‘Trek Nation’ explores Roddenberry’s final frontier
Fans, like this one in full Borg costume, contributed to "Trek Nation."
November 30th, 2011
11:15 AM ET

‘Trek Nation’ explores Roddenberry’s final frontier

Bernadette McDaid will never forget the moment that she first fell in love with Star Trek. She was 4 years old and playing with her dolls in the yard when her brother rushed outside and pulled her in the house to see something “important.” That was the first time she watched the Starship Enterprise seamlessly glide by on the TV screen.

“I remember seeing this incredible spaceship flying through the cosmos, which was an image I had never even contemplated, and I was hooked from them on,” she said.

McDaid, vice president of production for Science Channel, remains a self-confessed Trekker. So when word reached her that Rod Roddenberry, son of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry, was working on a documentary about his father and the Trek phenomenon, McDaid thought it was a perfect fit.

Then, Rod’s interviews with George Lucas, never-before-seen home movies and exclusive Star Trek footage began to roll through the network's office. In one of the true gems, a days-old Rod sits perched atop a model of the Enterprise in swaddling clothes, held in place by his parents.

Just profiling Gene Roddenberry would have been enough, but as the project developed, it became a truly personal look at both the creator and his handiwork, as seen through the eyes of his friends, colleagues, wife, actors, fans and ultimately, his grown son.

“We’re always looking for the thought provocateurs and the rebel genius, so for us Gene Roddenberry fell right into that camp,” McDaid said. “I call ‘Trek Nation’ the ultimate insider’s guide to Star Trek because it’s the son of the creator taking on the intimate journey of what Star Trek is and what it means, so it is completely unique.

“We’re all on a search to try and understand where we came from and what it means.”

The documentary, which airs in a two-hour special on Science tonight, tackles the complex allegory that lies at the heart of Star Trek and its creator.

Rod Roddenberry began working on "Trek Nation" in 2001.

While Gene Roddenberry was alive, his adventurous young son, Rod, wasn’t involved in Star Trek. In Rod’s own words, he “didn’t get it.” His father’s creation surrounded him, but it wasn’t a part of his life.

And then Gene Roddenberry passed away in 1991, when Rod was only 17.  Ten years later, Rod set out on a personal quest. He wanted to know who his father really was, and it seemed that those who knew and understood Roddenberry’s vision best were the loving community of Star Trek fans.

Rod began going to conventions and asking fans what kept them coming back. Their responses paved the direction of Rod’s journey, and his developing documentary project.

“I really didn’t know who my father was, and after he passed away, I opened my eyes and ears and was very amazed at who this guy was, who I had never really known in that way,” Rod said. “I had met so many amazing people and such a diverse group of people that I wanted to tell their story, the story of Star Trek, how it has pierced so many social boundaries and brought these people together.”

The more Rod spoke with fans, and later, writers, actors and colleagues tied closely to Star Trek and his father, the more he began to understand that the concept had always been about more than just a science fiction show. It was an ever-evolving allegory of the social and political climate of the times and the vision of a future for those people where everyone would be accepted and equal.

Rod had, in fact, inherited a legacy. The epiphany was overwhelmingly positive for him.

“I love the idea that we do have this belief in a future where we are working together for the greater good and that makes me so proud of my father,” he said.

It’s the kind of potential that kept actress Nichelle Nichols, who played Chief Communications Officer Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek television series in the late 60’s, coming back. After one season, she wanted to follow her dreams of musical theater. But Gene Roddenberry wouldn’t let her leave.

“He said, ‘Oh no, don’t you see what I’m trying to do here?” Nichols recalls Roddenberry saying when she wanted to leave. “He fought like a monster for me.”

Nicholscredits staying as one of the best decisions she ever made.

“It became a growing, ongoing wondrance,” she said. “It’s like if you invent something that’s never been done before and it’s useful to people, it’s never going to go away - it’s going to evolve.

“It was the first time in history that anybody on the planet could turn the television on and see themselves in a beautiful light. Women who don’t look like me come up to me and say ‘you’re my hero because of what you gave to Star Trek.’

