I started getting serious about Star Trek at around age nine. A year or so later, I looked at my small stack of newspaper clippings and realized envelope storage wasn’t doing it anymore. I found a two-inch binder and started gluing my Trek resources onto punched note paper.
I have written twice about the importance of digging through old storage boxes (here and here) and I was doing just that when I came across the binder. I hadn’t looked at it in decades. A couple hours slipped away as I read through what the kid me collected in those days before I had a shelves full of Star Trek books and magazines.
You have to remember that there was so little information on Star Trek. Anything, even silly clipped TV listings, were important. So, here is a selection of the stuff I glued to paper and then kept for 40 years. Some of it is a little embarrassing, but other fans may see their young selves in these yellowed pages.
I copied a Gorn, for some reason
We open with an embarrassing entry. The Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual started out as a fan publication before it was put out by Ballantine in 1977. (Fun fact: One of its main artists was Doug Drexler, but apparently he is not exactly proud of this book today.) The manual is full of anatomical drawings of Star Trek species including Excalbians, Andorians, Vulcans and Klingons, and other lifeforms like Denebian Slime Devils, the borgia plant, the mako root and Tribbles.
It also features Gorns and I traced that drawing. Why? No idea.
An all-important episode guide
Access to an episode guide was once a big deal. This is a poor photocopy from, I think, a magazine, and I was pleased to have it.
Sometime in my early teens I spent a day at the Toronto Reference Library feeding microfilm or microfiche into a reader. I had been clipping local newspaper articles and at some point it occurred to me that I could access other publications at the reference library. How I knew which resources to pull is a mystery; I guess there was some sort of subject catalog. But somehow I found a lot of articles. I paid the library to print them for me on weird coated paper, and the pages are so small and low-res that they are really tough to read. But read them I did, and then I glued them into my binder.
A surprise Topps find
The 1976 Topps trading cards are sought-after collectibles, with a set of 88 cards and 22 stickers selling at good prices. An almost complete set, missing one sticker, recently went on eBay for about $300.
I own a complete set and I also have one of the original wrappers, but it’s folded to fit in the sleeve with the cards. It was a nice surprise, then, to find a wrapper stored flat and in excellent condition in my scrapbook. Young me did a good job of taping a piece of plastic on three sides over the wrapper.
Hey, Spock’s Brain is coming up
Again, there was so little Star Trek stuff back then. These are episode listings cut from a newspaper guide. Even I got bored with this after only 37 episodes.
The refit looks amazing
I saved a lot of movie ads; I’ve included only a few in this post. I saw TMP a bunch of times in theatres and I was glued to my TV when CFTO played it the first time.
Time magazine hated The Motion Picture
From the review:
It used to be that special effects were created to serve a movie’s story, to permit the camera to capture that which could not be found — or recorded on film — in the natural world. But now, in the post Star Wars era, stories are created merely to provide a feeble excuse for the effects. Star Trek consists almost entirely of this kind of material: shot after shot of vehicles sailing through the firmament to the tune of music intended to awe. But the spaceships take an unconscionable amount of time to get anywhere, and nothing of dramatic or human interest happens along the way.
…the picture ends not with a bang but, as it were, with a bang. One of the space cadets, who had his eye on the original Ilia all along, agrees to mate with the improved model and produce a hybrid race of brainy but emotionally turned-on creatures.
…Star Trek is, finally, nothing but a long day’s journey into ennui.
Circus of the ’80s fashions
I love the headband. The sixth annual Circus of the Stars was broadcast December 13, 1981, and I have no memory of watching it.
Thanks for the huge spoiler, jerks
So, apparently, Paramount screened a sneak peek of The Wrath of Khan at the ConQuesT 3 convention, held May 22 to 24, 1982, in Kansas City. This was shortly before the June 4 premiere of the movie.
It was nice that the fans got to see the movie early, but the press then blabbed the big reveal on the pages of the Kansas City Star.
“I couldn’t ask for anything better,” (producer Robert) Sallin said of the audience, which applauded at the end of the movie in which Spock — the green-blooded alien stoically played by Leonard Nimoy — dies.
That’s great. Thanks.
Three days until Star Trek II
I saw it opening night and then went back to a Famous Players theatre a bunch more times. (Also: a warrior?)
Early Memory Alpha
The VHS of The Wrath of Khan came out in late 1982 and my mother (bless her!) surprised me by renting a VCR and the movie. We had them for the weekend and I don’t know how many times I watched it. But it was a lot.
I apparently took notes, pausing and rewinding the tape, and then typed up this little sheet of trivia. And yes, I misspelled “Khan” a few times and “Mutara.” The editor within me cringes.
Little interest in Hooker
Today, I am a William Shatner generalist (see my piece on The Horror at 37,000 Feet) but when I was younger I really only cared about Kirk, so I never watched a lot of T.J. Hooker.
Promoting The Vegetarian World
I don’t believe Shatner is still a vegetarian, but back in 1983 he hosted a documentary on the lifestyle’s benefits. Watch the 30-minute film on YouTube.
Wow, this photo is really well matched to the movie’s title. Shatner is a frustrated family man who strays and is then blackmailed by a sex worker, played by Cybill Shepherd. I don’t think I saw this movie in September of 1984 but this promo really tells you everything you need to know about it.
This blog post covers only a fraction of the 100 or so pages in my scrapbook but it gives you an idea of fandom in the late 70s and 80s. I bet a lot of people created similar collections back then.