Friday, May 15, 2009


In September 1966, Gene Roddenberry dispatched the crew of the Starship Enterprise on its maiden voyage through space and time and into the American living room. It was an inauspicious start, but forty years later the Star Trek universe is still expanding. The new film debuted last weekend and shot to number one, with a nearly $80 million opening weekend. In a piece we originally ran in 2006, Brooke explored the various television incarnations of the franchise and the infinitely powerful engine behind it all: the fan.

Comments [5]

Brad Allen from The Colony, TX

While enjoying this Star Trek Retrospective, I realized that Brooke Gladstone's vocal style reminds me of Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, who played the Voice of the Computer in many Star Trek episodes and movies. I do believe Brooke would make a worthy successor now that Majel has passed on.

Let's start a campaign to nominate Brooke Gladstone to play The Voice of the Computer in the next Star Trek movie!

May. 30 2009 08:33 AM
Steven John Bosch from Long Island, New York

Not that you asked for this, but,

I think my favorite episode of Star Trek, the original TV show, was one that didn't get made.

It was called "City on the Edge of Forever" and it bears little likeness to the episode of the same name that finally aired. The original script, which won that year's WGA prize for dramatic scripts, had a number of points that may have anticipated ideas that were used in the later series.

For example, there's trouble aboard the Enterprise when it's discovered that a subordinate officer (not Kirk, Spock, or Scottie, of course) has been trafficking in a known and very addictive narcotic. He has enriched himself but caused endless agony on a planet whose people will hate the Federation for letting this plague among them. The offender is caught, court martialled, and sentenced to death; with the condemned man's body to be buried on a dead world, "as no living being should have to suffer his presence."

He of course makes a break for it, makes it to the Transporter Room with Kirk and the others at his heels. He manages to escape down to the planet with a time portal. Kirk and Spock learn enough about how the portal works to follow their man before he commits any more crimes. They pursue their man to 1930s New York. The story has Kirk and Spock narrowly escaping a lynch mob which gives a terrified Spock occasion to ask Kirk about "human empathy" and a moritifed Kirk has to answer, "this is what we spent 400 years crawling out from under."
The script has been published and the original author, Harlan Ellison, has made his case. I've taken up your space because reading the story inspired me to look at some more demanding stories that deliver more than I knew to expect.

May. 18 2009 11:44 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Prof. Milgram acquainted me with how wrongheaded some scientists can get about their research, quite personally, about two months after the premier (which forced early withdrawal from the Scouts) when he asked me to kill someone for him by proxy, I was well prepared to be indoctrinated by Roddenberry.

One young lady at WYBC played "Do The Kirk" by some band when she wanted me to get a haircut. She was General Manager when I was Sales Manager. It worked.

As my world history professor, Col. Harrison, used to say, "Not all progress is good. Egypt hadn't had an external war for (pick a huge number) of years until the Hitites brought them the chariot." He also urged a sense of the sweep of history rather than focusing on names and dates.

"Boldly go?" Yes, we can! Still itching to find that second Khan novel and find out what happens to the character Terry Garr played, though. Have to root for another MS sufferer and this is a virtual alternative that isn't in cyberspace, just as rooting for Pike was also rooting for Mel, the cyborg my ownie Auntie "Mame", Rita Masters introduced me to in '58 or so.

May. 18 2009 06:08 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Capt. Christopher Pike was no stranger when I first met him in Star Trek's "Menagerie" episodes, though I was unaware that he'd become a cyborg and it wasn't from polio. I'd read about him on the back fly leaf of a paperback and was waiting. I like to say it was five years, but the way teenagers think, I tend to think it was shorter than the 13 between Pike's maiden command and whatever Stardate it was when I first saw him in his chair. (Sorry, Fred, no stickler.)

Only been to one convention, here in town. The kiss was especially powerful for me. Already in love with a Japanese/Irish girlfriend of my sister, we were run out of nearby North Haven by people who were angry about our black neighbors, so I already lost her to racism and my first "date" was an impromtu invitation to a newly met New Haven Black girl, to use the jargon of the time, for coffee. No biggy, just true.

May. 18 2009 06:08 PM
Fred from MD

"LIEUTENANT UHURA: I'm so frightened, Captain! I'm so very frightened! I wish I could stop truly."

last word should be "trembling."

May. 18 2009 04:43 PM

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