The Influence of Star Trek on Television, Film and Culture

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About the Book

When the first season of Star Trek opened to American television viewers in 1966, the thematically insightful sci-fi story line presented audiences with the exciting vision of a bold voyage into the final frontiers of space and strange, new galactic worlds. Perpetuating this enchanting vision, the story has become one of the longest running and most multifaceted franchises in television history. Moreover, it has presented an inspiring message for the future, addressing everything from social, political, philosophical, and ethical issues to progressive and humanist representations of race, gender, and class.
This book contends that Star Trek is not just a set of television series, but has become a pervasive part of the identity of the millions of people who watch, read and consume the films, television episodes, network specials, novelizations, and fan stories. Examining Star Trek from various critical angles, the essays in this collection provide vital new insights into the myriad ways that the franchise has affected the culture it represents, the people who watch the series, and the industry that created it.

About the Author(s)

Lincoln Geraghty is principal lecturer in film studies in the School of Creative Arts, Film and Media at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom. He serves as editorial advisor for The Journal of Popular Culture, Reconstruction and Atlantis.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Lincoln Geraghty. Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3034-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1279-9
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Introduction: The Star Trek Effect      1

PART I: THE FRANCHISE
1. Eight Days That Changed American Television: Kirk’s Opening Narration      11
2. The Accidental Apotheosis of Gene Roddenberry, or, “I Had to Get Some Money from Somewhere”      22
3. Franchise Fatigue? The Marginalization of the Television Series after The Next Generation      41

PART II: THEMES
4. Crossing the Racial Frontier: Star Trek and Mixed Heritage Identities      63
5. Save the Whales and Beware Wilderness: Star Trek and American Environmental Views      82
6. Batter Up! The Mythology and Psychology of Sports and Games in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine      100

PART III: FILM AND TELEVISION
7. The Monomyth in Star Trek Films      115
8. “Blow Up the Damn Ship!”: Production Redesign and Special Effects Reuse in the Star Trek Films      137
9. Star Trek: Popular Discourses—The Role of Broadcasters and Critics      153

PART IV: THE FANS
10. Star Trek The Franchise!—Poachers, Pirates, and Paramount      173
11. Fan Culture and the Recentering of Star Trek      186
12. Locating the “Star Trek Experience”      199
13. A Very Trek Christmas: Goodbye      218

Notes on Contributors      235
Index      239