Star Trek: The Original Series is a revised title for the series Star Trek, which originally aired as a TV series on NBC from 1966 to 1969. The series began the Star Trek franchise and has gone on to have stories in multiple formats: movies, novels, comics, short stories, video games and more.
The sub-title The Original Series is used to distinguish it from its sequel series, and from the larger Star Trek franchise. The sub-title is used on some products, such as DVDs, however novels and comics continue to title TOS publications simply as Star Trek.
Overview[edit | edit source]
Star Trek the TV series, and many of the subsequent stories, chronicled the voyages of the starship Enterprise, under the command of Captain James T. Kirk on its Five-year mission of exploration through the Alpha and Beta Quadrants in the late 2260s. The series later spawned a movie-series, which, along with fiction in other formats, continued the adventures of Kirk and his crew through to the end of the 23rd century and onto a new ship; the Enterprise-A.
Many TOS stories focus on the three figure heads of the Enterprise; Captain James T. Kirk, first officer and science officer Spock and chief medical officer Leonard McCoy. These are commonly accompanied by chief engineer Montgomery Scott, communications officer Nyota Uhura, helmsman Hikaru Sulu and navigator Pavel Chekov. Other prominent Enterprise crewpersons include nurse Christine Chapel and yeoman Janice Rand, navigator Arex Na Eth, and communications officer Shiboline M'Ress, the latter two originating from The Animated Series.
While the majority of TOS stories are based on the voyages of the Enterprise, the series also encompasses the careers of the primary and supporting characters before, after and away from the Enterprise as well as the larger interstellar politics of the era. Other prominent settings for the series include the USS Excelsior, under the command of former Enterprise crewman Hikaru Sulu, and stories set well into the 24th century with the various adventures of the TOS characters in later periods of Star Trek history. Additionally TOS stories encompass the voyages of the Enterprise preceding Kirk's command, under captains Robert April and Christopher Pike.
In the most recent iteration of the series, in the film Star Trek, the original characters feature in a new timeline, which split from the prime reality in 2233 when the starship Narada traveled back in time; attacking the USS Kelvin on arrival and in the process killing James T. Kirk's father. As a result this timeline develops differently, but eventually does see James T. Kirk and the familiar crew stationed on the USS Enterprise.
- See also USS Enterprise personnel, USS Enterprise-A personnel, and USS Enterprise personnel (Kelvin timeline).
Media[edit | edit source]
Episodes and movies[edit | edit source]
In its original run, seventy-nine episodes of The Original Series were produced before the series was canceled at the end of its third season. The live-action episodes were followed by a twenty-two episode animated series, also called Star Trek, though commonly referred to as Star Trek: The Animated Series. In 2006 the original live-action episodes began to receive a digital face-lift, with the original footage being carefully restored, and the original special effects being replaced with new high definition CGI effects.
Following from the TV series the original cast returned for a series of six feature films set in a period after the original episodes. A seventh TOS movie, the eleventh Star Trek film in total was released in 2009; the new film sees the original characters recast, and set in an alternate timeline earlier than the original tv series.
Prose[edit | edit source]
Off the screen the first original Star Trek story was Mission to Horatius published by Whitman Publishing, following Bantam Books' first novelization, Star Trek 1, by James Blish. Bantam took on the Star Trek license, producing a series of novelizations of the original episodes by Blish, a selection of "Fotonovel" adaptations of episodes, and a series of original novels by a variety of authors, starting with Spock Must Die!, also by James Blish. Bantam produced a total of eleven volumes of novelizations, twelve fotonovels, thirteen original novels and two short story anthologies.
Meanwhile in the 1970s a separate license was awarded to Ballantine Books to produce novelizations of the episodes of The Animated Series, all were written by Alan Dean Foster. In 1977 Random House (the parent company of Ballantine) produced four illustrated Star Trek books aimed at a younger audience, two of which were pop-up books.
In 1979, coinciding with the release of the first Star Trek movie, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Pocket Books took over as the publisher of Star Trek prose. Pocket kicked off their line with a novelization of the movie, which was also number one in their line of numbered novels. Pocket produced novelizations of subsequent movies and continued their numbered novel line on until 2002 with In the Name of Honor at number ninety-seven.
In addition to their regular paperback numbered series Pocket produced occasional unnumbered novels in hardcover and larger-sized paperback format, starting in 1986 with Enterprise: The First Adventure. By the time Pocket wound down its numbered series they had begun to publish more stand-alone novels and miniseries in the standard paperback format, as well as shorter prose works published collectively in anthologies.
