Star Trek TOS – 55th Anniversary (1966-2021)


With this blog I will try to show you how I came to love Star Trek and SCI-FI in general, so not a blog about TOS separately but a journey from then to now with Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek TOS as inspirator.


In 1966, September 8th I wasn’t born yet, still Star Trek was my first encounter with science fiction. In the late 70’s , early 80’s I began watching Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, Doctor Who (5th), The Six Million Dollar Man, The incredible Hulk. At that point I believe I also watched the series Logan’s Run but cannot be totally sure, though I have a vague recollection of this. At that time I think Battlestar Galactica appealed most to me but in the years after that, Star Trek TOS became a favorite because it was available, I rewatched it multiple times while Battlestar Galactica I was unable to rewatch till somewhere around 2004 when it was made available on DVD!


After watching Star trek TOS a few times I didn’t revisit it till sometime during the 90’s when it was on a TV station every weekend around dinner time. Every Saturday and Sunday I would watch another episode where Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the others would have another adventure. Around that time it was celebrating its 30th Anniversary. For a while in the 80’s I lost my SCI-FI mojo and regained it during the Star Trek TNG days in early 90’s. I started to purchase books about Star Trek, read about how this show came to be, how it was almost cancelled during its second season but saved, but ultimately cancelled during the third season. I read about the relationships behind the scenes, how William Shatner wasn’t as well liked by his co-workers. Read about 30 years of a franchise with movies and spin-offs. Especially in that period I was at my peak of Star Trek love!

I was rewatching Star Trek TOS, new episodes of TNG aired and not one but two new Star Trek shows were on the horizon, of course Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager! The original crew was having its last movie in 1991, which perhaps is my favorite TOS movie: The Undiscovered Country. In the 90’s Star Trek became a huge part in my life, I had purchased all the original TOS movies on CD-I (Video-CD), including the 7th movie Generations! I was purchasing VHS releases of The Next Generation, the feature length episodes and I was purchasing Deep Space Nine and Voyager of which were monthly being released with two episodes on a VHS video tape.


I couldn’t wait for the episodes to air on TV, in my country there always was at least one or two seasons behind. So each month I purchased the VHS video tapes of both DS9 and VOY, which was something I really looked forward to. I also loved the cover art of those tapes, each month they came up with something cool. I really cherished those releases although it became more and more difficult in terms of storage, because each season had 13 VHS tapes and I collected DS9, VOY, the feature length episodes of TNG and I also collected the monthly releases of Babylon 5!


From the TOS crew I really got to love the movies, I think I’ve watched those movies 30 times each, probably more, I truly love those characters from the original series. Which is my favorite character, well this is hard but I would have to choose between Spock and McCoy. In the movies the characters were more developed at least, that is how I feel it, still do. Of course in the original series there wasn’t much character development, with some exception perhaps, on the whole I think the crew was kind of the same from the first to last episode. But in the movies these characters evolved more, especially because movies 2, 3 & 4 are linked to each other which I really loved. Of course when we got into a new century Star Trek was again being re-released on physical media, DVD! Again I purchased Star Trek TOS, Star Trek TNG, Star Trek DS9, Star Trek VOY and also Star Trek ENT on DVD. Those big chunky sets, I wanted them all, about $80-100 a season! I gladly paid for it, this was the ultimate medium… so I thought at the time! Little did I know back in the early 2000’s. By this time I watched all the shows so many times, it was clear I had two favorites, first one Deep Space Nine, second one Enterprise. I also purchased all the movies on DVD and I got rid of all the VHS copies of all shows. With some regret in hindsight but on the other hand, I simply did not have to room to keep them while I also did not have the means anymore to watch them because early on I traded my VHS player for a DVD player.

In the years following I kept watching Deep Space Nine on my original DVD set (still do) and the other shows but for me there was some Voyager and The Next Generation fatigue. Don’t get me wrong, both shows have some good story telling but I also feel that these shows have too many mediocre episodes each season. While for me at least, this wasn’t and isn’t the case with TOS, DS9 and Enterprise (except for season two). The TNG movies have more appeal to me than the TV show as a whole. I know I am probably the only one but I like to be different! 😊


Meanwhile from the mid 90’s till well into the 2000’s I also purchased the Star Trek Magazines, the UK releases as well as the North American releases. I also was a member of the Dutch Star Trek fan-club called “The Flying Dutch” and went to Star Trek and SCI-FI conventions, mostly close by in the Netherlands, later on a few in Germany. I still have the magazines, sometimes I go and sit and browse through them, nostalgia comes over me then, watching those pictures, episode guides, those interviews with cast and crew of all shows. Times were way simpler then, getting your Star Trek information from a magazine, it was special, because it wasn’t so easy as today where everything is available to anybody.

At the end of the first decade, another physical medium, Blu-Ray became available and it didn’t take long before the Star Trek movies and the original series were released on the best quality available! Again I couldn’t resist, I purchased the movies and the original series. Naturally, like many, I cheered when it was announced that Star Trek: TNG would also get a Blu-ray release! Eagerly I purchased each season which took approximately 18 months or so. Star Trek: Enterprise also got a Blu-ray release but unfortunately my all-time favorite Trek show, DS9 did not, as also VOY which did not get release either. Most likely reason, the cost, both shows had way more CGI than TNG which mostly worked with models, plus the sales of Star Trek: TNG on Blu-ray were not what CBS had hoped for. Today we are still hoping and waiting for a Blu-ray release of these two shows……


From 1987 until 2005 there was Star Trek on TV! 18 years but after the cancellation of Enterprise it took 12 years for Star Trek to return to our TV screens in 2017. Hope for a better future, something we desperately are in need of in these trying times. Star Trek: Discovery was the first live action TV series in 2017. I have to say, it’s different, understandable but still, it’s not “my” Star Trek, I think that Star Trek will never return, although I am hoping that Star Trek: Strange New Worlds can make that happen! Not to say I dislike current Star Trek, I actually enjoyed Star Trek: Picard a lot, but perhaps this has to do with the fact that it is a continuation of sorts from “my” Star Trek. I think it also has to do with age of oneself, it’s like you ask a 50 year old woman or a man, what is your favorite music period, most of them will say the 80’s, I think it’s kind of the same with Star Trek.


Final word:

55 years and running, unbelievable, as it stands now, if you agree or not, Star Trek still has a future, two shows currently running and one, Strange New Worlds, on the horizon and besides that two animation shows running. The message Star Trek always had, hope for a positive future, is what myself and many among you, attracted to Star Trek. Hopefully the creative mind of Gene Roddenberry will prevail so that we can create a future like he envisioned for our planet. I have to say, with the current status of our society, I very much am in need of this hope!

Screencaps taken from: Trekcore.com

Add comment


There are no comments yet.