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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Have you seen my wallet? After a few of the announcements in the “genre world” this weekend, it’s probably hiding under the couch in fear. Simply put– there are too many “geek products” hitting in the next few months for my mind and budget to comfortably process. Here’s a quick rundown:
1) The G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Figure Subscription Service. Yes, I wrote an editorial about this on Friday and have caught some flak as a result. For just under $300 + shipping, hard-core Joe fans can snag 12 exclusive paid figures and 1 free bonus figure that will only be available through the FSS. Places like BigBadToyStore.com have listed preorders for the figures at a logical markup which might be more cost effective for fans in the long run who aren’t interested in all 12 known figures and don’t want to have to take time to sell off the others on Ebay. Regardless, collectors are looking at $300+ easily for this set of items.
2) Star Trek The Original Series Soundtrack Collection. This is something I never thought I’d see released. The INSANE folks over at Lalaland Records are releasing a 15 CD set of EVERY note of music to appear in the classic 1960’s original Star Trek series. Yes, that’s right– every single note. However they’re also including the unused-by-recorded season 3 episode soundtracks as well! As a music and soundtrack nut, this is HUGE. Lalaland just got me for their incredible release of both Batman: The Animated Series vol 2 and The expanded score to The Phantom and now they throw this down? You are evil evil people. This will easily be $300.00 but well worth it for the HOURS of music.
3) Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1 Blu-Ray collection. Not nearly as bad but Marvel Studios is dropping their 10 disc set of Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe including Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain American: The First Avenger, and (what may be the greatest comic movie ever made) The Avengers. Not only that but the set boasts new cool deco artwork for the DVD cases and a replica of the Cosmic Cube in one awesome box. Yeah… Amazon’s got it for around $140.00 but still it’ll add up.
4) IDW’s Complete G.I. Joe Collection. What happens when the current G.I. Joe comic publisher decides to release the entire Marvel Comic series in prestige edition hardcover format? This does— $50.00 300 page volumes that collect Larry Hama’s now LEGENDARY run on the series into one definitive format. Add in the mix that Joe scholar Mark Bellomo is point man on the project and these are sure to be the stuff of comic collector dreams. The irony is that I just got my copy of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vol 15 in the mail last week! Now it’s time to start all over again.
5) HALO 4: Legendary Edition. Hey! What does a video game have to do with G.I. Joe? Isn’t this a G.I. Joe website? Yes it is– now sit down and read! For many video game fans, HALO 4 quite possibly the most anticipated game release this year. (Call of Duty Black Ops 2 will give it a run for its money at retail.) The HALO saga is a rich story– filled with ancient races, timeless mystery, and more FPS action than fans can shake a joystick at! 343 Industry’s first installment of the new trilogy drops in November and the top edition of the game is going to set you back a cool $99.oo! It’s not as bad as previous Legendary editions but it’s still going to add up. However, the Covenant (and apparently the Forerunners) must pay!
6) New Marvel Universe! It’s been a long time since anyone could say that new Marvel Universe figures were hitting stores. Suddenly Toys R Us has 4newexclusivecomic packs, a new X-Factor 5 pack, and new casesof figures are finally hitting retailers! Just snagging individual pieces here and there is going to easily run a Marvel maniac over $150.00 total. (Heck the SDCC Masters of Evil was $30 and I shudder to think what the Super Helicarrier cost some folks.)
7) Regional G.I. Joe exclusives! I’d be remiss in my duties if I didn’t mention two awesome Joe shows that produce some great non-Hasbro manufactured exclusives. The Canadian Joe Con was this past weekend and fans who weren’t fortunate to be able to truck up north can still snag the 2012 Con set including 5 exclusive figures, 5 file cards, and a slick chromed vehicle for $200.00. These tend to go fast so don’t delay if you were debating adding these “Northern Neighbors” to your Joe collection.
2012 Canadian Joe Con Set
It doesn’t stop there, however… the crew at the Coil Club is rapidly preparing for Coil Con 2012 and has revealed images of Zilant, the exclusive Cobra Guerila fighter! With SLICK colors and a solid design, he’s likely to become a highly sought-after piece in the future.
Coil Con 2012 exclusive: Zilant, Cobra Guerilla Fighter
So, what does all of this mean for my wallet and the wallets of many? Some very hard choices coming up? Figures vs. action figures vs. video games? Heck, I’m not even factoring in two major life-changing purchases that I have to make in the next few months. This also doesn’t take into consideration recent Comic Con exclusive or G.I. Joe Collector’s Convention purchases– all of which add up to some SERIOUS dollars! Or, if you’re a DC/Masters of the Universe/Mattel fan then you’ve just been hit up with Club Infinite Earths, Club Eternia, and Club Black Freighter subscriptions! All-in-all it is both a good and a bad time to be a bit of a geek. Good in that there is a LOT out there right now but bad in the regard that most of my collecting friends and I aren’t independently wealthy!
Now, if only I could find a way to either get PAID to run the site or win the lottery. I’m open to suggestions.
Any other big “geek purchases” that I left out? Anyone?