An interview with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry on Good Morning America from 1986 shows how many serious issues Trek actually tackled, including the Vietnam War. Roddenberry talks about dealing with push-back from the network, Desilu studios and his advertisers on issues like the inclusion of Lt. Uhura as a bridge officer. And he says the idea that we shouldn't discuss anything serious on television is "a criminal statement." [From A Sci Fi Stand Point]
@itsgene: Well said that man. Roddenberry had a great line in self-serving bs - and now he's doing it from beyond the grave! "Mission: Impossible" [another of the Desilu shows of the time] had a token black guy, as did "Mod Squad" and even "Land of The Giants". Multi-racial casts were standard for TV shows with a slightly progressive slant. As to the claim that TOS had a liberal bias in its message episodes should be taken with sack full of salt. I recall that sterling ep where the TOS crew visit a planet with a proxy war going on between two halves of the native population. The Klingons had armed one side and so the Federation - under Kirk's orders - armed the other side. The Vietnam analogy was blatant and the message of the show was basically "kill em all". Peace now? yeah, right!