On this very night fifty years ago - Thursday, September 8, 1966 - an episode of a new science fiction television show beamed into American televisions for the very first time. When it was cancelled just three seasons later, nobody involved suspected that Star Trek would become the beloved cultural juggernaut that it has. While I've enjoyed all the different versions of Trek over the years, a large proportion of my personal favorites, no matter the decade, seem to involve the original crew:
1966 - 1976: "A Piece of the Action"
Fizzbin" sequence never fails to elicit a chuckle. The aftermath of this episode also provided the basis for the final level of a Star Trek NES game I played quite a bit of as a youngster, which increased its cachet considerably.
1976 - 1986: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
There's a long-running joke in the Trekkie fandom that only the even-numbered Trek movies are any good. While this hypothesis has taken something of a beating lately, back during the Original Crew Movie era
|"Computer? Hello-o, Computer!"|
1986 - 1996: "Relics"
1996 - 2006: "Trials and Tribble-ations"
2006 - 2016: Star Trek
Whatever the faults of the followup might have been, in my opinion this soft reboot really captured the spirit of the Original Series. Sure, it has some faults of its own, such as the pacing issues of Captain Kirk's career (not to mention the whole "Jimmy Kirk: Beastie Boys enthusiast" thing, although that was at least partially redeemed by Star Trek Beyond) and the iStarfleet aesthetic, but the characters were spot on, and even today the remastered classic end credits make me tear up a little.
2016 - 2066: ?
With a new show in development it's obvious that we haven't seen the end of Star Trek history just yet, but will it endure another fifty years? According to First Contact we're due to have WWIII during that time, so maybe not. Even so, if there's one thing that we can learn from Star Trek it's to never stop striving on, or to put it another way:
|". . . to boldly go where no man has gone before."|