The Vulcan greeting ‘Live Long and Prosper’ certainly applies to the Star Trek series. Moving into its 50th anniversary next year, there is a coming Paramount Pictures movie and a new TV series announced by CBS. The original TV series, featuring swashbuckling Captain James T Kirk, launched in September 1966. Although it only ran for three seasons, it made enough impact to generate a number of theatrical release movies and an animated series which kept the momentum going.
Subsequent TV series, also going where no one had gone before, were the 1987 Next Generation headed by the more diplomatic Captain Jean-Luc Picard; the 1995 Voyager headed by the female Captain Kathryn Janeway; and the 2001 Enterprise series headed by Captain Jonathan Archer. The Star Fleet uniform also graced the 1999 series headed by Captain Benjamin Sisko who did not wander the galaxy, but rather looked after the far flung Deep Space 9 space station.
CBS’ announcement of a new Star Trek TV series debuting in early 2017 has mentioned that it is aimed at a US audience; but of course the fans are global. It remains to be seen whether, when reinterpreting the series for new generations of fans, it stays true to its originator’s utopian vision of the future. For Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991) humanity would only be ready to go to the stars if they had learnt to love the diversity of life on this planet, as only then would they be ready to cope with the diversity of life he felt was almost certainly to be found outside our world.
The ‘Star Trek Beyond’ movie, to be released in mid 2016, is thirteenth overall but the third of a series along with the 2013 ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ and 2009 ‘Star Trek’. No doubt it will be the continued adventures of the young James Tiberius Kirk played by Chris Pine, and the young Spock played by Zachary Quinto, along with the rest of the Enterprise crew. Simon Pegg, who plays the engineer “beam me up” Scotty, is also writing this third offering. Pegg has been reported as saying he wants to embrace the spirit of the original TV show and write a story about frontierism, adventure, optimism and fun. Hopefully a trailer will emerge soon to allow more insight.
Can’t wait till next year for a new Star Trek hit? IDW Publishing has just released two new comics – Star Trek: New Visions: The Hollow Man and Star Trek: New Adventures, Vol. 2. A paperback Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Sacraments of Fire was also released earlier this year. Get more details from: http://www.startrek.com/