The television phenomenon that was Star Trek, now referred to at The Original Series (TOS), launched in 1966. It purported to be the record of a “five-year mission.” But the series was cancelled after only three years. The cast figured they had to move on to other things.
Walter Koenig, who played Chekhov throughout the all the TOS shows and movies, remembers when TOS ended.
"When we were canceled in spring of 1969, that was it. I was thinking of becoming a Fuller Brush man or selling vacuums door-to-door. I had no idea what my life would have in store for me. Certainly Star Trek was not a viable possibility.”
But it turned out to not be the end for Star Trek — not by a long shot. There were feature films that brought the TOS cast back together again and again, sent them up against challenges that hearkened back to the series, and even back in time and to death and back.
The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, Enterprise, and now the “reboot” movies, all kept feeding the Roddenberry vision machine. Star Trek is a part of our national psyche, as much — or maybe even more — than the Apollo space program or the Space Shuttle. Even the props from the show have come to life, with “padds” becoming e-readers and tablets, communicators becoming cellular devices, and we’re still looking into transporters and warp travel.
It’s been 50 years since TOS took off. And there is sure to be some stellar plans for the big five-oh. And Wikia, the online community that bills itself as “the social universe for fans, by fans,” is getting its party planning in order early.
In partnership with Roddenberry Entertainment, Wikia’s only Star Trek community, Trek Initiative, is launching “Warp 5.0: Fandom’s Two-Year Trek Toward Sci-Fi's Golden Anniversary" as part of the online Star Trek community portal.
The program is being called “the world’s first and only 'census' of Star Trek fandom.” The idea is to take two years to compile videos and other material from fans all over the world, ready for the 50th anniversary in 2016.
Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, said about the project, “It’s really fantastic to have the chance to pull in personal fan content around such an important milestone for my family. My father would be proud to be part of such a collaborative initiative celebrating the fandom of his legacy.”
Trek Initiative itself offers a gateway for the millions of Star Trek fans to gather, collaborate and communicate around everything Trek. It provides exclusive content and allows fans to share local community happenings with one another.
Image via YouTube