STAR TREK'S 50th ANNIVERSARY




It all began with the big one, the USS Enterprise NCC 1701. The dream that became a reality and spread throughout the stars, 50 years ago! Can you believe it?






Captain James T. Kirk's crew became superstars on Thursday, Sept, 8th 1966 at 8.30pm. This was just the beginning of USS Enterprise NCC 1701's five year mission boldly going "where no one has gone before" - The shows 'creator', Gene Roddenberry worked several nights in a row without going home to sleep to make Star Trek a reality.

Here he is with wife Majel Barrett also known to us as  "the computer voice, Nurse Chapel and Lwaxanna Troi."








DIRECTOR JUSTIN LIN




Now, half-century later with five TV Shows and twelve movies under Star Trek's belt, films have grossed a tidy $1.5 billion profit. Right now all eyes are fixed on the new faces and voices of Star Trek, Actor Simon Pegg, Writer Doug Jung and Director Justin Linn. No Pressure! LOL. Trek's 13 movie "Star Trek Beyond" is set for release in U.S. theaters on July 22nd 2016.

Uhura and Sulu running in Star Trek Beyond


Aren't you excited about the official 50th anniversary of Star Trek set for Sept. 22nd 2016?


SUSAN OLIVER, JEFFREY HUNTER AND MAJEL BARRETT



The first actor to play "Captain" of the first "Enterprise" was Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike in "The Cage." Apparently, Pikes illustrious career was cut short after heavy delta-particle radiation withered the captain who ended up in a life support wheelchair. (In reality the actor Jeffrey Hunter hung up his space boots in 1965.) In a fantastic twist "The Cage" wasn't aired as a complete feature until 1988. Two decades later, it takes a writers strike during Star Trek The Next Generation to get it on the air.



The first man to star as "Captain" of the "Enterprise" was William Shatner. In 1966, Shatner gained worldwide fame when Captain James T. Kirk gets real cozy and personal in "The Man Trap." The show's "Salt Vampire" was broadcast on the 8th Sept, 1966 and is regarded by fans as scary. The shows official pilot, "Where No Man has Gone Before" eventually aired as a third epic on 22nd Sept, 1966 after much procrastination by studio executives.

Some say Star Trek wasn't really ready to beam across the galaxy which explains the confused stardates. In any case, we'll soon be celebrating Star Trek's 50th anniversary - The legendary cultural icon, William Shatner has to date starred in 79 Star Trek TV episodes alongside his co-stars in seven movies roaming the galaxy until 1969/1994. Will there be one more adventure?






Star Trek's first lady, actress Nichelle Nichols is the USS Enterprise NCC 1701's Communications Officer celebrated for opening up our hailing frequencies. In her role as Uhura, Nichols is famously kissed by actor William Shatner (James Kirk) in Star Trek's episode, "Platos Stepchildren" on 22nd November, 1968.




The kiss made major headlines and broke down barriers. Trekkies watching this at the time were thinking, - Oh I see, well now would you look at that! I'll have to try this out, - lol. At the time a white dude kissing a black gal (on American television) was unheard of but not anymore!

Star Trek made kissing cool!

Nichelle Nichols met her greatest fan Dr Martin Luther King in the 60's. Heres what he said to her,




KING, "Don't you understand what this man [Gene Roddenberry] has achieved for the first time we are being seen the world over as we should be seen. He said, "Do you understand that this is the only show that my wife Coretta and I will allow our little children to stay up and watch." I was speechless.

KING: "You have been chosen."



"In 1969 Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon, and I think that had a great impact on Star Trek reruns," Leonard Nimoy said. "The show began to find a tremendous new audience."



Three years after cancellation NBC admitted it had made a mistake. In 1973, there was a Star Trek revival in animation.



In William Shatner's book, Star Trek Memories, co-star Leonard Nimoy aka Mr Spock began to play on Shatner's mind. Gene Roddenberry responded, "Don't ever fear having good and popular people around you because they can only enhance your own performance." In reality, Nimoy's popularity took off owing in part to the "LLAP" Vulcan Greeting, pointed ears and pure logical reasoning.

