This documentary beams back in time to the genesis of the science fiction series that became a worldwide phenomenon: Star Trek. Featuring interviews with key cast and crew, and Gene Roddenberry's son, we investigate the true story of how Star Trek was born, lived long and prospered.
Star Trek: the Motion Picture opened in Washington, on 6th December 1979. Featuring all the regular stars of the popular TV series, it boldly went where no man, or cinema release, had gone before. Over the next 30 years, Star Trek would spawn 11 further films and multiple television series, making it the most successful franchise in film history.
The origins of this multi-billion dollar business can be traced back to one man – LA cop Gene Roddenberry. As the world of television blossomed in the 1950s, Roddenberry began to write scripts for police dramas in his spare time. One day he came up with a ground-breaking new idea for a science fiction series. Star Trek was the result.
Through key interviews with Herb Solow, producer of the Star Trek TV series, Roddenberry's son Rod and actor Leonard Nimoy (Spock), this documentary charts Roddenberry's meteoric rise to fame and how he went to extraordinary lengths to keep his series on air. Bjo and John Trimble, original members of the Star Trek fan club, reveal Roddenberry's reaction to the threat of cancellation and his efforts in organising fans and protest marches to save his show from being canned by NBC. Resistance was far from futile. Roddenberry went on to notch up three series and 79 episodes, delighting Trekkies and inspiring the scientific world, particularly NASA scientists, to recreate in reality what they had seen on screen.
Investigating Star Trek's use of anti matter, the programme reveals how one of the world's most expensive physics experiments at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland is trapping the most explosive substance on the planet. In further examples of Roddenberry's vision, researchers have gone on to develop the first scientific principles of teleportation, the replication of human organs by 3D printers and the creation of androids with artificial intelligence.