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Star Trek: 55 Years Of Boldly Going

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JD Hancock
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At 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, 1966, NBC aired the premiere of a new series called Star Trek. The episode was “The Man Trap.” The star date was 1513.1, in case you’re interested in that kind of thing.

I am not interested in that kind of thing.

The Star Trek canon encompasses 10 television shows — 811 episodes, so far — and 13 movies. I’ve just never been into it. I tried to get into it for this show, but it didn’t work.

But here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter. “Beam me up.” “Live long and prosper.” “Redshirt.” “Vulcan.” “Klingon.” The English language’s best known split infinitive. Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of Star Trek, Star Trek is a big damn deal, with nearly boundless influence.

Star Trek is more than pop culture; it’s 20th century mythology,” according to The AV Club’s Caroline Siede. This hour, a look at some of the more than 36,000 minutes — more than 25 days — of television and movies that is Star Trek.

GUESTS:

  • Sam Hatch - Co-host of The Culture Dogs on WWUH
  • Timothy Sandefur - Author of The Permission Society: How the Ruling Class Turns Our Freedoms Into Privileges and What We Can Do About It; he wrote an essay on the politics of Star Trek
  • Caroline Siede - Freelance writer
  • Linda Wetzel - Associate professor of philosophy at Georgetown University

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe, Rebecca Castellani, Greg Hill, Chion Wolf, and Alan Yu contributed to this show, which originally aired September 8, 2016.

Jonathan started at WNPR in 2010. He is as likely to produce a show on America’s jury system as he is a story on all the grossest parts of the human body. He's as likely to host a podcast on minor league baseball as he is to cover a presidential debate almost by accident. His work has been heard nationally on NPR and locally on WNPR’s talk shows and news magazines.