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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old September 20 2012, 02:59 AM   #1
dub
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The title "Star Trek"

I'm assuming Gene Roddenberry came up with the name "Star Trek" for the series. What was his inspiration for the name? It's very unique. Just curious what made him think of that as the title of the series.
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Old September 20 2012, 03:50 AM   #2
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Re: The title "Star Trek"

I'm not sure why he thought of it, but a trek is a long, difficult or adventurous journey. It took on that meaning during the Boer migration into South Africa (it was originally a Dutch word meaning to draw or pull, as in to pull a wagon), and so I'd imagine it came to be associated with the mythology of the frontier, with grand pioneering quests and arduous adventures. Roddenberry gained a lot of his prior TV experience writing Westerns -- which were a ubiquitous part of TV culture at the time -- so the term "trek" and its frontier associations were probably somewhat prominent in his awareness. So I guess when he decided to do a show about pioneers journeying into the frontiers of space -- especially one that he pitched as "Wagon Train to the stars," in reference to a famous, successful Western series whose format he wanted to emulate -- Star Trek made sense to him as a title.
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Old September 20 2012, 04:12 AM   #3
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Re: The title "Star Trek"

It sounds better than "Space Journey".
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Old September 20 2012, 04:31 AM   #4
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Re: The title "Star Trek"

Thanks Christopher! I hadn't thought about it from the western frontier perspective. I bet you're right. I was hoping maybe someone had asked Gene that question at some point and I just missed it. To me, putting myself in his shoes, the more obvious choice would have been to call it "Space Trek." I'm definitely not complaining or saying that he should have been literal, I'm just impressed with the uniqueness of the title and curious about how the title ultimately came to him. I'm guessing since there was already a show called "Lost in Space," they didn't want to use the word "Space" in the title. Anyway, just something I was wondering about tonight and hoped someone had an answer from an obscure interview with him somewhere.
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Old September 20 2012, 04:31 AM   #5
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Re: The title "Star Trek"

The Borg Queen wrote: View Post
It sounds better than "Space Journey".
Personally I wish that the titles of Star Trek and Galaxy Quest had been reversed. Galaxy Quest would work better as the title of the serious, classy space adventure drama, and Star Trek would work better as the title of the comedy spoof thereof.


dub wrote: View Post
To me, putting myself in his shoes, the more obvious choice would have been to call it "Space Trek." I'm definitely not complaining or saying that he should have been literal, I'm just impressed with the uniqueness of the title and curious about how the title ultimately came to him.
Well, it wasn't uncommon to use "star" or "the stars" as a figurative or poetic synonym for space. For instance, Alfred Bester's novel The Stars My Destination or the 1954 film Riders to the Stars. And science fiction had been using terms like "starship," "starfarer," "star lane," and, yes, even "starbase" and "starfleet" for decades before Star Trek came along. (http://www.jessesword.com/sf/list/?page=12) And Star Trek definitely rolls off the tongue more easily than Space Trek, and sounds classier to boot.
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Old September 20 2012, 04:33 AM   #6
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Re: The title "Star Trek"

Christopher wrote: View Post
Personally I wish that the titles of Star Trek and Galaxy Quest had been reversed. Galaxy Quest would work better as the title of the serious, classy space adventure drama, and Star Trek would work better as the title of the comedy spoof thereof.
Yes. It is.

Sorry, what was the point you were making again?

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Old September 20 2012, 04:33 AM   #7
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Re: The title "Star Trek"

How about Star Junket? That's got a certain jaunty up-the-nile vibe to it.
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Old September 20 2012, 10:52 AM   #8
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Re: The title "Star Trek"

When Star Trek is exported to different countries and translated for local languages, Star Trek sometimes becomes "Journey to the Stars."

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Old September 20 2012, 11:35 AM   #9
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Re: The title "Star Trek"

T'Girl wrote: View Post
When Star Trek is exported to different countries and translated for local languages, Star Trek sometimes becomes "Journey to the Stars."

Or in German, "Raumschiff (spaceship) Enterprise."
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Old September 20 2012, 11:40 AM   #10
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Re: The title "Star Trek"

NTRPRZ wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
When Star Trek is exported to different countries and translated for local languages, Star Trek sometimes becomes "Journey to the Stars."

Or in German, "Raumschiff (spaceship) Enterprise."
So what was Enterprise, the series called?
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Old September 20 2012, 11:57 AM   #11
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Re: The title "Star Trek"

dub wrote: View Post
To me, putting myself in his shoes, the more obvious choice would have been to call it "Space Trek."
Oddly enough, that's what I once preferred ENT to have been called. Rather than using the familiar terms Starfleet and starships, I personally would have used Space Service and spaceships to further distinguish the series from the Federation era. Silly, I know, but I thought it would have been different to go that route back then (similar, but not exactly the same)...
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Old September 20 2012, 01:11 PM   #12
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Re: The title "Star Trek"

T'Girl wrote: View Post
When Star Trek is exported to different countries and translated for local languages, Star Trek sometimes becomes "Journey to the Stars."



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Old September 20 2012, 03:08 PM   #13
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Re: The title "Star Trek"

T'Girl wrote: View Post
When Star Trek is exported to different countries and translated for local languages, Star Trek sometimes becomes "Journey to the Stars."

In Japanese, TOS was called Uchuu Daisakusen. Uchuu means "space," which is pretty much what "Star" is used to mean here. Dai means large or great and sakusen means "operation/maneuver" -- so Daisakusen is probably the closest they could come to translating "trek," a large-scale movement or migration. So it's roughly a literal translation. Although it's also possible to translate sakusen as "mission," which would make the title The Great Space Mission. I think that works pretty well.

However, the movies just had the title Star Trek transliterated phonetically into Japanese as スター・トレック(Sutaa Torekku).
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Old September 20 2012, 03:15 PM   #14
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Re: The title "Star Trek"

Don't know if anyone mentioned it, but when Lucille Ball was presented with the title STAR TREK as head of Desilu, she thought it was going to be a show following around celebrities... and she liked THAT idea for a show. She was ahead of her time, as now a good percentage of TV is 'entertainment/celebrity' news.
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Old September 20 2012, 03:16 PM   #15
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Re: The title "Star Trek"

I read in an interview somewhere that one of the pilot directors told Gene he thought the series should be called "Star Track." I think he felt "Star Trek" was a little esoteric for the average audience. I can't say I think his idea was any good, but considering so many "normals" would call it that anyway, maybe he was onto something.

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Don't know if anyone mentioned it, but when Lucille Ball was presented with the title STAR TREK as head of Desilu, she thought it was going to be a show following around celebrities... and she liked THAT idea for a show. She was ahead of her time, as now a good percentage of TV is 'entertainment/celebrity' news.
:-) Yeah, she asked Herb Solow "whatever happened to that USO series?"
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