This month is the 50th anniversary of Star Trek! Congratulations to extraordinary longevity and influence for a television show that ran 3 seasons beginning in September of 1966. What had been seen initially as only an action-adventure space opera, the influence and importance of this series would grow slowly.
The series was scheduled to be canceled after only two seasons, but an onslaught of mail and calls from fans convinced the television executives to renew it for one more season, but it still was finished after a partial 3rd season. This run of circumstances ordinarily would have been the end of most shows, but something was happening.
Star Trek was in many ways a response to the turmoil of the 1960s, but it was also a vision that transcended that particularly chaotic era. Gene Roddenberry, the creator, of the series, imbued it with a sense of optimism and humanism that suggested it was possible for humanity to confront and overcome its enormous problems. It was the first series to create a multi-cultural, indeed multi-planetary, crew. In many of its episodes it dealt with issues that were then, and still are, current and facing humanity; among these themes: racism, war, and the spread of weapons in various cultures.
After a short period of dormancy, Star Trek went into syndication and soon would spin off 5 other series, and a 6th is coming out soon. Additionally, many feature movies have been made, including the most recent from this year Star Trek Beyond.
I am a proud Trekkie, especially favoring the original series. The humanism and optimism of the show has resonated with me, and I find the writing especially to be at the top level of television science-fiction shows, right along with The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. I hope that the messages of this show continue to inspire people for many years to come.
“Live Long and Prosper!”