USA / NBC – Desilu – Norway – Paramount / 79×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 1966-69
Creator/Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry / Music: Alexander Courage, Gerald Fried / Costume: William Ware Theiss
Conceived by Gene Roddenberry as a “Wagon Train To The Stars”, Star Trek told the exploits of Captain James T Kirk and his crew travelling the galaxy in the warp-powered Starship Enterprise (NCC 1701).
An initial pilot was made (Titled: The Cage) which starred Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike. This was rejected by the networks yet they allowed a second pilot to be made which brought on board William Shatner. Leonard Nimoy as Mr Spock was the only character who was retained from the first pilot.
The original pilot was never transmitted although footage from it was later used with new original framing material in a 2-part story entitled “The Menagerie”. Dr McCoy came aboard in the first proper episode once the series started production.
With its bold and colourful visual style and the superb performances of the regulars together with well-written and imaginative scripts set in a universe where any sci-fi concept you can think of can happen, it has become a television and science fiction classic – yet surprisingly at the time it was considered a relative failure and was cancelled after just 3 seasons.
10 years later it was reborn as a series of feature films with the same cast and since 1987 has spawned four follow-up television series set in the same universe:- STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION (1987-1993), STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE (1993-1999), STAR TREK: VOYAGER (1995-2001) and ENTERPRISE (2001-2005). There was also an animated series in the mid-70s.
The famous opening narration by Captain Kirk is as follows: “Space – the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise, it’s five-year mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilisations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!”
WILLIAM SHATNER as Capt James T Kirk
LEONARD NIMOY as Mr Spock
DEFOREST KELLEY as Dr Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
JAMES DOOHAN as Lt Cmdr Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
GEORGE TAKEI as Lt Sulu
NICHELLE NICHOLS as Lt Uhura
WALTER KOENIG as Ensign Chekov (from Season 2)
MAJEL BARRETT as Nurse Christine Chapel
GRACE LEE WHITNEY as Yeoman Janice Rand (Season 1 – six episodes only)