It was on September 8th, 1966 at 8:30 pm that the world was given its first look at what would become the most successful franchise in television history; a concept that would spawn 5 different televison series and 10 major motion pictures over four decades - with an eleventh film soon to be released. When the first episode of The Original Series, entitled "The Man Trap", was shown on network television; the public had its first glimpse of an envisioned 23rd century marked by incredible technological advancement and mankind boldy going where no one had gone before. Star Trek created a new genre of science fiction entertainment; one that attempted to build it's projection of the future on known scientific principles (most of the time :-)) to create a dimension of enhanced believability; and provided exciting, action-adventure while also frequently using its futuristic setting as a platform to make meaningful commentary on our current social condition. Some of what the Star Trek creators imagined to be hundreds of years away technologically became reality within their lifetimes - as new generations of scientists and engineers, many of whom were inspired by Star Trek, gave the world such advances as the cell phone, the personal computer, medical imaging equipment, high-energy lasers and even the automatic sliding doors that were unheard of in the early 1960's.
As we celebrate Star Trek's 42nd birthday this evening, I wish the franchise and all of those who have been inspired by it - the very best. May we all "live long and prosper!"
Below are some historic clips that accompanied the television premiere of TOS in 1966 and a particularly well-done 40th Anniversary Tribute to the many different incarnations of Star Trek...
The NBC Star Trek Series Premiere Promo:
(Originally scheduled for Sept. 15th)
The Star Trek 1st Season Title Sequence:
A 40th Anniversary Tribute Video encompassing all series: