January 19, 1968: premiere date of Star Trek episode ‘The Immunity Syndrome’.
The crew of the Enterprise encounters an energy-draining space creature.
The space amoeba!
In which we also learn that there was a starship manned solely by Vulcans.
Spock has a bad reaction to the death of over 400 Vulcans.
Eventually, a Shuttlecraft is sent in (with Spock aboard) to gather information about this organism, and the Enterprise crew end up destroying it with a probe armed with an anti-matter warhead.
This episode is not to be confused with the Space: 1999 episode of the same name:
While on a survey of a planet to replenish food and water on Moonbase Alpha, an alien form attacks a crewman who seemingly goes mad; after a brief struggle with the crewman, Tony Verdeschi is attacked by the alien as well. Koenig and the survey party must find Tony and help him regain his senses before the madness kills him and solve the mystery of the alien life form. All their technology breaks down, preventing them from leaving or receiving aid; all food – native and their own supply – become toxic.
November 17, 1967: premiere date of the Star Trek episode ‘Journey to Babel’.
While transporting dignitaries to an important peace conference the Enterprise is pursued by a mysterious vessel and an assassin is discovered among the passengers.
This one is my favorite Spock-centric episode.
We meet his parents, Sarek of Vulcan and Amanda Grayson of Earth.
We also meet the Andorians and Tellarites for the first time.
And it’s the first reference to the Pirates of Orion.
The one scene in this episode that gets me is when Amanda tries to convince Spock to assist Dr. McCoy with a blood transfusion to save his dying father.
When you were five years old and came home stiff-lipped, anguished, because the other boys tormented you saying that you weren’t really Vulcan. I watched you, knowing that inside that the human part of you was crying and I cried, too. There must be some part of me in you, some part that I still can reach. If being Vulcan is more important to you, then you’ll stand there speaking rules and regulations from Starfleet and Vulcan philosophy, and let your father die. And I’ll hate you for the rest of my life.
October 20th, 1967: premiere date of Star Trek episode ‘The Doomsday Machine’.
I’ve said elsewhere that this is one of my all-time favorite episodes, and one that I can watch over and over and over.
I named my first Star Trek Role Playing Game character Mackenzie Decker, and made him the nephew of Commodore Matt Decker.
So much great quotable dialogue came from this episode.
They say there’s no devil, Jim, but there is, right out of Hell. I saw it!
Matt, where’s your crew?
On the third planet.
There IS no third planet!
Don’t you think I know that? There was, but not anymore! They called me; they BEGGED me for help, four hundred of them! I couldn’t… I-I couldn’t…
Bones, you ever hear of a doomsday machine?No, I’m a doctor, not a mechanic.
If I only had some phasers.
Phasers – you’ve got ’em. I have one bank recharged.
Scotty, you just earned your pay for the week.
Vulcans never bluff.
A commander is responsible for the lives of his crew, and for their deaths. Well… I should have died with mine.
We’re stronger with you than without you!
Gentlemen, beam me aboard.
One of the highlights of that Star Trek concert that I attended last year was a live performance of the music (entitled “Kirk Does It Again”) from the final act of the episode.
You’ve seen the episode enough times, you can recite the dialogue as the music plays.
Most if not all of this music was repurposed for the episode ‘The Ultimate Computer’.
I’ll probably watch this one sometime later today.
I feel bad that I didn’t continue doing this throughout the year, either for my friends who turned 50, nor the Star Trek episodes that premiered 50 years ago, or movies that first screened in 1967.
That said, Happy Birthday to all of my friends who have turned, or are turning, 50 this year. May you all live longer and continue to prosper.
October 6, 1967, premiere date of Star trek episode ‘Mirror, Mirror’.
A transporter mishap slips Captain Kirk and his companions into a parallel universe, where the Enterprise serves a barbaric Empire instead of the Federation. This episode spun off several plotlines in Deep Space Nine and Enterprise.
Spock with a beard is an image that always intrigued me. It’s why I tried to maintain a similar style of facial hair back in my 30s.
[placeholder for picture of me with goatee]
Years later I would meet Barbara Luna (Marlena Moreau) at WonderCon in San Francisco.
[placeholder for picture of me and Barbara Luna]
The one thing that always puzzled me was the idea that the Terran Empire’s ships orbited planets clockwise, instead of counter-clockwise.
Never really looked for an explanation. It just seems silly.
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.
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.
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.