Saturday, September 9, 2006

Star Trek: the 40th Anniversary

Forty years ago this month, Star Trek premiered on TV. I don't know if I was watching when the first episode aired on September 8, 1966, but if not, it wasn't long thereafter, and I've been a fan ever since.

Gene Roddenberry gave us an optimistic future; where poverty and hunger had been conquered, where everyone had equal opportunities, and where humans had united as a species to explore the limitless universe. Within the boundaries that the network set for him (he'd orignally planned on a female first officer), Star Trek gave us something to look forward to in the future.

Though the original Trek looks cheesy now compared to current TV technology, some of the fictional technology from the show has come to pass. Laser surgery is a reality and our cell phones look amazingly like Kirk's handheld communicator, to give two examples.

I was attracted to Star Trek as a kid because I was interested in the space program, avidly watching every Gemini launch on TV. And, naturally, Kirk conquering the "alien woman of the week" on each show, was quite inspiring for the budding libertine I was soon to be! Star Trek had it all -- science and sexy woman. What more could anyone want?

After the show ended, I watched it in reruns for ten years, until the first movie in 1979. After seeing subsequent movies, I was happy when Star Trek: the Next Generation premiered in 1987, and even happier when Deep Space Nine came along in 1993. To this day DS9 remains my favorite of the Treks. I also enjoyed Voyager (Seven of Nine!) and Enterprise, and was unhappy when Enterprise was cancelled before making its full run. Most of my life has had Star Trek in it in some form; I can only hope that a new Trek show will soon be seen on the airwaves.


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