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Star Trek: 50th anniversary thread

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I’m a very marginal Star Trek fan as such things go. My Trekkie credentials are weak at best, consisting of having seen at one time or another probably every episode of the original series, bits and pieces of a couple of the subsequent series, primarily STNG, and maybe four or five of the movies, although none since the one that had RoddyMalcolm McDowell in it.

Almost all of my Trek viewing consisted of seeing reruns in the 1970s of the original series, although I have a fragmentary memory of actually seeing the very first episode — the one with Captain Pike’s severely messed up face and creepy communication device — at the time it originally aired 50 years ago tonight (I was six, and it made quite an impression on me if I’m recalling this incident from my early childhood correctly, which I wouldn’t bet a lot of money on, but FWIW).

However I’ve actually been to a couple of conventions — Star Cons in the lingo I believe — in the company of some real fans. They have a big one in Denver every year, and indeed I think Denver is one of the original, if not the original, sites for these gatherings. So I’m a lukewarm fan at best, but I’ve seen the hardcore devotion to the series up close and personal, and I find it fascinating.

The original series is by conventional measures a pretty bad TV show in lots of ways: low budget, with over the top acting, particularly from the inimitable William Shatner, and many hackneyed, formulaic plots. There are some exceptions, such as City on the Edge of Forever — what a great title! — which I believe was written by Harlan Ellison. And it had awesome opening and closing credit sequences (The only competitor in the category of best opening sequence for a classic TV show is Hawaii 5-0. That was in re-runs when I was in college, airing at 11:30 PM on the local Detroit station, and I would sometimes make a point of catching the opening, in those primitive days before DVRs, let alone the Youtube and the Snapchat etc).

But for all its obvious limitations, Star Trek in its various manifestations has had a huge effect on an enormous number of people. This thread is intended to be a discussion of what Star Trek has meant to you, or people you know, or American or world or galactic culture.

Engage.

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