This week the Lofty Duo is celebrating, acknowledging, reveling in the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. What’s now referred to by those in the know as TOS, The Original Series, premiered on American television sets on September 8, 1966. It had already run in Canada, having premiered there on September 6th.
A quick search of the online catalog for the Leatherby Libraries, where Doug works, reveals that our university holds dozens of Star Trek related items. There are copies of the many TV series (including TNG—The Next Generation—and Voyager), the first seven films, several critical books, compendiums, picture books…you get the idea. Doug checked out season one of ST:TOS, and we’ll probably watch more than a few episodes over the next few weeks as we celebrate this golden anniversary.
Star Trek’s premiere and its 50th anniversary is an important bit of serendipity for Doug. His personal world premier followed quickly on the heels of Star Trek’s, and, if you ask him, he willingly admits that the show had a larger influence over his life than any other bit of TV or pop culture in the 1970s. As a child, he rushed home after school to catch episodes in syndication on the television in his parent’s bedroom.
Throughout September, Lofty Ambitions is going to have a series of commemorative posts about Star Trek. This first post is comprised of Doug’s five favorite episodes, a personal expression for him. He didn’t consult Memory Alpha, the amazing Star Trek Wiki, to refresh his memory or to see what others thought about the episodes. Doug simply sat down and wandered though his own memory banks, trying to recall those episodes that had made the greatest impression on him as he sat on the floor of parents’ bedroom, dreaming of boldly going where no one had gone before.
- Errand of Mercy
Set on the bucolic, seemingly backwards planet of Organia, the crew of the Enterprise confront the crew of a Klingon vessel. War looms between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, only to be disrupted in a surprising fashion. This episode was the first appearance of the Klingons in the Star Trek universe.
- Amok Time
Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock in hand-to-hand combat on Planet Vulcan.
- Mirror, Mirror
Kirk, Uhura, Scotty, and McCoy are transported into a parallel universe where everything is exactly as it seems: dangerous. You can tell how dangerous by the glittery sash Kirk wears.
- Charlie X
A socially awkward teenager comes aboard the Enterprise and reveals that he’s much more that meets the eye.
- The Trouble With Tribbles
Furry fun invades a space station and consumes all of the available Quadrotriticale. Also, Klingons. Lots of Klingons. If you don’t know this episode, you are missing a cultural reference point.
Tune in to Lofty Ambitions next week for a different set of five fave Star Trek things.