“But the actors created those characters in the image and likeness that Gene compelled us to do. He wrote them so brilliantly. This was a Roddenberry creation and we all were proud to be in it, and we all dug into our characters so strongly that it became a phenomenon. He knew what he was doing. It was his heart and soul.”

Talking to people like Nichols enabled Rod to combine the many perspectives and facets of his father into one great person that he loved, respected and understood. The journey was better than reuniting with his father - it was getting to know the complete person in a new way.

“I never thought I would leave this experience feeling as if I knew him as well as I do today and that was such a gift. I can’t be more thankful for everyone who has been involved for sharing their stories,” Rod said.

Rod has taken on the mantle of his father’s legacy and continues forward with the Roddenberry Foundation, even pursuing new paths in science and technology to make a new short film, “The White Room,” using an innovative 360-degree camera.

And while he hopes that “Trek Nation” is a new pathway for fans to connect with Roddenberry’s life and vision, Rod and McDaid both see it as a chance for everyone to gain insight into Star Trek’s allegory. There is nothing so personal as a man setting out to know his father.

“'Trek Nation’ really made me reassess what I thought I knew about the power of sci-fi, because it took science as its foundation and then created this incredible world that had powerful social commentary,” McDaid said. “When you see Star Trek episodes in the context of their time, they’re making political comments. That’s the power of sci-fi - you can address important concerns through the guise of storytelling.”

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soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Cheryle Parquette

    A sequel to the 1994 film Stargate, Stargate SG-1 is 1 of the premiere science-fiction series on television. First airing in July 1997, the show has been nominated for 7 Emmys and 23 Saturn Awards. The brainchild of creator Dean Devlin, producer of such Hollywood blockbusters as Independence Day (1996) and The Patriot (2000), Stargate SG-1 chronicles the additional adventures of the Stargate Command (SGC) as Earth and its citizens advance forward into a new era of space exploration in the aftermath of Dr. Daniel Jackson's discovery of the galaxy's many stargates Stargate SG-1 follows the exploits of the SG-1 Unit (i.e. the "explorer" unit) of Stargate Command. .

    Our favorite web site

    April 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
  2. Joe Rioux

    "...Ten years later... Rod set out on a personal quest. He wanted to cash in on his father's fame, and it seemed the way to do that the best was to exploit the community of Star Trek fans."

    December 22, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  3. Merry Christmas!


    December 16, 2011 at 8:19 am |
  4. ZoSo

    Saw a TV show about this just the other day. Rod is an idiot who apparently doesn't know jack about his own family...

    December 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  5. Badonkadonk!

    Well let's stick it in the p00per!

    December 3, 2011 at 9:48 am |
  6. R. Westfield

    ST is cool but not as cool as Firefly

    December 3, 2011 at 2:38 am |
  7. neal kelley

    I was about 8 or 9 when i first found star trek in the early 70's... i would watch it with wonder and amazement. I've always loved Star Trek and realize the importance of it. Some may say it is nerdy. But it is a glimpse of the future of technology. Uhura wore the first blue tooth... The crew had the first flip phones... and the tricorder is the first tablets.... and now they have found a way to transport small molecules.. ( beginning of transporter possibly? ).. Star trek is genius.. and It will live on...

    December 2, 2011 at 8:24 am |
  8. toddrf

    I recall reading a comment some time ago that ST:TNG was disappointing in that they still had not cured male pattern baldness in the 24th century.

    December 2, 2011 at 12:23 am |
  9. Johnny 5

    I tried the vulcan neck pinch on my brother and it doesnt work 🙁

    December 1, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • tryna13

      lol it never does

      December 2, 2011 at 9:08 am |
    • Katherine

      You're not a Vulcan....

      December 16, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  10. BlackYowe

    I loved the show so much and often would sneak down and watch though the banister of the stairs. My Mom knew I was there but sort of pretended she didn't so I could see it. It was a wonderful show that has held up with time.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  11. Barrison

    I saw the show and for the life of me could not figure out why I bothered. LAME! This guy must have been hard up to milk mommy and daddys years of work to turn a buck. LOSER!

