More often than not, the cancellation of a TV series would be its death. Yet, this was not the case for Star Trek. After the end of its low rated three-year season on NBC is its unexpected 40-year enterprise success. In order to compensate the production loss of the original series, Paramount Studios sold the syndication rights to Star Trek and began reruns in 1969. This created a greater fanbase than it has when it was still on in NBC.
From then on, it made eleven films, six television series, hundreds of novels, dozens of games, countless replicas and toys, two traveling museum exhibits of Star Trek props and even had a themed attraction which opened in 1998 but was then closed in 2008 in Las Vegas.
Star Trek’s The Original Series (TOS) was aired from 1966 to 1969 in NBC. This is a story of the starship Enterprise crew, (both humans and aliens) who works for Starfleet, a scientific exploratory agency of the United Federation of Planets. The story of Enterprise crew is similarly to that of the controversial issues in the 60s. TOS got several nominations during its original run in the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and won twice before it was cancelled after its third season.
It was then followed by the short-lived Star Trek: The Animated Series (TAS). The voices of the characters in this animated series where performed by its original cast in TOS. Many of the stories in this series were also written by the original writers, such as Paul Schneider, D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold. Since the series is in animation form, it allowed the producers to make more exotic life forms and alien landscapes. Yet it also caused animation errors and insistent reuse of shots and musical cues. Despite that, TAS won an award in 1975, Star Trek’s first Emmy Award. TAS episodes were released on laserdisc, VHS and DVD formats.
Star Trek: The Next Generation or TNG was the highest rating Star Trek series. TNG took place a hundred years after The Original Series. It featured a new starship called Enterprise-D. It also had new crew headed by Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Commander William Riker. New alien races like half-Betazoid counselor Deanna Troi and the first Klingon officer Worf in Starfleet were also introduced to the Federation as crewmembers. TNG ran for seven seasons from 1987 to 1994. The first two seasons were mainly produced by its creator, Gene Roddenberry. Rick Berman was the executive producer of the remaining Star Trek series and films which include the cast of The Next Generation.
Deep Space Nine is the fourth among the Star Trek series. What’s different in this series is that DS9 happened on a space station and not on a starship. It took place during the years and immediate years of TNG. This sci-fi series also ran for seven seasons. It’s religious themes and disagreements between the crew made DS9 different among all Star Trek series. DS9 was the last series affiliated to Gene Roddenberry.
Star Trek: Voyager presented the first female commanding officer lead by Captain Kathryn Janeway, who was played by Kate Mulgrew, also the first leading role given to a female among all Star Trek series. The story of Voyager happened about the same period as DS9. It featured USS Voyager, an Intrepid-class starship on pursuit of a Maquis ship manned by Federation rebels. The two ships got stranded 70,000 light years away from Earth in Delta Quadrant. Like in the early seasons of Deep Space 9, the characters in Voyager had major struggles with each other. Marquis rebels and Starfleet crew were forced by their situation to work together in order to overcome their differences and as well as cleverly seek ways on how to shorten their 70-year voyage.
The 6th Star Trek series is a prequel titled Enterprise. It took place before the Federation was founded and about 90 years after the incident of Zefram Cochrane’s first warp flight. The first two seasons of Enterprise was like a series of episodes from TOS, TNG and Voyager. The third season had an evil plot and arranged like of DS9 set-up. The 4th season showed episodes of about two to three mini-arcs. Enterprise’s last season solved and corrected the persistent vital problems in many Star Trek series. It also presented the origin of the elements in the earlier series. The Enterprise ratings rapidly declined despite its strong start. Here are some fun facts about Star Trek:
*Studies show that more children were able to learn more about Science from Star Trek compared to any other source.
*Ashes of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and James Doohan (who played the role of chief engineer from the original Star Trek) were sent to space by NASA rockets.
*The wife of Gene Rodenberry, Majel Barrett is the voice behind the ship’s computer. She was still able to record for the film in 2009 before her death in 2008.
*Matt Damon rejected the offer to play the role of Captain James T. Kirk in the 2009 Star Trek movie.
*The TNG character’s name Geordi La Forge came from a devoted fan of the original Star Trek series who had muscular dystrophy. His name was George La Forge, who died in 1975.
*Most Vulcans eat their food wearing special gloves and are vegetarians.
*TV Guide ad by RCA quoted Star Trek: The Original Series is the reason why people should buy a color TV in the 60s.
*The character “Spock” played by Leonard Nimoy was rejected at first because of worries about his devilish pointed ears could cause disturbance to some viewers.
*Zachary Quinto dyed his hair and shaved his eyebrows using what he recommended after reading several electric razor reviews to prepare for his role as “Spock” in 2009.
*The fingers of Zachary Quinto who played Spock in 2009 were glued by Star Trek Director J.J. Abrams for him to perfect the Vulcan salute.
*”Nyota” Lieutenant Uhura’s name means “freedom” in Swahili.
*The alien race “Ferengi” is a Persian word for “foreigner”.
*It will take three weeks to watch all 726 episodes, 11 films and spin-offs consecutively.