.:: ON THIS DAY ::. To all the Trekkies out there, today is the series' creator Gene Roddenberry's 98th birthday!
Gene's first writing gigs had him working on a number of police dramas and Westerns, most of which never made it past the pilot episode. On a number of occasions this was due in part to Gene clashing with the studios, his most common beef being over his demand that his shows should have multicultural casts and characters. While working on The Lieutenant, Gene also managed to piss off The Pentagon, who withdrew their support and disallowed Gene to shoot on an actual Marine base, after he went against their wishes and shot an episode that featured a white man and a black man working together as friends. Fuck you, Pentagon.
Finally, after years of busts and dealings with racist, middle-aged, rich, white dudes, Gene began work on what would become his greatest creation - Star Trek. It may be surprising to know now but back when it aired Star Trek was not the cultural phenomenon it is now. In fact the show almost found itself cancelled due to poor ratings twice during its short three season run, but both times the studio backed down on their plans after the rabid fanbase started letter writing campaigns demanding the show continue. This fandom was one of the first of its kind in pop culture, and would go on to pave the way for a lot of what we know as staples in geek fandom, such as conventions, merchandise collecting, fan theories and fan films, etc.
By the late 80s and early 90s, Gene's health problems were becoming more serious. He already had immense issues with drug and alcohol abuse, including cocaine addiction he landed himself during the Star Trek movie's development, and amphetamine abuse which he used to pull all-nighters when working on scripts. By 1989 Gene was left wheelchair bound by a stroke, and by his second stroke in 1991 his condition worsened still. On the 24th October 1991 Gene began struggling for air, and despite help from his doctors, he sadly passed away.
So if ever there was a day to re-visit the old Star Treks, today is most certainly the day.
#onthisday #generoddenberry #startrek #scifi #happybirthday #rad #TTWAAR