Story editor, D.C. Fontana found the Spock character dreamy, Why? because women think being smart is sexy! Spock's fascination with logic gives the show a serious undertone of scientific credibility. Its always a thrill to see the threat to the ship popping up on the bridge views creen after Spocks diagnostic analysis.

BEAM ME UP, SCOTTY!



FILMING WHERE NO-MAN HAS GONE BEFORE
THANKS GEORGE!
Captain James Tiberius Kirk doesn't believe in the no-win scenario, so cheating death and outwitting aliens is all in a days work. Kirk seizes on the moment by deploying superior battle strategies making him the supreme commander and inter-planetary chaser of women.



 STAR TREKS 25TH ANNIVERSARY
TOS vs TNG


In Star Trek's seventh movie "Generations" Captain James T. Kirk goes down fighting on a metal bridge no less, major record scratch...... Seeing our hero pancaked to death rocked the final frontier.  But seriously how could this be happening, right? What happened to the no win scenario, cheating death and all that dying alone stuff? Goodbye Captain Kirk hello Captain Jean Luc Picard.



In 1987 Star Trek TNG replaced legendary Captain James Kirk with upstart Jean Luc Picard played by Patrick Steward. Picard's brand new Galaxy Class starship is bigger, faster and powerful. To spice up the show, Starfleet's finest crew has an empathic female betazoid who can read "feelings" which gives Picard a handy edge in face to face negotiations. New to Star Trek's concept is the android Mr Data who replaced the great vulcan, Mr Spock. Its interesting to note Captain Picard never quite took the personal risks that Captain Kirk faced virtually every day.









Captain Jean Luc Picard played by Patrick Stewart took over Star Trek's next four movies, followed by Chris Pines two reboots of Captain Kirk. In a smart move, J.J. Abrams brought Leonard Nimoy aboard to restore a little Star Trek continuity confidence to the timeline. It was great seeing the great vulcan again but Abrams universe, well you decide! - Is Star Trek's timeline safely restored or twisted out of shape?

J J ABRAMS WITH STARFLEET ENGINEER KEENSER!
WILL KEENSER BE IN THE NEXT MOVIE?

What we got was Star Trek 2009 and Star Trek Into Darkness. Today, Leonard Nimoy absence has left some really big shoes to fill. The good news is Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana and co-stars Karl Urban, Somon Pegg, John Cho and Anton Yelchin have signed for the upcoming 2016 Star Trek Beyond.


CAROL, SPOCK, KIRK AND UHURA







GATES MC FADDEN, WHOOPI GOLDBERG, MARINA SIRTIS
WHATS UP WITH THE UNIFORMS IN THIS PHOTO?
 Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards winner Whoopi Goldberg wanted to make a difference by starring in Star Trek The Next Generation:  "I've been a trekkie from way back. The onlt time you ever saw black people in the future was on Star Trek!"

NAME THAT SPACEBABE!







Star Treks TV shows and movies have wakened the world up with the most diverse beauties, of infinite dimensions. When Kara danced the night away with her vivacious curves wriggling through a thin veil in Star Trek's - Wolf in the FoldTanya Lemani made quite an impression. Its worth knowing trek's Russian beauty began her career as a ballet dancer!





Star Trek girls through the years have included, Alyce Andrece aka ALICE 1, Sherry Jackson aka ANDREA, France Nuyen aka ELAAN, Marianna Hill aka DR.HELEN NOEL, ILIA, Gwynyth Walsh aka B'tor, Denise Crosby aka Natasha Yar, Famke Janssen aka Kamala, Grace Lee Whitney aka Janice Rand, Susie Plakson aka K'ehleyr, Zoe Saldana aka Nyota Uhura, Who's your favorite spacebabe?



When STAR TREK THE ORIGINAL SERIES aired on September 8th 1966, with the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 warping across tv screens, earthers watched in amazement. Aren't you glad to be one of them? The whole concept of Star Trek explored real places where other sci fi shows have indulged in fantasy. Star Trek strikes at the heart of every trekkie and trekker with believable technology and a real universe...... record scratch until Abramsverse came along.  Here are some pretty trektastic reasons to love Star Trek.

