Star Trek has been a cult-classic favourite since its premiere in 1966, with the original series airing 79 episodes over three seasons.
People and watchers regarded it as one of the most excellent science fiction series of all time. The first spinoff was “Star Trek: The Animated Series,” which aired 21 episodes in 1973-1974. Next was “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-1994), followed by “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” (1993-1999) and “Star Trek: Voyager” (1995-2001).
Why it’s Still Popular Today
Life on the starship Enterprise is one of constant exploration and adventure, five-year missions to uncharted planets, new civilizations and bolder than any human has ever made. Fans say that even though Star Trek has had its share of hilarious episodes, it’s also dealing with serious themes like war.
In contrast to shows such as Gilligan’s Island or The Brady Bunch, which can be viewed at any time yet require little brainpower on their viewers, Star Trek requires a viewer to pay close attention. This is because every episode contained a moral and ethical quandary ripe for discussion followed by an accessible twist – one that typically made fans think, “What would I have done?” Thus, this was a show that demanded thought and attention from its viewers and offered thought-provoking insights into the human condition.
The Global Reach of Star Trek
No one can overstate the impact of Star Trek. Despite being in production for only three years and comprising only 79 episodes, Star Trek has had such a remarkable effect on our culture that it has left its mark on everything, from how we talk to envision space travel.
Fans and politicians alike praised Star Trek due to its dedication to humanist ideals. In fact, in 2005, Time magazine named Captain James Tiberius Kirk number 4 in their list of 100 most influential people of the century.
Fun Facts About Star Trek
Did you know that a haphazard process determined the cast of Star Trek? When Gene Roddenberry began to narrow in on his form, he brought together performers who had never worked with each other before.
He believed that this would make them less familiar with acting tricks and keep their performances fresh.
You may not know this, but the original series was given its name due to a quirk in television scheduling. People believed that Roger Corman’s studio provided the show with such low-quality sets and props; there were times when Roddenberry would have to ask his actors to step back because they couldn’t be seen.
Unable to get any response from Corman, he eventually wrote a note stating that they were shooting Star Trek and the name stuck.
If you’re interested in visual effects, you might find this fact interesting: originally, visual effects designer Douglas Trumbull intended to create memorable images using motion-controlled cameras. However, this idea was scrapped due to budget cuts, and the effect is most likely the first one ever made using a computer.
In a television landscape rife with shrill sitcom wives, Star Trek was among the few shows that featured an intelligent and competent female character – in fact, The Original Series even featured a woman as its second-in-command.
Gene Roddenberry wasn’t the only one who hoped to capitalize on the success of Star Trek. In 1966, they cancelled the original series due to low ratings and fanned reactions. Fortunately, an unexpected letter-writing campaign convinced NBC executives to keep the show going, and it went on for three seasons. It’s interesting to note that Captain Kirk and his crew were not the only ones to travel across space. Gene Roddenberry’s ashes were launched into outer space just a few years ago.
Except for an episode entitled “Space Seed”, the original series was about exploring new worlds and meeting diverse cultures. However, the episode “Space Seed” is notable for featuring the first appearance of a familiar member of Star Trek’s supporting cast. In this episode, we were introduced to Khan Noonian Singh, an enemy who would later appear in both Wraths of Khan and The Search for Spock.
You might not know this, but The Original Series writer’s intended initially on making the Enterprise crew members completely androgynous. However, the productions dropped the idea due to time constraints, and Leonard Nimoy (who played Spock) feared losing his fan base if they had gone with this approach.
According to Roddenberry, Star Trek – The Original Series was supposed to have had a much darker tone. However, the producer felt that audiences were not particularly happy about the message of hope and optimism he put forth in his work. Instead, he argued that most fans preferred Star Trek to be an aggressive show that starred a crew on a militaristic exploration mission.
What started as a simple “routine” check-up during The Original Series’s pilot episode eventually became more sinister. When the producers rewatched footage from this first instalment, they noticed that William Shatner (who played Captain Kirk) was not performing his lines with passion or energy. Instead, it seemed to them that he wasn’t even paying attention.
Gene Roddenberry’s love of science-fiction was evident in his earliest television work: he wrote for such classic TV shows as Captain Video and His Video Rangers, Tom Corbett – Space Cadet and The Lieutenant. Eventually, Gene would leave the world of television to serve as an officer in the Army Air Corps.
It was during this time that he wrote his first science-fiction story entitled “The Enemy Within”. Eventually, William Shatner would join the show – after previously starring in other Gene Roddenberry projects such as The Lieutenant and a couple of episodes of Have Gun – Will Travel.