In the beginning, Gene Roddenberry attempted to “boldly go where no man had gone before” when he created the television series Star Trek. This unique science fiction show did not start out with a bang but, gradually, the audience grew. The year was 1966 and the series was set in the 23rd century. Started on a shoestring budget, the sets were cheaply made or used from other shows, yet some famous personalities still made appearances on the show – like Ricardo Montalban (as the infamous Khan), Teri Garr, Joan Collins and Julie Newmar. The show’s dedicated fan base kept it going, but in 1969, after 79 episodes, the series was canceled. In the 1970s, re-runs of the show began appearing on television. The fan base grew again, but they wanted more! In 1972 the first Star Trek Convention was held in New York, and then in 1979 Star Trek: The Motion Picture came to theaters. The fans demanded even more – during its 50-year run, there has been 13 motion pictures and five different television series (The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise). What is it about Star Trek that keeps it so popular? It was the crew’s chemistry on the USS Enterprise. The relationship between the swaggering Captain James T. Kirk; the logical second-in-command Mr. Spock (a half-Vulcan/half-Human); the southern gentleman Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, who never understands Spock’s logic; Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, the ship’s chief engineer who magically keeps the Enterprise running; and the lovely communications officer Uhura. Later in the series they added the helmsman Mr. Sulu and weapons officer Ensign Chekov. There is something about the fast-paced humor and emotional side of the stories that appeal to the fans. Forty-three years later, when they chose new actors for the crew, we all wondered if the chemistry would still be there. Amazingly, it was! In July, the new Star Trek Beyond was released and in August a five-day Star Trek convention was held in Las Vegas. The show’s popularity continues, and some of the language is used in our everyday expressions. How often did you wish that you could say “Beam me up, Scotty” to get you someplace faster? I cannot even count the times. In 1966, we first heard the words: Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its 5-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. Well, the voyage has lasted 50 years and counting. Happy 50th anniversary, Star Trek. May you “Live Long and Prosper!”
SharLeigh has an inquisitive nature – she is interested in current events, history, science and many more subjects, including things that go bump in the night! Since 1997, SharLeigh has scoured the internet, looking for interesting, fun and timely topics covering all sorts of human-interest subjects for her articles from her home in Fontana, CA.