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Celebrating 47 years of Star Trek

by Greg Belfrage

"Star Trek" celebrates its 47th anniversary this week.  Creator Gene Roddenberry originally described the show as "Wagon Train to the stars".  The show premiered on September 8, 1966 on NBC.

The first episode of Star Trek to be broadcast was "The Man Trap", originally titled "The Unreal McCoy".  It told the tale of a shape-shifting, tentacled alien that kills members of the Enterprise crew for the salt it needs to survive. 

Producer Bob Justman says NBC chose the episode for the premiere by process of elimination.  The network thought the salt monster would appeal to viewers. They also felt the episode illustrated the kind of "strange new worlds" the Enterprise would encounter every week.  Other superior episodes, such as "The Corbomite Manuever" and "Charlie X" were rejected for the premiere because they took place entirely on the Enterprise.

You can stream "The Man Trap" here:  http://www.startrek.com/watch_episode/r4FoPLplOIV6 

Generation Gallery is celebrating the 1966 debut by offering a "First Broadcast of Star Trek" set of posters that includes Kirk, Spock and Uhura. The limited-edition pieces are produced on 300gsm textured fine-art paper and measure 16.5" by 11.7."   Order them from startrek.com.

Poster photo credit: Star Trek.com
Cover photo credit: 1966 NBC promotional art

Greg Belfrage is an avid Star Trek fan, serious Batman toy collector and hopeless geek. He hosts the morning show on KELO Newstalk 1320 AM / 107.9 FM.