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Presented by Chief Science Officer Dallas Reinhart
Get Trekucated
Get Trekucated
Today on #GetTrekucated's The Very First Star Trek...: '...Conventions!'

Part of the fun of fandom is sharing it, isn't it? Gathering together with like-minded fans, conventions are a great opportunity to indulge in your passion, get some unique merch, talk about your favorite obsessions, and make connections with your fellow fans.

Conventions are not a new phenomenon. Science fiction conventions have been around since the days of sci-fi pulp magazines, with the first conventions appearing in the late 1930's. It's speculated the first convention was at Milton A. Rothman's house, with a follow up at the Bohemian Hall in Astoria, Queens in 1937. Or was it in Leeds in 1937? No matter, we wouldn't see the World Science Fiction Convention until 1939 in New York City.

It would be at a Science Fiction convention that Star Trek would premier to an eager audience. September 1st to the 5th, 1966, the Tricon World Science Fiction Convention in Cleveland Ohio would have a very special guest. Gene Roddenberry would attend, and he'd bring with him two episodes, 'The Cage', and 'Where No Man Has Gone Before'.

There's some debate about the first Star Trek convention. The first would be a Star Trek Con in Newark, New Jersey, at a public library, and it would be a low-key affair with discussion panels, skits, and slide shows, all organized by superfan Sherna Comerford Burley.

But the most famous first con had to be Star Trek Lives! Hosted by Joan Winston, it was held in New York City in 1972, and it drew approximately 3000 guests. Subsequent years would bring in more and more convention goers, and the phenomenon would spread to other major cities... and beyond.

The first convention in the United Kingdom would take place at a public library. Called 'The British Star Trek Convention', it would run in 1974 and '75.

And of course other nations followed. Canada had Toronto Star Trek in 1976 at the Royal York Hotel. Australia would have theirs in 1978, with Trekcon 1 in Melbourne. Europe would get FedCon in Germany in 1992, which later evolved into a general scifi convention.

Also, the phenomenon of the fandom cruise? It's not a new one either. The first convention on a boat, the 1st Annual Cruise Convention, was first advertised some time in 1979. This phenomenon would eventually evolve into the SeaTrek and TrekCruise conventions, a precursor to the modern day Star Trek Cruise.

And there are plenty more all over the world, but I will be sure to do further research to figure them all
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Today on #GetTrekucated's The Very First Star Trek...: '...Same-Sex Relationships'

You thought I was going for the first interracial kiss, weren't you?

Well I'm afraid I already featured the infamous interracial kiss between Uhura and Kirk during my January 18th, 2018 entry of Get Trekucated, under Controversies Week. Featured in the 18th episode of the 3rd season, 'Plato's Stepchildren', the kiss is the subject of much celebration and lore, considering the measures taken on both sides to either stop it or prevent it from being cut from the episode.

And it would have been too easy. Everyone knows about the kiss. There was even an episode of Drunk History all about it!

But one thing that didn't get its due, especially during The Original Series, and even skirted around and avoided in later series, was same-sex couples.

After all, we at Get Trekucated believe love is love. As long as the parties involved give mutual consent, are of sound enough mind, are mature, and are of legal age, we don't care where you end up on the spectrum of preferences and genders. You do you. Just try not to cause harm, ok?

That being said, Star Trek, despite its progressive cred, was a little slow on the uptake when it came to homosexuality.

In TOS, there was none. People could barely handle a black and a white person kissing. Two guys or two girls kissing? There would have been a riot! That didn't stop fans from making Spock and Kirk a couple, considering their close comradery. One of the first Slash Fics was 'The Ring of Soshern' by Jennifer Guttridge, circa 1968.

We would see the issue somewhat broached by The Next Generation but... lets just say the execution had problems of its own. 'The Outcast' (Season 5, Episode 17) featured Commander Riker in a relationship with Soren, a member of the androgynous J'naii species who identified with a gender, but lacked a certain execution that brought objections to some of the cast. The rejected 'Blood and Fire' script, written by David Gerrold, was going to tackle the subject head on with a openly gay couple, but was never put into production.

DS9 would also skirt the issue, but we'd finally get our first same-sex kiss! Season 4, Episode 6, 'Rejoined', would metaphorically tackle the issue of same-sex relationships by making two trills, who were previously married in their past iterations, re-spark their relationship. Jadzia Dax and Lenara Kahn would run afoul of trill conventions, and would eventually have to part ways, but not before they locked lips in Star Trek's first same-sex kiss!

