Category Archives: Star Trek

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”.

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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

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Quotes

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.”

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Trivia

”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.

TOS

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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Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot: “Starfleet Vessels Not Named ENTERPRISE”

From time to time Outright Geekery brings you a slanted and biased opinion on some trivial detail of some form of geekery. We call it Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot.

Why should the popular girls get to have all the fun? Sure, the ENTERPRISE may be one of the most recognizable modes of transportation in all of Sector 001 (in ALL its stylized varieties), but it is by far not the only familiar, and important, ship in the star fleet. And, of course, there are those “one-shot wonders” that find their place in some random episode starring some random Hollywood B-Lister, but this Top o’ the Lot focuses more on the relative mainstays; ships that made recurring appearances and lasting impacts. This week’s Top o’ the Lot pulls into space-dock, readies the phasers and photon torpedoes, and pulls a Kobayashi Maru on the damnedest Starfleet Vessels Not Named ENTERPRISE.

Honorable Mention: The Runabout

RunaboutWhoa! Hey! Calm down! I know Runabouts aren’t technically a single ship, or even the official name of the ship’s class, but these workhorses made some lasting impressions on the franchise. It was the single only way to get from Deep Space 9 for a weekend on Bajor Runabout badgeor a quick skip through the Wormhole, and Harry Kim even found himself using one to fix a wrinkle in the space/time continuum, or some such. Versatile? Yes. Easy to drive? Yup. Named after rivers? Yeah, I never really got that. Glamorous? Not even a little bit. But looks aren’t everything, and the multipurpose and resilient Danube Class of starships makes the grade.

5. USS Stargazer

stargazerYes, I know I’m breaking my own rule since the Stargazer actually shows up in one and only one episode of the franchise, and the model in Picard’s Ready Room shouldn’t (and doesn’t) count, but this is a hell of a ship. Who’d of thought Ferengi could be so vengeful, or that the Picard Maneuver would be so useful that we never saw it again anywhere? This ship reminds everyone that Jean-Luc had a life before sitting in Enterprise’s big chair, and gave a small, but short-lived, breath of life to the persistent rumors of a “Young Picard” spin-off show. *sigh* We can keep dreaming, right?

4. USS Voyager

voyagerSay what you want about the quality of the show, but the Intrepid Class cruiser in the starring role of Star Trek: Voyager was a thing of beauty, and got better with time. I mean, come on: Gel-Pack bio-neural circuitry, Spatial Charges, Tricobalt Devices; the later additions of a Mess Hall, Hydroponics Bay, and Astrometrics Lab; and final additions of Borg-bashing Ablative Hull Armor and Transphasic Torpedoes! And those Variable Geometry Warp Nacelles were P-I-M-P! A pimped out ride even Ensign Xzibit could be proud of, Voyager’s uniqueness sends it hurtling onto the Top o’ the Lot at Warp Factor 8.5.

3. The Delta Flyer

Delta FlyerIs it a shame that a ship that spent most of the time docked within Voyager actually beats out Voyager herself on the list? Yeah, just as big a shame that Tom Paris isn’t designing ships at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards! Built out of necessity through a combination of Starfleet and Borg technology, the Flyer is a decked out, photonic missile firing, Parametallic Hull Plated beast Captain Proton would be proud of. Whether it was guiding Voyager through the quantum slipstream, diving into the depths of a planet comprised entirely of water, or providing a quiet place for newlyweds Tom Paris and B’Elanna Torres to “run a level 3 diagnostic of the warp coils”, the hot rod called the Delta Flyer moves right in the middle of the Lot at maximum impulse.

2. USS Excelsior

“My God, that’s a big ship.” “Not so big as her Captain, I think.”

USS_ExcelsiorThe Great Experiment, the USS Excelsior was introduced to Trekkies as an outright smack to the face to the TOS crew, became a laughing stock through Engineer Scott’s timely act of sabotage, but ended up the hero as she help blast a prototype Klingon Bird of Prey out of the space above Camp Khitomer. While Transwarp never quite panned out the way Starfleet wanted it to, the Excelsior Class of Starship paved the way for the massive ship designs that followed, including the Galaxy class, and its staying power put it in the Lot. Captain Hikaru Sulu puts it at the Top o’ the Lot.

1. USS Defiant

“She may have flaws, but she has teeth.”

defiantBuilt in direct response to the Borg threat, the USS Defiant packed a ton of muscle in a small frame. It’s the Bruce Lee of Starfleet vessels. Goodies like Pulse Phaser Cannons, Quantum Torpedoes, Ablative Armor, and (wait for it!) a Treaty of Algeron-exempt Cloaking Device made the Defiant THE go-to ship for owning Cardassians, cracking down on some Dominion flunkies or a quiet home for an anti-social Klingon. Sure defiant badgethe Maquis got over on the ship’s computer a time or two, and it was completely destroyed or abandoned on several occasions, but those little drawbacks take nothing away from the appeal. Yes, there are bigger ships, and faster ships, and more powerful ships in the fleet, but none of them are as fast or as powerful while having the maneuverability of the Defiant. It is sheer coolness alone that puts the USS Defiant at the tippy top of this week’s Top o’ the Lot.

 

See a mistake? Disagree with the choices? Tell us what you think about this installment of Top o’ Lot, join in the discussion and share your opinion.