Star Trek (1966 franchise)
"Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its 5-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before!" In the original series, Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise explore the galaxy and defend the United Federation of Planets.
The original series, seemingly a ratings flop in its original run (it actually did well in what would soon after be identified as the most lucrative advertising target group), would go on to command a great deal of success in re-runs, spawning an animated cartoon series, several feature films, and a number of spin-off series.
- Release Date: 1966-present
- Country/Language: US, English
- Genres/Technical: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure (monster-of-the-week)
- Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, and many others
- Creator: Gene Roddenberry
- Producer/Production Co: Desilu Productions, Norway Corporation, Paramount Television; Century Associates;
- View Trailer: (link)
- TVTropes: (link)
- IMDB Page: (link)
- Rated: (not rated) (perhaps equivalent to a TV-PG for mild Violence and mild Profanity and Adult Content)
The original series would routinely feature fist-fights, red-shirted crew members killed off-screen in various awful ways, and other examples of mild violence, was one of the first television dramas to include the use of "Hell" as a profanity, and displayed frequent instances of a shirtless Captain Kirk making out with green-skinned space-babes while being whipped by alien sadists and other mild adult content, and sometimes tackled some adult themes like racism and dystopianism, but could probably generally be considered family-friendly; the numerous films and spin-off series would generally not stray very far from that formula.
A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:
- S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)
As a whole, the Star Trek franchise is non-Lovecraftian, though the original series, at least, frequently touched on some variations of themes associated with cosmic horror, generally played for non-horrific science fiction/fantasy rather than cosmic horror (strange ancient alien ruins of fallen civilizations; godlike aliens who abuse their power over lowly-regarded mortal races; alien cults; last-of-their-kind alien survivals from the dark ages of space; apocalyptic logs from encounters with the unknown; gigantic relic remnants of strange alien empires; ghost ships; ancient evils sealed away underground or outside of time and space; etc.); Robert Bloch's contributions to the original series also include a couple brief references to the "Old Ones" used in what was almost certainly intended to be a Lovecraftian sense as god-like alien precursor races.
Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.
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Synopses of Suggested Episodes
- Star Trek ("The Original Series"):
- "The Man Trap" (Ep. 1x01) - A routine medical checkup mission reveals the presence of a shape-shifting "salt vampire", the last of its kind, on a desolate alien world.
- "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (Ep. 1x03) - The flight recorder of a centuries-old ghost ship relays a tale of terror from the edge of the galaxy, in the form of a strange magnetic phenomenon capable of altering a crew member into a deranged, god-like being.
- "What are Little Girls Made of?" (Ep. 1x07) - A planet formerly ruled by the long-extinct "Old Ones" conceals a secret: machinery that replaces crew members with artificial duplicates. From a story by Robert Bloch.
- "The Corbomite Maneuver" (Ep. 1x10) - After the Enterprise is forced to destroy a dangerous marker buoy, a gigantic alien ship arrives to capture and condemn the crew as trespassers.
- "Shore Leave" (Ep. 1x15) - An exhausted crew in desperate need of vacation take emergency shore leave on a mysterious paradise planet, but are soon plagued by surreal hallucinations and experiences.
- "The Return of the Archons" (Ep. 1x21) - Seeking the answer to a century-old mystery, Kirk and crew encounter a vacantly peaceful society under a 6000-year autocratic rule that kills all those it can't absorb.
- "The Devil in the Dark" (Ep. 1x25) - The Enterprise is sent to a mining colony that is being terrorized by a mysterious monster.
- "The City on the Edge of Forever" (Ep. 1x28) - When a temporarily insane Dr. McCoy accidentally changes history and destroys his time, Kirk and Spock follow him through a portal in time in an ancient alien ruin to prevent the disaster, but the price to do so is high. From a story by Harlan Ellison.
- "Operation - Annihilate!" (Ep. 1x29) - The Enterprise crew attempts to stop a plague of mind-controlling parasitic alien creatures from attaching themselves to the backs of human hosts and spreading throughout the galaxy.
- "The Doomsday Machine" (Ep. 2x06) - The USS Enterprise encounters the wrecked USS Constellation and its distraught captain who's determined to stop the giant planet-destroying robot ship that killed his crew.
- "Catspaw" (Ep. 2x07) - Very alien visitors to our galaxy attempt to connect with human consciousness but miss, winding up tapping into the regions of human nightmares instead. From a story by Robert Bloch, who includes another off-hand Lovecraftian reference to the "Old Ones".
- "Wolf in the Fold" (Ep. 2x14) - Kirk and the Enterprise Computer become detectives after Scotty is accused of murdering women on a pleasure planet following a seance; the real murderer is revealed to be the bodysnatching alien demon "Red Jack", which once incarnated on Earth as Jack the Ripper. From a story by Robert Bloch.
- "And the Children Shall Lead" (Ep. 3x04) - The Enterprise reaches a Federation colony where the adults have all killed themselves but the children play without care. The crew soon discover that the children are part of a cult led by a sinister, invisible psychic alien.
- "The Tholian Web" (Ep. 3x09) - While Capt. Kirk and the derelict USS Defiant apparently lost, the Enterprise grapples with insanity and an attack by space-web-spinning Tholians.
- Star Trek: the Motion Picture (1979) - When an alien spacecraft of enormous power is spotted approaching Earth, Admiral Kirk resumes command of the Starship Enterprise in order to intercept, examine and hopefully stop the intruder.
Comments, Trivia, Dedication
Associated Mythos Elements
- TO DO
- setting: Cthulhu Icarus