Re-Examining The Original ‘Star Trek’

by | May 10, 2009 at 12:08 PM | TV News

The new ‘Star Trek’ movie inspired New York Times’ David Itzkoff to take a smart look at the original ‘Star Trek,’ Gene Roddenberry’s “supremely influential science-fiction television series whose three-season run yielded 40 years of sequels and spinoffs including a new feature film about the origins of Kirk and Spock that opened on Friday.”

The movie and the story also provide a perfect opportunity to watch or re-watch the series (there are 79 full episodes) here on Fancast.

Itzkoff examined the original series within the socio-political climate of the early and mid 1960s (race riots, the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. and the Vietnam War). For instance, he pointed out second season episode “A Private Little War” (in which Captain Kirk attempts to balance an arms race between two extraterrestrial tribes) was a commentary “on America’s intervention in Indochina.”

Watch ‘A Private Little War’ here.

He also discusses how the new ‘Star Trek‘ movie continues to be influenced by events of the present, when “the country is again gripped by anxieties about entanglements abroad, compounded by the fear that the economy could collapse at warp speed.”

But Itzkoff says “for all the ways in which the franchise has been affected by current events, its optimistic vision has persisted.” And he’s supported by one Leonard Nimoy.

Look through a ‘Star Trek’ photo gallery.

“A lot of science-fiction is nihilistic and dark and dreadful about the future, and ‘Star Trek’ is the opposite,” Mr. Nimoy said. “We need that kind of hope, we need that kind of confidence in the future. I think that’s what ‘Star Trek’ offers. I have to believe that — I’m the glass-half-full kind of guy.”