Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Stan Greene
Observer Staff Writer 

Star Trek at 50: TV's First Sci Fi Franchise Premiered Sept. 8th, 1966

The TV series has lived long and prospered, even into the present time.


September 9, 2016

The original cast. Shatner is still around, but Nimoy, Bones and Scotty have all gone to their galactic reward.

If you are as much of a geek as I am, chances are you already know that today is the 50th anniversary of the date Star Trek burst onto the small screen. People had just started getting color TV's, and suddenly there was this amazing green alien who seemed a lot like the rabbi at my schul. Well, as NBC says, the series lived long and prospered, even featuring TV's first interracial kiss.

The show, which followed the exploits of a 23rd century crew of interstellar explorers (working for the fictional United Federation of Planets, or "Federation"), distinguished itself with its intricate plotlines that often featured prescient social commentary, and its colorful cast of characters including the logical half-human Spock, the compassionate Dr. "Bones" McCoy and the purely passionate Captain James T. Kirk.

Since The Original Series (called TOS by fans) was pulled in 1969, fans lobbied Paramount Studios for a sequel. In 1987, Star Trek the Next Generation aired. It's often called TNG, and stars Patrick Stewart as Captain Pickard.

Deep Space Nine followed, as did a series called Star Trek Voyager, and another called Star Trek Enterprise, the only other Star Trek series to be cancelled in less than 5 seasons.

Fans have projected all sorts of sociopolitical meanings onto "Star Trek" in the decades since it first aired.

Chris Pine in Star Trek beyond, plays iconic Captain Kirk

Citing the importance of Vasquez Rocks, Steve Lopez writes: "Star Trek" fans can recall Kirk staring in confused wonder as one of the loves of his life, Ruth, inexplicably emerges among the rocks on planet Omicron Delta, ostensibly many light years from Earth, in "Shore Leave." In the same episode, Kirk engages in a rough-and-tumble brawl around the rocks' distinctive angles and crevasses with a trouble-making upperclassman who used to taunt him at Star Fleet Academy.

And then of course, there was the Gorn. Lately he has appeared with Bill Shatner on YouTube, both of them watching TV while enjoying a bowl of chips together. I'd like to tell you she misses Nimoy but I know it's not true.

I did notice that in addition to giving likes and hearts out on Facebook today, you also could give an item Shatner's live long and prosper her and gesture, which she borrowed from the Rabbi at his show. Not making this up. It's the Priestly Blessing on high holidays and that's where Nimoy himself says he got the Vulcan hand gesture.

" when I was in law school my career was to be a legal affairs specialist for Starfleet" tweeted Greg Richardson.


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