Examining the Star Trek phenomenon

With the new Star Trek film – Into Darkness – arriving in cinemas it is appropriate that television - which was the franchise’s original home - should examine this phenomenon.

On BBC2 on Saturday on at five past eight there is an excellent documentary about the original series and how it came to be. For anyone who is enjoying the current film version of Star Trek, they will learn more about this amazing programme, which began in the 1960s and which was responsible for no fewer than four different spinoff series.

It is interesting to note that when the makers decided to continue the film series in 2009, they decided to reimagine the original well established characters of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy rather than feature all new characters or those from the later TV series. However in the first film J.J. Abrams directed, he cleverly had the original Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) appear in it and the new incarnations were acknowledged in the storyline, as alternative versions of our original cast. Star Trek was unusual when it was first pitched to the Network, because while the Network rejected the original pilot, The Cage, which starred Jeffrey Hunter (as Captain Christopher Pike), they asked for another pilot to be made. However they wanted Gene Roddenberry - Star Trek’s creator - to write out Number One (Majel Barrett) and Mr. Spock. While Roddenberry kept Spock, he did write out Number One only to bring the actress back later on in the role of Nurse Chapel. If you want to know even more about Star Trek after watching the documentary, then there are a whole host of books available.

IAN K