    December 1, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  12. outawork

    Unfortunately Star Trek really went down hill after Gene Roddenberry died. I did like the reboot movie.

    December 1, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  13. TrekGeezer

    An added bonus were the babes placed in various roles. Yeoman Janice Rand (ST) and Counselor Deanna Troi (TNG) spring to mind!!

    December 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • toddrf

      don't forget 7 of 9, Ensign Ro Laren, and B'Elanna Torres.

      December 2, 2011 at 12:17 am |
  14. Chris

    I loved Star Trek growing up and still do, but not because of the special effects or out of this world stories, but because I believe it shows us a positive image of what humanity could become in the future, once we have evolved enough to let go of our instincts for greed and mistrust. To me it showed what we MUST become, if man kind is to ever have any hope of truly surviving in the long term as a species. We must learn to put aside our differences, unite in caring for one another, and cast our gaze towards the stars, for they hold both our past and our future...

    December 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  15. Chaos2012

    I think the show was kind of shallow and the kid came off as sort of a jerk.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • BlackYowe

      Are you sure you are not thinking of "Lost in Space"?

      December 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  16. BeerBrewerDan

    I grok Spock.

    December 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  17. palintwit

    Not as good as " The Secret Enema Bandits From Uranus " starring Sarah Palin.

    December 1, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • William

      You are a bitter and rude person.

      December 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Bill Duke

      Is that the one narrated by "Lyin Joe Biden"?

      December 1, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Timus

      I'm thinking more along the lines off a horror movie when it comes to Sarah Palin. Like Zombies Ate My Brains!!!

      December 7, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
      • BinWasillaAK

        Actually Zombies DID eat her brain and it made no difference what so ever

        December 15, 2011 at 12:20 am |
  18. drewski58

    Say what you will about Roddenberry's personal life; honestly, I could care less. Growing up in the myopic, racist south I was immediately drawn to Star Trek, even as an eight year old during the first series run in the 60's. Here was something that really spoke to me and to a lot of my friends at the time who just couldn't do the whole "let's judge every book by their cover" thing that southerners seemed so comfortable with. Pre-Trek I would always wonder how the world would end; nuclear (nook-u-ler to those around me) war, religious lunatics taking the world down because of some idiotic schism over a bunch of ancient fairy tales, race riots, etc. (Yes, I was a despondent seven year old.)

    Unfortunately, I now personally believe that a future world like that of Trek is virtually unattainable, as it would require way too many people to give up their egotistical superstitions and pursuit of consumerism in place of an actual meaningful life. No way this planet will work together as "one", unless Gaia herself decides to wipe about 90% off us off her surface with some kind of purge and we get lucky on the "reboot".

    Ultimately, Roddenberry's greatest gift was his childlike belief that the best aspects of humanity would rise to the top... that we would finally "grow up" as a species. Its a nice thought, and it did make for some revolutionary television.

    Oh, and by the way, I've read the Solow Trek book; hundreds of pages of carefully positioned "history" that refuses to really acknowledge the most important thing; no Roddenberry = no Star Trek. The rest is just the crust of a very human man who's lifestyle was known to a number of people. Solow could be a cross-dressing pedophile but we'd never know it, since he keeps well below the radar.


    December 1, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  19. Maggie Stewart

    I was a fan and was there...yes, I'm old to watch ALL of the original series. I watched all the other series as well, and most of them were well done. I even like the new movie. Gene Roddenberry was a tv writer long before "Star Trek" and the original concept of Star Trek was "Wagon Train", only in space. If you don't know what "Wagon Train" is, then you weren't around in the 50's and 60's. But regardless of whether you liked it or not, Mr. Roddenberry created a phenomenon. It will live forever in some form or fashion.

