Fan-made Star Trek Timeline is a Beautiful Way To Visualize the Trek Universe


To Boldly Go: The Future of Star Trek is a beautifully rendered HTML5 website that takes you through the history of Star Trek, both in the form of an interactive timeline and a look into the key moments throughout the franchise. Check it out after the jump.

The Star Trek Timeline
Over at his blog, Tom Bennet has created a fun interactive way to move through the history of the Star Trek franchise. The timeline itself puts the various productions (TV series and movies) into real-life historical context, with fun tid-bits and videos related to each production.


A detailed history
Scroll down from the timeline to reveal a more detailed history of Trek. Here Bennet has taken the time to explain the modern context of various productions (e.g. TNG as a sequel to TOS and its eventual success with 20 million viewers a week) and uses examples from some of our favorite Trek moments like TNG’s “All Good Things…” and DS9’s “What You Leave Behind”.

Our favorite Ressikan floutist

An Opinionated Commentary
The blog is heavily focused on a rather polarizing issue in Trek fandom these days: namely, whether or not JJ Trek has helped or hindered the franchise. There are very strong views on both sides of this topic, but we ask that you view Tom’s site in the spirit in which it’s intended: as a very cool journey through the incredibly rich world that Gene Roddenberry and others have given us.



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That’s a pretty impressive effort there. Very nice.

Also equally impressive is the way you folks keep infusing life into this site, even while there’s no new notable Trek news to be had. Nice job, keep up the good work.

#1 Hear hear!

interesting site! =D

…and perspective ;-)

This is very well done. I was just thinking to myself recently how I’d love to write an open letter to Bob Orci and Paramount asking them to bring us some Star Trek of real substance this time. A return to the character-driven intensity; the originality, the risk-taking that embodied the best of Star Trek.

I really enjoyed Tom’s timeline and his commentary. Thanks for the effort it took to put that up.

AICN claims Edgar Wright is being sought.


Just read that news myself. The plot thickens.
I’m so curious as to the exact developement of this turn of events but first and foremost my hopes are for ultimately the best for the 50th. It’ll probably be quite a while before we’re privy to the details…if ever.

Thanks, Kayla! Very nice article about a great effort by someone obviously who is very fond of Trek.

Fascinating cross between history lesson and critique of where we are now, where we should go next.

My own particular opinion, is that the next iteration of Star Trek needs to set closer our own time than any of the series we’ve ever seen. With the possible exception of Enterprise.

“Also equally impressive is the way you folks keep infusing life into this site, even while there’s no new notable Trek news to be had. Nice job, keep up the good work.”

Except the reality is that there’s new Star Trek news almost every week, if not every day. :)

e.g., this past Monday saw the release of a new Star Trek episode.

There are 3-4 movie-length productions, plus a huge variety of shorter programs, all in production or development.

There are anywhere from 2-5 new Star Trek stories released every single month, and that’s just the licensed stuff. And if one adds products, memorabilia, etc. that’s not involved with storytelling, well, it’s just a tidal wave.

There’s Trek-related stuff happening *all the time*. And I applaud all the fans and licensees who are making it happen, as well as the websites that cover it and dispel on a daily basis the illusion that there’s no notable news to be had. :)

Well said, Alex.

Not to forget Trek started filming 50 years ago the other day.

There was a time when I was hanged out with the wrong crowd. I only wish I had realized that sooner. But over the years, I’ve gained a lot of experience in dealing with shall we say, the “hardcore eccentrics” of the Star Trek fandom. These folks often refer to themselves as “purists” and they have a skewed fundamental view on their favorite subject. There are lots of them out there, and many came out of the closet roughly the same time 09′ Trek came out.

You’ll know a typical purist fanboy when they open their big mouths:
– TOS is the only true and REAL definition of Star Trek. PERIOD. (Because they haven’t been watching anything else in their basement.)
– All the other spinoffs were derivative hogwash: TNG is soft-ass shit, DS9 is a damp gas station, VOY is a lost cause. (It appears that they were all disrespectful to Kirk or something. Purists are naturally against any form of progress you know.)
– Please don’t even get them started on ENT! Even more so with the new AR films!!! (You’ll be opening 10,000 can of worms with all that canon-violation bullshit. That really twists their panties, and then some.)
– The 70’s era Star Trek Phase II should have been produced. (Because everything related to TOS is allegedly sacred and what not.)
– Picard was a pansy. (Purists have a way of glorifying Jim Kirk to Norris type levels.)
– You could have feasibly transferred all the TOS designs to the big screen with NO alterations for STXI. (OH YEAH! Because a starship that looks like a cheap plastic toy is absolutely marketable these days.)
– JJ Abrams and anything related to him will be shit. (This is repeated ad nauseam, and they will constantly remind YOU in forums, chat, e-mail, etc.)
– The TOS Enterprise is a PERFECT design. Adding personal interpretations fucking ruins it. (Again, they have a cheap plastic toy fetish.)

