Sunday, January 6, 2013

The L.A. SAVE STAR TREK Rally—this day in 1968!

We're not talking about the Save Enterprise protest of 2005, or the abortive "Captain Sulu" push in the '90s.

No (and thank god for the Internet): This was 45 years ago TODAY. In Burbank, right down Olive Avenue from me ...

NBC was far more New York-based in those days, but  NBC-Burbank was still a nerve center even before it got the relocated Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. And this protest really hit home, literally. (And a h/t to John Ellis on Facebook for digging out the page...I was not paying attention we were already on the date.)

This truly "Saturday night live" rally right out of the turbulent '60s is from the ORIGINAL "Save Star Trek" campaign that won Trek a third season—criticially enough episodes so as to sell into local station syndication, and fulfill the plan of Kaiser Stations' Dick Block to bring Trek reruns to the more obvious market of afterschool kids and between-class college students  in major markets nationwide. The rest, as they say, is history.

Bjo and John Trimble ran the "Save Star Trek" mail campaign that infused the activist/ownership gene into Trek fandom's DNA—and, thanks to those nerd-before-nerd-was-cool Cal Tech fans, this was the baby right on the doorstep of NBC.

By the way: Bob Justman and Herb Solow share more pics and the whole story of "the march on Burbank" on pp. 380-384 of their Inside Star Trek book—a must-have, kiddies. They quote from Gene's letter about it the next day to Isaac Asimov, who notes they had a city parade permit and that the Burbank police "wer very complinehbtary"— a torchlight parade "extremely well-ordeed and mannerly." Well, SOME things never change, do they?

I would LOVE to find anyone today among the 200+ who were there, or even in this photo—or one of a couple more I have that I can't put my hands on this second. This is the post from the L.A. Times Photography blog that talks more and quotes the LA Times story .... all written in an era, remember, when no one had ever heard the word "Trekkie" or used the term "pop culture" for anything other than survey polling for fathers. Maybe.

Trivia time: What was the Season 1 TOS episode where NBC later made history with an on-air announcement of a show's non-cancellation and fall return?
AND what was the Season 2 show where they repeated television history with the third season renewal news, after the even bigger write-in campaign?

1 comment:

J Marshall Presnell said...

I believe it was The Omega Glory, but my memory could be failing me. :)