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Suddenly, everything old is new again in the warp-speed world of Star Trek.

Forty-three years after Captain Kirk and Spock and Bones and Scotty and the starship Enterprise first hit television screens in a burst of 1960s deep space idealism, Star Trek is back, in movie theaters, in what critics are calling the “ultimate prequel.”

Kirk’s a baby and bad-boy up-and-comer. Spock’s old and very young. The Enterprise is on its maiden voyage. And it’s pretty great.

This hour, On Point: Leonard Nimoy — Mr. Spock himself — joins us for a sweet fresh blast of Star Trek.

Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Joining us from New York is Leonard Nimoy. He played Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek series in the 1960s and in six subsequent feature films.  He returns as Spock Prime in the new Star Trek film.

From New York we’re joined by Steve Daly. An entertainment writer and film critic, he contributes to Newsweek and Entertainment Weekly.  His article “We’re All Trekkies Now” was on the cover of Newsweek’s May 4 issue.

Joining us from Columbia, S.C., is Ina Rae Hark, professor of English and film at the University of South Carolina and author of “Star Trek” in the British Film Institute’s “Classic TV” series.

More links:

The official website for Star Trek (2009) is pretty slick.

You can watch full episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, on the CBS YouTube Channel.

Here’s an essay by former Star Trek writer Leonard Mlodinow on making The Next Generation.

Check out “Highly Illogical,” the video for a Leonard Nimoy song first released on his 1967 album “Mr. Spock’s Music from Outer Space.”  You can hear more of his music at his MySpace page.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Joe A

    I just posted this on your facebook link.

    Joseph A at 10:18am May 8

    Trekkies unite. I am a Trekkie and do not live in my parents basement.
    I am also the perfect example that shows even a Star Trek geek can Marry a Hottie.

  • Mark S.

    I have been a “Trekkie” (no pejorative meaning to me!) since seeing the promotional announcments featuring that funny looking spaceship on NBC in August 1966. I was a sophomore in high school at the time. My son is graduating college next week, and I am still hooked, including a fondness for the unfairly dissed “Enterprise” series that ran for four seasons.

    Gene Roddenberry borrowed most of the SF tropes of the 1950s and put them together in a package that captured the magic and sense of wonder that lifelong SF fans have always understood at a gut level. He gave us a wonderful pop-culture gift that will voyage onward for many years to come.

    Oh, and Mr. Nimoy, you rock as Spock. I can’t imagine Star Trek, or the SF field as a whole, without the Spock character. If I could permanently relocate to any planet in the spiral arm it would be Vulcan.

  • Josh C

    Some things are classics. Thanks to Netflix, we watch episodes from the original series and Next Generation almost every Friday night with our kids and the dog. These are stories that can be shared across generations. We’re looking forward to seeing the movie this weekend.

  • Rex

    I’ve never really been a fan of Star Trek but the preview really caught my attention and surprised me that it was Star Trek. They have done a good job of grabbing a new group of fans.

  • Claire Nollet from Buffalo, NY

    Star Trek came on the air when I was a 5 year old girl, in 1966, and I LOVED it. Especially Lt. Uhura, who I could clearly see was the smartest person on the bridge next to Spock. And everyone’s fat would be in the fire if it weren’t for her.

    When I was 6, I said to my mom, “When I grow up, I want to be just like Lt. Uhura.” She said, “Oh, you want to be an astronaut! How nice!”

    “Yes,” I said. “And I want to be black.”

    Mom went on to explain that while I might become an astronaut, I could never be black, because God had made people in all different colors of black and brown and yellow and white and red, and they were all special, but that you couldn’t change color.

    Whereupon, in a fit of despaire, I packed a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter into a pillow case and ran away from home, to the woods behind our house. I sat beside the stream all day crying and swatting mosquitoes, because I could never be as smart or as pretty as Lt. Uhura, because I could never be black like she was. Surely, I reasoned, it was because she was black that she was so smart and pretty and competent. How could I ever match all that she had going on for herself?

    My brothers found me at 10 o’clock that night, still heartbroken.

  • Brian

    I am a fan of Star Trek and Sci Fi but I don’t feel ready to dive into this new reincarnation. Canon-alteration issues can be put aside if it’s done for some greater artistic purpose (Batman, Battlestar, etc). I just want sci-fi to keep going at the heights that Battlestar Galactica brought it to, not to have it dazzle with CGI and stunts in some type of Star Trek meets The Fast and The Furious.

