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Star Trek Turns 43 September 8, 2009

by Staff , Filed under: List,Trek Franchise , trackback

It was 43 years ago today when Star Trek was born, or at least when it aired its first episode on NBC. Since that time Star Trek has been through a lot with ups and downs along the way. Today we take a trip down memory lane, counting the years since Star Trek was new.  


This article runs through all 43 years of the life of Star Trek, picking one (or two) major events from each year, and illustrating each year with an image or video. This is not a comprehensive history of every moment in Trek, but just a way to see how in each year since it first premiered, Star Trek evolved and changed.

1966: Star Trek Premieres
At 8:30PM ON September 8th, 1966 NBC aired the first episode of Star Trek "The Man Trap" (which was actually the 6th episode produced). After the first episode, Gene Roddenberry received a letter that says "Dear Gene and the rest of you hard working people…Just heard the good news and want you to know how proud and happy I am. Looks like you really have a hit on your hands and we appreciate all your efforts." The note is signed just Lucy (Lucille Ball, owner of Desilu, the company that makes Star Trek). The show will eventually be nominated for an Emmy for Best Dramatic Show and Leonard Nimoy will be nominated every year of the show for Best Supporting Actor.

1967: Star Trek enters publishing
Less than a year into production and Star Trek had already branched out with into comic books (published by Gold Key) as well as novelizations adaptations of episodes (published by Bantam). The first original novel ("Mission to Horatius") and reference book ("The Making of Star Trek") followed a year later. Since then the original series and spin-offs have inspired hundreds of novels and comics. 1967 also brought the first fan fiction fanzine, Spocknalia.

1968: Fan Protests Save the Show
Fans protest the cancellation of Star Trek in January outside NBC and through a letter-writing campaign save the show for a third season, something unprecedented at the time.

1969: Star Trek cancelled – Man on the moon
Star Trek was born in the space race and even though there was another fan campaign, the final episode aired on June 3rd 1969, and just a month later the Apollo 11 mission successfully landed a man on the moon.

1970: It’s Dead, Jim?
Cancelled off the airwaves, with just a single book released in the US, Star Trek seemed dead. However, it did live in through the growing fanzines. From just the one in 1967, there were now many with new ones propping up every year. During this period William Shatner traveled the country doing dinner theater and living in a camper and riding his motorcycle.

1971: First Star Trek video game
"Star Trek", a text-based BASIC (and unofficial) Star Trek game becomes a computer favorite. The game eventually became "Super Star Trek" which obtained permission to use the name in 1974, more games followed on computer and console platforms, slowly in the 70s but with dozens in the 80s and 90s.

1972: The first Star Trek convention – reruns
New York is the first city to host a Star Trek only convention from January 21-23, 1972. It was a huge success, leading to dozens more in the 70s and beyond both fan run and commercial. This year also marked when Star Trek returned to the air in syndication, where the show began to find a new audience and grow in popularity.

1973: Animated Trek
Star Trek was back, kindof. The show returned with the original cast for a low-cost Filmation animated series, earning an Emmy and introducing Kirk’s middle name and a prototype holodeck.

1974: Starfleet (The International Star Trek Fan Association) begins
Starting with a club in Texas, fan clubs get organized and form "Starfleet" which is still going today with over 200 region chapters around the world. Eventually in 1982 Paramount would sponsor an official Star Trek fan club.

1975: Star Trek Audio Adventures
Written by scribes such as Alan Dean Foster, Star Trek lives in original audio adventures from Peter Pan records (not featuring the original cast). Future original audio adventures feature original cast members, notably George Takei for a series of Sulu Audio adventures.

1976: Shuttle named "Enterprise"
On September 17, President Gerald Ford’s decree that the prototype Space Shuttle be named after the fictional starship Enterprise becomes reality after receiving nearly 400,000 letters. Gene Roddenberry and Star Trek stars show up for the unveiling.

1977: Star Wars
In the same year Paramount announces that it will be launching a new TV network with a new Star Trek TV show as the anchor, the stunning popularity of Star Wars (along with Close Encounters) helps sparks a resurgence in science-fiction.

1978: Phase II to TMP
The Star Trek Phase II TV series is scrapped and Paramount holds biggest press conference in years announcing major Star Trek motion picture to be directed by multiple Oscar-winner. Robert Wise. 

1979: The Motion Picture
December 7th would see the first Star Trek motion picture eventually earn $85 million with Jerry Goldsmith nominated for an Oscar for his soundtrack. The film also makes history as the first movie tie-in for a McDonald’s Happy Meal. However, the studio feels the film fell short of expectations.

1980: Star Trek comes home
Star Trek’s long history in home entertainment starts (officially) with the release of The Motion Picture on VHS in 1980. Unofficial versions of TOS were also available, but Paramount would release the show later in the 1980s. Star Trek also came home on CED VideoDisc and late on LaserDisks.

1981: script leaks + fanzine letter + Star Trek goes online
1981 is when the fans really started to be heard. Fanzines were flourishing and again Star Trek struck into the new technology when Net.StarTrek, the first Star Trek USENET group, was created (later renamed rec.arts.startrek). During 1981 the script for the upcoming 2nd Star Trek film was leaked and fans learned of the death of Spock, prompting Gene Roddenberry to write a letter to a fanzine protesting, as well as an ad taken out by fans in The Hollywood Reporter, which resulted in a front page story in The Wall Street Journal.

1982: The Wrath of Khan Premieres
June 4, a new team lead by producer Harve Bennett and director Nicholas Meyer help reinvigorate the Star Trek with $79 million in earnings and near universal critical praise, creating a science-fiction classic.

1983: First Star Trek TV Special
Leonard Nimoy: Star Trek Memories is the first television show dedicated to the history and making of Star Trek.

1984: The Search for Spock Premieres
Another June Star Trek film brings $76 million to the box office with Leonard Nimoy’s directorial debut.

1985: Riverside Iowa
Riverside Iowa is granted permission by Gene Roddenberry to be the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk. Riverside is official recognized in 2009’s Star Trek feature film.

