Plak-Tow (Star Trek: TOS newsletter by Shirley Meech)

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See also Plak Tow (disambiguation).

Title: Plak-Tow
Publisher: Shirley Meech
Editor(s): Shirley Meech
Type: newsletter
Date(s): 1967-1969
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Plak-Tow is a gen very early Star Trek: TOS newsletter.

Each issue contains extensive detailed descriptions of mentions of Star Trek in the media (newspapers, magazines, television) and what the actors were up to. The newsletter also provided fans with ongoing fan campaign information. Each issue also had a Garlic Press Update, something that informed fans about the then-ongoing publication schedule of Spockanalia.

From an ebay seller: "This is the 1st Issue of a newszine that started in 1967 for all types of Star Trek news, character appearances, artwork, reports, lists of magazine and TV sightings, and gossip. It also featured art from various fan artists, notable was Kathy Bushman. Later issues fleshed out to include art from DEA. The fanzine ran 14 issues before folding when the editor moved from Delaware to California."

Many of these newsletters were read by TPTB, as stated in several issues.

Regarding its title: the editor wrote in issue #9: "'Plak-tow,' for those of you who asked, is Vulcan for 'blood fever.'"

For similar zines of this era, see List of Star Trek TOS Zines Published While the Show Was Still On the Air.


From the first issue:

Subscription price, 10 issues $1. Published twice monthly, in the hope you'll keep me informed on any items I miss. Amok Publication #1. Write to NBC-TV! Save Star Trek! Write!!!!!!!!

The purpose of PLAK-TOW is to give wider circulation to all Star Trek news, including the following; the continuing bibliography of magazine and newspaper articles about ST and its stars; progress reports on SPOCKANALIA #2 and other news from Garlic Press; news from clubs; news items from VARIETY and other sources; and lists of photos and other ST items available.

If you see an ST article or news item I've missed, let me know. If you are the first to tell me about it or send it to me, I'll send you a free issue of PLAK-TOW or a free wallet-size ST color photo taken from TV. (We've been taking these pictures since early in last season's reruns, and have a long list of them. Hope to print the list or have copies of it available soon.) And if you have news you'd like printed, send it in. Artwork is also welcomed.

General Reactions and Reviews

This zine's purpose was to keep ST fans up to date on what was happening. Its features included a bibliography of ST mentions in magazines and newspaper (even the old ST fans were trekkies!) and reports of new zines in the works. There were page long reports on the progress of the next issue of Spockanalia. Some news from the production studio and many clubs. Many issues devote much space to the Save Star Trek fan campaign which seems like ancient history. One of its outstanding characteristics was continuing good artwork. [1]

You’ve got to try this one. It has just about every living thing going concerned about STAR TREK and the crew. This includes a biblio­graphy of current and just past articles, TV and film appearances of any and all STAR TREK crew members. Also all news on same, new local clubs....and of particular importance: a up-to-date listing of all publications available to the public.

They are very worried about STAR TREK cancellation rumours, with good cause. [2]

Issue 1

Plak-Tow 1 was published December 13, 1967 and contains 8 pages.

From the editor:

"STAR TREK NEEDS HELP!!! The Enterprise faces a deadly menace and could be destroyed. Is it the Romulans? The Klingons? The Orions? No, worse still—-the Neilsens! [snipped, info on letter writing campaign] As Bjo Trimble says, 'If thousands of fans just sit around moaning about the death of Star Trek, they get exactly what they deserve; GOMER PYLE! We have to show that there are more people who want Star Trek than who don't really care one way or another. So, pass the word and write some letters, people; it's up to us fans to keep Star Trek on TV. Our own inaction will assure that it never sees a third season!' Write NBC....set phasers for heavy stun.


Many thanks, and a Vulcan salute, to; Sherna Comerford, Devra Langsam and John Mansfield, for suggesting the carbonzine become a fanzine; John Mansfield, for the title PLAK-TOW (a Vulcan madness -- and isn't that what this is?); Sherna and Devra for the lirpa letterhead idea; Kathy Bushman for the artwork (which I hope I don't completely ruin in putting it on a stencil); and all those who sent in news.

Garlic Press Update from Sherna Comerford, co-editor of SPOCKANALIA:

Last spring in "This Side of Paradise," Dorothy Fontana (writer and script consultant for ST) created the fact that Spock has another name— a name which humans can't pronounce. Since then, this has become one of the many fascinating mysteries surrounding our favorite alien. Miss Fontana recently told us that the name is unpronounceable not be cause it is a series of numbers, or a telepathic symbol, or any of the several other possibilities which had been speculated, but simply be cause it is fourteen letters long, and every one a consonant. Although the name cannot be written exactly in our alphabet, it can be rendered approximately as Xtmprsgzntwlfb. ("Rendered approximately" can be translated as "This is not established in any script and is therefore subject to change.") Many thanks to Miss Fontana for this and other delightful information about the show.

The second issue of SPOCKANALIA (out this spring, we get enough good articles by Dec. 31, hint hint) will be better for her help.

Regarding audio tapes, as fans did not have the capability to to do visual tapes:

I tape record Star Trek. I lack some of last season's shows, and am also looking for tapes of some of the appearances of ST stars on other TV shows (particularly Leonard Nimoy's second PAT BOONE SHOW in Nov., and the JOEY BiSHOP SHOW in April). Anybody want to trade tapes for ST color pictures, or for other tapes? Also, I understand some ST fans are interested in corresponding by tape or in starting tape round robins. If you'd like to do this, let me know and I'll put you in touch with the others.

The first of bibliographies of books, magazines, and newspapers that mention the show or the actors; regarding the moviezines:

To be complete, I suppose I should list all the titles of these articles. But most of them are ridiculous—a slash of the lirpa to whoever makes them up— so unless you really want to know, I'll pretend. I didn't notice the titles.

Issue 2

Plak-Tow 2 was published January 9, 1968 and contains 12 pages. DEA is the front and back page artist.

This issue contained "How to Write Effective Letters to Save Star Trek -- by Bjo Trimble" though this must have been a separate insert. It also contained the newszine Where No Fan Has Gone Before by Bjo Trimble. This must have also been a separate insert.

From the editor:

This issue took twice as long as it should have -- but then it's twice as long as it should be, too. Fair enough? Beginning with #3 this will be a short, prompt newszine.

Report from Garlic Press from Sherna Comerford:

Devra and I are in a state of acute fafia. If SPOCKANALIA #2 is to be ready this spring, we're going to have to devote less time to correspondence and more time to tearing our hair putting the zine together (to say nothing of campaigning to keep ST on the air!). Soooo... we have purchased a large supply of postcards, and we hope no one will be insulted by the brevity of our letters for the next couple of months. We are still in need of articles! Anything which can't be worked into #2 (deadline was Dec. 31) will be considered for #3 (deadline June 15). We need articles on all the major characters, the ship, and the ST universe in general. Suggestions; Spock's concept of logic (alas, quite unsophisticated); Kirk's tactical style; 22nd century medicine, etc. Humorous pieces are always welcome—if they are funny, and if they do not violate the characters. (Satire, as in Mad, is great fun. Slap stick we find boring.)

Well-drawn artwork, small size, is also needed. If you don't know the techniques used in drawing for a mimeo zine, ask us. A bit of a warning—we are swamped with poor poetry and fiction. We will publish no fiction at all, unless it really seems special to us. Not many fen can write like Ruth Berman. If you wrote something, and you're unsure of it, please don't be afraid to send it in. The worst we can do is say, "thanks ever so—but we can't use it, sorry." (We'll tell you why, too.)

