Star Trek

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Star Trek is a science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry in 1966 that tells the tale of the crew of the starship Enterprise and of their adventures in the "final frontier". Initially, the series didn't have much success, but after the original series was cancelled, it turned out that Star Trek had very devoted and active fans, calling themselves Trekkies or Trekkers, who made reruns of the show popular and created a market for later series and movies based on Roddenberry's work. These are now part of American culture, and are gaining in international popularity as well. It is due in part to lobbying from fans of the series that NASA agreed to name the prototype Space shuttle Enterprise.

In 1987 a new series launched, Star Trek: The Next Generation, which featured a new crew and a new plotline. While in the classic series the captain (James Kirk , played by William Shatner) often used "cowboy diplomacy", in The Next Generation (TNG) the Prime Directive, which states that the Federation shouldn't get involved in less evolved species' business, is given greater importance. This leads to a far more pacifist approach, which was gradually abandoned after Roddenberry's death. The other spin-off series rely heavily on action and warfare, much like the original series. An exception, of course, is the episode about tribbles.

Roddenberry was a proponent of egalitarian politics, and frequently used the shows to showcase his vision of a utopian future society based on those principles. The original series, for example, had a prominent black female crew member (Lt. Uhura, played by Nichelle Nichols), one of the first black women to hold any major role on American television and the recipient of the first televised interracial kiss in the episode Plato's Stepchildren. It also had a Russian character (Mr. Chekov, played by Walter Koenig) at a time when the United States was engaged in the Cold War with the Soviet Union. The Vulcan First Officer Mr. Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, was at first rejected by network officials who feared that his vaguely satanic appearance might prove too disquieting (Mr. Spock of course went on to become one of the most popular characters on the show). Viewers of today who watch the old series may find its portrayals of minorities and especially women somewhat backward, but they were actually quite progressive and daring for the time.

Television series:

Star Trek (the original series)
Star Trek: The Animated Series
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager
Enterprise (premiered on September 26, 2001)

Movies based on the original series:

Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Movies based on The Next Generation:

Star Trek: Generations
Star Trek: First Contact
Star Trek: Insurrection
Star Trek: X Forthcoming code name Star Trek X

Video Games:

Star Trek Voyager Elite Force
Star Trek Away Team

Computer Games (By Microprose, Interplay and Paramount):

Star Trek 25th Anniversary
Star Trek The Next Generation A Final Unity
Star Trek Klingon
Starfleet Academy
Star Trek Generations
Star Trek Federation Compilation
Star Fleet Command
Star Fleet Command: Empires At War
Star Fleet Command: Orion Pirates
Star Trek: Armada
Star Trek: Armada II {forthcoming}

(This is an incomplete list)

The Star Trek universe in general:

The Borg
Tribbles
Klingon
Cardassians

Official website: http://www.startrek.com/
For Recent News: http://www.trektoday.com/

See also: Physics and Star Trek

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