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This Week in Star Trek History: Jan. 1-6

This Week in Star Trek History: Jan. 1-6 looks back at events across Star Trek history that occurred from January 1-6. And if the entries tilt toward Deep Space Nine, that’s because we’ve spent the week celebrating the 18th anniversary of the show’s premiere.

Jan. 1

Pocket Books published the Deep Space Nine novel The 34th Rule on this day in 1999. The Ferengi-centric tale was co-written by Armin Shimerman and David R. George III. Anyone remember the actual 34th Rule? It’s “War is good for business.”

Ray Walston died on this day in 2001. A beloved character actor whose career spanned generations and included everything from My Favorite Martian to Fast Times at Ridgemont High to Picket Fences, Walston made his mark on Star Trek with his role as Boothby, the gruff but wise Starfleet Academy groundskeeper, appearing the TNG episode “The First Duty” and the Voyager hours “In the Flesh” and “The Fight.” Walston was 86 years old when he passed away.

Jan. 2

The DS9 episode “Rivals” premiered on this date in 1994. The story finds Quark deeply displeased when a con man named Martus Mazur opens a bar that competes with Quark’s. Martus, of course, has a trick up his sleeve: an alien gambling device that tips the laws of probably in his favor. David Livingston directed “Rivals,” which featured Chris Sarandon as Martus Mazur.

Frank Kelly Freas died on this day in 2005 at the age of 85. Freas was a well-respected artist best known for his sci-fi and fantasy-oriented book and record album covers (Queen’s News of the World, for example), posters, the Skylab 1 crew patch, and more. Though perhaps most famous for illustrating Mad Magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman, Freas lent his talents to the Star Trek realm by drawing the cover of DC Comics 1992 annual, “Homeworld” and, earlier on, serving as a pre-production illustrator for the proposed Star Trek: Phase II television series that ultimately gave way to Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Jan. 3

DS9 debuted on this day in 1993 with a pilot entitled “Emissary.” The two-hour pilot, directed by David Carson and boosted by a crossover appearance by Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard, snagged nearly 20 percent of the syndicated audience that night, making it, at the time, the top-rated series premiere in first-run syndication history.

Dame Judith Anderson passed away on this day in 1992 at the age of 94. The legendary Australian actress and Academy Award nominee (for Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller Rebecca) co-starred in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock as T’Lar, the Vulcan High Priestess who performed the fal-tor-pan ceremony that reconnected Spock’s body and soul (his katra) and made him whole again.

Jan. 4

Star Trek: The Experience, a Trek-themed attraction encompassing 4-D films/simulator rides, a restaurant modeled on Quark’s, Star Trek slot machines, Star Trek shops, a Star Trek museum, and more, opened on this day in 1998 at the Las Vegas Hilton. The attraction entertained millions of visitors for more than a decade before closing in 2008.

Bob Almond was born on this day in 1967. A veteran comic book artist, Almond has inked such Trek titles as “The Rules of Diplomacy” (a DS9 title for Malibu), “Public Enemies, Private Lives” and “Command Decisions” (DS9 books for Marvel), and “Year Four: The Enterprise Experiment #5” (a TOS title for IDW), among others.

Jan. 5

Paul McGillion was born on this day in 1969. The actor is popular in sci-fi circles for his role as Dr. Beckett on Stargate: Atlantis, but it’s common knowledge that the Scotsman was up for the role of Scotty in Star Trek (2009). McGillion didn’t win the part, but J.J. Abrams tapped McGillion to play a Starfleet Academy barracks leader in the film.

The TOS episode “The Gamesters of Triskelion” premiered on this day in 1968. In the hour, Kirk, Uhura and Chekov become the pawns of the Providers, who compel them to fight, gladiator-style, in games designed to entertain the disembodied aliens. The episode was written by Margaret Armen and featured memorably attired guest stars Angelique Pettyjohn as Shahna and Jane Ross as Tamoon.

Jan. 6

Pocket Books published the novel The Brave and the Bold, Book Two, on this day in 2003. Written by Keith R.A. DeCandido, the franchise-spanning story includes such familiar characters as Spock, Picard, Janeway, Chakotay, Captain DeSoto, Cal Hudson, Seska and Worf.

Aron Eisenberg was born on this day in 1969. The actor is a fan favorite thanks to his recurring role as Nog on DS9. Eisenberg played Jake Sisko’s Ferengi pal more than 40 times on DS9, appearing in at least two episodes every season, and he guest starred as the Kazon-Ogla character Kar, a young would-be warrior, in the Voyager episode “Initiations.”