The final frontier

Featured in

  • Published 20160503
  • ISBN: 978-1-925240-81-8
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

TELEVISION WAS MY babysitter. As a child growing up in the ’60s, I would race home from school, grab a plate of biscuits and a glass of milk, and spend the afternoon on the couch watching back-to-back American cartoons and sitcoms. Several decades later, I can still sing the theme songs to Mr Ed, Gilligan’s Island and Super Chicken, if asked nicely. Though my favourite by far was Milton the Monster, in which the diminutive Professor Montgomery Weirdo from Horror Hill, and his anaemic, lanky assistant Count Kook, concocted a grotesque son out of primordial soup. As well as ‘six drops of the essence of terror and five drops of sinister sauce’, they spilled way too much ‘tincture of tenderness’ into the cocktail they titrated in their secret laboratory. As a result, Milton was born a gentle giant instead of a terrifying monster. 

By the time the early ’70s rolled around, I’d moved on from heroic dumbclucks and mad scientists to become a Trekkie, an ardent follower of the sci-fi series Star Trek, set in the twenty-third century. I recited the opening monologue of each episode, along with the earnest and often bolshy Captain James Kirk: ‘Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.’ 

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

More from author

Killing time

Essay The days of our lives are seventy years;And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;For...

More from this edition

To a new Babylon

EssayIN THE WESTERN tradition, faith and reason stand at opposing poles. My social-scientific training was deeply framed by this polarity. A recent experience, however,...

The fires of change

Picture Gallery

On 13 January, a lightning storm ignited large sections of forest in the South-Western Wilderness of Tasmania, causing irreparable damage to the region's...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.