Star Trek is still alive!




Leonard Nimoy  stated once that "Gene Roddenberry was known as The Creator." Yet at the core of the show the Creator still relied upon the generous collaboration of talent from people who believed in Star Trek. The Great Bird of the Galaxy said so as much himself and here he is to listen to.






"Yeah thats a kick, I saw them all last week too. Its a miracle for any show to come back."

"What I principally take credit for is, I surrounded myself with a group of very talented, creative individuals, from the art director, to the costume, wardrobe designer, the actors who took my "skeletons" of Spock and "Kirk" and really put flesh on the skeleton and made 'em work... "


Scriptwriter Dorothy "D.C." Fontana was Mr Roddenberry's personal assistant right from the beginning. Over the years D.C. wrote lots of Star Trek scripts with a string of credits to her name.

Gene pitched the seeds of 25 different science fiction adventures to Herb Solow, which later sprang to life in the classic series. The shows stellar lieutenants were Gene Coon, Samuel Peeples and D.C. Fontana who all had a hand in making the dream become a reality.

 There were lots others too like Rick Berman (Executive Producer of TNG, VOY, DS9 and ENT,) Matt Jeffries - Designer of the Starship USS Enterprise NCC 1701,(undergoing renovations at the Smithsonian) who also designed the Klingon Battlecruiser! The man who said YES to Star Trek is rumoured to be Herb Solow. Thanks to everyones involvement Star Trek did indeed spread throughout the stars.

D.C. Fontana has said that Star Treks characters evolved from Gene Roddenberry, Gene Coon, later John Meredyth Lucas, herself, the writers and the actors.

Robert Justman, (TOS associate producer) was good at bouncing ideas off the Big Bird. Justman was a handy sounding board, who made sure actors voices were heard. Hail to Gene Coon Star Trek's Uber Writer Nerd!

Music has also been a major theme in Star Trek. The Music Scores for Star Trek's 12 major movies were written by seven composers over the years. These pure music talents are Michael Giacchino, Jerry Goldsmith, Joel Goldsmith, Dennis McCarthy, Cliff Eidelman, Leonard Rosenman and the recently departed James Horner may he RIP. Alexander Courage wrote the instrumental music score for Star Trek's classic series show. Soprano Loulie Jean Norman provided the vocalization for treks classic theme which was later dropped during the second season.



Herb Solow found out that Norman was entitled under the Screen Writer Guild to receive rerun fees had her vocalization been used in season two and three. In August 2006 CBS remastered Star Trek's original series with all new visual effect and music. The shows opening theme was re-recorded using digital age stereo and better microphones. Greg Smith conducted the orchestra with Soprano's Elin Carlson delightful vocals intensifying the music score. William Shatner's monologue was remastered from the original. No replacing that old space dog, lol.






In the ficticious universe of Science Fiction various guiding Prime Directives have emerged over time. Interfering with the natural development of an alien civilization is forbidden by Star Trek's General Order One. Its like a cardinal sin. Which law is your favorite?

1. Isaac Asimov's - Three Laws of Robotics,
2. Star Trek's - Prime Directive,
3. Futurama - Brannigans Law
4. Planet Krishna - Regulation 368 whose Section 4, subsection 24, paragraph 15.
5. Protoss - Great Stewardship

Today trekkers know Gene Coon's stories gave us the fearsome Klingons. Cracked.com say Star Trek's forgotten Gene gave us the United Federation of Planets, Starfleet Command, The Gorn, Khan, Klingons and Warp drive also!

Scenic Art Supervisor and Techies Michael and Denise Okuda created a lot of TNG's and DS9's control panels, signage, alien written languages, and computer animation. It was a different ballgame in 1987 on because CGI, 3D digital technology was really in its infancy. The majority of live action scenes were created with models and ships.

