Created by Gene Roddenberry, STAR TREK is arguably the most famous television series ever made.
It all started in 1964 with the pilot episode, 'The Cage'. The late Jeffrey Hunter played Captain Christopher Pike, and Leonard Nimoy a very hirsute Mr. Spock, with eyebrows Denis Healey would have killed for. Susan Oliver played the drop-dead gorgeous Vina, as the love interest. Majel Barrett (later to marry Roddenberry) played a first officer, and was later to play Nurse Christine Chapel, and Deanna Troi's mother in THE NEXT GENERATION. Along with Nimoy, she was the only original face, when STAR TREK became a series. 'Bones' Boyce (not McCoy) was even played by John Hoyt, and not DeForest Kelley.
'The Cage' was made possible by the Lucille Ball/Desi Arnez company, Desilu. 'The Cage' was a weird tale of illusions, and parts of it were used in the STAR TREK episode, 'The Menagerie', with the bald-headed Talosians reprised, and a wrecked Captain Pike.
NBC didn't want Mr. Spock for the second pilot, 'Where No Man Has Gone Before', as he looked too Satanic. Roddenberry stood firm, and the rest is history, as they say. Missing from the original pilot were the Number One character played by Majel Barrett, Dr. Boyce, and Navigator Tyler.
The first-ever STAR TREK episode in the STAR TREK series was 'The Man Trap', which was about a monster which metamorphoses into human form, attractive to members of the Enterprise.
In all there were 79 50 minute, colour episodes of STAR TREK, running over three seasons. 'The Man Trap' was screened on American TV on September 8th, 1966. In the U.K., the series ran thus on the BBC: 12th July 1969 to 27th December 1969. Second series: 6th April 1970 to 7th September 1970; third series: 7th October 1970 to 10th February 1971. Colour was introduced on 15th November 1969, on BBC1.
In the first season there were 29 episodes; in season two it was 26; in the third and final series it was 24.
'The Cage' was not shown on British network TV, until August 19th 1992, on BBC2. 'The Empath', 'Whom Gods Destroy', and 'Plato's Step-Children' were not shown on British network TV until 1993/94 - again on BBC2. The latter had an inter-racial kiss between Kirk and Uhura, though no convincing reason was ever given by the BBC, re banning. The other two episodes saw McCoy tortured ('The Empath'), and Spock ('Whom Gods Destroy') having a bit of an ear shot off.
In all there have been eleven STAR TREK films, of varied quality, and varied success at the box office, which started from STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE in 1979. This was followed by STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN in 1982; STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK, 1984; STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME, 1986; STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER, 1989; STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY, 1992; STAR TREK: GENERATIONS, 1994; STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT, 1996; STAR TREK: INSURRECTION, 1998; STAR TREK: NEMESIS, 2002; STAR TREK, 2009 There have been four TV spin-offs: STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION; STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE; STAR TREK: VOYAGER; STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE.
Seen in over 40 countries, STAR TREK is the most widely syndicated show in TV history. Gene Roddenberry was a published poet, and it shines through in the programme. Our imagination has been stoked with Romulans, Klingons, Vulcans, and even Harry Mudd and the accursed Tribbles!
Beauties and beasties lined up to appear, and if a beast was made to look more fearsome with close-up shots, so the soft focus was used to good effect on the likes of Joan Collins, viz. 'The City On The Edge Of Forever'. There was the unexpected, with Spock falling in love, and talking to rocks, and snazzy gimmicks like the transportation process. Among the fans of STAR TREK was Dr. Martin Luther King, who persuaded Nichelle Nichols to continue as Uhura, after she'd planned to leave after the first series. He said: "Your part is too important. You're saying something for women, you're saying something for African-Americans. You're saying something for all human kind." Over a million people sent protest letters to NBC, after rumours that the first series would be the last, so it was a programme being cherished by much of human kind, at least. The TV shows, cartoon series, films, computer games, books, magazines, etc., symbolize the many ways the STAR TREK phenomenon has continued to endure the fickleness of fashion. It is indeed a classic.
This Paul Rance article is amended and updated from an article which originally appeared in issue 4 of EASTERN RAINBOW, in 1994.
Star Trek : The Original Series Episodes
Episode 1: The Cage (Pilot)
Episode 2: Where No Man Has Gone Before (Second Pilot)
Episode 3: The Corbomite Maneuver
Episode 4: Mudd's Women
Episode 5: The Enemy Within
Episode 6: The Man Trap
Episode 7: The Naked Time
Episode 8: Charlie X
Episode 9: Balance Of Terror
Episode 10: What Are Little Girls Made Of?
