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Star Trek: the Timeline

2 minute read
Text by David E. Thigpen

1964: Desilu Studios tries to sell Star Trek to CBS, which declines and decides to air Lost in Space instead.

Sept. 1966: NBC broadcasts first episode, The Man Trap: Kirk outwits a vampire-like alien who has eyes for McCoy.

March 1967: McCoy says, “Dammit, Jim, I’m not a bricklayer, I’m a doctor!” First variation of this phrase.

1967: Even at its ratings peak, Star Trek ranks No. 52, behind such shows as Mr. Terrific and Iron Horse.

Dec. 1967: Trouble with Tribbles, peak of Star Trek humor.

Summer 1968: NBC announces cancellation of series but receives 1 million letters of protest and renews it.

Nov. 1968: TV’s first interracial kiss, between Kirk and Uhura. Censors insist “no racial overtones,” no open mouths.

1969: After 79 episodes NBC cancels series.

Feb. 1972: First Star Trek convention is held in New York City. Sci-fi guru Isaac Asimov attends.

1976: After reveiving 400,000 letters from Trekkies, NASA names space-shuttle prototype Enterprise.

1976: Leonard Nimoy writes I Am Not Spock.

Nov. 1979: Star Trek: The Motion Picture released. The franchise lives.

| Dec. 1982: Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan released; it features Kirstie Alley and Ricardo Montalban’s cleavage. Spock dies.

June 1984: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Spock lives!

1986: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. In 1980s San Francisco, Spock and Kirk save the whales.

1986: In Saturday Night Life skit, Shatner tells convention of Vulcan-eared Trekkies to “get a life”.

1987: Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series debuts with Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart on the bridge and an android riding shotgun.

Oct. 1990: With 80th episode, TNG surpasses original series. Classic Trek fans aghast.

1991: Gene Roddenberry dies.

March 1992: “Star Trek the Exhibition” opens at the National Air and Space Museum and becomes the most heavily attended exhibit ever.

Jan. 1993: Spin-off series Deep Space Nine debuts. Alien soap opera.

Nov. 1994: Star Trek Generations. Kirk dies. Really

Jan. 1995: Star Trek: Voyager premieres. Lost in space.

24th century: Star Trek forgotten; cult forms around Shatner’s ’80s cop show, T.J. Hooker.

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