Reminder: Rod Roddenberry’s Trek Nation Doc Premieres Tonight

At long last Rod Roddneberry’s documentary Trek Nation premieres tonight on the Science Channel. See below for more information plus video clips from this "personal journey of discovery" which explores the life of Gene Roddenberry and the impact his Star Trek creation has had on many people.


Roddenberry’s Trek Nation Airs Tonight on Science Channel

Rod Roddenberry Jr’s documentary Trek Nation premiers tonight (Wednesday, November 30) at 8PM ET/PT on the Science Channel. Here is a promo and some clips.

press release



— George Lucas, J.J. Abrams and Seth MacFarlane join Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry Jr. on the journey of a lifetime featuring never-before-seen footage in TREK NATION premiering Wednesday, November 30, at 8PM ET/PT on SCIENCE–

(Silver Spring, Md.)—SCIENCE celebrates the 45th anniversary of one of the greatest television franchises of all time, Star Trek, with the world-premiere two-hour event, TREK NATION. This tribute follows Gene Roddenberry’s son, Rod, as he explores the deep impact of his father’s singular vision for the future. Through interviews with fans, including George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, Seth MacFarlane, and many notable Star Trek alums, TREK NATION chronicles a son’s journey to discover his father’s work that helped defined science fiction. TREK NATION premieres on SCIENCE on Wednesday, November 30 at 8PM ET/PT.

TREK NATION draws on hours of exclusive footage, including never-before-seen home movies from the Roddenberry family collection and the first-ever Star Trek convention. This film demonstrates that Roddenberry’s work has not only inspired legions of fans across the globe, but generated a cultural movement. Star Trek is a phenomenon that goes beyond entertainment; it has influenced politics, space travel, social morality and much more. Star Trek was a catalyst which has fostered an enhanced understanding of the human condition, capturing man’s constant search for a better world.

“Gene Roddenberry is the original thought-provocateur; the rebel-genius who was not afraid to push the boundaries of what science can accomplish,” said Debbie Myers, general manager and executive vice president of SCIENCE. “Star Trek used science fiction to hold a mirror to society, leveraging its storylines as a platform for social commentary touching on topics such as racism, sexism, the economy, war, peace and religion. Working with Rod, and showing footage never shared on television is what makes TREK NATION truly inspiring.”

“I am so glad TREK NATION found its home at SCIENCE,” says Rod Roddenberry, Executive producer of Trek Nation and son of Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry. “They understood that, as personal as the film was for me, TREK NATION is really a universal story of a son coming to understand his father. The experience allowed me to learn more about the man behind this incredible science fiction phenomenon as well as the man I knew as ‘Dad.’ I think it’s something that Star Trek fans and those less familiar with the franchise will enjoy.”

Star Trek was a revolution that would define an era. When it first premiered on NBC in 1966, it often was described as a western set in space. However, the series provided a much deeper commentary that created a devoted and loyal fan base which continues to grow, even today. With a then-virtually-unknown cast, each week Roddenberry told tales of humans and aliens who lived side by side and served the Starfleet, the peacekeeping armada of the universe.

TREK NATION is produced for SCIENCE by Roddenberry Entertainment and New Animal Productions. For Roddenberry Entertainment, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth are executive producers. Executive producer Nicole Rittenmeyer represents New Animal. Bernadette McDaid is the executive producer and vice president of production for SCIENCE. Lindsay Foster is associate producer for SCIENCE and Debbie Adler Myers is general manager and executive vice president of SCIENCE.


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Nothing to say dang!

Looking forward to it!

O.K I think my BORG Costume I made for my son is better than the one appearing in the video clip.

will take me back to that magical Thurs nite 9/8/66 when my life would be forever changed.

Looking forward to it!

Thanks for the reminder!!

It was amazing!

Just finished watching it. Absolutely loved it. It was great to see so many familiar faces in front of and behind the cameras. Loved all the old footage.

I also just finished watching it, and I have to say it’s one of the best documentaries on Star Trek I’ve ever watched. Rod did a great job. It was refreshing to see how frank he and others were in talking about Gene’s… um… established personality.

Nice documentary. I understand why Rod Roddenberry is investigating Trek; it’s from his Dad and so ubiquitous it cannot be ignored. I hope he resolves whatever issues he’s dealing with. As someone who didn’t quite get J.J. Abrams take on Star Trek, I found his attitude towards the show unexpected and refreshing.

