Gene Roddenberry is celebrated throughout the Star Trek Universe because a unique phenomena touched peoples hearts and souls. During Gene's time, starry eyed "Trekkies" who considered themselves fans, beamed into conventions from all over the galaxy, meeting and speaking with Star Trek's creator. In the early days, the first New York Convention drew 3,000 fans together and that was in January 1972! The following year, New York's Trek Convention drew 6,000 people. The next year, 1974, drew 15,000 placing organizers in the unenviable position of turning away 6,000 devoted fans, imagine the agonizing!
Star Trek's the dream that became a reality and spread throughout the stars. Gene Roddenberry, our beloved creator inspired millions of us "Trekkie" and "Trekkers" by encouraging an astounding following of ferociously loyal fans who believed in the shows hopeful, positive philosophy.
It hardly surprising millions of people were delighted when syndicated re-runs began in the fall of 1969 and by the late 1970's the series aired in over 150 domestic and 60 international markets. But what was that something which infected people...? because the hunger for Star Trek does not die. The Star Trek ideal of delight in diversity is no-where more in evidence than at Star Trek conventions today.
Star Trek became more than a television show, it was a mainstream hit. Fans tuned in daily enjoying the ongoing missions of the starship USS Enterprise NCC 1701, seeking out new lifeforms on new civilizations. The show United humanity and became part of popular culture within our society.
"Trekkie" is Gene Roddenberry's word whose simple explanation was "I invented it." Today Star Trek fans are everywhere spreading the good word light years across the galaxy as only fiercely loyal Trekkies, Trekkers and Niners can do.
Star Trek's fanbase embraced this imaginative sci fi mind at Star Trek Conventions hanging on his every word. Gene assimilated Edgar Rice Burroughs's Mars novels and Science Fiction in the Astounding Stories magazine growing up and was motivated by Arthur C. Clarke's Profiles of the Future which examines "space drives, warped space, and instantaneous transportation."
In a letter to Issac Asimov, Gene Roddenberry revealed to his lifelong friend that Star Trek came very near to breaking his health. "Its so much my baby that I couldn't confine myself to ten or twelve hour work days" which led to "me often working through several nights in a row without ever going home to sleep." Roddenberry's belief in Star Trek took the show to great heights but obviously came at a high price demanding sacrifices be made in exchange for Star Trek's success.
In Star Trek TNG, Captain Picard Almost Falls Out Of A "Doorway in Space." This is a joke reference to the world gates in Diane Duane's first novel, "The Door Into Fire." Picard's sequence with his Mom is Michael Reeves' contribution.
CBS Paramount Television.
Author Diane explains: Those two scenes are the only ones remaining in the shot version of Duane's and Reeves original screenplay script. Welcome to the mad wild world of TV writing. Apparently it doesn't always follow that just because writers get paid for writing a great story that all their ideas will be used.
Why did Star Trek become a widespread hit? The truth is Star Trek was crafted by skilled story editors with loyal script writers spending hours hammering out scripts on typewriters.
Gene Roddenberry's stellar lieutenants were Gene Coon, Samuel Peeples and D.C. Fontana.
One reason for the shows success lies in the fact that Star Trek TOS launched with a classic mix of explorers, believers and scientists originating from a futuristic United Federation of Planets. Trek's explorers roamed the galaxy while meeting scantily clad women, fighting monsters, crazy madmen, talking illogical computers, and doomsday machines. Isn't it cool seeking out new life beyond the reaches of our own planet? Hi there, from the people of Earth.
Its amazing to think Star Trek was filmed during the Cold War, Vietnam War with racial segregation in the U.S.A. The 1960's was a pretty volatile but interesting era which significantly influenced the show.
Roddenberry stated: "[By creating] a new world with new rules, I could make statements about sex, religion, Vietnam, politics, and intercontinental missiles. Indeed, we did make them on Star Trek: we were sending messages and fortunately they all got by the network (which tried to sensor them.)
When Star Trek's "wagon train to the stars" hit black and white televisions worldwide, the show delivered a welcome escape for a growing loyal fanbase of eager, hopeful viewers. Star Trek's upbeat philosophy was infectious.
"We come in peace but will defend ourselves if necessary." "Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before."
You don't have to stretch the imagination too hard to see why people would like to live in a future like Star Trek's. The fact the show didn't take itself seriously only added to its success. "In the 24th century there will be no hunger, there will be no greed, and all the children will know how to read." For many, Star Trek became the catalyst for their education motivating them to achieve more.
It took a lot of inspiration, imagination, effort and green to shoot five TV series TOS, TNG, VOY, DS9, Enterprise and the animated show onto network TV. That's 716 episodes of Star Trek (excluding the twelve feature films,) and with star trek XII in the pipeline ready to hit theatres for May 17th 2013, aren't you buzzing with excitement?
Heres a Sci-Fi mystery, who's Star Trek's behind the scenes creator? Perhaps I should say starship creator?
The Constitution-class USS Enterprise NCC 1701 is without doubt a really cool ship but who or what created her? Trek's Classic U.S.S. Enterprise NCC 1701 'Creator' is a little bit of an enigma because as Leonard Nimoy himself jokingly confirms in an interview, Star Trek has only one 'Creator' and thats Gene Roddenberry.
The question remains who designed one of the most iconic, legendary spaceships ever to grace the annals of Science Fiction?
In reality the Starship Enterprise has become more FAMOUS than its creator, which is why I've called this article 'Star Trek Creators.' I bet you've already guessed what I'm driving at. The U.S.S. Enterprise 1701 was designed by Walter "Matt" Jeffries. One of earths genuine trekkie talents. He was the art director and designer in the original series designing the original Enterprise with its saucer-shaped hull, engineering hull, and two nacelles, as well as the type 1 and type 2 phaser designs seen in the original series, for which he did drawings.
The dude also designed the bridge of Captain Kirk's ship too and had a Jefferies Tube named in his honor. Apart from his starship designs and the iconic bridge layout, he designed numerous sets, landscapes, props, and other ships (most notably the Klingon D7-class) for the original series and was highly regarded by producers Roddenberry and Justman. So you see Jeffries is a legend.
When you think about it, Roddenberry and Jefferies boldly explored frontiers where no-one has gone before. Their heroic adventures took them across the skies on B-17's flying missions during WWII — Matt in Europe, Gene in the Pacific.
"So when he came in, we re-fought WWII for about 20 minutes," recounts Jeffries in the truly awesome 2001 video interview above
"and then Gene told me what he wanted."
Actually, his main requirements were several "don'ts", "No flames, no fins, no rockets." And only one "do":
"Make it look like it's got power." And Roddenberry walked out."
In order for the show to reach its potential and captivate fans, Roddenberry wanted an easily identifiable flashy, powerful spaceship. Jefferies also created the military numbering for the Enterprise. So now we know how the 23rd century starship U.S.S. Enterprise NCC 1701 came about. Although Star Trek is Roddenberry's baby, a collaboration of minds devised the spaceship giving the show space for levity and plenty of action drama.
Over the years the very best Star Trek has been the work of other people. Folks like Dorothy "D.C." Fontana, Majel Barret, David Gerrold, Gene Coon, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, Nicholas Meyer, Patrick Stewart, Kate Mulgrew, Michael Okuda, Michael Piller, Andrew Probert, Bob Justman, Doug Drexler, Rick Berman and lots others. Every single actor, stage hand, graphic artist, ugly monster and beautiful spacebabe has made Star Trek something truly great to talk, squabble, fight and dream about.
Live Long and Prosper Trekkies and Trekkies!!
BTW, what do you prefer? Trekkie, Trekker or Niner?