Perhaps the best known science fiction TV show is Star Trek. The original Star Trek aired on September 8, 1966. Gene Roddenberry, a former military pilot and Los Angeles police officer, created the show. It was about humanity joining together and exploring space. Each week, the crew of the spaceship USS Enterprise faced danger, love, and mysterious aliens. At its heart, however, Star Trek was about humanity. It tried to show that human beings, although flawed, were essentially good. Star Trek also tried to ask questions about social and political issues such as racism, war, and human rights.
NBC, the studio that produced and aired Star Trek, was not enthusiastic about the series but gave it a chance anyways. The show featured many interesting characters that Star Trek fans grew to love over the next three seasons. Captain James Kirk, played by William Shatner, was the daring captain of the starship USS Enterprise. His first officer, Mr. Spock, was played by Leonard Nimoy. His character was a half-Vulcan who tightly controlled his emotions and always tried to solve problems with logic. By 1969, Star Trek’s ratings were too low and it had lost many viewers. It was aired during Friday nights, when most people were not watching TV. NBC cut the show’s budget and the quality of the shows dropped. Despite its cancellation, Star Trek lived on again in movies and television in later years.