. . . the final frontier .
. . these are the voyages of the starship Enterprise: Its
five-year mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek
out new life and new civilisations - to boldly go where
no man has gone before"
were the words which launched 'Star Trek'. Originally shown
on American NBC, it was an innovative science fiction series,
created by Gene Roddenberry, chronicling the adventures of
the U.S.S. Enterprise.
The 1964 pilot "The Cage", starred Jeffrey Hunter as Captain
Christopher Pike and was rejected by NBC as being 'too cerebral'.
However, the potential of the show prompted a hitherto unheard-of
second pilot. In "Where No Man Has Gone Before", William Shatner,
as Captain James T. Kirk, replaced Jeffrey Hunter. It also
starred Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, who was the only 'character'
to survive from the original pilot and Majel Barret who played
'Number One' in the pilot and Nurse Christine Chapel in subsequent
Reaction to this second, more action-filled pilot was good
and the first series premiered on NBC on Thursday September
8th 1966 in the 8:30-9:30 PM timeslot with the 'The Man Trap'
episode. Critical response was varied and its ratings were
lower than had been hoped. Season two saw DeForest Kelley
joining the series' regular starring cast and it was moved
to the 8:30 Friday evening slot. Continued decline in ratings
prompted NBC to try to axe the show at the end of season 2,
but a massive letter writing campaign by fans of the show
rescued it from cancellation. A third season of episodes was
produced, but ratings continued to decline, not helped by
the quality of the third season storylines and a 10:00 Friday
night time slot. Despite further campaigning the series was
eventually finally cancelled afterthe last episode of the
third season - "Turnabout Intruder" - which was shown on June