There are a lot of Star Trek fans out there. There are a lot of people who can talk about the minutiae of the various series. But I also suspect that there are people who are interested in Trek but might be a little afraid to “get into” it. There is a certain amount of geekiness that goes along with being a Trek fan, and that can be a little scary to new-comers. There is also a huge canon of material that makes up the Star Trek universe. Where do you start? How does it all fit together? How can you hope to make sense of something that has been established over decades?
These are all things I would like to deal with here. Not in this entry. But eventually, in time, I’d like to compile a “Beginners Guide to Trek” or something along those lines.
Let me just briefly mention that Star Trek (what is now known as The Original Series), the TV show with Captain Kirk and Spock, only ran for 3 seasons from 1966 to 1969. I’ve noticed that people who don’t really follow Trek are often quite surprised by this. It is pretty astonishing that a television show that was only on the air for 3 years could have such a huge impact on our culture. There are many shows that have lasted much longer: M.A.S.H., Cheers, Seinfeld–just to name a few. Do these shows have the same kind of impact? I don’t know. I do think it’s something to think about.
In opening narration to the show, Captain Kirk says that the starship Enterprise is on a 5 year mission to explore strange new worlds. Obviously the original intension was for the show to last at least 5 seasons. Unfortunately it didn’t. There was an animated series that ran for 2 seasons in the mid-70s and featured the original cast contributing their voices. Together with the original show, you do get 5 years. However, there are people who feel that the animated series is not strictly “canon”. Since it was cartoons for kids it was subjected to stricter regulations that a primetime drama and therefore cannot truly be considered that last two years of Enterprise’s 5 year mission.
There are some very enterprising fans who have decided to try to complete the 5 year mission. They have decided to create new episodes in the style of the original series with the original characters–though obviously not starring the original actors. They have a website where the New Voyages of the starship Enterprise can be seen.