Just watched it on this “Science” Channel I’ve never heard of. So, that’s what happened to the SciFi channel! Or at least it had the look and feel of what SciFi used to be. Man, I miss that! Didn’t realize how much I did until tonight.

As for the documentary I enjoyed it. It reminded me of the early days during the first syndication run that I was a part of as a kid. The good old days. The days of innocence and a little less complicated way of looking at things. The fun days. My childhood.

I’ll be watching, Rod

Really liked it, truly appreciate the candor Rod presented. Was pleasantly surprised by the clip he showed JJ… I think I knew that was expressed by Gene before, just never saw the footage. Awesome! Great job, Rod!!!

I’ve seen every Star Trek documentary and Trek Nation is the best one. Instead of hearing the same old stories, it is packed with information that I never knew. I Loved It Rod, You Rock.

this is a great look into the heart of Trek

Well done Rod. When will it be on again?

Rod, thank you very much for sharing your adventure! It was wonderfully done and really touched my wife and I’s heart.

Yes Rod Thanks for easily THE BEST Trek Documentary every made….the fact that this is Grs Son gives this a personal quest angle that means more cuz rod is learning about his dad a side of his dad he didnt really know….other than the authoritative one ….his rebelious teen didnt pay much attention to ma and pa….now that Rod is mature he wanted to know why so many of us respect and even revere his dad…One surprise was I espected much more details and interviews with his mom Majel Barrett…but apparently she never felt like revealing much about him to rod….Like George Lucas and his generous interview with Rod….Trek musta meant SOMETHING to george…he admitted he attended several conventions in the early days….Also loved Seth Mcfarlanes comments too especially about how there are rugs and wood grain on the next generation ships hahaha…..One thing I also thought there would be more of….goofy Trek convention interviews….There were a few all well done but obviously Rod was trying to avoid the trekkies or trekkies 2 feel….which is good as those docs really did go all the way in showing the good and strange sides of conventions….I would Love to see more from Rod he is a good interviewer….it was mostly down to earth…I loved him talkiing to the guys on teh sidewalk by genes hollywood fame star that was great…
A very memorable documentary…Tried to have my GF watch it with me after a few minutes WHO CARES and she left the room hhah sigh I was hoping it would help explain trek to her so she understood it and my love for it better but oh well…..sigh…
Also JJ explained kinda what he was doing with his take on trek and it was great to hear Gene himself saying in the future someone will take trek with younger stars and do their own modern take on it…How many years ago did gene say that had to have been at least a decade?? Great stuff ROD Congrats! Science channel was a great place to premiere it…


Nononono. Try at least *two* decades.

(annnd I am now officially old. thank you.)

#18 Jim Nightshade:
Perhaps a new girlfriend?
Who cares. Jeez.

Haha Gary–lets see if i did that i would need new family, n friends too—-nahhh actually most are pretty tolerant of my interests–i suppose i dont stick around very often when they watch soap channel or the singing or dancing shows all nite—different strokes…n you are right i shouldnt care that much …i guess most of the time i dont–

I saw it last night and enjoyed it very much. My favorite moments were the frank admissions; how Rod had less than an ideal relationship with his parents, how Dorothy Fontana split with Gene on (sadly) bad terms, how the writers of TNG felt straightjacketed by Roddenberry’s/Berman’s ridiculously optimistic formula for the show, etc.

These were the moments that felt honest and true to me. They were the rare moments when the show peeked beneath the self-reverential veneer of accolades and allowed us to see glimpses of reality beneath the public facade…

Overall, it was beautifully researched. I’d love to get this on dvd someday. Nice work by Roddenberry Jr. and all others involved.

Great documentary. I hope this will stop all those people that come here and try to tell us that Star Trek 2009 “isn’t real Star Trek”. Or that they “know” what real Star Trek even is.

This documentary proved there is no such thing really. Gene argued with his own writers on TOS and TNG about what was real or good Star Trek. What audiences wanted and what would make for a successful show.

I think the clip that Rod showed JJ Abrams also shows that Gene was open minded enough to allow for someone to take a new cast and new direction with it and it would still be just as valid as any of the other shows. He at least acknowledge that it has to change and evolve over time for the changing views and expectations of audiences.

Too many Trekkers are inflexible in their views and believe they “know” what is and isn’t Star Trek. I hope they watched this documentary and saw that what defines Star Trek is not nearly as black and white as they think it is.

Just one more note on “real” Star Trek.

This documentary illustrated that when Gene was left with complete creative control, the result was not that great. Examples being the original pilot “The Cage” and The Motion Picture. Both were described by studio execs and even Rod as “boring”, “too high-brow”, “too intellectual” and “too technical”.

I think if it weren’t for those around Gene that were able to convince him to change some things, ad some “conflict” and action to the story, then Star Trek would have never been made at all, and would not exist today.

I don’t say this as any disrespect to Gene, but as a note to those that think they know Gene and what his vision of Star Trek is, and therefore think they are the authority on what is Star Trek.

If it were left completely up to Gene, Kirk would have never had any of those fight scenes, and likely never had all those love interests. It would have been alot more “boring” and intellectual like “The Cage” or TMP.

Most people considered The Wrath of Khan to be the best example of Star Trek at any level until the 2009 movie (and some even still), but it is worth noting that TWOK was a complete departure from TMP in every since, and that TMP was what Gene wanted. The studio had to convince him to give up some control (or alot) for TWOK to be the huge success it was.

I thinik we should be just as grateful to those that did that as to Gene himself for giving us Star Trek.

Hey Chris Doohan, I just saw you on the Bio Channel during a bio of Danny Bonnaduce….Kewel! Danny just started a radio dj job at a classic rock station kzok here in the seattle tacoma marketplace!….

I have to say that documentary brought tears to my eyes. Very touching. I wonder what the ratings were.

Not gonna like, I teared up a little thinking about how it’s influenced my life for the better.

That documentary was flat out amazing to watch. Many times I found myself smiling as it reminded me how much joy Gene’s creation has brought to my life and how much creative inspiration I’ve gotten from him as a writer. There were moments with Majel that were a little heartbreaking to watch but I like the fact that this didnt shy away from being raw and telling the good and the bad that surrounded Gene and his family life. And more to the point, I just liked the fact that it was really, at its core, a story about ‘a boy trying to know his father who isnt around anymore.’

That was one of, if not the, best documentary I’ve seen on Star Trek. Because it was honest. Rod really sought the truth about his father, even encouraging others to talk about Gene’s personal and professional faults. Rod even expressed disappointment in his mother for not revealing enough. I’ve seen snippets of that 1986 Roddenberry interview footage 100 times, but never the outtakes where you could tell he was struggling, physically. And the VHS footage of his final convention appearance was moving, to say the least.

In the end, I hope this experience has brought Rod some satisfaction and peace with the phenomenon his father created. Good job, Rod!

There were so many others who contributed to the creation and enrichment of Trek– Gene Coon, DC, Herb Solow, etc., but without GR, there would be NO Trek!
Well done Rod!!


I did that Bonaduce bio a few years ago. I was the only one of his two friends that would do it. :)

Only able to watch the first half so far ( had to go to bed …damn job ). Anyway, I stayed up later than I should , thoroughly engrossed. I kept saying to myself…’okay, just to the next commercial break’ , but then they said the interview with George Lucas was next, and I knew I had to see that.

Was pleased that Rod used the “warts and all” footage ( including his own delightfully irreverent ski lift home movie…” Da da daaah da-da-da-da dahhhh…’raspberry noise'” ).

Great stuff. I expect I’ll have to buy it when it becomes available on video.

Mongo like Rod Roddenberry mans. Mongo like Rod Roddenberry mans documentary. Mongo think Rod Rodenberry mans very brave to talk open about dad and himself. Mongo see strength of character.

Mongo think Roddenberry mans should think about write next chapter of Trek on TV. Take over mantle. It one of distinction. He not bad film maker in own right.

Mongo like Star Trek.

I found deleted sceens if any of you are interested. very good stuff that adds to the documentary

I have to agree with most of you…this was one of the best TREK docs I’ve seen! I was very happy to see it didn’t pull any punches when it came to Gene – he WAS very frustrating to deal with, both professionally and personally, but he also deserved the “visionary” kudos that he often got.

Loved it. It felt like I was accompanying Eugene on an emotional hero’s journey. The theme of fathers and sons provided a great narrative to the film. Well done!

23. JJ-Trek isn’t real Trek.
I don’t give a damn what Roddenberry’s son thinks.

Hah chris d…yeh danny b has issues-sounds like hes been thru a lot—in the partrich family he made it fun to watch if u werent a teen gal going gaga over cassidy–him n staring at susan deys short skirts mmmm–danny sounds like he is recovered n thankful to be working in radio in seattle–hope the best for him..