Cultura i Literatura
TIME Star Trek

TIME Star Trek

TIME Star Trek

Captain's Log: For more than 50 years, Star Trek has been the genre-defining classic that champions exploration, pioneering new fronts, and the enduring quest to boldly go where no man has gone before. In this special edition, TIME's editors examine the iconic franchise and the undeniable grip it has had on us, from the original series to The Next Generation to Discovery and the upcoming series Picard. Travel back to 1966's bold vision from Gene Roddenberry. Revisit the courageous, progressive values of diversity and scientific exploration. Evaluate just how accurately the show imagined the future of tech. Trace the evolution of the important role of non-human species. Consider Star Trek's place in examining modern social issues. You can even take a quiz to see which of the iconic captains you resemble the most! Don’t miss this chance to celebrate the history of this groundbreaking franchise, to access your inner-trekker, and to prepare for the television return of the revered Captain Picard.

United States
Meredith Corporation
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4 min.
captain’s log: an introduction

IN JULY 2019, IN A 65,000-SQUARE-FOOT HALL at San Diego Comic-Con, Sir Patrick Stewart appeared onscreen as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard for the first time in nearly two decades. Stewart was reprising his iconic role from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and he, along with the rest of his panel, was met with thunderous applause by thousands of Trekkers who had long been waiting for this moment: the premiere of the first full trailer for the upcoming TV show Star Trek: Picard, set to debut on CBS All Access in early 2020. The Picard development rings like the return of a prodigal son to the diehards, a recalling of the time when the franchise took its first voyages beyond its original Enterprise. Over its more than 50 years, Star Trek has evolved…

11 min.
a bold vision

LIKE ONE OF THOSE PRIMITIVE PLANETS the Enterprise crew would occasionally stumble upon (and where they would have to make sure, thanks to the Prime Directive, not to use their futuristic knowledge and gear to alter the civilization’s normal course of development), the birth of Star Trek seems now to date from an almost prehistoric television era. Creator Gene Roddenberry pitched his space-adventure series to the networks as a “Wagon Train to the Stars,” a nod to the westerns that were still the gold standard in popular TV drama in the 1960s. The special effects were almost comically low-tech—all those toy-chest phaser guns, tin-foil headpieces for the aliens and stock shots of crew members getting jostled in the corridor whenever an explosion rocked the ship. (Seat belts weren’t required in…

3 min.
star trek: a long and prosperous journey

1964 Desilu Studios tries to sell Star Trek to CBS, which declines and decides to air Lost in Space instead. September 1966 NBC broadcasts the first episode, “The Man Trap”: Kirk outwits a salt-loving alien who has eyes for McCoy. March 1967 McCoy says, “I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer”—first variation of this phrase. 1967 Even at its ratings peak, Star Trek ranks No. 52, behind such shows as Mr. Terrific and Iron Horse. December 1967 “The Trouble with Tribbles”: peak of Star Trek humor. Summer 1968 NBC announces the cancellation of the series but receives 1 million letters of protest and renews it. November 1968 TV’s first interracial kiss takes place between Kirk and Uhura. Censors insist on “no racial overtones,” no open mouths. 1969 After 79 episodes, NBC cancels the series. January 1972 The first Star Trek convention is held in New York City. Sci-fi…

13 min.
diversity on the bridge

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. WAS A TREKKER. In fact, it was King who persuaded Star Trek’s first African-American actress, Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura, to stay on the show past the first season. The two met at a fundraiser—to Nichols’s shock, he made his way across the floor to her. King told her that Trek was the only show he and his wife, Coretta, would allow the kids to stay up and watch, that he was her biggest fan. When she informed him that she planned to leave the show and pursue a career on Broadway, he argued for the importance of a black character on the bridge. “He just stared me in the eye and said, ‘Do you understand what God has given you? What your role means for…

12 min.
racing to space

THE IMAGINARY EARTH OF STAR TREK WAS always a nicer place than the real Earth—especially the Earth as it was when the series was born. The starship Enterprise embarks from a united planet, which is itself part of a galactic federation that sends its explorers into the universe. The Earth of the 1960s was a place on a knife edge, with the U.S. and the then–Soviet Union vying for global domination while hoarding enough nuclear weapons to reduce the planet to char. The space race itself was just one more expression of this very bitter conflict. But give the old Cold Warriors this: when it came to space, they talked a good game. We would not militarize low-Earth orbit, we promised. We would not militarize the moon. In 1966 we negotiated…

2 min.
a starship field guide

NCC-1701 Constitution Class Starship CONSTRUCTED AT: San Francisco Fleet Yards, Earth LAUNCHED: 2245 FIRST SEEN IN: Star Trek (1966 TV series) CAPTAIN: James T. Kirk One of 12 ships in its original class, this Enterprise could cruise at warp 6 and exceed warp 8 in emergencies. Under Kirk’s command, a succession of historic missions cemented its reputation as the Federation’s flagship. Although its expansive hangar deck could accommodate multiple shuttle craft, its crew of 430 typically relied on transporter rooms to visit planet surfaces. NCC-1701-D Galaxy Class Starship CONSTRUCTED AT: Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards, Mars LAUNCHED: 2363 FIRST SEEN IN: Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) CAPTAIN: Jean-Luc Picard Advances in technology since Kirk’s era resulted in a faster ship that, with more than 1,000 crew and passengers, was palatial compared with its 23rd-century namesake. Amenities included a bar named Ten-Forward,…