When Star Trek began in 1966 I was just 11 years old and probably already a fan of sci-fi. Dr Who first screened in 1963 although we had migrated to New Zealand in August of that year and didn’t have a TV for a while.
William Shatner (Captain Kirk) and Leonard Nimoy (Mr Spock) were interviewed just before Star Trek premiered in 1966. In the interviews (Quicktime), they explained the concept of the show to a TV reporter. [Via: The Raw Feed]
I grew up with these people – Star Trek is part of my history and I still watch and enjoy subsequent series such as Voyager and other Rodenberry creations such as Enterprise and Andromeda. Keep ’em coming, I say.
In fact, the other day I was just pondering on the gulf between history and sci-fi. I heard some historian or other talking on the radio about an aspect of one of the early Antarctic trips and was thinking how much she must have had to research to be able to say: “Oh, that was common at the time”. My thought behind that was: “boring!”. History’s all very good and useful and all that and I commend those who choose to study it, but it’s just not my thing and never has been. History deals with fact, filtered through opinion and standpoint. Sci-fi is about possibilities, dreams and nightmares.
The early Star Treks, while by no means free of the biases of the times, brought us visions of worlds free of poverty, of technologies such as matter transporters and communicators, of alien cultures with entirely other ways of approaching existence. The shows inspired me and reinforced my desires at that time to become an astronaut or perhaps an astronomer – both things not encouraged for teenage girls in the 1960s and 70s. But still, here I am nearly 40 years later watching astronauts and adventurers on TV – not such a bad thing.