Star Trek, on NBC
One of the most classic, important TV series of all time, which started the whole immense franchise we know today. But gosh, what to say about this show? Set in 2266-69 aboard the Federation starship Enterprise (NCC-1701), seeking out new life and new civilizations, boldly going where no man has gone before, and all that. Oh, it could be rather campy and the effects cheap, but it was a hell of a lot more serious than most anything else at the time, especially for sci-fi shows. It took plenty of risks and made much social commentary. It gave the world hope for a brighter future, for a world finally united and an end to our wars and cultural differences. For humanity reaching to the stars and befriending many alien races, working and living together in harmony. Though of course there would always be enemies, from rival interstellar empires (the main ones being the Klingon Empire and the Romulan Star Empire) to individual madmen and unknown alien life forms, etc.... It deserves far more than a couple of pathetic little paragraphs from me, but rather thousands of extensive websites devoted to it. Ah, and so it has....
Anyway, the three central characters were Captain James Tiberius Kirk (William Shatner); the half-human/half-Vulcan first officer/science officer Spock (Leondard Nimoy); and chief medical officer Leonard "Bones" McCoy (DeForest Kelley). They were best friends, and a most fascinating triangle of personalities. Don't really know what to say about them that would do their intricate friendship justice, without taking more space than I intend to. Anyway, the other main characters included chief engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (James Doohan); communications officer Uhura (Nichelle Nichols); helmsman Hikaru Sulu (George Takei), and navigator/junior science officer Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig). Of course there are other recurring characters, such as nurse Christine Chapel (Majel Barrett) and yeoman Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney). No doubt I'm forgetting any number of important recurring characters, but that should do for now.
Really, I'd love to talk more about the whole universe that was invented for this show, and actually more than just one universe. But... it's all too big, I just don't know what to say. Except that it's a shame it didn't last longer than it did, and the world we know, the real world, would probably be rather a different place had this show not existed. Meanwhile, there are plenty of websites out there that will tell you more about it, and I've linked to some of them here and on my Star Trek links page. I also want to mention that a whole series of movies was spawned by this television series, and eventually I'll have reviews of each of them here. Can't say just when I'll get to that, though.... And, of course, about 20 years after the original series ended, there would be several new spin-off TV series continuing the legacy created by Gene Roddenberry, even after his death.