To celebrate the release of Star Trek Into Darkness, the Flickering Myth writing team look back at the classic sci-fi franchise. Next up for Star Trek Month is Andrew Naylor looking back at the original Star Trek series….
Star Trek follows the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise, as they voyage on a 5 year mission, to explore strange new worlds …you know the rest.
The Original Series (TOS), the birth place of a stunning franchise. Why is still so popular? Well nothing quite catches the human imagination like the limitless boundaries of space exploration. But what better way to do so than with a more civilised human race. A better human race where everyone works towards a common peaceful goal, The United Federation of Planets, with a multicultural and tolerant Earth at the helm.
Despite all that, the characters were very much human (even Spock). They had their shortcomings, their issues and their baggage, but each little chink in their superficial perfect armour made them more identifiable to the viewers. Emotional attachments grew week by week. Yes, Captain James T. Kirk was a bold, charismatic ladies’ man but his priority was always his ship and his crew, unbreakable loyalty that was returned in earnest from his shipmates. Each and every one of them was the best of humanity. That is the overriding factor to why, 40 years later, Star Trek is still loved around the world by many.
It wasn’t the best show ever produced; in fact there were some appalling episodes, Spock’s Brain being the stand out stinker for me. However, every week the show tackled issues relevant to its era, it just so happened to have a Sci-fi setting to it. Even today, most of those matters are still applicable to our society. Also, for every Spock’s Brain, you had a tense and beautifully directed masterpiece like Balance of Terror. The fate of a galaxy resting on the shoulders of the crew of the Enterprise with the viewer on the edge of their seat along for the ride.
By today’s standards the special effects aren’t brilliant, but somehow, they still hold their own. There are some modern shows that wish they had effects half as good as Star Trek, you might be able to spot questionable sets, but there’s not an ounce of shoddy, poorly integrated green/blue screen anywhere, which is a remarkable achievement for the 1960s.
We are currently enduring somewhat of a TV Sci-fi drought and the choice in quality shows is at an absolute minimum. If you’ve never wanted the Star Trek: The Original Series (shame on you!) then go do so. Don’t be put off by its age, or any other flimsy excuse. I promise, you’ll enjoy it.
Star Trek Month continues tomorrow with Oli Davis looking at Star Trek: Generations…