TOM SNYDER’S STAR TREK INTERVIEWS (1976)

Published January 5, 2009

J.J. Abrams reboot of the Star Trek franchise doesn’t open until May, but I was recently (this weekend) reminded of a time (30 years ago), when my fondest wish was to see my beloved Star Trek series on The Big Screen.

While tooling around on You Tube, I came across an episode of Tom Snyder’s The Tomorrow Show from 1976, where he interviewed DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig and Harlan Ellison. The series had been canceled after three seasons in 1969, we were still three years away from The Motion Picture, but with syndication ratings through the roof, the unexpected success of a new beast called a fan convention, and the christening of NASA’s first Space Shuttle as Enterprise, something big was brewing.

James “Scotty” Doohan seems to be the most prescient one interviewed, in that he sees what others did not: that Star Trek would soon spawn not just a feature film (which at the time was in pre-pre-pre-production), but an entirely new franchise. Scotty pegged that one. Oh, wait … Simon Pegg plays the new Scotty in the re-boot. Oooooooooooooh. Coincidence?

The rest of the interview is equally fascinating — this despite the absence of Shatner and Nimoy. Harlan Ellison, writer of the series’ finest hour, The City on the Edge of Forever, is as prickly and un-PC as you’d expect. I always enjoy listening to Harlan speak, but he needs to drop the whole Gene-ruined-my-script-spiel already. He’s been milking that for over 40 years now.

Here you go — feel free to smoke, everybody else here is. What a different time. Also, a couple of the vids below may be “slow-loaders” — you may want to briefly hit pause and let them buffer a bit.


TOM SNYDER’S STAR TREK INTERVIEWS (1976) — 1/5




TOM SNYDER’S STAR TREK INTERVIEWS (1976) — 2/5




TOM SNYDER’S STAR TREK INTERVIEWS (1976) — 3/5




TOM SNYDER’S STAR TREK INTERVIEWS (1976) — 4/5




TOM SNYDER’S STAR TREK INTERVIEWS (1976) — 5/5