Happy Birthday, Star Trek!

“Space…the final frontier….”

These are the voyages where the legend began, 55 years ago tonight!

I’ve mentioned this before (about a zillion times), but my earliest memories include Star Trek to some degree. I wasn’t old enough to watch the show during its original broadcast run, but I watched the reruns every day after school. Beyond that, I had the Mego figures and that crazy bridge set. I built the AMT models, and I read the occasional Gold Key comic book or poster book or collection of James Blish episode adaptations.

All of that was just filler of course. Anchoring all of that were the reruns. Always, the reruns.

Back in those far off days of Yesteryear which was the setting for my childhood, you had to wait for your favorite episodes to cycle back around in the rotation on one of your local TV stations. I watched the series on a little black and white television and its crappy little antenna as the show was broadcast on a low-power local UHF channel in Tampa. Depending on the time of day and prevailing weather conditions, I might not always get a decent picture. If I was out in the boonies somewhere–like my aunt’s house–I might have to fiddle with the antenna throughout the episode, and as often as not I might be forced to choose between having a picture or having sound.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that today also marks the 48th anniversary of the animated Star Trek series, which premiered on NBC on this date in 1973. I did catch (most of) those episodes during their initial run, and the show helped to spark a lot of the Trek-related toys and other merchandise which came out in the mid 1970s, like those aforementioned Mego action figures.

Today, of course, I have Star Trek literally at my fingertips: Blu-rays on the shelf or episodes streaming over the internet, and I even have my favorite episodes stored on my phone. Then there are the books (Fun fact: I’ve written a few of those, in case you were wondering), comics, role-playing games, computer games, toys, models, websites, and pretty much anything you’d care to name. Star Trek is everywhere. Hold up a picture of the original Enterprise or Kirk and Spock, and most people will know what you’re talking about.

Meanwhile, fate and circumstances have seen to it that I’m able to continue contributing — albeit in a very small way — to this vast, ever-expanding universe that Gene Roddenberry gave us back in 1966. It is the very definition of a “dream job.” I doubt I’ll ever have another job that’s as rewarding and just plain fun as what I’m currently privileged to do, and I never allow myself to take that for granted. Ever. My only regret is that I didn’t figure this out years and years ago.

Speaking of years? Star Trek looks pretty dapper for 55. Enjoy your cake, everybody.

5 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Star Trek!

  1. Happy Star Trek Day, sir! I was on the periphery of Trek until about 10 years ago when someone finally activated my genre chip, and Regie and I went to Dragon Con (our first con). Prior to that, I watched TOS here and there in syndication (I was 5 when it premiered), went to see the movies, watched TNG, was in the room for Voyager and Enterprise but didn’t really pay attention, etc. But I’m so glad to be here now, catching up on what I missed, expanding the universe with help of you and your wordsmithing colleagues, and landing a dream gig, writing for Daily Star Trek News.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If they licensed that Blish book artwork for a tee-shirt, they could take my quatloos right fast. Again, not telling you to plant a bug in Paramount/CBS/Viacom’s ear, just saying…

    To slightly tweak Armin Shimerman’s deathless line from TNG “Haven,” “The momentous day is… at hand Rejoice!” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Yes. Yes, it had been so long ago, I had forgotten.” I was 6 going on 7 and was already an avid Sci-fi reader. The series was right up my alley, and I still remember being frightened as Kirk fought the Gore. I watched everything that I could, though family and career often resulted in episodes being skipped. Fifty-five and still going strong. Here’s to the next 50!

    Liked by 1 person

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