An important word on policy. SPOCKANALIA tries to regard the ST universe as the real one. Articles about the actors and the production do not fit this format. We need articles about the characters, and the ST universe itself, instead. As for source material: Only material established in an episode is factual. Information from press releases, etc., is probably true, but subject to change (it's happened!). Our own constructions are no more than speculation. We must base them firmly on facts, and must label them speculation. (See SPOCKANALIA #1 f or suggested techniques.) With this in about writing us our third ish? Please??

TPTB received this issue:

This issue is going out to a few persons who haven't yet subscribed, but future [issues] will not -- so if you would like to continue receiving it, subscribe now. Except for Desilu people, etc., who were warned "try to get rid of us!


A Vulcan salute, and many thanks—to everyone who commented on #1 and/or subscribed; to those who sent in news for #2; to Devra Langsam, for help with #1; to DEA, for the covers on this issue; to Jack Gaughan, for the drawing on this page; to Kathy Bushman, Alicia Austin, and Dale Kagan, for artwork elsewhere in this issue; and especially to Leonard Nimoy, who sent a note saying he enjoyed #1. Thank you, sir!!!!!!

Fans, it's up to you:

PRIORITY ONE DISTRESS CALL: As you recall from "The Trouble with Tribbles," a Priority One is "more than an emergency—it signals near or total disaster." That's exactly what Star Trek faces. Don't fail to act in this crisis—write NBC! Let's make it stand for "Not Being Cancelled!"

And if you get a letter from NBC saying ST is safe and its cancellation was only a rumor—don't be misled. That's the letter referring to the renewal for the balance of this season. The decision to cancel or renew for next fall will be made this month! As well as the main point of saving ST, letters now can give NBC your opinion of the time slot and the reruns. The scheduling of the show for Friday night has been responsible for much of the ratings trouble— let the network know you'd prefer another night! And if you watch the reruns, tell them which shows you liked best and would like to see rerun.

Things for sale and trade, questions about copyright:

CYRANO JONES TRADING POST: Which, this issue at least, includes the Tape Dept. This department is named for the trader who "has never broken the law— at least, not severely," because I'm currently doing some checking into the legality of trading or selling pictures taken from TV, and/or tapes. Will keep you informed on what I find out—or if you have info on this, I'd appreciate hearing it. Stay tuned to this fanzine for further news... For the moment, the Tape Dept. will stay with the idea of taperesponding and tape round robins (if you're interested in these, send, info on what speeds and reel size your taper uses), and the Trading Post will stay with "live" pictures and other items, such as [lots of color photographs of Leonard Nimoy at Agawam, taken and sold by fans].

Issue 3

Plak-Tow 3 was published January 29, 1968 and contains 9 pages.

the front cover of issue #3
back cover of issue #3


A Vulcan salute, and many thanks, to — everyone who commented on #2 or sent in news for #3; Devra Langsam, for help on #2; DEA. and Kathy, for artwork (the cover, by Kathy, is the first in a three-part series. Special thanks to Gene Roddenberry for the kind words on the zine, and to Associate Producer Robert H, Justman, who says, "Consider us all as fen." Yes, sir!!

More info about copyright and photos:

CYRANO JONES TRADING POST: Bad news. (But in the most agreeable form—a friendly letter from Gene Roddenberry.) NBC says it would be infringement of copyright to sell such items as TV pictures, script copies, etc. So there goes my plan to advertise my 400 color photos of ST taken from TV, and to sell them with part of the profit to UNICEF. Well, I still have a list of photos of Leonard Nimoy taken at his personal appearances—send stamp for list—or write and tell me about your ST pictures, etc.

Encouragement to write letters:

Hailing frequencies open — Well, fen, the effects of the "Save Star Trek" campaign are beginning to be felt. Letters have been pouring in to NBC, to TV Guide, and other magazines and newspapers. There was an orderly and well-publicized march on NBC in Burbank, and another on NBC in New York. At last, somebody besides Nielsen is making some noise — we are making ourselves heard. But! It's still a Priority One emergency — ST has not yet been renewed! Latest word is that the decision will be made around February 14. So send that message again. Lieutenant. Keep up the good work and make it a happy Valentine's Day for all of us!

Wanna talk:

TAPE DEPT. Several fans have expressed an interest in corresponding by tape. All fellows so far. Any of you femmefans want to join the group? If so, send information on what speeds and reel sizes your machine takes. This dept. plans to get organized by next issue, probably.

News from Garlic Press from Devra Langsam, all hail the heavy-duty stapler:

Garlic Press is pleased to announce that it has acquired part ownership of a heavy-duty stapler. All those who participated in our last two collating parties may also be pleased to hear it!

The regular column, an extensive bibliography of Star Trek in magazines and newspapers:

[One example from the Buffalo Evening News]: "Short article titled "Haircut Turning Point" relates that Roddenberry, when considering Kelley for the part of McCoy, asked him to get a different haircut (he had been wearing his hair long, for Westerns). Kelley got a $35 haircut from Jay Sebring, famous Hollywood men's hair stylist, and eventually got the role." [And from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan 26]: "A column by trufan Harry Harris titled "Star Trek Fans Rally To Save Show From Ax" reports on the marches, petitions and letters. Harris prints messages received from ST fans—and one which was handed him at home by trufan Terri Harris—and adds his own wholehearted endorsement of the show.

Issue 4

Plak-Tow 4 was published February 21, 1968 and contains 14 pages. Kathy Bushman is the front and back page artist.

front cover of issue #4
back page of issue #4
detail from this issue: "It's "A Private Little War" against the Nielsens — write NBC"

The show is still up in the air:

Hailing frequencies open — Valentine's Day has come and gone, and NBC still hasn't made a definite decision on Star Trek's fate; but it can't be long now until they do. Word should be forthcoming by early March. What the network has decided on doing, is to give the 8:30 Friday time slot to a new show next fall.

This newsletter is going to cost fans more money:

THE HIGH COST OF EVERYTHING DEPT. -- One piece of bad news to get out of the way. After four tries, it's now plain that PLAK-TOW just hasn't turned out to be the 4-page, no-cover, no-art 10 cents zine we had in mind at first. From your comments, it seems you like it better this way (we do, too), or maybe even bigger, with room for articles, a lettered, etc. The only logical way to keep going is — apologies — to raise the price to 20 cents, 5 issues $1. We'll do our best to make the zine worth every cent.

Protest TV Guide:

On the TV Guide remarks about blowing up NBC — "I'm advising ST fans to buy their Guides off the stands for a few weeks; demand your sub back if they don't prove their allegation that one of us threatened to bomb NBC!"

Protest in the streets:

Dorothy Jones reports that, in addition to the Burbank march on NBC, there was a small demonstration at KRON-TV, a Bay Area NBC channel. Most of the marchers were members of the Society for Creative Anachronism and went in costume. Dorothy went as the Praetor's lady of Romulus. "Why was a Romulan demonstrating to save Star Trek? Obviously, so the Romulan Empire would have a chance to get its own back from the Federation. (It's good to know the Romulans are with us on this—mayoe their hearts are in the right place at that. Uh, for them that would be right about here....)

FunCon planning:

Bjo Trimble sent information on the F-UN CON (FUTURE UNBOUNDED), which will be held July 4-7 at the Statler Hilton in Los Angeles, This regional con will have a masquerade ball, fashion show, art show, auctions, science films, and a banquet with speeches by several noted SP writers including Robert Bloch, Harry Harrison vill be guest of honor. Advance memberships in the con are available now (full membership $3, supporting $1) from Charles A, Crayne [address redacted]. Bjo would like to know, since the F-UN CON is being held right there in ST country — "if we arranged for a special luncheon (about $5.50) with guest stars, and fashion show of the costumes from ST, and displays, and so on — a sort of ST Symposium for one day, at least, of the Funcon, how many people would attend?" If you'd be interested in this, drop Bjo a postcard telling her so and giving info on the number of people in your party, etc., and what you'd like to have at such a gathering.

