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Forty Years of Science Fiction Television Featuring: Star Trek
40years
Genre Documentary
Approximate running time 30 minutes
Published by Simitar Entertainment, Inc.
Released 1990

OverviewEdit

Forty Years of Science Fiction Television Featuring: Star Trek is a documentary that briefly touches on many historical aspects of 40 years of science fiction television series, from the earliest ventures of Flash Gordon of the 1950s to the end years of Star Trek: The Next Generation in the 1990s (which actually debuted in the late 1980s). It was released in 1990 by Simitar Entertainment, Inc.

ContentEdit

Science fiction was mostly silver screen material until the 1950s. As television was expanding, both genre-wise (having established comedy, western, drama and sports shows dominating the air waves) and by increasingly appearing in households, science fiction shows began appearing as well. The earlier shows were aimed at a younger audience though with the Saturday morning sci-fi staples of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, Captain Video and His Video Rangers, Space Patrol and Rocky Jones, Space Ranger.

On the flip side, however, was the anthology show of Science Fiction Theatre, as well as Adventures of Superman, which not only ran for several years, but became a big product placement vehicle, as a vintage commercial showed actor George Reeves (disguised as his alter ego of Clark Kent) hawking Kellogg’s Sugar Frosted Flakes. Also, more adult-themed science fiction shows began appearing at the close of the decade, such as The Twilight Zone (including a few horror-themed shows) and One Step Beyond.

Later, the 1960s brought about The Outer Limits, The Invaders, Night Gallery (bringing back host Rod Serling of The Twilight Zone), The Prisoner, Batman and Star Trek, showing many practical jokes and bloopers of the latter that were given to cast members of the show.

The 1970s were also covered with Kolchak, The Night Stalker, Battlestar Galactica, Captain America, Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Finally, the 1980s ushered in Knight Rider along with coming full circle with another incarnation of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Irwin Allen recognitionEdit

Also included in the presentation was the “prolific” (as he was called) Irwin Allen, as his shows of The Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and the “classic” Lost in Space were mentioned while showing production stills, as well as giving each show a brief description. Allen’s work was also described as to making 20th Century Fox into a “science fiction program assembly line” for his efforts.

Trivia/notesEdit

  • Captain Video and His Video Rangers actually debuted in 1949.
  • Star Trek got the most screen time during this documentary, taking up nearly half of the run time with its history and blooper reel.
  • A shot from the pilot episode of Land of the Giants was included in the brief Irwin Allen segment, although the show was not mentioned by name.
  • Allen was not given much screen time, but he was one of only two producers that was named during the presentation (the other one being Rod Serling).

GalleryEdit

LinksEdit

Entry at the Internet Movie Database

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