45 years ago today the very first episode of Star Trek aired with the episode "The Man Trap". Although it was the sixth episode aired, the producers thought that this episode was the best one to launch the show on.
The pilot episode 'Where No Man Has Gone Before' actually aired two weeks later, which was actually the second pilot. Which is the pisode which introduced Kirk, Scotty and Sulu. Although Sulu was a physicist in this pilot and not the helmsman. It seemed a bit jarring to put the pilot third, given things like the uniforms being different, Sulu's position being different and a different doctor.
Although Spock was the only one who survived from the first pilot 'The Cage' a lot of what became his character was established here as well. In 'The Cage' Spock was very emotional and it was the first officer 'Number One' who was the logical one. When she was dropped a lot of her character traits were added to Spock and that's how Spock became the icon that he is today.
The original piot had Jeffrey Hunter playing Captain Pike who, in comparison to Kirk, seemed more reflective and perhaps more cerebral. At the start he is thinking of resigning because of the stress of his command and losing crewmembers on a mission.
When I watch Pike I do see the prototype of what became Picard on the Next Generation. But he did not have the energy that Bill Shatner had when he played Captain Kirk. There is an energy Shatner brings to Kirk, even now at 80 Shatner still has the energy of a man half his age. He made Captain Kirk and to me will always be the real Kirk.
I am currently going through the Original Series again and this is the first time I have been watching them remastered. The new remastered effects add a freshness to the episodes but what I love is that they are very faithful to the original episodes and they don't take you out. The true gem of the remastered episodes is seeing the true beauty of Matt Jeffries' designed Enterprise. 45 years later and that ship is still a beauty.
Even though the JJ Abrams' movie is not my preferred take on Star Trek, it is wonderful that the movie is keeping the Trek flame alive and getting stronger once again. Star Trek in all its incarnations is a wonderful universe to be in and the scharacters and stories always inspired me.
So lets raise a toast to Star Trek. May it live long and prosper.