As someone who viewed the original Star Trek series when it aired for the first time, I can be considered an original Trekkie. While the science segment of the science fiction was often weak, the ideas and the vision for the future that it represented extended beyond what anyone could have imagined at the time. It represented a future where humanity had finally been able to end the conflicts on Earth, build a mighty fleet of star ships and find species on other planets that became allies. However, the future was not altogether rosy. In episodes such as "The Space Seed" there were allusions to a ghastly, incredibly destructive nuclear war on Earth. It was hinted that this was the event that finally galvanized the human race to end conflict and join together. There were also the continuous conflicts between the Federation and the Romulans and Klingons. However, while there was the mention of a brutal war having been fought between the Federation and the Romulans, war is averted in the two episodes where the Enterprise and the Romulans meet. Gerrold was the writer of "The Trouble With Tribbles" considered by many to be the best episode in the original series. He takes us behind the scenes in the creation, piloting and filming of the original series. He pulls no punches in his description of Star Trek, describing the strengths and weaknesses of the series. When something was done poorly, he explains that some of the failures were a consequence of the time. The late sixties was a time when women and minorities were not given strong roles, what you see in the original series was ground-breaking for the times. Any attempt to go any farther than what was done was blocked. Gerrold also mentions how the show began to show signs of fatigue, as the story lines began to be repeated in an attempt to save money. Star Trek was a high budget show, so there was every attempt to save production costs, often to the detriment of the show. Finally, Gerrold also describes the development of the first three Star Trek feature movies and the fits and starts that took place before the first one was ever made. Given the success of the series of Star Trek movies, it is amazing to read how much time and effort it took to get the first one made. Gerrold has an insider's view of the Star Trek phenomenon and he tells his stories very well. If you want to go beyond the basics of the series and learn something about how things were really done, then this is a book you need to read.
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About the reviewer
Charles Ashbacher (CharlesAshbacher)
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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