Created by Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991) in the early 1960s, Star Trek first ran as a three season (1966-69) TV series (produced initially by Desilu, then by Paramount Studios)on NBC. Through the adventures of the intrepid starship the USS Enterprise and its crew - Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. "Bones" McCoy (De Forest Kelly) and company- Roddenberry and his writers were able to subtly comment on various social concerns of the day through the serious application of the science fiction genre, with a little action/adventure thrown in. Viewers responded to the show so positively that over the decades, Star Trek returned as a mid-70s animated Saturday morning program and six feature-length films between 1979-1991 featuring Shatner, Nimoy and the rest of the original cast. In 1987, Paramount Studios launched another spin-off series, this time with an all-new cast, titled Star Trek: The Next Generation. Set 90 years after the original series, ST:TNG starred Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard, the current captain of the Enterprise. ST:TNG ran in syndication for seven seasons, ending in 1994, and briefly continued as a big screen series (of descending quality) from '94 until 2002. Three more television spin-offs, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-1999), Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001) and Enterprise (a prequel series hastily retitled Star Trek: Enterprise in later seasons; 2001-2005) mined whatever narrative ground was left by then, to increasingly diminishing ratings and audiences.
Basically, by 2005, Star Trek was in dire need of a tune-up. The original audience was growing older, and younger, potential fans were more interested in more hard-hitting TV and movie series like Star Wars, Babylon 5, Stargate, Lost and the 2003-2009 "reboot" of the late 70s cult program Battlestar Galactica. Star Trek looked quaint and old fashioned compared to the new crop of shows that were currently available.
Taking a cue from Universal, which had found ratings and artistic success by remaking and updating the aforementioned Battlestar Galactica, Paramount (acknowledging the influences of their competition) assigned Lost creators J. J. Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman to freshen up the series. Abrams would direct from a script from Orci and Kurtzman that focused on the meeting between Kirk (now played by Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the original crew. Orci and Kurtzman not only managed to jump start the film series but also were able to maintain the established continuity of the original TV and movie installments. (Watch the film to find out how!)
The resultant film is well-acted and directed, despite a few holes in the script (like Spock ejecting Kirk onto an asteroid in the middle of a crisis). Overall though, Star Trek is a fun, fast-paced action-adventure thriller (with some welcome bits of humor) that'll keep you in your seats all the way through. Like I said in the first paragraph, check it out!