Break out the Romulan ale! This fall marks the 45th anniversary of Star Trek.
Trek’s humble origins are almost hard to believe. When TV producer Gene Roddenberry pitched his “Wagon Train to the Stars” to NBC, it had already been rejected by CBS in favor of Lost in Space. Then, even after the Peacock finally did pick it up, they dismissed the pilot, starring Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike of the USS Enterprise, as “too cerebral,” and demanded a re-shoot. Only Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock survived the cast change for a new pilot built around a hammy Canadian named William Shatner, who, so far, had only scrounged together a career out of bit parts in movies like Judgment at Nuremberg and a couple very memorable Twilight Zone appearances.
Needless to say, expectations for Star Trek were low. And though it did face cancellation after just three seasons, it’s become one of our most venerable franchises, having spawned five subsequent series and eleven movies. READ FULL STORY »