Gojira

Gojira!The first Godzilla movie, Gojira, debuts in Japan. Directed by Ishiro Honda and starring Akira Takarada, Momoko Kochi and Akihiko Hirata, the film is intended to be an allegory to the ravages of the atomic bomb rather than the beginning of a franchise (though the door is clearly left open to a sequel by dialogue at the close of the movie). The franchise proper will not begin until the first sequel five years later. In the meantime, an American dub of the movie attracts worldwide attention to Gojira, eventually rechristening the character Godzilla for much of the world.

More about Godzilla in the LogBook

Stage 7: The Secret Weapon Of 117

Gene RoddenberryThe TV anthology series Stage 7 presents the first produced science fiction television script written by future Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, The Secret Weapon Of 117. Ricardo Montalban stars as one of a pair of aliens trying to assess whether or not Earth has the technology to retaliate against infiltration and invasion by their species. Drawing from his past police work, Roddenberry has already sold scripts to Ziv Television Programs for Mr. District Attorney and Highway Patrol, and pitched an ultimately unsold script to Ziv’s Science Fiction Theatre series; this is his first genre work to make it to the screen. Sadly, no recordings still seem to exist of this self-contained story.

Godzilla, King Of The Monsters!

GodzillaThe first Godzilla movie, Gojira, is re-released in America, dubbed into English with additional scenes starring actor Raymond Burr, as Godzilla, King Of The Monsters! Despite the quite noticeable differences between old footage and new, the movie proves popular, and sparks the western world’s obsession with Toho Studios’ signature creation. It is also just the first of several attempts to westernize the Godzilla mythos (chiefly for American audiences).

More about Godzilla in the LogBook

Nothing at the end of the lane

Doctor WhoMeetings commence at the BBC to hash out ideas for a new children’s science fiction series to be produced in-house, possibly involving a time machine, an aloof old man, a younger “man of action” character, a female scientist, and a younger woman. As the creative lightning rod of this series development, Sydney Newman begins to weed out ideas he considers unsuitable – such as giving these characters the roles of “science troubleshooters” working for the government – and homes in on the time travel idea, as well as the old man character, who emerges as a man of mystery. These are the first creative meetings from which the BBC’s Doctor Who will emerge.

More about Doctor Who in the LogBook

Doctor Who: the original pilot

Doctor WhoThe original pilot episode of Doctor Who – version 1.0 of An Unearthly Child – is filmed at the BBC’s Lime Grove Studios. Though it’s substantially the same script as the televised version – barring a line claiming that the Doctor and Susan are from Earth in the 49th century (!) – problems with the sets and props necessitate a complete reshoot on October 18th.

More about Doctor Who in the LogBook

Doctor Who: An Unearthly Child

Doctor WhoThe first-ever episode of Doctor Who airs on the BBC. William Hartnell, Carole Ann Ford, William Russell and Jacqueline Hill star in An Unearthly Child, the first episode of a four-part story which launches the series. Though it’s a major television milestone in retrospect, much of the viewing audience is still reeling from the previous day’s assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the series premiere goes unnoticed by many.

More about Doctor Who in the LogBook
Order VWORP!1 from theLogBook.com Store

Doctor Who: The Dead Planet

Doctor WhoThe fifth episode of Doctor Who airs on the BBC. The Dead Planet is part one of the story now collectively known as The Daleks, the first story to feature the Doctor’s future arch-rivals, in a script written by Terry Nation (who had only taken the job writing for Doctor Who when his steady gig writing material for comedian Tony Hancock came to an abrupt end). In this episode, only the “sucker cup” of a Dalek is seen in the closing seconds.

More about Doctor Who in the LogBook
Order VWORP!1 from theLogBook.com Store

Doctor Who: The Survivors

Doctor WhoThe sixth episode of Doctor Who airs on the BBC. The Survivors is part two of the story now collectively known as The Daleks, the first story to feature the Doctor’s future arch-rivals. The Daleks are revealed in full, and their distinctive voices are heard, for the first time here, and schoolchildren begin imitating Daleks on playgrounds. Unexpected by anyone at the BBC, Doctor Who is suddenly a bona fide smash hit.

More about Doctor Who in the LogBook
Order VWORP!1 from theLogBook.com Store

Doctor Who: The Rescue

Doctor WhoThe 11th episode of Doctor Who airs on the BBC. The Rescue (not to be confused with the second-season story of the same name) is part seven of the story now collectively known as The Daleks, the first story to feature the Doctor’s future arch-rivals. In this story, paradoxically, the Doctor and his companions witness the extinction of the Daleks, as neither the BBC nor Terry Nation had anticipated the creatures’ popularity. Plans are already afoot to hire Nation to write a sequel featuring the Daleks; presumably all future stories featuring the Daleks take place before this one.

More about Doctor Who in the LogBook
Order VWORP!1 from theLogBook.com Store

Doctor Who: The Brink Of Disaster

Doctor WhoThe 13th episode of Doctor Who airs on the BBC. The Brink Of Disaster is part two of the story now collectively known as The Edge Of Destruction, the first story – and one of very few in the series’ entire history – to take place entirely within the TARDIS. This episode completes the BBC’s initial commitment to produce 13 episodes of the series, and the ratings – partcularly where the Dalek episodes are concerned – have proven promising enough for the go-ahead to be given to continue production on the remainder of the first season.

More about Doctor Who in the LogBook
Order VWORP!1 from theLogBook.com Store

Star Trek

Star TrekTelevision writer Gene Roddenberry, who has already written scripts for shows such as Have Gun, Will Travel, writes his first-draft series proposal for a new hour-long science fiction drama, which he calls Star Trek. The series involves the starship S.S. Yorktown, commanded by Captain Robert April. Roddenberry will spend several months refining his concept before it is bought by Desilu Studios and shopped around to the American television networks. At the time he’s writing the pitch, Roddenberry is still overseeing his first TV creation, a military series called The Lieutenant, which has enjoyed decent ratings but is leaving its network, NBC, nervous with its tendency to deal directly with issues related to the widening conflict in Vietnam.