Garlic Press Update by Devra Langsam and Sherna Comerford:

SPOCKANALIA #2 is beginning to shape up. We have much of our artwork out being cut onto stencil (pages and pages of magnificent Bushes, a goodly number of charming DEA's, several lovely little Gaughans, and various other pieces we're very happy with). Articles in hand include fragments of a tape rescued from a destroyed Klingon warship, courtesy of Sector General John Mansfield. The subject is techniques used in questioning Vulcan prisoners.

We also have a very humorous piece "reprinted from the newstape published in secret by the junior officers of the Enterprise," and secured for Garlic Press by Lois McMasters. Then there's the inimitable John Boardman, who sheds some light on a possible earthbound ancestor of our favorite Vulcan. Our pride and joy is a pair of letters relayed to us by Star Fleet Command. The first is from Doctor McCoy, expounding on the joys of practicing medicine on a Vulcan. The second is a reply from Mr. Spock, on the joys of being practiced upon. We are now immersed in setting up the mock-up. Next comes stencil cutting, mimeoing, collating, stapling, mailing.... #2 should hopefully be out in April, for Lunacon. We can't wait.

How about getting the fans involved in writing the tie-in books?

The Star Trek 2 Bantam book is now on sale, from the show, adapted by James Blish, and. ..well, it's better than the first one. But it isn't this ST fanatic's idea of what an ST book should be. May I daydream a moment? First, I'd like enough space devoted to each episode so that some of the most interesting parts would not have to be left out—a separate book for each story, or not more than two or three stories per book— so that each could read like 90 minutes of ST instead of a half—hour condensation. Second, I'd like to see the books follow the show as filmed—in both ST 1 and ST 2 -- there are places where the adaptation follows the original script instead of the final film, or adds something new. I'd rather have an accurate log of what I saw—what "really happened"—than an adaptation of how it might have happened. Or, why not simply print the scripts in book form? They make interesting reading, and a "final, revised" script, even without the changes made during filming, strikes me as preferable to an "adaptation." Third, with all due respect to Blish, I feel an ST book deserves to be written by somebody who knows the show thoroughly and cares about it. Like Gene Roddenberry or D.C. Fontana. Or maybe Juanita Coulson or Thomas Stratton! End of speech....

Issue 5

Plak-Tow 5 was published March 15, 1968 and contains 14 pages. Kathy Bushman is the front page artist and DEA is the back page artist.

front cover of issue #5, by Kathy Bushman, third in a series of Star Trek characters
back page of issue #5

Good news!:

Hailing frequencies open — And a telepathic handshake to you — we did it!!!!!! (I'd make that a telepathic hug, but that would be getting emotional....) We're getting a message—with the help of Alicia Austin and Western Union, I'll put it on visual: "THANKS FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS AND ENCOURAGEMENT AND PLEASE EXTEND OUR SINCERE THANKS TO ALL THE OTHERS WHO HELPED. STAR TREK DEFINITELY ON SCHEDULE FOR A THIRD SEASON BEGINNING SEPTEMBER, MORE LATER. WARMEST PERSONAL REGARDS, GENE RODDENBERRY, STAR TREK."" NBC has now made two please for us to stop swamping them with mail public announcements of ST's renewal. Cheerful news from Bjo Trimble — "NBC received over one million letters—and since the first announcement, they've gotten 70,000 thank-you letters!" Yes, we managed to get their attention....but how can we keep it, so that we won't have to do this all over again next year? What we need is a VOICE to drown out the Nielsens!

"RUMOR DEPT. Old business":

Of course you're right, trufen Terri and Harry Harris, "The Philadelphia Inquirer does not print false rumors. Only true ones." New business—from A Reliable Source, before the renewal became official: "No signed contract yet. I've heard NBC has hopes that dragging all this out will 'scare' Gene Roddenberry. Ha. They wanted him to add a 'Dr. Smith' type of character to the show! He flatly refused, of course, and that has been one bone of contention lately." Hmmmm... . let' s get out the phasers typewriters and pens again and explain to NBC just what kind of s-f we prefer, shall we?

Garlic Press Update by Sherna Comerford:

We have a letter from Scotty! A real, live, hand-written... it tells the story of how he got into Star Fleet (it seems there was this junkyard island off the coast of Scotland.,.) and it ends with a poem. jamesdoohanmustbealovelymanandhe'sreallyadolltodothisforus. Pardon us while we float back down to earth. You can read it in SPOCKANALIA #2, late in April. (Please, no advance subs. We've got enough to confuse us already!) We also heard from a friendly gentleman named Walter Koenig. He says the character is not fully developed enough for Chekov himself to write, but Walter Koenig liked our zine. He also gives us the marvelous news that next season. Gene Roddenberry will be back producing the show. This means the Save ST campaign won on all three counts! Meanwhile, our angel Dorothy Fontana says she will do us an article or story on Dr. McCoy!!!!! (Well, we think a story from one of the top ST writers is worth five exclamation points, pant pant slaver.) That one will be in #3, which we're planning to have out by Baycon.

ST fandom can give itself a pat on the back, too. Miss Fontana tells us that it was our letters and Mr. Roddenberry's great personal effort that saved ST. NBC got over a million letters and petitions. She goes on to say, "We had definitely been off the schedule... and then the mail began to pour in. It cost NBC a great deal in hiring extra staff to answer it... because much of it was from people of some standing in industry, professions and so on. These could not be answered by a routine form letter. So we cost NBC some money — and all of you kept us on the air." Now — we have a brief respite before the SST campaign begins again, in September. A "brief respite" means send in a letter a month, instead of once a week. Let NBC have a subscription to your letters. The price — continue ST. Remember — WE are the ones the show depends on, gang. If we sit back on our laurels, a certain starship will be grounded — and you know the Enterprise can't land without crashing. If we sound mildly hysterical, it's because everything we just announced happened in the last four days, and we're still breathless. Can you blame us?

Issue 6

Plak-Tow 6 (archived here) was published April 8, 1968 and contains 16 pages. It has a cover featuring Spock and Diana Rigg from The Avengers. The back page artist is Kathy Bushman.

front cover of issue #6
back cover of issue #6

This issue contains "What's a St. Charles? or Who Needs LSD to Take a Trip?, a report by three Canadian fans (Alicia Austin, Maureen Bourns, and Rosemary Elliot) on the trip they took to see Leonard Nimoy at The Pheasant Run Playhouse for the play Visit to a Small Planet -- it mostly describes the trip, their interactions with Nimoy and family, but not the play itself.

detail from a page of issue #6, an illo by Alicia Austin accompanies the report of three Canadian fans who drive 18 hours to see Leonard Nimoy in the play Visit to a Small Planet

Protest in the street:

Several members of the Vulcan Consulate group in Seattle marched on their local NBC affiliate, March 22, to protest the 10 PM Friday time spot. They picketed the station (in costumes and make-up), and were filmed by a TV camera there. The film was shown on the local news telecast, and it's said film clips will be sent to Julian Goodman (NBC).

Audiotape Department:

ST fans wishing to correspond by tape have been sent the list of each other's names. If you don't have a tape recorder but would like to correspond with other ST fans by mail, telepathy, etc., send in your name and address (and list an interest or two other than ST, if you want) and we'll put you in touch with the others. Equal rights for non-tapers, Does that make it the Communicator Dept.? Put this on a post card or separate sheet in letter, please.

