2008-01-07

Star Trek Book Week

Star Trek Book Week Posts:
  1. Book Review 15: Star Trek Memories (William Shatner)
  2. Book Review 16: I am not SPOCK (Leonard Nimoy)
  3. Book Review 17: The Longest Trek (Grace Lee Whitney)
  4. Book Review 18: Star Trek Movie Memories (William Shatner)
  5. Book Review 19: I Am Spock (Leonard Nimoy)
  6. Book Review 20: Beyond Uhura -- Star Trek and Other Memories (Nichelle Nichols)
  7. Book Review 35: Up Till Now (William Shatner)
  8. Book Review 36: Beam Me Up, Scotty (James Doohan)
  9. Book Review 37: Warped Factors -- A Neurotic's Guide to the Universe (Walter Koenig)
  10. Book Review 38: To The Stars (George Takei)
  11. Book Review 39: Just a Geek (Wil Wheaton)

Saturday dinners in the late 70s and early 80s meant Star Trek. We would gather in the living room eating London Broil or Ravioli's and turn to WPIX channel 11 for Star Trek. By the time I entered high school, I could see any 15-20 seconds of an episode and know which one it was.

When NBC canceled the show in 1968, they had no idea it would become synonymous with Sci-Fi, lead to massive conventions drawing thousands of people, spawn more than 10 movies with more than a billion dollars in ticket and DVD sales, and lead to 5 spin off TV shows, including an animated series.

They though the were merely getting rid of a low rated show with a petulant producer.

When the 90s rolled around, Star Trek was a household name. Original cast members began publishing their memoirs filled with Star Trek stories.

For the next 6 days, I'll be publishing reviews of those books. They cover the history and inside stories of the cultural phenomenon. They also provide fascinating insights into the actors themselves, how they grew up, how they came to be in this new kind of TV series, and how their character has affected their lives.

And they argue amongst themselves about what really happened.

There are some common threads in the book. Leonard Nimoy comes across (even in his own books) as difficult to work with, but probably the actor most dedicated to being true to his character.

Gene Roddenberry like to perform practical jokes on people, and they often involved semi-naked women.

Shatner stole Nimoy's bike. Everyone tells this story.

Without a doubt, Star Trek: The Motion Picture was a terrible movie. Pretty, sure. But terrible.

Without a doubt, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was a terrible movie. Cheap, sure. But terrible.

In both cases, the scripts were bad.

After the first Star Trek movie, Paramount marginalized Roddenberry to keep him out of the day-to-day business. He would send ranting memos, but nobody listened. He basically became Grandpa Simpson.

After reading all these books, I have a much deeper understanding not only of the show but also the people who gave their time and energy to create a new vision of the future.

Tomorrow: Star Trek Memories, by William Shatner

2 comments:

Amy said...

Looking forward to this. I'm a (original series only) Trekkie, myself.

LDK in STL said...

Mr. LDK is going to love this.

and I am LOL @ London Broil. So true!