The USS Enterprise
Star Trek Day
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"Space, the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Its five years mission: To explore strange new worlds
To seek out new life
And new civilizations
To boldly go where no man has gone before!"
~ Star Trek Opening Titles, 1966
Star Trek is an American media franchise based on the science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry. The first television series, simply called Star Trek and now referred to as "The Original Series", debuted in 1966 and aired for three seasons on NBC. It followed the interstellar adventures of Captain James T. Kirk and his crew (first officer and science officer Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy chief medical officer, Montgomery Scott chief engineer, Uhura communications officer, Checkov navigator, and Sulu helmsman) aboard the starship USS Enterprise, a space exploration vessel built by the United Federation of Planets in the 23rd century. The Star Trek canon includes The Original Series, an animated series, five spin-off television series, the film franchise, and further adaptations in several media. Gene Roddenberry sold Star Trek to NBC as a classic adventure drama; he pitched the show as "Wagon Train to the Stars" and as Horatio Hornblower in Space. The opening line, "to boldly go where no man has gone before," was taken almost verbatim from a U.S. White House booklet on space produced after the Sputnik flight in 1957.
The first episode of the original television series of Star Trek aired on the 8th of September 1966.
The unaired pilot “The Cage” featured an almost entirely different cast and crew, with Mr. Spock being the lone holdover on the bridge when the classic team appeared in the first official episode. Jeffrey Hunter starred as Captain Christopher Pike, who gets abducted by telepathic aliens for psychological experiments involving a human woman.
When the studio rejected the original pilot (supposedly for being too cerebral and lacking in action) creator Gene Roddenberry sought to make another, but Hunter chose to move on to other projects and the show was recast with the diverse characters we know today.
Several episodes in, though, the producers of Star Trek created a two-part episode called “The Menagerie” that utilized much of the original pilot. Mr. Spock was taking a now battle-scarred and disfigured Captain Pike back to the planet Talos IV (which was off limits to Federation vessels) for unknown reasons, and he would not reveal why until he seized control of the Enterprise and faced a court-martial. I
Much of the technology used in the original series ultimately is now a reality. The communicators are like modern cell phones, the earpieces worn by Uhura and Spock are basically Bluetooth devices, the Universal Translators are echoed by the use of modern voice recognition software, tricorders have become the LOCAD-PTS,a portable biological lab used by NASA, and the use of interactive video screens (telepresence) is akin to current video conferencing. While Enterprise crew members recorded audio on hard-cased cassette tapes, they looked like soon-to-be modern floppy discs, which are now outdated in our digital era.
We are all still waiting for the transporter so that we can conveniently go to Scottish Country Dance events all over the world. Be sure to clutch your ghillies before you beam over to your destination.
For trekkers and trekkies everywhere, there are several several tribute dances. This namesake first, "Star Trek," is significant for the dance descriptions in the jig - "trekking, orbiting, beaming, and advancing & retiring (boldly)."
Note: There is considerable disagreement among Star Trek fans over whether to use the term Trekkie or Trekker. Some say that Trekkie is "frequently depreciative", thus, "not an acceptable term to serious fans", who prefer Trekker.
The distinction existed as early as May 1970, and by 1976, media reports on Star Trek conventions acknowledged the two types of fans. According to those who mark the distinction, Trekkers consider themselves rational fans whereas a Trekkie leans towards fanatical fandom.
Ironically, Gene Roddenberry used the term "trekkies" to describe fans of the show, only to be corrected by a fan that stood up and yelled "Trekkers!" Gene Roddenberry responded with "No, it's 'Trekkies.' I should know - I invented the thing."
So ... whether you're a trekkie or a trekker, learn about the Star Fleet International, one of the oldest fan organizations by clicking the original crew.