Since then, Star Trek has gone from strength to strength. There have now been a total of seven television series (with more in production) and thirteen movies. More than 700 hours of Star Trek have been produced.
Alongside this series of movies and TV series has developed one of the world’s largest fan bases with an estimated 400,000 fans worldwide. As well as a plethora of websites and online forums, fans also meet in person at conventions all over world with the largest recorded attendance being more than 15,000 people at one event.
The influence of the show has been immense, both in terms of culture and technology. This library guide is designed to inform people about the show has influenced our society, and how it has inspired many to follow careers in the field of science.
Star Trek is owned by CBS, a US based company that was formed when Warner Bros and UPN merged. The company runs a highly interactive website which is ultimately the home to everything relating to Star Trek.
This wiki gives a comprehensive coverage of everything in the world of Star Trek. It contains over 47,000 pages of information about the series and how it was made. Click on the picture to go directly to the wiki.
A key part of Star Trek has been to 'explore strange new worlds', and the show has successfully done this for many years. Many of the planets that the Enterprise crew visit are Earth-like in appearance. This is obviously because it is easier (and cheaper) to do external filming.
Improvements in special effects and green screen technology have allowed the crew to visit worlds that share no resemblance to our own. They have visited volcanic planets, methane-breathing planets, world worlds and moons of all descriptions.
Star Trek was created by Gene Roddenberry.
He had a myriad of ideas that eventually merged into one. An initial concept was to create a western in outer space, a kind of 'wagon train to the stars' where we follow a group of people as they explored new places and met different kinds of people. At the same time, the show could act as a kind of 'morality play'. Issues such as racism, war, prejudice and hatred could be explored against a science-fiction background.
The other concept that Roddenberry had in mind was that Star Trek could be a kind of 'Horatio Hornblower in space'. For those unfamiliar with Hornblower, he was a character in a series of sea-faring novels set during the Napoleonic wars.
There are some obvious comparisons to be made here. The starship is the equivalent of a sailing ship, and the ranks are naval ranks (captain, commander etc).
Placed within these contexts was Gene Roddenberry's vision: a hopeful view of the future. War had been eradicated on Earth and our planet had joined a 'Federation of Planets' that were committed to peace. He believed that what made us similar was greater than what made us different.
The original crew is a good indication of what a united Earth resembled. Captain Kirk and Dr McCoy were human, but the Engineer was from Scotland. The helmsman, Sulu, was Asian. Checkov - a Russian - was in charge of the weapon's systems. Lieutenant Uhura was a black woman.
The greatest diversity of all was reserved for the Science Officer. This was Spock who was half-human and half-Vulcan. The people of Vulcan were a logical race renowned for having complete control of their emotions. Spock, being half-human, had to constantly struggle between logic and emotion.
The crew members aboard Federation starships such as the Enterprise are from planets all over the galaxy. These aliens take many different appearances, although most are humanoid in appearance.
One of the most well-known races depicted in the series are the Klingons. Often featured as a warlike race, they are also shown to value a sense of honour above all else. Although in a state of détente in the original series, later series show the Klingons joining the Federation and there eventually being Klingon crew members onboard Federation ships.
Over the various series, the crews encounter the Horta (a creature who look like a rock), the Borg (part living, part machine), a a giant space-born amoeba 18,000 kilometres in length, and creatures from other dimensions just to name a few.
Undoubtedly, one of the stars of the show is the spaceship itself.
In the original series, and several other movies and series thereafter, the starship is 'The Enterprise.'
Probably the easiest way to envision the ship is to imagine a sailing ship of old. Just as a sailing ship had weapons, galley, crew quarters, a bridge and observation deck, so did the Enterprise.
The original starship Enterprise carried 430 crew and also contained science labs, engineering and a shuttle bay. Additionally, a key part of the program was that people could use matter transportation to 'beam' from one ship to another, or down to an alien world.
While traveling the galaxy, the Enterprise encounters ships of all different designs.