1986: The Voyage Home Premieres
For Star Trek 20th anniversary year,
November 26 brought the fourth Star Trek film, and instead of slowing, the box office is an incredible $109 million with the film that had the most mass-appeal.

1987: Star Trek The Next Generation Premieres
18 Emmy Awards, including Best Dramatic Show would be just a few of the accolades for the 178 episodes that follow TNG’s September 1987 premiere.

1988: Star Trek: The Adventure
Star Trek becomes a live action interactive event at Universal Studios Hollywood for the next 6 years.

1989: The Final Frontier Panned
A return to summer Star Trek, the June 9th premiere portends good things with Trek opening as the #1 film of the week. However, competition and critics will eventually limit the film to only $52 million domestically, with this 5th film widely considered to be one of (if not the) worst of the series.

1990: "The Best of Both Worlds" – Best Cliffhanger, ever
TNG transcends itself on June 1990 with arguably the most popular episode of all time, and considered by TV Guide to be one of the best cliffhangers ever. 

1991: The Undiscovered Country Premieres – Roddenberry passes
Nicholas Meyer returns to direct the sixth and final original crew feature, restoring the honor for the TOS film series and earning $74 million domestically, the year also sees the passing of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

1992: Playmates Toys Gets License
Playmates Toys, the company which has made more Star Trek toys and items than another licensee, begins its association with Star Trek. The toys are wildly popular during the 1990s, and many fans are happy when the company gets a license for ST09 toys.

1993: Deep Space Nine Premieres
January sees the beginning of Star Trek’s last syndicated show and first show without Gene Roddenberry, eventually running seven years for a total of 173 episodes. It was the biggest syndicated premiere at that time and began the era with two concurrently running Star Trek series. 

1994: Star Trek Generations Premieres
Captain Kirk (and the Enterprise D) bow out in November with this film featuring some of the original and all of the TNG crew. It will earn $75 million domestically.

1995: Star Trek Voyager Premieres
Winning 6 technical Emmys, Voyager will run 170 episodes and is the first Star Trek return to network (UPN) television.

1996: Star Trek First Contact Premieres
November 22nd is the premiere for the second TNG era film, earning $92 million and with amped up action and a new ship, the film is considered the best of the TNG era.

1997: Starfleet Academy
Interplay releases one of Star Trek’s most popular video games, most notable as it features William Shatner, George Takei, and Walter Koenig as their characters one last time (Shatner would later voice Kirk again for the game Star Trek Legacy, and spoof his role for a Direct TV commercial).

1998: Star Trek’s Experience and it’s Insurrection
The year begins with the opening of Star Trek: The Experience and ends with the December 11th premiere of Star Trek Insurrection ($70 million domestically in box office earnings).

1999: Star Trek moves to DVD
Actually starting in late 1998, Star Trek The Original Series and the feature films start to be released on DVD for the first time with seven releases in 1999, until eventually every season of the live action shows, and every film released at least once or twice by 2005 (with TAS released in 2006).

2000: Star Trek slowing down
With Deep Space Nine wrapping up in 1999, 2000 was the first year since 1992 without two Star Trek shows on the air. Also, following the disappointment with Insurrection, Paramount chose to wait longer than the usual 2 years for the next feature film, all signaling a slowing of the franchise which had peaked in popularity only a few years earlier. Voyager, with the inclusion of Jeri Ryan and amped up Borg, flies the flag alone.

2001: Star Trek Enterprise Premieres
98 episodes and 4 Emmy wins await the latest Star Trek television incarnation, with jumped back to the 22nd century and tried a different take on the franchise.

2002: Star Trek Nemesis Bombs
The TNG era takes its swan song as competition and critical and fan response end the TNG era with a disappointing $42 million in a film written by Oscar-winning scribe John Logan.

2003: Activision Lawsuit – troubles continue
In another sign of trouble, Star Trek’s gaming licensee sues Viacom/Paramount for breech of contract in order to get out of its licensing deal. The suit alleges that Viacom has allowed the Trek franchise to "stagnate and decay". Star Trek Elite Force II will be their last release as the parties settle and Star Trek finds itself without a gaming licensee. At this point it also had no comic licensee as DC comics let that lapse years earlier and the new toy licensee (Art Asylum) output slows to a trickle. All the while Enterprise ratings continue to fall.

2004: Star Trek Fan Films break through
Star Trek fan films go back to the 70s and Internet fan films were being put out by the Hidden Frontier team since 2000, but they hit the big time in 2004 with Star Trek New Voyages, spawning even more fan films in the years since.

2005: Enterprise cancelled Star Trek declared "Fatigued"
With the cancellation of Enterprise, the dismantling of the Official Star Trek fan club, the loss of James Doohan, and other bad news, Star Trek is declared irrelevant and fatigued. Although there were some attempts by fans to keep the show alive, the ratings were not enough and Star Trek was off the air for the first time since 1987.

2006: Star Trek Remastered + signs of life
For the 40th anniversary of Star Trek CBS (now owner of Star Trek on TV since Viacom split in 2005) decides to digitally remaster The Original Series in HD and air it in broadcast syndication. In addition, 2006 brings the first news that Paramount has a development deal with JJ Abrams who will possibly produce a new Star Trek feature film.

2007: Paramount announces Star Trek feature film
After almost a year of development and rumors, Paramount finally announce that JJ Abrams and a new team will make a new tent pole movie, simply titled Star Trek. Later in 2007 the pre-TOS era is confirmed with all the original roles recast and the film goes intro production before the end of the year.

2008: Star Trek Merchandising
While the high profile feature film continues in production and post production (including being extended to 2009), retro Star Trek merchandising helps reveal Trek’s return to the mainstream as items begin appearing online and in many retail stores from Walgreens, WalMart, Target, and Toys R Us again after many years.

2009: ‘Star Trek’ becomes a hit – future confirmed
Star Trek is back, making over $250M domestically, suddenly, Trek is cool again. The studio has already put a sequel into development so it looks like Star Trek has once again come back from looked like the end.


Thanks to My Star Trek Scrapbook, Memory Alpha, Memory Beta, the YouTubers and everyone else who helped. 


1. GNDN - September 8, 2009

This was a lot more than I expected. Good work, TrekMovie Staff, on a comprehensive retrospective.

