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Star Trek



 

 Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry and currently under the ownership of CBS.The franchise began in 1966 with the television series Star Trek later referred to as Star Trek: The Original Series. This series, its spin-off shows: Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise, as well as the film series make up the core of the franchise's mythos. While the critical response to much of the franchise varies, many individual Star Trek episodes and films have won awards and honors including Emmy Awards, Hugo Awards, and an Academy Award.


 Westerns such as Wagon Train along with the novel Gulliver's Travels inspired Roddenberry when he created the first Star Trek. It followed the interstellar adventures of James T. Kirk and the crew of an exploration vessel of a 23rd century galactic "United Federation of Planets"the Starship Enterprise. This first series, now referred to as "The Original Series", debuted in 1966 and ran for three seasons on NBC. These adventures continued in the short-lived Star Trek: The Animated Series and six feature films. Four spin-off television series were eventually produced; Star Trek: The Next Generation, followed the crew of a new Starship Enterprise set a century after the original series; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, set contemporaneously with The Next Generation; and Star Trek: Enterprise, set before the original series, in the early days of human interstellar travel. Four additional The Next Generation feature films were produced. In 2009, the prequel of the original series (set in an alternate timeline) Star Trek featuring a new cast portraying younger versions of the crew from the original Enterprise appeared. A sequel to this film, Star Trek Into Darkness, is scheduled for release on May 17, 2013.





Star Trek has been a cult phenomenon since its beginning. Fans of the franchise are called Trekkies or Trekkers. The franchise spans a wide range of spin-offs including games, novels, toy lines and replicas. Star Trek had a themed attraction in Las Vegas which opened in 1998 and closed in September 2008. At least two museum exhibits of props travel the world. The series even has its own full-fledged constructed language, Klingon. Several parodies have been made of Star Trek and its fans, despite the end of Star Trek episodes on TV, and several fan productions have been produced in that void.

Star Trek is noted for its influence on the world outside of science fiction. It has been cited as an inspiration for several technological inventions such as the cell phone. Moreover, the show is noted for its progressive civil rights stances. The original series included one of television's first multiracial casts, and the first televised inter-racial kiss. Star Trek references can be found throughout popular culture from movies such as the submarine thriller Crimson Tide and the cartoon series South Park.



 As early as 1964, Gene Roddenberry drafted a proposal for the science fiction series that would become Star Trek. Although he publicly marketed it as a Western in outer space a so-called "Wagon Train to the Stars" (like the popular Western TV series)he privately told friends that he was modeling it on Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, intending each episode to act on two levels: as a suspenseful adventure story and as a morality tale.
Most Star Trek stories depict the adventures of humans and aliens who serve in Starfleet, the space-borne humanitarian and peacekeeping armada of the United Federation of Planets. The protagonists have altruistic values, and must apply these ideals to difficult dilemmas. Many of the conflicts and political dimensions of Star Trek represent allegories of contemporary cultural realities. Star Trek: The Original Series addressed issues of the 1960s, just as later spin-offs have reflected issues of their respective decades. Issues depicted in the various series include war and peace, the value of personal loyalty, authoritarianism, imperialism, class warfare, economics, racism, religion, human rights, sexism, feminism, and the role of technology. Roddenberry stated: "[By creating] a new world with new rules, I could make statements about sex, religion, Vietnam, politics, and intercontinental missiles. Indeed, we did make them on Star Trek: we were sending messages and fortunately they all got by the network
Roddenberry intended the show to have a highly progressive political agenda reflective of the emerging counter-culture of the youth movement, though he was not fully forthcoming to the networks about this. He wanted Star Trek to show humanity what it might develop into, if only it would learn from the lessons of the past, most specifically by ending violence. An extreme example is the alien species, the Vulcans, who had a very violent past but learned to control their emotions. Roddenberry also gave Star Trek an anti-war message and depicted the United Federation of Planets as an ideal, optimistic version of the United Nations. His efforts were opposed by the network because of concerns over marketability, e.g., they opposed Roddenberry's insistence that the Enterprise have a racially diverse crew

 In 1964, Roddenberry proposed the original Star Trek TV series, to Desilu Studios as "like Wagon Train, a Wagon Train to the stars." The network rejected the show's first pilot, "The Cage", starring Jeffrey Hunter as Enterprise Captain Christopher Pike; however, NBC executives, still impressed with the concept, made the unusual decision to commission a second pilot: "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The first regular episode of Star Trek aired on Thursday, September 8, 1966. While the show initially enjoyed high ratings, the average rating of the show at the end of its first season dropped to 52nd (out of 94 programs).

