To boldly split infinitives that no man had split before

One of the advantages of being my age is that I remember the UK TV première of Star Trek and the first R4 run of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Today's Today programme had something on being the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek, but a) it'd had been broadcast on the 6th Sept 1966 in Canada* so they're two days late, and b) the UK première wasn't until the 12th July 1969, just over a month after the last original series episode was broadcast in the US.

Why it took so long to get to the UK, I don't know. Perhaps it got cheaper to buy after NBC made the decision to cancel it, or perhaps the imminent moon landings made a space programme more attractive to buy.

In a bit of programming that's either inspired or boringly predictable, it was placed in the Saturday teatime 'Dr Who slot'. I was the only member of the family to watch it – afterwards I remember being asked how much I understood** and saying all of it except the 'star dates'.

I would have missed the next episode – we went to Butlins that summer just before moving house and we were there when the Apollo 11 landing happened – which is slightly annoying, because the BBC had their own ordering of the programmes and, after the Kirk pilot, they put the best ones on first. So The City on the Edge of Forever was 3rd out of 24, rather than 28th out of 29,*** for example.

While I can listen to Hitchhikers (and complain that the mice don't sound right), I'm not tempted to watch all of the Star Treks again. Perhaps one or two…

* Thank you, WP!

** I was seven at the time.

*** The BBC didn't show some of the first season until 1992 because "they all dealt most unpleasantly with the already unpleasant subjects of madness, torture, sadism and disease".


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