Today is the anniversary of the birth of Gene Roddenberry. He was born on August 18, 1921. Before 1965 he was most famous as a writer and producer for television series such as "Have Gun Will Travel" and "Highway Patrol." Before he was involved with television he was a police officer in Los Angeles and before that he was in the Air Force.
Of course, he is known to millions as the creator of STAR TREK. His vision of a world...nay, a universe, at peace was a wonderful vision in the late Sixties and into the Seventies (where I first encountered it!). I've written here before about how I loved the multi-racial cast and the colorful costumes dealing with hard-hitting drama and gentle comedy (most of the time). STAR TREK was a terrific show and a great base to build a franchise around.
I was not in the USA to watch THE NEXT GENERATION or any of the other follow-ups "live." I did catch various videotapes (yes, videotapes) and from there learned of DEEP SPACE NINE and VOYAGER. I was back in the States by the time ENTERPRISE was on, but I never got around to watching it past the first episode. Sorry, Trekkers!
I liked NEXT GEN but I always thought the leads were a bit...well...boring. Captain Picard was fun, but he wasn't very dramatic. Commander Riker was just another Capt Kirk and I found him dull in the extreme. Likewise, Data was given WAY too much time. Sure, some of the episodes about him were awesome. Others, just awful.
On review I think my all-time favorite series is DEEP SPACE NINE. I liked all of the cast members (except the last Dax, sorry again!) and I liked the whole idea of a group of people not necessarily wanting to be where they were trying their best to get along. The actors were awesome, the "standing set" was fabulous, and the stories got more and more intricate.
My favorite "concept," however, is THE ORIGINAL SERIES. Because it was first it was best. I liked all of these characters, going boldly every week! I only wish that there had been more air time given to Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, Chekhov, Rand, and Chapel. I understand that the "core" of the show was Kirk-Spock-McCoy, but with six other interesting supporting characters to feature, it's a shame they didn't all have more to do. I watch it sometimes now and imagine what the other characters are doing while Kirk etc are occupied.
Happy Birthday, Gene Roddenberry!
Thank you for so many wonderful hours of entertainment!
On Tuesday I'll do my MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: STAR TREK to name my 7 favorite episodes, to honor Mr. Roddenberry. Don't miss it!