Star Trek on the Small Screen: The Original Series

Hey y’all. I’m Lindsey, and I’m brand new to Outright Geekery. A word nerd, Trekkie, and book worm, I’m happiest when playing board games or watching documentaries, movies, and reality TV. When Gaumer first asked me to write a piece for OG, I totally geeked out for a bit and then set straight to work imagining where I might chose to begin. It took all of 4.2 seconds to land on my most beloved of techie topics: Star Trek.

StarfleetAs a culture, our love affair with all things Trek began in 1966, and as the franchise continues to grow, so does our passion. We’re offered novels, comics, games, figurines, toys, conventions, and films – so much to explore! Why do we love the entertainment and memorabilia as much as we do? Because the essence runs much deeper. Gene Roddenberry used the vehicle of Science Fiction to bring societal ideals front and center. Through its characters, aliens, and missions, Star Trek asked us to consider acceptance and peace over war, as well as racial diversity; it brought us the first ever televised interracial kiss in 1968. Oh, how far we’ve come. But our old friend won’t let us forget – We’ve got much more to do.

In this six-post series, we’ll explore Star Trek’s role in television comprehensively, beginning first with The Original Series. I’m a huge fan, but no expert. I may miss something, and there’s always room for more Trek goodies. I’d love your feedback and welcome a hearty discussion, “where no one has gone before”.


As summer neared its end in 1966, the American psyche was wrought with worry; we were facing a substantial increase in the number of troops being sent to Vietnam, our minds never lost sight of the facts of the Cold War with its ever-changing implications, and racial tensions were building on a daily basis. Quite simply stated, our hearts and minds were primed for the ideas of negotiation, diplomacy, and racial harmony. As Star Trek took to the airwaves that fall, it delivered precisely that.

Captain – James T. Kirk

Vessel – USS Enterprise  NCC-1701

Mission – To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Setting – Milky Way Galaxy

Number of Seasons – 3

Number of Episodes – 79 (plus one additional pilot)

Aired – 1966-1969 (syndicated)

Stardates – 1312.4-5928.5

Pilot Episode – (1) “The Cage”  (2) “Where No Man Has Gone Before”

Theme Song – “Theme from Star Trek”

Awards -12 Emmy nominations, eight Hugo Award nominations and two wins, NAACP Image Award, Writers Guild of America Award, also “The City on the Edge of Forever” ranked #92 on TV Guide’s 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.

Motion Picture Ties – Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country



Kirk: “Scotty, beam us up.”

Kirk: “There seems to be no sign of intelligent life anywhere…”

McCoy: “We all have our darker side. We need it; it’s half of what we are. It’s not really ugly, it’s human.”

Kirk: “Worlds may change, galaxies disintegrate – but a woman is always a woman.”

Spock: “Insufficient facts always invite danger.”

Leonard McCoy: “Well, Mr. Spock, if you’re going into the lion’s den, you’ll need a medical officer.”

Kirk: “Risk…Risk is our business. That’s what this starship is all about. That’s why we’re aboard her.”

Kirk: “A star captain’s most solemn oath is that he will give his life, even his entire crew, rather than violate the Prime Directive.”

Spock: “Computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to serve under them. Captain, a starship also runs on loyalty to one man, and nothing can replace it or him.”

Kirk: “Twentieth century Earth. ‘All I…ask is a tall ship and a star…to steer her by.’ You…You could feel the wind at your back in those days. The sounds of the sea…beneath you, and even if you take away the wind and the water…it’s still the same. The ship is yours. You can feel her. And the stars are still there, Bones.”

Spock: “Live long and prosper.”

Kirk: “We fight only when there is no other choice. We prefer the ways of peaceful contact.”



”Beam me up, Scotty” was actually never uttered by Kirk in The Original Series. That line didn’t appear until The Animated Series.

Gene Roddenberry wrote the lyrics to the opening theme, although they were never used.

Star Trek once ranked #1 on TV Guide’s list of the “30 Top Cult Shows Ever”.

The exterior Mayberry set from The Andy Griffith Show was used twice during Season 1.

Leonard Nimoy (Spock) is the only actor to appear in all 80 episodes of the series (including the first pilot).

After death, Gene Roddenberry had a vial containing a small amount of his ashes launched into orbit via satellites.

One of the two studio models of the USS Enterprise is on display in the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Riverside, Iowa officially proclaimed itself to be the “Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk”; it hosts an annual Riverside Trek Festival.

McCoy’s nickname “Bones” relates back to slang for a Naval or Military surgeon.

The transporter concept was created as a money-saving alternative to the costly process of the characters actually landing the Enterprise (expensive sets and model filming) and additionally, the shuttlecraft.

The series has been parodied among many other shows, notably Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, and Futurama.

NASA named its first space shuttle orbiter Enterprise (OV-101).

“Trekkie” is the only fan label listed in the Oxford English Dictionary.


Note: Just this week, when reporting on the Olympic torch having been taken on its first ever spacewalk, a national news correspondent stated, “…it’s boldly going where no torch has gone before.” Coming full circle quite nicely, I might add.


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