1966 was a tremendous year for pop culture. Within the space of those 12 months, the world saw the debut of the Batman television series, as well as The Monkees and Star Trek.
and The Monkees
were phenomenal right off the “bat,” spawning both “Bat-mania”
and “Monkee-mania.” Star Trek,
on the other hand, didn’t get as much attention in its original
1966-1969 run on NBC, only becoming iconic years later.
was also the year my mother immigrated to America, eventually
becoming a legal resident and ultimately a citizen. The reason I
bring this up is because although my mother’s arrival in America
and the debuts of the aforementioned cultural phenomena both
happening in 1966 were entirely coincidental, they are inherently
mother was definitely aware of Batman and The Monkees
when they debuted and watched them when they were popular. She saw
Star Trek after it ended in 1969 and began life anew in
syndicated reruns. She would continue to enjoy all three in one form
or another in the years since with her future family.
example, we faithfully went to the cinema every two or three years in
the 1980s and early 1990s to see the Star Trek movies starring
the original 1960s TV series cast; we watched some of the modern
Batman movies (although not directly connected to the ‘60s
show) starting in 1989; and we enjoyed Monkees reruns in the
1980s and even recently attended a concert by Monkees member Michael
addition to being a fan, I have been privileged to have had
professional connections to these three iconic properties.
I was a master control operator at a local cable television station
in the 1990s, I met Monkees member Peter Tork, who was a celebrity
guest on The Rik Turner Show. He personally autographed a
Monkees album for me, and later, he came in to the master control
room and asked me for a bandage for his nicked finger. I don’t
remember if I had a bandage on hand for him or had to refer him to
someone else, but I’ll never forget him asking me. One of the
Monkees asked me for a bandage!
a cable/satellite magazine writer from 1996 to 2005, I got to
interview Eartha Kitt, one of the actresses who played Catwoman on
the Batman TV show. I also interviewed original Star Trek
actors William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy (as well as Star Trek:
The Next Generation cast members Patrick Stewart, Jonathan
Frakes, and LeVar Burton). All of the interviews were by telephone,
of course, since I was on the East Coast.
three shows/franchises have something big going on in 2016, their
50th anniversary year.
news not specifically related to the 1960s TV series, the character
of Batman, who’s been around for 77 years, will soon be seen in his
first live-action, big-screen pairing with his DC Comics predecessor
and label mate Superman, in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,
which opens in theaters on March 25. The 50-year-old Batman TV
show, meanwhile, airs at 6:30 p.m. on Me TV’s Super Sci-Fi Saturday
Trek will also be beaming back into theaters
on July 22 with Star Trek Beyond,
the 13th Star
Trek motion picture and the third feature
film starring new actors as Kirk and his Enterprise crew. The
original Star Trek
series continues to air at 9:00 p.m. on Me TV’s Super Sci-Fi
Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork will record a new Monkees album called
Good Times! (which is scheduled to be released on June 10) and
will hit the road for a 50th anniversary Monkees tour from
May through October. Michael Nesmith will not be a part of this tour
as he is working on other projects, but one of his recent songs will
be featured on the new album, and he might yet contribute some vocal
and/or guitar parts as well. The Monkees airs on Antenna TV
Anniversary, 1966 (and to Batman, The Monkees, and Star
Trek – and my mom)!