Unhappy with the show's ratings, NBC threatened to cancel the show during its second season. The show's fan base, led by Bjo Trimble, conducted an unprecedented letter-writing campaign, petitioning the network to keep the show on the air.NBC renewed the show, but moved it from primetime to the "Friday night death slot", and substantially reduced its budget.In protest Roddenberry resigned from his role as producer and reducing his direct involvement in the process of molding Star Trek and Fred Freiberger became producer of the show's third season. Roddenberry did, however, co-author two scripts of the final third season. Despite the protests of a renewed letter-writing campaign, NBC canceled the series.

After Star Trek's cancellation, Paramount Studios, the company that bought Desilu, sold the syndication rights to Star Trek to help recoup the original series' production losses. Reruns began in the fall of 1969 and by the late 1970s the series aired in over 150 domestic and 60 international markets. This helped Star Trek develop a cult following greater than its popularity during its original run. The series' newfound success led to rumors of reviving the franchise

 Filmation with Paramount Television produced the first post original series show, Star Trek: The Animated Series. It ran on NBC for twenty-two half-hour episodes over two seasons on Saturday mornings from 1973 to 1974. Although short lived, typical for animated productions in that timeslot during that period, the series garnered the franchise's only "Best Series" Emmy Award as opposed to the franchise's later technical ones. Paramount Pictures and Roddenberry began developing a new series, Star Trek: Phase II, in May 1975 in response to the franchise's newfound popularity. However, work on the series ended when the proposed Paramount Television Service folded.



Following the success of the science fiction movies Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Paramount adapted the planned pilot episode of Phase II into the feature film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The film opened in North America on December 7, 1979, with mixed reviews from critics. The film earned $139 million worldwide, below expectations but enough for Paramount to create a sequel. The studio forced Roddenberry to relinquish creative control of future sequels.

 The success of the critically acclaimed sequel, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, reversed the fortunes of the franchise. While the sequel grossed less than the first movie, The Wrath of Khan's lower production costs made it net more profit. Paramount produced six Star Trek feature films between 1979 and 1991. In response to the popularity of Star Trek's feature films, the franchise returned to television with Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) in 1987. Paramount chose to distribute it as a first-run syndication show rather than a network show

Star Trek, also known as "TOS" or The Original Series, debuted in the United States on NBC on September 8, 1966. The show tells the tale of the crew of the starship Enterprise and its five-year mission "to boldly go where no man has gone before." The original 1966–1969 television series featured William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, James Doohan as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, Nichelle Nichols as Uhura, George Takei as Hikaru Sulu, and Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov. During the series' original run, it earned several nominations for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and won twice: for the two-parter "The Menagerie" and the Harlan Ellison-written episode "The City on the Edge of Forever". The show's creator, Gene Roddenberry, was not involved in the show during its third and final year of production due to a dispute with NBC, with the exception of having co-authored two episodes produced that year.

After three seasons, NBC canceled the show, and the last original episode aired on June 3, 1969. However, the petition near the end of the second season to save the show signed by many Caltech students and its multiple Hugo nominations would indicate that despite low Nielsen ratings, it was highly popular with science fiction fans and engineering students. The series later became popular in reruns and found a cult following.

  Originally presented under the title Star Trek, it has in recent years become known as Star Trek: The Original Series or as "Classic Star Trek"retronyms that distinguish it from its sequels and the franchise as a whole.



Star Trek: The Animated Series, produced by Filmation, ran for two seasons from 1973 to 1974. Most of the original cast performed the voices of their characters from The Original Series, and many of the original series' writers, such as D. C. Fontana, David Gerrold and Paul Schneider, wrote for the series. While the animated format allowed the producers to create more exotic alien landscapes and life forms, animation errors and liberal reuse of shots and musical cues have tarnished the series' reputation. Although it was originally sanctioned by Paramount, which owned the Star Trek franchise following its acquisition of Desilu in 1967, Gene Roddenberry often spoke of TAS as non canon. Star Trek writers have used elements of the animated series in later live-action series and movies, and as of June 2007, the Animated Series has references in the library section of the official Startrek.com web site.

  TAS won Star Trek's first Emmy Award on May 15, 1975. Star Trek TAS briefly returned to television in the mid-1980s on the children's cable network Nickelodeon. Nickelodeon's Evan McGuire greatly admired the show and used its various creative components as inspiration for his short series called Piggly Wiggly Hears A Sound which never aired. Nickelodeon parent Viacom would purchase Paramount in 1994. In the early 1990s, the Sci-Fi Channel also began rerunning TAS. The complete TAS was also released on Laserdisc format during the 1980s. The complete series was first released in the USA on eleven volumes of VHS tapes in 1989. All 22 episodes were released on DVD in 2006.

