Yesterday, September 8th was the 53rd Anniversary of Star Trek, and aren’t we lucky to have had this happyplace in our lives? Wishing Happy Anniversary to the surviving cast of The Original Series, William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei and Walter Koenig, and happy memories of our beloved other cast members, Leonard Nimoy, Deforest Kelley, James Doohan, Majel Barret, Grace Lee Whitney, and of course the creator, Gene Roddenberry. The dream of a better future lives on with Star Trek in all of it’s incarnations! May its vision of a peaceful and caring society truly live long and prosper!
One thing I loved about the original series is that even though not all characters had equal time, there were countless little moments where we’d see the human (or otherwise) nature of characters that would give us a peek into their personalities. Little quirks anyone could understand. In honor of 53 years of Star Trek, here are 53 moments of my favorite TOS episodes, 🙂
Also, more coverage of my visit to TreKonderoga in August coming this week!
Vina gets her wish in The Cage
“Jim.” A sad second of helplessness from Gary Mitchell.
“I can hear it too!”
Uhura bored at a meeting in Corbomite Manuever
Spock nearly apoligizing to Kirk in Corbomite Manuever
Christine hears Corby for the first time in years
Eve tells Ben Childress what to do with his pots and pans
And he does.
Spock grins while playing his harp.
Uhura sings the charms of Spock
Riley in full cowboy mode
Spock collapses against door
Spock’s first mind-meld.
Jim’s beautiful eyes.
RUk lifts Kirk like a baby.
Sulu casually says ‘No’ to Trelane’s food.
Uhura does NOT like Trelane’s
“They are as high above us as we are above the ameoba.”
McCoy and his fantasy showgirls
“With all due respect to the young lady…”
“You’re holding a knife at your physcian’s throat.
Marla entranced by Kahn
‘WE offered the world ORDER!”
“You couldn’t pronounce it”
Kirk misty-eyed after Edith’s kiss.
McCoy gently giggles with Edith.
“Athena! You were right!”
Evil Spock’s first appearance.
Jim reminding Marlena how a lover should kiss.
“Why are you monitoring my communications Mr. Sulu?”
Today should always be a holiday for Trek fans everywhere! On this day, September 8, 1966, Star Trek premiered on NBC. I doubt anyone then thought it would become a milestone in modern science fiction, and glancing at some of these reviews you could see a sense of doubt. But aren’t we lucky that it got on the air after all? To my knowledge, Star Trek was the only network TV series that got twopilots made!
Unfortunately, the original episodes were not shown in shooting order, but rather the first episode the network preferred, which was The Man Trap. (even the artwork for its premiere featured Where No Man has Gone Before!). Man Trap was a good episode, but not the best offering for a show that was attempting to be seen as serious. Although the Salt Vampire was seen sympathetically, she was still, alas, a monster, and some early critics saw little potential beyond that, probably laughing it off as another kiddie sci-fi like Lost in Space. Bit other critics saw potential, and I think if the original Trek wasn’t shoehorned into a cemetery-shift time-slot by its 3rd and final season, it might have made it to a full 5-year journey.
There’s a part of me that would have loved to see the original Trek progress into 5 seasons (up to 1971) but somehow, I think without Roddenberry as the main producer (Fred Freiberger took over in season 3) I suspect it may have gotten worse. Freiberber preferred action over deeper philosophical themes. In a way, we were lucky it ended in 1969, for I doubt it would become the timeless phenomenon it became in the decade long gap between TOS and the first movie.
It was syndication that brought it more to the masses, nation and world-wide, and when more people saw it then, NBC realized what a treasure it cast away. Fortunately for us, we can say the catchphrase which started in the ’70’s with ferocious pride: “Star Trek Lives!”
I was just watching the marvelous To Kill a Mockingbird recently, such a beautiful film, and one of my forever favorites. Gregory Peck as Atticus is one of my all time heroes, and the entire movie was perfectly cast.
For those of you unfamiliar with it, To Kill a Mockingbird recalls the tale of young Scout Finch (Mary Badham) growing up in Alabama during the Depression, her father Atticus is a trial lawyer. When Atticus is called upon to defend a black man accused of rape, we see the tale unfold through Scout’s eyes. It’s a tale of prejudice and suspicion, but also a tale of the simple wonders of childhood, and how Scout learns compassion and tolerance. I cannot recommend it enough. (And as for the new prequel, Go Set a Watchman –– at first I was eager to read it, but now not so much as Atticus has been recast late in his life as a bigot…Can’t bring myself to read it–Yet.)
Anyway, it may seem trivial to point all the actors here who also appeared on Star Trek, but it just goes to show how caring the casting directors of Trek took great care to hire the best character actors. Enjoy.
First of all, Atticus’ friend and Sheriff of the town, Heck Tate, is played by Frank Overton, who TOS fans recognize as Elias Sandoval from This Side of Paradise:
Frank Overton as Heck Tate and Elias Sandoval
Scout’s summertime friend Dill Harris is played by a tiny John Megna, who would grow quite a bit a mere three years later to play the nasty ‘Bonk Bonk!” boy in Miri:
John Megna as little Dill, and as the “Bonk, Bonk!” boy in ‘Miri’
The father of the mysterious neighbor Boo Radley is played by veteran actor Richard Hall, who was also Goro in The Paradise Syndrome.
Richard Hall as Mr. Radley and as Goro
At the trial, Judge Taylor is Paul Fix, who’d be Dr. Mark Piper in Where No Man Has Gone Before.
Paul Fix as the Judge and as Dr. Piper.
Atticus’ opponent, Prosecutor Mr. Gilmer is played perfectly by the versatile William Windom, who cemented his Trek fame as Commodore Decker in The Doomsday Machine.
William Windom as Prosecutor Gilmore and as Commodore Matt Decker.
And finally, although he wasn’t in the original series, the poor defendant, Tom Robinson, is played with heartbreaking anguish by Brock Peters. Peters would later have prominent roles in Star Trek IV (Voyage Home) and Star Trek VI (Undiscovered Country) as Admiral Cartwright and in Star Trek Deep Space Nine as Joseph Sisko, the father of Commander Sisko 🙂
Brock Peters as Tom Robinson, Admiral Cartwright, and as Joseph Sisko.
Yesterday , January 8th, would have been Elvis’ Birthday — in that spirit, here’s a couple of videos showing the Elvis/Star Trek connection! (Well, some of the Elvis movies and Star Trek were both made by Paramount, so that’s not too surprising!) I always thought Kirk was the Elvis of the Galaxy!
I wasn’t going to post anything new until Monday, but just came across this!!! Squeee! Here’s the Japanese version of the preview for the new movie Star Trek Into Darkness coming in May! I ‘m posting the Japanese version because it has a touch more footage, most notably it appears Spock’s hand giving the Vulcan salute through glass to… someone ( reference to “The Wrath of Khan?”)
The plot of this one seems to be someone evil planning vengeance against Kirk and crew, just a matter of speculating who this bad guy is. A lot have suggested that it’s Khan, but after closer examination, I think it’s Gary Mitchell from Where No Man Has Gone Before, which is an exciting prospect to me because I always felt bad that Mitchell had to die in the original. Another hint? The pretty blond crew-member looks like Dr. Elizabeth Dehner from that original pilot. ( I thought it might have been Yeoman Rand at first, but she’s wearing science blue!)
Oh man, I can’t wait! Questions? Comments? Let us speculate!