Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek: The Original Cast Adventures

Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek: The Original Cast Adventures


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When it premiered on NBC in September 1966, Star Trek was described by its creator, Gene Roddenberry, as “Wagon Train to the stars.” Featuring a racially diverse cast, trips to exotic planets, and encounters with an array of alien beings who could be either friendly or hostile, the program opened up new vistas for television. Along with The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, Star Trek represented one of the small screen’s rare ventures into science fiction during the 1960s. Although the original series was a modest success during its three-year run, its afterlife has been nothing less than a cultural phenomenon. To celebrate the show’s debut fifty years later, it’s time to reexamine one of the most influential programs in history.

In Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek: The Original Cast Adventures, Douglas and Shea T. Brode present a collection of essays about the series and its various incarnations over the years. Contributors discuss not only the 1960s show but also its off-shoots, ranging from novels and graphic novels to toys and video games, as well as the films featuring Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and the rest of the Enterprise crew. Essays address the show’s religious implications, romantic elements, and its role in the globalization of American culture. Other essays draw parallels between the series and the Vietnam War, compare Star Trek II to Milton’s Paradise Lost, posit Roddenberry as an auteur, and consider William Shatner as a romantic object.

With its far-reaching and provocative essays, this collection offers new insights into one of the most significant shows ever produced. Besides television and film studies, Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek—a companion volume to The Star Trek Universe—will be of interest to scholars of religion, history, gender studies, queer studies, and popular culture, not to mention the show’s legions of fans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442249875
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 05/16/2015
Pages: 234
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Douglas Brode is a screenwriter, playwright, novelist, graphic novelist, film historian, and multi-award-winning journalist. He is the coauthor (with Carol Serling) of Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone: The Official 50th Anniversary Tribute (2009) and coeditor (with Leah Deyneka) of Sex, Politics, and Religion in Star Wars, Myth, Media, and Culture in Star Wars, and Dracula’s Daughters.

Shea T. Brode has an MA in Literature and Cultural Studies from the University Autonoma in Madrid.

Douglas and Shea are the coeditors of The Star Trek Universe: Franchising the Final Frontier (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015).

Table of Contents

Introduction - Star Trek: In the Beginning, Roddenberry Said . . .
Douglas Brode
Chapter One - “Wagon Train to the Stars”: Star Trek, The Western Frontier, and American Values
John Wills
Chapter Two - Of Television and the 1960s: Star Trek, Vietnam, and the Transformation of the United States
H. Bruce Franklin
Chapter Three - Milton and Rodenberry: Structural Parallels between Star Trek II and Paradise Lost
Shari Hodges Holt
Chapter Four - Boldly Unruly: Star Trek in Play
Scott Duchesne
Chapter Five - Warp Speed: The Physics of Star Trek
Phil Kesten
Chapter Six - From the United States to the Federation of Planets: Star Trek and the Globalization of American Culture
Lane Crothers
Chapter Seven - Minimalist Interiors/Imagined Exteriors: Spatial Complexity in the Star Trek Saga
Mervyn Nicholson
Chapter Eight - Decaying Orbits: Men, Women, and Fear of Extinction in TOS
Ina Ray Hark
Chapter 9 - The Matter of Gender in “Metamorphosis”: Women, Romance, and the Queerness of Desire
David Greven
Chapter 10 - Captain Kirk 4-EVER: William Shatner as Romantic Object
Victoria Amador
Chapter 11 - Pragmatism and Meaning: Assessing the Message of TOS
Anne Collins Smith and Owen M. Smith
Chapter 12 - Belief System in TOS: Secular Humanism, Traditional Religion, and Cultural Imperialism
Sara Boslaugh
Chapter 13 - “What Does a Starship Need With God?”: Divinization, Deicde, and the Re-Affirmation of Faith in Star Trek I-VI
Michael Smith
Chapter 14 - Always Bring Phasers to an Animated Canon Fight: Trek’s Saturday Morning Original Cast Adventures
David S. Silverman
Chapter 15 - The Audience as Ultimate Auteur: Female Fans and Early Trek ‘Vidding”
Francesca Coppa
Chapter 16 - Sarek’s Tears: Classical Music, Star Trek, and the Exportation of Culture
Daniel Sheridan
Chapter 17 - Of Authorial Primacy and Literary Adaptation: TOS and William Shatner’s “Captain’s Trilogy”
Alexis Finnerty
About the Editors and Contributors

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