It was 46 years ago this evening that NBC aired the first episode of a new kind of science fiction series. This new "Star Trek" was to be a serious show with a bigger budget and adult approach to drama. Creator Gene Roddenberry had a vision, and in 2012 that dream still lives on. So tonight TrekMovie remembers how it all started and takes a look back at some videos from the beginning of Star Trek.
46 years ago – don’t miss Star Trek…in color!
After making not one but two pilots for the show, Gene Roddenberry finally convinced NBC to pick up his "wagon train to the stars" sci-fi series. Roddenberry was convinced a serious sci-fi show could be done for adults in prime time and he convinced NBC too, after retooling to add a bit more action, adventure and of course…COLOR! Here is an NBC promo for the series.
The show premiered on Thursday September 8th. NBC decided not to run the pilot ("Where No Man Has Gone Before") first and instead picked the eighth episode produced as it was more of a traditional feeling space adventure, including a space monster! Here is NBC’s preview for "The Man Trap"
The show began facing skepticism. In a negative review Variety predicted the show "won’t work," call it "dreary and confusing." TV Guide agreed, saying that "the sky’s not the limit for this Trek." However it caught on, especially with younger fans and it was picked up for a second season. The show eventually struggled with the ratings, especially for a series that was so expensive, but a fan campaign helped get it picked up for a third and final season.
Star Trek lives!
Of course the original Star Trek series was just the beginning of what has become a pop culture phenomenon and a franchise with four additional series bringing 25 seasons of live action television and spawning eleven feature films, with another due in 2013. Terms like "live long and prosper," "beam me up," "warp factor," and "boldly go" are known around the world as part of this expansive universe of Trek.
Today also seems like an appropriate time to repost a fantastic video by our friend Paul "Spockboy" Sibbald, called "Star Trek Torch." The video honors the original series and the passing of the torch to the new Star Trek. Recently Paul told me that Leonard Nimoy himself sent him a compliment on it.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY STAR TREK!