Stardate 2009. Popular culture is under renewed attack from a cult phenomenon known as Star Trek...
More than four decades, six TV series and ten films since the crew of the Enterprise first pledged 'to boldly go where no man has been before', Captain Kirk and his pointy-eared sidekick Spock are back.
But with the franchise in a tailspin after flop TV series Enterprise and disappointing 2002 film Nemesis, all eyes are on director JJ Abrams and his cast to see whether they can right the Starship.
The original 1966 series wasn't an instant hit, but through re-runs on TV it won over a legion of Trekkies, who can still be found spouting Klingon at fan conventions in their droves.
Such is the impact of Star Trek on modern culture, that even the staunchest non-fan could reluctantly pull a Vulcan salute and would know that if you need beaming up, Scotty's your man.
So how do you tackle a new film to bring the brand back up to warp speed and attract a new generation of fans, without offending Trekkies at the same time?
Find a young, hip cast worthy of wearing the iconic primary colour Lycra tops and bring back Leonard Nimoy to pass the Spock baton to Heroes' star Zachary Quinto, is how.
This was the mission Lost creator JJ Abrams' boldly embarked on. The self-professed non-fan also decided to take the franchise back to its roots, showing the 23rd century launch of the U.S.S. Enterprise and how its crew all came to be there.
The director says: "I was never a huge Star Trek fan, so when I started working on this I didn't have this feeling of it being a sacred text.
"The risk was obviously alienating fans of Star Trek originally and I didn't want to do that. But I also felt that if we did our job and made it entertaining, it would include Star Trek fans."
Central to the film is the relationship between James T Kirk, made famous by William Shatner, and his one-day First Officer, who goes only by the name Spock.
From the moment they meet at the Starfleet Academy, there's no love lost, with Kirk - played by rising star Chris Pine - calling Spock a "pointy-eared b*****d".
Like other origins movies, including Batman Begins, JJ takes us back to his characters' childhoods to show us what shapes and motivates them.
The film opens with Kirk's birth, as his father, captain of the doomed U.S.S. Kelvin is locked in battle with a rogue Romulan ship.
Flash forward to Kirk on earth as a young man, in a bloody bar brawl with students of the Starfleet Academy after trying to chat up Uhura (Zoe Saldana).
He finally gets inspired to make something of his life by Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood), who challenges him to fulfil his father's thwarted potential.
Meanwhile, on the planet Vulcan, young Spock is being bullied by his classmates because he's half-human and half Vulcan.
The formerly violent Vulcans vowed to change their ways and eschew emotion in favour of pure logic. But Spock is torn between Vulcan logic and his human instincts.
At the Starfleet Academy, Spock despises Kirk's impulsiveness and Kirk is equally frustrated by the officious Spock.
Chris Pine, 28, explains: "Zach and I wanted the audience to see Kirk and Spock as these two very bright, very obstinate young men who are destined to butt heads throughout their lives, but will grow to love each other for that very reason."
Though not a huge Star Trek fan, Zachary Quinto had long admired the character of Spock and, so the story goes, unintentionally lobbied for the role.
"He was always fascinating to me because of the conflict between his mind and his emotions and by his ability to maintain equanimity no matter what is going on around him," says the 31-year-old.
"I was doing press for Heroes just as I found out JJ was making this movie and a journalist from my hometown paper asked me if there was any other project that I'd be interested in.
"I mentioned how much I would enjoy playing Spock and the article got syndicated and then all the other journalists started asking about Star Trek."
As much as he wanted the role, Zachary wasn't quite prepared for the image transformation he'd have to undergo.
"I had to get to work two hours earlier than everybody for the prosthetics and it did require some sacrifice of coolness to shave the eyebrows off my face and sport that phenomenal haircut. But it was well worth it, something I was happy to do."
JJ gave the actors free rein to interpret the iconic roles in their own way, but there was still a certain amount of pressure following in the footsteps of the actors who first played them.
Chris admits he started off wanting to impersonate William Shatner.
"But that was not the mandate JJ had set me. It was really to pay homage to what was done before, so you could have a sense of continuity between Mr Shatner and myself, but really it was time to breathe new life into these characters."
For Zachary, there was the added pressure that his predecessor, Leonard Nimoy, was actually in the film. But having the 78-year-old veteran on set was a surprising bonus.
"He was very supportive, but he gave me a wide berth in terms of my own discovery of the character. He was very encouraging that I find it all out for myself, but he was available to me every step of the way," he says.
"I don't think Leonard ever expected to play the character again. It had been 19 years since he donned the ears last time and I think for him this was an opportunity not only to play the character again, but to be intimately involved in the passage of the mantle. And that for me was an incredible honour."
JJ admits he found it hard to direct Leonard in the role he'd been playing over 42 years, and gave into the temptation to gauge his thoughts on Zachary's performance.
"I pulled Leonard aside and said, 'Is there anything I should be telling him because no one knows it better than you,' and he just said, 'He's pretty good'."
The director trod carefully, keeping the positive spirit of creator Gene Roddenberry's original 1966 series, while bringing Star Trek right up to date.
And that meant lots of action scenes, special effects and building a hi-tech Enterprise for the newly-trained crew's first mission, complete with touch-screens and not a shred of cardboard anywhere.
Chris admits it gave him "chills" walking onto the ship's famous bridge - and sitting in the captain's chair.
"It was one of those moments when it suddenly hits you how special what you're doing is."
Fans old and new will be delighted to hear the film ends with Nimoy - who else? - voicing the iconic lines that started the whole story all those years ago: "Space, the final frontier..."
The words carry a promise that the franchise will continue, now in the safe hands of JJ and his cast.
"When we agreed to do this movie, the whole crew of us agreed to do others as well. It doesn't guarantee that there will be others, we'll see," says Zachary.
"We're just really excited about sharing this one and hoping that people are as excited about it as we are and then the rest will fall into place, but we don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves."
Chris is sure the film, like the original series, will impress and endure.
"Right now in an economic crisis, to present a vision of people working together instead of division, I just think it's a positive, wonderful message."