Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
This week we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of my favorite Star Trek episode, “Space Seed” (Season 1, Episode 22) with Ricardo Montalbán as Khan Noonien Singh.
Broadcast on February 16, 1967, the storyline was written by Gene L. Coon and Carey Wilber, and directed by Marc Daniels. The plot explored the concept of Eugenics,”super-intelligence and the result of creating a group of “super people” (from Earth’s past) bred to conquer the world.
The subsequent 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was a brilliant sequel to “Space Seed” as we find out what subsequently happened to Khan and his people on the planet to which Kirk banished them.
The film ratcheted up the intensity of the television episode proving to be a full-out sci-fi thriller which I give two, very enthusiast, thumbs up!👍🏼👍🏼
Khan: To the last, I grapple with thee. From hell’s heart, I stab at thee. For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee.
Wow, what a statement! In 1966, an authentic representation of an international crew. Radical stuff which showed the brilliance and social awareness of creator, the late Gene Roddenberry.
Set in the 23rd century, the series would evolve to follow the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew who were charged with solving intergalactic conflicts without interfering in the planet’s culture. This vehicle was Gene Roddenberry’s method of initiating dialogue around controversial human and sometimes not so human, issues such as racism, technology, war.
(Front to back – William Shatner (center) DeForrest Kelly (L) Leonard Nimoy (R) James Doohan (back L), Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei)
I’ve always been of the mind that art is revolutionary. The great Renaissance masters like DaVinci, and Michelangelo, were considered subversives in their time. They had to hide their political messages inside their remarkable works to keep from being prosecuted. In his way, Gene Roddenberry could be considered a “Renaissance Man”.
(August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991)
Roddenberry had a vision that we can co-exist in a multicultural, multinational world and, as an eleven-year-old black girl from the east side of Detroit, I was right there with him. I had the same dreams and beliefs for my future.
The series was produced from September 1966–December 1967 by Norway Productions and Desilu Productions, and by Paramount Television from January 1968–June 1969. Star Trek aired on NBC from September 8, 1966, to June 3, 1969, and was actually seen first on September 6, 1966, on Canada’s CTVnetwork.
Star Trek‘s Nielsen ratings while on NBC were low, and the network canceled the show after three seasons and 79 episodes. Several years later, the series became a bona fide hit in broadcast syndication, remaining so throughout the 1970s, achieving cult classic status and a developing influence on popular culture.
Star Trek eventually spawned a franchise, consisting of five additional television series, thirteen feature films, numerous books, games, toys, and is now widely considered one of the most popular and influential television series of all time. (Wikipedia)