The Prime Directive term has its roots in the 1960s Star Trek series, a.k.a. “original Star Trek.” The directive forbids Starfleet personnel from interfering with the development of other cultures and civilizations. This law applies particularly to civilizations that fall below a certain threshold of technological, scientific and cultural development.
Starship crews are prohibited from using their superior technology to transpose their own values or ideals on them. As As time travel became a recurring feature in the series, the concept was expanded to a Temporal Prime Directive, forbidding Starfleet personnel from interfering in history.