    December 1, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  20. JGNY

    i was wondering which Gene Roddenberry was covered by this film. The public one who's profile was created for our entertainment or the real one which would make you vomit. Read, the making of Star Trek by Herb Solow. Gene was a true phony, womanizer and user. What he did to many of those who were the heart and soul of the production was classic Roddenberry. Taking credit for many of the so-called ideas that he never thought of. I love Star Trek, but wish the truth to be told not some made up fantasy to help his kid cope with a memory. Harlan Ellison wrote a terrific book. He wrote the best episode every created for Star trek. He had no kind words for Gene.

    December 1, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • RangerDOS

      you read one book and you know the man? Troll...

      December 1, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • RangerDOS

      and really? Harlan "Mr litigation" Ellison? There is one man that loves himself more than Bill Shatner...

      December 1, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • William

      The show talked about it and in interviews people stated they seen him with other women. A picture of him at a party was show as well with a woman up close to him.

      December 1, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Josh

      In "Trek Nation", didn't Dorothy "D. C." Fontana make this criticism of Gene?

      December 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  21. Josh

    I just stumbled upon this show last night, while scrolling down my program guide trying to figure out what to what at 8pm, given my regular fare was all repeats. I typically would not even care what was on, the Science Channel HD.

    I am so glad I watched this show.

    December 1, 2011 at 7:26 am |
  22. Bill

    I still remember sitting in the living room, absolutely enthralled with this show (probably the quietest hour of my life, every week, since I paid such rapt attention to it). Oh, and learning to do the Vulcan peace sign, by jamming the thumb of one hand in between the fingers of the other, until my hand muscles were trained to do that sign on their own! LOL

    December 1, 2011 at 7:19 am |
    • outawork

      I was around at the time, but NBC affiliate in Nashville (WSM at the time. Now WSMV) would show it for the first two years Star Trek was on. They did the 3rd year. I only got to see all of it in reruns in the 70s.

      December 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  23. i was there

    I watched the first episode the first night it was aired, in Sept 1966, and every one since – except that I finally gave up on "Enterprise". Too many anachronisms. Not quite enthralled with the current "reboot" either. I'm a purist.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:40 am |
    • Phil

      Yeah, I'm sure you watched the first episode. Just like you watched the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show and you were in Dealey Plaza when Kennedy was assassinated. Right. . .

      December 1, 2011 at 8:28 am |
      • RangerDOS

        another Troll. Why couldn't have "I was there" watched it, I did all three of those on tv. How old are you?

        December 1, 2011 at 10:36 am |
      • lee

        I'm not sure why you wouldn't think "I was there" could have watched the first episode. There were only 4 channels back then (ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS). I've watched the first episodes of lots of new TV shows. They're called pilots.

        December 1, 2011 at 11:52 am |
      • James

        @Phil, are you retarded?

        December 1, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • MRR in NoVA

      Enterprise STUNK. It introduced too many species which were supposedly first contacted in the original series and explored situations which should not have predated Kirk's Enterprise and the original series. The ship also violates Star Trek canon since the Constitution class ships (the Constitution being the prototype) were the first design using the saucer and engineering hull design with 2 warp pylon engines.

      The new reboot on the other hand has a lot of possibilities and I do not mind the divergence since it is happening in a spin-off reality.

      I too, watched the first and every episode I could get away with (fighting parents over homework/TV priorities) and count myself a diehard TREKIE (fan of the show) but not a TREKKER (rabid fan who dresses up in costume and goes to conventions).

      December 1, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Bill Duke

      I remember watching the first episode as well.

      December 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Timus

      Wasn't crazy about the reboot either. Special effects were ok but the plot was kinda hokey. Not crazy about alternate timelines either. Seems like a cop out if you can chuck all the history and say it happened in a different timeline.

      December 7, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
  24. Commojoe

    Star Trek always tried to show us the best we could be as we reached out to the stars, and that's one of the great things we can appreciate about it and its creator.

    December 1, 2011 at 1:13 am |
    • Jessica, NJ

      It also showed how well we could all get along if we accepted others differences instead of fearing them. The crew never, ever fought between each other in the original series.

      December 1, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
      • Sean

        Actually one of the most famous episodes had Kirk and Spock in an epic duel.

        December 1, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
      • Schmedley

        Well, I think there were at least a few times when Spock and McCoy were about to punch each other's lights out. The Galileo 7 comes to mind. Of course, it was intentional to show the tension between what is logical/rational, and what is compassionate.

        December 1, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
  25. Josie

    I honostly can't remember the first time I started watching Star Trek. My dad discovered the original when it first started. I do remember many New Year's Eve Star Trek marathon. My favorite movies have always been the ones they go in the past (Final Frontier, First Contact). To see past times through future eyes...amazing. Also seeing some of the technology hit actual reality. Sliding doors in the original were two people pulling cables, by NG it was actual sliding doors, touch screen computers, cell phones..the list goes on forever. Plus the fact that the show covers topics that are not normally covered...yep. Was raised by a trekkie and am one myself.

    December 1, 2011 at 12:16 am |
  26. Morgan

    I am truly honored in that I get to work with "Star Trek" every day for a living. The message, the impact that it has on fans, is just incredible. Roddenberry's spirit lives on!

    December 1, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  27. Ken

    Great show! I really enjoyed it a lot. 🙂

    November 30, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  28. picard

    make it so number one!

    November 30, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • Number 1

      I can't sir, I'm making Number 2

      December 1, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  29. Ken

    I'm a 63 year old Trekker and love every episode of every show. I will admit that I enjoyed some more than others but there are some characters from each Star Trek that are tops in my book starting with Mr. Spock. My daughter swears to this day that she has made it in the business world because of my speaking to her with a defined sense of logic and using Mr. Spock as an example. She says she sees the world when making decisions from a varity of points of view and often times Logic prevails with her. Thanks Star Trek for helping raise such a wonderful daughter who also has the curiousity level and the desire to understand all things as DATA displayed in the Next Generation.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Sean

      Thank you for your story Ken. Like your daughter I had a similar experience growing up and it shaped the way I see the world. I’m rather successful and the influence of Star trek, with its logic and message of positive potential is undeniable.

      December 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Salsa

      From what I understand, the LV hioltn raised the rent 10x. It is apparent from the people I'd talked to at Hilton that they've wanted Star Trek the Experience out for a number of years. But don't be too sad, there is still some hope. Cedar Fair, who owns STTE in conjunction with CBS, Who owns the rights, are looking for a new location on the strip instead of the far off corner of the strip. Keep your fingers crossed and maybe something positive will happen. As to what to do in Vegas for a nongambler geek like us I'd also like some suggestions.

      September 14, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  30. Office Fan

    Star Trek has been the glue that has held my life together since I was a teenager. Growing up in the 80's and 90's, I was the kid who was always interested in astronomy, science, aliens and science fiction. Needless to say, I spent many years alone and friendless (not to mention deeply depressed because of the isolation). When I discovered Star Trek I felt like I had finally found my best friends! Star Trek not only entertained and inspired me, I honestly feel it also saved my life because I am 100% confident I would have committed suicide as a teen because of my depression if I didn't have Star Trek to fill the void in my life.

    It likely sounds irrational and immature to many people here, but Star Trek really did save my life.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  31. kikigos

    When I found out girls couldn't be jet pilots, I though, well, that could change. When I got too tall to be either a jet pilot or an astronaut upon reaching the right age to be either one–besides being nearsighted and having allergies–I despaired. Then Star Trek hit the small screen.

    I'm so glad Nichelle Nichols stayed on with STTOS and later for the movies. She was my heroine. I'm a white woman decades her senior, but I so admired her that for many, many years my computer password was nyotauhura. (I stopped using it only when I found it was so common as to be almost useless!) It didn't matter to me that she said, "Hailing frequencies open" in almost every episode. She was there, where I had dreamed about being all my life; she made me believe she was there. She was feminine and beautiful and very efficient and knowledgeable and there. The ST novelists made her a linguist, which did not surprise me at all.

