Premiering amidst a particularly tumultuous period of American history, Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek boldly transported audiences to a distant future in which humanity seemed to have resolved many of the divisions that had previously separated us. With the racial struggles of the Civil Rights era still making headlines when the Enterprise took flight on Sept. 8, 1966, the starship’s startlingly diverse crew made an immediate impression. And that was all part of the Star Trek creator’s grand design. “Diversity was an idea and philosophy between the [characters],” says Roddenberry’s son, Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, in this exclusive clip from the new Blu-ray set Star Trek: The Original Series — The Roddenberry Vault. “We were out there not seeking out weird-looking aliens, but seeking out new philosophies.”
Set for release on Dec. 13, The Roddenberry Vault features ultra-rare outtakes, alternate takes, and behind-the-scenes material filmed during the three-season run of the original Star Trek series, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The three-disc set also features interviews with surviving cast members of that first crew, including George Takei and Nichelle Nichols, whose presence on the bridge made the Enterprise a progressive model of a diverse workplace. “Gene’s dream did it,” Nichols says of Roddenberry’s early efforts to diversify television. “It wasn’t just creating Star Trek, it’s what creating Star Trek allowed.”
Star Trek: The Original Series — The Roddenberry Vault will be released on Blu-ray on Dec. 13.