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“Star Trek” celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and the television series, along with its many spawned spinoffs and films, continues to be a relevant element of pop culture and an influential part of both Hollywood and space-based locales around the world. Fun fact: No one in the original “Star Trek” ever uttered the words: “Beam me up, Scotty.”

What the set of the original 'Star Trek' series was like 50 years ago

Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock in the "Star Trek" episode "Charlie X." The second episode of Season 1 first aired Sept. 15, 1966. (CBS Photo Archive)
Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock in the "Star Trek" episode "Charlie X." The second episode of Season 1 first aired Sept. 15, 1966. (CBS Photo Archive)

Editor's note: The first episode of "Star Trek" premiered today (Sept. 8) on NBC in 1966. The L.A. Times was there 50 years ago on the bridge of the Enterprise interviewing show creator Gene Roddenberry and taking in the "spectacular" set.

Not sure what to make of this highly ambitious sci-fi series, L.A. Times staff writer Don Page seemed impressed with the look but skeptical of the series' potential longevity.

If the show happens to fail on television, they could easily turn the set into a tourist attraction.

Don Page

We've republished Page's article, originally titled "Star Trek is Costly Sci Fi Epic," from Sept. 21, 1966.  It's a quick behind-the-scenes glimpse of a series that would live on and inspire television spinoffs for decades.

In the semi-darkness of a massive sound stage on the Desilu-Gower lot, strange creatures dart about through web covered catacombs.

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