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Star Trek was first broadcast within a few of months of my birth. It's one of the first programs I can ever remember watching, and I've grown up with it. As a child, I was captivated by the idea of whizzing about through space on a never-ending adventure. At the time, Star Trek was the only science-fiction show on telly. It was the only time we ever saw any "special effects" - something that is now taken for granted. The first time I saw a colour television was at a friend's house, when we watched the episode "Metamorphosis". There were a dozen or so young boys, all mesmerised by the alien landscapes and flashing colours.
As teenager and adult, I came to understand the deeper meanings that went right over the young child's head. Star Trek is so much more than than weird aliens and phaser fights. It's about a future that holds promise, not despair. It's about people getting on with each other, not being victorious over each other. It's about the potential of the human race to achieve goals previously not thought possible.
The reasons for the ongoing success of the "Star Trek Phenomenon" are difficult to pinpoint exactly. Fans and critics argue about it endlessly. To over-simplify, I believe it's a combination of timing (mid-late 60's), the excitement of adventure, and the messages of peace and optimism. Whatever the reasons, I'm happy as long as they churning them out.
Note: Originally this section was going to contain all sorts of Star Trek reference material, but then the Official Star Trek Website was born and made the idea redundant. There are also hundreds of very good fan sites out there - just try searching for "Star Trek". All I have are these episode guides: