Originally posted by foolip:
As part of an attempt to hunt down Star Trek references in pop culture on Wikipedia I've created http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/References_to_Star_Trek_in_Futurama
. I'm writing to ask if someone knows why there are so many Trek references in Futurama -- is someone on the staff a trekkie, was it a joke thing or something else? I'd really like an introduction to the page, so if you have some information about this I'd appreciate if you edited the page and write a short paragraph about it. Any contributions to the list is welcome too, of course.
Well David X Cohen is a big Trek fan judging by the commentaries, I can't remember which one it was but he says that he was a big fan when he was young or college, I can't remember what. Probably Matt G is too. And they're of that generation that was primarily influenced by ST:TOS rather than TNG or DS9/V. Like me.
ST:TOS is by far the biggest reference, it's not just the obvious parodies of TOS episodes like WMIBACIL but it's influence is almost ambient: every beep, whistle, alarm, equipment noise etc is lifted straight from it. Which is great if you happen to be a TOS fan like me because it shows just how much these guys loved it, but if you're younger then I guess most of it is going to go woooooosh straight over the top of your head. There is the occasional reference to TNG like the "Times Arrow" episode and Jonathon Frakes' head but these are the exception rather than the rule. Theres probably more Star Wars references than TNG, and almost none to later Trek shows DS9 or Voyager.
ST:TOS really became a huuuuuuuge "cult" show after it was cancelled and went into syndication. People tend to forget in these days of almost continous exposure, most recently in Enterprise, but between when TOS was cancelled in the late 60's and the mid-70's there was no new Trek on TV unless you count the animated series. It was, basically, a dead show that achieved a Lazarus-like life after death resurrection starting with ST: The Motion Picture. Originally Gene Roddenberry was going to make a new series of Trek with the original actors but then decided they were to old and created a new show : TNG and had the TOS actors making a series of films instead. And the rest, as they say, is history. It has become one of the most succesful franchises in TV history with only the most recent shows letting the standard drop.