 

 Star Trek: The Next Generation, also known as "TNG", takes place about a century after The Original Series (2364–2370). It features a new starship, the
Enterprise-D, and a new crew led by Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes). The series introduced alien races new to the Federation as crewmembers, including Deanna Troi, a half-Betazoid counselor played by Marina Sirtis and Worf as the first Klingon officer in Starfleet, played by Michael Dorn. It also featured Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher, LeVar Burton as chief engineer Geordi La Forge, the android Data portrayed by Brent Spiner, and Dr. Crusher's son Wesley Crusher played by Wil Wheaton. The show premiered on September 28, 1987, and ran for seven seasons, ending on May 23, 1994. It had the highest ratings of any of the Star Trek series and became the #1 syndicated show during the last few years of its original run, allowing it to act as a springboard for ideas in other series. Many relationships and races introduced in TNG became the basis of episodes in Deep Space 9 and Voyager. It earned an Emmy nomination for Best Dramatic Series during its final season. It also received a Peabody Award for Outstanding Television Programming for the episode "The Big Goodbye".

 

 

The first two seasons were largely produced by the original creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry. Beginning in Season 3, the primary overseer of the show was Rick Berman who also largely responsible for the remaining Trek television series as well as the films involving the cast of The Next Generation.

  Drama shows in that era, as opposed to a talk show or game shows, rarely went into syndication in first run rather than airing on the same network throughout America. Next Generation became one of the most popular syndicated shows of its era and inaugurated a market for syndicated science fiction series.

 

 

 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, also known as "DS9", takes place during the last years and the immediate post-years of The Next Generation (2369–2375) and aired for seven seasons, debuting the week of January 3, 1993. Like Star Trek: The Next Generation, it aired in syndication in the United States and Canada. Unlike the other Star Trek series, DS9 takes place primarily on a space station rather than aboard a starship.

 

 

The show begins after the brutal Cardassian occupation of the planet Bajor. The liberated Bajoran people ask the United Federation of Planets to help run a Cardassian built space station, Deep Space Nine, outside of Bajor. After the Federation takes control of the station, the protagonists of the show discover a uniquely stable wormhole that provides immediate access to the distant Gamma Quadrant making Bajor and the station one of the most strategically important locations in the galaxy. The show chronicles the events of the station's crew, led by Commander (later Captain) Benjamin Sisko, played by Avery Brooks, and Major (later Colonel) Kira Nerys, played by Nana Visitor. Recurring plot elements include the repercussions of the Cardassian occupation of Bajor, Sisko's spiritual role for the Bajorans as the Emissary of the Prophets, and in later seasons a war with the Dominion.

  Deep Space Nine stands apart from earlier Trek series for its lengthy serialized storytelling, conflict within the crew, and religious themes—all elements that critics and audiences praised but Roddenberry forbade in the original series and The Next Generation.Nevertheless, he was informed before his death of DS9, making this the last Star Trek series connected to Gene Roddenberry

 

 

 
Star Trek: Voyager ran for seven seasons, airing from January 16, 1995, to May 23, 2001, launching a new Paramount-owned television network UPN. It features Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway, the first female commanding officer in a leading role of a Star Trek series, and Commander Chakotay, played by Robert Beltran. Voyager takes place at about the same time period as Deep Space Nine and the years following that show's end (2371–2378). The premiere episode has the USS Voyager and its crew pursue a Maquis (Federation rebels) ship. Both ships become stranded in the Delta Quadrant about 70,000 light years from Earth. Faced with a 75-year voyage to Earth, the crew must learn to work together to overcome challenges on their long and perilous journey home while also seeking ways to shorten the voyage. Like Deep Space Nine, early seasons of Voyager feature more conflict between its crewmembers than seen in later episodes. Such conflict often arises from friction between "by-the-book" Starfleet crew and rebellious Maquis fugitives forced by circumstance to work together on the same ship. Eventually, though, they settle their differences, after which the overall tone becomes more reminiscent of The Original Series. The starship Voyager, isolated from its home, faces new cultures and dilemmas not possible in shows based in the Alpha Quadrant. Later seasons, however, brought an influx of characters and cultures from prior shows, such as the Borg, Q, the Ferengi, Romulans, Klingons, Cardassians and cast members of The Next Generation

 

 

Star Trek: Enterprise, originally titled Enterprise, is a prequel to the original Star Trek series. It aired from September 26, 2001 to May 13, 2005.Enterprise takes place in the 2150s, some 90 years after the events of Zefram Cochrane's first warp flight and about a decade before the founding of the Federation. The show centers on the voyages of Earth's first warp-five capable starship, the Enterprise, commanded by Captain Jonathan Archer (played by Scott Bakula), and the Vulcan Sub-Commander T'Pol, played by Jolene Blalock.

