Star Trek is the most successful franchise ever to grace a CRT. Star Trek has a massive worldwide following, and at the time was at the cutting edge of modern thinking when it was first aired. Star Trek's creator; Gene Roddenberry's integrity bucked popular opinion and it's creation made for one of the most important and unique programs of the 20th century. Before Gene Roddenberry's legacy it was unheard of to have a Russian(Chekov) working aboard a predominantly american-esque crew or a black female officer(Uhura) on the bridge of a powerful starship.
Although very dated by today's comparison, Star Trek's special effects were cherished by the millions that watched it and thankfully the tales it told were equally fresh, but after a life span of 3 series, Star Trek as we knew it was finally cancelled in 1969 due to poor ratings and writing.
In 1979 and after immense pressure from the sturdy fan-base; Star Trek was resurrected on the silver screen in: Star Trek; the Motion Picture, still one of my favourite films to date. Many years later and the franchise is still going and growing strong on several media fronts, including an MMO; Star Trek Online.
The quality of Star Trek can be debated many times over. It's clear that the pressure to keep the franchise alive led to some poor choices throughout it's long history, but it's depiction of a tolerant and inclusive universe, the curiosity of the human race to expand it's knowledge is well known and respected.
There are many reasons why Star Trek is still with us and it's Trekkie brand of fans penetrate every facet of the society; their passion for the idealised future will always be a part of our culture. Star Trek is here to stay and is welcome on my screen anytime, even when it's simply appalling.
Star Trek (official website)
Star Trek; the Motion Picture (dvd)
Star Trek Online (official website)