Garlic Press Update by Sherna Comerford]:

Garlic Press is (ahem) pleased to announce that on August 10, 1968, Sherna will be married to trufan Brian Burley. Brian is a founding member of both OSFS and COSFS, two fan organizations centered in Ohio. He and Sherna are both members of the OCON Committee (Columbus Worldcon in '69). Ain't fandom romantic? The couple plans to live in northern New Jersey, and SPOCKANALIA is expected to continue unabated. Meanwhile, back at the fanzine, typing is nearly done, the myriad details needed to prepare the typed stencils (such as proofreading and pasting on pictures) are well under way, and the first stencils have been mimeoed. The zine is 114 pages long, on slightly better paper than #1. (We're using the same paper Andy Porter gets for SFW.) Colors are yellow and pastel green, which is at least better than the tan we were forced to use before. Legibility of type is, alas, worse. Devra is doing most of the typing, with the extensive help of SPOCKANALIA's newest staff member, her cousin Debbie Langsam. Devra refused to do #2 on the portable typer she suffered over for #1, so we rented an electric. The mockup was all planned out for the type size of that electric. Now, when it is too late, we find the stencils it cuts are not of the best quality. Caveat emptor. We'll know better next time.

The pictures, on the other hand, are beautiful. We just got back the ferocious batch we sent Juanita Coulson (patience, thy name is Juanita). A better stencil no person, and probably no machine, could possibly cut. A word of apology to those whose articles we were forced to take out of #2. Everyone has been notified by now, and they will be in #3. These include John Boardman's discussion of a human ancestor of Spock's (not Sherlock Holmes), Dorothy Jones' discussion and development of the Vulcan language (lauded for scholarship by Gene Roddenberry), Juanita Coulson's delightful and real "transcription" of an orientation lecture given to new members of the Enterprise department of clothing and supply—and others we didn't want to wait until September to publish. Sobb. But there's much good stuff left in #2, too. Wait until April 20. (And no money before then, please. We don't want to risk losing it in the confusion of getting published.)

Write more letters:

Hailing frequencies open -- Back to your battle stations, crew, the Enterprise is under attack again! (No, not by the lovely Mrs. Peel—more about her later.) As you recall from our last thrilling episode, Star Trek was in danger of being cancelled because of low Nielsen ratings, brought on in part by the Friday night time spot in the network schedule. Many viewers just aren't home on Friday nights; they're attending school or college events, or dating, or involved in other social activities. So Star Trek fans wrote a million letters, and NBC decided to renew the show. They tentatively scheduled it for 7:30 Mondays, which seemed likely to improve its Nielsen position. But did it remain there? No. ST is now scheduled for 10 PM Fridays. Which could mean more low ratings, which could mean cancellation in January.

A few news clippings. Matt Messina's column in the New York Daily News says Gene Roddenberry is trying to get an earlier time on a week night. The TV editor of the Seattle Times calls 10 PM Friday "a time berth that adds up to a non-confidence vote" and says "the show's fate appears to be up in the air...." Variety says "'s said a buy from R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company prompted NBC's shift of Star Trek from early Monday night to late Friday night, where it is safe for a tobacco to advertise." The TV editor of the Boston Herald Traveler calls the late Friday spot "an undesirable one for this program" and comments it would have been better to leave it in the early Monday time, "But who are wo to tell Mort Werner of NBC what to do?" (We're the viewers and fans, that's who!) Messina's column calls chances of another schedule change "considered remote." (But chances of renewal were considered remote, a few months back....).

Reliable sources say Roddenberry will not sign unless ST gets a better time. And a news release just received from TV critic Harry Harris of the Philadelphia Inquirer says that as a result of the shift to the 10 PM Friday "graveyard" spot, "There's been an emergency meeting of the cast, who've decided that it would be suicide to allow the show to be aired at that late hour, when so many of their youthful viewers are away from the sets. They've decided to walk off the series in revolt unless the network meets their demands: a new viewing time or at least a firm commitment for 26 shows." OK, Let's back them up. Back to the phasers typewriters—those addresses are: [addresses]. And meanwhile, back at the Nielsens—have you joined VOICE yet? VOICE is the organization which will replace Nielsen, if we all get behind it.

Issue 7

Plak-Tow 7 was published May 1968 and contains 14 pages. DEA did the front and back covers.

the front cover of issue #7
the back cover of issue #7

In the loop with TPTB:

Teresa Victor, Girl Friday to Leonard Nimoy, sends word that he enjoyed #6's articles and artwork very much, and "please extend his thanks to all those who contribute to making PLAK-TOW the fine piece of material it is." (Thank you!!!)

Things for sale from Gene Roddenberry:

PUBLICITY RELEASE FROM GENE RODDENBERRY. Because so many Star Trek fans have written requesting souvenirs from our show, we have made up a list of items most asked for. They include actual film clips from Star Trek, the official Star Trek Writer's Guide, large color photographs of our stars, genuine scripts from this and past seasons, and dozens of other exciting and authentic items, all at as minimal a price as we can arrange. If you wish to receive this list, send your name and address and request to: STAR TREK, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Suite 205A, Hollywood, California 90028, Just received a copy of this catalog and note that it carries a different address — STAR TREK ENTERPRISES, P. 0. Box 38429, Hollywood, California 90038. The catalog also says that INSIDE ST will be an official newsletter for the show, available for 50 cents a copy, 6 issues 12.50.

Status of the current fan campaign and Star Trek; turns out Snoopy watches the show:

Hailing frequencies open — Status of mission? No change. Star Trek is still scheduled for the graveyard spot of 10 PM on Friday next season. So keep it up, fen — keep on telling NBC what we think of that time slot. Let them know by letters, cards, wires, phone calls, phasers and/or demonstrations, that ST deserves to be scheduled where it will have a fighting chance in the Klingon Nielsen ratings. [snipped] You might try writing Paul Klein, NBC Audience Measurement. Jane Peyton did. Mr. Klein answered as follows—"Dear Miss Peyton, You have a wonderful name, perfect for television. Do me one big favor; watch the show as often as you can, and when you can't watch it because you have a date, break the date and watch it anyway. We are counting on you more than you know." I'm not certain what "Audience Measurement" does, but perhaps we should let them know we are out here watching and that we're eager for them to get an accurate measurement. Several people have suggested that we might write Union Carbide, sponsor of 21st Century, suggesting that they consider sponsoring ST, It might be worth a try. And keep telling people about ST—sooner or later, even those Nielsen families may hear about it.

During the Save Star Trek campaign, Jane Peyton (knowing that Snoopy loves science fiction) wrote to Charles Schultz. Mr, Schultz answered that news paper editors would not be pleased if "Peanuts" were to campaign for ST, but did say, "I agree with you that Star Trek should be kept on television." Do you want Snoopy to have to wait until 10 PM to see ST, fans? Write NBC."

Update from Garlic Press by Sherna Comerford:

Gene Roddenberry has written! We have been hoping since September that he'd send a loc, and let us know what he thought of our efforts. Wellll... "SPOCKANALIA is required reading for everyone in our offices....along with Juanita Coulson's ST-PHILE .... Certain fanzines, and yours is one of them, have a mature and well-written format that is very instructive to our staff." (Which is to say, these zines tell them what and why is a Star Trek fan.) Oh, at least.

Meanwhile, through nobody's fault, #2 has missed its deadline. But do not despair—it will be out just as soon as yeds can possibly get it on paper (probably sometime this month). We've worked pretty hard on #2, and we're at the point where we really can't estimate ;our quality. If it's much better or much worse than #1, we don't know. Maybe it's about the same. We'll need you to tell us. Meanwhile, work is about to begin on #3. We have to spend much time and effort on what you send us, and we're also going to be busy with minor details like Sherna's wedding, so please remember the June 15 deadline. We already have such delights as a real Star Trek adventure by Joyce Yasner, in Lennonese (no translation given), but it's not enough, do you hear me out there? We need more and moooore. Hahahaha....

