“Space, the final frontier….”. This article, as well upcoming ones, will beam us up into the Star Trek universe. We’ll meet Vulcans, Klingons, Romulans, Ferengi, Cardasians, Humans and Borg.
So far we had few Star Wars articles (one, two, three) but no Star Trek articles. A Star Trek franchise is probably the most important SF franchise of all times. Today, we’ll start solving that injustice with the first article in this series. While this article will cover some general facts regardless single series or movies, upcoming articles will focus more on single series and some other details.
1966 is the year when it all started. Gene Roddenberry is the father of the whole franchise. First television series was called simply Star Trek and was filmed from 1966 to 1969. This series definitely had and still has an enormous impact on SF in general and who knows what kind of SF stuff we would watch today if it hadn’t existed!? I would bet that, without it, we would watch less quality series and movies today.
Back to 1966. USS Enterprise, commanded by Capitan James T. Kirk (William Shatner) went where nobody went before. Some notable members of his crew were Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (James Doohan) – yup the one “Beam me up, Scotty”, Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Hikaru Sulu (George Takei) and Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig). As you can expect, they went where nobody went before and thus had some adventures nobody had before. We’ll go more detailed into that in the article devoted to the original series.
Copyright© 1999 USPS. All Rights Reserved.
Celebrate the Century, 1960s – The Rebellious Sixties and Man on the Moon
USA – 1999/09/17
1 of 10 stamp sheets issued by USPS depicting most important motifs of each decade
1st row: Martin Luther King, Woodstock Music and Art Fair, Moon landing, Green Bay Packers, Star Trek
2nd row: Peace Corps, Vietnam War, Ford Mustang, Barbie, Integrated circuit
3rd row: Laser, AFL-NFL, Peace symbol
4th row: Roger Maris, The Beatles
Denomination: 33 USD cents
50 years to the future
After more than 50 years, Star Trek franchise is pretty much alive these days. There were some great and some not so great series and movies along the way. Let’s remind ourselves of a few of them.
Let’s start with listing all series filmed so far:
- The Original Series (1966–69)
- The Next Generation (1987–94)
- Deep Space Nine (1993–99)
- Voyager (1995–2001)
- Enterprise (2001–05)
- Discovery (2017–)
and continue with all movies:
- The Motion Picture (1979)
- II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
- III: The Search for Spock (1984)
- IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
- V: The Final Frontier (1989)
- VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
- Generations (1994)
- First Contact (1996)
- Insurrection (1998)
- Nemesis (2002)
- Star Trek (2009)
- Into Darkness (2013)
- Beyond (2016)
Technology in the series and movies changes a lot. Filming technology and special effects also experienced many improvements. Still, one thing stayed the same. That is the vision of the utopian and idealistic society where everybody gets everything they need (hm, this sounds familiar 😊 ) and where peace, collaboration and exploration are the most important values. But still, if needed, we’re ready to fight to defend that perfect society. And, of course, we do it.
Copyright© 2016 USPS. All Rights Reserved.
USA – 2016/09/02
The USPS “celebrates the television show Star Trek on the 50th anniversary of its premiere.”
“the Starship Enterprise inside the outline of a Starfleet insignia against a gold background”
“the silhouette of a crewman in a transporter against a red background”
“the silhouette of the Enterprise from above against a green background”
“the Vulcan salute (Spock’s iconic hand gesture) against a blue background”
Denomination: Forever (equal in the value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price)
10 interesting Star Trek facts
- The famous hand gesture used during the “Live long and prosper” greeting is actually the Hebrew letter Shin, which represents the word Shaddai, a name for God. Special thanks go to Rafael Hurovich for this explanation:
“This is how the Jewish Cohanim (Priests) would bless the congregation when the Temple stood in Jerusalem (between the years 530 BC and 70 AC). This gesture is still used today by the descendants of the Cohanim (normally those named Cohen, Kahane, Katz and many other family names are direct descendants of the original family which started with Aharon). The Priestly blessing is regularly recited during the prayer service and is a very special moment of spiritual unity and peace.”
- More than 125 Star Trek video-games were created so far.
- Episodes of the original series were not aired in the chronological order.
- Star Trek had a great impact on the technology. Many technologies we can see in Star Trek became reality or at the drawing boards (communication devices, translators, lasers, even teleportation and impulse drive).
- Star Trek (TOS) was almost canceled during the first season. Lucille Bell intervened here and halt that initiative. That gave 2 more years to this series before it was finally canceled. That was still enough time to become so popular that new movies and series would be produced later.
- The phrase “Spock’s Brain” has become a cultural term that refers to an unintentionally humorous television episode. The reason for that is that the episode named “Spock’s Brain” from TOS was the worst episode of the series.
- Stephen Hawking appeared in the TNG series. He took a look at the warp core on set and said: “I’m working on that”. And there were many others. Some of the notable appearances are Tom Morello, Jason Alexander, Kim Cattrall, Ashley Judd, Mick Fleetwood, Joan Collins, Iman, The Rock and King Abdullah II of Jordan.
- Enterprise was used as the name for many ships in a few countries (France, UK, and USA) way back into the 17th Maybe the most important ships are first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) and upcoming Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-80). And, not to forget, the Space Shuttle Enterprise.
- Ferengi is the Persian word for Frank (Frank/European trader) and is used to denote foreigner in general.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. was a big Star Trek fan. He talked with Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) and persuaded her to continue with her role after she quit at the end of the TOS first season.
Copyright© 2017 Canada Post. All Rights Reserved.
Canada – 2017/04/27
Star Trek captains with their ships/stations and their greatest villains in the background
James T. Kirk (William Shatner) & USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) & That’d be Khan (Ricardo Montalban) – The Original Series (1966–1969)
Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) & USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) & Locutus of Borg (Patrick Stewart) – The Next Generation (1987–1994)
Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) & & Dukat (Marc Alaimo) – Deep Space Nine (1993–1999)
Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) & USS Voyager & the Borg Queen (Alice Krige) – Voyager (1995–2001)
Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) & Enterprise NX-01 & Dolim (Scott MacDonald) – Enterprise (2001-2005)
Denomination: 1.00, 1.20, 1.80, 2.50 CAD and P (PERMANENT = can be used to mail a letter (weighing up to 30 grams) anywhere in Canada)
This is the first article in the Star Trek series. There are many Star Trek related stories that must be told and many beautiful Star Trek stamps you don’t want to miss. In order to avoid that, please stay tuned.
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