On September 8, 1966, “Star Trek” debuted on NBC. Produced by Desilu Studios, the series was given the green light not once, but twice, by the head of Desilu at the time, Lucille Ball. Each year, September 8 is designated as “Star Trek Day”.
I first discovered Star Trek in reruns in the late 1970s courtesy of CKWS out of Kingston, Ontario. I used to watch it each afternoon from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM. The antenna had to be turned, and during the ending credits I had to turn the antenna back the other direction so my Dad could watch the evening news during supper. With the right atmospheric conditions, I could vividly enjoy Star Trek from the Canadian station on the Zenith color television surrounded by a good sized wood cabinet. Turn it on early, it took a minute or two to warm up.
Of course, I have enjoyed Star Trek since discovering it in the late 1970s. Earl and I were just talking about which movies I saw on opening night, and which I waited until they were available on television or VCR tape. My first Star Trek movie on opening night was “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier”, in Acton, Mass. I remember audibly gasping when the Enterprise-A whisks by in a typical “beauty shot”, but with less-than-stellar special effects now well known to that particular movie. A guy next to me said, in his best Boston accent, “I know, right?”
The most important thing about Star Trek to me is the hope it provides for humanity. The “classic” spin of the series up through Star Trek: Voyager shows us a future where humans are most interested in exploration and scientific discovery. We’ve moved beyond money and greed and the humans of the 23rd and 24th century work more toward a common good for the entire Universe.
It’s a lovely thing to strive for.
I’ve been distracting myself from the 21st century this year by watching more Star Trek and chatting with other fans of the franchise. I am a verified member of Starfleet and I like to think that the needs of the many outweighs the needs of the few, or the one.
So happy Star Trek day! Live Long and Prosper. Enjoy this experience we call life, and all it has to offer with Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.