‘Star Trek’ Turns 50

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.

It was 50 years ago today in a voice-over in the opening credits of Star Trek that Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise introduced audiences to the captain’s mission. The series had a rocky start: creator Gene Roddenberry's original pilot, “The Cage” (filmed in 1964), was turned down, but surprisingly, a second pilot was requested, “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” It was produced in 1965 and featured an all-new cast, except Leonard Nimoy, who was the only returning cast member from the original pilot. Interestingly, it was “The Man Trap” that premiered on September 8, 1966, with the famous voice-over narrative that has become one of the most recognizable popular culture phrases.

Star Trek struggled through three seasons – 79 episodes in all – before the series was cancelled due to low ratings. Fortunately, there was life after cancellation in the form of syndication, and, hence, it has become one of the first television shows to develop an enduring cult status. It is one of the most influential television series of all time, which has led to a phenomenally successful franchise that includes seven television shows (including the original) and three distinct film series – the Star Trek: TOS films featuring the original cast, the Next Generation films featuring the Star Trek: TNG cast, and the reboot or Kelvin timeline films – totaling 13 films to date, as well as books, games, comics, art, etc.

Why is Star Trek an enduring and influential series and franchise? The reasons are many. The original series explored a myriad of social concerns that were relevant to the decade: the Civil Rights movement, the second wave of feminism, space exploration, science/technology, and at the core, our very humanity. Roddenberry envisioned a society that was inclusive, looking beyond the outward manifestations of differences between one another; be they human or alien. Each episode was as much an extrospective as it was an introspective journey for Kirk and his crew. And by extension, audiences could identify with the crew, their struggles, their flaws, and their enlightenment when they traveled the ethical path that resulted in acceptance and compassion. Hence, what may have started as a five-year mission has become fifty and, thankfully, there is no end in sight.

To mark the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, there is a new editorial from Jacqueline Grace Lopez on how to organize and host a “Seven of Wine” party – Thank you, Jacqueline! - as well as collecting below, a bounty of Star Trek-related reviews, panel discussions, and interviews!

Live long and prosper, Trekkies!


Reviews:

Star Trek Into Darkness: Film Review

'Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season One' and 'Season 2' Blu-Ray Reviews

Star Trek #15: Advance Comic Book Review

Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever – Advance Hardcover Review

'Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War' – TPB Review

Star Trek: Manifest Destiny – TPB Review

Star Trek: New Visions Special – The Cage – Advance Comic Book Review

Star Trek: New Visions #5 – A Scent of Ghosts – Advance Comic Book Review

Star Trek: New Visions #9 – Comic Book Review

Star Trek: New Visions #10 – Comic Book Review

Star Trek: New Visions #11 – Of Woman Born – Advance Comic Book Review

Star Trek #30: Parallel Lives Part 2 – Advanced Comic Book Review

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy #1 – Advance Comic Book Review


Panel Discussion:

Fanbase Feature: Panel Discussion 'Star Trek Beyond'

Justin Robinson's ongoing series, The Future Will Be Carpeted: An Analysis of 'Deep Space Nine'

Wondercon 2016: Star Trek's 50-Year Celebration with Roddenberry Entertainment – Panel Coverage


Interviews:

Barbra Dillon Interviews David Knight and Julie Nimoy of COPD: Highly Illogical – A Special Tribute to Leonard Nimoy

Saturn Awards 2016: William Shatner on 'Star Trek' and His Advice for the New Crew

Saturn Awards 2016: Sci-Fi Icon Nichelle Nichols ('Star Trek') Chats with Fanbase Press

Saturn Awards 2016: Bryan Fuller on the Inclusivity of 'Star Trek' and More


And,

A Love Letter to Darmok From 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'

In Memoriam: Anton Yelchin (1989-2016)

The 'Star Trek Enterprise' Captain's Chair Could Be Yours!

Out of the Vulcan Closet: Mr. Spock is Gay

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