Last month the TV series Star Trek celebrated its 50th birthday. However while it was first shown in America in 1966, it did not appear on British television until 1969 when Doctor Who took its first prolonged break.
Star Trek was somewhat unusual in that it offered a very positive vision of what the future would be like.
What attracted many people to the series, was this exciting vision of the future in which the people of the Earth worked together as they ventured out into space to seek out ‘new life and new civilizations.’
Indeed the writers for Star Trek – The Next Generation found that it was initially difficult writing stories where all the main continuing characters got on so well with one another, as any drama has to have some form of conflict in it.
The various versions of Star Trek were very different to the more usual science fiction stories which offered a rather more gloomy view of the future.
There was for example, Planet of the Apes, a cinema franchise which also began in the 1960s (and is still going today) where its vision of the future was very bleak indeed.
Science fiction is often deployed as a means of warning people that the future could be worse than the present, if changes were not made to some of the ways people currently choose to live their lives.
Jesus Christ came into the world to offer everyone on Earth a positive vision for the future.
He came to talk about the ‘coming of the kingdom of heaven’.
This happy future was something to aim for and would be available to all the people, if they gave God his rightful position and if they were prepared to care for and look after each other.