At the start Star Trek TOS Season 2 Dorothy Fontana chatted with actors . "Tell me what you know about him or her." She wanted to know about hidden nuances. Part of the impact came from the atmosphere of believability. Creations like the Gorn, Salt Vampire, Klingons, Orions and Ruk were taken seriously by fans. Mr Spocks Vulcan LLAP salute and neck pinch delivered extra punch to live action scenes often with significant meaning. Many of the shows characters have fascinating background histories too. Leonard Nimoy was especially proud of Spock's Vulcan heritage and the great script Theodore Sturgeon wrote, titled Amok Time.



Almost every fan knows Majel Barrett legendary ships computer voice. She lives long and prospers in five star trek TV shows and the movies. She played Betazoid Ambassodor Lwaxana Troi, daughter of the fifth house etc in Star Trek, The Next Generation including Deep Space Nine and was brilliant.

 Majel also made a point of appearing at Star Trek conventions. For a historical rundown on Star Trek's Production Staff and the shows characters set your phasers on stun and warp ahead, warp factor 9!





QUIZ: Which Star Trek pilot

When you look up "Enterprise" it translates into "willingness to engage in risky or daring action." Its fascinating Star Trek's "Creator" Gene Roddenberry originally wanted a woman as the No1 First Officer, calling the shots aboard the starship SS Yorktown later renamed the USS Enterprise NCC 1701.

It was gutsy stuff challenging core beliefs during the 1960's. Consider we had the assassination of President JFK, Vietnam and the Civil Right Movement in full swing.

The amazing thing about Star Trek is it helps us explore our humanity with one another and takes an interest in the world as humanists should. Syndication, Books, Merchandising, 5 TV spin offs, Star Trek Conventions, Big Budget Movies, Special appearances at Comic Cons have all thrilled our human imaginations of varied ages, occupations and backgrounds. When conventions became mainstream in January 1972, Gene Roddenberry was the sought after guest of honour.

NAME THAT ALIEN LIFEFORM!


Klingons, Andorians, Tellatitea, Betazoids, Trills and El-Aurians, Ferengis, Talosians, Orions, Tholians, Breen, Bajorians, Dominion, Jem'hadars, Borg, Ocampas, Talaxians, Kazons, Vidians, Hirogen, Vulcans, Cardassians, Romulans, Tribbles have crossed paths with Picard, Kirk, Sisco, Janeway, Archer, Data, Spock, Worf, Dax and Seven of Nine all starred in live action shows. Lots of famous people guest starred on Star Trek. Who are these 16 Aliens?

Unlike the Dark Knight, Superman and Spiderman there really is no straight forward superhero for Star Trek to cape up and save the universe. We've had so many villain wreaking havoc over the years, do you hear the cry of the warrior?





By September 8, 1973, STAR TREK THE ANIMATED SERIES began its trek produced by Gene Roddenberry and directed by Hal Sutherland. In the second episode, D.C. Fontana wrote a moving drama called "Yesteryear" featuring a time portal to Spock's homeworld. Curiously most voice recordings were "mailed in" by Star Trek's original series cast across the country. Though dated by today’s high standards the show's cartoonists elaborated on the animated visuals while remaining faithful to the original starship USS Enterprise NCC 1701 character designs.



In 1977 Star Wars became a smash hit, it was duh! what? for the folks back at Paramount Pictures. Red Alert, Panic Stations! LOL. The big brains "think tank" turned a two hour pilot (probably one of Star Trek's classic rejects) into what we know as Star Trek TMP. For some reason studio executives wanted a Stanley Kubrick type odyssey, slow moving, quiet and meaningful epic. In 1979 we ended up with a barren unhappy V'ger machine, devoid of emotions asking. Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more? A true Star Trek classic.



By 1987 the all new exciting Star Trek TNG outgunned the original USS ENTERPRISE NCC 1701 in writing, acting and special effects with the galaxy class USS ENTERPRISE NCC 1701-D. THE NEXT GENERATION replaced Captain James T. Kirk with Captain Jean-Luc Picard as captain of the Enterprise. Sacrilege, cried trekkies, hehe scoffed trekkers!


