The History of Star Trek in Korea

Captain’s Log: Stardate 201704.12. I had a Korean friend do some research on the history of Star Trek in Korea, and here is what she told me. She said TOS aired briefly in the 1970s, was dubbed into Korean, and didn’t stay on very long. Keep in mind that Korea was still a very poor country in the 1970s, with few people owning a TV. Later, in the mid-90s, TNG was on Korean TV, once again dubbed into Korean, and it didn’t last the first season. When I came to Korea in 2002, Voyager was on the Hallmark Channel in Seoul, but this time it had Korean subtitles. Sadly though, my cable company quickly dropped the Hallmark Channel. The original and TNG Star Trek movies, from The Motion Picture onwards, were released in Korea, and were available on DVD, but they are exceedingly rare and hard to find these days. I was lucky to get Star Trek I-IV on DVDs with Korean subtitles for my class. What does all this mean? It means that most Koreans have little to no knowledge of REAL Star Trek, of creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future. In a small way, I am the man who has brought classic Star Trek back to Korea, albeit decades later. I have been teaching Star Trek since 2014, but I have just been informed that TOS is FINALLY available on Netflix Korea, however only season 1 at the moment. Seasons from TNG, DS9 and Voyager are at last on Netflix Korea too. Let’s hope this won’t be another passing fad here. In closing, I have attached another public domain photo. May you live long and prosper.

Kirk Spock Public Domain

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