Google, today is doodling the 46 anniversary of the Original Star Trek TV show. Star Trek is synonymous with the sci-fi genre and the Original Series aired for the first time on the September 8,1966 and it ran till June 3 1969 on NBC. The doodle basically depicts the Google logo on the bridge of the USS Enterprise. The logo has been forked in the form of famous Star Trek characters.
The G of the logo incorporates pointy ears pointing towards the first officer of the Enterprise, Spock, who was human-Vulcan and chief science officer, played by Leonard Nimoy. The O of the logo depicts Nyota Uhura, the communications officer and this character was depicted by Nichelle Nicoles. The second O depicts Captain James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner. The corresponding G stands for Doctor Leonard “Bones” McCoy played by the late DeForest Kelly followed by the L for helmsman Hikaru Sulu played by George Takei and Pavel Chekov played by Walter Koenig. Notably, Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott was not depicted was played by the late James Doohan.
Once active, the doodle turns into a full blown homage to the iconic TV series that help shape the sci-fi genre and perhaps also the consumer electronics industry. The moment we click on the bridge console, the iconic Star Trek bridge sound starts, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. When one clicks on the Bridge, TurboLift door, then the doodle depicts the famous swooping slide door sound, and the red alert warning. The next scene transfers to the Transporter room with Kirk and Chekov on the transporter pad. One can click on the console for the transport sequence with the sound effects.
The next sequence pays homage to the legendary ‘Arena’ episode where Captain Kirk takes on the Gorn on the planet Cectus III. After the ensuing battle, the doodle takes us back to the bridge and we get embroiled in the credit roll which gives a peek of the USS Enterprise, following up with Google in the credits. The background music clearly pays homage to Alexander Courage’s theme for the show.
Star Trek was created by the late Gene Roddenberry who was an American screenwriter and futurist. After the original series there have been four Star Trek spin-off shows including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: DS9, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise. In addition to this, there have been eleven films based on the Original series and the The Next Generation shows making Star Trek one the most memorable sci-fi franchises in history.
It’s worth noting the impact of the series on Space travel. NASA named the original space shuttle, the Enterprise in honor of the show and even Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic program’s first ship is named the VSS Enterprise. This is quite interesting as ironically Gene Roddenberry named the ship on the show Enterprise after US naval warship from world war two.
But the impact of gadgetry depicted in Star Trek has given birth to arms race in the consumer electronics industry. The communicator for The Original Series is widely regarded as the inspiration for the Mobile Phone and later iterations have brought forth the ‘Tricorter’ that is considered an influence for the smartphone. Gadgets like the PADD have influenced tablet computers like the iPad and the LCARS voice operated computer (Played by Majel Barrett Roddenberry) is an influence to Google search and voice services and also other Voice AI’s like Siri on the Apple iPhone 4S. Heck, before unveiling Google Now, it was rumored that Google’s voice assistant would be called Majel, after Majel Barrett Roddenberry, the voice artist who gave life to the sound of the computer, who also went on to become Gene Roddenberry’s wife.
In fact, Google’s head of search Amit Singhal is a self professed Star Trek fan and recently when he introduced the Google Search Knowledge Graph, he stated this is another step towards realizing the Star Trek computer dream.
As of now there is no new TV show on air after Star Trek: Enterprise was cancelled by CBS, but the movie franchise was revitalized by JJ Abrams (The creator of Lost and Mission Impossible 3) in 2009 via a reboot of The Original Series, but in an alternate time line. The next movie is expected to be released in 2014.