For reasons best known to itself, Royal Mail will issue a set of stamps on November 13 devoted to the American television and film franchise Star Trek.

Created by the American writer and producer Gene Roddenberry in 1966, the science-fiction space opera features 23rd-century humans on a mission ‘to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before’.

Combining the exploration of interstellar space and moral issues, it now extends to more than 750 television episodes and 13 movies, including both sequels and prequels. It is a cult phenomenon, with a worldwide fan base known as ‘Trekkies’.

What it isn’t is British. Although Royal Mail states that the franchise ‘has featured British acting talent throughout its history’, this link is tenuous.

A set of 12 gummed stamps depict the starship captains from six different television series, along with six other characters; half of these were played by British actors, but they are not all household names, partly because the later series’ appearances on terrestrial British television have been patchy.

A further six stamps, in a self-adhesive miniature sheet, feature characters from the various movies; all these were played by British actors, but not all in leading roles.

With a total of 18 designs, this set equals the 2015 Star Wars set as Royal Mail’s biggest ever special issue.

The 12 counter-sheet stamps, which come in two different se-tenant strips of six, were illustrated by Freya Betts, who specialises in digital images in the style of paintings. The set was designed by Interabang and printed in litho in sheets of 60 (divided into two panes of 30) by the Cartor division of International Security Printers.

 

1st class James T Kirk

Played by Canadian actor William Shatner, Kirk was Captain of the starship USS Enterprise in the original Star Trek television series (1966-69).

1st class Jean-Luc Picard

Played by British actor Patrick Stewart, Picard was Captain of the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek: The Next Generation television series (1987-94).

1st class Benjamin Sisko

Played by American actor Avery Brooks, Sisko was Captain of the space station Deep Space Nine in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine television series (1993-99).

1st class Kathryn Janeway

Played by American actress Kate Mulgrew, Janeway was Captain of the USS Voyager in the Star Trek: Voyager television series (1995-2001).

1st class Jonathan Archer

Played by American actor Scott Bakula, Archer was Captain of the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek: Enterprise television series (2001-05).

1st class Gabriel Lorca

Played by British actor Jason Isaacs, Lorca was Captain of the USS Discovery in the Star Trek: Discovery television series (2017-18).

1st class Spock

Played by American actor Leonard Nimoy, Spock, who was half-human and half-vulcan, was First Officer of the USS Enterprise in the original series.

1st class Deanna Troi

Played by British-American actress Marina Sirtis, Troi, who was half-human and half-betazoid, was ship’s counsellor in The Next Generation series.

1st class Julian Bashir

Played by Sudanese-English actor Alexander Siddig, Dr Bashir was chief medical officer of Deep Space Nine.

1st class Malcolm Reed

Played by British actor Dominic Keating, Lieutenant Reed was armoury officer in the Star Trek: Enterprise series.

1st class Michael Burnham

Played by American actress Sonequa Martin-Green, Burnham was a (female) science specialist in the Star Trek: Discovery series.

1st class Ash Tyler

Played by British actor Shazad Latif, Lieutenant Tyler was a captured starfleet officer whose identity was taken over by a Klingon warrior in the Star Trek: Discovery series.

 

MINIATURE SHEET

1st class Montgomery Scott

Played by British actor Simon Pegg in three Star Trek films (2009-16), Scotty was a a character resurrected from the original television series, the engineer of the USS Enterprise.

1st class Shinzon

Played by British actor Tom Hardy in Star Trek: Nemesis (2002), Shinzon was a clone of Picard created by the Romulans.

1st class Tolian Soran

Played by British actor Malcolm McDowell in Star Trek Generations (1994), Soran was the El-Aurian scientist indirectly responsible for the death of Kirk.

1st class Chancellor Gorkon

Played by British actor David Warner in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), Gorkon was a Klingon leader who pursued peaceful relations with the Federation.

1st class Carol Marcus

Played by British actress Alice Eve in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), Marcus was the leading scientist who was the mother of Kirk’s son.

1st class Krall

Played by British actor Idris Elba in Star Trek Beyond (2016), Krall was the former starship captain, mutated into semi-reptilian form, who destroyed the USS Enterprise.

 

OTHER PRODUCTS

Besides the usual presentation pack, first day covers and stamp cards, a press sheet of uncut miniature sheets is available in a limited edition of 500. Other merchandise aimed at Trekkies can be found on the Royal Mail website.

 

PRICES

Set of 12 stamps   £9.12

Miniature sheet   £4.56

Presentation pack   £14.80

Stamp cards   £8.55

Press sheet   £120.38

First day cover (stamps)   £11.60

First day cover (mini sheet)   £6.15

 

VERDICT

COMMEMORATIVE WORTH   0/5

British stamps ought to celebrate British achievements. This isn’t one

QUALITY OF DESIGN   2/5

The illustrations on the counter-sheet stamps are classy in execution, even if devoid of action

WOW FACTOR   1/5

Non-Trekkies may be left wondering who some of these people are, and why they are on stamps