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Filming begins on the first "Star Trek" pilot episode, "The Cage," on 27 November 1964. It was rejected by NBC and would not be seen for another 20 years -- luckily a second pilot led to a full series.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

Mr. Spock smiles in this behind-the-scenes photo from the original series of "Star Trek," which began in 1966.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

Capt. Kirk and crew took to the stars in animated form in 1973.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

In 1987, a new crew and a new Enterprise set out on a new mission. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" ran until 1994.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

In 1993, the "Star Trek" universe expanded to space station "Deep Space Nine."

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

Between 1995 and 2001 the crew of "Star Trek: Voyager" were lost in the Delta Quadrant.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

In 2001 "Star Trek: Enterprise" took us back to the earliest days of Starfleet.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

In 2009, a new generation of actors took on the familiar roles of the original series' crew for a big-screen reboot.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

A model of the iconic USS Enterprise is shown to series creator Gene Roddenberry.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

The captain of the Enterprise in the first -- rejected -- pilot episode was Christopher Pike, played by Jeffrey Hunter. Sadly, Hunter died in 1969.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

A second pilot saw William Shatner take the conn as Capt. James T. Kirk -- and the rest is history.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

Kirk was joined on the bridge by his trusty crew, including Spock, McCoy, Uhura and Scotty.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

Kirk contemplates a Tribble in the famous episode "The Trouble With Tribbles," from the original series' second season.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

In those racially charged days of the Cold War, "Star Trek" made a bold statement with its diverse crew, including Chekhov and Sulu.

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Capt. Kirk had a distinctive approach to furthering intergalactic relations.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

Here Shatner is seen with guest star Joan Collins in the classic episode "The City on the Edge of Forever."

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

In the classic episode "Mirror, Mirror" the crew met their evil counterparts.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

On the show's 30th anniversary, the next generation of "Trek" paid homage to its roots with this time-traveling "DS9" episode.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

The original series was followed by a colourful animated series. The abundance of pink is due to a colour-blind director.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

Following the success of "Star Wars," "Star Trek" was revived in 1979 on the big screen with a new look.

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Classic sequel "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" saw the movies hit their stride. Khaaaannn!

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"The Wrath of Khan" saw one of the crew sacrifice himself to save the ship.

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Until "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock", anyway.

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The hilarious "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" saw the Enterprise crew journey to the present day.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

"Star Trek: Generations" saw the mantle officially passed from Kirk to Picard.

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"The Next Generation" ran for seven seasons and four big-screen adventures.

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In one of the best TV cliff-hangers ever, "The Best of Both Worlds" saw beloved Capt. Picard transformed into an evil Borg.

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"The Next Generation" crew film their final episode.

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Before he was Bane, Tom Hardy played a clone of Captain Picard in "Star Trek: Nemesis."

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A new Kirk for a new generation: in JJ Abrams reboot of the series, Chris Pine takes the captain's chair.

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And Zachary Quinto steps into Mr. Spock's eyebrows.

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Photo by: CBS/Paramount

The original USS Enterprise, designated NCC-1701.

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The Enterprise was souped up for the big screen.

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That'll mess up the no-claims bonus.

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"The Next Generation" saw the launch of a new Galaxy class Enterprise, NCC-1701-D.

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Later movies saw a sleeker NCC-1701-E.

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In recent years, Mr. Sulu actor George Takei has enjoyed a new resurgence of popularity as an online hero...

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...as has Wil Wheaton, pictured left, who played teenage genius Wesley Crusher.

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