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This Day in History, 1966: Star Trek premieres

Thirty-nine years ago today, the original Star Trek series debuted on NBC. Although it ran for only three years and never placed better than No. 52 in the ratings, Gene Roddenberry's series became a cult classic and spawned five other television series, ten movies, and numerous novels, comic books, and short stories.

Anyone wish to share their memories of their first exposure to the series? I honestly can't remember which episode I saw first, although I know I didn't see the show until it was being syndicated in reruns, as I was born after it had already been cancelled. I do remember that my older brother was watching it before I was, and one of my older half-brothers watched it on NBC and remembers the unprecedented announcement at the end of second season, when NBC told the viewers that the show had been renewed and asked everyone to stop sending letters.

Probably the oddest early memory I have about the show is this. My mother was reading aloud from a book about cars to my younger brother and me. As she was reading, she remembered that my older brother would want to know that Star Trek was on. So she shouted, "Beep beep! Honk honk! Star Trek!" We laughed for hours.

Maybe you had to be there.


The episode you describe sounds like either "Charlie X" or "And the Children Shall Lead."

Ah, college! My freshman year, I managed to get a color TV very cheaply, and every evening, my roommates and I would gather around the TV for Star Trek. It was the one thing we really bonded over.

TNG started for me when I was in college, and I watched the first few episodes and wasn't too impressed with it. And, being in college, I had a lot of other stuff to worry about. Then, one day, I was back at home and saw that TNG was on. Since I liked science fiction, I figured I would try it again. The episode was "Yesterday's Enterprise." It blew me away and had me scrambling to catch up with the show.

Since then, I have seen every hour of Star Trek broadcast on TV. Even all the crappy episodes. My favorite series of them all is DS9.
That sounds like The Child, the first episode of the second season, which was the first episode of TNG that I ever saw, too.

I honestly have no idea when I first saw Star Trek. I was born in 1969, and Star Trek has just always existed for me. I'm pretty sure I've seen every episode of the original series, TNG, DS9, and Voyager, but I admit I sort of lost interest in Enterprise and I've only seen maybe half the episodes of that series.
I really don't have a first memory of Star Trek, because it just sort of...was. I was born in 1969, and my dad was an SF fan, so I was propped up in front of repeats (and other SF fare) long before I could form cogent memories of it.

Probably the first time I met a real die-hard fan was in high school, where one of the popular girls somehow managed to remain popular even though she came to school dressed as Spock every Halloween. She adored Spock in a way that I'd never seen before. (Having gotten into fandom since then, it doesn't seem so unusual to me anymore!)
I first met Star Trek when I was in college, must have been 1969-71. It came on just after dinner, and there was always a rush from the dining room to the television in the common room.

What struck me about it was how old-fashioned it was (both in looks and in plotlines): for a while I was convinced that it must be a re-run of some 1950s serial I'd missed. Now I just think that film/tv SF always lags behind the written variety.
Though I'm old enough to have seen it first-run, I probably didn't see TOS until it hit syndication, since I don't remember it before I was 5. It was on during the dinner hour. We had two TVs--one downstairs for the kids, and one it the kitchen. My brother would often send me up when our parents called us for dinner as a delay tactic. Or we would rush downstairs after dinner. Thus, I've seen quite a few beginnings and endings of TOS, but few whole episodes.

I have watched at least parts of every Trek form on TV, including the cartoon, and seen at least some of all the movies, and read a goodly portion of the 'log' books. But I'm not a trekkie, really.

My first ST

Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, on an 8mm projector at the Fresh Meadows branch of the NYPL in the late '70's. I don't think any of us knew what a VCR was at the time.

Re: My first ST

They showed it at a library, on film? I wonder how that happened.
When I was little, my dad would sometimes wake me up in the middle of the night and say, "Come on, I want to show you something wonderful." He would lead me to the end of the block in my nightgown and we would see fireworks in the night sky.