2. CmdrR - September 8, 2009

43 years and these are all the clips and snippets you could find??


Happy Birthday, Trek. Life begins at 43!

3. --Mandalore-- - September 8, 2009

43 years and going strong, Happy B-day Star Trek!!


4. THX-1138 - September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Star Trek. I got you a tie.

5. Master Dex - September 8, 2009

The Great Bird of the Galaxy would be pleased.

To Star Trek, as a franchise of not just TV series, but a franchise of dreams: Live Long, and Prosper.

6. Clinton - September 8, 2009

Happy birthday, Trek! I was there on day one. Glad to see you’re fabulous in your 40’s!

7. Sunfell - September 8, 2009

Excellent retrospective- thanks! And happy 43rd, Star Trek!

I am so glad that it’s back- and better than ever.

8. VZX - September 8, 2009

I miss the Star Trek adventure at Universal. I wonder what happened to all that equipment and costumes.

9. ChristopherPike - September 8, 2009

Sigh, four years on and the Save Enterprise rally doesn’t get any respect. Jimmy Kimmel?

Try this instead…

Cheers for embedding my upload of Leonard Nimoy’s Memories show anyhew! :p

10. THE SMOKE - September 8, 2009

Happy B-day Trek!!! 43 and going where no other sci-fi show has gone!!!

11. CAPT KRUNCH - September 8, 2009

As I too am about to turn 43…Oct 9…I can truly say I have grown up with TREK in my life…If only I could get a reboot and be younger version of myself! …LIve Long…Make it so…Engage… Happy Birthday!!!!

12. Gary - September 8, 2009

I watched a bunch of RiffTrax clips. Is this like Monty Python humor? That is, it’s either hilarious or not at all funny?

13. ChristopherPike - September 8, 2009

Many Happy Returns on your 43rd birthday Star Trek.

“Vulcan has no moon, Miss Uhura.” :)

14. Wonderboy - September 8, 2009

There is one Reason Star Trek is alive is becuase of US and it was becuase of us they created Star Trek and it will be becuase of us Star Trek will live long and prosper utnil the end of time

15. Julie - September 8, 2009

Great piece! Happy Anniversary Star Trek!!! LL & P!

16. Pyork (JE) - September 8, 2009

Great article. Loved it

17. T2 - September 8, 2009

A wonderful trip down Memory Lane. Great job. Now I might have to go watch “The Best of Both Worlds” and maybe play some “Starfleet Academy”. This really helped jog the ol’ Trek memory. Lookin’ forward to seeing what pops up on this list for 2010.

18. Danpaine - September 8, 2009

Nice article.

Trek, and I are both 43 this year…and I do believe it looks better for the age….can someone remaster me and put me on dvd?

19. AJ - September 8, 2009

…Surely…the best of times…

20. alberto nuñez - September 8, 2009

feliz santo, mister Roddenberry!

21. Horatio - September 8, 2009

43 years and I still haven’t tired of this show.

God, I love Trek.

22. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - September 8, 2009

We the fans have saved Trek and J.J Abrams also needs to be thanked for bringing back Trek. Orci and Alex thank you for a great story and a great Movie. Happy Birthday Star Trek. May you live Long and Prosper. Heres to the next 43 years of more Trek.

23. Shatner_Fan_Prime - September 8, 2009

I heart Star Trek.


24. Smike van Dyke - September 8, 2009

Nice flashback…I’ve been a fan since 1993…it’s been 16 great years. Looking forward to the next 10 years and beyond!

25. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - September 8, 2009

I would not mind playing that first computer game from 1971. Would be kool to see how the games all started. Anyone know where I can find one.

26. Irishtrekkie - September 8, 2009

its my birthday on the 18th , i will be 23 , so its weird to think i am only half the age of my fav show. It seems like star trek has been around forever , and i really hope it will be.

so to take a line from the first movie
”the human adventure is just beginning”

27. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - September 8, 2009

To take a line from Trek 3. (and the adventure continues)

28. Jeff - September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Trek! I just got Season 1 on Blu Ray (and bought a player for it). Jaw dropping quality! I was blown away the first time I saw Star Trek in HD and remastered! A great way to celebrate Star Trek’s birthday!

29. OneBuckFilms - September 8, 2009

Trek has come a long way, and in a sense, has come full circle with JJ Abrams’ Star Trek.

Irishtrekkie nailed it: The Human Adventure is just beginning …

30. Captain Dunsall - September 8, 2009

Unlike myself, Trek will always be relevant! Thanks for all the hours of awesome entertainment.

31. Ky Kiske The angel Of Light - September 8, 2009

Yup happy 43 birthday Trek for life

32. Lore - September 8, 2009

43 is the NEW 3? Thanks JJ, it feels new again. Lucas can’t do that with Star Wars.

33. Lore - September 8, 2009

One problem, didn’t we put a man on the moon in 1969, not 1966 as the article states?

34. Irishtrekkie - September 8, 2009

yea as lore says
there is an error on 1969, it says the final episode aired on June 3rd 1966
should 1969

35. Spectrum of the Spock - September 8, 2009

43 years???

Break out the Tranya!!!

36. I am not Herbert - September 8, 2009

Wow! Excellent article! Happy B-day Star Trek! 43! Wow!

…at 45yo myself, I’m proud to have grown up on Star Trek!

37. raffie - September 8, 2009

The only day in the year i still watch a Trek episode :D

38. Daoud - September 8, 2009

Well, if only you guys had included the T-2 years :)

Roddenberry gets the green light from NBC to shoot the pilot for Star Trek.

Star Trek began filming on November 27, 1964, the scene with Boyce and Pike in his quarters where he laments the disastrous affair on Rigel and questions if he should stay in.

I celebrate that date as the start of Trek. (Well, it’s my birthday after all. :) )


39. Brett Campbell - September 8, 2009

Wow … 43 years ago today. Hard to believe. 43 awesome years.

40. OneBuckFilms - September 8, 2009

It would be fantastic for the new movie to arrive on the 45th anniversary of Star Trek.

