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The last episode


Back in the early 1980’s there was no complete sets of TV shows to watch when you wanted. I didn’t have a VHS player until the very end of the 80’s so I couldn’t record shows either. The only way to see all of a series was to watch them on the channel. The first time I saw Star Trek the original series was when I happened upon “Shore Leave” being shown on a Saturday afternoon in late 1981. I was hooked and it is to this day my favorite episode. That channel showed Star Trek at that time on Saturdays so I kept watching every week. Only thing is after maybe three months they switched to Hogan’s Heroes (which I hate to this day). Then I kind of forgot about Trek for a bit. Fast forward about three months and it’s early July, 1982. Channel 5 was advertising they were showing the two parter “The Menagerie” one night. I watched it and my interest in the show was back more than ever. What was even better was during this showing they announced that the following Monday Star Trek would be on every weeknight at 6:00. I tuned in and was glued to the set as often as I could watch it. That summer I picked up The world of Star Trek in a used book store. Among other information it had a listing of all of the episodes. I wrote down my own list because I wasn’t going to put check marks in a book  and kept track of what episodes I had seen. Watching all the episodes would seem to be as simple as just being there to watch them all right? It turned to be not so easy. Number one the channel that showed wasn’t our clearest channel. During sunny days yes, but heavy rains would cause it to be out for hours. Also being a kid I had to go where my parents needed me to some times. Along my quest to see all of the episodes bad weather and trips to places for haircuts, dentist appointments and other nonsense would cause me to miss a few episodes. By the end of 1982 the show was getting ready to start another run of the series. My check list told me I had missed Balance of terror, Space Seed, Metamorphosis, The apple and That which survives. I needed to buckle down and make sure I saw all of these in the next run.  Wouldn’t you know it the night for Space Seed came and I had to go somewhere with my parents so again I missed it. I saw the other four in this rotation so it was down to one. I’d read the story in the James Blish adaption and had read the novel, but not yet seen The Wrath of Khan. However I had that one episode glaring unchecked on my wrinkled paper. The third round came and wouldn’t you know it a storm on that night and I might never get to see the episode with KHAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNN! By 1983 I was full into Trek-novels, comics whatever I could get my hands on.  Still the one hole remained. Late summer 1983 the forth round began and I was thinking about what if Channel 5 takes Trek off for another show after this run? I checked the TV guide and knew in September when the episode was coming up. The day before my dad said we were going to get hair cuts and get some other chores done after school. What? I explained the importance of why I needed to be back by 6:00. He didn’t think it was too urgent, but said we’d try. That was probably the most nervous hair cut of my life. I was staring at the clock the whole time, darn it cut my ear off if you have to, but hurry up. Haircut was done, other chores done and I jumped into the truck and hoped my dad would drive like Bo Duke on a dirt road, but no he drove like my dad. However we pulled in around 5:55 and I grabbed the bags I needed to help with and bolted for the house. I got the TV going, channel set, antennas in the right place and just in time in came on. My mother tried to come and see my haircut and I was probably  like “not now, can’t you Khan is getting ready to try and take over the Enterprise?”. The show stayed in tune and I had seen my last episode and I was complete. After that forth run channel 5 stopped Star Trek and stuck on Green Acres and Mr. Ed. Since that point I  have likely seen every episode 100 times or more, but the effort to see all those took a while to complete but it was worth it.


About markmc2012

I have watched far too many horror and sc-fi shows in my life. Now I feel the need to share this wealth of knowledge and make others suffer.

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