Star Trek Turns 50


Sharon Gimpel as "the salt vampire" in The Man Trap
Sharon Gimpel as “the salt vampire” in The Man Trap

Star Trek is now 50 years old.  To celebrate, we thought we’d share some facts from the show. Although “Charlie X” was the first episode filmed, Star Trek debuted with “The Man Trap”.


walt-startrekWe figure this will start more than one fight. Before slapping down paychecks or pink slips, be advised that the facts given come from all the shows, movies, books and interviews. And yeah, Spock’s name is Edward. He’s named after his paternal grandfather. It’s rare (on Vulcan), hard to pronounce (in Vulcan) and he’s embarrassed by it. Go read “Spock’s World”. stbbq

The line, “To boldly go where no man has gone before” was hijacked verbatim from a 1957 White House booklet on space exploration. It is one of the more famous examples of a split infinitive and is grammatically incorrect.

 Doctor McCoy’s medical scanner was a salt shaker.
Doctor McCoy’s medical scanner was a salt shaker.


The transporter effect was glitter stirred in water and filmed upside down.


The view screen embedded in tricorders was always designed to the same size according to a fixed aspect ratio, that which was used in a typical 1960’s television set.

Gene Roddenberry 1942

Gene Roddenberry joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941,and flew many combat B-17 Flying Fortress missions in the Pacific Theater with the 394th Bomb Squadron, the “Bomber Barons.” He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. On 2 August 1943, Roddenberry was the pilot of B-17E Flying Fortress, 41-2463, “Yankee Doodle”, of the 394th BS, 5th BG, when it crashed on takeoff due to mechanical failure at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, killing 2 crew.



During the Vietnam war, Army Captain Pierre Kirk was commanding the 363rd Transportation Company. He was a big Star Trek fan. The company’s communications were patterned after the show. He was “Kirk”, his exec was “Spock”, the Medic was “Bones”, etc. etc. The company was ambushed by a vastly superior force of Viet Cong. Captain Kirk immediately called for support from a U.S. destroyer stationed off shore. It went something like, “Kirk to Enterprise. We need an immediate fire mission on the following coordinates.”
Apparently, the Viet Cong were monitoring the transmissions and were Star Trek fans. Fearing a phaser barrage from an orbiting star ship, they immediately withdrew. This story has been confirmed by sources in Vietnam.

James Doohan was a true war hero. An enlisted man who rose to captain in the Royal Canadian Artillery, he was with the Royal Canadian Artillery on Juno Beach on D-Day. He was shot seven times, with an eighth bullet lodging in his metal cigarette case. Three bullets shredded the middle finger of his right hand. Eventually, the finger was amputated, which is occasionally noticeable in Star Trek episodes and movies.


Buyer beware, there were only eleven communicators made for the show. Including a stunt communicator that was crushed by one of Mudd’s sexy androids.

The Enterprise six lane bowling alley is located on deck 21.

Because they were never shown (or even implied) there has been a long standing joke that there are no bathrooms on the Star Ship Enterprise. Paramount countered this charge when it published the official blue prints of the Enterprise in 1973. The blueprint then spawned the joke that the star ship was a space going hotel. Please note that in Star Trek XI, Kirk and Scotty “Transwarp transport” into the ship’s water treatment plant.



Star Trek is a Registered and Copyrighted Trademark of Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. All subject matter referring to Star Trek are trademarks of Paramount Pictures. Any material belonging to Paramount’s or others Copyrighted Material that may appear on this website complies with fair and/or acceptable use for the purposes of review, study, criticism, or news reporting. All evaluations and conclusions here are the sole opinion of the author and do not constitute any formal legal declarations. While every effort has been made to post accurate information; it is offered for your reading enjoyment only.

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