Thursday, September 12, 2013


"V'Ger requests information!"

And so do certifiable Trekkers like myself. Fans of the nuts and bolts of Star Trek will read just about anything of any integrity on the production of that classic series. I started with Stephen Whitfield's standout book "The Making of Star Trek". It still is just about the finest "making of" book out there; a full forty-five years after it was first published. The next important book of the type was Herb Solow and Robert Justman's 1996 set-the-record straight "Inside Star Trek". (The show's production executive and producer, respectively, wrote a highly readable and fascinating book on what really happened during that series' creation and production -- they would know since they were on-board from the beginning.) A friend of mine is currently reading the book and is thoroughly enjoying it; he had a sudden powerful urge to re-explore some episodes.

A few days ago I was looking for some pictures to attach to blog postings when I learned of a new book; when I read the description I wasn't sure if what I read was the real deal: A new book, one over 600 pages long, dedicated to the behind-the-scenes on Star Trek's first season? Wow. Two books are to come; one for each of the two other seasons.

I spent a few minutes to read up on "These Are The Voyages - TOS Season One". The reviews are very good: a story well told; one that could have been a dry, and still interesting, retelling of a pile of incredibly in-depth research is spun into a page turner of a book... that sort of thing.

The book's author, Marc Cushman (with Susan Osborn), had access to the Star Trek files stored at the U.C.L.A. archives. Since he was busy as a screenwriter and director, and his ongoing research kept piling up over the years and decades, the ultimate intent of writing a book had to wait. Mr. Cushman interviewed many people involved with the show's production; from producers to crew, and the main actors, in addition to many of the episode guest stars.

The author claims that he did not start writing the book until 2007, and when he finished he had enough material for a 1,700 page book -- with his publisher, Cushman made the obvious decision to break "These Are the Voyages" into separate season volumes.

My reading list has suddenly gotten a lot longer... in one shot!

I'll dissolve to the write-up from the publisher, Jacobs Brown Media Group...

"Author Marc Cushman had the great honor of befriending both Gene Roddenberry and Robert H. Justman, who cooperated in the development of this three-book series and backed their endorsement with hundreds of never-before-released documents concerning the writing and production of the first Star Trek ® series. After decades of research, hundreds of exclusive interviews, and the inclusion of thousands of documents, from story outlines to scripts to interoffice memos between Roddenberry and his creative staff, correspondences with NBC and Desilu Studios, production schedules, budgets, and even the Nielsen ratings for every episode of the first Star Trek ® series, These are the Voyages serves as a time machine, taking the reader back to witness the creation, writing and making of Star Trek ®. Decades of folklore is dispelled as the authentic documents are presented, revealing the true production order of the episodes (never before properly identified), the truth behind the ratings (Star Trek often won its time slot and was usually NBC's top-rated Thursday night series, and again, Friday night series), the actual cost of each episode, when and where and how each scene from every episode was filmed, who wrote what part of which scripts (often not the writer given the screen credit), fan letters and trade reviews from the time of the first broadcasts, and much more. Foreword by TOS first season producer and writer John D.F. Black, and Mary Black."

Publisher's website...
Jacobs Brown Media Group

Book Review: 'These Are the Voyages: The Original Series, Season One' by Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn

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