Star Trek

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search

For other uses of the term, see Star Trek (disambiguation).

Name: Star Trek
Abbreviation(s): ST
Creator: Gene Roddenberry
Date(s): 1966-1969 The Original Series

1973-1974 Star Trek: The Animated Series
1979 Star Trek: The Motion Picture
1982 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
1984 Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
1986 Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
1987-1994 The Next Generation
1989 Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
1991 Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
1993-1999 Deep Space Nine
1994 Star Trek: Generations
1995-2001 Voyager
1996 Star Trek: First Contact
1998 Star Trek: Insurrection
2001-2005 Enterprise
2002 Star Trek: Nemesis
2009 Star Trek (2009)
2013 Star Trek: Into Darkness

2016 Star Trek: Beyond
Medium: Television series, movie series
Country of Origin: United States
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Trek. The Mother Fandom. The one that boldly took us where no fandom had before. There were other sources before it that had appealed strongly to women, especially Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, The Avengers (TV), Route 66, The Wild Wild West, The Prisoner and The Man From U.N.C.L.E., but nothing grabbed us quite like Star Trek. Trek became the first fanzine-based media fandom, and Kirk/Spock, of course, the first slash pairing, and the source of the word 'slash' itself.

Star Trek: The Original Series

Star Trek: The Original Series has a very active fanbase that started from nearly the moment the show debuted and still flourishes today. Fans have not only kept this series alive after it was nearly canceled after its second season, but also kept it going through many years where there was no new material with their production of fanworks, their organization of conventions and their devotion to their fandom. The popularity of the show in reruns eventually brought about its resurrection as one of the large media franchises.

Although Star Trek featured a large (and diverse) supporting cast, the main characters were the triad -- Captain James T. Kirk, First Officer Spock and Dr. Leonard (Bones) McCoy. They serve on the starship Enterprise, exploring the furthest parts of the galaxy and protecting the United Federation of Planets from hostile aliens. A product of the 1960s, the premise of Star Trek blends the then-popular Western show -- in which gunslingers traveled from town to town each week solving local problems -- with modern concerns like civil rights and the morality of war. Through science fiction, these things could be addressed in a mostly non-controversial fashion.

Canceled in the 1969 third season, Star Trek was revived as a series of films in the 80s and 90s by Paramount. A Star Trek movie had been proposed years before, but was rushed into production soon after 1977's Star Wars. Far more successful than the TV series, the blockbuster Trek films funded the creation of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

A current trend as viewed on, as well as through other sites, is that ST:TOS is being discovered by a number of people from countries outside of the United States. Many new fans have found it through the internet, international syndication or by buying the DVDs and other media.

Another attractor to the fandom are the reboot films, Star Trek and its sequel Star Trek Into Darkness.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: The Next Generation was similar to the Star Trek: TOS concept: a large, diverse crew on a ship called the Enterprise travels the galaxy, meets aliens, and spreads goodwill. This time, the ship was even bigger, and there were more aliens. TNG brings the Star Trek timeline a century forward to the 24th Century, a time in which the Federation that the characters belong to has become a stable galactic power. The militarism of Star Trek is toned down with more focus on diplomacy.

Not successful at first, the show lurched forward until the third season when it found its feet with the introduction of the Borg as arch-villains. TNG ultimately ran an unheard of (for a science fiction show) seven seasons, bowing out by choice to make way for a series of movies starring the cast. Hugely popular, TNG is the only other Star Trek series to rival the main cast in media familiarity.

TNG is what made Star Trek big in other countries, like Germany, where the Star Trek fan clubs in the 1990s grew rapidly and the fan scene was very active.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the third live-action TV show of the Star Trek franchise. It takes place on a space station on the edge of the Alpha Quadrant. DS9 is arguably the most ethnically and gender diverse show in the ST universe, with multiple characters of color and female characters in lead positions. Due to the station setting, it concentrated less on boldly going and more on dealing with the ramifications of changing alliances and reconstruction; political intrigue, religion, and conflicting loyalties are major themes. DS9 was also much darker in its depiction of both the future in general and the Federation in particular.

As a contemporary of Babylon 5, another science fiction show about a space station, these shows were often compared, the fandoms deeply divided, and there was much discussion about the influence of B5 on DS9.

