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The 40th Anniversary of Star Trek 327

Posted by Zonk
from the boldly-go dept.
Digitus1337 writes to mention the 40th Anniversary of the original Star Trek series. StarTrek.com's article has a look back at that first episode, and tries to explore the whys behind the popularity that followed it. From the article: "On the evening of the 8th of September, following Daniel Boone, this new NBC show premiered with an episode called 'The Man Trap.' The angle of the story was different, to say the least: It was a love story with a sci-fi twist, borne of a relationship from the doctor's past, featuring a monster that, in the end, just wanted to live. It was moving, tragic and anything but cheesy. The viewers -- at least the ones who were paying attention -- were hooked." Update: 09/09 16:16 GMT by Z : Just to be sure you're aware of it, Slashdot's own CleverNickName is celebrating the 40th anniversary by reviewing episodes of ST:TNG on TVSquad. He begins with "The Naked Now". You know, "You are fully functional, aren't you?"
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The 40th Anniversary of Star Trek

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  • by cashman73 (855518) on Friday September 08, 2006 @01:16PM (#16067428) Journal
    It's . . . just a . . . TV . . . show!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) *
      It's my... show... my... show!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      None of the later versions of "Star Trek" capture the spirit of the original "Star Trek".

      Below are the characteristics of each TV series based on "Star Trek".

      1. Original Series: brash captain, hot-looking women, dangerous adventures in a ship designed for living but not for tourism

      2. The Next Generation: refined captain who talks like an English professor, women who emphasize their intellect, adventures in a ship designed like a luxury hotel

      3. Deep Space Nine: captain who talks like a high-sch

      • You forgot the animated series [amazon.com].
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by hcob$ (766699)
          You forgot the animated series.
          For good reason....

          I file it right alongside Highlander 2.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        3. Deep Space Nine: captain who talks like a high-school dropout, women who emphasize their intellect, adventures in a space hotel I disagree, he enunciated every word like an oxford drop out.
      • So let me get this straight - you're claiming that Avery Brooks talks like a high school dropout? Dropout from which high school, Phillips? All I can think of is the scene from Hollywood Shuffle when an actor shouts out "I can do it in iambic pentameter!!!"
      • 1. Original Series: brash captain, hot-looking women, dangerous adventures in a ship designed for living but not for tourism

        If by "brash," you mean "talentless ego-maniac," then yes. Also, I dispute your claim of the women being "hot-looking".

        2. The Next Generation: refined captain who talks like an English professor, women who emphasize their intellect, adventures in a ship designed like a luxury hotel

        Spot on.

        3. Deep Space Nine: captain who talks like a high-school dropout, women who emphasize their intell
  • by The_REAL_DZA (731082) on Friday September 08, 2006 @01:17PM (#16067437)
    ...and it has prospered. Who could ask for more (besides the fans...)?
    • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday September 08, 2006 @01:20PM (#16067460) Homepage Journal
      Who could ask for more?

      Is it so much to ask that B&B be fired for incompetence? But noooooooo. Paramount had to keep them on until the bitter end. :(
      • by minus_273 (174041)
        maybe you should look at who was responsible for Dr. Poluski and who got rid of her...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ari_j (90255)
          If Dr. Pulaski were the worst part of Trek (and she's not), that comment would almost make sense. That said, Diana Muldaur (who played the role) appeared in two Original Series episodes, so it's not like she was brought onto TNG just to annoy you. Regardless of your thoughts on her, Dr. Pulaski was only on the show for one season. Compare that with some of the B&B blunders and it really isn't that big of a deal.
      • About a year ago I tried to generate interest in having them fired -- out of a cannon -- but it didn't seem to go anywhere (at least not anywhere that no one has gone before...)
    • by nmb3000 (741169)
      It has lived long...and it has prospered.

      And even after death, it's katra lives on! [trektoday.com]

      Here's hoping they don't follow Lucas' tracks and ruin the originals; however, this could be pretty nice if done right. A friend and I were talking and thought it would be very cool if for Trouble with Tribbles they insert the DS9 cast into the background so it matches up with the DS9 episode Trials and Tribble-ations (where DS9 cast were superimposed into TOS footage). Very cool, but probably too much to ask :)
  • Now I really feel old. I remember watching the "New Season" promotional spots and being freaked out by the guy with the silver eyeballs...
    • by gstoddart (321705)
      Now I really feel old. I remember watching the "New Season" promotional spots and being freaked out by the guy with the silver eyeballs...