A report on seeing Nichelle Nichols perform:

After her performance [at Agawam, Massachusetts Riverside Park] at we again went backstage. Luck was with us; she was still there, giving autographs. I showed her a drawing I had done of her and asked her to sign it. She said she liked it very much and would have liked to have it for her dressing room table. As she was signing it, I showed her the Spock shirt I had on under my jacket and said I had worn it in honor of Star Trek and her personal appearance. (I should have worn my yeoman's uniform, but I wasn't about to walk around in that all day!) We gave her some pictures of Uhura taken from TV, and a poem about Uhura — I handed her the pictures. [snipped] Ve again waited backstage before the second show. About ten till six, she arrived, wearing another miniskirt outfit of white and orange suede. I asked her if she would pose so I could take a close—up photo of her, and she was kind enough to oblige. I told her I liked her clothes very much. She seemed pleased and told me she had designed them herself, we watched and taped the second show and took more pictures, and then hurried backstage again. This time I asked her to autograph a script, and had a chance to ask her a question. The conversation went something like this. "I wanted to know something about one of the things in the bloopers film." (Looking rather surprised) "Where did you see that?" "At Nycon." "What??" "Nycon, a convention... .there was one scene where Spock gave you an order and you said, 'Anything you say, Mistah Spock, shugah!' What was it all about?" "It was a practical joke. The camera was rolling, and we're always trying to break him up since he tries not to smile on the set."

Issue 8

Plak-Tow 8 was published June 30, 1968 and contains 14 pages.

This issue contains an essay with perhaps the very earliest use (at least in print) of the term trekkie.

front cover of issue #8, Alicia Austin: "The Romulan Commander Performs His Last Duty"
back cover of issue #8

About this issue:

Hailing frequencies open — And you're quite right, it is about time. Despite lack of any evidence lately, PLAK-TOW is alive and well in Newark, Delaware. I know some of you don't believe in Newark, Del., but it's out here. You'll just have to come and visit us and see. This means you, Leonard Nimoy. This ish, as promised, is a Mark Lenard special. We have an article by Ruth Berman and Dorothy Jones, and a cover by Alicia Austin — The Romulan Commander Performs His Last Duty. And there's a lot of ST news—some of it good, some of it worthy of the frown pictured above. Yes, Sir, I'll get on with it as soon as I give the art credits, Commander. Many thanks, and a Vulcan salute, to everybody who sent in news and art work. Art appears as follows—Alicia Austin,cover and pages 1, 6 and 8; Kathy Bushman, 2 and 3; Mary Ann Cappa, back cover; Sherna Comerford, 4; Sara Fensterer,12 ; Dale Kagan,ll; John Mansfield, 4; Jane Peyton, 13; and Terry Romulan Romine, 5, (Sorry about that, Terry.)

There is news about the upcoming Star Trek Concordance:

Latest word from Bjo Trimble is that the ST CONCORDANCE will be mimeographed sometime this summer. It is —so far— 135 pages, in the rough draft. No orders are being taken at this time; they will be, after it's [sic] run. If you already have an order in, you'll get it for the pre-publication price of $1. (It will probably cost $2 or more later, and be worth it, too.)

Report from Garlic Press: Sherna Comerford:

SPOCKANALIA #2 is finally out! Devra rented a mimeo, and the zine has been printed. Copies are available from Devra Langsam [address redacted]. They are 50 cents (and postage is also muchly appreciated—it costs 24 cents to mail one copy). Devra has now undertaken to put #1 back in print, too. Meanwhile, #2 has been well received. Rumor hath it that Gene Roddenberry xeroxed his copy and distributed it to the production staff. Rumor comes from a part-time spy whose initials are Ruth Berman. (Hi, Ruth! Give our regards to Bjo.)

You might want to keep an eye on LOOK magazine. There's an upcoming article on Spock and ST. We heard about it when the author, Robert Kaiser, asked us if he could quote from SPOCKANALIA! (Blush.) Please remember that the deadline for #3 is June 15. [Editor's note—this is June 30 already. Sigh, well, send them something for #4, then]. We are also considering a possible fictish (all fiction issue) sometime this winter, so keep us in mind. The fanzine you save may be our own!

The graveyard spot:

First, some of the bad news. The time spot has not been changed — ST is still scheduled for the "graveyard" slot of 10 PM Fridays. Furthermore, Vera Heminger writes that VOICE, the organization which had hoped to give the Nielsen ratings a fight, is folding. VOICE will be returning the $2 membership fees — it did not even reach the 200-member level. Regrettable.

The Hugos:

Some of the better news — the Hugo ballots have been sent out, and all five nominees for Best Dramatic Presentation are episodes of ST. They are; "Amok Time," "City on the Edge of Forever," "The Doomsday Machine," "Mirror, Mirror," and "The Trouble With Tribbles." You probably have a strong favorite among those five (personally, I grok Spock amok), so send in your vote for it before Aug, 1. If you haven't received a ballot, you can get one by joining Baycon.

Regarding the cutting of episodes:

And while you're writing NBC, let them know what you think of their habit of snipping pieces out of the shows in order to run extra commercials or announcements. In the rervms, we lost the "b-l-u-e...blooey?" bit from "The Changeling"? the lines about the Vulcans on the Intrepid feeling astonishment in "Immunity Syndrome"? and the part about "If you're going to dissect it, I don't want to know" in "Tribbles." Are these cuts national or just East Coast? My lack of Vulcan control may be shoving again, but I find them most irritating.

A Mid-Spring's Night's Dream, or, Journey to Backstage by Ruth Berman and Dorothy Jones, illustrated by Alicia Austin, is a detailed description of a group of fans' (Bjo Trimble, John Trimble, Ruth Berman, Dorothy Jones, "the Andersons," others?) trip to see Mark Lenard (as "Oberon") in the Inner City Repertory Company's production of "A Midsummer's Night Dream" in Los Angeles on April 5, 1968.

[Dorothy]: It was what's called a psychedelic production. The lovers were flower children, the music was rock, and the magical effects were accomplished by the techniques of the light show: a sparkling silver globe for the enchantment of the flower; a bank of ultraviolet for the spell of darkness in Act III, Scene II; and in the last scene, when the elves and fairies crept into the sleeping house, Oberon strode forward to the apron and cried, "Through the house give glimmering light." The stage was suddenly filled with golden light, and he and Titania danced to bless the bridal beds.

After that ensued a frantic search for the stage door; it was found on the other side of the building and down two flights of stairs. Elves and rustics were running up and down the halls, and Demetrius stood in his dressing room doorway chatting with passersby and trying to get his makeup out of his eyes, Ve paid attention only to the names on the doors. Presently we found one which said "Mark Lenard, Robert Ito", and knocked, "Mr. Lenard," I said when he opened the door, "we are Star Trek fans. Ve have seen you on Star Trek and other shows, and have longed greatly to see you in person. Now that we have seen you, we are very glad," My language gets more formal and archaic as I get shyer. "Thanks," he said cautiously, and came out of the dressing room, we immediately surrounded him with programs to be signed. (Bjo had brought two scripts of "Balance of Terror" and one of "Journey to Babel" to be signed, but then had decided she was too tired to go backstage and had gone home, I, like a fool, hadn't thought to bring my first draft of "Balance of Terror." Next time...!)

[Ruth]: He was startled at this avalanche of unknown admirers, and became more so as his polite questions brought out the information that three of them had traveled from the Bay Area to Los Angeles for the show. Within a few minutes he was totally bewildered, a good deal amused, but pleased nonetheless. Meanwhile, we were blocking the hall, and Karen said, "Please, won't you come have coffee with us?" "Well...yes, thank you. Just a moment while I finish getting this off," he said, indicating his makeup (no pointed ears, however). [see more at A Mid-Spring's Night's Dream, or, Journey to Backstage]

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

As far as ST fanzines go, Plak-Tow seems to be where it's at. It doesn't invent new plots or weave fantastic webs of speculation around the old ones; it just reports on the show, revealing secret vital bits of news — ST is still scheduled for 10 PM Friday, a flower has been named after ST, an article is coming up in "Look" on Nimoy and ST, on Happening '68 Dick Clark said "Spock it to me" while wearing Spock ears. Very secret, very vital, very thorough news. But what could have been duller than the show itself is made lively by the affable nature of Shirley, who serves up the news, trivial as it is, in a very read able manner.

