Star Trek. This quirky trailer for The Original Series is giving off some serious Twilight Zone vibes.
By Michelin Martin | Published
It can sometimes be a little surprising to see how TV shows were promoted in previous eras, and this is no more true than in the old days. Star Trek: Advertisement posted on YouTube by a user named morlockmeat. The place for what has since become famous Star Trek: The Original Series: has a surprisingly dark tone and appears to be modeled after Rod Serling The Twilight Zone. Serling’s show ended two years ago Trip‘s debut, the series may have been intended to fill a void The Twilight Zone leave in the past.
It Star Trek: the ad refers to the crew of the Enterprise “exploring the immeasurable blackness of space.” The narrator calls William Shatner’s Captain Kirk an “earthling without fear,” while Leonard Nimoy’s Spock is called a “heartless outsider.” It ends with a shot of the show’s title carved into the side of a mountain on a distant planet, as if the show is something left over from a long-dead alien civilization.
All in all, the ad seems a lot sadder than how we now think of Gene Roddenberry’s supposed utopian vision. It’s especially shocking to hear a beloved character like Leonard Nimoy’s Spock called a “heartless outsider.” While the story script is clearly about Vulcan discipline against emotion, between that unfriendly description and shots of Nemo’s face, it’s almost as if the ad is portraying Spock as some kind of villain.
Speaking of Spock; It is interesting to note that Leonard Nimoy’s wardrobe shows the shots Star Trek: The commercial is exclusively from Where No Man Has Gone Before, which was the show’s second pilot, although it aired as the third episode. Despite the legendary Trekkie attention to detail, in those early days the details of the franchise changed frequently with little or no narrative explanation. In “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, Spock wears the same command colors as Kirk, but in “The Man Trap” they are changed to blue.
It Star Trek: The ad may seem odd to us, and even a little naughty to Spock, but it was clearly doing something right, as it helped start a cultural phenomenon. The first series may have been canceled in the end, but it left enough of a mark to spawn a huge franchise. Since Trek debuted 56 years ago, ten more series have followed, along with 13 films, as well as numerous other related media.
It should be noted that while the audio Star Trek: the ad looks 100% legit, it looks like the ad video has been edited at least a little bit since its original release. You’ll notice that Enterprise footage between 21 seconds and 23 seconds is widescreen, while the rest of the ad is in standard fullscreen format. We don’t know if this was an official Paramount edit or made by a fan.