Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane wants to bring Star Trek back to television for a new generation of young fans and older Trekkies who fondly remember the original series, TNG, Voyager, DS9 and Enterprise.
“I’d love to see that franchise revived for television in the way that it was in the 1990s,” MacFarlane told The Hollywood Reporter. “[I mean], very thoughtful, smartly written stories that transcend the science fiction audience.”
Of course, MacFarlane acknowledged most networks would be quite reluctant to allow him to helm the project, saying “I don’t know who would give me the keys to that car.”
It obviously isn’t a coincidence that MacFarlane is nostalgic for Starfleet, the Federation and USS Enterprise, as Star Trek only recently turned 45. To mark the anniversary (nearly half a century), Entertainment Weekly composed a very timely article listing 45 reasons why Star Trek is still great.
I won’t list them all here, but they include,”Sulu’s mad fencing skills,” the Tribbles, “Captain Kirk’s fuzzy fedora,” “Green space babes, the Gorn (the Shatner fight with that lizard in a loincloth is still hilarious, download it on YouTube under Worst Fight Scene Ever), and much much more of course.
As EW recalled in its thumbnail history of Trek, Gene Roddenberry pitched the show as “Wagon Train to the Stars,” and it was already turned down by CBS for Lost in Space instead. A pilot was rejected, and the show was recast, with Leonard Nimoy being the only one to survive the purge.
Like The Twilight Zone, Star Trek grew and grew in popularity after it went off the air, and is still going strong through its incredible afterlife. Star Trek only lasted three seasons, from September 8, 1966 to June 3, 1969, spanning 79 episodes, but according to Wikipedia, the show gained a bigger audience in syndication than it did when it was first run on NBC – one reason being it played against network news in the early evening, drawing a big audience of kids, and as early as 1972 it was called “the show that won’t die.”
Gammasquad also listed a number of Star Trek cameos you probably didn’t know about, including Stephen Hawking, Kirstie Alley (who was discovered by Nicholas Meyer, giving her a role in Wrath of Khan), Kelsey Grammer, Christian Slater (who is such a Trek fan, he told Playboy he did his role for a very low amount, I think $6-800 or something like that), James Worthy, Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine, Sarah Silverman, and King Abdullah bin Al-Hussein, who is such a big Trekkie, he’s launching a Star Trek theme park in Jordan.
Trekkies don’t need anyone to explain why Star Trek is still great and has lasted this long, but I’ve always loved what George Clayton Johnson once told me. Johnson wrote for The Twilight Zone, and also co-wrote Logan’s Run, so the guy definitely knows sci-fi and fantasy, and certainly recalls when Star Trek was brand new in the sixties.
In an age of social turmoil, which we’re going through again right now big time, what Johnson loved most about Star Trek was that it showed us there was actually a future.