      I think your own nick should have prepared you for that eventuality. :-P

      On the bright side, you can say you were there when ... for more than just Trek I should think. =)

      Cheers
  • Oblig (Score:3, Funny)

    by _PimpDaddy7_ (415866) on Friday September 08, 2006 @01:27PM (#16067515)
  • by Bonker (243350)
    Love story with a sci-fi twist.

    This is why the ultimate downhill slide after TNG ended. Berman and pals were catering to the fans who wanted to know exactly how phasers worked rather than the fans who wanted to see hot Riker/Picard action.
    • Berman and pals were catering to the fans who wanted to know exactly how phasers worked rather than the fans who wanted to see hot Riker/Picard action.

      No, I don't think so. I'm not the most gearheady of Trek fans, but I certainly had that inclination, and that's not why Voyager (particularly; Enterprise was worse than any non-Voyager Trek series, IMO, but better than Voyager) blew, at least for me. I mean, yes, definitely the characters and relationships were handled far worse than prior series, but its

    • by gstoddart (321705)
      Berman and pals were catering to the fans who wanted to know exactly how phasers worked rather than the fans who wanted to see hot Riker/Picard action.

      And, well they should have. Picard is way too cool for the likes of Will "Baggy Eyes" Riker. ;-)

      I'm not sure than man slept at all in the last four seasons. =)

      Cheers
    • ...catering to the fans who wanted to know exactly how phasers worked...

      I'm STILL irritated they never explained how the "Heisenberg Compensators" worked...
  • by 6 (22657) on Friday September 08, 2006 @01:28PM (#16067533)
    One interesting way to put Star Trek back into the culture of its time is to watch the movie, "Forbidden Planet" and then Watch the first two, filmed, episodes of Star Trek: "The Cage" ie the original pilot, and , "Where No Man has Gone Before."

    For a similar effect try "2001 a Space Odyssey" and "Space 1999" or "Star Wars" and "Battlestar Galactica".
  • by blcamp (211756) on Friday September 08, 2006 @01:29PM (#16067538) Homepage

    SHATNER: Money.

    NIMOY: Yeah. The big, the big bucks.

    SHATNER: Money. The money gets you fired up.

    TOGETHER: The biiiig bucks.

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/TV/09/06/star.trek .40/index.html [cnn.com]

    • by pmancini (20121)
      There would be a very fun and interesting rap song to be made from that whole exchange (as i read it from the given link.) I think someone should produce it.
  • on TVLand tonight (Score:5, Informative)

    by peter303 (12292) on Friday September 08, 2006 @01:29PM (#16067541)
    TVLand is showing four episodes tonight starting a 8PM:
    Man Trap (the first broadcasted )
    City on the Edge of Forever
    Trouble with Tribbles
    Platos Stepchildren

    I think these are ones with new digital F/X, but not sure.
    • Notice that TVLand is celebrating the 40th anniversary, while SciFi does not even give it passing notice. That's one reason the only shows I watch on SciFi are Stargates and Galactica. I avoid the network because they've made it clear they don't care about sf, good sf, tv, or anything but quick ratings. While that may be true with most networks, at least many have a clear enough understanding of their material to "indulge" in it, like the goofy way TVLand promotes its own shows (like their TV landmarks t
      • by Cpt_Kirks (37296)
        That's one reason the only shows I watch on SciFi are Stargates and Galactica.

        Those are the best, for sure, but you forgot The Doctor.

        "Dead Like Me" is nice. Not SciFi, but nice.

        "Eureka" has potential. They have the TNG techno-babble down and it has a humorous ring to it.

        Most of the rest is rubber-monster and wrasslin' crap
    • by TopShelf (92521)
      Does anyone else find the Star Trek 2.0 on G4 to be horribly done? It looks like a spiffed up version of PointCast [wikipedia.org]...
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Ogre332 (145645)
      According to Sci-Fi Wire [scifi.com], those won't start airing until next week: "CBS Paramount Domestic Television will release the digitally remastered episodes of Star Trek for air in syndication on more than 200 broadcast stations, starting Sept. 16."
  • Yes, it's infested with DRM, but both the original series and Enterprise are available:

    Star Trek [amazon.com]
    Enterprise [amazon.com]

  • by Aqua_boy17 (962670) on Friday September 08, 2006 @01:32PM (#16067562)
    I was thinking about this the other day when I opened my Razr to make a call. And it suddenly occured to me how much my phone reminded me of the old ST communicators especially when I flip it open to make a call. Too bad I don't have the sound effect to go along.

