before" of TV stations. It was a real revelation to go to a friends house and see the show in color. I had no idea how bright the set was, especially those uniforms.

As a teen of the 1970s, I was in total agreement with the Prime Directive, which was basically don't mess with other cultures, especially cultures less advanced than yours. With the Vietnam War raging until 1975, I agreed wholeheartedly.

Things were different back then. Videotape players (never mind recorders) were behemoth machines found only in school classrooms so you took the episodes as the TV station, home of Captain 20 and Count Gore De Val for the weekend horror movie fest, chose to run them. There were no cell phones, so the crew of the Enterprise's communicators were pretty cool ... not devices with ridiculously few apps as they are seen today.

We fans learned our Vulcan split fingered greeting and trained ourselves to lift one eyebrow like Dr. McCoy. We were taught that damaged starships tilt at radical angles in space (when you produce a show on a shoestring budget you have to cut corners somehow), Klingons will attack anything they run across whether they understand it or not, if trouble is afoot but you don't see anyone around, there's probably a cloaked Romulan cruiser nearby, and starship captains get all the babes.

We've come a long way since then, but the positive outlook toward the future presented in ST:TOS resonates as well today in another war torn era as it did back from 1966 to 1969 when the series was originally aired.

Back then, we had no idea where Star Trek would go. We would not have believed you if you had told us that short-lived series would spawn multiple TV spin off shows, movies, and a galaxy's worth of merchandise.  But some of us are glad it did. Live long and prosper Star Trek!
Mego's Mr. Spock, 1970s

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