Thursday, September 07, 2006

Friday, September 8th, is the 40th anniversary of the first television broadcast of Star Trek (The Original Series). I don't think anyone could have imagined it would start a cultural phenomenon that would still be going strong four decades later (even if Paramount has spent the last decade trying to kill it with inferior film and television sequels). Not those who were involved in its making or those sitting at home watching that first episode on a Thursday evening in 1966.

I grew up in a post-TOS world. I don't remember exactly when I saw Trek for the first time, but it was in the mid-to-late 1970s when it was re-broadcast in syndication and I was probably between seven to nine years old. I'm in the second wave of Trek fans, or those who weren't around when it was first broadcast, but who became fans during its syndication in the 1970s before any films were made and well before there were any next generations. I've seen every episode of TOS and each of the TOS-based films multiple times, something which can't be said for any of the later Trek shows.

I have the entire first season of TOS on DVD. I also have a list of when each episode was originally broadcast. I'm going to celebrate the 40th anniversary by re-watching the first season in the exact order the episodes were broadcast and on the anniversary of each broadcast (barring unforeseen circumstances). As much as it's practical for my schedule, I plan on starting each viewing at 8:30pm, which was the show's start time during its first season.

So on Friday evening at 8:30pm, I'll be watching "The Man Trap", the fifth episode to be produced (ignoring the original 1964 pilot episode) but the first to be broadcast, and trying to imagine what it was like to hear "space, the final frontier..." for the first time 40 years ago.