On this day half a century ago we joined millions of other kids across the nation and tuned in to an exciting new television show focusing on the exploits of a diverse crew of futuristic space voyagers – all incredibly buff, the women wonderfully mini-skirted, and one dude with these pointy ears.
Any kid worth his or her dogeared copy of Robert Heinlein or Isaac Asimov stories was in heaven, the Starship Enterprise taking us to strange planets we knew in our young hearts were out there – waiting to be discovered.
And, it being Hollywood and all, Star Trek wasn’t all space exploration, with its creators throwing in plenty of skin and veiled references to current culture to keep our bright little minds engaged and our tweener libidos throbbing.
It must have been warm on the Enterprise because all the women ran around in skimpy outfits that left us wondering where they kept their phasers – and how Yeoman Rand spent her off-duty time. During the course of an episode Capt. Kirk could be counted on to remove his shirt, Scotty would be called on to work his magic in the ship’s engine room, “Bones” would have to save an alien creature in sick bay and Spock, wonderful Spock, would lift his eyebrows like a bascule bridge and utter some profound Vulcan nonsense that left us gasping.
Loved the show, particularly the early episodes, which kept to a interesting, science-based story line. We drifted away as it became more cartoonish, a shirtless Kirk battling a rubber-suited Gorn on a planet laden with just the right chemical elements for Kirk to find and build a mini-howitzer to finish off the snarling, drippy alien. How he found that bamboo on a desert planet we’ll never know but that was part of the magic.
Of course most of those kids who tuned in that day are grown up now, their interest in Star Trek and the show’s impact on them profound as snotty-nosed nerds in Coke-bottle glasses grew up to run NASA and stuff – naming their favorite space hardware after their favorite 60’s TV show.
So here we are, trying to take care of a fragile planet and visiting our moon, Mars, pressing in on Jupiter and out into our galaxy – just like the crew of the Enterprise so many years ago.
“I dannae is she can take any more, Captain!” Loved that man. I always pictured him down in engineering shoveling coal into the ships boilers.
I really dug Uhura and remember the whole shock and awe thing about her kiss with Cap Kirk. But Rand had the tic tac toe hairdo I always wanted.
All the best TV shows were “straight out of the 60s.” I was a little kid, but as I look back, none of the shows were “normal.” That’s what made them so much fun…
Too young for the original series and thought the franchise was kind of hokey but it obviously had a big impact on impressionable minds. Maybe I’ll get into the Pinot and binge watch the old episodes this weekend.
Just a tad ahead of my time! My brother loved that show though. When I see “miniskirts” now I know why!
Related to all things Star Trek, we just watched the new Leonard Nimoy biography, For the Love of Spock (done by his son, who had a strained relationship with the elder Half-Vulcan). Not the best movie as art, but worth a watch for anyone interest in Star Trek and Nimoy’s life.
We were thinking we’d run Shatner’s rendition of “Rocket Man” again for grins! Or his classic SNL “Get a life, willya?!” routine from a “trekkie” convention. That show meant a lot to a lot of people. Live long, and prosper!