    Now if I could only figure out a way to turn my PDA into a fully functional phaser...
    • aaaand this surprises you how?

      Motorola had a flip cell phone a decade ago, but GE had the "flip-phone, a brand new phone you can own.", that was obviously modeled after the ST communicator.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by B11 (894359)
      Well, you can get a Star Trek Skin [planetmotox.net] for it, and getting a ringtone to match would be trivial. Of course, what I really want is a bluetooth communicator a la ST:TNG. I'm sure all the ladies would be impressed when I wear that bad boy in public.
    • by computechnica (171054) <PCGURU.COMPUTECHNICA@com> on Friday September 08, 2006 @01:47PM (#16067661) Homepage Journal
      There is a Palm app that turns your PDA into a LCARS interface Tricorder, Includes sound effects and works with newer Palm OS5
      Tricorder v1.0 C [jeffjetton.com]
    • by ptbarnett (159784) on Friday September 08, 2006 @01:47PM (#16067666)
      I was thinking about this the other day when I opened my Razr to make a call. And it suddenly occured to me how much my phone reminded me of the old ST communicators especially when I flip it open to make a call. Too bad I don't have the sound effect to go along.

      On a recent episode of Boston Legal, Denny Crane (portrayed by Shatner) received a text message on a newly-received cell phone, to the amusement of Shore (James Spader). Apparently, Crane had never had a cell phone until his new girlfriend gave him one so she could send him lewd text messages.

      Of course, it was a flip-phone. And when Crane/Shatner opened the phone to read the message, the foley artist inserted the easily recognizable sound of a communicator being opened on the original Star Trek series.

      Earlier this year, The Discovery Channel broadcast a mockumentary entitled: How William Shatner Changed the World [discoverychannel.ca]. It was a semi-amusing look at the technology (cell phones, computers, etc) that was either predicted by Star Trek or even inspired by it. The "hook" was Shatner projecting his infamous ego throughout the show, taking credit for all of it.

    • by HTH NE1 (675604)
      Did you miss the episode of Boston Legal where Denny Crane's girlfriend got him his first cell phone? When he flipped it open, the SFX people inserted that sound effect.
    • by gral (697468)
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0814142/ [imdb.com]

      How William Shatner (And Star Trek) Changed the World

      Goes into all the tech that has come from the Star Trek series, and the people that created todays tech.
    • by monopole (44023)
      In an interview several years back (when the StarTAC was the standard Motorola flip phone) Lenoard Nimoy recounted answering a call on his flip phone, with the guy next to him nearly fainting.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sootman (158191)
      I'm still amazed that no one has made a cell phone (officially licensed, etc.) that looks *just* like a communicator and makes that sound when opened. They could even do that shirt badge as a bluetooth thingie.
    • by gorehog (534288) on Friday September 08, 2006 @04:39PM (#16068874)
      Hmmmm,
      Well, first dig the universal translator out of your arm and pry that little piece of dilithium out of it. Careful not to damage the transtators, you're gonna need those later.

      Next you need to crack open your PDA. Drill a hole in the leading edge of the PDA. This is where your emitter element will go. Dont worry too much about getting the size right. The first test firing will finish the hole quite nicely.

      Next place the dilithium chip about .5mm behind the hole you made, inside the case. Fasten it there with some crazy glue or epoxy. NO WOOD GLUE FOR GODS SAKE. Someone once tried it with wood glue, now they have a crater named after him. Elmer's Crater they call it.

      Ok, now, reroute the plasma flow from the PDA's reservoir through one of the transtators from the translator. Direct the output at one side of the dilithium chip so it acts as a lens for the output of the transtator....

      What do you mean, you dont have a plasma reservoir in your PDA? Then, how do you power it? What? Chemical BATTERIES?

      Ugh. Stone knives and bearskins....
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by GSwarthout (896713)
      And it suddenly occured to me how much my phone reminded me of the old ST communicators especially when I flip it open to make a call. Too bad I don't have the sound effect to go along.

      Save your "suddenly occured to me" and "too bad I don't have the sound effect" for the non-Slashdot crowd. We know better.

