On Sept. 8, 1966, the Starship Enterprise began it’s mission “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
Now, 42 years, 10 movies, 5 TV spinoffs and one remastered edition of the original series (above) later, the franchise is still technically alive even with the recent closing of Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas. In fact, it’s about to get a hypospray in the arm with J.J. Abrams’ summer 2009 reboot, simply titled Star Trek, and an MMOPRG called Star Trek Online.
As a child, I was obsessed with The Original Series in weekend reruns, and always was frustrated when the three seasons’ worth of episodes ran out and it started over from the beginning. Then, of course, I discovered the wonders of tie-in novels, and that kept me busy (and led to untold success in vocabulary and spelling) until Star Trek: The Next Generation came out in 1987.
I was never one for the rancor between TOS and TNG fans; for me, there was room enough in this universe for everyone — and that was the message of Star Trek. When Deep Space Nine came a few years later, I enjoyed seeing much of Gene Roddenberry’s original themes of peace and exploration turned on their head for a while with the religious strife between the Federation and the Bajorans and the ultra-violent Dominion War.
Star Trek: Voyager took a while to grab my interest, though I watched it all and its grand finale remains one of my favorite Trek moments of all time — but I’m only truly beginning to appreciate the series on SpikeTV reruns. And the prequel Enterprise had a compelling cast and interesting glimpses into the franchise’s past, but just wasn’t meant to be. Perhaps it was too far removed from the time-space continuum of mainstream Trek.
Credit where credit is due: If it weren’t for a really interesting read over at Wired’s Underwire blog, I wouldn’t have realized the significance of the date.