The American media industry like films and television programs and series was at its growth during the decade of 60s and 70s. During this era, many of the famous films were released which broke many previous records and were so successful that their remakes were also made in the 21st century. Moreover, many television programs that were launched in this era were continued for over 30 years. The era of 60s and 70s was most important towards science fiction programs for the fact that many countries including USA and USSR were attempting to reach to the moon as well as other scientific explorations also took place. Among the most famous television series in the science fiction genre has been Star Trek.
What is Star Trek?
Star Trek is an American Science Fiction television series. The first episode was aired on September 8, 1966 when the first version of the series, Star Trek : The Original Series, was released. NBC was the channel which aired the first three seasons of the entire show. The show was not quite successful initially. This was the main reason behind NBC cancelling it after three years and a total of 79 episodes. However, later it got very popular and successful due to broadcast syndication. The show was created by Gene Roddenberry. The television show has been starred by William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley.
Star Trek and Pop Culture
The influence of the Star Trek series on pop culture in the USA was great as it not only became a source of entertainment through television but also had 13 feature films, books, video games, and toys for children. It also got its hype due to its mentioning in the other television programs and sitcoms such as “The Big Bang Theory”. The series is still considered as one of the most influential programs of all times because much of the feature films are still being released on the show as their sequels. Few of the most recent films by the franchise include Star Trek (2009), Into Darkness (2013), and Beyond (2016).
In addition to that, there have been theme park attractions and exhibits as well that have been solely created for Star Trek. Ideally, this shows how the entire franchise was very successful towards influencing television, media, and the concept of science fiction. Star Trek is among the very rare television shows that has its own designated website as well that offers the customers special souvenirs, and items from the Star Trek series. Two magazines were also launched by the company which include Star Trek Magazine (1995–pres.) and Star Trek: The Magazine which was released between 1999 and 2003. An upcoming animated series on the Star Trek platform is going to be “Prodigy”.
About the Creator – Gene Roddenberry
Gene Roddenberry has been known for his exceptional work in the Star Trek Series. According to Roddenberry in his interviews, he was inspired by the novels written by C. S. Forester Horatio Hornblower Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, and a television western series like the Wagon Train. He created the original series at first, but the series got a hit when Star Trek : The Next Generation was released in 1987. His full name is Eugene Wesley Roddenberry. Roddenberry had not always been a television screenwriter and producer as he was an Air Force Officer in World War II and flew more than 85 combat missions.
Roddenberry worked as a commercial pilot and worked with the Los Angeles Police Department after the War. As a freelance writer, Roddenberry had written multiple scripts for shows and films such as Highway Patrol and Have Gun – Will Travel. Although Roddenberry was sick but continued to produce the Star Trek series until the year 1991 when he died. Due to his exceptional work on the Star Trek series, he has become the first ever tv writer to have received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Other important achievements of Roddenberry include becoming a part of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.
Storyline of Star Trek
The story of Star Trek is based on the voyage of USS Enterprise Starship. William Shatner who played the role of James Kirk is a young man who is the captain of the USS Starship along with an alien in favor of the human race named Spock. The character of Spock was played by Leonard Nimoy. The two are set on a series of voyages in a space exploration vehicle constructed by the United Federation of Planets with the mission to have exploration of the other plants, new worlds, and find life in space. The entire series depicts a time of the future of the 2200s.
The assisting role is played by DeForest Kelly who helps Spock and Captain Kirk on his mission. The USS Enterprise undergoes different types of experiences as well such as combat fight against Nero who is a member of the Romulan race and plans to destroy multiple planets including the Earth as well. Each of the next sequels in the television series was the one which used to focus on how the modern humans evolve, explore space, and having the possibilities of living in an outside world that was once not accessible to anyone.
Star Trek – The Commercial Success
Star Trek : The Original Series Season One was shot at a budget of $190,000 per episode which was equivalent to $1.4 Million. The second and third season of the same series was shot at a relatively lower budget of $185,000 and $175,000 per episode, respectively. The 13 seasons of Star Trek have helped the franchise in earning a whopping sum of $2276 million worldwide of which the production budget has been only $875 million in total. The graphs have shown that each of the next series of Star Trek has been much more successful than the previous one in terms of numbers. This has become one of the main reasons as to why Star Trek is continued even after such a long time.
Interesting facts about Star Trek
It is known to be the most scientifically impactful and influential television series of all times and has also turned in a cult phenomenon. Many of the young children as well as adults watch the television series which sparks an interest in the field of astronomy, and outer space. In 2009, Star Trek film series finally got its first Academy Award Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Before that, Star Trek was nominated for a range of different types of Hugo Awards but to date, it has still not received a single Hugo Award for any of its feature films.
The franchise of Star Trek was listed to be the most successful science fiction franchise in the whole world by the Guinness World Records. There has been a special language of Klingon which was designed to be used in Star Trek which also became popular in the audience and a full version of the language was later released as well. Roddenberry described the series to have contained a range of elements from the Space Western series. This was also noted by the audience watching Star Trek.
With the current situation, one of the most apparent facts is that the franchise of Star Trek is not going to end anytime soon. The franchise has become an ever growing and an ever evolving one which is gaining in terms of financial successes. Due to the exceptional groundwork laid by the original creator Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek series has become successful to this extent that it has the Guinness World Record for being the most influential science fiction show. It is truly a remarkable piece of entertainment in the American history that has gained fame from round the globe as well.