Science fiction aficionados heap praise upon Star Trek for its philosophical weight, progressive ideas, nuanced characters and pioneering diversity. Those are key talking points in any Star Wars versus Star Trek debate. What often goes overlooked when discussing the original series is its sheer artistry.
Gene Roddenberry's genius television show featured gorgeous cinematography, color, visual design and effects, which set it apart from the competition. Bold splashes of purple and green light the interior of ships. Rich matte paintings capture alien metropolises. The backdrop of the Santa Monica Mountains add natural beauty to alien landscapes in exterior shots.
Though it was made half a century ago, Star Trek holds up today thanks in large part to its composition. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, here are some of our favorite images from the first season. We stuck with the original special effects where we could. If you can spot which episodes these are from, congrats. You are a true Trekkie.
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