As of September 8th 2016, the sci-fi show Star Trek celebrated its 50th anniversary! Captain Kirk, "Bones" McCoy and especially Mr. Spock are familiar figures even to people who do not like science fiction, nor have even seen a single episode of the show. I was one of those poor unfortunates for all of my childhood and much of my adult life (it is not my fault. Star Trek, for some unfathomable reason, was never shown in my area. The show was one of three classic TV series that I NEVER saw an episode of until I was an adult).
Star Trek is set in the Milky Way Galaxy and is set, time-wise, in (roughly) the 2260s. The series itself ran from September of 1966 to December of 1967 by Norway Productions and by Desilu Productions. Paramount Productions produced the series from January of 1968 to June of 1969. So collectively, the show ran from September 6th 1966 until June 3rd of 1969. The show had low Neilson ratings during it's initial run, and was cancelled. And then--over the years of the 1970s, Star Trek made a resurgence and has become an iconic and much loved franchise today.
The original show has begat several sequel TV series, such as "The Next Generation", 'Voyager", "Enterprise" and "Deep Space Nine". There were also an animated series, as well as movies, books, comic books and ENDLESS pop culture references. Thus far, six movies have been made using the Original Star Trek crew. An additional SEVEN have been made. Of those, three feature the crew of the Next Generation. And starting with the 11th film, the Star Trek series takes place in an "alternate timeline"! That comes to a grand total of 13 movies alongside of the SIX television series! And those six television series combined feature a total of 726 Star Trek influenced episodes!
Now, most people will admit that that is a long haul and pretty impressive for a "failed" TV series! During the series original run, it earned several nominations for the prestigious "Hugo Award For Best Dramatic Presentation". It won the award TWICE!! Once, for the two part episode "The Menagerie" and for "The City On The Edge Of Forever". This latter effort was penned by noted fan favorite writer Harlan Ellison! Series creator Gene Roddenberry referred to the show as "Wagon Train To The Stars"! But, amongst friends and family, he went further into detail on his idea. Roddenberry envisioned "Star Trek" to be a space version of Johnathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels"! Roddenberry intended for each episode to act on two levels. On the one level it would function as the suspenseful action story. And on the other level, it would serve as a morality tale.
I said before that I had never seen Star Trek until I was a grown man. The same holds true for the Star Trek (and Star Wars) novels, comics and magazines. That changed in 2001. I had gotten off from work and we went to one of my local comics shops. I found out that they were moving and going to carry comic books (and DVDs, Toys and CDs) ONLY. Therefore, they were selling ALL of their paperback and hardback books for 25 cents each !
They had early Star Trek, Star Wars and other books to buy. Naturally, I could NOT pass that up for that price! I ended up with (also counting my few comic book purchases) about 60 dollars worth of class mint condition sci-fi paperbacks! I still have them to this day! I have read the very first 12 Star Trek books, several Star Wars books and bought several more over the years.
Many fans have been asked the question: "which do you prefer? Star Trek or Star Wars? Which is better?" As for me, I prefer Star Trek. Why? It is in the NAME even! Star Trek. Star Wars. What would YOU rather encounter--fight in a WAR or go on a TREK? Fight and quite possibly be killed or go "where no man has gone before?" The Starship Enterprise is like a small town cruising through space! You get to go on magnificent journeys with your friends, and encounter things and creatures that you could never even IMAGINE! It was and is a grand adventure!
Happy 50th Anniversary To STAR TREK!!