Happy 50th Anniversary Star Trek

Happy 50th Anniversary Star Trek!

Star Trek 50th Anniversary


On September 8, 1966 on the NBC television network a new TV series saw its premiere. Originally billed at a “wagon train to the stars” by its creator, this new science fiction adventure propelled audiences to the furthest reaches of the galaxy and spawned a phenomenon that would endure for decades. Today is the day that Star Trek, the original series, premiered!

While the series wasn’t a ratings hit and often struggled to find an audience, Star Trek proved to be ground-breaking many ways. During the racially-charged 1960’s, the crew of the Enterprise was the most ethnically diverse on TV at the time. Even more importantly, there was little differentiation between men and women on the series– with both genders being treated equally. (Yes, there was that whole “Kirk effect” on the female guest stars but that’s another story.)

Star Trek Original Series


Even better– Star Trek featured stories that made the audience think. The stories featuring William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, and Leonard Nimoy were on the surface classic sci-fi adventures. However, looking deeper it was obvious that the writers were striving for something more– chock full of social commentary on equality, human rights, and even genocide. (Remember the horta in “Devil in the Dark“?)

I won’t lie– I’m not old enough to remember the actual first airings which occurred years before I was born. I was however fortunate enough to grow up in the late 1970’s and 1980’s– a time period in which this series saw HEAVY syndication. As a result, the characters of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov were very much a part of my formative years. In many ways, the television adventures of these characters helped shaped my beliefs on tolerance, diversity, exploration, and more.

Star Trek fight music


Over the years, Star Trek has spawned a total of 6 spin-off television series (including the animated adventures that aired in the 70’s) and 13 feature films. It has inspired individuals from all walks of life to aspire to be scientists and astronauts. Even better it has encouraged us to become more tolerant individuals. It taught us that there truly is infinite diversity in infinite combinations.

Happy 50th Anniversary Star Trek! Live long and prosper for another 50 years.

Rest in Peace Leonard Nimoy 1931 – 2015

Leonard Nimoy

Rest in peace, Leonard Nimoy.

It was announced today that one of the icons of modern entertainment, Leonard Simon Nimoy passed away due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  He was 83 years old.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 50 years or are a techno-phobe, you’ve seen his work in some form.  From his most popular role of Spock in the classic Star Trek series to his tenure as “The Great Paris” replacing Martin Landau on Mission: Impossible to his more recent appearance as Dr. William Bell on the Fox series Fringe, Nimoy’s performances captivated generations.

In addition to acting, he was a director, a photography, a teacher, and an author.

I grew up watching Leonard Nimoy, first as Spock in reruns on TV and then on the big screen.  I discovered The Great Paris years later while recovering from back surgery when Mission: Impossible was in heavy syndication on the then-fledgling F/X cable network.  I was captivated by his appearances on Fringe.  Nimoy was more than just “that guy on TV” for me.  He was a familiar presence, a comforting voice and, in real life, an inspiration of what a well-rounded individual could accomplish through perseverance and hard work.

For years, whenever there was a personal tragedy or a death in the family, I found myself watching Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  The words of both the characters of Kirk and Spock served as an inspiration and a reminder that “how we face death is as important as how we face life.”  Tonight, I’ll be doing the same but this time it will be to remember the life and contributions of one of its cast.

His final tweet, sent on February 23, 2015, is uncannily fitting.

2015-02-27 13_59_55-Leonard Nimoy's final tweet is perfect _ EW.com

Good bye, Mr. Nimoy.  I have been and always shall be your fan.  May your memory and the inspiration that you’ve brought to millions truly live long and prosper.