Intl. Notebook Jun 8 2024
THE EDGE OF FOREVER
A timeless show's most timeless episode.


Was Star Trek the greatest sci-fi series ever aired? We think so, though there have been other great ones. But even if Star Trek wasn't the best, it was the most topical and groundbreaking, with its anti-war and anti-racism allegories, diverse crew, and costumes that pushed the bounds of censorship. The two shots above are from the 1967 episode “City on the Edge of Forever,” written by Harlan Ellison and considered by many fans to be the pinnacle of the series. In the photo are Enterprise crew members looking at the Guardian of Forever, an eternal being that records all of history and acts as a gateway for those who wish to observe the past firsthand.

When Doctor McCoy suffers an accidental drug overdose that makes him psychotic he leaps through the gateway to a past Earth. At that moment the Enterprise, which is in orbit, disappears. Somehow McCoy has changed Earth's past, and caused the ship—possibly all of humanity—to wink out of existence. The crew members have no choice but to follow McCoy into the past to try and stop him from doing whatever altered history. Spock refers to that past—the 1920s—as “a rather barbaric time.” We wonder what he would think if he came from the future to the 2020s? We have a feeling the word “barbaric” wouldn't suffice.
 
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Intl. Notebook Feb 27 2016
RETURN TO TOMORROW
Spock beamed up a year ago today.


Star Trek icon Leonard Nimoy died a year ago today, an event we noted at the time with a brief tribute and a photo, though of Nimoy in human form rather than as Spock. Today, for the anniversary, we're going full Spock because we stumbled across this rare promo poster of Nimoy in character holding a model of the Enterprise. While the poster is similar to a widely circulated image available on the Memory Alpha website, as far as we know this particular item has never been posted online without a watermark. So that's our achievement for today.

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Intl. Notebook Feb 27 2015
FINAL FRONTIER
Sci-fi icon Leonard Nimoy dies in Bel-Air, California.

Above is a promo photo of American actor Leonard Nimoy. We’ve been working our way through the original Star Trek and last night just finished the episode “Is There in Truth No Beauty?” Watching the show for the first time since the reruns we saw in childhood, it’s easy to see now that Nimoy was the best part of it. Shatner is great in that cheesy way of his, but Nimoy is the center of the Trek universe. He was especially good when his purely logical Mr. Spock was allowed to show emotion.

In “Is There in Truth No Beauty?”, while possessed by a cloud-like alien named Kollos who'd never occupied a physical form before, he waxed, “How compact your bodies are. And what a variety of senses you have. This thing you call language though—most remarkable. You depend on it for so very much. But is any one of you really its master? But most of all, the aloneness. You are so alone. You live out your lives in this shell of flesh. Self-contained. Separate. How lonely you are. How terribly lonely.”

Star Trek was greater than the sum of its parts. It was escapism, but it managed stunning insights into the human condition. Leonard Nimoy was often the conduit. He died today in Bel-Air, California of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease aged eighty-three.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
June 20
1967—Muhammad Ali Sentenced for Draft Evasion
Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, who was known as Cassius Clay before his conversion to Islam, is sentenced to five years in prison for refusing to serve in the military during the Vietnam War. In elucidating his opposition to serving, he uttered the now-famous phrase, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong.”
June 19
1953—The Rosenbergs Are Executed
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted for conspiracy to commit espionage related to passing information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet spies, are executed at Sing Sing prison, in New York.
June 18
1928—Earhart Crosses Atlantic Ocean
American aviator Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean, riding as a passenger in a plane piloted by Wilmer Stutz and maintained by Lou Gordon. Earhart would four years later go on to complete a trans-Atlantic flight as a pilot, leaving from Newfoundland and landing in Ireland, accomplishing the feat solo without a co-pilot or mechanic.
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