41. Trey - September 8, 2009

wont that be in 2011? cuz thats when the sequel come out i suppose. anyway 43 years thats good. not a fan but ive enjoyed the new movie and TOS. yeah so im new to this lol.

42. Trey - September 8, 2009

@ #40, wont that be in 2011? cuz thats when the sequel come out i suppose. anyway 43 years thats good. not a fan but ive enjoyed the new movie and TOS. yeah so im new to this lol.

new movie on 2-disc DVD 11-17-09, im definitely getting it.

43. Trey - September 8, 2009

sorry for the double comments lol

44. Anton Karidian - September 8, 2009

Nemesis S*U*C*K*E*D!!!!!!!! Never did I want any (Trek) film to end so I could leave the theater!!!!! B4??? Gimme a frakkin break!!! Worst Trek movie E*V*E*R!!!!!!

45. Anthony Pascale - September 8, 2009

by the way folks

check out

46. Barking Alien - September 8, 2009

Congrats Star Trek and thanks for everything. Peace and Long Life!

47. Grady Christie - September 8, 2009

Happy birthday

48. DavidJ - September 8, 2009

Wow, I had no idea those Gold Key comics actually started during the original run of TOS.

I always assumed they were from the 70s.

Anyway, great retrospective!

49. Steve - September 8, 2009

Long live Star Trek!

50. Uncle Twitchy - September 8, 2009

1983 was also the year of the first licensed tabletop role playing game, from FASA.

51. WVTreker - September 8, 2009

Happy birthday and thanks for the great memories!

52. jonboc - September 8, 2009

Great article,just one correction. TNG, as well as TOS, was only nominated for a best drama emmy. Sadly, neither actually ever won it. Happy Birthday STAR TREK!!

53. Jeffery Wright - September 8, 2009

Thank God for Rifftrax, why didnt they just re-assign Kirk to another, more functional ship?

And BTW, bring back Enterprise!

54. bmar - September 8, 2009

Truly a great history and a great trip down memory lane. Not to quibble, but we would be remiss if we didn’t add to that list the passing of Deforest Kelly in 1999…

55. falcon - September 8, 2009

It’s also my dad’s birthday – makes it easy to remember. :-)

How many people recall that Trek was originally scheduled to premiere on Sept. 15, but was moved up a week? There’s an NBC promo making the rounds on YouTube that trumpets a “Sept. 15″ premiere date.

56. Shatner_Fan_Prime - September 8, 2009

#54 “Thank God for Rifftrax”

In its heyday, MST3K was a funny, creative show, but…10 years on, these guys are reduced to doing the same (now tired) routine online? I think they have become the joke.

57. DesiluTrek - September 8, 2009

Great recap but there are a few early-days items that should be included:

One major 1966 item to include — the AMT Enterprise model kit.

And in the ’70s, these deserve note, to me more than those weird book and record sets:
— the launch of Mego’s Star Trek action figures/toy line in 1974
— the mass-market publication of Franz Joseph’s Enterprise blueprints and Technical Manual, both bestsellers in 1975
— the ascent of paperback Trek fiction in th late ’70s between Bantam and Pocket
— the debut of the awesome monthly Giant Poster Book in 1976
— even the Fotonovels, debuting in ’77, godsends in the days before home video and the Net

Star Trek Lives!

58. Chris Dawson - September 8, 2009

Star Trek Lives!

Happy 43, Star Trek.

May you continue to Live Long and Prosper!

59. Holger - September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday, Star Trek!!!
And so, in a way, Happy Birthday to us all. A pleasure each year when Sept 8 comes.
Great article, too.

60. Third Remata'Klan - September 8, 2009

Great article. Thanks!

61. dpitt - September 8, 2009

nice recap for past 43 years of Trek. Tough there could be more milestones to be mentioned.
Star trek had a teenage depression(69-78) and one middle age depression(around 2000-2007). seems like its parents(we.) helped it to recover for both times and lets hoe we wont need to help it third time…

62. Syn4Ever - September 8, 2009

Happy birthday Star Trek!!! May you forever live long and prosper

63. Locke for President - September 8, 2009

Show of hands, how many of you have underwear in your drawer older than Star Trek?

64. King of all Blacks - September 8, 2009

here’s to the next 43!


65. SerenityActual - September 8, 2009

Trek has been around almost as long as I have, and definately as long as I can remember.

Happy Birthday Star Trek!

66. Chris M - September 8, 2009


67. RobertZ - September 8, 2009


68. Primogen - September 8, 2009

Wow! What a trip down memory (alpha) lane! I vividly remember tuning into Star Trek during its premiere episode, buying “Mission to Horatius” at a book fair (I still have a copy). It was “Super Star Trek” that made me want to get into game development, and I was producing Activision’s last Star Trek game when they cancelled their contract with Paramount.

69. Andy Patterson - September 8, 2009

Cool. And 43 yrs ago today I was a month and half old. A good year.

70. MarsNeedsWomen - September 8, 2009

We’ve come a long way baby!!!

71. Greg2600 - September 8, 2009

Great videos! The Starfleet Academy videos weren’t that low a quality (they were low though), I think whoever converted them did a bad job.

72. Thomas Jensen - September 8, 2009

43 years ago I was 10 1/2 years old. My intent for the new TV season was to watch the ‘Bewitched’ show on ABC. I caught “Man Trap” and I watched the teaser and titles. I changed the channel and watched Samantha and Daren for a few minutes, then I suddenly realized that I wanted to see Star Trek much more than a witch and her antics.

I never looked back.

Children from the 60’s had the space program to look to for inspiration. I wanted to be an astronaut like many kids I knew at the time. When Star Trek came on it was something we could look to cultivate and motivate us to achieve more then we knew we could. It became catalyst for my education.

Ultimately Star Trek became more than a television show, it was a shared experience for my friends and it became part of the popular culture of our society.

I’m amazed it’s still relevant today 43 years later.

Happy Birthday to the original Star Trek!

73. Matthew Rimmer - September 8, 2009

Thank you for the informative article! First time I’d seen ‘Leonard Nimoy: Star Trek Memories’ and the Starfleet Academy footage, so I’m grateful to you.

