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The Making of Star Trek by Stephen E.…
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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
"The Making of Star Trek" is an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the making of Star Trek. Written in 1968 while the show was in the 2nd half of Season 3, authors Stephen Whitfield and (Star Trek creator) Gene Roddenberry give readers a complete tour of the nascency and execution of the legendary show. The authors introduce readers to each of the important players, producers, directors, and support crew who got this show on the air for 3 short years, but in the hearts and minds of its fans for decades after. There's enough here to keep avid fans of the series interested, but those unfamiliar with the show will be less enthralled. ( )
  coachtim30 | Oct 1, 2017 |
This review also appears on my blog.

In August, 1966, Stephen E. Whitfield, then in the employ of an advertising agency, was tasked with working to generate publicity for Star Trek toys. In consequence of his close contact with the Trek cast and crew, he became intimately familiar with the workings of the production, and pitched to Gene Roddenberry a book detailing the making of the show. With Roddenberry's approval, Whitfield began work on what was to be a thorough history of Star Trek, from its conception through the production of its first season: The Making of Star Trek.

Whitfield's book was the first of its kind: a real behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a television show, including not only Whitfield's observations, but also interviews with Roddenberry and the actors, and original artifacts from the show's production, such as the 'series format' Roddenberry wrote to sell the show to the studio, and a variety of memos.

The aforementioned series format is perhaps the single feature of greatest historical interest, as it describes Roddenberry's initial vision for the show. In part:


THE FORMAT is "Wagon Train to the Stars"--built around characters who travel to other worlds and meet the jeopardy and adventure which become our stories.

THE TIME could be 1995 or even 2995--close enough to our times for our continuing cast to be people like us, but far enough into the future for galaxy travel to be fully established.

THE FAMILIAR LOCALE is their vessel--the U.S.S. Enterprise, a naval cruiser-size spaceship. (In the initial draft of the format, the ship was the U.S.S. Yorktown.) The vessel (a permanent set) includes bridge, control rooms, crew quarters and facilities, science labs and technical departments, plus passenger and cargo accommodations. These compartments contain the wide range of personalities, some becoming Guest Star roles for stories aboard ship or on the worlds we visit.

THE LEAD ROLE is Captain Robert T. April, mid-thirties, an unusually strong and colorful personality, the commander of the cruiser.

OTHER CAST REGULARS are a variety of excitingly different types: "Number One", a glacierlike, efficient female who serves as ship's Executive Officer; José "Joe" Tyler, the brilliant but sometimes immature Navigator; Mr. Spock, with a red-hued satanic look and surprisingly gentle manners; Philip "Bones" Boyce, M. D., ship's doctor and worldly cynic; and uncomfortably lovely J. M. Colt, the Captain's Yeoman.


The book features a great many more original documents from the show's production that will be similarly interesting to the devoted fan. It's well worth reading for those.

Of rather less interest (to me, at the least) are the minutiae of the show's production. In 1968, I suppose the work of making a television show was relatively unfamiliar to the average person. Today, I think this information has permeated the collective public consciousness, and at any rate the internet will offer (up-to-date!) details to anyone interested. Happily, these duller bits are in the minority.

The Making of Star Trek is an absolute treasure for the fan interested in Trek's history. I understand that many of these details have been republished, since, but Whitfield's book is the only source written even as the show was produced, and published contemporarily. It's well worth the time invested to read it.
2 vote Sopoforic | Apr 28, 2017 |
Holds a special place in my heart--I got it for Christmas when I was in high school and had just discovered Star Trek reruns on television. This was before even VCRs, so I was starved for anything having to do with the show, and had seen this book on the desk of one of my teachers. I asked him about it, and passed it on to my folks, who got it for me. Parts of it were taken from the writer's guide for the show. As with a few other books, I no longer trust the idea that Roddenberry co-wrote this book--I think it's more likely he simply insisted on having his name on it. (See Harlan Ellison, City on the Edge of Forever) ( )
  unclebob53703 | Feb 21, 2016 |
One of the first books I remember buying with my own money. THE original authoritative book about ST:TOS. Much referenced, long before Google. ( )
1 vote SF_fan_mae | Jan 15, 2016 |
Behind the scenes book about the creation of the original Star Trek television series. Many fascinating tales of the struggle to bring this groundbreaking program to the small screen. ( )
  loki7 | Mar 22, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen E. Whitfieldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gene Roddenberrymain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Beyond
The rim of the star-light
My love
Is wand'ring in star-flight
I know
He'll find in star-clustered reaches
Love,
Strange love a star woman teaches.
I know
His journey ends never
His star trek
will go on forever.
But tell him
While he wanders his starry sea
Remember, remember me.
-- "Theme from Star Trek"
Lyrics by Gene Roddenberry
Dedication
To Orval and LaVila Pierce who gave me a warm friendly shelter and escape from a stormy sea.
First words
Introduction: My first personal contact with STAR TREK was in August, 1966.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345340191, Mass Market Paperback)

A complete history of what may be the most popular TV series ever -- the original Star Trek "TM" episodes! Filled with quotations from cast members, memos to and from Gene Roddenberry, biographies of cast members, sketches, photographs, set descriptions, and even budgets and cast schedules, this volume is a fascinating, invaluable behind-the-scenes account of the development and production of the original Star Trek "TM" series.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:15 -0400)

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