Monday, February 8, 2021

Review of "50 Years of Star Trek," DVD from the History Channel

 Review of

50 Years of Star Trek, DVD from the History Channel

Five out of five stars

A look back on how revolutionary Star Trek was

 As a long-time and intense fan of Star Trek, I am familiar with many of the breakthroughs that the original series carried out. It was the first network show where diversity was the norm, there were stations in the south that refused to air episodes or blacked out the first, famous interracial kiss to appear on network television. Using the cover of being science fiction, Gene Roddenberry dealt with social and political issues that no one else would touch.

 One very important point that is made here that has often been lost in the history of Star Trek is the role of Lucille Ball in the development of Star Trek. The two pilots were both shot at the Desilu Studios, owned at the time by Lucille Ball. She was very instrumental in getting the series off the ground. Once again, proving that people that play wacky characters are often very astute entertainers in real life.

 It was very enjoyable to listen to the people that played some of the major characters in all of the Star Trek series talk about their experiences. From the original series, we hear from Leonard Nimoy, Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols. Jonathan Frakes, John de Lancie, Whoopi Goldberg and Gates McFadden are from The Next Generation and Michael Dorn covers The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. Other people part of the interview process worked on the production or were inspired into space work by watching Star Trek.

By far, the most interesting was of Dorothy Fontana, known in the early credits as D. C. Fontana. She wrote the scripts for several episodes of the Star Trek original series and adopted the gender neutral pen name to avoid gender bias. At the time of the original series, Fontana was one of the few females working on writing and production.

 The only thing wrong with this video is that it is much too short and doesn’t include interviews with more of the major characters in the various series. Subsequent generations may find the original series tame relative to modern entertainment, but it truly broke new ground, challenging norms.

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