74. Dennis Bailey - September 8, 2009

I don’t believe that “Best Dramatic Show” is among TNG’s 18 Emmy awards – I may be mistaken, but I think it was *nominated* for that one but did not win.

For an off-network syndicated show to actually win the Best Drama award at that time would have been remarkable in itself.

75. starfall42 - September 8, 2009

Speaking of TOS:R, it appears that this weekend’s rerun of “The Cage” is the last one — there don’t seem to be any scheduled after it.

76. Ashley - September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday ‘Trek! *hugs*

77. brad Mckenzie - September 8, 2009

This article was great i really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to read the revised version of this history in a few years. thanks guys.

78. Rick - September 8, 2009

HAPPY 43rd TREK and the chat during the episode was great fun!

79. Woulfe - September 8, 2009

Star Trek is dead, Long live Star Trek !

43 years and now getting it’s 8th / 9th wind thanks in part to the new film.

Middle age looks good on Trek.

80. TrekkieJan - September 8, 2009

I was there for the first episode too. Happy Birthday, Star Trek and thanks for many wonderful years and memories! (And thanks, TrekMovie for a great retrospective! Have I mentioned lately that I love this site?)

81. Tanner Waterbury - September 8, 2009

I forgot it was turnin 43! Well 3 years ago, I was lucky to volunteer at the Seattle Star trek 40th Gala event (I was a Security guard, so they gave me a redshirt xD) and was excited to volunteer the 3 days I was there. Was able to attend the Gala inside the Space needle and had fun watching the Klingon death metal band STOVOKOR play some songs. Also enjoyed the company of most of the actors of most of the series. Heck I was lucky enough to have Walter Koenig come up to me and ask me where the green room was (Mistakenly thought it was a level below instead of up, how embarassing was THAT?) and I also had the chance to meet George Takei, who was quite possibly the nicest person Ive ever met. Anyways, enough of my memory ramblings.

82. Mr. AtoZ - September 8, 2009

“Space the finial frontier, this is the birthday of the Starship Enterprise. It’s 40+ year mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly celebrate where no man has gone before…”

83. Melllvar - September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday, Trek :)

84. Andy Patterson - September 8, 2009



And seeing this article reminds me how much I would have liked to see Phase II. Always had an interest in this never to be project. The groovy late ’70’s looks on all their faces makes me think it would have been real cool.

85. Spockish - September 8, 2009

I remember how excited I was as September 2001 started only 13 days to see the new Star Trek series. Then Monday the 11th waking up to 9/11 so delating Enterprise a week.

Many were upset at the terrorist, I was pissed because of the show delay, but over time the terrorist have built my anger for them.

The hardespart was the Death of Enterprise by what seemed like beheading, and I wanted to see it for 7 not 4 years.

Great work on the Trek History synopsis. I really liked STS-01 being named Enterprise, all it needed was 2 warp engines to be strapped on the wings. As we watch the shuttle program move into the Constellation Project with the Orion capsule, Ares Rockets, Moon/Mars bases in timewith the NASA Constellation Program.

I wonder what that replacement in 2035-40 will look like, and if it will use plasma sheilding to transgress between Earth and Space, and use ION thrusters. By then Star Trek will be nearing 75 years.

86. devon - September 8, 2009

Thank you Star Trek: your amazingly gifted visionary-creator, the Great Bird of the Galaxy, Gene Roddenberry; his lovely wife, 1st lady of trek Majel Barrett; a wonderfully eclectic group of actors( all 5 series); memorable characters that will endure throughout time ( Kirk, Spock, Data, Worf, Picard, etc., etc. ); Live-action, animation, and theatrical adventures that took us Boldly where we had never gone before, and more to come to continue the Fantastic Journey through space, time and imagination…. I Love you Star Trek, you are the Highlight of my life… Happy Birthday to the best Sci-fi franchise ever!!!!

87. sdlarson - September 8, 2009

Actually, Star Trek went into syndication in the fall of ’69, not 1972. It was shown in my hometown of Vancouver, WA on KPTV ch 12, the only independant television station in my area at the time. You can go to the website and see a 1969 program schedule or even check out their timeline for verification of this fact.

88. kempec - September 8, 2009

OMFG!!! The footage from the game Starfleet Academy brings me to tears!!! I have that game!! wonder if it will boot up in Vista? If not will find an older PC to play it on. Also have Klingon Academy as well…

89. TREK ALERT! STAR TREK TURNS 43! « Super Book Girl - September 8, 2009

[…] is more at Posted by katsumasuz Filed in TV Leave a Comment […]

90. CarlG - September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Star Trek!

I hardly think it’s coincidence that Trek is one year older than the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything…. ;)

91. Jim Nightshade - September 8, 2009

It was 43 years ago today, Sgt Roddenberry taught the crew to play–I was 11 when Trek premiered and I still remember being blown away by it. Sure I watched Lost in Space, Time Tunnel, Land of the Giants, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea etc. but even though these shows looked better they did not have treks depth-Trek was exciting, the original Beautiful Star Ship, Jeffries fantastic designs, a Captain that cared, thanks to Roddenberry we cared about the characters….this detailed article shows its been a long strange trip and I have been on board since day one…I think brief mention should have been made to the many people who grew up on Trek and went on to make cell phones, spaceships, and went on to be astronauts, engineers all because of Trek…no other show has done that…EVER—Inspiration….that is what Gene Roddenberry and Trek did for many….Happy 43rd Star Trek! You have gone where no tv show has ever gone before….and you are still here…still alive, still relevant….

Oh I cant Believe that Melllvarr above actually knew it was spelled with 3 L s hahah!
Kaplaw!!!(Klingon Phonetic Spelling)

92. I AM KIROK - September 8, 2009

Starship Exeter was the TOS fan film that really broke ground on the modern fan film movement. That was 2002.

93. MC1 Doug in Norfolk, Va. - September 8, 2009

I was nine years old when TREK first premiered! It’s been a great 43 years!!! Here’s to many many more to come!!!

94. Captain Hackett - September 8, 2009

It cames on air when I was almost 10 months old. When it became re-runs, I was enough old and understand this great show.

Great article, Anthony and the crew!