Also, if you want to pander to their interests, do the following:
– Consistently make TOS art with outdated sounding titles. (They love to think that it is still the 1960’s. YEAH BABY YEAH!)
– Avoid posting any of the post-TOS stuff, they get sick of it. (Again, they detest any form of progress.)
– Be faithful to the originals by lowering your standards art-wise and make them look like plastic toys. (Because we all love how mediocrity works!)
– Better yet, do it with fucking models instead of the computer! (Be respectful to the classics by doing them the old goddamned fashioned way!)

Oh god, Star Trek is not a geriatric old-man club, where you have to show certain credentials just to be “in”. There was a time when I was indoctrinated by these cretins. But I slowly realized it all amounted to jackshit that made you look like a grumpy old asshat. So I offered a proverbial fuck you and moved on with the times. Sure, I made some enemies and lost some of my watchers but I have no regrets!

The author obviously thought a lot about his article and its a good read and highlights some great insights into Star Trek however…. I don’t get his argument.

To me Star Trek Into Darkness was a great original series type Star Trek story in which we would often see star fleet send the enterprise on missions that would be questioned by the crew. In Into Darkness we certainly see this very best of roddenberrys original characters when Spock Kirk and McCoy all question admiral Marcus’ orders which ultimately end up being broken in favour of the moral decision to not destroy Khan without giving him a trial.

My issue with star trek is this… I don’t really think anyone really knows what it is anymore. I think there’s been so much of it and so much of it has been so different that it’s hard to really know how to tell a good “Star Trek” story.

Whereas with Star Wars it’s this sweeping epic focused on one family, The Skywalkers, Star Trek has become this huge huge unrelenting universe of characters, only 7 of which are known to the wider world.

I think these most recent movies have been the best possible chance for Star Trek to start a fresh and move onto inspiring a new generation (perhaps not so much through the movies but more so a future TV series), however I’m very skeptical that Star Trek will even have a third movie after the recent revelations that Orci has seemingly left the project. It’s not good news.

The studios handling of Star Trek right from the very beginning has been appalling. They have missed every opportunity to push the brand forward into the mainstream and have failed to capitalise on the huge success Abrams have Star Trek back in 2009. It has been poorly managed and that’s the real reason Star Trek sits broken yet again.

There’s just simply no confidence in the brand from CBS or Paramount and I don’t think either studio know what exactly to do with Star Trek apart from continue to market the old stuff.

It’s an appauling state of affairs quite frankly.

Whoever does take on Star Trek now needs to really understand what Star Trek was actually all about and to strip it back to what the original series was… A western out in space with a crew of very relatable characters exploring new worlds and civilisations that reflected something about our own society but in a very exciting, phasers at the ready kind of way.

The one criticism of into darkness for me is that it kind of halted the excitement of seeing these characters exploring space.

My choice now would be to reset the timeline, take it back to the original series, return the audiences to the style and the look of TOS (giving sets and props more depth and texture), recreate the original USS ENTERPRISE (just as Abrams has done with the falcon on SW) giving her added depth and texture so that she looked awe inspiring on the big screen and complete/continue the 5 year mission after the last episode of S3 back in 1969!

Create a new animated TV series that could be a prequel or sequel to Kirk and Spock using new characters…

Or you do this:

You have Kirk and Spock hand the original Enterprise keys over to a new crew and you do something completely new and completely original but within the familiar surroundings of TOS style Star Trek. Same ship, new crew and just really go with the idea that this is the established style we will give Star Trek and this is a totally new crew that is very new and different from Kirk and spock et al and this is just for a totally new audience.

There’s too much emphasis on pleasing the established fans by relating a new story back to an old story or making them nostalgic by using a line of dialogue we remember someone saying in episode 24 of season 2 of TOS… when all most fans want is decent story telling

It’s very well done