Star Trek: The Original Series broke ground when it debuted in 1966
Ground-breaking is only one way to describe Star Trek: The Original Series. No one could have predicted a one-hour science fiction drama that started in 1966 would be the beginning to a franchise that has continued for 54 years and shows no signs of slowing down. And though the original Star Trek only lasted three seasons and six movies, it made the ongoing adventures into space possible. The Television Critics Association acknowledged that when it bestowed the Heritage Award, which recognizes landmark television, upon the series.
TCA posted the announcement on its Twitter page, calling Star Trek “the most significant sci-fi series in American TV history.”
"Our Heritage Award winner honestly needs no introduction, but let’s try anyway. It’s perhaps the most significant sci-fi series in American TV history, and it spawned a massive, sprawling franchise that continues to this day. But everything goes back to the original@StarTrek!"
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the Television Critic Association Awards had to be held virtually this year, but Rod Roddenberry, son of the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, who passed away in 1991, accepted the award via remote video.
Roddenberry said his father began the Star Trek franchise with a “vision of hope and optimistic view of what humanity could become told through the lens of science fiction.” He added that it was an honor to be a part of the lasting legacy. He ended his short speech by thanking the TCA and offering the Vulcan salute and adding, “live long and prosper.”
The TCA’s official award announcement acknowledged that Star Trek brought the future to life with the help of a strong cast as they told timeless stories. Indeed, Star Trek’s stories are still being watched today, and most of the issues revealed in the episodes are applicable today.
"TCA was proud to bestow the Heritage Award upon Gene Roddenberry’s landmark 1966 sci-fi epic Star Trek, in recognition of the groundbreaking series which brought the future to life—illustrating a unique vision that is equal parts hopeful and cautious as it explored issues such as bigotry, religion, politics, sexism, and human rights through timeless stories of love, war, intrigue, and adventure in outer space—with the help of a strong cast that was among the first to feature an African-American in a significant leading role."
This award is nothing less than Star Trek: The Original series deserves. It’s a series that gives us hope for the future, anticipation of technological advancements, and hours of entertainment. And it has lived long and continues to prosper.