Happy Birthday, Star Trek! Many good years to come!

95. MC1 Doug in Norfolk, Va. - September 8, 2009

Star Trek 2009 has reaffirmed the old 1970s nickname given to the series: “the show that will not die!” Long live the franchise… more importantly, the spirit, tone and intelligence of the show(s).

96. awd - September 8, 2009

Flashback: 1969…I am 4 going on 5…

Watching my Grandparents new Zenith console Color TV, late Friday night. I was allowed to stay and watch because we did not have a color TV at home.

…”The following program is brought to you in living color on NBC”…

(Peacock logo animates on…)

Thanks Gene…I still love it so…

97. MC1 Doug in Norfolk, Va. - September 8, 2009

hey… you forget the Hallmark Star Trek Christmas ornaments!

Great stroll down Memory Alpha!

98. Enterprise - September 8, 2009

You also forgot Starlog Magazine. If not for them, Trek would have never have got mainstream press.

99. Weerd1 - September 8, 2009

Happy Trek Day everyone… special celebration on my blog! Hope it’s the geekiest you’ll see!

100. Jack - September 8, 2009

The Trek V rifftrax thing = funny. The bit about the CRT technology surviving into the future is, er, funny because it’s true – the monitors always irked me (along with similarly dated tech like giant flashlights, led numbers, pointless flashing diodes on tricorders and Data, and all those 80s wall sconces) from Trek II on. They’ve been doing the same thing in the last few flicks (including Trek 09) with flat panels that look like they came from Best Buy. Phase II has done a good job making the 60s sets/viewscreens look a little 23rd century-ish)

Oh yeah, happy birthday.

101. Enterprise - September 8, 2009

I never got the point of that clock on the bridge either, since they state that Stardates don’t really mean anything.

102. Iowagirl - September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Star Trek and Congrats to the ones who started it all for creating a legend!

103. captain_neill - September 9, 2009

happy birthday, a great tribute to my my favourite Sci Fi

104. Captain John C Baron - September 9, 2009

Live long and prosper Trek – I love ya!

105. Dom - September 9, 2009

Forty-three years! Blimey! To think the show was only nine years old when I was born! To think that my childhood heroes still were quite new in 1975! After an 18 year gap without the gang, who’d have thought the series would be quite so resurgent with the new film? Roll on the 50th anniversary with Pine, Quinto and Urban (except not too fast as I’ll be over 40 then!!

Thank you William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Deforest Kelley, Gene Coon, John Meredyth Lucas, Bob Justman, Herb Solow, Matt Jefferies, Fred Freiberger, Harlan Ellison, Theodore Sturgeon, Robert Bloch, Dorothy Fontana, Jeff Abrams, Bob Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Gene Roddenberry.

Happy Birthday Star Trek.

106. USS Manila NCC-99232 - September 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Star Trek!!! I planned to celebrate with my friends but I canceled it. Thank you Gene Roddenberry. Without you, this wouldn’t all be possible. That also includes all the contributors. May the legacy live on forever……

107. Lord Ravenwood - September 9, 2009

I remember September 8th, 1966 vividly and very fondly.

This ‘would have been’ “Star Trek’s” 43rd birthday.

Don’t you recall, it was murdered and replaced with a poor excuse for an imposter about 4 months ago!

108. Chris Fawkes - September 9, 2009

Nice, thank you.

109. swh1939 - September 9, 2009

The TV special Leonard Nimoy: Star Trek Memories listed in 1983 is actually a slightly re-cut version of the special first aired in 1982. I still have the audio tape I made of that original version, which includes a fan discussion on whether or not Spock dies at the end of Star Trek II.

110. Rick Moreau - September 9, 2009

Thanks for the links and the memories! But I often wonder why the first pilot, “The Cage” is always left out in these discussions. I realize it was un-aired, but none-the-less should be at least ‘acknowledged’.
May Trek ‘Live Long and Prosper!!!!!”

111. Daoud - September 9, 2009

#110 See my comment at #38…

Star Trek was born in 1964… although the idea GR had is older. :)

112. Seany-Wan - September 9, 2009

I still get chills when I watch Trailer 3 of the new Trek film. Kirk’s delivery of “Yeah we do.” is easily the best part of it!

113. LordEdzo - September 9, 2009

Happy birthday, my beloved Star Trek. I can’t imagine how boring my life, thus far, would have been without you. God bless Gene Roddenberry, as well as every man, woman and child who’s ever contributed anything to this fantastic franchise. I love you and am your most devoted fan.

114. Denise de Arman - September 9, 2009

Happy Birthday to the best and most relevant show ever to hit the airwaves! And thank you, Trekmovie staff, for running the retrospective.

115. Adam Bomb 1701 - September 9, 2009

“Star Trek” was actually syndicated right after its cancellation in 1969, not in 1972. WPIX in NYC began “stripping” the episodes a week or so after NBC aired its last one in early September 1969 (which, IIRC, was “Requiem for Methuselah”.)
Didn’t “Trek” premiere in Canada a few days before its U.S. premiere?
And, my great girlfriend just got me the exact same set of Pez dispensers as in the photo.

116. Ensign Ricky - September 9, 2009

I am 43 also. Turned back in July. I am glad I got to grow up with Star Trek. Live Long and Prosper!

117. Andy Patterson - September 9, 2009


Let’s pick out china patterns together. We seem to have similar tastes.

118. Mr. AtoZ - September 9, 2009

@ 107

Drama we can do without, Star Trek is about change and growth. It is alive and well, sorry u can join in.

119. Author of The Vulcan Neck Pinch for Fathers - September 9, 2009

I was a true “second-generation” Trekker, coming into Trek when our local ABC affiliate ran strip-syndicated episodes at 4pm weekdays in the 70’s. Already having math and science “geek” tendencies, I was hooked with Trek’s technology and theoretical science.

Its been a fun ride!

120. Andy Patterson - September 9, 2009


43, July? Me too. What day?

121. dmduncan - September 9, 2009

43 years old and you don’t look a day over 30. Happy birthday Star Trek.

And check out the cover art of that James Blish Star Trek novel. The Enterprise has flames shooting out its ass! Ha!

