Thursday, September 8, 2016

Star Trek Premiered on NBC 50 Years Ago Today

I'm old enough to have remembered Star Trek first airing but I must have missed it. Maybe my parents saw the trailer on CTV for the opening episode, "The Man Trap", and its great and scary monster, and made the decision to make sure I missed it.

The charade had to last but a few weeks: In October we left for West Germany, and I don't remember ZDF, ARD, or the French channels, running the program. (However, I did watch the telefantasy series' Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Invaders, and The Prisoner on French television. I've since learned that the French like 'spacey' stuff.)

Trivia: CTV (Canadian Television) actually opened the series two days before NBC, on September 6, 1966, effectively the "world premiere".

I first saw Star Trek in June of 1970. My British cousins were watching it on BBC2 -- in colour -- and I joined them in silence while visiting. (I remember the episode being "A Taste of Armageddon"; it has a strong visual identity, like so many of its fellow eps, which makes for easy identification later on.)

Back here in Canada, CTV's flagship station, CFTO, began its long run of "stripping" Star Trek. In September of 1970 a regular Monday to Friday at 5 p.m. screening schedule started the magic for many of us. What is this exciting, striking, beautiful, and colourful show?, I must have pondered at the beginning as I got lost in Trek's vortex. This was a communal experience for many viewers, for in the syndication market it was a true "water cooler", certainly "water fountain", show.

Maybe I'll actually get Star Trek on home-vid someday. A good friend of mine was surprised recently to learn that I don't have the series stored in any form: "You don't even have it as downloads?"; to which I responded with, "I don't like it that much!" (so I claimed).

How many dramatic television programs are, or will be, remembered fifty years after they hit the airwaves?

A book from my youth:


Tibor said...

Your powers of memory frighten I may or may not have mentioned. ;)

Simon St. Laurent said...

Call me "Memory Alpha".

Thanks! I endeavour to be accurate.