Star Trek: The Menagerie, Part 1

Star TrekThe 11th episode of Gene Roddenberry’s science fiction series Star Trek airs on NBC. In an effort to save costs, Gene Roddenberry devises a framing story – referred to behind the scenes as “the envelope” – allowing footage from the rejected 1964 pilot episode The Cage to be used within the context of Star Trek’s current cast as a flashback to a previous crew of the Enterprise. Malachi Throne guest stars in the new footage; Jeffrey Hunter and Susan Oliver are seen in the original footage from The Cage for the first time.

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Star Trek: Journey To Babel

Star TrekThe 39th episode of Gene Roddenberry’s science fiction series Star Trek premieres on NBC. Jane Wyatt and Mark Lenard guest star as Spock’s parents in their first appearance in the Star Trek mythology (in fact, their only appearance prior to the animated series or the movies, despite the characters’ prominence), and Kirk gets into a knife fight trying to salvage interplanetary diplomacy. This episode’s depiction of Vulcan/Andorian unease would become a significant element of the later Star Trek TV spinoff Enterprise.

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The Star Wars Holiday Special

Star WarsHeavily promoted and given a prime-time slot on a Friday night in a world starved for more Star Wars, The Star Wars Holiday Special unfolds on CBS, enveloping millions of viewers in the slowly-dawning horror that the promise of a new adventure for Luke, Han and friends has lured them into watching a third-rate variety show, albeit one in which the character of Boba Fett makes his first appearance. George Lucas disowns the Holiday Special almost immediately, and it is never allowed to be repeated again.

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Cosmic Creeps

Cosmic CreepsTelesys releases the video game cartridge Cosmic Creeps for the Atari 2600 home video game system, just in time for the Christmas buying season. A glut of new releases for the 2600 by the end of the year, many from third-party companies like Telesys, causes some consumer confusion which has unexpected consequences for the entire industry.

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Buffy The Vampire Slayer: What’s My Line? Part 1

Buffy The Vampire SlayerThe 21st episode of Joss Whedon’s trend-setting supernatural series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, airs on the WB network. Anthony Stewart Head, David Boreanaz, and Alyson Hannigan also star. James Marsters, Juliet Landau, and Armin Shimerman (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) guest star.

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Every generation has a legend…

Episode IReceiving more fanfare than any movie preview in the history of cinema, the first teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace premieres nationwide, appearing before the Pixar computer-animated family film A Bug’s Life. So eager are Star Wars fans to catch their first glimpse of the new prequel that many reportedly pay full ticket price to simply watch the preview and leave before the movie with which it’s packaged. Lucasfilm’s official Star Wars web site posts the trailer on the web – though the size of the file and the still-mostly-dial-up shape of the internet at the time makes watching it online a challenge.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Revelations

Buffy The Vampire SlayerThe 41st episode of Joss Whedon’s trend-setting supernatural series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, airs on the WB network. Anthony Stewart Head, David Boreanaz, and Alyson Hannigan also star. Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse) guest stars.

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