Star Trek emerged against a cultural backdrop of Dylan, mini-skirts, bellbottoms and VW vans; flourishing a culture of Michael Jackson, big-hair and environmentalism; expanding during a culture of emerging-computers, greed and religious revitalization. Star Trek survived the culture shock after 9/11, and experienced a revival in the new culture of yoga pants, hybrid cars, and solar panels. Fifty plus years later, through rapid culture change, Star Trek is alive and well, voyaging through space and time. Which allows us to wonder, why is that?
Star Trek kept its core features while adapting to contemporary culture. The Voyages of Star Trek: A Space-Time Continuum explores how understanding human behavior and culture change through space and time is an important discipline that can affect impactful media, such as Star Trek. The authors, K. M. Heath and A.S. Carlisle, investigate the enduring appeal of the phenomenon of Star Trek and how it mirrored, foreshadowed, and adapted to contemporary American culture from 1966 to the present. First looking at the evolution of Star Trek by tying the dramatic storylines of episodes and movies to events and developments in America, then assessing the extent to which the image of Star Trek is actually reflected on the screen from "snapshots" of randomly selected episodes and of all the movies.
The Voyages of Star Trek: A Space-Time Continuum successfully looks at the cultural impact of Star Trek beyond what it did for its own franchise. Star Trek has a bright future among the stars, and has truly gone where few franchises have gone before.