Stardate with William Shatner on the Cover back in 1976
STARDATE the Coolest Magazine for Star Trek Fans
STARDATE was published bimonthly by Sacramento Valley S.T.A.R. Back in the 1970s it was one of the coolest must have magazines for a real Star Trek fan, and boy was I a fan. People might ask why Star Trek, indeed? If you're of a fanatical turn of mind, there are plenty of other subjects to snag you attention especially in the mid-1970s ... you had radical politics, or far-our religions, for example. Even if you prefer the specialized realm of Science fiction in film, back in the 1970s there were plenty of other movies and TV programs to adsorb ones interest: 2001, The Bionic Woman, and even, please help us, Space: 1999.
Well, first off, there was the production value. Gene Roddenberry is several kinds of a genius, and not the least of his talents lies in assembling a good production team. Everyone from the script director to the assistant camera man is a skilled expert. Fans are quick to pick up on this; in how many other TV productions do the admirers know the names of the productions staff members’ right down to the stunt man? Rarely has a TV program had such an excellent production team, and the audience to appreciate it!
Stardate with William Shatner on the Cover back in 1976, This is the Special Anniversary Issue
The back cover of STARDATE 1976 Anniversary Issue
Great Talent can be said of the Actors in Star Trek
Great talent can be said of the actors in Star Trek the original episodes. The credits of Nimoy, Shatner, Kelley, and Doohan are too well known to be gone into here; suffice it to say that Roddenberry knew how to pick a fine staff or regulars. Even the extras were professionally top-drawer! It is clear that Coon and Roddenberry knew not only how and where to pick fine actors, but also how to get the best possible performance out of them.]
Kirk and his Wife in the Episode The Paradise Syndrome
Roddenberry hunted up good Science Fiction Authors
As we all know Roddenberry knew enough about Science Fiction to hunt up good professionals Science Fiction authors to write his scripts. Harlan Ellison and John D.F. Black were Science Fiction writers, who specialize in film script writing, but who would have expected such work from Theodore Sturgeon who is not a film script writer, and had, to the best of my knowledge, never written any script before “Shore Leave” and “Amok Time”? Certainly one big reason for Star Trek’s success is the unusually high quality of its scripts; with worst of them such as “Spock’s Brain” and “Omega Glory” are literate and well-structured. I cannot think of any American TV series and I am not counting such special imports as “The Six Wives of Henry VIII or Elizabeth R that can boast of such constant scrip quality in the 1960s era of Television writers.
Here is some great Artwork of Mr. Spock in STARDATE.
STAR TREK did have Underlying Ideas, not standard Cliches
The difference between STAR TREK and other TV series really becomes noticeable when we began to look at underlying ideas inherent in the series. First of all, STAR TREK really did have some underlying ideas, not just TV standard cliches. It depicts a future society with some refreshingly advanced basic assumptions: all intelligent beings are equal and bigotry of any kind is despised, all new societies are to be approached with respect and peaceful intentions, all societies have equal rights to their own chosen directions of development, and war is an abhorrent last resort rather than a common tool of politics.
Great Artwork showing Dr. McCoy working on a Problem
Roddenberry has made an Incredible jump into Future Thinking
The very idea that all are created equal and justice was universal could be the basic foundation of a vast star spanning society is extremely advance, even for mainstream Science Fiction in the 1960s. How many Science Fiction films and books and stories, even those that are rated high in quality by Science Fiction fans and writers, assume that future society will be just as ignorant, tyrannical and warlike as societies are today? Roddenberry has made an incredible jump into future thinking by insisting that civilizations can learn and grow and progress past such evils; the Star Trek view of the future is an amazingly optimistic and yet a realistic one.
STARDATE Dedication, On Star Trek's Tenth Anniversary
Enterprise is a Federation Space Ship of a Galactic Navy
Consider the Enterprise is a Federation warship, the equivalent as Gene Roddenberry often pointed out of a big Navy battleship of today. James T. Kirk is a 22nd Century Navy Captain, and his crew are all navy, i.e., military personnel. Remember that the military and particularly the navy has always been the most socially and politically conservative group in any society. Yet the crew of the Enterprise act and think like the better class of liberals today!
A very Cool AD in STARDATE about Kelly Freas Artwork
Progressive and Optimistic Thinking is a big part of Star Trek
This progressive and optimistic thinking becomes even more noticeable in the specific ideas that each script deals with. Individual episodes wrestle with some amazing concepts: When is war needed to solve a conflict? (“Private Little War”) Under what conditions is it right to change someone else’s society? (“The Apple”, “Return of The Archons”) How lenient can you afford to be with an enemy? (“The Lights of Zetar”, “Arena”) Just how much difference is there between a child and an adult? (Miri” “And The Children Shall Lead”, “The Squire of Gothos”, “Charlie X”) What is the nature of true love? (“Metamorphosis”, “Is There in Truth No Beauty”) What is the essential difference between a person and a machine? (“Requiem for Methuselah", “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”) … And so on. Star Trek scripts wrestle with some amazingly big ideas – bigger than you will find in most Science fiction films.
The Type Set and attention to Details is Great in STARDATE
Roddenberry’s Attitude is that Future will have People like Us,
Finally we get into the area of characterizations, where the difference really stands out. Look carefully at the Star Trek characters, regulars and one – shots: they are all complex yet understandable, interesting blends of desirable and undesirable characteristics, deep-minded and broad-minded and essentially (as Spock would put it) logical in their behavior patterns. Most Science Fiction film characters simply are not nice people, while the Star Trek characters are generally admirable characters. Roddenberry’s basic attitude seems to be that future Humanity will be people like us, only better – a little wiser, a little gentler, a little more open-minded, a little more willing to regard each other with respect and even love – and this shows constantly in the interactions of the characters throughout the entire series.
STARDATE November 1976, Uhura on the Cover
STARDATE Produced by Sacramento Valley S.T.A.R. November 1976, with Uhura on the Cover
Sacramento California the Home of STARDATE, The Fan Produced Star Trek News Magazine
Like the Actors the Star Trek Fans area Rare and Priceless Gems
The deep friendship between Kirk and Spock and McCoy, for example, is a rare and priceless gem among literary relationships – particularly in Science Fiction, and especially in Science Fiction filmdom. I think it is this, more than any other element, which has inspired the tremendous outpouring of unusually high quality STAR TREK fan literature that has so surprised the industry and so delighted Ballantine Books. Could you imagine anyone getting this seriously involved with the personalities of the Science Fiction television show from the early 1970s “Space 1999” the citizens of the Moon that are called the Alphans? That would take a tremendous amount of work!
Rare Never before see Photos are Inside Every STARDATE
STAR TREK’s Appeal lies in its Hopeful Picture of the Future
In the end, besides the rare quality of the production, acting and scripts, I think that the root of STAR TREK’s appeal lies in its thoughtful and hopeful picture of the future. It shows us a civilization that is not only technologically buy socially advance, populated by intelligent, free p minded people. It is a splendid vision of tomorrow, and I think we would all like to live there.