Amongst the unnumbered novels Pocket have published a series of books by William Shatner, the actor who played James T. Kirk, which bring Kirk back to life in the 24th century, and otherwise explore the life of Kirk. These novels are generally not referenced by other novels to avoid confusion.
Original Series stories have appeared in many of the crossover miniseries Pocket Books have published, including Invasion!, Day of Honor, Double Helix, The Captain's Table, The Badlands, Section 31, Gateways, The Brave and the Bold, Mirror Universe & Myriad Universes,
In 2006 Pocket celebrated the 40th Anniversary of The Original Series with a wide range of publications, including the reprinting of several classic TOS novels, and TOS's first eBook miniseries; Mere Anarchy.
Pocket Books have also created two new series based off of The Original Series; in 2001 the New Earth miniseries served as the jumping-off point for the Star Trek: Challenger which had its own novel and novella the following year as part of the Gateways crossover series (though to date those two stories remain the only publications in the Challenger series). In 2005 Pocket launched a second spin-off series; Star Trek: Vanguard, which chronicles the adventures of the crew of Starbase Vanguard, paralleling the events of The Original Series episodes to expand on history and setting of that era.
Additionally TOS characters play prominent roles in several books in The Lost Era series, which spans the period of time between the TOS and TNG eras. The character of Montgomery Scott has a recurring role in the Star Trek: Corps of Engineers series, including the Foundations miniseries set in the TOS-era, which established the USS Lovell which later appeared in other TOS-era CoE stories, including crossovers with the Vanguard series.
Comics[edit | edit source]
Like prose publications The Original Series comics also began to be published shortly after the series’ debut and have been published by almost every company to obtain the Star Trek comics license since. The first Star Trek comic was The Planet of No Return, published by Gold Key Comics in 1967, Gold Key continued to publish Star Trek comics until 1979, producing sixty-one issues in total.
In the United Kingdom a separate series of Star Trek comics was produced between 1969-1973, presented as a weekly comic strip in the genre magazines Joe 90: Top Secret, TV21, and Valiant. A total of thirty-seven story arcs were released over two-hundred-and-fifty-six issues. An additional eleven one-off stories were published in issues of the Joe 90 annual, Radio Times, TV21 annual, Valiant Super Special, and the Mighty TV Comic Annual.
In 1979 McDonald's released several short comics in their promotion of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. They produced six short strips adapting scenes from the film, and five short strips telling original stories.
Also following from the release of The Motion Picture was a series of comic strips published in US newspapers. Over four years the series of over one-thousand-four-hundred separate strips completed twenty different story arcs.
In 1984 the comics license moved again, this time to DC Comics. DC began with an ongoing series which ran for fifty-six issues, three annuals, a special two part Who's Who in Star Trek publication and adaptations of the latest movies, until 1988.
Following a brief pause, DC began a new regular series, which ran eighty issues, six annuals, three specials and several miniseries and one-shot issues until DC finally finished with Star Trek comics in 1995.
In 1996 Marvel Comics returned to the Star Trek license. On their second run Marvel produced several distinct series, the first TOS series being Star Trek: Early Voyages, which over seventeen issues chronicled the voyages of the Enterprise under Captain Pike. A five-part miniseries Star Trek: Untold Voyages depicted the voyages of the Enterprise between the films Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and TOS stories also appeared in most issues of the Star Trek: Unlimited series and two one-shots; Fragile Glass and Star TreX.
In 1999 WildStorm Comics took on the Star Trek license. They produced relatively few TOS comics, just two one-shots; All of Me and Enter the Wolves, and a selection of short comics in the anthology Star Trek: Special.
In 2007 IDW Publishing picked up the Star Trek license. Initially they have chose to concentrate only on TOS and TNG comics, and as such have produced a numerous TOS stories. IDW's first TOS miniseries was Klingons: Blood Will Tell, which retold several episodes of TV series from the Klingons' point-of-view. They have gone on to produce several TOS miniseries, exploring both the standard TOS setting in series such as Year Four, and more obscure angles on the series in series such as Assignment: Earth. Elements of TOS have also appeared in crossover miniseries such as Alien Spotlight and Countdown.
In 2009 a short (six-page) comic was published in an issue of Wired magazine. The story, "When Worlds Collide: Spock Confronts the Ultimate Challenge", was a tie-in with the latest Star Trek movie which was to be released shortly after, and was written by the film's writers. The issue of the magazine was edited by the film's director.
Audio books[edit | edit source]
The first Star Trek audio productions were released by Peter Pan Records between 1975 and 1979. The company produced eleven original stories which they released in varying combinations as twenty-three different records, sometime with accompanying comic book versions of the stories (which were made for six of the stories).