Oh, and there was lots of allusion that Garek was gay too, but nothing came of it, to the regret of producer Ira Steven Behr (as seen in 'All That We Left Behind'. Doctor Bashir appeared to be the source of Garek's interest, whether that was really an attraction or because they were both the smartest people on the station and Garek loves good conversation has yet to be confirmed.

And Superintendant Kira from the Mirror Universe, as well as Mirror Ezri Dax and Mirror Leeta, but it was mostly alluded to, and unsubtle at that.

Voyager... there was some shipping between Seven of Nine and Captain Janeway, but that was mostly between fans. There was not a lot of LGBTQ+ representation in that series.

Enterprise... may have teased us with something, but it was definitely more for titillation factor when Raijin tried to seduce, then attack, T'pol. (ENT Season 3, Episode 4, 'Raijin')

We wouldn't get a fair representation of same-sex relationships until Star Trek Beyond, where Sulu meets his husband on board Yorktown Station, with his daughter in tow!

And we wouldn't have a gay couple show up as regular characters until Star Trek Discovery, where we would get our first indication that this was a real same-sex relationship not by the standard same-sex interactions of kissing or foreplay... but rather seeing Lt. Paul Stamets and Doctor Hugh Culber share a bathroom routine together... like a real couple.

Truth be told, Star Trek could have done better on this front, especially as a series touting itself as being progressive. However, now we're seeing more positive representation. It took a lot of firsts in Star Trek to get comfortable with the idea, and those firsts could have happened sooner, but they eventually happened, much to the joy of many Star Trek fans who can now feel like they're part of the culture too.
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Today on #GetTrekucated's The Very First Star Trek...: '...Parodies, Satires, and Knockoffs!'

Gotta love Star Trek's impact on pop culture. And you got to love how people take a good idea and run with it. Parodies, spoofs, or just goofy takes on franchises are as old as film itself. Star Trek wasn't going to escape the lens of the satirist.

And who were the people that would come out first with a Star Trek parody?

IMDB would say... it's the Turks.

Turist Ömer Uzay Yolu'nda is an 1973 example of turkish cinema, a genre as thrifty with its money as it was with it's respect for copyright law. This film's synopsis, all one line of it, says 'The Enterprise picks up a turkish hobo'.

There is a turkish Kirk, a turkish Spock, even a turkish Uhura, all in off-color uniforms.

Who knows what else the movie was about, I'd have to find and endure a viewing of it, but from the look of the movie poster it promises to be a baffling trip. Especially when off-brand Godzilla makes an appearance.

Too on the nose? Well, what about a Star Trek parody movie that pre-dates 1999's 'Galaxy Quest'? That's right, Galaxy Quest might be the most popular and famous parody movie of Star Trek, but it was hardly the first.

That would go to 'Star Wreck' (as far as I know, let me know if you find any actual parodies even older).

Started in 1992 by Samuli Torssonen (who would later go on to create the famous 'Iron Sky' movies), Star Wreck would follow the story of Captain James B. Pirk of the C.P.P. Potkustartti. While most parodies would have sketch comedy or a feature in a sitcom or a cartoon, Star Wreck was its own series, with 8 movies in total!

But D, you say, there's plenty of parodies well before that! Yes, but again, that would happen to be in sketch comedy shows or as part of a sitcom. One of the first was on Saturday Night Live, with the infamous John Belushi performing 'The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise' on the May 29, 1976 episode. (it was previously featured on famous Star Trek sketches on my blog).

And because fans are passionate about Star Trek, they got to filming their own fanfilms. One of the first confirmed cases was 1974's 'Paragon's Paragon', an adaptation of the 'Spock Must Die!' novel (featured on monday) filmed by John Cosentino.

Now, you can find a lot of parodies out there. It's part of the fun of Star Trek fandom. Sometimes fans make it to the big time and start to make their own versions, such as Seth McFarlane's 'The Orville'.

But not JJ Abrams.

He was a Star Wars fan. 😉
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Today on #GetTrekucated's The Very First Star Trek....: '...Script Written by a Woman!'

When people think Star Trek, they think progressive! The '60s was a tumultuous time, what with equal rights movements on multiple fronts. The women's rights movement was one of these fronts. Between Nichelle Nichols, Majel Barrett's and Grace Lee Whitney's contributions, to Lucille Ball's key role in bringing Star Trek to TV screens, and of course the great Bjo Trimble saving Star Trek from cancellation, women played crucial roles in the Star Trek mythos. They were women, and on Star Trek we heard them roar!

