Star Trek 11 (2009) Does It Do Justice to Star The Original Series?

Star Trek Why The 5 Year Voyage Never Finished

The facts are well known - the original series of Star Trek ran from 1966 to 1969 - there were only 71 episodes made. Some of them were appalling bad - Spock's Brain - comes to mind. But Star Trek lived on - before youtube and twitter and websites Star Trek didn't die. Before video - guys - truly you only saw Star Trek when a network decided to broadcast it - some episodes I never saw until a decade later because my mother had decided I needed to do something rather than watch TV that day! I didn't see it in colour until the 1980's! But Star Trek lived on...

But Star Trek didn't die. Star Trek continued on, initially in under-ground fan-fiction - this was when you wrote stories and got them published somehow, in books. They were hard to get in New Zealand but you could mail order them, at one point I owned most that were in print.

Before the mash-up was invented - that's what you did if a story hadn't finished - you made your own, fans wrote, the compiled every know fact about Star Trek (there was only one in those days), the endlessly discussed the details, the inconsitencies in the universe, the good, the bad and the awful episodes.

Before forums and facebook groups there were Star Trek Conventions -I don't know if Star Trek fans were the first to create conventions over a TV show which was long-dead, in the days before any show ever came back - but I strongly suspect they were.That was were you could go and meet people who thought the same as you did about an obscure long-cancelled TV show. I remember going to small one in my home town when I was a 15 - probably the only girl there and the youngest - it was amazing there were adults who though Star Trek was cool too - what a revelation!

Kirk with 1,771,561 Tribbles
Kirk with 1,771,561 Tribbles

The Trouble With Tribbles - Original Series

Amok Time: Original Series

Spock attacks Kirk in Amok Time
Spock attacks Kirk in Amok Time

WhyStar Trek Never Died

I suspect that there has been PhD thesis written on the Star Trek phenomen was and the psychology of it. I don't know I haven't read them. You see I didn't have to do any research for this article - because I have all the information in my head - I've been a fan since I saw the first episode... It appealed to me then at age 8, it stayed with to this day - nearly 40 years later.

Like I said, I haven't done the research but I can tell you why Star Trek appealed to that eight-year-old and still captivates this middle-aged woman:

  • Star Trek "boldy went where no man has gone before" - they didn't obey the rules, Kirk didn't obey the rules, sometimes even Spock didn't. I had to obey the rules, I had to go to school, to uni, to work - I liked that they didn't.

  • Star Trek was about friendship. For most of my childhood I wanted a friend as close to me as Spock was to Kirk. No there are no confusing gender or sexual orientation issues in that statement. I was a girl - I related to the Spock - because he was scientist and I wanted to be - note to PC correct authors - you don't have to have gender-balanced heros - kids figure it out. And it was obvious to that 8 year old that Kirk and Spock were very good friends - because they saved each other's lives and just once Kirk's survival made Spock smile - which made that smile the most special piece of TV I ever saw! (To this day seeing Leonard Nimoy smile seems slightly odd to me!)

It didn't happen often but when they told a good story it was really, really good - "The City of the Edge of Forever" when Kirk gets the girl (not unusual, and she was Joan Collins) but then has to let her die to fix up history. "Amok Time" - when Spock fights Kirk to Kirk's death, "The Trouble With Tribbles" which although it looks terribly over-acted now still makes me laugh.

Star Trek broke rules - although to today's eyes it looks sexist it was in fact ground breaking for the time including Uhuru as character rather than a "black character" - she was just hte communications officer who happened to be black, and a woman.

Star Trek was inter-racial including a Scotsman and even a Southerner- At the height of the cold-war a Russian, who was proud of being Russian, was included in the command structure. Star Trek had the first black/white kiss on US network TV. Star Trek had story lines which included stopping wars, making people sit down and talk to each other, recognising that not all civilisations may not be white and speak American English, this while the Vietnam conflict was in full-swing and conscription was happening in many countries including America and Australia. An Asian was on the bridge of the Enterprise too.

Oddly enough those ideas have survived -look at the clips today and all you will see is bad acting and worse sets and special effects. In fact, for the time the effects were quite good - remember that this was a low-budget TV show in the days before CGI or computers - the Enterprise was a model, the alien landscapes were built on a backlot. That's why time-travel was quite a popular plot device - they probably had a ready-made set lying around for 1930's Chicago so we get "The Piece of the Action" .

Star Trek Re-Born

I remember being so excited when the first movie came out in 1979 - "Star Trek the Movie"- it was awful. It had all the special effects, I saw it in colour, but it was awful. The special effects were good but the story was rubbish - the costumes were distractingly bad.

I was devastated - you see in the old days before instant re-runs and video you built a story and a universe in your head. Even though the originally a TV series I hadn't seen it for years (my country had 2 TV channels at the time - neither did sci-fi) - the story was in your head, in your mind's eye - and Star Trek the Movie was not what I was imagining!