One Saturday night, he came and said, "Come on, I want to show you something wonderful." He took me downstairs, but instead of leading me out the door, he sat me down in front of the television, and I saw my first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. And it was wonderful indeed.
I hate to ask this...but does that mean that you saw TNG before you ever saw an episode of the original series?
Man, I saw the entire run of TNG and half of DS9 before I ever saw an ep of TOS. Remember, you were all horrified when I told you? I still haven't seen most of the original series. I think that's probably next after Sam indoctrinates me in the joys of Red Dwarf and Dr. Who.
I had forgotten...
What, repressed the horror? :)
I was 9 that year, and, oddly...I didn't like it.

I liked Lost in Space and Time Tunnel and all the Irwin Allen crap, but I watched an episode or two of Star Trek and...I didn't get it.

In 1973, I was working at a Zayre (kind of a smaller forerunner of Wal*MART) in the snack bar. The book racks were right next to the snack bar, and we were allowed to read the books. I picked up Stephen Whitfield's The Making of Star Trek, read the book, started watching the reruns and was completely hooked.
mabfan, like you, I was born during the early syndication period of the original Trek. My oldest memory of any sort is of watching the show with my dad and being creeped out by the Talosians ("The Menagerie") and the pulsing veins in their heads. I'm not sure whether this dates to age two, three, one and a half, or what. This was definitely before my sister was born (in 1973) though.

I never bought into this "hiding behind the couch" business with Doctor Who, but if our couch hadn't been against the wall, I'd have been there during this Star Trek story.

I also remember watching things like UFO, Captain Scarlet and the Planet of the Apes TV series with him over the next couple of years after that.

I vividly remember watching the Animated Series from its premiere, and became regularly annoyed over the past couple of decades as Roddenberry tried to act like it didn't exist and as Paramount has ignored it with all of their DVD releases. I mean, any episode of the Animated Series beats Voyager hands-down, and I'd gladly buy the TAS DVD set! Besides, how would TNG, DS9 and Voyager have survived without an invention of TAS - The Holodeck?

The Next Generation premiered as I began my first full-time fall semester at university. (Okay, so I was already a sophomore in standing and both majors at this point, and hadn't quite reached my 18th birthday yet, but I digress.) It holds a special place in my life mainly for something else it ended up being responsible for: evolving the relationship with my wife from just being friends to where we are today. She was still a senior in high school when the show premiered, and her mother tended to fall asleep in front of college sporting events on the one television they had in the hour prior to the show airing, so the only way she could see it was to watch it with me. (Often, it was my second-go, as she wouldn't get there until sometime after the episode aired, and we'd watch my Beta videos.) We became even closer friends at this point, and by the time second season rolled around and she moved away to a college a hundred miles away, it had involved into dating.

Nowadays, when we watch TNG or any of the later Treks, it tends to become a bit of a gigglefest. Anytime Data or Geordi (or anyone similar) opens their mouth with some technobabble, I laugh at the horrid physics. Every time Dr. Crusher (or anyone similar) opens their mouth with a medical or biological opinion, *she* laughs at how horrid it is.
You first memory of all is of Star Trek? Even I'm not that much of a nerd. I imagine in your case, it explains a lot... :-)

I will admit that a common interest in Star Trek and science fiction was one of the things that brought gnomi and me together. Early on in our relationship, I suggested we go to see the movie Star Trek VI on opening weekend, and I was delighted that she agreed.
Heh. My first girlfriend once came into my dorm room with a big smile saying "Guess where I'm taking you for your birthday?". Answer was a first day showing of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

On the other hand, we broke up about a week after that. I'm pretty sure the movie wasn't the cause though. :-)
Trek has been around for me in syndication basically since I was old enough to watch the TV. It was good TV. Still is, really, even with the shlock. Doctor Who still beats it all to hell in my opinion, though, and always has, even if it lagged in the special effects. Good plot and acting is a hard combo to beat.

December 2016

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