Space isn’t the final frontier. I say it’s the internet. That’s right. You heard me. The internet. Space? That’s only where most of us want to live! In the meantime, we’ll continue to celebrate all things sci-fi, and here’s another installment of the people, places, & events worth commemorating this week.
From our “Seeing the Future” Department: on this day in 1951, CBS broadcast the first color programming, a four-hour line-up carried to New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, and (of course) Washington, DC. For all its pomp & circumstance, it was only underwhelmed by the fact that, largely, the public didn’t own any color TVs; as a matter of fact, CBS owned only about three dozen color TV sets at the time. In 1966, Kosmos 122 – the first Soviet weather satellite – launched into orbit.
TV screenwriter Carey Wilber – he was responsible for the popular STAR TREK episode “Space Seed” – was born on this day in 1916. Wilber was there during TV’s golden age, starting out in the days of live programming. Over three decades, he wrote scripts for “Captain Video,” “Lost In Space,” “The Time Tunnel,” and “Maverick.” For “General Hospital” fans, he penned the famous “Ice Princess” storyline, which featured Trek actors John Colicos & Majel Barrett. He passed beyond the Galactic Barrier in 1998.
For those of you who’ve seen it (and could keep up with it!), TIMECRIMES – which premiered on this day in Spain in 2008 – is a nasty bit of cinematic torture. It’s a time-travel yarn about a man who accidentally travels back one hour and the seemingly never-ending series of disastrous consequences he unleashes when trying to set things right. Auspicious birthdays include “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” semi-regular Ken Marshall (1950) as well as famed director/ubermensch JJ Abrams (1966).
Auspicious birthdays? You can’t get more auspicious than actress Lalla Ward (1951), who played the Time Lady ‘Romana II’ on the BBC’s legendary “Doctor Who” series from 1979 up through 1993. For those not in the know, Romana – like the Doctor – hails from Gallifrey, one of the two members of his species to travel with him in the original series’ run.
Genre entertainment hit a few cinematic highpoints on June 29th: on this day in 1984, CONAN THE DESTROYER graced silver screens, while in 2005 the Steve Spielberg version of WAR OF THE WORLDS added one more blockbuster to Tom Cruise’s resume.
On this day in 1905, some forward-thinking fellow named Albert Einstein published an article titled On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies. In it, he introduced the concept of “special relativity.” Who else would’ve thunk it? Auspicious birthdays include screenwriter Jeri Taylor (1938), whose contributions to the world of STAR TREK include countless hours of “The Next Generation” and “Voyager” as well as several Trek novels.
From our “We’ve Got Nothing to Hide” Department: on this day in 1934, the first x-ray photo of the entire body was taken in Rochester, NY. Movie screens delivered audiences to the world of KRULL in 1983 – I still want my money back – and then showed us what a meeting of COWBOYS & ALIENS could look like in 2011.