Sun didn’t see much en­ter­prise in ‘Star Trek’

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Chris Kal­tenbach THEN AND NOW chris.kal­tenbach@balt­sun.com

Fifty years ago Thurs­day, TV started boldly go­ing where no man had gone be­fore. And The Baltimore Sun hap­pily went along for the ride. Sort of. It would be nice to re­port that The Sun was an un­abashed fan of “Star Trek” from the be­gin­ning, that this pa­per im­me­di­ately em­braced the pi­o­neer­ing sci­encefic­tion se­ries that re­mains a cul­tural force a half-cen­tury later. But truth is, the se­ries was em­braced with what could, at best, be called luke­warm praise.

“This one looks like the son of ‘Twi­light Zone,’ cousin to ‘The Outer Lim­its’ and neigh­bor of ‘Lost in Space,’ com­bin­ing the bet­ter el­e­ments of all those shows,” Evening Sun critic Lou Ce­drone wrote in the pa­per’s Sept. 9, 1966, edi­tion, the day af­ter the show’s premiere. “It has some so­phis­ti­ca­tion.”

In Ce­drone’s de­fense, that premiere episode, “The Man Trap,” about an alien life form that sucks the salt out of hu­mans as a means of survival, was not among the se­ries’ best.

But at least Ce­drone liked it bet­ter than Don­ald Kirkley, long­time critic for The Sun (which pub­lished in the morn­ings), did. Kirkley was not im­pressed.

“‘Star Trek’ was her­alded as an adult sci­ence-fic­tion pro­gram, but it doesn’t make the grade on ei­ther count,” Kirkley sniffed in the Sept. 23 Sun, writ­ing three shows into the se­ries’ run. The show, he later ex­plained, “sinks to the sta­tus of a Class C hor­ror movie.”

Ouch.

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