And yes, there were women writers there to contribute stories to the future. But who was the first?

That honor goes to the great D.C. Fontana.

Before Star Trek, Fontana was one of the few female writers for NBC, with writer's credit for shows like The Tall Man, Frontier Circus, Shotgun Slade, and Ben Casey. In order to circumvent any pre-judgement, she'd use D.C. Fontana as the pen name, as Dorothy C. Fontana would trigger sexist sentiments (though her early cowboy scripts were using her full, proper name).

She'd mostly work as a secretary for various creative producers including one Gene Roddenberry, who encouraged her writing. One such idea was 'The Day Charlie Became God'.

D.C. Fontana would later adapt the story idea, which became the script for 'Charlie X' (TOS Season 1, Episode 7).

The story of a boy who would gain godlike powers and not the wisdom and maturity needed to wield them, would become the second Star Trek episode to be broadcasted on television.

D.C. Fontana would go on to write several episodes for The Original Series, including Tomorrow is Yesterday, This Side of Paradise, Journey to Babel, Friday's Child, By Any Other Name, The Ultimate Computer, The Enterprise Incident, That Which Survives, and The Way to Eden.

She'd also write episodes for The Animated Series, The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, as well as some of the most famous science fiction and cartoon franchises from the '70s to the '90s. She would also become a producer and consultant for multiple series, including Star Trek TNG. Her storied career would even include a Hugo award.

She also wasn't the only female scriptwriter for The Original Series.

There would be Margaret Armen (The Gamesters of Triskelion, Paradise Syndrome, The Cloud Minders), Jean Lisette Aroeste (Is There in Truth No Beauty, All Our Yesterdays), Judy Burns (The Tholian Web), Joyce Muskat (The Empath), and Shari Lewis (The Lights of Zetar).

She would unofficially be credited, by Leonard Nimoy, for fleshing out Vulcan culture.

So watching Star Trek, it's easy to see her fingerprints on this universe, and how her impact led others to follow.
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Today on #GetTrekucated's The Very First Star Trek....: 'Novelizations and Novels!'

We take it for granted that a franchise will get novels written about them. It's all part of the merchandising! Before Star Wars perfected the merchandising game back in '77, it was Star Trek that would slap a label on just about anything.

For more on this see my articles on Star Trek toys. Mego was notorious for it!

Novelizations are a great way not only to enjoy your favorite franchises pre-VCR, you could also get some hidden details normally missed in the TV show.

The first novelization was released in January of 1967, aptly called 'Star Trek 1'. It was a collection of early episodes from the first season, including Charlie X, Dagger of the Mind, The Man Trap, Balance of Terror, The Naked Time, Miri, and The Conscience of the King.

The novelizations were written by American author James Blish, who credits his financial stability to his commission of $2,000 per novel (KA-CHING!). Having not had a chance to see the TV show first hand, he was handed drafts of the teleplays, fresh from Desilu Studios, and pretty much told to adapt them to novel form.

Aside from some pacing issues, which were sorted out once he did have a chance to see the TV show (and adapted later volumes), they were faithful renditions of the original works.

James Blish would write 11 volumes of episodic novelizations, with the 12th volume partially completed before his death in 1975. That final volume would be finished by his wife, J.A. Lawrence.

James Blish would also write the first Star Trek original novel! Titled, 'Spock Must Die!', it follows the tale of Spock being duplicated by a experimental transporter modification, instigated to try and reach Organia in an attempt to prevent another war with the Klingons...

...it's more or less a modification to the plot of The Enemy Within (Season 1, Episode 5), but with Spock instead.

Yup.

James Blish's works in Star Trek novelization and novels was published by the first license holder for Star Trek novels, the American publisher Bantam Books. Bantam would print and re-print their Star Trek works until 1994.

Yes, even as publishers like Random House and Simon & Schuster were making officially licensed Star Trek novels.
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Get Trekucated
This Week on #GetTrekucated: 'The Very First Star Trek...'

With the new Picard series dominating fan consciousness as of late, I admit I sort of slacked off on the non-TV related trivia. Not this week! Because now we're going to revisit some Star Trek Firsts, all outside the TV show.

It's a big fandom out there, and Get Trekucated likes to look at it from all angles!

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