What was it like watching Star Trek in the 1960s?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by BeatleJWOL, Jun 6, 2023.

  1. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Senior Member Thread Starter

    Thought we needed a companion thread.

    Star Trek 2 Vintage 1960s NBC Promos in High Definition William Shatner Leonard Nimoy 16mm rare

    I was a 90s kid, born '87, who slowly got into Trek mostly because of my dad, who was of course around when TOS aired originally. He's talked about his experiences watching the show and loving it. Who else watched Trek in the 1960s, before the rerun boom of the 70s and so forth? Did you watch in color? If you watched in B&W, when did you finally see it in color, and did that change the experience? Was there any thought that it was something special, or just another fun sci-fi show like Lost In Space?

  2. sotosound

    sotosound Forum Resident

    Star Trek was first shown in the UK in 1969 and, for me, it was compulsive viewing, even in black and white.

    Star Trek arrived when I was 15, with my emotional and intellectual receptors wide open, and I was totally captured by the idea of Mr Spock, probably in part because I was more of a vertical thinker than a lateral thinker.

    Series three was a slight disappointment for me but there were still some good episodes, and my first viewing in colour was of "The Paradise Syndrome", which I watched at a friend's house. Talk about vivid colours! Also a good if slightly different episode.

    Conversely, Lost In Space was always watched by me in hope, but it always ended in disappointment as another increasingly less credible episode was broadcast. At that time, however, I was unaware of its camp aspect and also too young to properly understand camp humour anyway.

    Looking back, one can understand how Star Trek grew as a franchise while Lost In Space just faded away.
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  3. glittering-girl

    glittering-girl Beatles/Who/Todd R.: My Mount Rushmore of Rock

    I wish I could have seen Star Trek in the 60s, but I was probably too young (I was born in 1960) and also my parents pretty much controlled the dial, so we watched shows like My Three Sons and Gomer Pyle instead. I started watching Trek in the mid-70s when it entered syndication in our area (WAAY-TV in Huntsville, AL).
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  4. malcolm reynolds

    malcolm reynolds Handsome, Humble, Genius

    I first discovered Star Trek in the early 1980's when it would air on Saturdays. Batman with Adam West was on each morning before the bus arrived for school. Luckily the bus stop was right across the street from my house on the military post so I had to run out the door as soon as the episode ended. I know that is not what the thread is about, sorry and carry on.
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  5. sotosound

    sotosound Forum Resident

    I'd discovered a liking for space and spaceships before I was eight, and then ITV started to show Fireball XL5 shortly after I turned eight.

    No men and women in silver suits, and no talk about rocket ships. Fireball XL5 was a spaceship that took off from a track and had a detachable nose cone that was a precursor to the perennial shuttlecraft.

    XL5 patrolled Sector 23 and the crew wore cool uniforms. Colonel Steve Zodiac sat in the cockpit and steered XL5 like an aeroplane (I also liked aircraft at that age), and his copilot was Robert The Robot. They could spacewalk without a spacesuit due to oxygen pills, and they had a lounge in the ship. Cool stuff for an eight year-old.

    I was therefore ripe for Star Trek when it arrived.
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  6. Bea Jonas

    Bea Jonas Forum Resident

    My sister complains that our older brother was a TV tyrant who cruelly dictated what his younger siblings watched. On Thursdays, however, they could watch whatever they wanted (usually Bewitched or My Three Sons). The reason: our home had a B&W Motorola, so our brother would go to a friend's house to watch Star Trek on their new RCA color set.
  7. CMT

    CMT Forum Resident

    Sebastopol, CA
    I was born in 1960, so I was quite small when the original series was on, but I remember watching it. it was one of the very few shows my parents allowed us to watch. We had only a black and white TV until well into the late 1970s (we weren't big TV watchers in general), so it wasn't until it was in re-runs in the early 1980s that I ever saw an episode in color (and imagine my surprise when I first saw The Wizard of Oz in color--having had no idea that it WAS in color). I remember Star Trek as having been on at 6:30 on Thursday nights, at least in the first season, but that may be wrong. I lived in Japan from 1984 to 2000, so I didn't see any episodes in color or otherwise for a long time. By the time I got back to the US in 2000, of course it was available to stream, and now I have the complete series on DVD as well if I feel I need to see it.
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  8. ledzepfan63

    ledzepfan63 Forum Resident

    ii watched it every afternoon after school when it was 1st syndicated,do,nt know when that was but i,m guessing the early 70s
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  9. I watched a few original series release season 3 episodes when I was 6-7 years old. My older brothers liked it and I got to watch it with them on a glorious black and white 13” screen. In the early 70s it was available in our market via syndication. And by 1977 we finally got color tv to watch and enjoy Star Trek.
  10. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    My parents and their friends liked it (mom still does for the most part). I have one, vague memory of watching it when it was on network. Probably 1969 as it was in our living room on Long Island. Could not tell you what episode. A couple of years later it was in syndication and the transition was seamless. Also liked the Saturday morning cartoon version.

    By 1975 or so, I saw reports on Star Trek conventions and that the "show was more popular than ever" and it was "coming back" in some form or another. And it did.
  11. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    You weren't a kid in the 60's? You don't deserve to live! :laugh:
  12. loosehandlebars

    loosehandlebars Forum Resident

    In 1972 I was pretty much permanently high & the weekly early evening episode of Star Trek was a viewing highlight on our black and white TV. We would cheer as the scenery shook, as what are now cliches were established and as Kirk and his crew challenged totalitarianism across space. The end scenes espousing Kennedy/Salinger era Democratic optimism would often bring us to our feet in an ironic ovation. We would then watch the News, usually led by the latest from Vietnam, confirming that US liberalism was not going so well.
  13. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    fun! waited patiently for every week to present us with a new space adventure...
  14. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    oh, that's funny! ; )
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  15. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    ...you need to get the Blu-ray boxes! they are wonderful...blows away the DVDs.
  16. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    I kept my DVD sets because they weren’t “tampered with”. That said, I do enjoy the Blu-ray sets.
    RSteven likes this.
  17. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    Boomer OK
    I was about 10. Couldn’t, wouldn’t miss an episode. Among younger kids, there was a rumor right before the show premiered that it had an actual alien on it. Turned out to be Mr. Spock. I could only see the show in black and white, was astonished to see it in color years later.
    Doggiedogma, sotosound and RSteven like this.
  18. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I have this DVD set as well as the BD set the BD set has both.[​IMG]
  19. Jor Jor

    Jor Jor Well-Known Member

    Midwest US
  20. Hoover Factory

    Hoover Factory Old Dude Who Knows Things

    Spokane, WA
    I was born in 1960 and can remember watching many TV shows from that era & also watching many promos for series I did not watch. Funny thing is I don’t remember “Star Trek” during its network run…not at all. It’s really weird - I was a space program geek as a child and I watched shows like Lost in Space; Time Tunnel; Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea; The Jetsons; Batman; Dark Shadows; Johnny Quest; Space Ghost…etc. You would think that I would at least remember a commercial for the series. But, I don’t. Weird…especially when I do remember watching syndicated reruns in the Fall of 1969.
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  21. dougotte

    dougotte Petty, Annoying Dilettante

    Washington, DC
    I was born in 1958 and was aware of the show, but during its original run I didn't watch it, except for one brief minute.

    We were visiting an aunt in Wisconsin one summer, and I remember turning on the TV. I think the scene I saw was the conference room scene from Balance of Terror. Anyway, it was probably a conference room scene from season one. But, I didn't understand what was going on and changed the channel.

    I didn't start enjoying the show until the reruns in the early 1970s after school in the afternoons.
  22. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Brookings, Oregon
    I was born in 1960 and I pretty much have the same memory of watching the reruns after school in the around 1970, but I do have a memory of watching a one or two episodes of the original series. My most vivid memory was as a young child in the 1960's, when my father tried to talk me into watching a new Star Trek episode instead of a rerun of The Wizard Of Oz. My father was getting out voted by my older brother and my two sisters. I believe Oz won out, but somehow that is a vivid memory.

    Oh yeah, I should also mention that we lived in Huntington Harbor on a man made island in Orange County. One of our neighbors in the area was one of the great Star Trek directors, Joseph Pevney. His son went to our local high school with my sister and she kind of had a crush on him as I recall. She took me to see him in a play at the school and it was Bye Bye Birdie. He did a great job in the lead role as I recall.
    hi_watt and BeatleJWOL like this.
  23. Dr. Pepper

    Dr. Pepper What, me worry?

    My father passed away here a few months ago, but I can clearly remember being 3-6 years old when it was originally broadcast and my sister wanting to watch Star Trek and I would sit in his recliner with my Dad and watch each episode. He was not a science fiction fan, but he knew I was from an early age, so we would watch Lost In Space and Voyage To The Bottom of The Sea each week. Later we would watch Time Tunnel and Land of The Giants together, what great memories of enjoying those those shows with my very patient and supportive father. He was 95 when he passed, so a nice long life, but I'll always still miss him. One of my favorite memories is all the hassles he had to go through to surprise me with a trip into Seattle to see Gene Rodenberry do a presentation about Star Trek in like '76ish, all that effort to go see something he wasn't even that into, for his son. What a great Dad!
  24. Vic_1957

    Vic_1957 Forum Resident

    NJ, USA
    Born in 1957. Watched Star Trek on our small B & W. Got hooked, line and sinker. :D
  25. 7solqs4iago

    7solqs4iago Forum Resident

    somehow these cool toys survived till i came along to play in the early 70s


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