The original series, which clearly emerged out of a Cold War ideology, was based loosely on the genre of the Western and carried with it the imperialist beliefs connected with the myth of manifest destiny: crewmen carried weapons slung low on their hips and, as they roamed over arid landscapes righting wrongs, engaged in earnest discussions of progress and cultural advancement. The new series, however, reflected a new ambivalence about militarism and expansion for its own sake. This attitude would change still more in the next decade of Star Trek fictions, both within The Next Generation and in subsequent spin-offs.
Many of us hope for a kind of philosophy that is precise without thereby desiccating its object, so that the results of a philosophical investigation could answer a question still worth asking. But much of contemporary philosophical theorizing about personal identity conforms to what could easily become a desiccating analytic paradigm.The identity over time of any particular human body or brain plays no strictly indispensable role in the identity of a particular person over time. Sometimes it is wrung from cases of Star Trek-style teletransportation in which a body is scanned at one point and is destroyed by the scanning while at another point a cell-by-cell duplicate is made in accord with the information got from the scanning.
One need look no further than standard televised and cinematic representations of futurist-fiction futures--Lost in Space (1965-68), Star Trek (1966-69), Battlestar Galactica (1978), Space: 1999 (UK, 1975-77), Buck Rogers(1939 film; 1979-81 serial), the Star Wars Trilogy (1977, 1980, 1983), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-94), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-98), and Lost in Space the movie (1998)--to find evidence of the blanching of the future. The tacit rationale for de-emphasizing race because it would be irrelevant in a more advanced society, as has been argued, is specious at best.
The commercial and cultural impact of Star Trek demonstrates the important role that mass media images, objects, and texts play in contemporary cultural life. It is also widely accepted that subcultures provide influential meanings and practices that structure consumers' identities, actions, and relationships.Created by World War II pilot and ex--Los Angeles Police Department policeman Gene Roddenberry and launched during the apex of the cold war and the U.S.--Soviet Union space race, Star Trek is a science fiction series set 300 years in the future, in a post-capitalist social and technological utopia.
Recently, there has been a lot of action from those corners of the galaxy where, as the story goes, no one had gone before: amid both speculation and dismay, Star Trek: The Next Generation ended its seven-year run as the most successful first-run dramatic series in the history of TV syndication; Star Trek: Generations, the first Star Trek movie to pair the "classic" characters with those of "the next generation," was released on the big screen in November 1994 and immediately (though briefly) soared to number one at the box office; and a new television series, Star Trek: Voyager, has been launched, pulling in its wake a new network (the United Paramount Network) and introducing Star Trek's first female captain in a starring role.
Fans are producing large numbers of usually short-lived magazines. These magazines tend to publish either fiction written by fans--as in Warped Space--or news of interest to and letters from fans--as in The Halkan Council. The fiction is, for the most part, about characters and places that appeared in "Star Trek." This study reports in-group vocabulary, especially as used in the letters to the editor and in the editorials of these fan-produced magazines.
The images of women presented in Star Trek are in many ways as complicated as the changing roles of women in the sixties decade itself. In its own way, Star Trek both reflected the more traditional expectations of society, and contributed to "stretching the envelope" as well. Star Trek is bracketed by the first pilot, "The Cage" (filmed in 1964, but seen by the public as part of the broadcast episode "The Menagerie" in November 1966) and "Turnabout Intruder," the last episode filmed and also the last aired in June 1969. Both were written by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and mirror some of his own perceptions about women as well as reflect genera cultural attitudes.
Some fans appear to draw on their love of Star Trek for making sense of traumatic and significant life events such as war, bereavement, and disability. Star Trek "parabolically displaced the Vietnam War in time and space" showing just how much America was being transformed by conflict. Soldiers who fought and civilians who watched the war unfold on television felt deeply traumatized in confronting their own mortality for the first time--conceding that America's self-image was not invincible.
During Star Trek's original production in the 1960's, more direct impetus for the popular generic shift from the Western to science fiction was provided by the national prestige and public attention devoted to the manned space program that culminated in the first lunar landing in 1969. The conception of Star Trek as a latter day successor to the Western was consciously articulated by Gene Roddenberry who described it to network programmers in 1960 as "Wagon Train To the Stars." Yet Roddenberry also acknowledged a debt to C.S. Forester's Captain Horatio Hornblower novels, which describe the exploits of the captain and crew of an eighteenth century British naval vessel.
A short-lived science fiction television show that ran on the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in the 1960's, the series by 2005 had spawned nine motion pictures, four new television series, an animated television series, more that a hundred novels, and hundreds of ancillary items ranging from children's toys to websites. In the 1960's, when the series was still in production, the creative forces behind the show--the producers, directors, and writers--attempted to use it as a forum to comment on a number of political and social issues, including foreign policy and the Cold War.