Space…The Final Frontier! These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise (and many others called Enterprise and other names). 8th September 1966 opened up a huge world to millions and has just grown over its life. When the voyages of the starship Enterprise first came to our screens, nobody knew just how big this series would be. Gene Roddenberry presented a show that at first seemed unlikely to ever get made. Production and budget issues was definitely a big factor, with the show almost cancelled before being filmed. Then, the first pilot was made without WILLIAM SHATNER! You heard that right, we almost didn’t have Captain James Tiberius Kirk in the show. Luckily for us, we got Star Trek and the show then became one of the biggest phenomenon’s in TV history. A lot has happened in these past 50 years; Five live-action TV shows, an animated spin-off, multiple movies and countless other media (video games are a bit hit and miss, but some are worth a crack). This is four reasons why Star Trek will last another 50 years and entertain many more generations of fans…
Shatner vs Picard
Probably the two most iconic captains of Star Trek! William Shatner helped bring the USS Enterprise to superstardom and lead a great mix of characters and get deep into some well thought out stories. Patrick Stewart however, made the impossible task of following such an iconic show a breeze. The captain of the new Enterprise was indeed a hard role to fill, but nobody could beat Stewart for his effortless command and smooth delivery. The years in the Royal Shakespeare Company was just what was needed in Picard and made him a greater captain than Shatner’s Kirk as his words were stronger and more heartfelt. Also, how many alien ladies did Picard cop-off with compared to Kirk? Then again, Kirk was also more likely to get into a fight and was never going to back away from a challenge that put him or his crew in danger.
Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise
While The Original Series and The Next Generation may arguably be the more favoured series in the franchise, that doesn’t mean we can’t forget about the other shows to come from these. Deep Space Nine was given many connections to both its predecessor Deep Space Nine and the follow-up Voyager. Where DS9 and Voyager may not be as big as TNG, these shows only continued the success of the sci-fi giant. Where the first two Star Trek shows took the world by storm, it was DS9 which really took some much deeper themes to its basis and Voyager had a more isolated feel as it had them 75 years from home after moving many lightyears after a mission to the Badlands. Enterprise, in my opinion the weakest of the shows, has always managed to keep itself distinct in tone and output and for showing the first crew of deep space explorers for Starfleet. Each show keeps its own identity as well as linking in with the franchise as a whole.
“Live Long And Prosper”
Star Trek has created many famous lines in its lifetime. Spock had his infamous lines, Dr McCoy kept stating he was a Doctor, numerous phasers were set to stun, Picard wanted us to “Make It So” and who can forget “KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNN!!”. The shows and films have created many famous quotes which are still used today. Many of the quotes, particularly those from Leonard Nimoy’s Spock, made a huge dent in pop culture and today retain a more poignant feeling since the passing of Nimoy. Speaking of Nimoy, the title to this part of the article has a greater meaning when mentioning Spock. Leonard Nimoy probably had the greatest and longest connection to the franchise. Spock was featured in numerous shows and films, including the reboot/sequel/prequel in 2009 and 2013’s Into Darkness. Truly he did live long in terms of his character and will forever live on as the Vulcan hero.
Discovery and The Future
We know that a brand new Star Trek series will begin this January. All we know about the show so far is that the main character will not be a Captain, the show will be set 10 years before The Original Series and it is being made by Bryan Fuller (Heroes, Pushing Daisies, Hannibal, American Gods just to name a few. This guy is seriously awesome!). Discovery will be the first new Star Trek TV series since 2005 when Enterprise finished. After this show, we know another movie is in development and maybe more TV shows could spawn from Discovery. What I do know is that Star Trek has always been a huge brand and it is unlikely it will be coming to an end anytime soon. With such a rich story that they can mine for centuries, Star Trek and the members of Starfleet could potentially go on forever. There is just no visible end to the franchise. The 2009 Star Trek movie proved that the hunger was still there and people still wanted to see The Final Frontier explored by the heroes we have come to know for all these years. Though financial success may not have been as evident in Star Trek Beyond as it was the last two movies, the film was well received and the fanbase will always be happy with a well made story. Let’s hope that we get that from Discovery and all the other shows to come…
Star Trek: Discovery begins January 2017 on Netflix in the UK
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove