Monday, September 9, 2013


One again, September 8th almost snuck by me: It was on this day in 1966 that Star Trek premiered on NBC -- but two days earlier on Canada's CTV network. What is odd is that I wrote and uploaded my tribute (here) to the first pilot show, "The Cage", this morning and it did not even occur to me the significance of my unconscious effort. (Please pardon the past present tense; I wrote this piece last night but my Internet went down and I shut 'er off.)

The episode shown to kick off Star Trek, was "The Man Trap". While not considered to be a great episode, it was, after much debate and discussion by the show's producers, and Desilu executive Herb Solow, picked as it contained some essential ingredients: A monster (and a terrific one, by the way); it was a "planet show"; and it contained a solid science fiction premise (shape-shifting... and a monster). As a matter of fact, "The Man Trap" was not even the first episode shot in regular series production; but several episodes had been completed by the time a decision had to be made as to what story would launch the program -- much was riding on how she performed; two pilots had been produced at, in television terms, great financial cost. And a half-season's complement of episodes was running through the production machine.

No need for me to go on about it, since most of us know the various punch-lines by now.

Before I go, I should mention that Variety sent a reporter and photographer to the Star Trek set while "The Man Trap" was in production. Apparently the visitors showed up on the set just as the crew was preparing the scene where Spock is being treated in sickbay after he was attacked by the "creature".

'Oh, it's going to be a more intelligent science fiction series? Is it, now?'

Do not let your little ones watch this. Seriously.

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