Star Trek: A Beginner’s Guide

“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.”

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Most of my generation’s first exposure to on-screen science fiction was in 1981 when the original Star Trek series (1966-69, created by Gene Roddenberry) was beamed every Sunday on Doordarshan. The 20 inch convex shaped screen of the black and white TV hardly did any justice to contain the galaxies being explored by the crew of the Enterprise but for us, it was awe inspiring. The jaw dropping tech of laser guided weapons, teleportation devices, ungainly aliens and warp speed star-ships gave wing to our imagination.

And when the transition to color TVs came in 1982, this fantasy traversed the realms of incredulity. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg were still some storied names you read in the weekly tabloid ‘Sun’ and their formal introduction to a large Indian audience happened through the VCR in 1983. However, it was Captain Kirk, Spock and Scottie, ‘Bones’, Sulu, Chekov and Uhura who breached our skepticism and revealed the possibilities.

Here’s the Vulcan salute ‘Live long and prosper’ to the greatest global crew ever assembled. Still in high school and without the realization, hordes of us had already become members of the die-hard groupie clan called the ‘Trekkies’.

In this article Here, American Film Institute pays a glowing tribute to how it all began, in a place where no man had gone before.

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