On this day in History September 8th 1966 men would go where no men had dared go before... Star Trek, the original series had its network television debut. It would go on to become a cultural phenomenon and would launch, not just the NCC 1701, but a plethora of other series, movies, theme park type "experiences" and conventions the world over. It is difficult to calculate which show has had more influence on our society today, Start Trek or Star Wars.
While it was Gene Roddenberry whose vision and drive it was to take the show to the masses, it was a less known but just as important part of Star Treks' "beginnings" that would give the show some of its core beliefs, and technology. That person was a man by the name of Wesley H. Bateman. It was Wes' "Knowledge from the Stars" book and his lectures that Both Gene Roddenberry and Gene Coon would attend at the Mind Centre in Los Angeles in the early 60s. Concepts such as the Federation, and Prime Directive were all just a small part of the influence Wes had on both Gene's and indeed the series overall. Gene Roddenberry would thank Wes and his Daughter Deanna when he created the Star Trek: The Next Generation series in the 80s. The boy genius and counselor Troi were both named in order to thank Wes for his insight and assistant in the early years.
Interestingly, Lost in Space started a year earlier but it became so campy after the 1st season.. I only saw one episode of the first Star Trek season while visiting an aunt. Our local station was NBC/ABC combined so many shows did not air or aired at special times and did not catch the second until we moved. By then we had a color TV too!
I was born in 1968 so I missed the original air date but I watched the reruns on either channel 5 or channel 9 in the mid to late 1970's. We had channels 2,4,5,7,9,11 and 13. The TV was a piece of furniture back then and you could actually get it fixed when it broke. My favorite episodes? Balance of Terror and the Planet Killer.
I was born in 67 and was also too young to remember the first episodes. Also, in England, we only had 3 tv stations, even up into the 1980s. BBC 1, BBC 2, and ITV. You paid your T Licence to the BBC which was non-commercial. Then if you wanted to see something other than BBC programming, you would have to endure the commercials over at ITV. It wasn't until the mid 80s that Channel 4 was launched and then shortly thereafter, SKY TV which was the first satellite TVs. Needless to say, I have caught up on all episodes of the original TV series (I now have them on Blu Ray as well as all others. I have not watched the latest Star Trek Discovery, not just because it is only shown on CBS pay TV but I think there is way too much liberal political crap that has been built into the show. It has also been licensed and sub licensed which again leave the Kiingons looking different once again. Its a licensing mess. Oh well. The death of Star Trek? Who knows. We shall see. I do know that Gene and Wes both would not have been happy about the direction. Go figure.
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