Star Trek: 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.
In A Nutshell
*This SHO-FILE focuses on The Original Series (1966), but is valid for the whole franchise.
Set in the Milky Way, roughly during the 2260s, The Original Series follows the galactic adventures of James T. Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise, an exploration vessel of a 23rd-century interstellar “United Federation of Planets”.
Meet the Characters
James T. Kirk. is a Starfleetofficer and captain of the USS Enterprise in the 23rd century. He serves the Federation’s interests as an explorer, soldier, time-traveler, and diplomat. Firm believer of the Federation’s values, Kirk has a strong moral center and devotion to his mission. He never wants to leave anyone behind and is always willing to sacrifice himself for the well-being of his crew.
Spock is a human/Vulcan hybrid aboard the USS Enterprise. Spock’s “lack” of human emotions helped him offer a more logical, realistic perspective on difficult situations, which made him argue with other human crewmembers many times. He became one of the most distinguished and respected figures in the United Federation of Planets in his lifetime.
Leonard McCoy is a Starfleetofficer in the 23rd and 24th centuries. He’s the doctor of the USS Enterprise. He’s also a surgeon, physician, psychologist, and exobiologist, and is also considered an expert in space psychology. Just like Spock, he’s not afraid to talk back to Kirk if he doesn’t agree with one of his decisions.
Nyota Uhura is a Human Starfleet officer in the 23rd century. She serves as a communications officer aboard the USS Enterprise and USS Enterprise-A. and is the head of the Communication Department. Uhura is also fluent in Swahili and has an aptitude for mathematics. Uhura and the actress who played, Nichelle Nichols, are seen as role models for the cultural impact of the character at the time the series aired.
Other remarkable characters include Hikaru Sulu, Scott, Pavel Chekov, Christine Chapel and Janice Rand.
A Brief History of Star Trek: The When, Where and How
Star Trek is an American science fiction franchise created by Gene Roddenberry and owned by CBS and Paramount Pictures. The franchise’s canon is made by TV series Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Discovery as well as the Star Trek films. The first series, referred to as The Original Series, debuted in 1966 and ran for three seasons on NBC.
Many science fiction shows have reached the status of “cult phenomenon”, but very few have kept it alive for literally decades. Not content with the wide range of spin-offs including games, figurines, novels, toys, comics and even theme parks and museum exhibitions, Trekkies (or Trekkers) have also created many fan projects dedicated to their favorite show.
Why It’s Awesome
When it comes to explaining what is it that makes Star Trek so great, there are often two ways to understand its value: as a fictional story, and as a cultural product that influenced society. Both ways would take pages and pages of analysis to make the series justice, so it’s quite hard to summarize what makes Star Trek worth-watching in just a few paragraphs. Still, these are, in my opinion, its most remarkable highlights:
One of Star Trek’s most talked-about aspects is its absolute, Utopian faith in the human race, both in its technological advancement, and in its progressive civil rights. Aside from its multiracial cast, the human values in the franchise’s canon reach a point in which there’s no discrimination whatsoever, and every human being is accepted and treated equally. These progressive stances were quite groundbreaking for television, and very relevant in the years in which The Original Series aired given the political context of all the social movements during the 60s. In a similar way, Star Trek also inspired many viewers to get into science-related careers, as can be seen from this message from NASA, and even contributed to real life inventions.
Another thing that tells Star Trek apart from other sci-fi stories is that it does not need to rely on heavy action scenes or galactic battles in order to remain entertaining. Even though there’s conflict and confrontations, soldiers and wars, the focus of the series is usually on diplomacy, negotiations, and basically a more pacifist outtake on the Universe. In fact, some of Star Trek‘s most memorable episodes have to do with philosophical debates on what it means to be a human being (a very popular topic in science fiction), the role of science and technology, and the ethics of exobiology.