Four years before man’s first flight to the moon we had already begun exploring the galaxy with Gene Roddenberry. We had taken off to boldly go where no man had gone before, to explore new civilizations and frontiers of the mind.
Star Trek was a brainchild of a man who until then was almost unknown. He had fought in Vietnam and been a police officer; he hardly had had any experience with TV entertainment. Suddenly he jumps onto the scene of television devisi°ng a TV series on a scale never seen before.
The starship Enterprise was the vehicle and the characters where the officers and crew of the Enterprise exploring The Galaxy. Soon the science fiction began to fade into the background to new ideas and interesting characters.
Let us journey back onto the scene of the early sixties. Color television had been around for some years and for a decade or so the TV set had begun to appear in the living rooms of middle class and upper class homes. This popular and spectacular technology was beginning to appear in lower income homes and people were beginning to draw to the set.
At this time the industry of the TV series wasn’t as developed as it has become in the last four decades.
Multimedia effects where unsophisticated and relied heavily on the viewers ability to imagine and fill in the gaps. At the time the ruling powers had already realized how effective this new technology was in influencing popular opinion and it the big television companies weren’t keen on letting just about anyone have a go at the medium.
At this time in our history we had no idea if we’d be able to fly to the moon, we were even struggling with getting the rockets out of the atmosphere. Much less were we able to envision properly what we’d find out there or if we would be able to go further than the moon. Already astronomers were warning us that the distance to the nearest solar systems is roughly four light years which we cannot even reach 10% of.
Suddenly for three years from 1966 to 1969 we see a full blown science fiction series on the screen.
At the time it wasn’t very popular. First of all it was simply too strange, too far outside the box. Science fiction had hardly been done so far and much less building a series for three years of well formed characters presenting believable stories in such a setting as outer space. Both of these settings are quite a feat for the mindset at the time.
Particularly for a population who still was struggling with all the complicated and often strange ideas of many dogmatic religious settings. Even today much of what Gene Roddenberry was able to present the population with is simply incomprehensible. Two particular episodes come to mind.
The first pilot where the crew encounters an alien race able to communicate with other races across vast distances using their minds and able to create a mindset for both their own race and for their visitors so real that you could spend a lifetime in their caves – even being deformed or paralyzed – but living a healthy life outside in nature with all your powers and in real happiness.
Then there is the infamous episode where the captain of the enterprise is faced with a bipedal reptilian of equal intelligence but extraordinary strength – a space faring race of sentient beings. He is forced to duel with the captain of the reptilian space ship and barely defeats him using elementary science from our schools.
Two ideas were presented in these series which at the time were by them selves quite a revolutionary act.
The first officer of the Enterprise was an alien. Too make people better at ease with this extraordinary idea was that this alien was a half human and half alien. To some that might even be a mindblowing blasphemy by itself. The second was that one of the officers on the great starship was a female.
At this time – and even still today – we were struggling with the idea if it was possible that we’re not alone in the universe. The churches are still unable to come to grips with this possibility. Also at this time females where not allowed in the armed forces except for nurses – at least in Europe and USA. At this time a female officer would not have been allowed on the bridge of an Aircraft Carrier, which in comparison is almost the same act.
To top it the female officer was a black person – or African American – and at this time in the history of USA black people where still (almost) second class citizens. Martin Luther King’s struggle was at its height as well as Malcolm X’s.
When I look back at this time I see an easy Seal of the Apocalypse. Star Trek wasn’t so popular at the time and it was decided not to go forward with fourth series. A few years later it was rediscovered by cable networks and became an instant hit. Since then Start Trek has become a landmark in Science Fiction and has inspired people for almost four decades.
When I say Inspired it is meant in an undertone.
In a few years this series enabled people who were still struggling in old time mindset and dogmatic narrow minded views to totally transform their worldview on a large scale, and all of it happened subliminally while watching. Ideas like black people being equal to white, women being officers alongside men, aliens interbreeding with humans, humanity becoming ambassadors of peace and harmony throughout the galaxy; just look at the Prime Directive.
If a person would go back to the original Star Trek series of ’66 to ’69 and review the episodes with all these points in mind and then take a hard look at how the mindset on the past forty years has begun to transform into its direction the person would find it hard to object to my claim.
Furthermore we could look at Star Trek Next Generation, the first four series. We would soon see that the vision of Gene Roddenberry is still ahead of his time and of our times.
Many of his ideas, which he encoded into Star Trek, are still revolutionary when we take a look at how state of affairs are governed and how we still build society but these ideas have been entering our minds and hearts, transforming our times along with the other Seals of the Apocalypse.
This is part of a series of articles about the Seven Seals.