Thursday, 8 September 2016

Star Trek at 50

Today is the 50th anniversary of Star Trek - specifically the first US broadcast of The Man Trap at 8.30, rather than the original pilot The Cage two years earlier, or the first Canadian broadcast two days earlier.

Starting with The Man Trap means dropping the audience into a “routine” mission with no real introduction of anyone - we even see Spock in the captain’s chair before we see Kirk! (And you might expect the hand puppet plant to be a recurring character!)

Want to celebrate with a new episode? Star Trek Continues just released one, about a ghost ship and the glass ceiling.

While I wasn’t around when the series first aired I’ve been around for most of that time. I grew up with the original series on heavy repeats, the movies - and the often bonkers comics of the first film more than the film itself, reprinted here in weekly chunks in Marvel anthology Future Tense alongside Trek-alike Seeker 3000 - and some of the Mego style figures and a Dinky Enterprise that shot discs and lost its warp engines. I also had a plastic cigarette case (or something) that played the role of a communicator.

I’ve also played the official RPGs from the big FASA game onwards, the post-FASA ones usually soon after they were released - the big Trek fan in my gaming circle believes in getting value out of new rulebook purchases. I haven’t loved any of the official systems but I’ve generally tolerated them in order to get on with playing in a very game-friendly setting.

I’ve hardly ever run it (I last tried in 2009 - here, have fifteen adventure ideas) but have run various “spaceship show” style RPGs over the years. This goes right back to my earliest RPG experiences, with Starship Traveller being the fourth Fighting Fantasy book.

A small group of people heading out into space, meeting adventure on strange new worlds, bringing hope and optimism as they boldly go where no one has gone before...

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