    I delighted to see, first, the races and nationalities of earth working together in space for the common good not only of mankind but of all-creaturekind. It was only a matter of time until people from other creaturekinds and Data, bless him, joined in.

    As a child, I was taught to love. I guess I heard that part louder than the part about who not to love. Look back at some of those early eps when Kirk is trying so HARD to make some dumbhead not kill off his planet and his enemy's too. That's love you see in the actor's eyes. Our futures can only be happier if we can learn that kind of love for people different from us.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  32. DYBO

    I remember watching Star Trek in the 60's and thinking there will never be little hand held devices that you flip open and can talk to someone from the space ship to the planet below. Now our astronauts in the space station talk all the time to family on their cell phones. I can hardly wait for the transporters!

    November 30, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  33. DFTBA

    Star Trek, Star Wars, and Stargate SG1! I love them all!

    November 30, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • Sean

      Same here! But I would also add B5.

      December 1, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  34. Alan

    I went to several conventions in Dallas after they were commerialized. But I did get to see most of the cast including Roddenberry's wife. Good times. I think James Doohan and Brent Spiner were hard to beat. Patrick Stewart was a blessing as well.

    November 30, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
  35. Chris, Austin

    Usually, any article that you read on CNN, then scroll down to the comments, it doesn't take very long to find vitriol, abuse, name-calling, etc. Entertainment articles, science, politics, religion, any of them, usually devolve into a bunch of fighting. This is the kindest, most courteous and positive set of comments I've ever read.

    Classy group.

    Live long, and prosper.

    November 30, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • Shalisa

      I completely agree! Feel the sci-fi love!

      November 30, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  36. Ryan

    I enjoyed Enterprise more than any of the other shows, I guess because it showed how it all began. Movies were pretty good, too. TNG was okay once it got off the ground and the characters became more developed, but HATED the way the ship looked. Never really cared for DS9 but watched Voyager, just because I like the look of the ship.
    I went to 1 convention when it was in Austin and met James Doohan, Scotty. got an autographed picture in my filing cabinet back home. But Star Wars is what really started it for me, and my wife loves watching Stargate. But we both love Doctor Who above anything else.

    November 30, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  37. Freda in Raleigh

    My DVR is set to record it (nerdy geek and proud of it!!!)

    November 30, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
  38. Deep North

    Star Trek was so cool in the 60's that I would not do my spelling home work on Monday nights and got kicked out of 5th grade for 2 weeks! But I never missed an episode!

    November 30, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  39. QS

    The science-fiction aspect of Star Trek was almost secondary, the real draw for me was, of course, the future it created but even moreso what I love about this franchise is that it was, is and always will be a superb study of the human condition.

    Some of my favorite episodes were when Picard would have to sit down and explain something to Data about what it means to be human! The struggle of Data to become more human even while recognizing all our flaws was always so clever as well.

    And, for those who may not have been watching – or those who have and maybe didn't catch it – Brannon Braga and Rene Echevarria both now work on Terra Nova, and in this last Monday's episode (I totally loved it) the wife of Jason O'mara's character, who works in the hospital, mentions a "Nurse Ogawa", a character played excellently on The Next Generation by Patti Yasutake 🙂

    November 30, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Trekfanfor life

      And, did you hear her say, "Jim, I'm a doctor, not a scientist!!" Classic!

      December 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  40. Squeezebox

    If it wasn't for Star Trek, I wouldn't have discovered other great shows and books. I like Star Wars, Babylon 5, Space Above and Beyond, Anne McCaffrey's books, the Honor Harrington books, and everybody's favorite – Isaac Asimov!

    November 30, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  41. Liz in Seattle

    I <3 Spock!

    November 30, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Spock

      Spock accepts >-3

      November 30, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  42. R

    Those early Star Trek conventions years ago in NYC were the best! I saw every one of the main cast. Even got to meet and speak to most of them. George Takei was probably the funniest and most gracious.