  • So many good Star Trek books are coming out, so little time. Wouldn't be too bad if the Temporal Authority didn't take away my time machine.
  • by zymano (581466)
    1. Directing.
    2. Writing.
    3. Intro/Score.
  • Did anyone catch the roast on Comedy Central? It was hilarious, and even had some music by Warp 11 [warp11.com], that Star Trek tribute band that was in the movie Trekkies 2 (great band!). Plus tons of obligatory homosexual jokes because George Takei was there. Funny stuff, check it out if you get a chance.

    Cool links. [blogspot.com]
    • by dr_dank (472072)
      Plus tons of obligatory homosexual jokes because George Takei was there

      Oh my!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by admiralh (21771)
      Hilarious?

      Perhaps if you enjoy 2 hours of homosexual jokes from C-list comedians.

      At what the heck was Farrah Fawcett doing there? I checked IMDB. She had never worked with Shatner before.

      I think a lot of the reaction clips (the laughs from the audience and the roasters/roastee) were cut in from other times in the show, because so much of it was so unfunny. They certainly seemed uneven to me.

      Shatner should have taken Nimoy's advice -- Don't do it.

      • It wasn't 2 hours of gay jokes. Yes, there were a lot of gay jokes, yes, but there were plenty of jokes about Trekkies, TJ Hooker, Shatner's singing career, Mel Gibson, and masturbating to that Farrah Fawcett poster. And no, it wasn't all funny (especially whenever Farrah Fawcett opened her mouth -- she's gone and partied herself simple), but I did enjoy it as a whole, and laughed at most of it. If you thought it was so awful, why did you spend two hours watching it?

        And I assumed Farrah was there becaus
  • of its time .. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rs232 (849320) on Friday September 08, 2006 @02:00PM (#16067751)
    It was the ideal the show tried to put across. The idea of all the various ethnic groups working and living together as they brought peace and justice to the far flung corners of the Galaxy. Remember this was also the first inter-racial kiss on US television, Uhura and Kirk. Although they were under alien mind control at the time and the camera actually never registered the event. That episode was never shown in the South of course.

    With hindsight the characters were a bit steriotypical. Scotty the Scotish engineer (what else). Nurse Christine Chapel and Spock as the token Alien.

    And right in the middle of the cold war, there on the bridge was Sulu and Chekov, possibly the only Russian sounding name the viewer would be familiar with. Better that Svyatoslav Likhovtseva or that other guy perry stroika.

    Ignoring the cardboard sets and the fact that all the alien planets looked the same it did make a huge impact. A number of scientists say they took their inspiration from it.
  • Why are there no arabs on the enterprise?

    Gene was asked that question... $1 in goodwill to the first person that knows his response.
  • i still have my 25th anniversary Star Trek fan membership card and fondly remember the 25th anniversary NES game.

    God, i feel old. and i'm only 24.
  • To Serve All My Days (Score:3, Informative)

    by xleeko (551231) on Friday September 08, 2006 @02:08PM (#16067825)

    The Star Trek New Voyages folks are using this anniversary for the premiere of their latest episode "To Serve All My Days". It was written by DC Fontana and guest stars Walter Koeinig. Check out all of the episodes and shorts do far at: http://www.startreknewvoyages.com/ [startreknewvoyages.com]

    Cheers, Xleeko

  • Sung to the tune of "Saftey Dance", George Takei's words are in italics, as spoken by himself.
    "S-U-L-U Sulu DANCE!"
    You can dance like Sulu hello
    And shake your little behind yes
    You've gotta give it a chance when you do the sulu and dance and you're friends will say oh my
    I say, jump around if you want to and move your arms like a machine yes
    If you do the sulu dance while wearing tight pants some people may call you a queen
    The sulu dance! Sulu! Sulu! Just fine! Sulu! Sulu! Now that's ridiculous!
  • Never was a fan (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Friday September 08, 2006 @02:37PM (#16068025)
    I always hated Star Trek. It creates such an unbelievable vision of the future. Everything is so pristine, but you never the the laborers or even robots to keep it that way. Even the actors (in the Next Generation and later) were stiff and spoke perfect emotionless english. Just a bunch of cold automatons moving through pristine sci-fi sets.