Picard's brand new Galaxy Class crew took to their battle-stations aboard the USS Enterprise NCC 1701-D to see whats out there. Twenty years later after Gene Roddenberry's classic STAR TREK Original got axed, a new era of Trek delivered a gleeful energy to eager fans. STAR TREK TNG really was a smash hit ending on a total high after 7 seasons. For trekkies and trekkers alike it was like stumbling over a brand new deposit of dilithium crystals boldly going where no-one had ever gone before!



In 1993 DEEP SPACE NINE rocked the airwaves with Benjamin Sisco commanding the rundown shanty Bajoran space station. I state that reporting mixed opinion because with Worf aboard, great Klingon storyarcs emerged giving Kor, Kang, Koloth and Kahless a great opportunity to break out the bat'leths and end their alliance with the Federation of planets..Worfs arrival definitely added interesting battle sequences to DS9.

In 1991 Paramount executives wanted to establish a show that didn't run wild with a starship roaming the galaxy. Producer Rick Berman and Michael decided to film the new show inside a starbase beside a wormhole. They called it Deep Space Nine but something was missing, wasn't it? Lo and behold Worf's prototype USS Defiant NX-74205 was assigned to save the show.

When Gene Roddenberry died on 26th October, 1991, His death was a shock for us all. Genes vision of Star Trek lives on but Deep Space Nine is undoubtedly the darkest and grittiest of all the Star Trek shows.

 In 1995 Voyager Star Trek's first female Captain Kathryn Janeway is struggling to get back to Earth after blowing half her crew to smithereens, 70,000 light years away. After Janeway's Intrepid Class USS Voyager NCC-74656 is propelled into the Delta Quadrant she joins forces with Marquis rebels commanded by spirit man Chakotay their leader. Then along comes Seven of Nine with her Borg implants, lol. Simply wonderful except Kate Mulgrew was not impressed.

SEVEN OF NINE


Anyway while Janeway is in command of Voyager's quest for survival, her ship, her crew are put on the line more than once. In the "Year of Hell" is another episode where Janeway proves how ruthless she can be, LOL. She sacrifices half her crew yet again in a kamikaze bid to beat the Krenim Temporal Timeship, run by a complete loon Anorax. Captain Janeway sure is one tough nut!



 In 2001 Enterprise later renamed "Star Trek Enterprise" was a promising attempt at shaking up the galaxy 113 years before Kirk and Spock. Some fans call it dreck trek with a few saving graces owing to awesome guest appearances by Johnathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Jeffrey Combes and voice cameo by Brent Spiner. Was it really that bad, LOL? !These are the Voyages" is the series fond farewell where the 22nd century events are shown through a 24th century holodeck re-creation.




The "prequel" series got a brand new warp 5 spaceship which I believe spelled doom for treks fledgling series. All told the show lasted for 5 years so it wasn't a complete failure.. Why so short lived? The Enterprise NX 01 class was very high tech. Too high tech! Too much of a good thing lowers the spirit and fun of solving something by engaging in good old fashioned face to face human drama. Yuk!



Star Trek is 50 years old and in no danger of dying out! So what can we expect?


Paramount is filming to make a 13th movie set for release on July 8, 2016! Woo Hoo! To date Star Treks timeline has chalked up 12 movies. The last two reboots were action packed thrill seeking, roller coasters showing fans what the new USS Enterprise 1701 crew could do.


Star Trek's familiar Reboot Supremo's  Robert Orci, Bryan Burke, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof  have stepped aside leaving behind them an altered Star Trek Timeline. So theres plenty of challenges to be overcome in our new crusades to reach the stars.

"the timeframe we're working in is extremely tight. It means we're having to come up with the goods. We can't be lazy about it".- Simon Pegg.

"Star Trek Beyond" will boldly explore where no Klingon, Romulan or Earther has set foot before in deep space, Kapla!









2 comments:

Robert Stewart said...

Can't wait. Are you doing anything for it? I want to have a star trek binge watch. It would take you two weeks to watch all of star trek. That is a lot. Live long and prosper.

Spacerguy said...

I'm going to celebrate the 50th in style, hire a jet with a mercedes limousine brimming with Galaxy Quest dancers ready to rock and roll the night away at Las Vegas... Dream big and watch Star Trek is always a top priority Robert.

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