Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry and currently under the ownership of CBS. Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise, as well as the film series make up the core of the franchise’s mythos. While the critical response to much of the franchise varies, many individual Star Trek episodes and films have won awards and honors including Emmy Awards, Hugo Awards and an Academy Award.
Westerns such as Wagon Train along with the novel Gulliver’s Travels inspired Roddenberry when he created the first Star Trek. It followed the interstellar adventures of James T. Kirk and the crew of an exploration vessel of a 23rd century galactic “United Federation of Planets” — the Starship Enterprise. This first series, now referred to as “The Original Series”, debuted in 1966 and ran for three seasons on NBC. These adventures continued in the short-lived Star Trek: The Animated Series and six feature films. Four spin-off television series were eventually produced; Star Trek: The Next Generation, followed the crew of a new Starship Enterprise set a century after the original series; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, set contemporaneously with The Next Generation; and Star Trek: Enterprise, set before the original series, in the early days of human interstellar travel. Four additional The Next Generation feature films were produced. In 2009, the prequel of the original series (set in an alternate timeline) Star Trek featuring a new cast portraying younger versions of the crew from the original Enterprise appeared. A sequel to this film, Star Trek Into Darkness, is scheduled for release on May 17, 2013.