On September 8, 1966, the first episode of the original "Star Trek" series was broadcast. Since this date, Gene Roddenberry's compelling vision of the future has proven to hold a timeless appeal, and Star Trek has evolved into one of the most popular entertainment franchises of all time. The ever-expanding Star Trek phenomenon has encompassed four hit television series and eight major motion pictures. Due to its feature film quality production values and outstanding, truly original storylines, Star Trek has maintained an incredibly loyal audience by consistently surpassing average television structure and content.
As Gene Roddenberry's chosen successor to the Star Trek franchise, Rick Berman and his exceptional writing staff have sustained Roddenberry's optimistic vision of the future and his attention to cultural diversity. At the inception of "Star Trek" in 1966, Roddenberry challenged network preconceptions to feature the most balanced cast in television history and tackle such controversial issues as prejudice and sexism. Continuing this 30-year Star Trek tradition of examining complex social issues through the metaphor of science fiction, "Star Trek: The Next Generation," STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE and "Star Trek: Voyager" have explored issues of religious persecution, racism and intolerance.
Immense critical and popular acclaim have been bestowed upon each of the Star Trek series, which have garnered one of the most loyal followings in television history. Though threatened with cancellation after only one season on NBC, a massive letter writing campaign by devoted fans kept "Star Trek" on the air for two more seasons. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" concluded its successful seven-year television run in May 1994, but not before earning 16 Emmy Awards, a Peabody, a Hugo and becoming the first non-network show to be endorsed by the Viewers for Quality Television.
When STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE premiered in January 1993, the show became the highest-rated series premiere in syndication history. Since then, STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE has garnered 12 Emmy nominations,three Emmy Awards, and maintains the respect and adoration of Star Trek fans as it enters its fifth season. As the newest incarnation in the Star Trek legacy, "Star Trek: Voyager" which premiered in January 1995, continues to uphold the high standards and immense popularity of its predecessors.
STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE and "Star Trek: Voyager" both aired special episodes commemorating the 30-year Star Trek phenomenon. On September 11, original "Star Trek" cast members George Takei (Sulu) and Grace Lee Whitney (Rand) guest starred on "Star Trek: Voyager." In this episode, entitled "Flashback," Captain Janeway and Tuvok must travel back in time to the U.S.S. Starship Excelsior to confront Captain Sulu and save Tuvok's life. The episode provides a stirring tribute by the Voyager crew to the history of Star Trek and the Federation.
In the STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE episode entitled "Trials and Tribble-ations," which aired the week of November 4, Captain Sisko and the Deep Space Nine crew are thrown back in time and come face-to-face with Captain James T. Kirk and the legendary crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Through "Forrest Gump"-type special effects, STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE cast members will visit the classic "The Trouble with Tribbles" episode of Star Trek and interact with the Enterprise crew and the fuzzy, cuddly Tribbles.