Star Trek & the Gene Roddenberry myth

A classic has been defined as a work of art that still holds up after 50 years.  The songs of the Beatles have attained that status.  And last Thursday, on September 8, so has Star Trek.

To mark the occasion, Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman have written The Fifty-Year Mission:  The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek.  It exists in two volumes, one about the first 25 years and the other about the next 25 years.

But, according to this book, Gene Roddenberry, who had the idea for the series, was not responsible for its creative success.  In fact, he was always messing it up.   Another Gene, Gene Coon, gave the show many of the qualities that so endears it to fans.  Read the review by Matthew Continetti, excerpted and linked after the jump. [Read more…]

How to tell “who done it” in a TV mystery

My wife and I have been watching an array of television mysteries.  As I have noted, one way to determine who the murderer is in any contemporary American television drama is to notice which character is the most religious.  He or she will almost invariably be the killer.

Since religion is often not evident at all in the TV universe, this rule will not be applicable to every episode.  But we have devised another rule:  If a guest star from any of the old Star Trek series appears in the episode, he or she will be the killer.

Spoiler alert:  In a recent Criminal Minds marathon that my wife and I indulged in last weekend (don’t ask why), three successive episodes featured the actors who played Wesley Crusher, Neelix, and Odo, all of whom provided evidence for our hypothesis.

Happy birthday, Star Trek

Thursday was the 45th anniversary of the first airing of Star Trek on NBC.

Are you or have you ever been a Trekkie?  Have you gotten a life, and if so, do you still like Star Trek? What is it about this series that we still talk about it 45 years later?

Which series is your favorite?  Can we agree that the original series with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, et al. was by far the best?

45 Years Ago Today: Star Trek Debuted on NBC | Strange Herring.