08 September 2006

Happy Birthday

… to Capt Kirk, Cmdr Spock, Lt Cmdr Scott, Lt Cmdr McCoy, and the crew of the Enterprise. The first broadcast of Star Trek was forty years ago today. It's an event that changed television drama forever. (If you add up all five series, Star Trek to date has had more episodes than Law and Order.) It has also had immense influence across other forms of entertainment—and I don't mean Bill Shatner's waistline. Had Star Trek not demonstrated the viability of the market, we probably wouldn't have had Star Wars (20% of the top 20 grossing films of all time, adjusted for inflation, and the only multifilm franchise with more than one entry in the top 20), extensive merchandising from TV shows… ok, it hasn't been an entirely positive, or even benign, influence, but it's still pretty significant.

I find it rather unsurprising that most of the major "respectable" sources online appear to be ignoring this event. Nothing at NYT, Variety, Ebert, Box Office Mojo, or IMDB. Maybe they're afraid their employees will all come to work wearing Vulcan ears or something.