    November 30, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  43. Jack

    To me, what Gene created is something that will never die. I read that at least ONE BILLION people have watched at least a part of a Star Trek episode. That is something to say right there. Even though Roddenberry was dead, Deep Space Nine is my favorite, and it wouldn't have existed if it wasn't for Gene. Hats off to you!

    November 30, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  44. Scott Solary

    Watch Trek Nation: Director's Log to see missing scenes and extended interviews from "Trek Nation" here: http://www.youtube.com/treknation

    November 30, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  45. Maverick

    Gene created a wonderful playground for everyone to enjoy...then berman and pillar came in and turned it into a "members-only" country club and ruined the entire franchise. It really never recovered after that. Those who criticise Trek never really get the true meaning, and trying to explain it here would be fruitless. It was more than a television show...it was a whole lot of philosophies that looked at the weakness we have, and how WE can choose to overcome them, if only to come across another set of weaknesses. The Federation gave us discipline and ideals. The Klingons gave us honor and importance of family. And all the races they encountered came from some social thread we experienced, giving us another look at ourselves.

    Those who criticise Trek can go ahead and laugh at us trekkers, and even at the trekkies, but we have the last laugh...at them for not being able to step beyond themselves as we can and do to see the better of ourselves. Thank you, Gene, for all you've given, and still continue to give.

    November 30, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Liz in Seattle

      I'm curious about the difference between a trekker and a trekkie. Can you enlighten me?

      November 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
      • Squeezebox

        I'll be glad to, Liz! A Trekker is a Star Trek fan. A Trekkie is someone who doesn't know the difference between reality and fantasy. Most fans are otherwise normal people, but occaisionally you run across one with a screw loose.

        November 30, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
      • Trystan

        @ Squeezebox – Not quite.

        Both Trekkers and Trekkies are fans...but the distinction is one of age, actually. A Trekkie was a fan during the original airing of the original series (ST:TOS) and a Trekker is a fan that came about once ST:TOS went into syndication or later.

        December 1, 2011 at 9:05 am |
      • mooseinfmp

        @Liz in Seattle – Trystan said it best that most Trekkies tend to be old enough to have watched the original series on-air, although there are millions of exceptions to that definition. I have also heard Trekkers describe themselves as "serious about Star Trek", which perhaps implies that Trekkies are frivilous or irresponsible somehow. I'm a self-described Trekkie, serious about Star Trek (having worked with Star Trek: Phase II since 2008), and hold no grudge against either Trekkers or Trekkies.

        @Squeezebox – Spoken like a true Trekker! (j/k)

        Check out http://www.startrekphase2.com for exciting, new episodes based on the original series!

        December 1, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Drew

      Add Brannon Braga to that list as well. I can always tell when he's involved in a TV series because a great premise turns to drivel at his touch.

      November 30, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  46. Pete

    Funny how an idealistic future in which there is no money (on Earth, at least) is such a moneymaking franchise.

    November 30, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Zephram

      With vigorously protected intellectual property!

      November 30, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
      • ggkthxnore

        Not as bad as star wars in this regard.

        I'm sure if University of Mississippi wanted a Klingon mascot instead of Admiral Ackbar they would have been allowed that.

        November 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  47. The Question

    Didnt Roddenberry make a weird, disturbing p o r n o starring himself as the lead? Maybe Im wrong....

    November 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • jon

      That was Douglas Reynholm.

      November 30, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
      • The Question

        Gene Roddenberry did. "Pretty Maids all in a row". He produced it and co-wrote it.

        December 1, 2011 at 1:22 am |
  48. Darth Vader

    Bunch of nerds

    November 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Lazarus

      Yes sir, and proud of it.

      November 30, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Floris

      Absolutely! Jealous?

      November 30, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • Luke Skywalker

      Shut up, Dad.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
      • outawork

        You tell him Luke!

        December 1, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Rocinante

      Yes, and I listen to Rush too!!

      December 1, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • Steven


      December 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Yoda

      Beam him up you will not .......

      December 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  49. ToonPirate


    November 30, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • phearis

      Then why did you even bother clicking on the article ya Troll.

      November 30, 2011 at 1:54 pm |