IT SEEMS amazing, but Star Trek is 43 years old today.
The Man Trap, the first episode of the show (if you ignore the pilot, and despite being the sixth to be filmed, fact fans) was broadcast on September 8 1966. It dealt with the crew of the USS Enterprise battling a shape-shifting monster that sucked the salt from its victims’ bodies.
That first series out of just three that were made between 1966 and 1969 laid the foundation for everything that was to follow with great characters, fantastic story-tellling and at the centre – Kirk, Spock and McCoy.
Despite being an eye-watering 29 episodes long, series one included such classics as The Naked Time (where they all go sex mad), The Enemy Within (good and evil Kirk), Balance of Terror (Romulans, cloaking devices, Run Silent Run Deep type action), The Galileo Seven (crew stranded on planet, under Spock’s command), Space Seed (KHAAAANNNNN!!) … I could go on.
In fact I will – City On The Edge Of Forever was in there too. (Kirk has to watch Joan Collins die to save the galaxy – awesome story that one).
Although if I had to pick a favourite original Star Trek moment, it would be this from series two! Da-da-daa-daa-daa-daa-daa-da-da-da-da!!
By series three, the show was on its last legs due to failing studio support and indifferent scheduling, as well as some woeful episodes and miniscule budgets. Here’s the proof – absolute rubbish that makes me want to sandpaper my own retinas.
But without them, who knows where we would be today after JJ Abrams’ reboot of the franchise?
Here’s to 43 more years of boldly going, and – even though he seemingly railed against every later development of Trek – a massive tip of the Scyfilove cap to Gene Roddenberry, the Great Bird of the Galaxy.