Following Pocket Books' holding of the Star Trek prose publication license, Simon and Schuster Audioworks have produced audio adaptations of numerous Star Trek novels. The company has also produced a limited number of original audio productions: Three stories, in the Captain Sulu Adventures series, which feature Sulu as commander of the USS Excelsior; and two released in the Alien Voices series, both featuring debate between Spock, and Q (from the Star Trek: The Next Generation series).
Video games[edit | edit source]
Unlike prose and comic products, video games were not produced as early as the 1960s beginning of TOS as the technology for video games was only in the early stages of development at that time. The first Star Trek video games began to appear in the 1980s, with releases for arcade games and home computers such as the Apple II, Commodore 64 and DOS systems. As computer technology developed TOS video games advanced, two of the major early produces of Trek games were Simon & Schuster Interactive and Interplay, primarily producing games for the PC.
The early 2000s saw the release of relatively few TOS games, as the license holder at the time, Activision, concentrated on games set in later eras of the franchise. Activision dropped their license in 2003, and several companies have since produced TOS games; including TDK, who released the mirror universe centered game Shattered Universe for the Playstation 2 and Xbox consoles; Jumbuck Entertainment Ltd who released two TOS games for mobile and PDA devices; and Bethesda Softworks who made Tactical Assault, for Sony PSP and Nintendo DS. Most recently TOS games have been released to tie-in with the latest Star Trek movie; several small free games have been distributed using the internet, and D-A-C was released as a downloadable game for X-box 360, Playstation 3 and PC
Elements of TOS have also appeared in a number of multi-series games: Starship Creator included several TOS starship designs and characters; the games Legacy and Encounters both feature stories spanning the entire Star Trek franchise, so include significant proportions based on The Original Series; and the game Star Trek Online, while primary set in the 25th century does include TOS elements through general references and time travel.
RPGs[edit | edit source]
The Original Series also has a strong presence in Star Trek RPGs. The first company to produce Star Trek RPG books, Heritage Models published only the core rulebook, Adventure Gaming In The Final Frontier and a series of miniatures to support it. A supplement and adventure were released years apart in Different Worlds magazine. FASA published numerous TOS installments though the 1980s, with just two of its later publications focusing on TNG. The FASA RPG was also expanded upon in the Stardate magazine.
The tides changed when Last Unicorn Games took on the RPG license, releasing just three TOS books between 1998 and 2000. The most recent company to publish Star Trek RPGs, Decipher released no exclusively TOS books, instead publishing a series of supplements incorporating elements from the entire Star Trek franchise.
Reference works[edit | edit source]
The first Star Trek in-universe reference work was Star Trek Blueprints published by Ballantine Books in 1975, following this Ballantine published a handful of other TOS references. Bantam Books also published one Star Trek reference work in 1980, Star Trek Maps. Following these early examples publication of reference books was then taken up by Pocket Books who produced a small number of TOS derived books.
Following the launch of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987, and the other subsequent spin-off series, there has only been one purely TOS reference book published, Captain Kirk's Guide to Women, in 2008. The book The Worlds of the Federation was predominantly TOS based content, but does also include information from the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Other reference books tend to be pan-franchise; the Star Trek Chronology and Star Trek Encyclopedia encompass the entire franchise (at the time of publication). While other reference books find a niches in the Star Trek universe to explore, such as: Q's Guide to the Continuum, The Tribble Handbook, Cookbook, Celebrations, Starship Spotter, The Starfleet Survival Guide, Star Charts and Ships of the Line.
There have also been a number of books detailing and exploring the Klingon language starting with The Klingon Dictionary in 1985, with other books following: The Klingon Way, Klingon for the Galactic Traveler & The Klingon Hamlet.
Beyond prose works another TOS reference work was published by DC Comics in a comic book sized format, illustrated throughout; Who's Who in Star Trek. TOS content can also be found in Star Trek reference magazines such as the Star Trek Fact Files and Star Trek: The Collector's Edition.
As well as in-universe reference works there have also been a number of behind-the-scenes books detailing the production of the series, starting with The Making of Star Trek, published by Ballantine Books in 1968. Pocket Books followed this with The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and a handful of other TOS books, as well as books on the whole Star Trek franchise, such as The Art of Star Trek, Aliens & Artifacts, Star Trek 101 and the guide to Star Trek prose works Voyages of Imagination.
Other media[edit | edit source]
As part of the promotional campaign for the 2009 Star Trek movie several websites were created, both by Paramount and by promotional partners with the film. These include Intel's Starfleet Shipyard and Paramount’s Dossiers section on the movie's official website and Experience The Enterprise.