Star Trek 3D Chess and Other Quirky Ways to Celebrate International Chess Day
July 20 is International Chess Day (also called World Chess Day by the United Nations). In honor of the holidays, the folks at The Noble Collection asked me if I wanted to review the Star Trek chess set. Sometimes my work is really cool.
In the accompanying video, you can see the entire chess set in action. It’s actually a lot nicer than I expected. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I guess I figured it would be a kid’s toy. It’s not. It has much more of a collectable quality. See the video. You will see.
Specifically, however, I started to think about what July 20 really means to me. On July 20, 1969, human beings first appeared on the surface of the Moon. I was a little boy at the time, watching on an old black and white Zenith TV.
I have often wondered how Michael Collins felt. It remained in the command module, orbiting the moon, while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the surface. On the one hand, he was an essential part of the Apollo 11 crew. On the other hand, he got so close but never reached the surface of the moon.
While preparing the video, I thought a lot about the relationship between the original Star Trek series and the real-world space program.
The first episode of Star Trek aired September 8, 1966. Gene Roddenberry had actually started writing his treatment (essentially, a concept paper) for Star Trek March 11, 1964. Think about that date.
The last crewed Mercury flight (which launched only one astronaut at a time into space) was launched on May 15, 1963, with Gordon Cooper in the cockpit. Cooper was an aeronautical engineer and an Air Force test pilot. He was also the youngest of the Mercury astronauts.
Roddenberry wrote the basic concepts for Star Trek after Mercury but before Gemini (missions with two astronauts in the cockpit). The Enterprise was originally called Yorktown in its treatment. The original pilot, “The Cage”, was also shot in 1964. This pilot didn’t go into production, but some of the characters we know and love now Discovery of Star Trek were set at the time, including Captain Pike, Number One and, of course, Mr. Spock.
The original Star Trek series was taken over by Desilu Productions, at the time a leading independent TV production company.
Fun fact: Desilu was named after its owners and founders, Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. Yes, that Lucy and Desi. Throughout the story, Lucy was actually the person who gave Star Trek the green light, believing that she would have life in this concept that she had, called syndication. Back then, reruns and syndication weren’t the behemoths they have become. Lucy not only activated Star Trek but pioneered the whole concept of second-air TV shows.
As hard as it is to believe now, that the first Star Trek show with Kirk, Spock and McCoy was not a huge success. After the grades fell, it was canceled. The last episode aired on June 3, 1969 – about a month and a half before Armstrong and Aldrin walked the moon.
As I edited the video, my thoughts took me down two paths. The first, of course, was that everything that came into the original series – from Klingons to teleporters, portable communicators to automatic sliding doors – preceded the very first moon landing. Contrary to popular legend, the communicator did not inspire the cell phone. Cell phones were in development before this time. But it was still cool.
My other way of thinking was how well some of the original plot devices in Star Trek The TOS held up over time. If you watched the following series, let it be The next generation or Discovery, it’s interesting how well the fundamental Star Trek myth was put into practice in this original series.
Get your space, failures and trek frenzy on
Next, I want to wrap up some TV recommendations related to space and chess, in no particular order. The next season of animation Star Trek series Lower decks premieres in three weeks on August 12.
I watched the Apple TV series + For all mankind. It’s an alternate version of the space program where Armstrong and Aldrin landed after the Russians. I got Apple TV + for free when I bought a cheap iPad, but I would pay the $ 4.99 per month just to watch this series. It’s tight and can be very suspenseful in places.
It also sheds light on some of the unrecognized roles women played in America’s first space program, including the Mercury 13. Most people don’t know that 13 exceptional female pilots were trained to be astronauts along with the men for this mission. . A character in the series, Molly Cobb, is largely based on Jerrie Cobb, a truly amazing woman who has never been to space but was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her very dangerous work transporting supplies. to the indigenous tribes of South America.
Be warned, For all mankind it’s a bit like Game of thrones in space, where wrong things always happen. For all mankind becomes very, very dark. But it’s still a very nice series.
Back to chess. If you haven’t watched The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, you miss a great show. I avoided it the longest because the idea of a chess series seemed to be quite tedious, but some of my friends were overjoyed. So my wife and I watched it together, and I have to admit it was fascinating. Well worth your time.
And with that, I’m going to log out for now. Have a happy anniversary on International Chess / Moon Landing Day. If you’ve watched any of these shows or have any cool Star Trek props or stories, feel free to share in the comments below.
And what about the 3D chess set I reviewed? Do you plan to get one? How about giving one as a Christmas present? The comments are there for you to let us know.
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