Captain’s log: stardate Sept. 8, 1966 — the cast and crew of the USS Enterprise set off on what turned out to be a three season voyage on NBC — 54 years ago today.

The original Star Trek series didn’t boldly go; it barely went into a third season. Yet the franchise is still in business today with episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation re-surfacing tonight on CTV Sci-Fi Channel and more Trek goodies airing on the diginet Shout TV.

The good news for fans of Star Trek: Discovery is that that shot-in-Toronto series will return for a third season starting Thursday, Sept. 24. And not just on streaming service CBS AllAccess, but on mother ships CBS and CTV. Thank content-starved schedules due to COVID crushed production for this new main network window.

The bad news is that the new and incredibly unfunny Star Trek: Lower Decks animated series is still airing. Set phasers for Meh.

For my money, the best way to celebrate Star Trek Day is to watch what many — including ST: TNG co-star Will Wheaton — feel is the best Star Trek feature film ever made: “Galaxy Quest.” Even better, check out “Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary” airing now on Prime Video. It pays tribute to the 1999 film with commentary from many of the stars, including Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Tony Shaloub, heartfelt salutes to the late, great Alan Rickman and props to a terrific supporting cast, incuding Toronto’s own Enrico Colantoni. As he reveals on this episode of the podcast, he was the one who came up with the quirky speech pattern used by the Thermians. The film was also a big break for future stars Sam Rockwell, Rainn Wilson and Justin Long.

Colantoni (centre) and his Thermian posse

The cast seems perfect today, but Allen was far from the first choice to play the Shatner-esque role of Jason Nesmith. We are told that, at one time or another, Kevin Kline, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray and Mel Gibson all had their fingers on the script.


Fascinating, too, is hearing the cast talk about the departure of the original director: Harold Ramis. That opened the door to Dean Parisot (director of the new “Bill & Ted Face the Music”) — who made the most of his opportunity.

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