    Contrast that with the original Star Wars trilogy. Everything is dirty, weathered and worn. The banter added to the credibility of the characters. Humans aren't living in some utopian vision with just the occassional evil alien to battle. I had the Star Wars RPG as a kid and their description of the Star Wars feel nailed it. Lucas' characters felt like they actually lived in their world. They weren't impressed with their own technology. I remember after the first shot of the Millenium Falcon (which is amazing to the movie viewer), Luke calls it a piece of junk. It's a small remark, but it tells you a hell of a lot about the setting the writer is trying to present.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Animats (122034)

      Lucas isn't responsible for the "grubby future" concept. That was introduced in 1972, in Doug Trumbell's Silent Running [imdb.com]. Although it wasn't a hugely popular movie, it introduced many of the background concepts seen in later SF films. It's worth seeing today; it looks less dated than Star Trek movies made after it.

    • Re:Never was a fan (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PCM2 (4486) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:40PM (#16068471) Homepage
      I always hated Star Trek. It creates such an unbelievable vision of the future. Everything is so pristine, but you never the the laborers or even robots to keep it that way... Contrast that with the original Star Wars trilogy. Everything is dirty, weathered and worn.

      In the original show you see the support crew a couple times, in early episodes. Maintenance men don't typically make for great drama. And to be fair, the Enterprise is a military ship. Go tour a Navy aircraft carrier sometime and you'll probably find it's pretty clean and everybody's pretty well-behaved when they're on duty, because that's how you run a military. The inside of the Death Star was pretty clean too. It was just Tatooine that looked like a 70s party town. It sounds like you just prefer the aesthetic of Star Wars, but come on ... do you think the Millennium Falcon would really look like it did, if it was designed to take off and land through planetary atmospheres? All those little panels and radars and things would fly right off. Look at the troubles the space shuttle has just putting a little paint and insulation on its fuel tank. Star Wars looks cool but that's not the same thing as being "more realistic."

  • When a captain could slap his short skirted
    yeoman on the butt and say "Get me some coffee, honey."

    When a giant space Lincoln could use words like 'nigress'.

    They don't make them like that anymore...

  • by karlandtanya (601084) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:29PM (#16068388)
    So, I'm over at my friend's house and I want to watch...Lost in Space.
    Yes, they were both in re-runs by that time, but still opposite each other on Channels 9 and 33 in Baton Rouge, LA.
    Friend's got a much better show (what was I at the time? seven or eight?): Star Trek. And the first episode I ever saw was "The Man Trap"
    I didn't sleep that night.

    Years later, in college, I'm still playing "name that trek" (First person to name the episode wins. If nobody names the episode 10s after it starts, game's over, no winner).
    I won more than not. At a hardcore geek school (RPI).

    Yes, I realize Star Trek was crappy television played by mediocre actors with lame special effects.
    Preachy and unrealistic, the writing was among the worst literature ever produced.

    The stories were so derivative of themselves they became exponentially worse each time another ST series or movie was produced.

    And I still love it.
    Star Trek, B5, Logan's Run, Anderson, Vonnegut, Bear, Benford, Brin, Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, Niven (with and without Pournelle), Cherryh, Chalker, Leslie Fish, Le Guin, Van Vogt, Verne, Wells, Baen (let's not forget the BFL), Saberhagen, and a hundred others.

    Either you're a SF fan or you're not.

    And if you are, then you already know who's going to be in the spaceships when they land.
  • by Arceliar (895609) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:44PM (#16068489)
    Remember Remember the Eighth of September
    The Enterprise, phasers, and Spock
    I know of no reason that Star Trek's first season
    Should ever be forgot

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.
  • by NullProg (70833) on Friday September 08, 2006 @05:47PM (#16069291) Homepage Journal
    I have a printout of this hanging on the wall.


    Top 10 things likely to be overheard if you had a Klingon on your software development team:

          1. "This code is a piece of crap! You have no honor!"
          2. "A TRUE Klingon warrior does not comment his code!"
          3. "By filing this bug you have questioned my family honor. Prepare to die!"
          4. "You question the worthiness of my Code?! I should kill you where you stand!"
          5. "Our competitors are without honor!"
          6. "Specs are for the weak and timid!"
          7. "This machine is a piece of GAGH! I need dual Pentium processors if I am to do battle with this code!"
          8. "Perhaps it IS a good day to Die! I say we ship it!"
          9. "My program has just dumped Stova Core!"
        10. "Behold, the keyboard of Kalis! The greatest Klingon code warrior that ever lived!"



    Enjoy,

"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." -- Mark Twain

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