122. The Red Shirt Diaries - September 9, 2009

I was born on September 22, 1966, the day “Where No Man Has Gone Before” first aired.

I guess it was my destiny to literally grow up with Trek and be one of it’s biggest fans to this day.

Unfortunately Kirk and crew got younger while I cannot do the same :-(

Happy Birthday Trek, I!s been fun and looks like it will continue that way well into both our later years.

123. Antoniemey - September 9, 2009

If we’re including Fan organizations in the important dates… you missed a biggie.

The International Federation of Trekkers was founded in 1984 and Gene Roddenberry both helped to define the structure of the group and endorsed it as the closest fan group to his vision.

IFT later backed the fan efforts for Star Trek: Excelsior and is currently the official fan club of Star Trek: Phase II (AKA New Voyages).

124. Dark_Lord_Prime - September 9, 2009

Happy birthday, Star Trek!!

And am I seriously the only one who recognized that creature on the cover of the book-and-record set as a Furby?? o_O

125. OneBuckFilms - September 9, 2009

123 – Good to hear IFT brought up here !!! Are you a member?

126. John Pearse - September 9, 2009

Great article, I loved watching all four parts of Leonard Nimoy’s Star Trek memories.

127. Spockish - September 9, 2009

#1115) Mr. A-Bomb, I wonder if the New York TV station started messing with what was under airing contract until the Fall 1969 show for that Time slot began Airing in the month of September . And if the legal eagles at NBC noticed and cared they could have fined that station for breach of contract.

And Paramount did not start serializing the rebroadcasts until the fall of 1972, I’ve herd in August and October but know of no official NBC date.

Another minor flaw in the time line was the DVD release, I bought the Space Seed DVD about 2 months before the release from a friend who owned and ran a TV repair Shop. But It did not start retail for two months more, and I had no DVD player box just a DVD-ROM/RAM 2.4gig only so I could only watch it on my 17″ VGA screen.

I quickly got a 21″ VGA monitor so my PC had a bigger picture than my 19″ TV, but also had a TV Tuner card for ch#2-83. But it only did screen capture at 640×384. Image rescaling at the time was bad until I bought a fractal scaling program. But that is the old almost cave man days, and TOS first broadcasts was back in the Dinosaur days.

The bad news is that The feds are going to fund NASA with about half their Moon by 2020 plans, this means China may bet us for a return trip. But I did get some NASA PDF files (7 CD’s) of NASA history (1955-July 2009)

128. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - September 9, 2009


129. Shadowcat - September 9, 2009

Happy 43rd birthday Star Trek! Many happy memories.

I still have that first James Blish book along with Spock Must Die in my collection. I brought that set of Star Trek Pez containers from Walgreens last Christmas.

130. star trackie - September 9, 2009

I still have the book Star Trek Lives in my library, my very first clue that there was something to this whole Trek thing, beyond my friends and I and our Star Trek models, reruns and toys.

Fast forward 35 years…
Star Trek not only lives, it thrives! And even more amazing is the fact that, not just 5 years ago, it had both feet firmly planted in the grave! Indeed, Star Trek lives on.

Exciting times! Cheers!

131. UltimateTrekker - September 9, 2009

43… and still a baby. Star Trek will live forever….

132. ger - September 9, 2009

“18 Emmy Awards, including Best Dramatic Show would be just a few of the accolades for the 178 episodes that follow TNG’s September 1987 premiere. ”

And you haters call that a failure. Geez.

133. Son of a Maui Portagee - September 9, 2009


I clearly remember that NBC allowed its affiliates to play reruns of ST immediately after its cancellation but they had some absurd restrictions. For a show that they canceled because they supposedly considered nobody watched it, they seemed absolutely threatened by it. It was not allowed to air in any time slot that might compete with any type of NBC programming. I got to watch it on both coasts at the time but it was aired at the 1am hour.

I also recall NBC was a factor keeping it out of syndication because they claimed an exclusive right to air reruns until they recovered all the excess expenses they paid in the show’s making.

I recall the ’72 syndication deal still involved addressing monies NBC claimed it still had a right to recoup. I don’t recall the actual way it was settled but I have a hazy recollection it involved NBC getting fees until some set amount had been paid off while in syndication.

I do recall that when ST took off in syndication NBC was bawling about being shutout but there wasn’t a thing they could do about it because they had finagled themselves out of the deal by focusing solely on recovering those claimed expenses.

134. jonboc - September 9, 2009

#132- TNG succeeded as a TV show, it just bore little, if any resemblence to it’s namesake. And the show did win many, mostly technical, emmys, it never won as best drama.

135. C.S. Lewis - September 9, 2009

Dear Anthony,

I hope you might amend this article to include the ground-breaking and so-very-necessary work of the Star Trek Welcommittee. Ruth Berman is still with us although I am not sure if Shirley Maiewski is with us or not.


C.S. Lewis

136. C.S. Lewis - September 9, 2009

Oh yes, I almost forgot:


(Did I just write that?!)

137. EMH22 - September 9, 2009

I hate to say this, but It seems you got the information for the first episode aired wrong. “Where no man has gone before” was the first episode produced and the third to be aired. “The man trap” was the first one aired.

138. The Red Shirt Diaries - September 9, 2009


They didn’t get it wrong. The article says “The Man Trap” was the first episode aired on Sept 8, 1966. It reads:

1966: Star Trek Premieres
At 8:30PM ON September 8th, 1966 NBC aired the first episode of Star Trek “The Man Trap” (which was actually the 6th episode produced).

139. sdlarson - September 9, 2009


As I noted in my previous post, #87, and reiterated by Adam Bomb 1701 in #115, Star Trek was indeed put into syndication in the fall of 1969. Here is a more definitive link:

140. Iowagirl - September 9, 2009

Imposter? Definitely.
Replaced? Never. :)

#117, (107)
If you go for Blue Willow, make sure it’s an original. :)

141. Rick - September 10, 2009

Yeah 98. Enterprise you are right about STARLOG magazine. I recall being a kid riding my bike up to this cool news/magazine store and buying that issue with the painted STAR TREK cover. I was already into STAR TREK but that magazine really got me into the details of the show and then into the films. It seems like a life time ago and I believe the magazine itself of late is having some rough times. Of course it has been years since I have bought an issue. Really I think with the Internet magazines may not last for many more years or the vast majority will be gone.

