Fans, Conventions Keep Star Trek Alive (Brooklyn Magazine)

All in all, it’s a miracle that Star Trek made it this far. Throughout its history, the space procedural starring Klingons, Vulcans, and almost painfully idealistic humans has been perpetually on the verge of oblivion. Its first iteration was cancelled in 1969 after just three seasons, and was in fact almost cancelled sooner (a fan-led letter writing campaign convinced NBC to give it one last shot). It was a decade between that show and the first film, 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which was a commercial success but a critical disappointment. Over the next decade, there were four more Star Trek films, equally divided between the sublime (The Wrath of Khan) and the embarrassing (The Final Frontier). Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered in 1987, and is widely considered to have been awful for its first two years. It survived that rough patch, and would go on to become a massive success, inspiring two more shows which aired throughout the 1990s, in many ways the true golden age of Star Trek. In the early 2000s, things took another downturn: more bad films and a risible TV iteration starring Scott Bakula as an aw-shucks captain came dangerously close to killing Star Trek entirely (as an example of his show’s puzzling, small-stakes plots, consider that one second-season episode revolved entirely around the health of Bakula’s puppy).

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