A prequel series, set 100 years before the original Star Trek series, which focuses on the early years of Starfleet, leading up to the formation of the Federation and the Earth-Romulan Wars. The series is set aboard the Earth ship Enterprise NX-01, captained by Jonathan Archer.
A diplomat is nearly assassinated. In order to save him, a submarine is shrunken to microscopic size and injected into his blood stream with a small crew. Problems arise almost as soon as they enter the bloodstream.
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 Genghis Khan! Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
The character of Uhura was one of the first black regular characters on any series (predating Diahann Carroll's groundbreaking lead role as a young, widowed nurse and single mother in Julia (1968) by two years), and she was especially significant because her character avoided many of the stereotypes that were common among depictions of African Americans in TV at the time. Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura, has said that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself told her how important it was for her to keep playing the role, since it was so rare to see a positive portrayal of a black character on television. During her interview for the documentary Trekkies (1997), Nichols said that she later heard from at least one viewer for whom King's words had been true as a child: when the actress Whoopi Goldberg (who later went on to star in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)) first watched Star Trek (1966), she yelled out, "Momma! There's a black lady on TV, and she ain't no maid!" During a 2011 "Storycorps" interview, Carl McNair, brother of Ronald McNair (the second black person in space and one of the seven astronauts who died in the January 28, 1986, Challenger explosion), recalled the impact that watching "Star Trek" had on Ron: "Now, Star Trek showed the future where there were black folk and white folk working together. I just looked at it as science fiction, 'cause that wasn't going to happen, really. But Ronald saw it as science possibility. He came up during a time when there was Neil Armstrong and all of those guys; so how was a colored boy from South Carolina - wearing glasses, never flew a plane - how was he gonna become an astronaut? But Ron was one who didn't accept societal norms as being his norm, you know? That was for other people. And he got to be aboard his own Starship Enterprise." During the 1970s and '80s, because of her status as the first black person "in space," NASA hired Nichols (during the mid-1970s) to help recruit minority and female astronauts to the program. As a result, NASA Astronaut Group 8 (selected in January 1978) yielded the astronauts she helped sign including Col. Guion Bluford (the first African American in space), Dr. Judith A. Resnik (the first Jewish American person in space), and Dr. Ron McNair. Four of the astronauts (Judith Resnik, Ron McNair, Ellison Onizuka, and Francis Richard "Dick" Scobee) recruited from NASA Group 8 perished in the Space Shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986 - which later was commemorated during the introduction of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). See more »
Spock (Leonard Nimoy) holds the rank of Commander based on the rank stripes on his uniform (two solid gold bands), however there are several times throughout the series where he is referred to as Lieutenant Commander. However a Lieutenant Commander's rank stripes consist of one solid gold band and one dashed/segmented band. See more »
All right, you mutinous, disloyal, computerized half-breed. We'll see about you deserting my ship.
The term "half-breed" is somewhat applicable, but "computerized" is inaccurate. A machine can be computerized, not a man.
What makes you think you're a man? You're an overgrown jackrabbit. An elf with a hyperactive thyroid.
Jim, I don't understand...
Of course you don't understand. You don't have the brains to understand. All you have is printed circuits.
Captain, if you will excuse me.
[...] 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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