On Star Trek: The Original Series

Being Better

By Howard Weinstein

It’s ironic to be celebrating Star Trek’s fortieth anniversary when, for the first time since Star Trek: The Next Generation began in 1987, there’ll be no new Trek TV episodes. Sales of Trek books from Simon & Schuster have dwindled. No new movies since 2002, no Trek comic books for years. Frankly, Star Trek’s outlook hasn’t been this bleak since the original show’s demise in 1969. And even though I come to praise Star Trek, not to bury it, it’s reasonable to wonder (with apologies to Monty Python): has Star Trek passed on? Ceased to be? Expired and gone to meet its maker? Is Star Trek an ex-parrot?

Does Star Trek have anything relevant left to say after forty years?

Star Trek and I go way back. I was twelve when the voyages began on NBC in 1966, and the 1968 book The Making of Star Trek (by Stephen Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry) was what got me interested in writing for television. My first pro writing gig was a 1974 script for NBC’s animated Saturday morning Trek revival. I’ve been writing Star Trek in various media ever since, including six novels, sixty comic-book issues, story-development contributions to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (my favorite of the movies), articles for Starlog Magazine and a Deep Space Nine anthology short story. I attended the very first Star Trek convention as a fan in 1972, and I’ve been a guest speaker at Trek conventions every year since 1976. I still recall being a teenager  …

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