The Appeal of Star Trek

Where No One’s Gone Since
by John O’Brien 

“But my point is, what is it about Star Trek that generates its appeal?”

There are two main factors, Gerrold says, and they both concern the original series which Boarding the Enterprise focuses on.

“First, we had such a remarkable cast in (William) Shatner and (Leonard) Nimoy and DeForest Kelly. You couldn’t design a better cast, it was an accident of casting. In this case (Star Trek creator) Gene Roddenberry picked three very, very good actors and they fit together so beautifully,” he says.

“And then the second thing is, the context of Star Trek is that here’s a world where everybody is respected and everybody has a place in this world and people are all big enough to handle their problems, and so they focus on problems of a much larger scale and challenges of a much larger scale.”

He says this is a formula the spin-off series have failed to replicate.

“The original series is about ‘let’s boldly go out and seek out new worlds, let’s explore new planets, let’s meet new civilisations’ and so on.

“And they would come up against new people and new planets that would challenge their definition of themselves, it would make them ask the question ‘what does it mean to be a human being? What are we up to here?’ And I think that was part of the appeal of the show: we’re discovering not only what’s out there but what’s inside ourselves, and that the final frontier is really the human soul, not space – space is just where we’re gonna meet the challenge,” Gerrold says.

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