Highlights of the issue are the engaging report by Ruth Berman and Dorothy Jones of their trip to see Mark Lenard (FL), and the cover, Lenard-as-a Romulan-commander, by Alicia Austin.

If you have to subscribe to a ST fanzine, this is the one. [3] [4]

Issue 9

Plak-Tow 9 was published in August 19, 1968 and contains 14 pages. Art is by Alicia Austin, Sherna Burley, S. Bush, Mary Ann Cappa, Perri Gorrick, Daphne Hamilton, Terri Harris, Dale Kagan, Carol Lee, Connie Reich, and Terry Romine. This issue contains a short review of Inside Star Trek #1, and a con report for FunCon, see those pages. This issue also has an extensive description of the blooper reel.

From the editor:

#9 is even later than usual because: (a) I was waiting to hear all possible ST news from fans who went to Funcon; (b) I've been making, unmaking and remaking plans to attend Baycon; (c) I ran into a few Klingon plots; (d) I've been goofing off. (All four answers are correct.) #10 will be late because I'll be goofing off at Baycon.

This issue has the usual extensive list of descriptions of Star Trek and its actors in appearances in newspapers, magazines, and other publications. Some examples:

[From the Chicago Tribune: July 8] - article by Clay Gowran says that at one time it was possible for fans to phone the studio and be connected with the set— filming could be interrupted by a fan's phoning to chat and say he liked the show. Most illogical. Dec. 5, '67 - question and answer about McCoy in lettercol." Another example from [Chronicle-Telegram: "Elyria, Ohio - March 26]: Gary Bainbridge column. A fan of Nimoy and ST writes to ask help in getting songs from "Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy" played on local radio. Bainbridge answers that he has contacted local stations about the album. April 11 - article on Nimoy by Bainbridge, and photo of Spock. Article tells of Nimoy's popularity and mentions his albums. Mentions that when he was in Chicago he was in the Pump Room one evening when Joan Baez came in. He sent her a note saying he admired her courage in standing up for her beliefs. She replied, "Don't send platitudes, send money.


ST is still scheduled for |the graveyard time spot of 10 PM Friday nights, which probably means more difficulty with the Nielsen ratings this fall. Gene Roddenberry remains as executive producer but is involved in work on his new enterprises (one a new Tarzan feature), and the show will be produced by Fred Freiberger, whose previous credits include "Iron Horse" and "Wild, Wild West." Letters to NBC can help, particularly in the time period October-January, when renewal decisions are under consideration. And regular letter-writing now won't hurt either. Keep NBC aware we are out here and watching. Let them know what you think of the time slot, individual episodes, and the practice of cutting slices out of the reruns for more commercials or announcements. Remember, ST was renewed only for 16 weeks instead of the full season of 26 weeks; so "Save Star Trek" season opens again in September. And it's still up to us to tell NBC that Nielsen's opinions aren't the only ones around. VOICE, the organization that hoped to compete with Nielsen ratings, folded for lack of membership, (If you joined VOICE and haven't received a refund—we haven't either.

There is lots of merchandising news for all sorts of fans:

Leonard Nimoy's newest Dot album, "The Way I Feel", is now available. He also has a new single, "I'd Love Making Love To You." William Shatner will have an album out in September, "The Transformed Man" on the Decca label." And "would you believe that in the new Sears catalog there are ST pajamas for children?

Some speculation:

Here goes an attempt to list titles of forthcoming shows. (Thanx for the news and clippings, everybody): The Last Gunfight (or, Spectre of the Gun), The Enterprise Incident (correction— Kirk is the only one of the Enterprise personnel to acquire pointed ears in this one), The Paleface (no, not Bob Hope), Spock's Brain, Elaan of Troyious, And the Children Shall Lead, Day of the Dove, The Empath, In Essence, Nothing, Is There In Truth No Beauty?, Sons of Socrates, The Aurorals, Shol, The Tholian Web. (The odds are that the above is only 82,6745 percent correct. Oh, well. From the comments of fans who have been lucky enough to see scripts or filming, most of the shows sound very good.")

Issue 10

Plak-Tow 10 was published October 28, 1968 and contains 14 pages. Art credits this issue: Alicia Austin, 2 and 3; Sherna Burley, 11; Bush, 4, 5, 10 and back cover; Perri Corrick, 6; DEA, front cover, titled "Be My Guest, Mr. Spock"; Sara Pensterer, 12; Daphne Hamilton, 9; Terri Harris, 8; Connie Reich, 7; Terry Romine, 1; and Jari Wood, 13. This issue has a con report for Baycon that emphasizes the Star Trek presence, see that page.

front cover of issue #10, DEA: "Be My Guest, Mr. Spock"
back cover of issue #10, Kathy Bushman

The editorial:

Hailing frequencies open — Star date, 8300.9 Would you believe a rhyming editorial?


There was a man in Hollywood and he was wondrous wise,
He conjured up a starship and he called it Enterprise.
He peopled it with crewmen, one with pointed ears,
And doggedly kept working when he heard the networks' jeers.
He made a second pilot when the first one didn't thrive,
He poured in work and love and saw the series come alive.
Then out upon the air waves boldly went the Enterprise —
And as they had at Tricon, fans met it with glad cries.
And so we met the Captain and the fascinating Spock,
The Romulans and Klingons and the horta made of rock.
We heard Uhura's lovely songs — and, thanks to ST's makers.
We saw a doctor named McCoy cure people with salt shakers.
But then the ratings system raised its ugly head
And Nielsen's thousand meters hissed, "The Enterprise is dead!"
The fans all started writing, and —a lovely sight to see —
A tidal wave of mail came in and covered NBC.
The second year the Enterprise went boldly forth once more.
With Nomad and Spock's parents and tribbles by the score.
Again the ratings threatened, "Your ship no more will sail!"
And once again the answer was tons and tons of mail.
The show was saved—but not for long.
For Friday nights at ten Is not the best of schedules for our Enterprising men;
But fans around the country are taking pen in hand
And the sound of typing echoes in homes throughout the land.
There is a man in Hollywood beset by Klingon plots—
The close-watched Nielsen ratings and the barely-watched time slots.
It's up to all of us to keep the E upon the screen,
So sock it to the network! For Star Trek, and for Gene!

More letter writing is encouraged:

Let them knowST has an audience which is intelligent and loyal (and affluent enough to buy their advertisers' products). Let them know that we're out here, like the show and want it continued. ST's fate is in the hands of these Klingon network executives; write them now, while it counts. It might also be helpful to write to sponsors. A partial list follows: AC oil filters, American Motors, Anacin, Brylcreem, Buick, Certs, Cold Power, Delco, Dfintyne, Diet Delight fruit, Diet Rite Cola, Ford, Hai Karate, Jergens, Kent cigarettes, Lipton soup and tea, Listerine, Macleans toothpaste, RCA, Remington shavers, Singer, Sunsweet, Visine, Volkswagen, and Florists' Transworld Delivery. In most cases the address is on the product. Reinforce sponsors' intelligent behavior in sponsoring ST— reward them with mail.

Write local newspapers' TV columns; write TV GUIDE and other magazines; write your congressman about the ratings system; write your local TV station; write sponsors; but most important, write NBC. Remember that unprecedented on-the-air announcement of renewal at the end of last season? Let's do it again!

