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Star Trek

Many people in scientific and engineering fields have stated that they were inspired by Star Trek, which they thought portrayed science and engineering in a positive light . Even physicist Stephen Hawking was a fan of the show. Although the original Star Trek series was occasionally sexist (women wore skimpy outfits and no woman was ever shown commanding a starship), many women have testified that they were positively influenced by the show's depiction of women scientists working alongside their male counterparts. Actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg has said that seeing a black woman sitting on the bridge of a starship, and not working as a maid, made her believe as a young girl that she could be an actress with a real role. Mae Jamison, the first African-American woman to fly in space, has also said that she was deeply influenced by the show. Goldberg later played a regular on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Jamison made a cameo appearance on the show. 

Gene Roddenberry sold Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS), to NBC as a classic adventure drama, calling it a "Wagon Train to the Stars" and "Horatio Hornblower in Space." Set aboard the starship Enterprise (NCC-1701). In reality, Roddenberry wanted to tell more sophisticated stories, using futuristic situations as analogies for current problems on Earth and rectifying them through humanism and optimism. The show's writers frequently addressed moral and social issues in the episodes by tackling topics such as slavery, warfare, and discrimination.

Gene Roddenberry had an idea for a new science fiction TV show. To explain and sell the concept to the network executives, he put it into terms they could understand. He pitched the show as "Wagon Train to the stars" and as Horatio Hornblower in space. Though set on a fictional starship, Roddenberry wanted to tell more sophisticated stories using futuristic situations as analogies to current problems on Earth and rectifying them through humanism and optimism. Roddenberry had just finished a stint as head writer for Have Gun Will Travel and knew that Westerns were universal.

On March 11, 1964, Roddenberry created the first draft of Star Trek. He wound up taking the idea to Desilu Studios.  Roddenberry got an okay from NBC to proceed.

They shot a pilot, called "The Cage" later renamed and packaged as "The Menagerie" with Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike.

Star Trek debuted in the United States on NBC on September 8, 1966. The show, starring William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk (originally James R. Kirk), told the tale of the crew of the starship Enterprise and that crew's five-year mission "to boldly go where no man has gone before." In its first two seasons it was nominated for Emmy Awards as Best Dramatic Series. After only three seasons, the show was cancelled and the last episode aired on June 3, 1969. The series subsequently became popular in reruns, and a cult following developed, complete with fan conventions. Originally aired as simply Star Trek, it has in recent years become known as Star Trek: The Original Series or as "Classic Trek".

The crew of the starship Enterprise was noteworthy in many respects . The international crew included a Russian in a time when the nation was involved in Vietnam fighting communism. Nichelle Nichols played a black communications officer, Lt. Uhura only a year after Bill Cosby debuted in I Spy as the first black lead in prime time.

Although The Original Series was cancelled in its third season due to low ratings, it served as the foundation for five additional Star Trek television series. Altogether, the six series comprise a total of 726 episodes across twenty-two different television seasons

Issues depicted in the various series include war and peace, authoritarianism, imperialism, class warfare, racism, human rights, sexism, and the role of technology.

The Starship Captains

Jeffrey Hunter in Star Trek
Jeffrey Hunter as
Capt. Christopher Pike

captain James T Kirk
William Shatner as
Capt. James T. Kirk

Captain Picard
Patrick Stewart as
Capt. Jean Luc Picard

Captain Katherine Janeway
Kate Mulgrew as
Capt. Katherine Janeway

Avery Brooks as Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko

Captain Jonathan Archer
Scott Bakula as
Capt. Jonathan Archer

Star Trek
The Original Series (TOS)

9/8/1966 - 9/2/1969 NBC
Color - 60 minutes - 80 episodes

From Paramount Studios
Created by Executive Producer
Gene Roddenberry

Producers: Gene Coon, later Fred Frieberger, John Meredyth Lucas

Star Trek TOS Cast

William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy as Lt. Cmdr./Cmdr. Spock
DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy
James Doohan as Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott
George Takei as Lt. Hikaru Sulu
Nichelle Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura
Walter Koenig as Ensign Pavel Chekov
Grace Lee Whitney as Yeoman Janice Rand (1966)

Majel Barrett Roddenberry as Nurse Christine Chapel (TOS) and as Computer Voice in all Star Treks

Star Trek - The Next Generation (TNG)
Syndicated 1987 - 1994 178 episodes
Created by Executive Producer Gene Rodenberry


Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard  

Jonathan Frakes as William Thomas Riker

Brent Spiner as Data

Marina Sirtis  as Deanna Troi

LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge

Michael Dorn as Worf

Gates McFadden as Beverly Crusher, M. D. 

Denise Crosby as Natasha "Tasha" Yar

Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher 

Majel Barrett as Lwaxana Troi

Star Trek - Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Syndicated 1993 - 1999 176 episodes
Created and Produced by Rick Berman and Michael Piller


Avery Brooks as Captain Benjamin Sisko

Rene Auberjonois as Odo

Siddig El Fadil as Dr. Julian Bashir

Terry Farrell as Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax

Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Commander Worf

Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko

Colm Meaney as Chief Operations Officer Miles O'Brien

Armin Shimerman as Quark

Nana Visitor as Major Kira Nerys

Majel Barrett as Lwaxana Troi

Star Trek - Voyager
UPN 1995 - 2001 172 episodes
Created and Produced by Rick Berman, Michael Piller and Jeri Taylor


Robert Beltran as Chakotay 

Roxann Dawson as B'Elanna Torres 

Jennifer Lien as Kes 

Robert Duncan McNeill as Tom Paris 

Kate Mulgrew as Kathryn Janeway 

Ethan Phillips as Neelix 

Robert Picardo as The Doctor 

Tim Russ as Tuvok 

Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine 

Garrett Wang as Harry Kim


Star Trek - Enterprise
UPN 2001 - 2005
Created and Produced by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga


Captain Jonathan Archer - Scott Bakula 

T-Pol - Jolene Blalock 

Commander Tucker - Connor Trinneer 

Lt. Commander Reed - Dominic Keating 

Dr. Phlox - John Billingsley Lt. 

Mayweather - A.T. Montgomery 

Ensign Sato - Linda Park

Star Trek May 2009


Star Trek Discovery

Credit: CBS