Star Trek: The Original Series
From humble beginnings, Gene Roddenberry's space opera has grown into a worldwide phenomenon and unstoppable cult.
Still a TV staple even now, Star Trek's optimistic futurism has served as many a fan's introduction to the world of science fiction. Creator Gene Roddenberry unwittingly provided the bedrock for decades' worth of space-borne clichés - in films and TV series from Star Wars to Firefly. These elements include the ship (the USS Enterprise), the seemingly aimless progress (their mission to go where no man has gone before), the common enemy (the Klingon), the dogged captain (Kirk) and his tight-knit crew.
Despite its seeming ubiquity nowadays, the original series ran for only three years, and initial response to it was lukewarm; it was accused of simplistic moralising and tokenism, among other things. However, just as repeat showings in the UK brought more and more people to the ways of the Federation, re-runs in the USA saw a cult of Trekkies (or Trekkers, as some die-hard fans prefer) grow to such an extent that, at the end of the 1970s, a feature film was deemed a good idea. The original series' legacy would go on to include an animated sequel, eight films (so far), no less than four spin-off series, games, books, and lots and lots of merchandise.