Tuesday, September 6, 2016

50 Years Ago, In the Great White North

While many people will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek airing for the first time on NBC this Thursday, September 8, today marks the actual 50th anniversary of the very first time that Star Trek hit the air anywhere. On September 6, 1966, the episode "The Man Trap" was aired for the first time... in Canada. With no disrespect meant for the rest of the world, Canada got the first view of what has become one of the greatest science fiction franchises and arguably the most influential piece of pop culture.

William Shatner at the Calgary Comic Expo, April 2016

Canada loves Star Trek, and we have made our fair contributions to it. From great actors like William Shatner and James Doohan in the original series, to Nicole de Boer of Deep Space Nine, plus many notable guest stars, to countless who worked behind the scenes, Canadians left their mark on this great franchise, and it seems fitting that the new series, Star Trek Discovery, is going to be filmed in Toronto. Oh, and let's not forget the unofficial Star Trek capital of Canada, if not the world, Vulcan Alberta, where the pharmacy has all the doctors on the wall, the tourist station is full of Trek props, and city hall is known as Starfleet headquarters.

The Enterprise that greets you to Vulcan, Canada

Trek has given us the odd nod from time to time. Wesley Crusher went skiing in Calgary with his cadet buddies. Toronto's city hall was one of the places that showed up in the Iconian gateway (if Picard hadn't known that the bridge of the Enterprise had shown up, I'm sure he would have happily stepped out into Toronto). Michael Eddington had a lucky loonie, and Sam Lavelle, whose grandfather was Canadian, thought that Riker was also Canadian because he was so awesome (sadly, Will was from Alaska, which is geographically closer to Canada than any of its amazing state brethren).  

Stamp collection to honor 50 years of Trek

So, on this historic day, grab a glass of Canada Dry, a handful of maple-flavoured Timbits, pop in the first season DVD with the Man Trap, and sing a little "O Canada" as the intro music plays. All hailing frequencies open on the ship with the registry number NCC-1701-EH! 

Sorry, I couldn't resist that last bit.

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