Fans are encouraged to purchase The Making of Star Trek:

The biggest and best news in this department is THE MAKING OF STAR TREK, the paperback book published by Ballantine Books, Inc. Written by Stephen E. Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry, this is 414 pages of exactly what the ST trufen wanted—a good, long, close look at the whole show from earliest beginnings up to the present time. It not only tells it how it is, it shows it, with pages and pages of photographs, drawings and diagrams. If your local newsstand doesn't have it, tell them to get it!

There are so many things to buy!:

And of course, there's the main source of ST goodies, Star Trek Enterprises. Want a script of a recent show? A packet of film clips of your favorite ST character? A "Spock It To Me" bumper sticker? Write for their free catalog (P. 0. Box 38429, Hollywood, Calif. 90038). Star Trek Enterprises is also interested in your opinions on some possible new items. If you'd like to see a Vulcan idic (Spock's medallion worn in "Is There In Truth No Beauty?") or a special insignia patch bearing a silhouette of the Enterprise, added to the catalog, send your opinion to IST.

"Notes on Building the New Model of the Enterprise," an article by Rick Norwood:

The white plastic picks up fingerprints very easily; wash hands frequently, The new clear yellow plastic dome should, of course, be painted white around the base, but white paint is translucent. To avoid a yellowish light shining through, coat the area to be painted with black paint, in side and out, except the area to be glued. When this dries, cover it with a thick coat of white paint.

So far, no refund from Voice:

Remember VOICE, the organization that was going to try to compete with Nielsen? It folded some months ago, but I have yet to hear of anyone who joined receiving a refund of their $2 membership fee. The VOICE address was Jack Ritter, VOICE [street address redacted] Seattle, Wash. 98134 Jack Ritter's address is Bt. 1, Box 840, Sumner, Wash. 98390. Shall we call the matter to his attention?

When Spockanalia ceases:

Co-editor Sherna Burley sends word that material is needed for #4 — deadline December 1. SPOCKANALIA's eds have decided that when when the day comes that they are unable to fill their pages with ST, they will announce it and become a general secondary universe fanzine, with articles on Tolkien, The Avengers, Oz, Georgette Heyer, etc. But right now, they'd like some ST material for #4.

Issue 11

Plak-Tow 11 was published December 9, 1968 and contains 14 pages.

  • Hailing Frequencies Open by S. Meech (article)
  • Leonard Nimoy News by S. Meech (2)
  • Still More Bloopers by S. Meech (article)
  • News of Other Star Trek Regulars by S. Meech (article)
  • Mensa Party by S. Meech (article, "On November 23, the Los Angeles Mensa (high-IQ) group held held a science fiction party, which might become an annual event. About 1,000 attended, including Leonard and Sandi Nimoy, James and Anita Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, and Rick and Sherry Carter. Also attending was Theodore Sturgeon, scripter of "Amok Time" and "Shore Leave". Entertainment included a satirical skit on ST called "Sidetrack", dancing, and a breakfast "for the survivors".") (3)
  • News From Clubs by S. Meech (article) (4)
  • ST Zines (5)
  • TV Sightings by S. Meech (article) (6)
  • Bibliography, ST in the News (6)

Issue 12

Plak-Tow 12 was published January 16, 1969 and contains 12 pages.

front cover of issue #12, Kathy Bushman
back cover of issue #12, Perri Corrick

Art credits this ish - Bush, 2-3; Perri Corrick, back cover; DEA, 10; Daphne Hamilton, 8-9; Vera Heminger, 6-7; Allene Nims, 11; Connie Reich, 4-5; Terry Romine, 1; front cover by Bush.

The editor give some news she's heard or read:

I haven't seen this in newspapers, but the NBC Program Information Department in Beautiful Downtown New York says that starting June 3, ST will be shown at 7:30 on Tuesday nights. No explanation yet of what brought this about (a ton of letters, maybe?), but the change is being made! Star Trek's Future: The latest word is — probably no word on ST's prospects for a fourth year, until March (although sneaky unpredictable NBC could announce a verdict sooner). There is still a little time to try to influence the jury before that verdict is handed down. Let's make the most of that time — write...

Emmy rule changes not final:

The illogical rule changes for Emmy awards reported last issue (to exclude programs or achievements within programs from eligibility if the series has been on the air more than two years), may yet be revised, according to VARIETY, the new changes will be discussed at a meeting of the trustees of the National Academy of TV Arts & Sciences in January, and could possibly be revised anew. The Klingons might be foiled again, giving Star Trek and Leonard Nimoy another crack at the awards.

A rising new songwriter:

[Nimoy's] fourth album for Dot has just been released. Titled "The Touch of Leonard Nimoy", it features arrangements by George Tipton (who does the arrangements for Nilsson and Feliciano), and includes four songs by rising new songwriter Leonard Nimoy, This album and the first three are available from your local record store—for a free sample, drop your local radio station a postcard and ask them to play "The Touch of Leonard Nimoy."

Some early speculation on the Romulan Commander's first name:

The Romulan Forum. "I do have a first name, Mr. Spock." "How rare, and how beautiful — but how incongruous when spoken by a soldier." Just out of curiosity — a good Vulcan trait — what do you think would be a good name for the Romulan Commander in "The Enterprise Incident"? If you have a name for her, send it in and we'll print a list next issue, just for the logical mental exercise of it. (How about Dicifontana?)

Issue 13

Plak-Tow 13 was published March 17, 1969 and contains 14 pages.

Art credits this ish — Bush, cover, pages 2-3; Juanita Coulson, bacover; Perri Corrick, 8-9; DEA, 4-5; Dale Kagan, 12; Claire Mason, 11; Allene Nims, 13; Connie Reich, 6; Chuck Rein, 2, 7; Terry Romine, 1; and Louise Stange, 10.

front cover of issue #13, Kathy Bushman
back cover of issue #13, Juanita Coulson

From the editor:

Hailing frequencies open —

NBC was the Doomsday Machine, Star Trek was Friday's Child
The writing's on the TV screen, the schedules have been filed.
The Ultimate Computer, Nielsen, helped bring this fate —
The Private Little War is lost, it's Operation: Annihilate.
So into syndication the Enterprise warps its way;
That Which Survives is reruns — Tomorrow is Yesterday.
Is There In Truth No Beauty? Though it's hard to say goodbyes,
We had three good years with the best ship and crew This Side of Paradise.

That's how it looks from here—though after all the activity, confusion and possibilities that sensors have reported in the last two months, it seems almost impossible to feel completely certain. Here's a replay of those last few innings.

In late January and early February, magazines and newspapers began carry ing news of cancellation, but NBC maintained no decision had yet been made. Star Trek Interstellar sent out notices urging a march on local NBC stations, February 15. On that date some fans marched on NBC in New York, carrying picket signs and handing out leaflets, and were interviewed and photographed by the Associated Press. Another group marched on NBC Burbank with signs, in spite of rain, and were given a tour of the studios during which they managed to post a "Save Star Trek" bumper sticker on David Sarnoff's door. The word at that time was still "no decision" but cancellation was officially announced shortly after wards. On the heels of the announcement came another flare of hope; two other shows dropped by NBC were picked up by the other networks. Write-in, phone-in, and spread-the-word activity began again, in hopes that ABC might take ST, Another march was organized for March 8 in California, and about one hundred fans were there and picketed ABC

And clubs and individual fans kept on writing. The new Star Trek Enterprises catalog came out, with a page telling of the cancellation and listing the various possibilities, such as return as a mid- season replacement or specials, or pick-up by other networks. But as of now, all three networks have announced their fall schedules, with ST missing, and the inquiring phone calls to ABC are getting "no" for an answer instead of the "maybe" they got at first. NBC still plans to drop ST during April and May and then to show the third season reruns on Tuesdays at 7:30 from June 10 through September 9.


That's the way all the letters and clippings and phone calls add up at this time — pleasant prospects of first-season re runs in syndication, but the near-certainty that the three- year mission is ended.