   During the show's first two seasons, Enterprise had an episodic structure, like The Original Series, The Next Generation and Voyager. The third season consisted of one arc, "Xindi mission", which had the darker tone and serialized nature of Deep Space 9. Season 4 consisted of several two to three episode mini-arcs. The final season showed the origins of elements seen in earlier series, and it rectified and resolved some core continuity problems between the various Star Trek series. Ratings for Enterprise started strong but declined rapidly. Although critics received the fourth season very well, both fans and the cast reviled the series finale, partly because of the episode's focus on the guest appearance of members of The Next Generation cast.The cancellation of Enterprise ended an 18-year run of back-to-back new Star Trek shows beginning with The Next Generation in 1987.

 

 

 Paramount Pictures has produced eleven Star Trek feature films, the most recent released in May 2009 with a twelfth in development, scheduled to be released in 2013. The first six films continue the adventures of the cast of The Original Series; the seventh film, Generations was designed as a transition from that cast to The Next Generation television series; the next three films, 8–10, focused completely on the Next Generation cast. The eleventh film, titled Star Trek, is a prequel/reboot of TOS set in an alternate timeline before James T. Kirk's graduation from Starfleet Academy and promotion to the rank of Captain. A twelfth film, Star Trek Into Darkness, is currently in post-production.

 

 

Number Title Release date Director Cast
   The Star Trek Movies

1
Star Trek: The Motion Picture December 7, 1979 Robert Wise




The Original Series

2
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan June 4, 1982 Nicholas Meyer

3
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock June 1, 1984 Leonard Nimoy

4
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home November 26, 1986

5
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier June 9, 1989 William Shatner

6
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country December 6, 1991 Nicholas Meyer
 

7
Star Trek: Generations November 18, 1994 David Carson
The Next Generation

8
Star Trek: First Contact November 22, 1996 Jonathan Frakes

9
Star Trek: Insurrection December 11, 1998

10
Star Trek: Nemesis December 13, 2002 Stuart Baird
 

11
Star Trek May 8, 2009 J. J. Abrams

J. J. Abrams cast

 

 

Of the various science fiction awards for drama, only the Hugo Award dates back as far as the original series.In 1968, all five nominees for a Hugo Award were individual episodes of Star Trek, as were three of the five nominees in 1967. The only Star Trek series to not get even a Hugo nomination are the animated series and Voyager, though only the original series and Next Generation ever won the award. No Star Trek featured film has ever won a Hugo, though a few were nominated. In 2008, the fan made episode of Star Trek: New Voyages entitled "World Enough and Time" was nominated for the Hugo for Best Short Drama

 

 

  The two Star Trek series to win multiple Saturn awards during their run were The Next Generation (twice winning for best television series) and Voyager (twice winning for best actress - Kate Mulgrew and Jeri Ryan). The original series retroactively won a Saturn Award for best DVD release. Several Star Trek films have won Saturns including categories such as best actor, actress, director, costume design, and special effects. However, Star Trek has never won a Saturn for best make-up.As for non science fiction specific awards, the Star Trek series has won 31 Emmy Awards. The eleventh Star Trek film won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Makeup, the franchise's first Academy Award

 

 

  At Star Trek's creation, Norway Productions, Roddenberry's production company, shared ownership with Desilu Productions and, after Gulf+Western acquired Desilu in 1967, with Paramount Pictures, the conglomerate's film studio. Paramount did not want to own the unsuccessful show; net profit was to be shared between Norway, Desilu/Paramount, Shatner, and NBC but Star Trek lost money, and the studio did not expect to syndicate it. In 1970 Paramount offered to sell all rights to Star Trek to Roddenberry, but he could not afford the $150,000 ($898,000 today) price.

 

 

  In 1989 Gulf+Western renamed itself as Paramount Communications, and in 1994 merged with Viacom.In 2005 Viacom divided into CBS Corporation, whose CBS Television Studios subsidiary retained the Star Trek brand, and Viacom, whose Paramount Pictures subsidiary retained the Star Trek film library and rights to make additional films, along with video distribution rights to the TV series on behalf of CBS.

 

 


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