Episode 11: Dagger of the Mind
Episode 12: Miri
Episode 13: The Conscience of the King
Episode 14: The Galileo Seven
Episode 15: Court-Martial
Episode 16: The Menagerie Part I & II
Episode 17: Shore Leave
Episode 18: The Squire of Gothos
Episode 19: Arena
Episode 20: The Alternative Factor
Episode 21: Tomorrow Is Yesterday
Episode 22: The Return Of The Archons
Episode 23: A Taste of Armageddon
Episode 24: Space Seed
Episode 25: This Side Of Paradise
Episode 26: The Devil In the Dark
Episode 27: Errand Of Mercy
Episode 28: The City On the Edge Of Forever
Episode 29: Operation-Annihilate!
Episode 30: Catspaw
Episode 31: Metamorphosis
Episode 32: Friday's Child
Episode 33: Who Mourns For Adonais?
Episode 34: Amok Time
Episode 35: The Doomsday Machine
Episode 36: Wolf in the Fold
Episode 37: The Changeling
Episode 38: The Apple
Episode 39: Mirror, Mirror
Episode 40: The Deadly Years
Episode 41: I, Mudd
Episode 42: The Trouble With Tribbles
Episode 43: Bread and Circuses
Episode 44: Journey To Babel
Episode 45: A Private Little War
Episode 46: The Gamesters Of Triskelion
Episode 47: Obsession
Episode 48: The Immunity Syndrome
Episode 49: A Piece of the Action
Episode 50: By Any Other Name
Episode 51: Return To Tomorrow
Episode 52: Patterns of Force
Episode 53: The Ultimate Computer
Episode 54: The Omega Glory
Episode 55: Assignment: Earth
Episode 56: Spectre Of The Gun
Episode 57: Elaan Of Troyius
Episode 58: The Paradise Syndrome
Episode 59: The Enterprise Incident
Episode 60: And The Children Shall Lead
Episode 61: Spock's Brain
Episode 62: Is There In Truth No Beauty?
Episode 63: The Empath
Episode 64: The Tholian Web
Episode 65: For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky
Episode 66: Day of the Dove
Episode 67: Plato's Stepchildren
Episode 68: Wink Of An Eye
Episode 69: That Which Survives
Episode 70: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
Episode 71: Whom Gods Destroy
Episode 72: The Mark Of Gideon
Episode 73: The Lights Of Zetar
Episode 74: The Cloud Minders
Episode 75: The Way To Eden
Episode 76: Requiem For Methuselah
Episode 77: The Savage Curtain
Episode 78: All Our Yesterdays
Episode 79: Turnabout Intruder
STAR TREK ON CD - AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON.CO.UK
Star Trek 25th Anniversary Audio Collection (Star Trek on Compact Disc)
Star Trek Generations
Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home
Star Trek V: the Final Frontier
Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country
WILLIAM SHATNER STAR TREK BOOKS
available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com
The Captain's Peril
Captain's Glory (Star Trek: All)
Captain's Blood (Star Trek)
Sites worth boldly going to...
Eric Weisstein's plot summary of episodes from the first series. Give this fella a medal somebody! Eric's Excruiatingly Detailed Star Trek (TOS) Plot Summaries
STAR TREK REGULAR CAST
CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK (WILLIAM SHATNER)
MR. SPOCK (LEONARD NIMOY)
DR. 'BONES' McCOY (DeFOREST KELLEY)
SCOTTY (JAMES DOOHAN)
MR. SULU (GEORGE TAKEI)
LT. UHURA (NICHELLE NICHOLS)
ENSIGN CHEKOV (WALTER KOENIG)*
NURSE CHRISTINE CHAPEL (MAJEL BARRETT)
YEOMAN JANICE RAND (GRACE LEE WHITNEY)+
* From Season 2.
+ Season 1 only.
Illustration and image manipulation on this page by Paul Rance
Some Star Trek factoids
The first space shuttle was named the Enterprise, after 400,000+ people wrote in suggesting it.
80% of STAR TREK fan club members are female. There are more than 500 STAR TREK magazines.
Captain Kirk never said, "Beam me up, Scotty." It was used in the cartoon series, though.
Gene Roddenberry originally wanted DeForest Kelley to play Spock, and Jack ('Hawaii Five-O') Lord to play Kirk, but Lord wanted 50% of the show's takings, and Kelley refused to play Spock, ending up as Dr. McCoy instead.
William Shatner had a nervous breakdown in 1967 after the filming of the last episode. He was 'out of it' for the next 5 years.
Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 2, Episodes 4 & 5: Mudd's Women/The Enemy Within
Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 3, Episodes 6 & 7: The Man Trap/ The Naked Time
Roger C. Carmel's blustering buffoon, Harcourt Fenton Mudd, is one of the most memorable creations from the Star Trek team - and he has a collection of pretty women in tow to impress Kirk. Great fun.
The first-ever Star Trek episode in the Star Trek series was 'The Man Trap', which was about a monster which metamorphoses into human form, attractive to members of the Enterprise.
Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 14, Episodes 27 & 28: Errand of Mercy/ The City on the Edge of Forever
Joan Collins has never looked lovelier, and her part in the 'The City on the Edge of Forever' is one of the most tragic portrayals in any Star Trek episode. Kirk has the stark choice of trying to save a woman he loves, or not interfering with history.
The Klingons made their first appearance in Star Trek in the episode, 'Errand of Mercy', and if you want to watch just one episode from the original series this is the one to go for.
Classic Star Trek Episode Summaries
Spectre of the Gun
Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty and Chekov are transported against their will back to the American Wild West of Tombstone, Arizona in 1881. They are recognised as the Clantons, but it's the day when the Earps and Doc Holliday are to kill the Clantons at the O.K. Corral.
The Enterprise Incident
An attractive Romulan commander (Joanne Linville) falls for Spock, who risks his life so that Kirk can get hold of a Romulan cloaking device. Kirk also goes Romulan.
Is There In Truth In Beauty
"He's dead, Jim" is not an uncommon phrase used by Dr. McCoy, but this death is more complex than normal. Miranda (Diana Muldaur) is a blind telepath with the ability to link minds, but this turns out to have dangerous consequences for Spock.
Day of the Dove
An alien entity stirs up trouble between the crew of the Enterprise and the Klingons, with Chekov even believing that Klingons killed his brother, who turns out to be fictional! Kirk manages to convince female Klingon Mara (Susan Howard) that their emotions are being manipulated by the alien entity, though Kara's husband, Klingon commander Kang (Michael Ansara), needs more convincing...
For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky
McCoy has only a year to live, but that doesn't put off the beautiful Natira (Katherine Woodville) as the Enterprise crew find themselves among a race that lives on an asteroid cum spaceship! But there's a dark force controlling the inhabitants of the spaceship, who are forced to show obedience or suffer punishment. McCoy, Kirk and Spock are not too compliant, of course.
The Tholian Web
Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Chekov check out Federation starship The Defiant, but it is beginning to dissolve in space. Kirk orders Spock, McCoy and Chekov to be beamed up first, but Kirk appears as doomed as the ship as it seems too late to save him. The Enterprise is also in peril as the ship becomes surrounded by a web constructed by the mistrustful Tholians.
On an apparent Utopian world, Kirk, Spock and McCoy learn about a race that that stops ageing at 30, and lives to over 2,000 years of age, but, nowhere is perfect. Humiliation awaits The Enterprise trio, though when Lieutenant Uhura and Nurse Chapel are transported to this world things don't seem quite so bad, with Spock kissing Nurse Chapel, and Kirk kissing Uhura in what would have been groundbreaking at the time in the US.
Kirk, Spock and McCoy are part of an experiment that revolves around a female empath (Kathryn Hays). She also has healing powers and transfers the wounds of the Enterprise crew onto herself. Though the reason the empath meets the crew of the Enterprise is of vital significance for the future of her world.
The Enterprise crew are appreciating the beauty of a planet that seems like the Garden of Eden, but there is soon a rude awakening. The crew then encounter a peaceful, ageless people that are, however, devoid of love. When their way of life is threatened, things take a turn for the worse. Look out for a young David Soul in this episode.
Charlie (Robert Walker, Jr.), a seemingly innocent 17-year-old, arrives on the Enterprise. He falls for Yeoman Rand, and tries to impress her with his amazing psychic powers. But, Charlie is someone who is easily offended - which is bad news for the Enterprise crew.
Kirk takes on a Gorn starship captain in a winner takes all battle. Also a biped, but reptilian in appearance, the Gorn proves to be a tough cookie as even rocks just bounce off his chest. The Gorn is also smart enough to use the resources around him to seemingly get the upper hand in an intriguing battle. Arena was the first Star Trek episode to be shown in colour in the UK in November, 1969.
Khan (Ricardo Montalbán) makes his first appearance in Star Trek after being revived from two centuries in suspended animation. Infamous in his time as a major leader in the Eugenics Wars, Khan is a genetically engineered human possessing incredible physical strength and intelligence. He soon learns how to control the Enterprise, and the ship's historian Marla McGivers (Madlyn Rhue) becomes a useful ally as she falls under Khan's spell.
This Side of Paradise
Kirk and a landing party visit a world that seems like paradise, but there is much that is unexplained. Spock meets an old friend, Leila (Jill Ireland), who had strong feelings for him, but it's only when Spock is blasted with plant spores that he lets his guard down. McCoy, Sulu, Uhura are similarly affected by the spores, which cause the Enterprise crew to become euphoric. All that is except Kirk, who has a mutiny on his hands, as his crew prefer life in 'paradise' to life on the Enterprise. The sight of Spock swinging from a tree in this episode is one of the highlights of the whole Star Trek series.
The Devil in the Dark
Another true Star Trek classic, as a lethal but sentient rock-like creature is communicated with by Spock through mind melding. Then the reasons for the creature's aggression become more understandable.
Copyright © Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.