Quite a few things are not ended. The memories of many hours of good, imaginative entertainment; the enjoyment of all the creative speculation about this secondary universe; the pleasure of many friendships formed through ST fandom; the fun of participation in fannish activities, (Including collecting—I can't resist interrupting myself here to insert a small plea — won't somebody sell or trade me some Spock ears? One, maybe?)

Most of all, not ended is the appreciation for all the people who brought this dream to life. This seems a good time to say to all of them, "Thanks for making Star Trek something very special — we wish you well and look forward to all your future enterprises."

Another thing not ended, at least for the moment, is Plak-Tow. We're still well-stocked on biblio material, art, and assorted news—so, keep those cards and letters coming, folks!

Well, at least some good news about the Emmys:

A recent Variety brought news that the National TV Academy has recanted, in response to requests from its members, and the proposed rule change in Emmy eligibility will not be put into effect. ST and Leonard Nimoy are still eligible.

Nimoy starts a record company:

He has recently signed a new three-year contract with Dot Records, and has started his own music publishing company, Adajul (the name taken from the names of his children, Adam and Julie).

Contact your radio deejay:

And if you haven't heard that fourth album, "The Touch of Leonard Nimoy", yet, you're missing something. Drop your local deejay a card and ask him to play a free sample for you—perhaps "A Piece of Hope" (which he wrote), "Cycles", or "I Think It's Gonna Rain Today." Good listening.

There is a con report for the very, very, very first Star Trek convention:

The ST Con, organized by Sherna Burley, Devra Langsam and fellow Trekkers, was held March 1 at the Newark, N. J., Public Library. The program included a two-part slide show made up of film clips of Enterprise interiors and ST aliens; a discussion on "The Spock Phenomenon" led by Chuck Rein (in costume, makeup and ears, of course); a panel on "The Star Trek Phenomenon"; a talk by Allan Asherman on trends in s-f movies and their reflection in ST; and the "Spock Shock" skit from SPOCKANALIA #1 (with some fascinating special effects — would you believe a hand-held card reading "Lightning" zooming onstage to strike?). ST songs had also been planned but were called off when two-thirds of the three singers weren't able to attend. Featured on the program was s-f writer Hal Clement, who spoke on "Star Trek and Science," As in his article in TRISKELION #2, he applied his Game to ST. In the Game, the writer (or scripter) sets things up, and the reader (or viewer) tries to find holes in them. In this spirit of scientific inquiry, he raised questions as to the speed of the Enterprise (higher warp speeds needed if planets are reached in a matter of hours, in some shows) and the feasibility of the universal translator's use with aliens never contacted before. Various ST items were exhibited, including a display of fanzine art and other ST drawings and paintings. Particularly interesting were two portraits by Chuck (Spock2) Rein, F. D. (Future Doctor)—a McCoy in hot, emotional reds and yellows and a Spock in cool greens and blues.

That's quite a gathering:

Correction —"Sidetrack" was the name of the Mensa event [dicussed in "Plak-Tow" #11], not of the ST skit. Skit title was "The Doings of the Door Prize." The Mensa publication Lament lists Walter Koenig among those who attended, and says DeForest Kelley and Majel Barrett may also have been there.

A party was held for those who worked on the event. Next year, they say, they're gonna get organized.

The Romulan Commander's name:

Possible names contributed for the Romulan Commander of "Enterprise Incident" were —

Flame (the telepathic inflection determines whether love's or war's)
Thayenta (Romulan for "Moon Shadows")
Participating in this were Juanita Coulson, Suzann Hughes, Carol Lee and myself. If you're in the mood for a guessing game you can try to sort us out. Any and all the above Romulan names are available as a public service to fans tired of referring to Mark Lenard and Joanne Linville by the same title.

"News Flash Just Received":

I've said it before and I'll say it again — NBC stands for Nothing Becomes Certain. When the ABC rumor came up, I went back to page one and started rewriting; when that faded out. I started over again; but if I keep that up, this issue will come out in September along with NBC's final-final- final-revised schedule. Word has just come from trufans Terri and Harry Harris of the Philadelphia Inquirer that (l) "The ST sets have not been struck — if ratings are good the first few weeks of 7:30 time, it can still be renewed."' (2) "There will be an ST movie." What can it all mean, Harrises?

California sources had said the sets were struck at the end of filming in January. Were they only temporarily set aside, or finished off? The ST production office is definitely closed. Isn't rerun time, June, pretty late to make a decision if cast and crew are still to be available? Can we believe in this, or is a fiendish NBC plot to drive us all mad with hot and cold running rumors? Stand by — if any further developments come in before the Late Late Zine is finished, we'll keep you posted!

Issue 14

Plak-Tow 14 was published June 9, 1969 and contains 16 pages.

front cover of issue #14, Chuck Rein
back cover of issue #14, Kathy Bushman

Art credits this ish; Bush, 6 and bacover. Perri Corrick, 9. Juanita Coulson, 1 and 3. DEA, 2. Lenore Erabree, 8, Craig Highberger, 7, Claire Mason, 11. Chuck Rein - front cover, 4, 5 and 10; Terry Romine.

From the editor who is moving on:

Hailing frequencies open — And you're right, the hailing has been pretty infrequent of late. This issue is being written in Delaware, will hopefully be run off before we depart for California, and will undoubtedly be mailed from the state of confusion. This may or may not be the last issue of this newszine — it remains to be seen, after we get settled in our new surroundings.

If this is the final episode of PLAK-TOW's season — thanks for a great time, everybody. Thanks for all the news and clippings and ideas and kind words. Getting acquainted with all of you has been, like Star Trek itself, a most enjoyable, fascinating and memorable experience. Keep in touch, y'all! If the zine can't continue, we can still go on swap ping news of ST and its stars. If possible, tho, the zine will go on as long as there is ST news and art to print. We'll keep you posted and will be sending out either subscription refunds or new issues as soon as possible, (If your sub expires with this issue, please renew for #15 only—no long-term subs being accepted till the crystal ball clears.)

And now the news... On June 3 the last third-season ST was finally aired. (If there was a logical reason for postponing it until this time, I never heard it. But then, logic never was NBC's strong point, was it.) Individuals and groups of fans are continuing to write and phone the networks, protesting cancellation and requesting renewal. The network execs have had nothing encouraging to say. In fact, an interview in the May 17 Houston Post TV Week quotes Mort Werner, NBC's Program Director, as follows; "We have no regrets about Star Trek, It simply rem out of steam." (?!)

Includes Includes comments by Leonard Nimoy (who quotes Gene Roddenberry in a letter) to LNAF Bulletin (May 1969 issue) on the final cancelation of the show:

Wherever I travel, it seems that Star Trek fans refuse to accept the fact that the show is over. I, too, some times wonder when or whether Star Trek could exist again. However, in all fairness to myself, and to those of you wonderful, loyal Star Trek fans in whose breast hope springs eternal, I must tell you this: the Star Trek sets have been disassembled, the stages are in use for other shows, the production personnel are at work on other series, and the actors, like myself, are now involved in other projects. It would be unrealistic of me, and unfair, to hold out any hope for the revitalization of the series.

In a recent conversation with Gene Roddenberry, he said: 'Perhaps five years from now the industry and the country will begin to talk about Star Trek in a loving remembered sense.' I agree with him. I think it will take some time for many people to be aware of what the series really was, and what it really meant to so many people.


  1. ^ from Pentathlon #1
  2. ^ from En Garde #2 (1968)
  3. ^ If you have to subscribe to a ST fanzine, this is the one is commentary relating to "traditional," male science fiction fandom's belief that Star Trek was mindless fluff, as well as the realization that an increasing amount of Star Trek zines were created by females.
  4. ^ from a review in Kevas and Trillium #1.5, see that issue for two other much more negative reviews of Trek zines.