“Star Trek” Celebrates 49 Years

Happy 49th Birthday, Star Trek

49 years ago today, “Star Trek” premiered on NBC with its first episode “The Man Trap” at 8:30PM on September 8, 1966. Following two pilot episodes, the series — created by Gene Roddenberry — would go on to run for three seasons, spur thirteen feature films and change the face of television forever. The show’s stars: William Shatner as Captain Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy, James Doohan as Scotty, George Takei as Hikaru Sulu and Nichelle Nichols as Uhura have become household names.

As we look forward to next year’s 50th anniversary, let’s stop, reflect and salute the episode that beamed into living rooms and gave us all a glimpse into the 23rd century on that fateful day in 1966.

Star Trek at 49

“The Man Trap” centers around the crew of the Starship Enterprise and a shapeshifting, salt-hungry creature on the alien planet M-113. First aired on September 8, 1966, the episode was written by George Clayton Johnson, directed by Marc Daniels and scored by Alexander Courage.

Star Trek at 49

The episode has been released in physical media formats: VHS, DVD and Blu-ray. It is also available for streaming and digitally on Netflix, Amazon Instant Streaming, CBS All Access, iTunes and more.

Star Trek at 49

Join us in celebrating Star Trek’s 49th birthday tonight as we live-tweet “The Man Trap” at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. You can follow us on Twitter at @TrekNewsNet and with the hashtag #StarTrek49.

What’s your first “Star Trek” memory? Tell us in the comments below.

9 Comments Join the Conversation →

  • dropsoul

    My first Star Trek memory is when I was on Summer vacation in Long Island. It was 1977 or 76, I was 10 or 11 years old and I had a huge crush on Spock. I had just watched the All Our Yesterdays episode and was taking a trip somewhere in my step-mother’s car — I wasn’t paying any attention to what she was saying as I was dreaming of Spock.

  • OhioMike45

    First time Trek I saw the Enterprise glide across the tv screen in the ubiquitous side shot as my buddy and I walked by the TV his parents were watching, and I thought “Hey, space ship.” Little did I know, but I was 10 at the time.

  • artfuldgr

    As i sit writing this, i have in front of me the personal card of gene rodenberry… it was damaged by an ex girlfrield, but i still hold hard to it… it was a great afternoon i got to spend with him when he came to the college…

  • I was 8 years old when Star Trek came out in 1966, and I wasn’t allowed to watch it then, because there was something my mother wanted to see at that time on another channel, and in 1966, most households only had one TV.

    But in the summer of 1969, during the summer reruns of Season Three, my mother had already seen whatever that other show was, and she turned to Star Trek for lack of anything “better.” The date was July 8, 1969, and the episode was “Spock’s Brain.” Yes, the first episode I ever saw was the one that most people claim is the worst ever! I’ll always have a soft spot for it, though, because it was my first. (I also don’t think it’s the worst. Heaven knows it’s not GOOD, but it has a certain goofy charm, which some of the other bad episodes — like “The Alternative Factor” or “And the Children Shall Lead” — do NOT have.)

    Spock is present in “Spock’s Brain” only at the end, when he sits up at the end of the operation restoring his brain and starts to babble. I wanted to know who he was and why he was so special that someone would take his brain and why he talked differently than everyone else. I didn’t know it then, but that would be the beginning of a fascination with all things Spock. 🙂

    I already loved science fiction, though, and although Spock was my entrée into Star Trek, he would not be the only thing I loved about it. I loved the messages, the optimism, the camaraderie of the main characters, the science fiction, and the portraits of alien cultures. I had pictures of the three main characters on my bedroom wall during my adolescence, and when I was younger and still figuring out how to behave in the world, I’d ask myself what Kirk, Spock and McCoy would want me to do in this situation.

    My mother also got hooked on Star Trek, which was quite surprising because she’d always thought it was strange that I read science fiction, and she didn’t like much else in the SF/F realms. She’d loved fairy tales as a girl, though, and I think perhaps Star Trek affected her in the way that fairy tales did and in a way that other science fiction did not.

    Mom also had a crush on a Star Trek character, though hers was on Jim Kirk, and she never really understood why I loved/identified with the alien. My mother is 82 now, and she still watches Star Trek occasionally. My mother and I are very, VERY different, and Star Trek is one of the few things we agree on. I’ll always be grateful that she turned it on, on that long-ago July 8th.

  • I even managed to work Trek’s anniversary into my company’s blog/Facebook page as an essential and important day in history ! 😉 Sneaky!


  • Phil

    49 years ago I watched the first showing and have been a fan ever since

  • ohsnaponu

    My first serious crush was Mr. Spock. There is something about Mr. Spock…STILL. And when Leonard Nimoy died I am not ashamed to say this 63 year old woman sat in Starbucks and cried!
    Peace and Long Life, LLAP to all.

  • Zod

    I can’t wait for the 50th…proud to be part of the Star Trek family.
    Star Trek lives in 2015!!!

  • Randy E Henaire

    I can’t believe that “Spock’s” charecter was the one they wanted for the “sex appeal” I allway’s figured that it was the Captain that was the “lady’s man”…….guess it was the sighn of the time’s though!………my first memory of star trek was way back in the early 70’s, I remember watching “the cage” or the “manageri” (can’t recall)…my sister and i called those alien’s the “bom-bom head’s”!! lol