A century before Captain Kirk's five-year mission, Jonathan Archer captains the United Earth ship Enterprise during the early years of Starfleet, leading up to the Earth-Romulan War and the formation of the Federation.
On the eve of retirement, Kirk and McCoy are charged with assassinating the Klingon High Chancellor and imprisoned. The Enterprise crew must help them escape to thwart a conspiracy aimed at sabotaging the last best hope for peace.
The Borg go back in time intent on preventing Earth's first contact with an alien species. Captain Picard and his crew pursue them to ensure that Zefram Cochrane makes his maiden flight reaching warp speed.
The adventures of the USS Enterprise, representing the United Federation of Planets on a five-year mission in outer space to explore new worlds, seek new life and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no man has gone before. The Enterprise is commanded by handsome and brash Captain James T. Kirk. His First Officer and best friend is Mr. Spock from the planet Vulcan, and Kirk's Medical Officer is Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy. With its crew of approximately 430, the Enterprise battles aliens, megalomanical computers, time paradoxes, psychotic murderers, and even Khan! Written by
Marty McKee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While there are many possible permutations of the origin of the Vulcan greeting "Live Long and Prosper," in keeping with the series (and franchise) affinity for Shakespearean references, it seems entirely possible that it was lifted from Act 5, Scene 3 of Romeo & Juliet, where Romeo bids farewell to his best friend Balthazar for the last time, saying "Live and be prosperous, and farewell, good fellow." See more »
In several episodes, the positions of people being beamed up/down change. For example, in Star Trek: Mirror, Mirror when the landing party is being beamed up, Kirk's arm is positioned down, then up as he starts to materialize the first time, then down again as he finally materializes. See more »
Robert Lansing is the only guest star on this series to be billed at the top of the program - just after the episode's title - rather than in the end credits. After the words, "Assignment: Earth", came, "Guest Star Robert Lansing as Mister Seven." See more »
Commonly known as "The Original Series", those of us engaged in an unhealthy obsession with Star Trek refer to it as TOS. TOS, began under the creative influence of Gene Roddenberry, with a brilliant,complex and intellectual pilot known as The Cage. The Cage proved to be too much for network TV. The first pilot was about as complex as a few episodes of Twin Peaks and almost as edgy. Plus it included a woman in a command position (Majel Barret or Majel Leigh Hudec, who later married Gene Roddenberry and eventually became Nurse/Dr. Christine Chapel, the voice of most of Star Trek's computers and Deanna Troi's mom in the Next Generation). The only major character who was consistent between The Cage and TOS was Spock (Leonard Nimoy's half-Vulcan science officer).
Roddenberry and his collaborators did not lose hope, and took the advice of the networks seriously - shooting a second pilot with William Shatner replacing Jeffrey Hunter as the captain. The second pilot was later recycled as the episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The first, was reused and retold in the great two part episode "The Menagerie".
To put it simply, TOS revolved around three main characters and a strong supporting cast. The three principal cast members were Captain James T Kirk (William Shatner, who previously made a major mark in Roger Corman's excellent "The Intruder") - an intelligent, courageous, humanitarian and righteous leader with an occasional tendency to bend the rules in order to get positive results; Mr. Spock (Nimoy)- Kirk's first officer and scientist, a brilliant half-human, half-Vulcan male who can calculate complex math in his head and see the logical path in any situation; and Dr. McCoy (veteran character actor Deforest Kelley)- a crusty, likable southern gentleman and expert surgeon.
Women and non-whites were better represented in positions of respect in this show than most of what appeared on TV before it, and the show presented through demonstration (as opposed to rhetoric) an earth which was united, interested in diversity, and rationally governed by an interplanetary Federation founded by humans and their Vulcan allies.
One of my favorite and most memorable Star Trek memories is when I learned the story of how the great Whoopie Goldburg was inspired by seeing a black woman (Lt Uhura, Nichelle Nichols) in a position of power on the bridge of the Enterprise, and even more inspired by the fact that a black woman was acting in a respectable major supporting role on a network TV show! Whoopie was apparently so indebted to TOS that she all but volunteered to play the important recurring role of Guinan in The Next Generation. It is also great to learn of the many members of NASA who cite TOS as one of their major career influences.
The world of TOS is, of course, not the world we live in, but rather a world in which humankind has a bright future and the possibility of living to our highest potential as explorers, scientists, and enlightened beings. Yet, despite the hope represented in this future, TOS' characters face many of the same problems we face today - prejudice (Devil in the Dark, Errand of Mercy, Enemy Within, others), militarism (Errand of Mercy, Balance of Power, etc); the conflict between self and society (City on the Edge of Forever, etc); technological advance and social change (Ultimate Computer, The Changeling, etc); Cultural conflict (almost every episode, but especially Amok Time, The Tholian Web, Journey to Babel, The Corbomite Maneouver) and religion (many episodes, especially Who Mourns for Adonais, Amok Time and The Squire of Gothos).
In creating this expansive and ever-expanding universe, the creators of TOS provided ample territory for allegoric examination of contemporary problems,without privileging any particular political or philosophical tradition over another.
TOS featured generally good writing (though not as consistently good as that of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), wildly experimental plots, consistent characterization, and a moderate and very well-used budget. The special effects are dated, and are really just adequate to convey the meaning, but unlike a lot of contemporary sci-fi, the stories, characters, acting and directing overshadow the special effects completely - rendering them somewhat irrelevant.
The show's great themes, and the entertaining way in which is explores them has changed the mainstream approach to science fiction in more than just the television medium. TOS took itself seriously, and attempted to create serious drama seasoned with occasional humor, and more than its fair share of humanism and romance. Like the show, the characters were well imagined, well-developed, and intelligent. The starship Enterprise - also wonderfully detailed - did not carry any ballast in its crew. The crew showed many different kinds of people working together - united only by the desire to explore and learn, by rationality and discipline, and by a sense of purpose far higher than simple self-interest.
What an inspiring vision of human life.
As German pop musician Nena once said "We are all a Captain Kirk" -
...well.... maybe some day.
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