Thursday, September 8, 2016
Still Kicking and Stretching
Exactly 50 years ago, today, the very first episode of Star Trek premiered on television and, all these years later, the brand is still growing and going stronger as time moves forward.
Star Trek has had many incarnations over the years—there have been six television shows, 726 total episodes, 13 movies, and one reboot—but its primary mission has stayed the same. The result is a series that won countless awards (31 Emmys!) but has also fostered a massive fandom that includes actors, politicians, and more. It’s a show that created and made famous many of the tropes that science fiction uses all the time now. It’s a series so influential that an actual spacecraft was named after the fictional starship Enterprise. Scientists have spent years working to turn the fake technology seen in the series into a reality.
It seems impossible now, but back in 1966, the original Star Trek was not an easy sell—it had two pilots and a major cast change before going on the air—and it was canceled after three seasons, due to low ratings. But thanks to syndication, a loyal fandom arose, one that has only grown over the last five decades. Now it’s an institution. And it’s an institution that will continue, as the series finally returns to TV next year with Bryan Fuller’s highly anticipated Star Trek: Discovery.
Happy Anniversary, Star Trek!!
May you still be as popular (and flexible) over the next 50 years.
Live Long and Prosper.