Share Your Memories of Watching Star Trek on NBC

Share Your Memories is a monthly column that invites readers to contribute their recollections of what they watched on television and how they watched it. Topics range from obsolete equipment to network programming practices to specific TV shows and everything in between.

“To Boldly Go…”

NBC aired the final repeat of Star Trek (“Requiem for Methuselah”) on Friday Tuesday, September 2nd, 1969 from 7:30-8:30PM ET. After 79 episodes, the sci-fi drama went off the air. At the time, no one had any idea how successful the show would be in off-network syndication throughout the 1970s, leading to the first of six feature films in 1979 and several spin-offs/sequels starting with Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987.

Here’s an early NBC promotional spot for the September 1966 series premiere of Star Trek:

And here’s the official trailer for “Requiem for Methuselah”:

To NBC, Star Trek was at best a modest failure, neither a massive success or an outright flop. It had enough viewers to survive the 1966-1967 season and keep it on the air for two more. With three seasons, it lasted as long as Gilligan’s Island or Lost in Space.

Were you one of those viewers? I’m much too young to have watched Star Trek during its 1966-1969 network run. My dad watched it and he remembers how excited he was whenever he visited his grandparents. They had a color TV and he could watch Star Trek in glorious living color. If you’re old enough to remember watching Star Trek during its original NBC run between 1966 and 1969, please share your memories in the comments. Were you a fan from the very beginning? Did you watch in color or black-and-white? Did you watch every episode? Did you talk about every episode with your friends at school or your co-workers? Were you aware of the letter writing campaign to save the show?

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11 Replies to “Share Your Memories of Watching Star Trek on NBC”

  1. Being born in December 1961 I’m old enough to remember watching the original run. I remember it was my Dad’s favorite show and we watched it every week. When we lived in England back in 1969, Star Trek was on there and thats when I really remember it. But two episodes stand out because they sort of scared/traumatized me as a kid. One was the doomsday machine episode when William Windom’s character drives the shuttlecraft into the machine to destroy it and gets killed. It was very intense. Also, the one where Spock and Kirk are forced to fight to the death. I was crying and my parents said its only TV its only make-believe. Star Trek was pretty good make-believe for the 1960s and it has stood the test of time.

  2. September 2, 1969 fell on Tuesday, not Friday. NBC changed its scheduling from 10 PM ET Fridays (a bad time for younger viewers) to 7:30 PM ET Tuesday. This rescheduling happened before the last original episode was aired on Tuesday, June 3, 1969. I’ve read that this final episode was originally supposed to be aired Friday, March 28, 1969, but former President Eisenhower’s death that day caused the show to be preempted & aired later.

    I’m too young to remember seeing STAR TREK in primetime, but if I had seen it at home, I would’ve seen it in B&W, as my family didn’t have a color tv until late 1979.

  3. Those previews were used on NBC, but not in syndication or streaming. I think they might be on DVD! Louise Sorel is the actress in this show and she is one of my faves! She once said her ponytail looked like it came from the Ponderosa…LOL!!

  4. I don’t think I saw any episodes in the original run, but I do recall watching them in the afternoons. Initially we had a B&W set so I watched them in B&W, then getting to re-watched them again later in color.

  5. I had just turned 7 and was in second grade in 1966. I have no specific recollection of the show itself until the third season, but I do remember an incident that occurred during the first season while I was in second grade. One day I took my father’s razor and tried to give myself Spock eyebrows. Obviously, I didn’t get the effect I was looking for. I do remember telling my teacher what had happened, which led to a hastily arranged parent/teacher conference. Ironically, I have no recollection of that teacher, neither her name nor what she looked like. Being in a Catholic school, all I know was that she was a woman. We had no male teachers until 7th grade. She was the only teacher I can’t seem to recall during my 8 years in that school. We watched the show in glorious black and white since we didn’t get a color TV until 1975. Before that, I looked forward to watching reruns in color in the TV section on Saturday mornings in my neighborhood Two Guys store.

  6. I Never Did Like Star Trek,I Liked William Shatner Better In For The People,I Liked Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea Better Than Lost In Space And Star Trek,As Well As Liked The Time Tunnel And Land Of The Giants.

  7. We Watched Hogan’s Heroes Instead Of Star Trek,We Watched Gomer Pyle,USMC Instead Of Star Trek,We Watched Judd For The Defense.

  8. Star Trek Was On KTNT 11 In The Seattle-Tacoma,Washington Area,Later KSTW In The Late 1960’s In Reruns Then.

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