Time flies and things do change. 43 years from now what will the STAR TREK memories be? Of course most of us here may or not be memories.

142. Jorg Sacul - September 10, 2009

I shudder to think what a boring entertainment world we’d have if Star Trek had never happened and inspired so many creative minds to boldly go…

143. swh1939 - September 10, 2009

141. Rick – I believe STARLOG itself of late is having some rough times. Of course it has been years since I have bought an issue.

Is STARLOG even being printed any longer? I’ve looked but I haven’t seen it anywhere in years.

144. Gatortrek - September 10, 2009

No acknowledgement of the passing of DefForest Kelley or Jimmy Doohan???

145. swh1939 - September 10, 2009

Also in 1985, the entire Original Series starts its VHS release, one episode per cassette. It would take until 1988 for all of the episodes to be released. The episodes were remastered from the negatives and included (most of) the preview trailers. For its time, the series never looked so good and fans rejoiced in seeing these episodes in their full, unedited glory.

146. Andy Patterson - September 10, 2009


Got some of those too. First two I bought were “Omega Glory” and “Patterns of Force”.

147. ger - September 10, 2009

134. *sigh*

148. Larry Nemecek - September 10, 2009

Guys–great recap. But your Internet/media prejudice is showing: Should have included in 1971, birth of Star Trek Welcommittee. The Internet for fans before the personal computer: leaning on volunteers and SASEs (self-address stamped envelopes) and their pamphlets, newsletter APOTA (A Piece of the Action), and “The Yellow Pages of Star Trek”– lists of clubs, dealers and zines. True lifeblood of organized fandom from 70s until 90s.

You might also have included for 1982 Houstons’ The Ultimate Fantasy (The Con of Wrath)–first mega-con (all cast but Nimoy, plus Bennett & some TWOK folk) and first mega-debacle.

Most of all, 1974: The licensed Star Fleet Technical Manual (Ballantine) on NYT best-seller list for many, many weeks—perhaps single biggest push for initial Star Trek revival talks at Paramount with Roddenberry.

I’m just sayin’. :-)

149. Larry Nemecek - September 10, 2009

Sorry== *57–you DID get this, and the other mushrooming media landmarks.

150. Enterprise - September 10, 2009

Sadly Starlog went under this year. I loved getting it in the mail in the early days, but by the end there, it was all ads, and some article for some direct to DVD movie you never saw.

151. Jim Nightshade - September 10, 2009

Starlog was still around relatively recently as far as I know..Their Website still up—I was a major Starlog collector I had every issue from #1 up and I had letters printed and was even mentioned in kerry o quinns editorial page twice….I kinda lost interest when Kerry O quinn was no longer in charge they dropped the editorials and letters sections which were my two fave areas on the magazine so i lost interest after that….they had an issue about the new trek movie thats the only issue I have bought in over 15 years I thinks haha oh well

152. Anthony Pascale - September 11, 2009

everyone is a critic

as it says in the beginning, this list is not a comprehensive list of every milestone in trek history, just one per year chosen by John and I based on what we thought was most important. You can agree or disagree, whatever. We just thought it was a fun way to count down the years. But believe it or not, time and effort went into this.

153. Son of a Maui Portagee - September 11, 2009


That may be but I, for one, appreciate the effort that you two put into this. In case you were wondering: your sweat shows.

I can’t think of any publication in the past decade that got it as right as you two did in printing their Trek history highlights.

154. Son of a Maui Portagee - September 11, 2009

#135.& #148.

It is a source of much embarrassment to myself that I didn’t even think of the Welcommittee until C.S. Lewis mentioned it.

While you can get me to agree that it is significant, don’t you think that if we are going to open up that can of worms that perhaps the Trimbles’ contribution might be worthy of note:

ahead of that?

Besides, it’s obvious Anthony and John weren’t shooting for an exhaustive history of STAR TREK but a decent overview of its 43 years and I think they succeeded.

155. CathyR - September 11, 2009

Star Trek – 43 years ago you had me at “Space. The Final Frontier”
Nicely Done!

156. Son of a Maui Portagee - September 11, 2009


I have a reply but for some reason every permutation that I come up with gets blocked by what I can only assume is this site’s spam blocker?

So far, I’m stumped. It doesn’t appear to be my cited links. Something in the text is keying it but I’m just not narrowing down what it is that needs rewording?

157. Chadwick - September 11, 2009

I love star trek

The new movie left me speechless and certainly raised my hopes for the continuation of star trek. I am expecting the next movie to just blow me away.

158. Son of a Maui Portagee - September 12, 2009


“Channel 13 also has secured the first off-showings of Star Trek, air nightly at 6 o clock. Ironically, this is the best time slot the former NBC vehicle” – LOS ANGELES TIMES, August 25, 1969

159. Son of a Maui Portagee - September 12, 2009


I think the quote in #158 sourced,

more than those isolated images with no identifying marks or dates from the source publication in your cite, makes a stronger support for your time frame.

And the 6pm airing means that the NBC kerfuffle that I recall must have been on a much more accelerated time frame than the years since have caused me to erroneously believe.

160. Son of a Maui Portagee - September 12, 2009


Also, this isn’t much but an opinion by the Honorable John Zebrowski in the case of Roddenberry versus Roddenberry,


“”In Norway’s contract with the Star Trek 1 production company, the term
“profit participation” captioned a section defining Norway’s rights to profits from
syndications. The contract provided that Star Trek 1 had to repay a large and growing production cost deficit before any syndication profits would be payable to Norway.””

which indicates the show amassed a growing production deficit of around $5 million dollars before syndication.

It’s not direct evidence but it is consistent with the part of my recollection that the production owed NBC.

161. Go Spock! - September 13, 2009

Happy 43rd Birthday, Star Trek!

162. Hat Rick - September 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Star Trek!

43 is the new 23. :)

163. Dovile - September 14, 2009

Long live Star Trek !!!

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