Star Trek is one of the most iconic TV franchises of all time.
Star Trek is based on the original creation by Gene Roddenberry but it has far surpassed the first appearance. There are very few TV shows, you would probably be able to count them on your fingers, that have been able to continue for decades in different forms without losing their credibility.
Captain James Kirk and Spock were the central figures of what has now been named “The Original Series” from 1966. The series followed their adventures on the USS Enterprise during the 23rd Century and only aired for three seasons although many more would follow. A generation of ‘cult’ followers, Trekkies or Trekkers – not to be confused with the South African trekkers, were inspired by the outfits and learning the Klingon language, which was a fully developed language. There is even a Klingon Language Institute that helps people pursue their interest in the language.
The Stark Trek franchise exploded, branching into games, novels, toys, comics, figurines and even conferences. In 2016 the total revenue generated by the franchise was at $10 billion and that as definitely increased over the last 3 years. Over and above the financial gain Star Trek was lauded for their progressive stance on the civil rights movement with one of the first multiracial casts on television. They are also featured in many other shows through character interests or adaptations.
Gene Roddenberry wanted each episode to provide adventure with a moral lesson forming a part of the tale – this was modelled on ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ by Jonathan Swift. After Roddenberry died Rick Berman took control of the franchise and guided it to being Paramount’s flagship show.
The latest installation of Star Trek is now running on Netflix as a prequel called ‘Discovery’ and will likely not be the last version that we see.