Star Trek: Voyager

Star Trek: Voyager is the fourth live-action television series set in the Star Trek universe. After three shows focusing on a male captain, Voyager features the first female captain as the main character of a Star Trek franchise. The premise of the series was a return to Star Trek roots after DS9 - ship-based exploration with Voyager being stranded and lost in the unexplored Delta Quadrant. As TNG had already established that the Delta Quadrant was the home of the Borg, Voyager's later seasons added popular character Seven of Nine and delved deeply into the backstory of the cyborg baddies.

Widely panned, Ron D. Moore would get fired from the Star Trek franchise after this show and later use his frustrations with the premise to reboot Battlestar Galactica.

Star Trek: Enterprise

Star Trek: Enterprise was the fifth TV series in the Star Trek universe. It was a prequel, set earlier in the timeline than any of the other series, and intended to show how the United Federation of Planets came to be. Despite a change in showrunners in the third and fourth season, Enterprise ultimately only lasted four seasons, the first show since TOS to be canceled by the network.

Some fans followed Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap fandom, others came to Enterprise from broader Star Trek fandom.

Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek (2009) is the 11th movie in the Star Trek universe. It is a successful reboot of the original series with an alternate timeline that does not affect the preexisting Star Trek canon in the TOS era. Same characters, different actors, new adventures, and everything is possible.

Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness is the 12th movie in the Star Trek universe. It is set a few months/years after the events of Star Trek 2009.

Star Trek: Beyond

Star Trek: Beyond is the 13th movie in the Star Trek Universe. It is set approximately three years into the five year mission (stardate 2263.02)

Star Trek Characters and Pairings

Star Trek Conventions

Star Trek Zines

Star Trek Novels

The Star Trek franchise has also spawned a series of non-canonical tie-in novels. Many fans went from writing fanfiction to pro novels for the first time.

Previously, the Star Trek novels were only allowed to be single-book adventures with no ongoing storyline or characters. With the end of Star Trek on television, these rules were relaxed. Currently, the majority of books published concentrate on the continuing adventures of the characters in the 24th Century storyline. Novel-only spin-off series include the DS9 Relaunch, an ongoing season eight for DS9, and Titan, the adventures of the now Captain Riker on his deep space exploration ship.

Starting with the "New Frontier" series by Peter David, the line expanded to include novel-only series. Other novel-only series include Starfleet Corp of Engineers and Vanguard, set on a Federation space station in Kirk's time.

The tie-in novels are not very popular with many fans and there is much discussion about them, and why they fail, in letterzines. Despite their paracanonical status, some details from the books have become fanon or canon. For example, Hikaru Sulu did not have a first name in canon until Star Trek VI, when a name used in novels was adopted.[1]

Fans have created fansites to collect information about the novels and other licensed Trek-related materials: see below.

Star Trek and the Tensions with Traditional Science Fiction Fandom

See Science Fiction Fandom vs. Media Fandom.
the cover of MOTA #15 (March 1976), a science fiction zine portrays two stoic science fiction fans in an elevator at a con surrounded by Star Trek fans, art by Steve Stiles and Dan Steffan

The huge influx of Star Trek fans in the late 1960s and the 1970s were an example of some of "free range" fannishness. There were many, many instances of the old school, general science fiction fans being very unhappy with the influx of Star Trek fans who they felt to be huge mobs who were uneducated in the ways of fandom; folks who didn't know the language, didn't know the customs, hadn't "paid their dues," were female [2], hadn't learned at the knees of the "right" people, supposedly weren't interested in "real" science fiction, and essentially invaded traditional fannish places. And vice versa: Star Trek fans found the general SF/sf fans to be hostile, unwelcoming, snobbish, rigid, and overwhelmingly male. The culture clash was huge and long-lived and a major source of discussion.

Star Trek and Other Early Media Fandoms

See Star Trek and Star Wars.

See: Sherlock Holmes and Star Trek.

See: Star Trek and Starsky & Hutch.

See: Marion Zimmer Bradley's Influence on the Sime~Gen Universe. (much talk about Trek)

See Darkover and Star Trek.

External Links


  1. Hikaru_Sulu on Memory Alpha (accessed 19 October 2011)
  2. "For a paper on the early history of Star Trek fan fiction, I've tried to estimate the sex ratio in science fiction zine publishing during the 1960s, and the sex ratio in early Trek zine fandom: SF Fanzine Publishers of the 1960s: about 17% female. Star Trek Zine Fans: 1967-71: about 83% female" -- Fan Fiction Statistics: How much fan fiction is there on the web? How many fans? Who are they? (2000), Archived version