Monday, 4 May 2015

br-549 or ncc-1701

A misunderstanding on my part—given days to ferment and fester before a little research disabused me of it, led me to believe that the networks had originally canceled the first iteration of Star Trek in 1969, before the crew had the chance to even fulfill their five year mission, for undisclosed reasons since not all allegory goes without controversy and filled that time-slot with Hee Haw. I was mistaken but not before I went as far as imagining how loyal-viewers might have comforted themselves and imagined that the Enterprise was having another encounter with the Mirror Universe, with helmsman Lieutenant Junior Samples and First Officer Minnie Pearl.  The reality behind the reason not to renew the series was in actuality over more mundane problems with the programming line-up of NBC and switching the show’s slot and many liberties were indeed afforded to the genre to address contemporary issues. Fans had already saved the show before from oblivion with a letter-writing campaign but a following attempt failed to persuade executives a second time. Perhaps the Moon Landing and the real promise that held was as good a cue as any to gracefully bow-out and had the series continued, perhaps it would not have been there for following generations in the way it has been, nor mobilised and inspired legions of fans and television might be loath to indulge re-runs and syndication.
It turns out that Hee Haw (also in 1969)—which I don’t recall at all except for the donkey animation and a few scattered images—did in fact come in to being rather hastily as a clone of one of those anodyne, niche (though surely pitched as family-friendly) programmes like Lawrence Welk, Laugh-In and Liberace with CBS’ decision to pull the subversive and unapologetic Smothers Brothers’ Comedy Hour for outspoken guests and questioning Lyndon B. Johnson’s decision to escalate the stakes in Vietnam, as the need for the founder of the Great Society to placate his chicken-hawk critics in Washington and prove his manhood.