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You may not know his name, but you know Ted Cassidy’s work. The 6’9″ in actor was best known for having played Lurch on The Addams Family. He also gave memorable performances on Star Trek, I Dream of Jeannie, Lost in Space and The Six Million Dollar Man in which he took over the role of Bigfoot from Andre the Giant. The February 1987 issue of Starlog included an interview with the “legendary big man”.
The one constant in Starlog’s publication history was Star Trek. We have seen it in every decade we have looked at so far this month. 1997 was no exception. In the January 1997 issue of the magazine, they were still covering Star Trek: First Contact. I have had a bit of Trek overload in the archives of late, but I couldn’t pass up interviews with James Cromwell and Alfre Woodard who tagged along for this adventure.
Last week, I commented that in 1977, Starlog magazine was primarily concerned with Star Trek. For the next several years, the publication would be dominated by Star Wars, but here we are ten years later and the cover story is once again about Star Trek. By 1987, Star Wars had faded in relevance whereas Star Trek, while never as popular as George Lucas’ creation, was still going strong.
In this issue, Leonard Nimoy discusses directing his second Star Trek feature. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was actually released in 1986 and it became the most successful of the original Star Trek films – the first ever to gross over $100 million dollars. Nimoy would go on to direct the smash hit comedy, Three Men and a Baby which would be released later in 1987.
Starlog magazine launched in 1976 primarily as a Star Trek fan publication. To get around some legal obstacles, they had to expand their focus to include all of science fiction. But the focus of the early issues was mostly on Star Trek. Which is odd because at the time, Star Trek was a cancelled TV show. Efforts were being made to relaunch the series either as a TV show or a movie, but in 1977, nothing was definite.
Somewhat ironically, Star Wars would be released later that year. Its success would propel Star Trek on to the big screen, but it would also supplant Star Trek as the magazine’s primary obsession. In the magazine’s third issue, Star Wars was still off the radar and the future of Star Trek was uncertain. So Starlog devoted a massive amount of coverage to the relatively recent phenomenon of Star Trek conventions.
Don’t you just love that cover?
The original cast of Star Trek couldn’t make movies forever. In 1991, the original crew went into retirement with their sixth feature film. Three years later, the torch was passed to the crew of The Next Generation with the lackluster Star Trek: Generations. That movie was a big enough hit to warrant a sequel, but as was the case with Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Generations was not highly regarded by fans.
Going into the 1996 sequel, First Contact, hopes were high that the franchise could bounce back with a worthy entry. While not on the same level as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, First Contact did mark a high point in the Next Gen Trek movies. Starlog offered a sneak peak in the December issue.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was tied into the 20th anniversary of Star Trek. The October 1986 issue of Starlog magazine offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the then-upcoming release.
The October 1996 issue of Starlog was yet another Star Trek anniversary issue. The coverage of the 30th anniversary contained a lot of the same kinds of articles we have seen in other October issues. It also contained a feature on the making of what is generally considered the best of the Next Generation movies, Star Trek: First Contact.
We’re working our way through Starlog’s coverage of the Star Trek anniversaries. Today’s articles come from the October 2006 issue which marked 40 years since the first episode aired. At the time, the franchise was in a state of limbo. Enterprise had ended in 2005 and the last movie, Star Trek Nemesis, was released in 2002. It would be another three years before Star Trek would be rebooted on the big screen.
The first episode of Star Trek aired on September 8, 1966. No one could have anticipated the impact the sci-fi adventure show would have on pop culture. The original series was cancelled after just three seasons, but fifty years later, its legacy carries on. Starlog magazine celebrated the Star Trek anniversary every ten years in issues cover dated October. Since I am covering issues of the magazine from 1986, 1996 and 2006, we will be seeing a few articles this month celebrating anniversaries of Star Trek.
The first one we’re going to look at is the 30th anniversary in 1996 just as the original cast was getting ready to retire.
As promised, this is the Special Collectors Section on Star Trek from the first-ever issue of Starlog back forty years ago.
The first issue of Starlog magazine was published in August of 1976. It was started by high school pals, Kerry O’Quinn and David Houston. They had kicked around the idea of a publication that would cover sci-fi movies and TV shows. Originally, O’Quinn pitched the idea of a one-time special that would deal exclusively with Star Trek. They contacted Trek creator Gene Roddenberry who agreed to be interviewed for the magazine. With Roddenberry’s blessing, the founders thought they were clear to proceed. But when Paramount caught wind of the project, they asked for royalty fees that exceeded the magazine’s profits. After shelving the project, O’Quinn revisited the idea of a quarterly magazine that would cover all of science fiction (with a heavy emphasis on Star Trek).
The Golden Raspberries started off as an informal joke. Something for a publicist and his friends to do after the Oscars had ended. Over time, it has become and enduring and irreverent tradition. In theory, The Razzies poke fun at the worst movies of the year. But like any awards ceremony, the Razzies frequently make the wrong call. We’re going back and looking at the history of the Golden Raspberry Awards one year at a time.
The tenth annual Razzies nominated the movies of 1989. Batman and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were the big movies that year. Driving Miss Daisy won the Oscar for Best Picture and Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor for My Left Foot. But the Razzies were suffering from a bad case of sequelitis.