Experts open-up on the bombshell pop-culture phenomenon and how its unique vision of the future embraced racial and social equality years before other TV shows did.
"Star Trek is so much more than just a silly science fiction show from the 1960’s, it’s a philosophy it’s a way of life for many people of all races, creeds and colors," says comedian and podcast host Tom Kelly.
One of the biggest steps Star Trek took towards social equality was with starring actress Nichelle Nichols who, as "Lieutenant Uhura," was the first African-American woman to have a leading role in a major TV show — and share television's very first interracial kiss with William Shatner back in 1968.
"I think so many of us found it when we were young and it’s just a huge part of our childhoods and a part of how we learned about the world, and it asked you questions and made you think," shares People Magazine editor Cynthia Sanz.
Late star Leonard Nimoy also saw the show's immense impact when he called the sci-fi series a "hopeful show about the future" that the world needed in a past interview obtained by the show’s producers.
Star Trek first debuted on NBC in 1966 and aired until 1969 — and that was just the beginning. The franchise shot to stardom and grew to include spin-off series, nearly a dozen movies, books that added onto the lore and movie merchandise.
Perhaps, most importantly of all, Star Trek had an immeasurable impact on culture all over the world. Although critics of the show poke fun at the dated special effects and over-the-top acting, there’s no question that Shatner, Nimoy, Nichols and the rest of the cast became household names because of this series.
The “Untold Story” takes a close look at what had to come together to make Star Trek an entertainment phenomena and why people still can’t seem to get enough of the space saga today.
Find out more in Star Trek: The Unknown Story, Saturday, March 12th at 8 ET/PT on REELZ.
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