The original television series is set in the Milky Way Galaxy, roughly during the 2260s. The crew is headed by Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), science officer Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and chief medical officer Dr. Leonard McCoy (Deforest Kelley).
The series was produced from 1966–1967 by Desilu Productions and by Paramount Television from 1968–1969. Star Trek aired on NBC from September 8, 1966, after a premiere shown at Tricon, to June 3, 1969. Although this television series had the title Star Trek, it later acquired the retronym of Star Trek: The Original Series (initialized as TOS) to distinguish the show within the media franchise that it began.
The show had a major influence on popular culture, and it became a cult classic in syndication during the 1970s. It eventually spawned a franchise that consisted of five additional TV series, 12 theatrical films, and numerous books, games, toys, and other products.
Although the sneak peek at Tricon evoked little comment, the series had a huge impact on fandom, too. Some fanhistorians attribute the increased number of femmefen in the late 1960s and ’70s to the show’s popularity, but fandom itself grew exponentially during that period as well. Whether it was Steam Engine Time or Star Trek, science fiction began to lose some of the stigma it had previously carried in the macrocosm, although some derided goshwow fans of the series as “pointy-eared Trekkies.”
Ad astra per aspera — “To the stars through difficulties” — the motto of Starfleet.
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