The 50s

April 6, 1967: premiere date of Star Trek episode “The City on the Edge of Forever”.

After accidentally overdosing on a powerful stimulant, Dr. McCoy becomes unbalanced and disappears through the Guardian of Forever, a newly discovered time portal on a remote planet. Kirk and Spock follow after learning that McCoy somehow changed history, removing everything they once knew; including the Enterprise. Arriving in the 1930s, the duo meet Edith Keeler, a New York social worker who gives them a place to stay. As the days pass, and McCoy is nowhere to be seen, Kirk finds himself falling in love with Keeler… but Spock discovers that Keeler must die to restore the timeline.

This has been called the best episode of the Original Series.  I don’t agree, but it is in my top 10 episodes.

Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question.

The Guardian of Forever is one of the best… items, certainly one of the most iconic, in all of Star Trek.  Sadly it was only every used once in the Original Series, and once during the Animated Series.  It’s been used in other media, like the Star Trek Online MMORPG.

Let me help. A hundred years or so from now, I believe, a famous novelist will write a classic using that theme. He’ll recommend those three words even over I love you.

My one issue with this episode is the same that writer Harlan Ellison has with this episode.  There are no lasting ramifications on Kirk.

He found the true love of his life, and watched her die, knowing that he could have saved her.  But after the episode was over, that was it, off to the next planet, and the one after that, and eventually Kirk romances a few other women over the course of the 5-year mission.  Edith Keeler meant nothing to Kirk, or he (and/or the writers) hid it very well.

“Let’s get the hell out of here.”

All in all, it was a good episode.

Star Trek 50th

There were 29 episodes of the Original Series that premiered in the year I was born, 1967.  These were the voyages from the back half of Season 1 and the front of Season 2.

I haven’t written about all of them, just favorites of mine.  Perhaps I should have been doing them all along. Ah well.  I’ll continue blogging about my favorite episodes.

For the record, “The Alternative Factor” premiered 50 years ago today.

It was never one of my favorite episodes, truth be told, but it may have been the first time I ever heard of the idea of parallel universes.

And this was the first episode where one of my favorite ‘minor’ Enterprise crewmen got his first screen credit.

Eddie Paskey as Mr. Leslie

The 50s

March 9th, 1967: premiere date of Star Trek episode ‘The Devil in the Dark’.

Dispatched to the mining colony on Janus VI, the Enterprise is tasked to investigate rumors of a strange, subterranean creature responsible for destruction of equipment and the deaths of fifty miners. Kirk and Spock discover a silicon-based life form, a Horta, which lives in the surrounding rock. After Kirk and his Vulcan first officer find the strange creature, Spock performs a mind meld, discovering the reason behind the Horta’s attacks.

This episode holds a special place in my memories because it was the first Star Trek fotonovel that I bought, which means it was one of the first books that I ever bought on my own, with my allowance.  I think I got it from Gemco.

It was a great episode, with a really cool monster, the Horta.

I still have an unopened Spock action figure that I picked up last year after that Star Trek concert.  Perhaps I should open it.

The 50s

February 23, 1967: premiere date of Star Trek episode ‘A Taste of Armageddon’.

On the day I was born, this episode premiered.

On Eminiar VII, the Enterprise finds a civilization at war with its planetary neighbor. Unable to discern any signs of battle from orbit, Captain Kirk leads a landing party to the surface where he discovers the entire war is fought by computer. Even though the war is simulated, citizens who are listed as virtual casualties still report to termination booths to be killed for real. After the Enterprise is destroyed in an attack simulation, Kirk must fight to keep his crew from death.

I always liked this episode, because it was basically a real live war game run by computers.  Much like what I’ve been playing most of my life on my computers and game consoles.

This episode includes one of my favorite Spock lines:

Sir, there is a multi-legged creature crawling on your shoulder.

Since I bought the entire series on DVD and later blu-ray, I make a point to watch this episode on or around my birthday.

The 50s

February 16, 1967: premiere date of Star Trek episode ‘Space Seed’

One week before I was born, an episode of Star Trek premiered that would one day be the catalyst that rejuvenated the franchise.

The Enterprise discovers an ancient sleeper ship, the SS Botany Bay, which escaped from Earth’s Eugenics Wars in the late 20th century. The genetically engineered passengers, led by war criminal Khan Noonien Singh, seize control of the Enterprise and attempt to destroy the ship. (This episode serves as the backstory to the second Star Trek film)

Admittedly, this was never one of my favorite episodes.  Indeed, when the first news of the second Star Trek film came out, and that the producers were going to base it on this episode, I had serious doubts about how that was going to work.

Ricardo Montalban was known by me for his Chrysler Cordoba commercial, with the ‘rich Corinthian leather’ seats, and as Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island.  I was totally unaware of any of his other work in TV and film.

The movie itself was a huge success, and still remains as my favorite of all the Star Trek films.

It was also the first film that made me cry like a baby at the theatre.  It still makes me tear up when I watch it.

Doubts aside, if it wasn’t for this particular episode, and the foresight of Harve Bennett and Nicholas Meyer, Star Trek may have never reached the popularity it achieved to this day.

And while I say that Star Wars rules my life, I was first, and foremost, a Trekkie.


The 50s

January 19th, 1967: premiere date of Star Trek episode ‘Arena’

This is arguably my favorite Star Trek episode, ever.  The opening shot right before and after the title sequence in one of the best moments of the series.

“Cestus III has been destroyed.”

A red shirt gets killed, Spock’s tricorder is destroyed, and the Gorn is introduced.

I love everything about this episode, from the Metrons to the bamboo cannon Kirk uses to defeat the Gorn captain, who I met a few years back.

This episode is so popular that it’s been referenced throughout Star Trek’s history, and on other shows like The Big Bang Theory.

More information here: The Gorn Identity @

History of the Future

I’m finishing up the non-episodic features of this wonderful blu-ray set.

Seeing footage, deleted scenes, ‘new’ bloopers from 50 years ago is amazing.  The interviews with the actors who were in the selected episodes are great.

All the stories told here, by the people who were there, is like rediscovering Star Trek all over again.

And there’s an option to watch the episodes with the non-remastered, original effects, which is very nostalgic.

Highly recommended to Star Trek fans everywhere.

30 Years

November 26, 1986:


Memory is VERY hazy, but according to the interwebs, today (11.26.2016) is the 30th anniversary of the release of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Earlier in the year it was announced that the film was shooting in San Francisco, and I recall a couple of times that Glenn and I tried to check out locations where they were supposedly shooting.  We never found them.

On the day before Thanksgiving, a bunch of us went down to… Regency I(?) to stand in line for an evening showing on premiere day.

Come to think of it, except for The Motion Picture and the last two TNG films, I think I’ve seen all of the Trek films on opening day.  As I said, memory is hazy.

I remember how different I knew the movie would be just from the opening theme.  The familiar notes from the TOS theme was heard, but the rest of the music over the opening credits was very different from Goldsmith’s and Horner’s previous.  It seemed more playful, as opposed to the nautical feel of the Horner themes.

And that’s what we got, a playful, almost slapstick story surrounding an important ‘save the world’ mission for our crew.

It was a fun movie to watch.  And despite some location inaccuracies (they wanted a ride to San Francisco while walking along the Marina?), it was great seeing my hometown and surround areas get some screen time in a Star Trek film.

I think I’ll find some time later this weekend to give it a viewing.