The Next Generation - forget it - you see for me Star Trek wasn't about the Enterprise and the Federation - it was about Kirk, Spock and McCoy - if they weren't in it wasn' t my Star Trek

Does Star Trek 11 Do Justice To the Original Star Trek

I think it will - the reivews to date suggest that that some effort might have been put into the plot as well as the special effects. The clips I've seen ring true as a back-story for Kirk and Spock. - I haven't seen it yet so I can't comment further but to be honest I am more hopeful than usual that this Star Trek Will Boldy Go Where No One Has Gone Before!

UPDATE - check out my review of Star Trek 11 here!

Where You Fan of the Original Series

See results without voting

Comments 15 comments

Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 7 years ago from Sydney

I was a fan, too, Lissie - except that I also liked the later Star Trek (whichever one had Jean Luc Picard in it, not the other one).  I don't know if you saw the Movie Show review last night - both reviewers gave it a huge thumbs up - four stars. 

I liked Spock, too - not because I identified with him, but I've always been attracted to the strong, silent type! I was excited to see from the clip that the actor playing the young Spock is a good likeness.  I didn't think so from the photos I'd seen, but in action he's convincing - he has the mannerisms and subtle facial expressions down pat.


Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

Hi Marisa - yes I did see the review - I was amazed that the female reviewer was a Trekkie too - I guess it made me realise that there is a whole bunch of us of a certain age... Next Generations with Picard was OK - but it wasn't Kirk/Spock/McCoy ... I guess it was the relattionship and characters that fascinated me - and yes I know Shatner can't act! I think they have the liknesses down really well - bummer is I have to wait until the weekend to see it *sigh*


brawnydt profile image

brawnydt 7 years ago

Shoot, I thought I'd get the first comment! Lissie, I've been a trekkie all my life. I am looking forwards to this new story and would welcome a "reimagination" of the series like they are doing with so many classics. I don't like how dark all the stories are getting these days, but a little freshness would be very nice.


Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

I think Marissa commented just as I hit publish LOL! So many closet trekkies -I had no idea!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Yes, yes, yes I can hardly wait. I've been a Star Trek fan since '69 when we came to Canada I watched it after school every night. I'm going to the movies next Tuesday night. I'm a hopeless science fiction fan. Great hub Lissie kindest regards Zsuzsy


The Good Cook profile image

The Good Cook 7 years ago

I voted for Star Trek - The Next Generation simply because I liked Patrick Stewart's acting. In time though, I came to like most of the other crew members too, especially Data.


Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

Stewart can actually act - I am a huge Kirk fan but I am the first to say that Shatner couldn't act - not in the original series or in any of the later fans. He was supposed to be the new movie but I think held out for too much money - for me that's a good thing cause he really is more robotic that Leonard Nimoy :-) Data was of course Spock ...


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I like the Original Star Trek but it was The Next Generation that made me an addict.

Great hub, I'm looking forward to seeing the new movie I've heard a lot of good buzz about it.


violetteb 7 years ago

Oh the memories. Now I must say, Shatner actually is impressive on Boston Legal, but Star Trek always seemed tongue in cheek for him. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.


honestway profile image

honestway 7 years ago from Spain

Ok, I own up to being a trekkie too!

But I didn't see it as a kid in Oz as I don't think it was screened there - I had to wait until it was re-run on British TV in the early 70s. I was an avid reader of sci-fi before that and seeing the first series, I was hooked! It was re-run several times on the BBC and I always stayed in to watch it no matter what. I wouldn't even accept a phone call while it was on!

I didn't relent and watch Next Generation until the 90's - I liked it in a different way. But it wasn't a patch on the original because, as you say, Kirk was a rebel and so was I, so I identified with him much more than I did with the much tamer and PC Next Gen crew.

In fact, if Picard hadn't sworn in French (which I'm sure the American audience didn't catch on to) on that first episode when the Enterprise was caught in that big net, I might have dismissed it entirely LOL!


Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

Oh I saw it last night - its good and its going to be an interesting arc without giving it all away - I wrote a review here http://hubpages.com/entertainment/Star-Trek-11-200

I don't think I have ever seen the first episode of NG Terry - yes it was a different world when you couldn't pause and re-wind wasn't it! Funny at the movies last night most of the audience was too young to have even seen the start of NG - they seemed to like the movie though!

If Shatner could act in Boston Legal why was so crap in the ST movies? It was pretty hard to watch at times.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America

Thanks for the Hub, Lissie!

Although I've seen several PhD dissertations on Star Trek (R), they've been so long, I've never read an entire document among them. Sections of some were published in fanzines and The Best of Trek series; those segments were very good, keeping with some of the points you made above.

I've watched several interiews this week and found Nimoy crying with joy at the new film and even Shatner smiling during a particular trailor. The film must be good.

Star Trek (R) in all its iterations provides hope for the future and a better life for all.

Thumbs up on this one!


resspenser profile image

resspenser 7 years ago from South Carolina

I enjoyed the hub. It was well written and I just thought I would drop you a note to say that I thought the new Movie was excellent! Hope you did too!


MrSpock profile image

MrSpock 6 years ago

Tribbles are highly illogical!


Tammy L profile image

Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

I, too, am a life-long Trekkie. You all need to watch the original series in blu-ray, if you haven't already. They really did an excellent job enhancing the special effects.

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