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Introduction

Logo as it appears in The Original Series

Star Trek is an American media franchise based on the science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry. The first television series, simply called Star Trek and now referred to as "The Original Series", debuted in 1966 and aired for three seasons on NBC. It followed the interstellar adventures of Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew aboard the starship USS Enterprise, a space exploration vessel built by the United Federation of Planets in the 23rd century. The Star Trek canon includes The Original Series, an animated series, five spin-off television series, the film franchise, and further adaptations in several media.

In creating Star Trek, Roddenberry was inspired by the Horatio Hornblower novels, the satirical book Gulliver's Travels, and Westerns such as the television series Wagon Train. These adventures continued in the 22-episode Star Trek: The Animated Series and six feature films. Five other television series were eventually produced: Star Trek: The Next Generation follows the crew of a new starship Enterprise, set a century after the original series; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager are set contemporaneously with The Next Generation, and Enterprise is set before the original series in the early days of human interstellar travel. The most recent Star Trek television series, Star Trek: Discovery, airs exclusively on the digital platform CBS All Access. The adventures of The Next Generation crew continued in four additional feature films. In 2009, the film franchise underwent a reboot with the creation in an alternate timeline, or the Kelvin Timeline, named after a starship featured in the film Star Trek. This film featured a new cast portraying younger versions of the crew from the original show; their adventures were continued in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). Its sequel, Star Trek Beyond (2016), was released to coincide with the franchise's 50th anniversary.

Selected episode

Scott Bakula, photographed on the set of Star Trek: Enterprise
"First Flight" is the fiftieth episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise, the 24th episode of the second season. It first aired on May 14, 2003 on UPN. In this episode, after Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) is informed of the death of his former colleague, A. G. Robinson (Keith Carradine), he relates the story of breaking the warp 2.5 barrier to T'Pol (Jolene Blalock) whilst investigating a dark matter nebula. The episode was inspired by the story of the first American astronauts as seen in the film The Right Stuff. Several sets were specifically built for this episode, and a reference to the designer of the Enterprise from Star Trek: The Original Series is included in the story. Three crew-members from the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) appeared in this episode, and handed over a flag from the ship to the cast and crew. A reference to Original Series production designer Matt Jeffries, who died two months after the episode aired. Critical reception to this episode was mostly positive, with praise directed at Scott Bakula. However, the episode received the second lowest number of viewers received by Enterprise at that point, which was blamed on it being aired opposite the series finale of Dawson's Creek.

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Anniversaries this month

The Space Shuttle Enterprise in free flight on 26 September 1977

Selected article

Patrick Stewart was cast as Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series that debuted in broadcast syndication on September 28, 1987. The series lasted for seven seasons until 1994, and four movies which were released between 1994 and 2002. Preliminary casting began during March 1987, and the main cast was announced on May 15. The initial press release highlighted the casting of LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge, he was known for appearing in the miniseries Roots. The only other two members of the cast mentioned were Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard and Jonathan Frakes as William Riker. The producers sought a black actor to portray Worf, as it would make the Klingon make-up easier, with Michael Dorn cast. Roddenberry's intention for the casting of the new series was to avoid using characters similar to those that appeared in The Original Series. However, some of the elements of the characters of Riker and Deanna Troi were modeled on the characters of William Decker and Ilia, who were originally conceived for the unfilmed Star Trek: Phase II. During casting, the role of Troi was originally assigned to Denise Crosby, with Marina Sirtis cast as Security Chief Macha Hernandez but Roddenberry switched the roles with Hernandez renamed to Tasha Yar.

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Marina Sirtis
Marina Sirtis, actress, portrayed Commander Deanna Troi, Ship's Counselor on Star Trek: The Next Generation and subsequent movies

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