This television series needs no introduction. Started in the 1960s, Star Trek was credited for having introduced the genre of science-fiction to audiences across the world. Now, almost five decades later, the creator of the series, late Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991), comes alive again through a documentary that chronicles his life. Created by his son, Rod Roddenberry, the series called Trek Nation premieres on Discovery Science on July 14 at 9 pm.
“I didn’t know much about Star Trek. I knew even less about my father because he passed away when I was just 17, in 1991,” says Rod, who has been working on the documentary series ever since Gene’s death.
“The documentary has evolved over a 10-year period. And I learnt a tremendous amount about my father through it. Star Trek was more than just a series, it influenced and inspired lives in a positive way.”
Apart from the fans and cast of the iconic TV show over the decade, Rod has also interviewed sci-fi veterans like Hollywood filmmaker and Star Wars director George Lucas, along with JJ Abrams, the director of the film Star Trek (2009), to record Gene’s contribution. The intention, he says, was to showcase his father’s human side.
“Fans have revered him in a God-like way, but for me he was an authoritative figure. I wanted to show that he too was a fallible man. That’s how I could relate to him. It was important for me to find the man behind the myth — the good, the bad and the ugly,” says Rod.
Having just finished working on a short film called White Room: 02B3, Rod insists he is interested in science fiction but his aim is completely different.
“Fans want the sci-fi future to become a reality. And I think Star Trek did a great job of selling what our potential as human beings is. I now want to start making that future a reality,” says the producer, whose Roddenberry Foundation furthers his cause.
“We work with other non-profit institutions that are pursuing cutting-edge technology for the betterment of our species. I’m trying to push that future
forward. I know it will take time but it should happen.”