  • http://www.spaceordie.org Brian Drake

    Sorry, but however good the new film might be, I’m a little bored with watching someone play Captain Kirk, I’d much rather watch someone BE Captain Kirk.

  • http://janggolan.blogspot.com teg

    I really like Nimoy’s work–especially, Woman Called Golda. I can’t wait to see the ST movie,and the new episodes of Fringe, too. Oh, yeah, Nimoy’s photography is cool, too.

  • Joe
  • L.J.

    I’ve been a fan of Trek since the late 1960s when I recall straining to get UHF recepition on the B&W TV in the kitchen. (My 3-year-old is incredulous about the idea of non-color TV!)

    As a young woman, Trek always impressed me with its great roles for female characters (Uhura, Chapel in the original series, Major Kira in DS9).

    Does the new show have a strong role for Uhura and other female characters, or is it almost exclusively focused on the men?

  • Ahaiku

    Star trek is at once/Alien and famillar/This is it’s appeal.

  • Carrie

    Joe – Thanks for the link to Jeff Greenwald’s piece on Salon.com “Obama is Spock – It’s Quite logical” – thoroughly enjoyed it. May we all “Live long and prosper”. Great show Tom. Can’t wait to see the movie!

  • Tom

    I was dubious when I heard the new film would recast the original series actors. Trek isn’t like a play, where various actors can step into a role. Gene Roddenberry sketched out the characters, but the original actors made them the multidimensional characters we know. I doubted that magic could be repeated.

    But when Leonard Nimoy agreed to come out of retirement to play Spock again, I had second thoughts. Anyone who read his books knows that he was very protective of Spock as a character since the original series. He didn’t want Spock to devolve into a science fiction cliche merely defined by catch phrases. To me, he was one of the few creative people associated with Star Trek who got it.

    And I have to say he was spot on with his decision. I got a lump in my throat when you see his Spock come on screen. It’s odd to say, and a bit ironic, but that Vulcan as played by Spock provided the emotional heart of the movie. I was happy that he wasn’t just relegated as cameo or stunt casting.

    My only gripe about the movie is that we didn’t get to see more of the new cast interacting with each other and developing their realtionships. But the Trek universe is new again, and hopefully we’ll get to relive those moments in future movies. And new fans will see why fans of the original series were inspired and hold these characters dear.

  • Linda

    In comparing Star Trek and more recent sci fi space odessies (sp?) such as Battlestar Galactica, it is important to remember that succeed when they capture the zeitgeist of the era.

    Star Trek in the 60s-80s represented the idealism of cooperative multi-national institutions, confronting stereotypes, etc. (Unfortunately it was a bit behind on women’s issues.)

    Battlestar Galactica captured the Bush era and was an dramatic representation of the tensions and political battles of the era.

    If the new Star Trek movie succeeds, perhaps it is because it too is capturing the mood we’re in (or longing to be in).

  • Frederic C.

    ST09 ugh.

    I second dismay that the, ‘Fast and Furious,’ vibe the .COMmercials impart.

    Yeah, the sensory experience and the nostalgia may quicken my pulse if I were to spend $10- I don’t have to see it, but….

    Imagine a character driven ST with only a judicious amount of fx.

    Ah phooey!

  • Mark S.

    I see the analogy, Carrie. Obama as Spock. Cool, calm, analytical and aware of the illogic of running two wars off-budget. Now, if he would only address other issues utterly devoid of logic, like the continuing embargo of Romulus, er, I mean Cuba.

  • Joe B.

    This is just so typical of Hollywood. Don’t bother to come up with something new or original. Just re-hash something old and lame like Star Trek, and re-make it even worse than the original.

  • Mike

    I would just like to issue a correction to a caller during the show. The average lifespan for a Vulan is 200 years. As someone that claimed to be a true Star Trek fan he should have known this… Tsk.. Tsk.. Tsk..

  • Surfside

    I chaired the campus speaker series at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the 80s. Gene Roddenberry filled the campus auditorium with a paying audience as none of the speakers before or after him during my tenure did. His appeal even in a place where television programs were bicycled around the state on videotape and delayed weeks or months after Lower 48 play dates was immense.

  • Matt McDonald

    Wow after listening to this show my first comment is that Trekkies should be band from the film since it only seems to disapoint them. Second, guys get a life, I can appreciate obsessing over something but it is a MOVIE and is met to be entertainment not life. By the way I loved it even with all its inaccuracies to the original series. Sorry you Trekkies can’t seem to enjoy it. If you want reality go visit our wounded warriors at Bethesda or Walter Reed medical center it will make you put into perspective very quickly what is important.

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