Obscure Facts About the Original ‘Star Trek’ Series

STAR TREK, James Doohan, DeForest Kelley, Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett, William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, 1966-1969
Everett Collection

Trekkies rejoice, the day is finally here! Sept. 8 celebrates Star Trek Day as it marks the anniversary of when the original series premiered on television in 1966. The very first episode was called “The Man Trap” and now over 50 years later, the love for Star Trek has never wavered and the original series’ success prompted tons of additional series, movies, merch, and more. To join in on the fun, let’s talk about some interesting facts about Star Trek: The Original Series.

There was originally a very different pilot episode

STAR TREK, Leonard Nimoy, Jeffrey Hunter, Peter Duryea, 'The Cage', (pilot episode - aired Oct. 15, 1988), 1966-69

Everett Collection

At first, there was a pilot episode called “The Cage” that didn’t feature the famed Captain Kirk but a Captain Pike. Spock did appear but ultimately NBC turned down the pilot. The show was able to get a second chance and history was forever changed.

Nichelle Nichols made history on the show

STAR TREK, William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, Season 3, Episode 67, 'Plato's Stepchildren.' The first interracial kiss on TV, November 22, 1968

Paramount TV/Everett Collection

Nichelle Nichols played Lieutenant Nyota Uhura and was one of the first Black women to play a major role in a TV show. Her kiss with William Shatner also changed history as one of the very first interracial kisses on television.

Lucille Ball saved the show

I LOVE LUCY, Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz, 1951-1957

Everett Collection

Desilu Productions, owned by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, financed Star Trek. At one point, the show was almost canceled but Ball believed the show would be a success and convinced everyone else to continue to back it.

Leonard Nimoy answered fan mail as Spock

STAR TREK, Leonard Nimoy, 1966-69

Everett Collection

People would write to Nimoy as Spock and ask questions or ask for advice. One notable exchange was by a teenage girl who asked for advice on how to deal with prejudice she faced because she was biracial. He wrote back, “[Spock] said to himself: ‘Not everyone will like me. But there will be those who will accept me just for who I am.’”

Can you think of Sulu’s first name?

STAR TREK, George Takei, 1966-69

Everett Collection

If you’re racking your brain right now, you can stop because Sulu actually never had a first name in the original series. Later on in Star Trek VI, the first name of Hikaru was introduced.

The show has broken tons of Guinness World Records

STAR TREK, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, DeForest Kelley & Nichelle Nichols, 1966-69

Paramount/Everett Collection

One of the most interesting Guinness World Records is that the fictional language in Star Trek called Klingon holds the record for the “most widely spoken fictional language.” Now tell us, how many words in Klingon do you know?

Happy Star Trek Day! How will you celebrate this evening?

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60s Sci-Fi Favorites

March 2020

Do you remember all the great Sci-Fi TV shows of the ’60s?

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