The Google Doodle's "Star Trek" tribute offers up a fine way to waste some time on a Friday: an interactive homage to the groundbreaking television show on its 46th anniversary.
"Star Trek" was a relatively short-lived science-fiction series, running from 1966 to 1969. But the show, starring William Shatner as Capt. James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, left an indelible mark on our culture, a mark that exists today. (And we're not just talking about those Priceline Negotiator commercials.)
The three-season series, about humankind's quest to search the outer limits of the universe, spun off films, toys and games, not to mention several other television series. "Star Trek" was nothing short of a cultural phenomenon, in part because it gave the world a glimpse of a multicultural future, starting with a crew that seemed immune to conflicts over race and gender and included Nichelle Nichols as Uhura and George Takei as Sulu.
The show's creator, the late Gene Roddenberry, has been famously quoted as saying, "[By creating] a new world with new rules, I could make statements about sex, religion, politics, and intercontinental missiles. Indeed, we did make them on 'Star Trek': we were sending messages and fortunately they all got by the network."