Retro Review: Star Trek Voyages Uncharted Territory

Courtesy of NBC
Space is not the only final frontier in Star Trek. The original series lasted three seasons with a total number of 79 episodes. The show sparked multitudes of other films, TV series and video games. The most recent is Star Trek: Discovery, which aired in 2017.

By Neil Runge | Staff Writer

02/22/2018

From 1966 to 1969, Star Trek was a classic science fiction show that ran on NBC. This series is about the crew of the spaceship the USS Enterprise. The ship and its crew set out to explore the unreached and untouched areas of space on a five-year mission, travelling beyond the Milky Way circa 2260.

On the Enterprise, there are three areas of expertise: command and helm personnel that wear gold shirts; engineering, operations and security that wear red shirts; and medical and science personnel that wear blue shirts. The men’s uniforms include black pants and the women’s uniform is a short dress of the color of their expertise. Both uniforms are long-sleeved.

The captain of the Enterprise and one of the main characters, James “Jim” Kirk, dons a gold shirt. The rest of the regular cast consists of Spock, a member of the alien species called Vulcan and the second-in-command who works in science. Uhura, the ship’s translator, wears red. There’s Leonard “Bones” McCoy, the leader of the medical area of the Enterprise. Finally, there’s Scotty, the head of engineering and Sulu and Chekov, pilots who work on the bridge.

Throughout its run, Star Trek explored the ideas of what it means to learn about new cultures, meet new people, discovering species and still dealing with subjects such as sexism and racism. It tackled topics and problems that many shows, even more serious ones, don’t attempt to handle. Star Trek sent a more liberal message in everything it does, from the topics to the costumes.

The uniforms the women wear allow them to feel empowered in a time when women in the real world were being told to cover up. Female characters are well-rounded, diverse in skin color, personality and age and, at times, are the ones who save the day. They’re the ones that hold command over a situation and are frequently the most knowledgeable ones in a room.

Star Trek breaks new ground with these women, all while giving viewers a laugh and an interesting story. With the base of the whole show being exploration and discovery, each episode is something new and exciting. One story is about the crew of the Enterprise visiting a planet that is stuck in the 1920s. Another one is all about Spock’s history as a vulcan.

This show manages to bring depth to each character and every story. All the while, it’s appropriate for the whole family and can make anyone laugh. It almost feels like any other sitcom on TV, but set in space, with a few more aliens and sometimes a rough-and-tumble fight scene.

Star Trek is for everyone. With a run-time of about 50 minutes per episode, it’s a treat for kids to stay up late to watch in the living room, but it’s also something for the adults at the end of a long day. The introduction to odd alien species and futuristic technology is bound to ignite a viewer’s curiosity. If you’re looking for a feel-good show that gives you new things for your imagination to grab onto, then Star Trek is just the thing for you.

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