Television is a fleeting medium. A series that’s lucky enough to find an audience goes from concept to cancellation in a few short years, forever being replaced by the network’s next attempt at a hit. Culture at large tends to forget many of these stories, which puts narratives and characters that stick with us in the notable minority. These exceptions are the cultural heavy-weights; television that not only entertains, but lingers in the subconscious and plants seeds for thoughts that might not have formed otherwise.
Outer space was on the forefront of culture in the 1960s. When President John F. Kennedy set out his plans for the New Frontier, he rekindled a lost pioneer spirit and set our sights – and imaginations- on the stars. Armstrong and Aldrin first explored the moon in 1969, and a short 300 years later, the USS Enterprise set off on its five-year mission to explore further.
At a time when practically every movie screen has been taken over by a big-budget superhero film, it is easy to forget the genre’s humble beginnings. The first onscreen superheroes came in the form of low-budget movie serials, which eventually evolved into syndicated television fare, with George Reeves’ Superman chief among them. Chief, that is, until January 1966, when a single series changed the genre – and pop culture – forever.
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